Reality Best Quotes

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A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement
Jess C. Scott
It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Girls are like apples...the best ones are at the top of the trees. The boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples that are on the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when, in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree...
Pete Wentz
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. 2. Don't Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering. 3. Don't Make Assumptions Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. 4. Always Do Your Best Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Miguel Ruiz
I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak.
Woody Allen
The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real ... for a moment at least ... that long magic moment before we wake. Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true? We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La. They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to middle Earth.
George R.R. Martin
It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.
Germany Kent
Life keeps throwing me lemons because I make the best lemonade...
King James Gadsden
Whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out...
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
But do we know how to make love stay?' I can't even think about it. The best I can do is play it day by day.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It's all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don't worry, just be happy. You are already free!
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time... and you can't see it if you refuse to face the possibility.
William S. Burroughs
Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.
George Carlin
Words are easy to say, but emotions betray the best intentions.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22))
Reality is not an inspiration for literature. At its best, literature is an inspiration for reality.
Romain Gary
I believe that we form our own lives, that we create our own reality, and that everything works out for the best.
Jim Henson
It's strange because in reality, I'm not the leading guy. Maybe I'm the best friend. I guess I didn't think of myself as interesting until I was interesting to Blue.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.
Oprah Winfrey
How people themselves perceive what they are doing is not a question that interests me. I mean, there are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, 'That person I see is a savage monster'; instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do. If you ask the CEO of some major corporation what he does he will say, in all honesty, that he is slaving 20 hours a day to provide his customers with the best goods or services he can and creating the best possible working conditions for his employees. But then you take a look at what the corporation does, the effect of its legal structure, the vast inequalities in pay and conditions, and you see the reality is something far different.
Noam Chomsky
If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.
Germany Kent
To wait. In our lives we know joy, anger, sorrow, and a hundred other emotions, but these emotions all together occupy a bare one percent of our time. The remaining ninety-nine percent is just living in waiting. I wait in momentary expectation, feeling as though my breasts are being crushed, for the sound in the corridor of the footsteps of happiness. Empty. Oh, life is too painful, the reality that confirms the universal belief that it is best not to be born.
Osamu Dazai (The Setting Sun (New Directions Book))
We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs - or we don't. Either we accept our fixed versions of reality- or we begin to challenge them. In Buddha's opinion, to train in staying open and curious - to train in dissolving our assumptions and beliefs - is the best use of our human lives.
Pema Chödrön (The Pocket Pema Chodron)
Life is like butter - when things cool down it can be reshaped
Alan Sheinwald (Alan Sheinwald is Building a Perfect Home)
If the best of one's feelings means nothing to the person most concerned in those feelings, what reality is left us?
Virginia Woolf (Night and Day)
Anastasia, you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and to call you the love of my life does not do justice to how much I love you. My existence doesn’t make sense without you by my side. For the rest of our lives, in the next life, in every alternate reality, I’ll be yours if you’ll have me. You are my best friend, my greatest gift, and Mila—and Bunny—are so blessed to have you as their mom.
Hannah Grace (Icebreaker (UCMH, #1))
People who have had little self-reflection live life in a huge reality blind-spot.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
When a man in a forest thinks he is going forward in a straight line, in reality he is going in a circle, I did my best to go in a circle, hoping to go in a straight line.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy)
The truth is more magical - in the best and most exciting sense of the word - than any myth or made-up mystery or miracle. Science has its own magic: the magic of reality.
Richard Dawkins (The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True)
[...] I grew up out of that strange, dreamy childhood of mine and went into the world of reality. I met with experiences that bruised my spirit - but they never harmed my ideal world. That was always mine to retreat into at will. I learned that that world and the real world clashed hopelessly and irreconcilably; and I learned to keep them apart so that the former might remain for me unspoiled. I learned to meet other people on their own ground since there seemed to be no meeting place on mine. I learned to hide the thoughts and dreams and fancies that had no place in the strife and clash of the market place. I found that it was useless to look for kindred souls in the multitude; one might stumble on such here and there, but as a rule it seemed to me that the majority of people lived for the things of time and sense alone and could not understand my other life. So I piped and danced to other people's piping - and held fast to my own soul as best I could.
L.M. Montgomery (My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. Macmillan from L.M. Montgomery)
And when I fall in love,” I began, "I will build a mountain to touch the sky. Then, my lover and I will have the best of both worlds, reality firmly under our feet, while we have our heads in the clouds with all our illusions still intact. And the purple grass will grow all around, high enough to reach our eyes.
V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1))
People who are too optimistic seem annoying. This is an unfortunate misinterpretation of what an optimist really is. An optimist is neither naive, nor blind to the facts, nor in denial of grim reality. An optimist believes in the optimal usage of all options available, no matter how limited. As such, an optimist always sees the big picture. How else to keep track of all that’s out there? An optimist is simply a proactive realist. An idealist focuses only on the best aspects of all things (sometimes in detriment to reality); an optimist strives to find an effective solution. A pessimist sees limited or no choices in dark times; an optimist makes choices. When bobbing for apples, an idealist endlessly reaches for the best apple, a pessimist settles for the first one within reach, while an optimist drains the barrel, fishes out all the apples and makes pie. Annoying? Yes. But, oh-so tasty!
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
One has only to set a loved human being against the fact that we are all in peril all the time to get back a sense of proportion. What does anything matter compared to the reality of love and its span, so brief at best, maintained against such odds?
May Sarton (Journal of a Solitude)
No one else knows exactly what the future holds for you, no one else knows what obstacles you've overcome to be where you are, so don't expect others to feel as passionate about your dreams as you do.
Germany Kent
Books are the best means—private, discreet, reliable—of overcoming reality.
Jhumpa Lahiri (In Other Words: A Memoir (Italian Edition))
The goal of prayer is to live all of my life and speak all of my words in the joyful awareness of the presence of God. Prayer becomes real when we grasp the reality and goodness of God's constant presence with 'the real me.' Jesus lived his everyday life in conscious awareness of his Father.
John Ortberg Jr. (The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You)
But literature, the best of it, does not aim to be literature. It wants and strives, beyond that artifact part of itself, to be a true part of the composite human record—that is, not words but a reality.
Mary Oliver (Upstream: Selected Essays)
The definition of a professional is one who does a job well even when they don't like it.
Alan Sheinwald (Alan Sheinwald is Building a Perfect Home)
True love is wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone you would sometimes also like to strangle.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading 2)
People always want to know what it feels like, so I’ll tell you: there’s a sting when you first slice, and then your heart speeds up when you see the blood, because you know you’ve done something you shouldn’t have, and yet you’ve gotten away with it. Then you sort of go into a trance, because it’s truly dazzling—that bright red line, like a highway route on a map that you want to follow to see where it leads. And—God—the sweet release, that’s the best way I can describe it, kind of like a balloon that’s tied to a little kid’s hand, which somehow breaks free and floats into the sky. You just know that balloon is thinking, Ha, I don’t belong to you after all; and at the same time, Do they have any idea how beautiful the view is from up here? And then the balloon remembers, after the fact, that it has a wicked fear of heights. When reality kicks in, you grab some toilet paper or a paper towel (better than a washcloth, because the stains don’t ever come out 100 percent) and you press hard against the cut. You can feel your embarrassment; it’s a backbeat underneath your pulse. Whatever relief there was a minute ago congeals, like cold gravy, into a fist in the pit of your stomach. You literally make yourself sick, because you promised yourself last time would be the last time, and once again, you’ve let yourself down. So you hide the evidence of your weakness under layers of clothes long enough to cover the cuts, even if it’s summertime and no one is wearing jeans or long sleeves. You throw the bloody tissues into the toilet and watch the water go pink before you flush them into oblivion, and you wish it were really that easy.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavours, even the best, will come to naught. Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavour, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God's calling, can matter forever.
Timothy J. Keller (Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work)
If you want your life to be a five-star reality, you have to stop settling for a fast food mentality!
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
How does one get across the fact that the best way to find out how people feel about their gender or their sexuality—or anything else, really—is to listen to what they tell you, and to try to treat them accordingly, without shellacking over their version of reality with yours?
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
You're trying to find it. You're probably trying to find- the reason that you live- all by yourself. Because...because, in reality, there aren't any people who are born with reasons to live. I think that...that everyone has to find their reason to live. A reason to live. A reason to say that it's okay to be here. A reason for being. Everyone must find out and then decide. Maybe in a dream, or in a job, or in a person. "The reason" you find might be unclear, uncertain, and unstable. Even though you may lose it, I want to have a reason for as long as I live. I also want one. And then, if it's possible, I want to find it in somebody's heart. I want to be able to live for someone. I hope that someday, someone would tell me, 'You can think of it that way.' At times I want to give up, but I try my best. That's why...that's why it's okay, for sure, to be shameless. Because if you lead a bold life, someday you might meet someone with whom you'll want to eat takoyaki together.
Natsuki Takaya
If you hope for something, truly yearn for it from deep inside yourself, you have to try everything you can to make it come true. That’s the key to life, my young friend. You won’t always succeed, but knowing you’ve tried your best will carry you through. And sometimes, when you do succeed in making your hopes real, it allows all the beauty of being here on this earth to fill you up with joy.
Steven Decker (Projector for Sale)
Pain can be endured and defeated only if it is embraced. Denied or feared, it grows in perception if not in reality. The best response to terror is righteous anger, confidence in ultimate justice, a refusal to be intimidated.
Dean Koontz (Velocity)
A deus ex machina will never appear in real life so you best make other arrangements.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
Be the girl you want your daughter to be. Be the girl you want your son to date. Be classy, be smart, be real, but most importantly be nice.
Germany Kent
Denial was my best friend who liked to braid my hair and call me pretty. So yep, Cal could definitely be mine inside my head in an alternate reality I liked to call Calaria.
Caroline Peckham (Fated Throne (Zodiac Academy, #6))
Everyone lies to themselves, but many people do it with good intentions. They want to believe what they tell themselves, it is oftentimes the best possible version of reality for them. Although it may not be accurate, it is a mural of their desires, aspirations, optimism and passion. These people usually either need time or a new experience to discover the truth. People who lie to themselves for different reasons are oftentimes trying to avoid something or escape blame for things they have done.
Ashly Lorenzana
Some people call reading an escape, but it's not - it's embracing the true reality of the best parts of who we are. It's not running away; it's running toward the thing we wish we could be, the thing we strive to be, the thing we never can be, but the thing which we always must try to become if we want to be something more than we are.
Sean Gibson
Good morning, Hell-A. In the land of the lotus-eaters, time plays tricks on you. One day you’re dreaming, the next, your dream has become your reality. It was the best of times. If only someone had told me. Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, harsh lessons learned. My family goes on without me, while I drown in a sea of pointless pussy. I don’t know how I got here. But here I am, rotting away in the warm California sun. There are things I need to figure out, for her sake, at least. The clock is ticking. The gap is widening. She won’t always love me “no matter what
Hank Moody
DAISY: I never knew you were such a realist-I thought you were more poetic. Where's your imagination? There are many sides to reality. Choose the one that's best for you. Escape into the world of imagination.
Eugène Ionesco (Rhinoceros and Other Plays)
To believe in the supernatural is not simply to believe that after living a successful, material, and fairly virtuous life here one will continue to exist in the best-possible substitute for this world, or that after living a starved and stunted life here one will be compensated with all the good things one has gone without: it is to believe that the supernatural is the greatest reality here and now.
T.S. Eliot
Time is like a river that carries us forward into encounters with reality that require us to make decisions. We can’t stop our movement down this river and we can’t avoid those encounters. We can only approach them in the best possible way.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
You like to imagine yourself in control of your fate, consciously planning the course of your life as best you can. But you are largely unaware of how deeply your emotions dominate you. They make you veer toward ideas that soothe your ego. They make you look for evidence that confirms what you already want to believe. They make you see what you want to see, depending on your mood, and this disconnect from reality is the source of the bad decisions and negative patterns that haunt your life. Rationality is the ability to counteract these emotional effects, to think instead of react, to open your mind to what is really happening, as opposed to what you are feeling. It does not come naturally; it is a power we must cultivate, but in doing so we realize our greatest potential.
Robert Greene (The Laws of Human Nature)
All stories have a curious and even dangerous power. They are manifestations of truth -- yours and mine. And truth is all at once the most wonderful yet terrifying thing in the world, which makes it nearly impossible to handle. It is such a great responsibility that it's best not to tell a story at all unless you know you can do it right. You must be very careful, or without knowing it you can change the world.
Vera Nazarian (Dreams Of The Compass Rose)
We're all pieces of the same ever-changing puzzle; some connected for mere seconds, some connected for life, some connected through knowledge, some through belief, some connected through wisdom, some through Love, and some connected with no explanation at all. Yet, as spiritual beings having a human experience, we're all here for the sensations this reality or illusion has to offer. The best anyone can hope for is the right to be able to Live, Learn, Love then Leave. After that, reap the benefits of their own chosen existence in the hereafter by virtue of simply believing in what they believe. As for here, it took me a while but this progression helped me with my life: "I like myself. I Love myself. I am myself.
Stanley Victor Paskavich
To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depths of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I believe the best managers acknowledge and make room for what they do not know—not just because humility is a virtue but because until one adopts that mindset, the most striking breakthroughs cannot occur. I believe that managers must loosen the controls, not tighten them. They must accept risk; they must trust the people they work with and strive to clear the path for them; and always, they must pay attention to and engage with anything that creates fear. Moreover, successful leaders embrace the reality that their models may be wrong or incomplete. Only when we admit what we don’t know can we ever hope to learn it.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
The mindset of loss of a loved one is to understand that the loss will never be undone. You must live with it, like it or not. But, to live well, you must turn that loss into something positive. That way, you can become the best version of yourself; scarred, flawed and unstoppable
Val Uchendu
Anorexics are the best liars in the world. You do anything to keep control. You place people into separate categories, those you trust, those you don’t, those you can confide in and those whom you lie to. But of course the reality is that underneath it all, you are lying to yourself all the time.
Peter Barham (The Invisible Girl)
If you find the dividing line between fairy tales and reality, let me know. In my mind, the two run together, even though the intersections aren't always obvious. The girl sitting quietly in class or waiting for the bus or roaming the mall doesn't want anyone to know, or doesn't know how to tell anyone, that she is locked in a tower. Maybe she's a prisoner of a story she's heard all her life- that fairest means best, or that bruises prove she is worthy of love.
Christine Heppermann (Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty)
Most parents try really hard to give their kids the best possible life. They give them the best food and clothes they can afford, take their own kind of take on training kids to be honest and polite. But what they don't realize is no matter how much they try, their kids will get out there. Out to this complicated little world. If they are lucky they will survive, through backstabbers, broken hearts, failures and all the kinds of invisible insane pressures out there. But most kids get lost in them. They will get caught up in all kinds of bubbles. Trouble bubbles. Bubbles that continuously tell them that they are not good enough. Bubbles that get them carried away with what they think is love, give them broken hearts. Bubbles that will blur the rest of the world to them, make them feel like that is it, that they've reached the end. Sometimes, even the really smart kids, make stupid decisions. They lose control. Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second of every day. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented…. In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism)
In reality of everyday occurrences I've had to submit to people in order not to lose them. It's less the submission that bothers me, I guess, than how it makes my life miserable. And what happens if I can't forgive myself for making that choice? And what if, in order to keep on living, I have to continue to accept myself? What am I supposed to do? Conclusion: It'd be best if I'm destroyed. The best thing is for me just to vanish.
Natsuo Kirino (Real World)
Despite what we knitters know to be true, the non-knitting world somehow persists in thinking that a "knitter" looks a certain way. Most likely, this picture is one of an elderly woman, grandmotherly and polite, sitting in her rocking chair surrounded by homemade cookies and accompanied by a certain number of cats. In reality, a knitter today is just as likely to be young, hip, male, and sitting at a "Stitch and Bitch" in a local bar. Several of today's best knitting designers are men, and a knitter is as likely to have body piercings as homemade cookies. Despite our diversity, the tendency to be accompanied by a cat is an oddity among knitters that cannot be explained.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (At Knit's End)
When Klara plucks a coin from inside someone's ear or turns a ball into a lemon, she hopes not to deceive but to impart a different kind of knowledge, an expanded sense of possibility. The point is not to negate reality, but to peel back its scrim, revealing reality's peculiarities and contradictions. The very best magic tricks, the kind Klara wants to perform, do not subtract from reality. They add.
Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists)
In our day and age, global society has been saturated with the wrong teaching of false positivity. The denial of darkness never equates the abundance of light. And the denial of your actual character never equates to the reality of your best character. People today are afraid to work on themselves and on their actual realities, they believe that outward appearances are enough. Outward appearances have become everything in our current day and age. People don't see what they are actually like, nor who they actually are, in reality. They live in a phantasmic version of reality. It has to stop. In the phantasmic version of reality, there is no chance to experience true love, true goodness, and true metamorphosis. The caterpillar does not become a butterfly by telling everybody it has wings. It actually buries itself in darkness and grows those wings.
C. JoyBell C.
[R]eligion was the race's first (and worst) attempt to make sense of reality. It was the best the species could do at a time when we had no concept of physics, chemistry, biology or medicine. We did not know that we lived on a round planet, let alone that the said planet was in orbit in a minor and obscure solar system, which was also on the edge of an unimaginably vast cosmos that was exploding away from its original source of energy. We did not know that micro-organisms were so powerful and lived in our digestive systems in order to enable us to live, as well as mounting lethal attacks on us as parasites. We did not know of our close kinship with other animals. We believed that sprites, imps, demons, and djinns were hovering in the air about us. We imagined that thunder and lightning were portentous. It has taken us a long time to shrug off this heavy coat of ignorance and fear, and every time we do there are self-interested forces who want to compel us to put it back on again.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
By creating a new mythos - that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave - la mestiza creates a new consciousness. The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject/object duality that keeps her prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
What’s reality? I don’t know. When my bird was looking at my computer monitor I thought, ‘That bird has no idea what he’s looking at.’ And yet what does the bird do? Does he panic? No, he can’t really panic, he just does the best he can. Is he able to live in a world where he’s so ignorant? Well, he doesn’t really have a choice. The bird is okay even though he doesn’t understand the world. You’re that bird looking at the monitor, and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I can figure this out.’ Maybe you have some bird ideas. Maybe that’s the best you can do.
Terry A. Davis
A farm includes the passion of the farmer's heart, the interest of the farm's customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm -- it's everything touching, emanating from, and supplying that piece of landscape. A farm is virtually a living organism. The tragedy of our time is that cultural philosophies and market realities are squeezing life's vitality out of most farms. And that is why the average farmer is now 60 years old. Serfdom just doesn't attract the best and brightest.
Joel Salatin (Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front)
While I was backstage before presenting the Best New Artist award, I talked to George Strait for a while. He's so incredibly cool. So down-to-earth and funny. I think it should be known that George Strait has an awesome, dry, subtle sense of humor. Then I went back out into the crowd and watched the rest of the show. Keith Urban's new song KILLS ME, it's so good. And when Brad Paisley ran down into the front row and kissed Kimberley's stomach (she's pregnant) before accepting his award, Kellie, my mom, and I all started crying. That's probably the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I thought Kellie NAILED her performance of the song we wrote together "The Best Days of Your Life". I was so proud of her. I thought Darius Rucker's performance RULED, and his vocals were incredible. I'm a huge fan. I love it when I find out that the people who make the music I love are wonderful people. I love Faith Hill and how she always makes everyone in the room feel special. I love Keith Urban, and how he told me he knows every word to "Love Story" (That made my night). I love Nicole Kidman, and her sweet, warm personality. I love how Kenny Chesney always has something hilarious or thoughtful to say. But the real moment that brought on this wave of gratitude was when Shania Twain HERSELF walked up and introduced herself to me. Shania Twain, as in.. The reason I wanted to do this in the first place. Shania Twain, as in.. the most impressive and independent and confident and successful female artist to ever hit country music. She walked up to me and said she wanted to meet me and tell me I was doing a great job. She was so beautiful, guys. She really IS that beautiful. All the while, I was completely star struck. After she walked away, I realized I didn't have my camera. Then I cried. You know, last night made me feel really great about being a country music fan in general. Country music is the place to find reality in music, and reality in the stars who make that music. There's kindness and goodness and....honesty in the people I look up to, and knowing that makes me smile. I'm proud to sing country music, and that has never wavered. The reason for the being.. nights like last night.
Taylor Swift
Going back” had two distinct meanings at the school, depending on how it was said. It was the best thing in the world. It was also the worst thing that could happen to anybody. It was returning to a place that understood you so well that it had reached across realities to find you, claiming you as its own and only; it was being sent to a family that wanted to love you, wanted to keep you safe and sound, but didn’t know you well enough to do anything but hurt you.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined. You always insist that the order sustaining society is an objective reality created by the great gods or by the laws of nature. People are unequal, not because Hammurabi said so, but because Enlil and Marduk decreed it. People are equal, not because Thomas Jefferson said so, but because God created them that way. Free markets are the best economic system, not because Adam Smith said so, but because these are the immutable laws of nature.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Make life easier for those around you, not harder. Every person you know is fighting their own great battle. Few of us ever know what those battles entail, and so often we say and do things that push others deeper and harder into the front lines of those battles. I know such has been the relentless lifelong reality for me. Love a person for the person that they are. Or dislike them for the person that they are. But don’t love or dislike them for the sole reason that they see people differently than you do. Don’t love or dislike them because they experience the world differently than you do. And please don’t eternally and wholly define them with sexual labels just because they were among those who finally found the courage to acknowledge their truth.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
I feel sorry for people who maintain relationships and friendships detrimental to their mental health. Everyone is guilty of it at one time or another- but the idea is to strive to be your best; right? So, meanwhile why are so many people faking it? Security? Fear of loneliness? Fears of independence? Fears of being self ? Or just the idea that you can make someone change? Regardless of the justifications you give & treat yourself to... , I hope all of you - "new year -new me types" strive for self care , honest and pure friendships and relationships based of love- and not based off the fake realities of your mind. These delusions of what you hope for instead of what's there, where you and your puppet show master focus more on everyone else and less on self. To change the world you must start within. But you must first BE HONEST with yourself. My new year started a few months ago-- and it was the best choice I ever made- and I hope your recreations are progressive and successful in THE NEW YEAR
Tiffany Luard
Developing mental strength isn’t about having to be the best at everything. It also isn’t about earning the most money or achieving the biggest accomplishments. Instead, developing mental strength means knowing that you’ll be okay no matter what happens. Whether you’re facing serious personal problems, a financial crisis, or a family tragedy, you’ll be best prepared for whatever circumstances you encounter when you’re mentally strong. Not only will you be ready to deal with the realities of life, but you’ll be able to live according to your values no matter what life throws your way.
Amy Morin (13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success)
Wake up! Wake up! Soon the person you believe you are will die - so now, wake up and be content with this knowledge: there is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all ONE, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor, and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life; just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are for more than you imagine. you are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else too! It's all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don't worry, just be happy. You are already free!
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance; the same description may be applied to the best, most elefant and both intellectually and aesthetically satisfying games. By being unknowable, by resulting from events which, at the sub-atomic level, cannot be fully predicted, the future remains makkeable, and retains the possibility of change, the hope of coming to prevail; victory, to use an unfashionable word. In this, the future is a game; time is one of the rules. Generally, all the best mechanistic games - those which can be played in any sense "perfectly", such as a grid, Prallian scope, 'nkraytle, chess, Farnic dimensions - can be traced to civilisations lacking a realistic view of the universe (let alone the reality). They are also, I might add, invariably pre-machine-sentience societies. The very first-rank games acknowledge the element of chance, even if they rightly restrict raw luck. To attempt to construct a game on any other lines, no matter how complicated and subtle the rules are, and regardless of the scale and differentiation of the playing volume and the variety of the powers and attibutes of the pieces, is inevitably to schackle oneself to a conspectus which is not merely socially but techno-philosophically lagging several ages behind our own. As a historical exercise it might have some value, As a work of the intellect, it's just a waste of time. If you want to make something old-fashioned, why not build a wooden sailing boat, or a steam engine? They're just as complicated and demanding as a mechanistic game, and you'll keep fit at the same time.
Iain Banks (The Player of Games (Culture #2))
The liturgy of the Eucharist is best understood as a journey or procession. It is the journey of the Church into the dimension of the Kingdom. We use the word 'dimension' because it seems the best way to indicate the manner of our sacramental entrance into the risen life of Christ. Color transparencies 'come alive' when viewed in three dimensions instead of two. The presence of the added dimension allows us to see much better the actual reality of what has been photographed. In very much the same way, though of course any analogy is condemned to fail, our entrance into the presence of Christ is an entrance into a fourth dimension which allows us to see the ultimate reality of life. It is not an escape from the world, rather it is the arrival at a vantage point from which we can see more deeply into the reality of the world.
Alexander Schmemann (For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy)
Theirs was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each other's character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good-fellowship—camaraderie—usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstance permits its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death—that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.
Thomas Hardy (Far from the Madding Crowd)
I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn't make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn't be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona's innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia's love when it was proved: but that was too late. 'His praise is lost who stays till all commend.' The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?
C.S. Lewis
Always choose to be smart There are two types of people in the world, the seekers of riches and the wise thinkers, those who believe that the important thing is money, and those who know that knowledge is the true treasure. I, for my part, choose the second option, Though I could have everything I want I prefer to be an intelligent person, and never live in a game of vain appearances. Knowledge can take you far far beyond what you imagine, It can open doors and opportunities for you. and make you see the world with different eyes. But in this eagerness to be "wise", There is a task that is a great challenge. It is facing the fear of the unknown, and see the horrors around every corner. It's easy to be brave when you're sure, away from dangers and imminent risks, but when death threatens you close, "wisdom" is not enough to protect you. Because, even if you are smart and cunning, death sometimes comes without mercy, lurking in the darkest shadows, and there is no way to escape. That is why the Greek philosophers, They told us about the moment I died, an idea we should still take, to understand that death is a reality. Wealth can't save you of the inevitable arrival of the end, and just as a hoarder loses his treasures, we also lose what we have gained. So, if we have to choose between two things, that is between being cunning or rich, Always choose the second option because while the money disappears, wisdom helps us face dangers. Do not fear death, my friend, but embrace your intelligence, learn all you can in this life, and maybe you can beat time and death for that simple reason always choose to be smart. Maybe death is inevitable But that doesn't mean you should be afraid because intelligence and knowledge They will help you face any situation and know what to do. No matter what fate has in store, wisdom will always be your best ally, to live a life full of satisfaction, and bravely face any situation. So don't settle for what you have and always look for ways to learn more, because in the end, true wealth It is not in material goods, but in knowledge. Always choose to be smart, Well, that will be the best investment. that will lead you on the right path, and it will make you a better version of yourself.
Marcos Orowitz (THE MAELSTROM OF EMOTIONS: A selection of poems and thoughts About us humans and their nature)
For when I speak of the banality of evil, I do so only on the strictly factual level, pointing to a phenomenon which stared one in the face at the trial. Eichmann was not Iago and not Macbeth, and nothing would have been farther from his mind than to determine with Richard III 'to prove a villain.' Except for an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement, he had no motives at all… He merely, to put the matter colloquially, never realized what he was doing… It was sheer thoughtlessness—something by no means identical with stupidity—that predisposed him to become one of the greatest criminals of that period. And if this is 'banal' and even funny, if with the best will in the world one cannot extract any diabolical or demonic profundity from Eichmann, this is still far from calling it commonplace… That such remoteness from reality and such thoughtlessness can wreak more havoc than all the evil instincts taken together which, perhaps, are inherent in man—that was, in fact, the lesson one could learn in Jerusalem.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
Words are not just wind. Words have something to say. But if what they have to say is not fixed, then do they really say something? Or do they say nothing? People suppose that words are different from the peeps of baby birds, but is there any difference, or isn't there? What does the Way rely upon, that we have true and false? What do words rely upon, that we have right and wrong? How can the Way go away and not exist? How can words exist and not be acceptable? When the Way relies on little accomplishments and words reply on vain show, then we have rights and wrongs of the Confucians and the Mo-ists. What one calls right the other calls wrong; what one calls wrong the other calls right. But if we want to right their wrongs and wrong their rights, then the best to use is clarity.
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings)
Anyone can practice some nonviolence, even soldiers. Some army generals, for example, conduct their operations in ways that avoid killing innocent people; this is a kind of nonviolence. To help soldiers move in the nonviolent direction, we have to be in touch with them. If we divide reality into two camps - the violent and the nonviolent - and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. We will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence in ourselves. We must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact. It never helps to draw a line and dismiss some people as enemies, even those who act violently. We have to approach them with love in our hearts and do our best to help them move in a direction of nonviolence. If we work for peace out of anger, we will never succeed. Peace is not an end. It can never come about through non-peaceful means.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Love In Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change)
It is always now. This might sound trite, but it is the truth. It’s not quite true as a matter of neurology, because our minds are built upon layers of inputs whose timing we know must be different. But it is true as a matter of conscious experience. The reality of your life is always now. And to realize this, we will see, is liberating. In fact, I think there is nothing more important to understand if you want to be happy in this world. But we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth—overlooking it, fleeing it, repudiating it. And the horror is that we succeed. We manage to avoid being happy while struggling to become happy, fulfilling one desire after the next, banishing our fears, grasping at pleasure, recoiling from pain—and thinking, interminably, about how best to keep the whole works up and running.
Sam Harris
Jean-Jacques Rousseau defined civilization as when people build fences. A very perceptive observation. And it’s true—all civilization is the product of a fenced-in lack of freedom. The Australian Aborigines are the exception, though. They managed to maintain a fenceless civilization until the seventeenth century. They’re dyed-in-the-wool free. They go where they want, when they want, doing what they want. Their lives are a literal journey. Walkabout is a perfect metaphor for their lives. When the English came and built fences to pen in their cattle, the Aborigines couldn’t fathom it. And, ignorant to the end of the principle at work, they were classified as dangerous and antisocial and were driven away, to the outback. So I want you to be careful. The people who build high, strong fences are the ones who survive the best. You deny that reality only at the risk of being driven into the wilderness yourself.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
to whatever extent the Hell’s Angels may or may be latent sadomasochists or repressed homosexuals is to me--after nearly a year in the constant company of outlaw motorcyclists--almost entirely irrelevant. There are literary critics who insist that Ernest Hemingway was a tortured queer and that Mark Twain was haunted to the end of his days by a penchant for interracial buggery. It is a good way to stir up a tempest in the academic quarterlies, but it won’t change a word of what either man wrote, nor alter the impact of their work on the world they were writing about. Perhaps Manolete was a hoof fetishist, or suffered from terrible hemorrhoids as a result of long nights in Spanish horn parlors…but he was a great matador, and it is hard to see how any amount of Freudian theorizing can have the slightest effect on the reality of the thing he did best.
Hunter S. Thompson
Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild." “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Life is Beautiful? Beyond all the vicissitudes that are presented to us on this short path within this wild planet, we can say that life is beautiful. No one can ever deny that experiencing the whirlwind of emotions inside this body is a marvel, we grow with these life experiences, we strengthen ourselves and stimulate our feelings every day, in this race where the goal is imminent death sometimes we are winners and many other times we lose and the darkness surprises us and our heart is disconnected from this reality halfway and connects us to the server of the matrix once more, debugging and updating our database, erasing all those experiences within this caracara of flesh and blood, waiting to return to earth again. "Life is beautiful gentlemen" is cruel and has unfair behavior about people who looked like a bundle of light and left this platform for no apparent reason, but its nature is not similar to our consciousness and feelings, she has a script for each of us because it was programmed that way, the architects of the game of life they know perfectly well that you must experiment with all the feelings, all the emotions and evolve to go to the next levels. You can't take a quantum leap and get through the game on your own. inventing a heaven and a hell in order to transcend, that comes from our fears of our imagination not knowing what life has in store for us after life is a dilemma "rather said" the best kept secret of those who control us day by day. We are born, we grow up, we are indoctrinated in the classrooms and in the jobs, we pay our taxes, we reproduce, we enjoy the material goods that it offers us the system the marketing of disinformation, Then we get old, get sick and die. I don't like this story! It looks like a parody of Noam Chomsky, Let's go back to the beautiful description of beautiful life, it sounds better! Let's find meaning in all the nonsense that life offers us, 'Cause one way or another we're doomed to imagine that everything will be fine until the end of matter. It is almost always like that. Sometimes life becomes a real nightmare. A heartbreaking horror that we find impossible to overcome. As we grow up, we learn to know the dark side of life. The terrors that lurk in the shadows, the dangers lurking around every corner. We realize that reality is much harsher and ruthless than we ever imagined. And in those moments, when life becomes a real hell, we can do nothing but cling to our own existence, summon all our might and fight with all our might so as not to be dragged into the abyss. But sometimes, even fighting with all our might is not enough. Sometimes fate is cruel and takes away everything we care about, leaving us with nothing but pain and hopelessness. And in that moment, when all seems lost, we realize the terrible truth: life is a death trap, a macabre game in which we are doomed to lose. And so, as we sink deeper and deeper into the abyss, while the shadows envelop us and terror paralyzes us, we remember the words that once seemed to us so hopeful: life is beautiful. A cruel and heartless lie, that leads us directly to the tragic end that death always awaits us.
Marcos Orowitz (THE MAELSTROM OF EMOTIONS: A selection of poems and thoughts About us humans and their nature)
With time to think, the full reality of what had happened hit Thomas like a falling boulder. Ever since Thomas had entered the Maze, Newt had been there for him. Thomas hadn’t realized just how much of a friend he’d become until now. His heart hurt. He tried to remind himself that Newt wasn’t dead. But in some ways this was worse. In most ways. He’d fallen down the slope of insanity, and he was surrounded by bloodthirsty Cranks. And the prospect of never seeing him again was almost unbearable. [...] He pulled the envelope out of his pocket and ripped it open, then took out the slip of paper. The soft lights that ringed the mirror lit up the message in a warm glow. It was two short sentences: Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me. Thomas read it over and over, wishing the words would change. To think that his friend had been so scared that he’d had the foresight to write those words made him sick to his stomach. And he remembered how angry Newt had been at Thomas specifically when they’d found him in the bowling alley. He’d just wanted to avoid the inevitable fate of becoming a Crank. And Thomas had failed him. [...] “Newt suddenly twisted around and grabbed Thomas by the hand holding the gun. He yanked it toward himself, forcing it up until the end of the pistol was pressed against his own forehead. “Now make amends! Kill me before I become one of those cannibal monsters! Kill me! I trusted you with the note! No one else. Now do it!” Thomas tried to pull his hand away, but Newt was too strong. “I can’t, Newt, I can’t.” “Make amends! Repent for what you did!” The words tore out of him, his whole body trembling. Then his voice dropped to an urgent, harsh whisper. “Kill me, you shuck coward. Prove you can do the right thing. Put me out of my misery.” The words horrified Thomas. “Newt, maybe we can—” “Shut up! Just shut up! I trusted you! Now do it!” “I can’t.” “Do it!” “I can’t!” How could Newt ask him to do something like this? How could he possibly kill one of his best friends? “Kill me or I’ll kill you. Kill me! Do it!” “Newt …” “Do it before I become one of them!” “I …” “KILL ME!” And then Newt’s eyes cleared, as if he’d gained one last trembling gasp of sanity, and his voice softened. “Please, Tommy. Please.” With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he does not really see you. He sees in his mind a face that does not exist anymore, speaks a name – Spike, Bud, Snip, Red, Rusty, Jack, Dave – which belongs to that now nonexistent face but which by some inane doddering confusion of the universe is for the moment attached to a not happily met and boring stranger. But he humors the drooling doddering confusion of the universe and continues to address politely that dull stranger by the name which properly belongs to the boy face and to the time when the boy voice called thinly across the late afternoon water or murmured by a campfire at night or in the middle of a crowded street said, “Gee, listen to this–’On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble; His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves–’” The Friend of Your Youth is your friend because he does not see you anymore. And perhaps he never saw you. What he saw was simply part of the furniture of the wonderful opening world. Friendship was something he suddenly discovered and had to give away as a recognition of and payment for the breathlessly opening world which momently divulged itself like a moonflower. It didn’t matter a damn to whom he gave it, for the fact of giving was what mattered, and if you happened to be handy you were automatically endowed with all the appropriate attributes of a friend and forever after your reality is irrelevant. The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he hasn’t the slightest concern with calculating his interest or your virtue. He doesn’t give a damn, for the moment, about Getting Ahead or Needs Must Admiring the Best, the two official criteria in adult friendships, and when the boring stranger appears, he puts out his hand and smiles (not really seeing your face) and speaks your name (which doesn’t really belong to your face), saying, “Well, Jack, damned glad you came, come on in, boy!
Robert Penn Warren (All the King’s Men)
Trans” may work well enough as shorthand, but the quickly developing mainstream narrative it evokes (“born in the wrong body,” necessitating an orthopedic pilgrimage between two fixed destinations) is useless for some—but partially, or even profoundly, useful for others? That for some, “transitioning” may mean leaving one gender entirely behind, while for others—like Harry, who is happy to identify as a butch on T—it doesn’t? I’m not on my way anywhere, Harry sometimes tells inquirers. How to explain, in a culture frantic for resolution, that sometimes the shit stays messy? I do not want the female gender that has been assigned to me at birth. Neither do I want the male gender that transsexual medicine can furnish and that the state will award me if I behave in the right way. I don’t want any of it. How to explain that for some, or for some at some times, this irresolution is OK—desirable, even (e.g., “gender hackers”)—whereas for others, or for others at some times, it stays a source of conflict or grief? How does one get across the fact that the best way to find out how people feel about their gender or their sexuality—or anything else, really—is to listen to what they tell you, and to try to treat them accordingly, without shellacking over their version of reality with yours?
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
Before Jeremiah knew God, God knew Jeremiah: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” This turns everything we ever thought about God around. We think that God is an object about which we have questions. We are curious about God. We make inquiries about God. We read books about God. We get into late-night bull sessions about God. We drop into church from time to time to see what is going on with God. We indulge in an occasional sunset or symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence for God. But that is not the reality of our lives with God. Long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God had been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know. This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there, panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather, we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops. If we use our ego as the center from which to plot the geometry of our lives, we will live eccentrically.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
For half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual. If you find yourself reading this book, then perhaps you already sense what is happening, already feel it inside. It begins with a heightened perception of the way our lives move forward. We notice those chance events that occur at just the right moment, and bring forth just the right individuals, to suddenly send our lives in a new and important direction. Perhaps more than any other people in any other time, we intuit higher meaning in these mysterious happenings. We know that life is really about a spiritual unfolding that is personal and enchanting an unfolding that no science or philosophy or religion has yet fully clarified. And we know something else as well: know that once we do understand what is happening, how to engage this allusive process and maximize its occurrence in our lives, human society will take a quantum leap into a whole new way of life one that realizes the best of our tradition and creates a culture that has been the goal of history all along. The following story is offered toward this new understanding. If it touches you, if it crystalizes something that you perceive in life, then pass on what you see to another for I think our new awareness of the spiritual is expanding in exactly this way, no longer through hype nor fad, but personally, through a kind of positive psychological contagion among people. All that any of us have to do is uspend our doubts and distractions just long enough... and miraculously,this reality can be our own.
James Redfield
Another example of how a metaphor can create new meaning for us came about by accident. An Iranian student, shortly after his arrival in Berkeley, took a seminar on metaphor from one of us. Among the wondrous things that he found in Berkeley was an expression that he heard over and over and understood as a beautifully sane metaphor. The expression was “the solution of my problems”—which he took to be a large volume of liquid, bubbling and smoking, containing all of your problems, either dissolved or in the form of precipitates, with catalysts constantly dissolving some problems (for the time being) and precipitating out others. He was terribly disillusioned to find that the residents of Berkeley had no such chemical metaphor in mind. And well he might be, for the chemical metaphor is both beautiful and insightful. It gives us a view of problems as things that never disappear utterly and that cannot be solved once and for all. All of your problems are always present, only they may be dissolved and in solution, or they may be in solid form. The best you can hope for is to find a catalyst that will make one problem dissolve without making another one precipitate out. [...] The CHEMICAL metaphor gives us a new view of human problems. It is appropriate to the experience of finding that problems which we once thought were “solved” turn up again and again. The CHEMICAL metaphor says that problems are not the kind of things that can be made to disappear forever. To treat them as things that can be “solved” once and for all is pointless. [...] To live by the CHEMICAL metaphor would mean that your problems have a different kind of reality for you.
George Lakoff (Metaphors We Live By)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; he is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness -- of himself, of his condition, of his society -- for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate any one point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events. We already have mentioned man's inability to consider several facts or events simultaneously and to make a synthesis of them in order to face or to oppose them. One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but be does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks. Moreover, there is a spontaneous defensive reaction in the individual against an excess of information and -- to the extent that he clings (unconsciously) to the unity of his own person -- against inconsistencies. The best defense here is to forget the preceding event. In so doing, man denies his own continuity; to the same extent that he lives on the surface of events and makes today's events his life by obliterating yesterday's news, he refuses to see the contradictions in his own life and condemns himself to a life of successive moments, discontinuous and fragmented. This situation makes the "current-events man" a ready target for propaganda. Indeed, such a man is highly sensitive to the influence of present-day currents; lacking landmarks, he follows all currents. He is unstable because he runs after what happened today; he relates to the event, and therefore cannot resist any impulse coming from that event. Because he is immersed in current affairs, this man has a psychological weakness that puts him at the mercy of the propagandist. No confrontation ever occurs between the event and the truth; no relationship ever exists between the event and the person. Real information never concerns such a person. What could be more striking, more distressing, more decisive than the splitting of the atom, apart from the bomb itself? And yet this great development is kept in the background, behind the fleeting and spectacular result of some catastrophe or sports event because that is the superficial news the average man wants. Propaganda addresses itself to that man; like him, it can relate only to the most superficial aspect of a spectacular event, which alone can interest man and lead him to make a certain decision or adopt a certain attitude. But here we must make an important qualification. The news event may be a real fact, existing objectively, or it may be only an item of information, the dissemination of a supposed fact. What makes it news is its dissemination, not its objective reality.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)