Similar Souls Quotes

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When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
In periods of rapid personal change, we pass through life as though we are spellcast. We speak in sentences that end before finishing. We sleep heavily because we need to ask so many questions as we dream alone. We bump into others and feel bashful at recognizing souls so similar to ourselves.
Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet)
First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth. Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself. It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
Similar souls wander in the similar places! They may not know each other, but often they touch the same winds, they step on the same leaves, their looks are lost in the same horizons!
Mehmet Murat ildan
A woman or man of value doesn’t love you because of what he or she wants you to be or do for them. He or she loves you because your combined souls understand one another, complements each other, and make sense above any other person in this world. You each share a part of their soul's mirror and see each other’s light reflected in it clearly. You can easily speak from the heart and feel safe doing so. Both of you have been traveling a parallel road your entire life. Without each other's presence, you feel like an old friend or family member was lost. It bothers you, not because you have given it too much meaning, but because God did. This is the type of person you don't have to fight for because you can't get rid of them and your heart doesn't want them to leave anyways.
Shannon L. Alder
(About Love)The most important thing in life, and you can't tell whether people have it or not. Surely this is wrong? Surely people who are happy should look happy, at all times, no matter how much money they have or how uncomfortable their shoes are or how little their child is sleeping; and people who are doing OK but have still not found their soul-mate should look, I don't know, anxious, like Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally; and people who are desperate should wear something, a yellow ribbon maybe, which would allow them to be identified by similar desperate people.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
I don't believe in the concept of a soul mate. Because we are all unique, but we're also simply too similar.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
There is no need for us all to be alike and think the same way, neither do we need a common enemy to force us to come together and reach out to each other. If we allow ourselves and everyone else the freedom to fully individuate as spiritual beings in human form, there will be no need for us to be forced by worldly circumstances to take hands and stand together. Our souls will automatically want to flock together, like moths to the flame of our shared Divinity, yet each with wings covered in the glimmering colors and unique patterns of our individual human expression.
Anthon St. Maarten
The soul of the newly born baby is marked for life by the pattern of the stars at the moment it comes into the world, unconsciously remembers it, and remains sensitive to the return of configurations of a similar kind.
Johannes Kepler (Harmonies Of The World)
I have never felt any rest in sleep. For a few seconds I am numbed, then a new life begins, freed from the conditions of time and space, and doubtless similar to that state which awaits us after death. Who knows if there is not some link between those two existences and if it is not possible for the soul to unite them now?
Gérard de Nerval
In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come- not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying- or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity- but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. And this results in a striking experience- one which I have called, borrowing military terminology, the situation of the walking wounded. For in virtually any other serious sickness, a patient who felt similar devistation would by lying flat in bed, possibly sedated and hooked up to the tubes and wires of life-support systems, but at the very least in a posture of repose and in an isolated setting. His invalidism would be necessary, unquestioned and honorably attained. However, the sufferer from depression has no such option and therefore finds himself, like a walking casualty of war, thrust into the most intolerable social and family situations. There he must, despite the anguish devouring his brain, present a face approximating the one that is associated with ordinary events and companionship. He must try to utter small talk, and be responsive to questions, and knowingly nod and frown and, God help him, even smile. But it is a fierce trial attempting to speak a few simple words.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
There’s a difference between soul mates and true love. Looking at the surface, they are similar, but when I dug deep down inside, I found they were different.
Is one type of love better than the other? I don’t know but I’m lucky enough to have found them both.
Lisa De Jong (When It Rains (Rains, #1))
How can I begin to tell you how much I miss you without using those three common words that can't even start to express the magnitude nor the depth of my emotions. How can I write in my own blood while wanting to revert its color. The color of blood is similar to "I miss you". It has been raped by writers and lovers constantly, ever since Cain and Abel. I want to be able to create a new alphabet that can simply stand in front of you without bowing. I want to use new metaphors that would erupt like volcanoes between the phrases of my readers' souls. Metaphors such as your absence is similar to eating salt straight from the shaker while thirst is devouring my tongue. Metaphors such as the lack of your presence is like being straddled behind the glass of my own senses.
Malak El Halabi
Perfect! You guys are the same age. I bet you have a lot in common.” Classic adult logic. Reid and I are vaguely the same age, so of course we’re basically soul mates. It’s like horoscopes. Somehow I’m supposed to believe that I’m similar in some meaningful way to every single person born on my birthday. Or every single Sagittarius. I mean, I barely have anything in common with Cassie, and we were born six minutes apart.
Becky Albertalli (The Upside of Unrequited (Simonverse, #2))
TRUTH." "Maybe there is a universal truth embedded in everyone's soul. Maybe we all have the same story hiding inside, like a shared constant in our DNA. Maybe this collective TRUTH is responsible for the similarity in all of our stories." ‎"Truth has power. And if we all gravitate toward similar ideas, mabe we do so because those ideas are true...written deep within us. And when we hear the truth, even if we don't understand it, we feel that truth resonate within us...vibrating with our unconscious wisdom.Perhaps the truth is not learned by us, but rather, the truth is that which is already inside us.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
She was a collector of reflections looking for souls that could see deeply inside her soul.
Shannon L. Alder
What is a Poet? He is a man speaking to men: a man, it is true, endued with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind; a man pleased with his own passions and volitions, and who rejoices more than other men in the spirit of life that is in him; delighting to contemplate similar volitions and passions as manifested in the goings-on of the universe, and habitually impelled to create them where he does not find them.
William Wordsworth
Science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is born. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call 'soul' or 'spirit,' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise. I expressed these ideas long before the behaviorists, led by Pavlov in Russia and by Watson in the United States, proclaimed their new psychology. This apparently mechanistic conception is not antagonistic to an ethical conception of life.
Nikola Tesla (Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla)
So, ninety-five percent of the time." She craned her head back to look up at time. "Ninety-five percent? What's the other five percent?" "Oh, you know, the usual--demons I might kill, runes I need to learn, people who've annoyed me recently, people who've annoyed me not so recently, ducks." "Ducks?" He waved her question away. "All right. Now watch this." He took her shoulders and turned her gently, so they were both facing the same way. A moment later--she wasn't sure how--the walls of the room seemed to melt away around them, and she found herself stepping out onto cobblestones. She gasped, turning to look behind her, and saw only a black wall, windows high up in an old stone building. Rows of similar house lined the canal they stood besides. If she craned her head to the left, she could see in the distance that the canal opened out into a much larger waterway, lined with grand buildings. Everywhere was the smell of water and stone. "Cool, huh?" Jace said proudly. She turned and looked at him. "Ducks?" She said again. A smile tugged the edge of his mouth. "I hate ducks. Don't know hy. I just always have.
Cassandra Clare
A man's suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the 'size' of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
Similarly with regard to truth, won't we say that a soul is maimed if it hates a voluntary falsehood, cannot endure to have one in itself, and is greatly angered when it exists in others, but is nonetheless content to accept an involuntary falsehood, isn't angry when it is caught being ignorant, and bears its lack of learning easily, wallowing in it like a pig?
a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
Remember to delight yourself first, then others can be truly delighted." This was my mantra when I published my first book in 1990, and still holds true. When we focus on the song of our soul and heart, then others will be touched similarly. Sometimes people wonder or worry whether people will like or approve of their creative expression. It's none of your business. It's your business to stay present and focused for the work of your deepest dreams. It might look crooked or strange, or be very odd-but if it delights you, then it is yours, and will find it's way into other hearts.
The portrait artist must acknowledge human complexity with each brushstroke. The eyes, nose and mouth that compose a sitter's face, just like the suffering and joy that compose his soul, are similar to those of ten million others yet still singular to him. This acknowledgment is where art begins. It may also be where mercy begins. If criminals drew the faces of their victims before perpetrating their crimes and judges drew the faces of the guilty before sentencing them, then there would be no faces for executioners to draw.
Anthony Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno)
And suddenly, not a soul's at the store as for other & similar & just as blank reasons, they've gone to the silence, the suppers of their own mystery.
Jack Kerouac (Book of Sketches)
Listening to intuition is similar to watching wind wiggle a pond. Allow the ripples to move you where you need to be.
Soul Dancer (Pay Me What I'm Worth)
The world is a mysterious place. On the one hand, its size can be measured and recorded and verified. Its marvels and oddities captured in complex, empirical detail. On the other hand, its size is relative to our mind’s perception of it. Its marvels and oddities only extending to how far our vision goes. For some of us, this means the world is small, including only those we see as belonging to it. People related to us, people who look like us, dress like us, think like us. For others, it’s medium-size and includes those we connect to through some similarity, some trait that pings familiarity within, which then allows us to overlook the differences between us and them. And then there are those who see the world as huge, as the actual size it measurably is. Huge enough to include vast differences, people with nothing in common with one another except a beating heart and a feeling soul, these two—heart, soul—being the strongest connection between us all.
S.K. Ali (Love From A to Z)
Inside each one of us there is a mostly hidden, mostly golden, mostly eternal image or aspect of being, similar to the gold that is buried in the earth. We are the earthlings, the children of the earth, and therefore we are a replica, in a sense, of the earth itself. One of the ideas that is important is: As above, so below. As outside, so within.
Michael Meade
It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body's musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements. Breathing is a rhythmic activity. Normally a person at rest makes approximately 16 to 17 respiratory incursions a minute. The rate is higher in infants and in states of excitation. It is lower in sleep and in depressed persons. The depth of the respiratory wave is another factor which varies with emotional states. Breathing becomes shallow when we are frightened or anxious. It deepens with relaxation, pleasure and sleep. But above all, it is the quality of the respiratory movements that determines whether breathing is pleasurable or not. With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward. Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive. The pleasure is clearly experienced at the end of expiration when the descending wave fills the pelvis with a delicious sensation. In adults this sensation has a sexual quality, though it does not induce any genital feeling. The slight backward and forward movements of the pelvis, similar to the sexual movements, add to the pleasure. Though the rhythm of breathing is pronounced in the pelvic area, it is at the same time experienced by the total body as a feeling of fluidity, softness, lightness and excitement. The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as "pneuma" is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
If the years have taught me one thing it's that those who care are always scarce. Those who genuinely care; not the acquaintances, false friends or those with similar aspirations. The few who seek your company, the souls who would plainly step off the world for you. Once you resolve to ignore them, only regret will follow.
Darrell Drake
I have made calculations that would beggar your soul. What is it that villains always say at the end of stories? You and I are more alike than you think? Well,” the Marquess took September’s hand in hers and very gently kissed it. “We are. Oh, how alike we are! I feel very warmly towards you, and I only want to protect you, as I wish someone had protected me. Come, September, look out the window with me. It’s not a difficult thing. A show of faith, let’s call it.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
To me it seems that those sciences are vain and full of error which are not born of experience, mother of all certainty, first-hand experience which in its origins, or means, or end has passed through one of the five senses. And if we doubt the certainty of everything which passes through the senses, how much more ought we to doubt things contrary to these senses – ribelli ad essi sensi – such as the existence of God or of the soul or similar things over which there is always dispute and contention. And in fact it happens that whenever reason is wanting men to cry out against one another, which does not happen with certainties. For this reason we shall say that where the cry of controversy is heard, there is no true science, because the truth has one single end and when this is published, argument is destroyed for ever.
Leonardo da Vinci (Trattato della pittura)
Dear brother, I feel what Pa and Ma instinctively think about me (I don’t say reasonably). There’s a similar reluctance about taking me into the house as there would be about having a large, shaggy dog in the house. He’ll come into the room with wet paws — and then, he’s so shaggy. He’ll get in everyone’s way. And he barks so loudly. In short — it’s a dirty animal. Very well — but the animal has a human history and, although it’s a dog, a human soul, and one with finer feelings at that, able to feel what people think about him, which an ordinary dog can’t do. And I, admitting that I am a sort of dog, accept them as they are. Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, Nuenen, 15 December 1883
Vincent van Gogh
I think people that are too similar…they don’t mix well. I used to think soul mates were two of the same. I used to think I was supposed to look for somebody that was just like me. I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything. But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Suppose 10 different sculpture artists are thinking about what they are going to sculpt next. If you show them a rough rock, they won't see rock; they will see what they are thinking of carving from it. Similarly, the universe is just a rough rock. Different souls see different things in it.
I knew that I never wanted to stop walking; I wanted to see places and somehow understand what this thing called earth was all about. There were so many people out there, and I had to meet them. I felt safe and at home on the roads to nowhere, I felt welcome and protected in the unknown land and I fell in love with the people around me. They were so very similar and still so very different from me. I felt their souls connect to my own, and I knew no greater feeling could ever be given to me.
Meara O'Hara (The Wanderess and her Suitcase)
Love is a joint experience between two persons—but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet in the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Cafe)
Homer, in the second book of the Iliad says with fine enthusiasm, "Give me masturbation or give me death." Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, "To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this experienced observer has said, "There are times when I prefer it to sodomy." Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art." Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity." Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked, "A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush." The immortal Franklin has said, "Masturbation is the best policy." Michelangelo and all of the other old masters--"old masters," I will remark, is an abbreviation, a contraction--have used similar language. Michelangelo said to Pope Julius II, "Self-negation is noble, self-culture beneficent, self-possession is manly, but to the truly great and inspiring soul they are poor and tame compared with self-abuse." Mr. Brown, here, in one of his latest and most graceful poems, refers to it in an eloquent line which is destined to live to the end of time--"None knows it but to love it; none name it but to praise.
Mark Twain (On Masturbation)
A DAY LAYE" "Every dawn of our lives a heart is forged and Linked with lore to one so similar Born with blessed life dust Stored beneath its soul To bless and pass onto its children Even though the wind may blow it all away Don't ever worry 'cos I'm your friend.
Marc Bolan (Marc Bolan Lyric Book)
My father also told me that people had always suffered from being tied to the ground, from not being able to detach themselves from it. But they had dreamed of leaving it, and so they had invented the garden of paradise, which had in it everything they yearned for but lacked in their lives, and they had dreamed up creatures similar to themselves but equipped with wings. But what in the past had only been dreamed of was now beginning to materialize, my father said, pointing to the sky. Angels did not exist, but people could now fly. There was no paradise for human souls to dwell in, but one day I would understand that it was more important for people to live well and happily here on earth.
Ivan Klíma (Love and Garbage)
You remind me of a boy I used to know Same Smile, same easy, laid-back style And man, could he kiss Blew my mind the very first time His lips touched mine. You remind me You remind me of a boy I used to like. Same eyes, strong arms, same open mind And man, could he dance Arms around me, lost in a trance I'd hear his heart You remind me I'm scared of you How did you find me? Turn and walk away 'Cause you remind me You remind me of a boy I used to love Same laughter and tears, shared through the years And man, how he felt Made my bones more than melt He touched my soul. You remind me I'm scared of you How did you find me? Turn and walk away 'Cause you remind me
Malorie Blackman (Checkmate (Noughts & Crosses, #3))
Our creator, in his infinite wisdom, created every single soul with a gift. Your gift may be totally unique or it may be similar to
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life's Riches)
weren’t all marriages similar in one way or another? Once the initial passion of a relationship subsided, what remained were two people keeping each other company as they passed through
J.M. Dalgliesh (One Lost Soul (Hidden Norfolk #1))
One of my constant preoccupations is trying to understand how it is that other people exist, how it is that there are souls other than mine and consciousnesses not my own, which, because it is a consciousness, seems to me unique. I understand perfectly that the man before me uttering words similar to mine and making the same gestures I make, or could make, is in some way my fellow creature. However, I feel just the same about the people in illustrations I dream up, about the characters I see in novels or the dramatis personae on the stage who speak through the actors representing them. I suppose no one truly admits the existence of another person. One might concede that the other person is alive and feels and thinks like oneself, but there will always be an element of difference, a perceptible discrepancy, that one cannot quite put one's finger on. There are figures from times past, fantasy-images in books that seem more real to us than these specimens of indifference-made-flesh who speak to us across the counters of bars, or catch our eye in trams, or brush past us in the empty randomness of the streets. The others are just part of the landscape for us, usually the invisible landscape of the familiar. I feel closer ties and more intimate bonds with certain characters in books, with certain images I've seen in engravings, that with many supposedly real people, with that metaphysical absurdity known as 'flesh and blood'. In fact 'flesh and blood' describes them very well: they resemble cuts of meat laid on the butcher's marble slab, dead creatures bleeding as though still alive, the sirloin steaks and cutlets of Fate. I'm not ashamed to feel this way because I know it's how everyone feels. The lack of respect between men, the indifference that allows them to kill others without compunction (as murderers do) or without thinking (as soldiers do), comes from the fact that no one pays due attention to the apparently abstruse idea that other people have souls too.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
it makes no difference how important the provocation may be, but into what kind of soul it penetrates. Similarly with fire; it does not matter how great is the flame, but what it falls upon.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
It is as if producing a creative work tears a piece from your soul. When it is ripped completely free of you, the wound must bleed for a while. How similar it is to letting go of a dream, your hope, or your heart’s desire. You must open up and let it drain.
Lynn Cullen (Mrs. Poe)
The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living. Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent. To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
In the land of contrasts, the man who sees the similarities is king of his soul. In the land of similarities, the woman that recognizes the differences awaits her king to be crowned queen of his heart.
Robin Sacredfire
Similar to a how a flower grows incrementally, people also blossom in stages. As we age, we expand our knowledge of how the world works and how other people respond to our deeds. We also expand our language skills in order to communicate both our thoughts and feelings.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I thought that as I had failed in the contemplation of true existence, I ought to be careful that I did not lose the eye of my soul; as people may injure their bodily eye by observing and gazing on the sun during an eclipse, unless they take the precaution of looking at the image reflected in the water, or in some similar medium. ...I was afraid that my soul might be blinded altogether if I looked at things with my eyes or tried by the help of my senses to apprehend them. And I thought that I had better had recourse to ideas, and seek in them truth in existence. I dare to say that the simile is not perfect--for I am far from admitting that he who contemplates existence through the medium of ideas, sees them only "through a glass darkly," any more than he who sees them in their working and effects.
Music has the power to stop time. When I listen to songs, I'm transported back to the moment of their birth, which is sometimes even before the moment of my birth. Old songs, rock or soul or blues, still connect with me because the human emotions in them, whether jealousy or rage or hope, are recognizably similar to the emotions that I'm feeling now. But I'm feeling all of them, all the time, and so the songs act like a chemical process that isolates certain feelings at certain times: maybe one song helps illuminate the jubilation and one helps illuminate the sorrow and one helps illuminate the resignation. Music has the power to stop time. But music also keeps time.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson (Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove)
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
love is a joint experience between two persons—but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
When babies fall asleep at one place but wake up at another place, they don’t even feel surprised. They know that their mother must have shifted them during sleep. If something similar happens to you, you will freak out. This attachment to the body and the surroundings is the reason your higher self is not able to shift you to better scenes in life.
Physicians and mental health workers today don't speak of retrieving souls, but they are faced with a similar task—restoring wholeness to an organism that has been fragmented by trauma. Shamanistic concepts and procedures treat trauma by uniting lost soul and body in the presence of community. This approach is alien to the technological mind. However, these procedures do seem to succeed where conventional Western approaches fail.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
Not accomplishing your Life Plan is a tragic act of free will. It is akin to charting an elaborate vacation itinerary before arriving at your holiday destination, with all kinds of plans for outdoor adventures and intentions to go sightseeing and shopping, but then ending up spending the whole trip in your hotel room ordering from room service and watching television. In a similar fashion the unconscious soul spends a lifetime in the semi-conscious state of Divine Disconnection and then returns home mostly ‘empty-handed’.
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
Cauldron save me," she began whispering, her voice lovely and even-like music. "Mother hold me," she went on, reciting a prayer similar to one I'd heard once before, when Tamlin eased the passing of that lesser faerie who'd died in the foyer. Another of Amarantha's victims. "Guide me to you." I was unable to raise my dagger, unable to take the step that would close the distance between us. "Let me pass through the gates; let me smell that immortal land of milk and honey." Silent tears slide down my face and neck, where they dampened the filthy collar of my tunic. As she spoke, I knew I would be forever barred from that immortal land. I knew that whatever Mother she meant would never embrace me. In saving Tamlin, I was to damn myself. I couldn't do this-couldn't lift that dagger again. "Let me fear no evil," she breathed, staring at me-into me, into the soul that was cleaving itself apart."Let me feel no pain." A sob broke from my lips. "I'm sorry," I moaned. "Let me enter eternity," She breathed. I wept as I understood. >i/i< she was saying. >ii/< Her bronze eyes were steady, if not sorrowful. Infinitely, infinitely worse than the pleading of the dead faerie beside her. I couldn't do it. But she held my gaze-held my gaze and nodded.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Beauty combined with wantonness frequently ends in the drawn twitch, fixed eye and helpless limbs of life-in-death. It is Nature’s revenge on the outraged body,—and do you know, Eternity’s revenge on the impure Soul is extremely similar?
Marie Corelli (The Sorrows of Satan; or, The Strange Experience of One Geoffrey Tempest, Millionaire)
When a person dies, they cross over from the realm of freedom to the realm of slavery. Life is freedom, and dying is a gradual denial of freedom. Consciousness first weakens and then disappears. The life-processes – respiration, the metabolism, the circulation – continue for some time, but an irrevocable move has been made towards slavery; consciousness, the flame of freedom, has died out. The stars have disappeared from the night sky; the Milky Way has vanished; the sun has gone out; Venus, Mars and Jupiter have been extinguished; millions of leaves have died; the wind and the oceans have faded away; flowers have lost their colour and fragrance; bread has vanished; water has vanished; even the air itself, the sometimes cool, sometimes sultry air, has vanished. The universe inside a person has ceased to exist. This universe is astonishingly similar to the universe that exists outside people. It is astonishingly similar to the universes still reflected within the skulls of millions of living people. But still more astonishing is the fact that this universe had something in it that distinguished the sound of its ocean, the smell of its flowers, the rustle of its leaves, the hues of its granite and the sadness of its autumn fields both from those of every other universe that exists and ever has existed within people, and from those of the universe that exists eternally outside people. What constitutes the freedom, the soul of an individual life, is its uniqueness. The reflection of the universe in someone's consciousness is the foundation of his or her power, but life only becomes happiness, is only endowed with freedom and meaning when someone exists as a whole world that has never been repeated in all eternity. Only then can they experience the joy of freedom and kindness, finding in others what they have already found in themselves.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
every soul is deprived of truth against its will. The same holds true for justice, self-control, goodwill to others, and every similar virtue.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
My shadow said to me, ‘what if I told you that I am your soul.
Michael Bassey Johnson (Song of a Nature Lover)
One reason people find baroque music soothing is that its inherent rhythm of sixty-four to sixty-eight beats per minute is similar to that of a calm, relaxed heart.
Allan Hamilton (The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Sugery, the Supernatural, and the Power of Hope)
I wore a white velvet gown, similar to my Smolny dress. I looked forward to the day when I could wear any color in public other than white. White was innocent. My soul was not.
Robin Bridges (The Gathering Storm (Katerina, #1))
Now most in the room accept we’re more similar than different and treat one another with courtesy.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
Have you seen anybody dancing? He is totally aware of himself and dances his way in a manner as decided by his heart. Meditation is also similar to the dancer. You need not reach anyplace, you have to just delve deep in yourself to find the true self and be a Soul Searcher.
Maitreya Rudrabhayananda
Even if somebody was mean to you in school days, you will feel good to meet them after many years. Childhood memories are the roots of your physical self. You feel good even if an enemy waters them. Similarly, there are soul connections. Even if somebody was your enemy in previous births, you will feel good to meet them in this birth. And often the story repeats ... the enemies of your previous births create more havoc in your life disguised as friends.
Cauldron save me," she began whispering, her voice lovely and even-like music. "Mother hold me," she went on, reciting a prayer similar to one I'd heard once before, when Tamlin eased the passing of that lesser faerie who'd died in the foyer. Another of Amarantha's victims. "Guide me to you." I was unable to raise my dagger, unable to take the step that would close the distance between us. "Let me pass through the gates; let me smell that immortal land of milk and honey." Silent tears slide down my face and neck, where they dampened the filthy collar of my tunic. As she spoke, I knew I would be forever barred from that immortal land. I knew that whatever Mother she meant would never embrace me. In saving Tamlin, I was to damn myself. I couldn't do this-couldn't lift that dagger again. "Let me fear no evil," she breathed, staring at me-into me, into the soul that was cleaving itself apart."Let me feel no pain." A sob broke from my lips. "I'm sorry," I moaned. "Let me enter eternity," She breathed. I wept as I understood. Kill me now, she was saying. Do it fast. Don't make it hurt. Kill me now. Her bronze eyes were steady, if not sorrowful. Infinitely, infinitely worse than the pleading of the dead faerie beside her. I couldn't do it. But she held my gaze-held my gaze and nodded. As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face.” As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face. More faeries wailed now-her kinsmen and friends. The dagger was a weight in my hand-my hand, shining and coated with the blood of the first faerie. It would be more honorable to refuse-to die, rather than murder innocents. But... but... "Let me enter eternity," she repeated, lifting her chin. "Fear no evil," she whispered-just for me. "Feel no pain." I gripped her delicate, bony shoulder and drove the dagger into her heart. She gasped, and blood spilled onto the ground like a splattering of rain. Her eyes were closed when I looked at her face again. She slumped to the floor and didn't move. I went somewhere far, far away from myself.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
i believe in One God,though you think that the gods dwell in those clouds on the Fifth Mountain.i don't want to argue whether my God is stronger or more powerful;I would speak not of our differences but of our similarities.Tragedy has united us in a single sentiment:despair.Why has that come to pass?Because we thought that everything was answered and decided in our souls,and we could accept no changes.
Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain)
...i have in all honesty believed that two people with similar names must have similar characters, that an unfamiliar word - be it Turkish or foreign - must be semantically similar to a word spelt like it, that the soul of a dimpled woman must carry something of the soul of another dimpled woman i knew before, that all fat people are the same, that all poor people belong to a fraternity about which i know nothing, that there must be a link between peas and Brazil - not just because Brazil is Breziliya in Turkish and the word for pea is bezelye but also because the Brazilian flag has, it seems, an enormous pea on it....
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)
We were all made with the potential to be the people we are supposed to be. We all have souls and we all have minds and we all have wills. Many people look at the world and see a beautiful place full of potential and love and beauty those are the people you want as friends. But many people look at the world and see a place that hurts, that causes pain, that destroys and corrupts. Those are the people you don't want to have as friends, for those are the people who will pull you down with them, who will fill your mind with similar thoughts, who will turn you from a positive person to a negative person. God made us all with the potential to be positive people, contributing to the growth of this world, but many people choose to be negative, diminishing the light of those who wish to do good.' 'Why?' Walker asked. 'Because, my friend, it's easier. It's unfortunate, but it's true. It's much easier for a person to think that the world will not let him advance, because then that person won't have many expectations of himself, and it's easier to fulfill low expectations.
Tom Walsh
A Fractal is a like a mathematical shape that is infinitely complex. In simple terms, it is a pattern that repeats forever. Every part of it, regardless of how it’s zoomed, in or out its parts look similar to the whole.
Ujjwal Arora (Healing Sole to Soul)
There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
It appears that Venus has Beatrice’s face. Once again, I’m not interested in a historical analysis of the models for the painting. I’m simply asking you to note the visible similarities between the figures. They represent two muses, two ideal types, one theological and one secular. Beatrice is the lover of the soul; Venus is the lover of the body. Botticelli’s La Bella has both faces — one of sacrificial love or agape, and one of sexual love or eros.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno, #1))
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him, and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the state of his own mind--or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties of directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office. 2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very 'spiritual', that is is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rhuematism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards are her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother--the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment's notice from impassioned prayer for a wife's or son's soul to beating or insulting the real wife or son without any qualm. 3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face whice are almost unedurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbablity of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
I used to draw a comparison between him, and Hindley Earnshaw, and perplex myself to explain satisfactorily, why their conduct was so opposite in similar circumstances. They had both been fond husbands, and were both attached to their children; and I could not see how they shouldn't both have taken the same road, for good or evil. But, I thought in my mind, Hindley, with apparently the stronger head, has shown himself sadly the worse and the weaker man. When his ship struck, the captain abandoned his post; and the crew, instead of trying to save her, rushed into riot, and confusion, leaving no hope for their luckless vessel. Linton, on the contrary, displayed the true courage of a loyal and faithful soul: he trusted God; and God comforted him. One hoped, and the other despaired; they chose their own lots, and were righteously doomed to endure them.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
And if someone were to ask, Noah, what’s the most important aspect of story? I would most likely answer, character, but I’m not sure that’s true, because my favorite books contain my favorite places. I do not say, I love Harry Potter, or I love Frodo Baggins; I say, I love Hogwarts, and I love Middle-earth. Thoreau’s Walden is less about the book, more about the pond. The woods. And so setting, I think, is the secret weapon of storytelling. I always want to meet new people until I’ve met them. I think if I spend enough time with a person so we get woven together like an old basket, eventually we’ll think in similar patterns until our various histories are apples and oranges spilling over the edge of the basket, and I think this kind of shared history is dangerous. I think it’s okay to recognize a thing’s faults and still like that thing. Because apples and oranges spilling from a basket can be beautiful too. I think I’m whatever personality hates personality tests. I think nostalgia is just a soul’s way of missing a thing, and like long-distance love, nostalgia grows deeper with time until the reality of what a thing actually was gets blurred to the point you miss the idea of the thing more than the thing itself. I like the idea of hot cocoa more than drinking
David Arnold (The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik)
In Islam, and especially among the Sufi Orders, siyahat or 'errance' - the action or rhythm of walking - was used as a technique for dissolving the attachments of the world and allowing men to lose themselves in God. The aim of a dervish was to become a 'dead man walking': one whose body stays alive on the earth yet whose soul is already in Heaven. A Sufi manual, the Kashf-al-Mahjub, says that, toward the end of his tourney, the dervish becomes the Way not the wayfarer, i.e. a place over which something is passing, not a traveller following his own free was quite similar to an Aboriginal concept, 'Many men afterwards become country, in that place, Ancestors.' By spending his whole life walking and singing his Ancestor's Songline, a man eventually became the track, the Ancestor and the song. The Wayless Way, where the Sons of God lose themselves and, at the same time, find themselves.
Meister Eckhart
We all know what birds of a feather do. And it may be safely surmised that if a bird of any particular feather has been for a long while unable to see other birds of its kind, it will flock with them all the more assiduously when they happen to alight in its vicinity.
Owen Wister (The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains)
His gaze meandered along my chest. "Hey!" I crossed my arms over my breasts. "Those are…" "Patrick's?" "Well, his name isn't tattooed on them, but yeah, currently they are reserved for him." I peered at him and noted the similarities between him and his sons. "Ruadan, I presume?" "Got it in one," he said, silver eyes twinkling. "You scared the shit out of me." One corner of his mouth lifted into a grin. He picked up the parchment and tapped on it. "So, you're Patrick's soul mate." "No." "But you read the scroll. Only his sonuachar can do that." "Let me explain." I paused. "No, there is too much. Let me sum up." " The Princess Bride!" Ruadan exclaimed in happy surprise. "I love that movie. 'Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!'" He leapt off the bed and made fencing motions. "Ruadan, we're in a bit of crisis around here." "Hey! My swords." He practically skipped to the dresser where I had left them when I got ready for my bath. He whirled the half-swords like a master swordsman, which, of course, he was. "My mother really knows how to smith a weapon, doesn't she? Real fairy gold." He stabbed an invisible foe's chest with one and his stomach with the other. "Die, evil one! Die!" He jumped up and down, the swords held above his head, and did a victory dance. "You're like a big puppy!" I exclaimed. "A big, dumb puppy.
Michele Bardsley (I'm the Vampire, That's Why (Broken Heart, #1))
First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons—but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world—a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring—this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
Viktor Frankl, the psychiatrist and Nazi concentration camp survivor who wrote the classic Man’s Search for Meaning, drew a similar social-psychological conclusion: deceitful, inauthentic individual existence is the precursor to social totalitarianism. Sigmund Freud, for his part, analogously believed that “repression” contributed in a non-trivial manner to the development of mental illness (and the difference between repression of truth and a lie is a matter of degree, not kind). Alfred Adler knew it was lies that bred sickness. C.G. Jung knew that moral problems plagued his patients, and that such problems were caused by untruth. All these thinkers, all centrally concerned with pathology both individual and cultural, came to the same conclusion: lies warp the structure of Being. Untruth corrupts the soul and the state alike, and one form of corruption feeds the other.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
The resurrection at our awakening-after that beneficent attack of mental alienation which is sleep-must after all be similar to what occurs when we recall a name, a line, a refrain that we had forgotten. And perhaps the resurrection of the soul after death is to be conceived as a phenomenon of memory.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
It is the Spirit of God that actively sustains every form and force in the universe; yet He is transcendental and aloof in the blissful uncreated void beyond the worlds of vibratory phenomena,” Master explained. “Saints who realize their divinity even while in the flesh know a similar twofold existence. Conscientiously engaging in earthly work, they yet remain immersed in an inward beatitude. The Lord has created all men from the limitless joy of His being. Though they are painfully cramped by the body, God nevertheless expects that souls made in His image shall ultimately rise above all sense identifications and reunite with Him.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi)
As a young man, I was unlike McCandless in many important regards; most notably, I possessed neither his intellect nor his lofty ideals. But I believe we were similarly affected by the skewed relationships we had with out fathers. And I suspect we had a similar intensity, a similar heedlessness, a similar agitation of the soul.
Jon Krakauer
When one has been in the presence of the truly creative, the imaginatively bold, then one cannot feign unconsciousness. One is similarly summoned to largeness of soul, boldness of action. Finding and following our passion, that which touches us so deeply that it both hurts and feels right, serves individuation by pulling our potential from the depths.
James Hollis
We become a master of something only when we know the truth of it. Similarly, when we know the truth of our soul and the oneness of the Universe then we are a Master of Life.
Thomas Vazhakunnathu (God Does Not Play Dice)
As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
Gadadhara Pandit Dasa (Urban Monk: Exploring Karma, Consciousness, and the Divine)
When you are deeply attached to a celebrity player, his or her victory becomes your victory; loss becomes your loss. If you are attached to several players, at least one of them will win in a given day and give you something to cheer about. Similarly, a Yogi soul can switch characters and get attached to the one who is having happy experience at that moment.
I thought of my own self fifteen years ago, and how much I’ve changed in the same period. The me who exists today and the me who existed then, if put side by side, would look more than vaguely similar. But we are a completely different collection of molecules, with different hairlines and waistlines, and, it sometimes seems, little in common besides our names. What binds that me to this me, and allows me to maintain the illusion that there is continuity from moment to moment and year to year, is some relatively stable but gradually evolving thing at the nucleus of my being. Call it a soul, or a self, or an emergent by-product of a neural network, but whatever you want to call it, that element of continuity is entirely dependent on memory.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and  conscious mind, no matter  whether  the  suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning: Young Adult Edition)
But all habitude is produced through imitation and similitude; and hence temples imitate the heavens, but altars the earth; statues resemble life, and on this account they are similar to animals; and prayers imitate that which is intellectual; but characters, superior ineffable powers; herbs and stones resemble matter; and animals which are sacrificed, the irrational life of our souls.
Proclus (Works of Proclus)
Suppose a song is playing on your phone. If you use an earphone, it will feel like the song is playing in your head. Similarly, your mind is not in your head. Mind is an invisible body which is at a distance from your physical body, but it is connected to your head through a cord. If you disturb this cord, you can have “out of the body experiences”. You can see your own body from outside you.
To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
I was fascinated by the way her conceptions of death and the afterlife changed so much from lifetime to lifetime. And yet her experience of death itself was so uniform, so similar, every time. A conscious part of her would leave the body around the moment of death, floating above and then being drawn to a wonderful, energizing light. She would then wait for someone to come and help her. The soul automatically passed on. Embalming, burial rituals, or any other procedure after death had nothing to do with it. It was automatic, no preparation necessary, like walking through a just-opened door.
Brian L. Weiss (Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives)
One thing appears to be near you, another far away because you have the ability to perceive distance. If you lose this ability, all things, including your body, will appear to be at a single point. There will be no near or far. Similarly, if you lose ability to perceive Time, things of past, present and future will all appear to be at a single point. That point is nothingness or everythingness.
We humans are all manifestations of one Divine spirit vibrating at different levels of consciousness and frequencies at one time. Like cells in a body, we’re all on this planet together, and when one cell attacks another in the body, we call that cancer. Similarly, when we attack one another (or ourselves) through condemnation and judgment, it’s no less cancerous and toxic to our entire being—body, mind, and soul.
Sonia Choquette (Ask Your Guides)
The active night of the spirit is characterized by similar disciplines and restraints applied to the intellect, memory, will, and imagination. John’s primary example here is of practicing the virtues. He says that the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and love) are instrumental in freeing the spirit from its attachments. Faith darkens and empties the intellect, hope frees the memory, and love liberates the will.
Gerald G. May (The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth)
Without speaking a word, when the soul feels connected to someone – what does one have to say? It was similar to seeing the beauty of a glowing flower in the morning sun, with whom one connects like a dew drop.
Raj Doctor (Melancholy Of Innocence)
One of the great creations of Mexican Catholicism was the appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe to a Mexican Indian, on the same hill where, before the Conquest, a pre-Hispanic goddess had been worshiped. Catholicism was able to take root in Mexico by transforming the ancient gods into the saints, virgins, and devils of the new religion. Nothing similar could occur in India with Muslim monotheism or Protestant Christianity, both of which saw the cult of images, of saints and virgins, as idolatry. The Christianity imported by the British was poor in rites and ceremonies, but full of moral and sexual rigidity. In other words: the exact opposite of popular Hinduism. Similarly, in Christian asceticism, the central concept is redemption; in India, it is liberation. These two words encompass opposite ideas of this world and the next, of the body and the soul.
Octavio Paz (In Light of India)
It appears now to be universally admitted that, before the exile, the Israelites had no belief in rewards and punishments after death, nor in anything similar to the Christian heaven and hell; but our story proves that it would be an error to suppose that they did not believe in the continuance of individual existence after death by a ghostly simulacrum of life. Nay, I think it would be very hard to produce conclusive evidence that they disbelieved in immortality; for I am not aware that there is anything to show that they thought the existence of the souls of the dead in Sheol ever came to an end. But they do not seem to have conceived that the condition of the souls in Sheol was in any way affected by their conduct in life. If there was immortality, there was no state of retribution in their theology. Samuel expects Saul and his sons to come to him in Sheol.
Thomas Henry Huxley (The Evolution Of Theology: An Anthropological Study)
At the moment of death, the soul's impressions are similar to those of initiates in the ways of the Great Mysteries. First they rush along blindly, twisting and turning, on an endless, anxious journey through the shadows. Then, just before the end, their fear reaches its height. Bathed in cold sweat, they shiver and tremble, utterly terrified. This phase is almost immediately followed by a return to the light, a sudden illumination. They are surrounded by a marvelous glow and move through pure places and meadows ringing with voices and dancing. Sacred words inspire religious respect. The perfect initiate is free to celebrate the Mysteries.
Bernard Werber (Empire of the Ants (La Saga des Fourmis, #1))
Have you ever felt a stirring in your heart as a touching story brought tears to your eyes or as you heard a soaring symphony or a captivating song on the radio that opened a new window in your soul? Maybe you have felt a similar exhilaration while watching a sunset, camping out under the night sky, or holding a newborn babe. Something inside of you quickened, and for a moment, some heavenly beauty connected your inner self with the divine. C. S. Lewis referred to such experiences as joy. These are remnants and reminders of the perfect world God designed for us to live in—the shadow of places He longs to take us to, the reality of the other world He’s preparing for us.
Sally Clarkson (Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love)
The energy of subatomic particles transmits photons which interconnect in a wave like motion to similar particles. In other words, the immortal soul conveys energy which links in a wave like motion to related souls; thus Soul Mates.
Serena Jade- Wellness Travel Motivator (Charismatic Connection: The Authentic Soul Mate Experience)
Ultimately, the roast turkey must be regarded as a monument to Boomer's love. Look at it now, plump and glossy, floating across Idaho as if it were a mammoth, mutated seed pod. Hear how it backfires as it passes the silver mines, perhaps in tribute to the origin of the knives and forks of splendid sterling that a roast turkey and a roast turkey alone possesses the charisma to draw forth into festivity from dark cupboards. See how it glides through the potato fields, familiarly at home among potatoes but with an air of expectation, as if waiting for the flood of gravy. The roast turkey carries with it, in its chubby hold, a sizable portion of our primitive and pagan luggage. Primitive and pagan? Us? We of the laser, we of the microchip, we of the Union Theological Seminary and Time magazine? Of course. At least twice a year, do not millions upon millions of us cybernetic Christians and fax machine Jews participate in a ritual, a highly stylized ceremony that takes place around a large dead bird? And is not this animal sacrificed, as in days of yore, to catch the attention of a divine spirit, to show gratitude for blessings bestowed, and to petition for blessings coveted? The turkey, slain, slowly cooked over our gas or electric fires, is the central figure at our holy feast. It is the totem animal that brings our tribe together. And because it is an awkward, intractable creature, the serving of it establishes and reinforces the tribal hierarchy. There are but two legs, two wings, a certain amount of white meat, a given quantity of dark. Who gets which piece; who, in fact, slices the bird and distributes its limbs and organs, underscores quite emphatically the rank of each member in the gathering. Consider that the legs of this bird are called 'drumsticks,' after the ritual objects employed to extract the music from the most aboriginal and sacred of instruments. Our ancestors, kept their drums in public, but the sticks, being more actively magical, usually were stored in places known only to the shaman, the medicine man, the high priest, of the Wise Old Woman. The wing of the fowl gives symbolic flight to the soul, but with the drumstick is evoked the best of the pulse of the heart of the universe. Few of us nowadays participate in the actual hunting and killing of the turkey, but almost all of us watch, frequently with deep emotion, the reenactment of those events. We watch it on TV sets immediately before the communal meal. For what are footballs if not metaphorical turkeys, flying up and down a meadow? And what is a touchdown if not a kill, achieved by one or the other of two opposing tribes? To our applause, great young hungers from Alabama or Notre Dame slay the bird. Then, the Wise Old Woman, in the guise of Grandma, calls us to the table, where we, pretending to be no longer primitive, systematically rip the bird asunder. Was Boomer Petaway aware of the totemic implications when, to impress his beloved, he fabricated an outsize Thanksgiving centerpiece? No, not consciously. If and when the last veil dropped, he might comprehend what he had wrought. For the present, however, he was as ignorant as Can o' Beans, Spoon, and Dirty Sock were, before Painted Stick and Conch Shell drew their attention to similar affairs. Nevertheless, it was Boomer who piloted the gobble-stilled butterball across Idaho, who negotiated it through the natural carving knives of the Sawtooth Mountains, who once or twice parked it in wilderness rest stops, causing adjacent flora to assume the appearance of parsley.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
As Plato said, every soul is deprived of truth against its will. The same holds true for justice, self-control, goodwill to others, and every similar virtue. It’s essential to constantly keep this in your mind, for it will make you more gentle to all.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
And if, as all philosophers on the subject have noted, art is a human activity that relies on the senses to reach the soul, did it not also stand to reason that dogs -- at least dogs of Mr. Bones' caliber -- would have it in them to feel a similar aesthetic impulse? Would they not, in other words, be able to appreciate art? As far as Willy knew, no one had ever thought of this before. Did that make him the first man in recorded history to believe such a thing was possible? No matter. It was an idea whose time had come. If dogs were beyond the pull of oil paintings and string quartets, who was to say they wouldn't respond to an art based on the sense of smell? Why not an olfactory art? Why not an art for dogs that dealt with the world as dogs knew it?
Paul Auster (Timbuktu)
A man opposite me shifted his feet, accidentally brushing his foot against mine. It was a gentle touch, barely noticeable, but the man immediately reached out to touch my knee and then his own chest with the fingertips of his right hand, in the Indian gesture of apology for an unintended offence. In the carriage and the corridor beyond, the other passengers were similarly respectful, sharing, and solicitous with one another. At first, on that first journey out of the city into India, I found such sudden politeness infuriating after the violent scramble to board the train. It seemed hypocritical for them to show such deferential concern over a nudge with a foot when, minutes before, they'd all but pushed one another out of the windows. Now, long years and many journeys after that first ride on a crowded rural train, I know that the scrambled fighting and courteous deference were both expressions of the one philosophy: the doctrine of necessity. The amount of force and violence necessary to board the train, for example, was no less and no more than the amount of politeness and consideration necessary to ensure that the cramped journey was as pleasant as possible afterwards. What is necessary! That was the unspoken but implied and unavoidable question everywhere in India. When I understood that, a great many of the characteristically perplexing aspects of public life became comprehensible: from the acceptance of sprawling slums by city authorities, to the freedom that cows had to roam at random in the midst of traffic; from the toleration of beggars on the streets, to the concatenate complexity of the bureaucracies; and from the gorgeous, unashamed escapism of Bollywood movies, to the accommodation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, and Bangladesh, in a country that was already too crowded with sorrows and needs of its own. The real hypocrisy, I came to realise, was in the eyes and minds and criticisms of those who came from lands of plenty, where none had to fight for a seat on a train. Even on that first train ride, I knew in my heart that Didier had been right when he'd compared India and its billion souls to France. I had an intuition, echoing his thought, that if there were a billion Frenchmen or Australians or Americans living in such a small space, the fighting to board the train would be much more, and the courtesy afterwards much less. And in truth, the politeness and consideration shown by the peasant farmers, travelling salesmen, itinerant workers, and returning sons and fathers and husbands did make for an agreeable journey, despite the cramped conditions and relentlessly increasing heat. Every available centimetre of seating space was occupied, even to the sturdy metal luggage racks over our heads. The men in the corridor took turns to sit or squat on a section of floor that had been set aside and cleaned for the purpose. Every man felt the press of at least two other bodies against his own. Yet there wasn't a single display of grouchiness or bad temper
Gregory David Roberts
Number 23 had plenty of redeeming qualities that made falling for him a justifiable accident. But our connection had nothing to do with our similarities, our differences, our aesthetic attractions, or our emotional and physical needs. When we spoke, he was truly with me. Our egos, our personas, expected social cues, the facades that everyone builds around them that are supposed to sculpt the way the world sees us, were stripped with Number 23 and I. He was immediately my best friend, familiar and safe - an epiphany that I had been spending my life alone in crowded rooms. Our souls were naked. We initially curled into the warmth of that connection. But once we knew how real it was, we felt exposed, vulnerable, and raw. While his defense was his fearful recoil, mine was dictation.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
When you lend someone money, you are in the position of power. But when you want to take your money back, you are powerless. Similarly, when you do the hardwork, you are in power. But when you want result of your hardwork, you are on the mercy of the universe. The result is not in your hand. The Paramatma - the supreme soul - is on the both side: He is in seeker as well as giver, employee as well as employer, lender as well as debtor. Closer you are to knowing the Paramatma, more powerful you feel in getting the result that you want.
Juliette had somehow crossed an uninhabitable void, had gone from one universe to another, was possibly the first ever to have done so, and here was a graveyard of foreign souls, of people just like her having lived and died in a world so similar and so near to her own.
Hugh Howey (Wool (Silo #1))
In regard to the memory, we must unlearn a great deal: here we meet with the greatest temptation to assume the existence of a 'soul,' which, irrespective of time, reproduces and recognises again and again, etc. What I have experienced, however, continues to live 'in the memory'; I have nothing to do with it when memory 'comes,' my will is inactive in regard to it, as in the case of the coming and going of a thought. Something happens, of which I become conscious: now something similar comes — who has called it forth? Who has awakened it?
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power)
Down in the earth, buried deep. Down where the demons sleep,” I spoke/sang with him, our voices eerily similar. “Down where God can’t speak. Black coin spent, our soul to keep. So as you sow, so shall you reap. So as you sow, your children weep. Just killing time, as black coin seeps.
Kim Harrison (Million Dollar Demon (The Hollows, #15))
In addition, unlike Othello, whose profession of arms is socially honorable, Shylock is a professional usurer who, like a prostitute, has a social function but is an outcast from the community. But, in the play, he acts unprofessionally; he refuses to charge Antonio interest and insists upon making their legal relation that of debtor and creditor, a relation acknowledged as legal by all societies. Several critics have pointed to analogies between the trial scene and the medieval Processus Belial in which Our Lady defends man against the prosecuting Devil who claims the legal right to man’s soul. […] But the differences between Shylock and Belial are as important as their similarities. The comic Devil of the mystery play can appeal to logic, to the letter of the law, but he cannot appeal to the heart or to the imagination, and Shakespeare allows Shylock to do both. In his "Hath not a Jew eyes…" speech in Act III, Scene I, he is permitted to appeal to the sense of human brotherhood, and in the trial scene, he is allowed to argue, with a sly appeal to the fear a merchant class has of radical social evolution: You have among you many a purchased slave Which like your asses and your dogs and mules, You use in abject and in slavish parts, which points out that those who preach mercy and brotherhood as universal obligations limit them in practice and are prepared to treat certain classes of human beings as things.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
You guys could handle this on your own. Why risk getting kicked out of your He-Man-Monster-Haters Club?" "Because we can't handle this on our own. At least I don't think we can." "You said yourself you already have some Prodigium working with you. Why not go to them?" "We have a handful," he said, frustration creeping into his voice. "And most of them suck. Look, just consider it a peace offering, okay? My way of saying I'm sorry for lying to you. And pulling a knife in your presence, even if it was just to open a damn window to get out before you vaporized me." Most girls got flowers. I got a dirt put used for demon raising. Nice. "Thanks," I replied. "But don't you want in on this?" He looked at me, and not for the first time, I wished his eyes weren't so dark. It would have been nice to have some idea of what was going on in his head. "That's up to you," he said. Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives,mostly because they're little ones. You take this bus instead of that one and end up meeting your soul mate, that kind of thing. But there was no doubt in my mind that this was one of those life-changing moments. Tell Archer no,and I'd never see him again. And Dad and Jenna wouldn't be mad at me, and Cal...Tell Archer yes, and everything suddenly got twistier and more complicated than Mrs. Casnoff's hairdo. And even though I'm a twisty and complicated girl, I knew what my answer had to be. "It's too much of a risk, Cross. Maybe one day when I'm head of the Council, and you're...well, whatever you're going to be for L'Occhio di Dio, we could work on some kind of collaboration." That brought up depressig images of me and Archer sittig across a boardroom table, sketching out battle plans on a whiteboard, so my voice was a little shaky when I continued. "But for now, it's too dangerous." And not just because basically everyone in our lives would want to kill us if they found out, I thought. But because I was pretty sure I was still in love with him, and I thought he might feel something similar for me, and there was no way we could work together preventing the Monster Apocalypse/World War III without that becoming an issue. Not that I could say any of that. Archer's face was blank as he said, "Cool. Got it." "Cross," I started to say, but then his eyes slid past me and went wide with horror. At the same time, I became aware of a slithering noice behind me. That just could not be good; in my experience, nothing pleasant slithers. Still, I was not prepared for the nightmares climbing out of the crater.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
The Babylonians were the original liver guys, believing the organ to be the source of human emotion and spirit. The Mesopotamians played both sides of the argument, assigning emotion to the liver and intellect to the heart. These guys clearly marched to the beat of a freethinking drummer, for they assigned a further portion of the soul (cunning) to the stomach. Similar freethinkers throughout history have included Descartes, who wrote that the soul could be found in the walnut-sized pineal gland, and the Alexandrian anatomist Strato, who decided it lived “behind the eyebrows.
Mary Roach (Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers)
But love unexplained is clearer. When pen hasted to write, On reaching the subject of love it split in twain. When the discourse touched on the matter of love, Pen was broken and paper torn. In explaining it Reason sticks fast, as an ass in mire; Naught but Love itself can explain love and lovers! None but the sun can display the sun, If you would see it displayed, turn not away from it. Shadows, indeed, may indicate the sun's presence, But only the sun displays the light of life. Shadows induce slumber, like evening talks, But when the sun arises the "moon is split asunder." 3 In the world there is naught so wondrous as the sun, But the Sun of the soul sets not and has no yesterday. Though the material sun is unique and single, We can conceive similar suns like to it. But the Sun of the soul, beyond this firmament, No like thereof is seen in concrete or abstract.4
Rumi (The Masnavi I Manavi of Rumi Complete 6 Books)
Moses questions God about death Moses asks God the most basic question, "You create us; then you kill us. "Why" God says, I understand the purpose within your question; therefore I'll answer. You want to know the meaning of phenomenal duration, so you can teach others and help their souls unfold. Anyone who asks this question has some of the answer. Sow seed corn, Moses, and you will experience the purpose of taking a form. Moses plants and tends the crop; when the ears have ripened to the shape of their beauty, he brings out to the field his blade and sharpening stone. The unseen voice comes, Why did you work to bring the corn to perfection only now to chop it down? "Lord, it is the winnowing time when we separate the corn grains we use for food from the straw we use for bedding and fodder. They must be stored in different cribs in the barn." Where did you learn this threshing-floor work? "You gave me discernment." Do you not feel that I should have a similar discernment in the planting and harvesting of forms that I do? So creation has a purpose. God has said, I was a hidden treasure, and I desired to be known. That desire is part of manifestation.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Something similar (to bird migrations) draws human beings on pilgrimages as well… Pilgrimage is a spiritual as well as biological impulse, cutting across species. It’s even a cosmic mystery. The Earth itself follows a 584-million-mile path around the sun each year. We’re all defined by movement.
Belden C. Lane (The Great Conversation: Nature and the Care of the Soul)
Much later, the illustrious teacher (acharya), Shankara (eighth century C.E.), attempted a reformulation of Advaita (Nondual) Vedanta, and in the process introduced some ideas which are controversial to this day. In many ways, his metaphysical worldview is also remarkably similar to that of Plotinus:
Swami Abhayananda (Body and Soul: An Integral Perspective)
Bruce is still my friend. We don't talk much. We don't have to. He is great and in his own league. I'm not him and he is not me. But we are on similar paths, writing and singing out own kind of songs around the world, along with Bob and a few other singer/songwriters. It is a a silent fraternity of sorts, occupying this space in people's souls with our music. Last year, I lost my right-hand man, the pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith. This year Bruce lost his right-hand man, the saxophonist Clarence Clemons. It's time for another talk; friends can help each other just by being there. Now both of us will look to our right and see a giant hole, a memory, the past and the future. I won't play with another steel player trying to recreate Ben's parts, and I know Bruce won't play with another sax man trying to play Clarence's. Those parts are not going to happen again. They already did. That takes a lot out of our repertoires.
Neil Young (Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream)
And it makes no difference how important the provocation may be, but into what kind of soul it penetrates. Similarly with fire; it does not matter how great is the flame, but what it falls upon. For solid timbers have repelled a very great fire; conversely, dry and easily inflammable stuff nourishes the slightest spark into a conflagration.
Seneca (Letters From A Stoic: Epistulae Morales AD Lucilium (Illustrated. Newly revised text. Includes Image Gallery + Audio): All Three Volumes)
The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living. Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent. To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative. It also follows that a very trifling thing can cause
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
You are taking bath. A bad memory comes in your mind. You keep pouring water. Water running on your body gives you so much relief because it seems to be washing off a thin dark layer that you don’t want. Similarly, a new costume is nothing but a new layer of cloth that you add to yourself. It makes you feel so good. To bring a massive change in your life, you don’t have to become like someone else. You have to become yourself plus and minus a thin ayer. Permanent change will happen only if that plus and minus happens to your soul, not body: Plus and minus of Karma and Desires accumulated on your soul. Your soul knows how to bathe itself. You just have to give it some room by creating wall of detachment.
Men have no right to complain that they are naturally feeble and short-lived, or that it is chance and not merit that decides their destiny. . . . What guides and controls human life is man's soul. . . . If men pursued good things with the same ardour with which they seek what is unedifying and unprofitable--often, indeed, actually dangerous and pernicious--they would control events instead of being controlled by them, and would rise to such heights of greatness and glory that their mortality would put on immortality. As man consists of body and soul, all our possessions and pursuits partake of the nature of one or the other. Thus personal beauty and great wealth, bodily strength, and all similar things, soon pass away; the noble achievements of the intellect are immortal like the soul itself. Physical advantages, and the material gifts of fortune, begin and end; all that comes into existence, perishes; all that grows, must one day decay. But the soul, incorruptible and eternal, is the ruler of mankind; it guides and controls everything, subject itself to no control. Wherefore we can but marvel the more at the unnatural conduct of those who abandon themselves to bodily pleasures and pass their time in riotous living and idleness, neglecting their intelligence--the best and noblest element in man's nature--and letting it become dull through lack of effort; and that, too, when the mind is capable of so many different accomplishments that can win the highest distinction.
Truth lights up the soul in proportion to its purity, not in any sense to its quantity. It isn't the quantity of metal which matters, but the degree of alloy. In this respect, a little pure gold is worth a lot of pure gold. A little pure truth is worth as much as a lot of pure truth. Similarly, one perfect Greek statue contains as much beauty as two perfect Greek statues.
Simone Weil (The Need for Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties towards Mankind)
Who am I? is not a question about your job or bank balance. Don’t be satisfied with rational or formal answers. Ask yourself seriously and honestly, again and again, and, sooner or later, you’ll hear the voice of your soul. The true answer will come to you, breaking through the thick curtain of your ego, which is made up of your name, job, personality, and similar things.
Ilchi Lee (Calligraphic Meditation for Everyday Happiness)
After this examination there are still gaps of doubt and apparent contradiction. And it is natural that it be so, because the Eternal Return is an experience. There lies its importance: in the fact of being. The Eternal Return is not the reincarnation as it has been spread in our days. Original Buddhism, on the other hand, could be pointing to something similar. Buddha was a shastriya, that is, a prince of the warrior caste, not a brahman, or priest, and his Doctrine was also for heroes and warriors. Then, it has been transformed by the monks. Buddha, like Nietzsche, talks about a reincarnation without mentioning the soul. What is it that reincarnates, then? As in Nietzsche it could be that 'atom-seed', or 'all those conditions that determine its existence and that they come back to give themselves', in the turn of the Energy, or of the Light that finds the old image. The Buddhist would want to be liberated, to leave the Circle; that's why it kills desire, that makes return. The Will to Power, as we have seen, returns to its 'archive', wishes to possess again its 'non-existence'. The difference: Nietzsche wants to return eternally, incorporates the Will and considers Nirvana a dream of decadents, of warriors who have become priests, monks. However, we do not know what Buddha really thought, because he did not talk about these things, nor did he explain Nirvana. Maybe, he just wanted to get out of this Circle to enter to fight in another wider Circle, that is more immense.
Miguel Serrano
as I was to learn in due course, a similar anguish had been the bane of his life for many years, and no one perhaps could have understood my feelings at that moment so well as himself; to him, that anguish which lies in knowing that the creature one adores is in some place of enjoyment where oneself is not and cannot follow—to him that anguish came through Love, to which it is in a sense predestined, by which it must be equipped and adapted; but when, as had befallen me, such an anguish possesses one’s soul before Love has yet entered into one’s life, then it must drift, awaiting Love’s coming, vague and free, without precise attachment, at the disposal of one sentiment to-day, of another to-morrow, of filial piety or affection for a comrade.
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
just as vivid—I slowly let go of my prejudices and came to accept, like Hamlet after seeing his father’s ghost, that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. Since then, I have helped or watched literally thousands of people go through similar experiences—life-changing journeys into psychic memory that help illuminate—and heal—the traumas of the present.
Roger J. Woolger (Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul)
167 It’s one of those days when the monotony of everything oppresses me like being thrown into jail. The monotony of everything is merely the monotony of myself, however. Each face, even if seen just yesterday, is different today, because today isn’t yesterday. Each day is the day it is, and there was never another one like it in the world. Only our soul makes the identification – a genuinely felt but erroneous identification – by which everything becomes similar and simplified. The world is a set of distinct things with varied edges, but if we’re near-sighted, it’s a continual and indecipherable fog. I feel like fleeing. Like fleeing from what I know, fleeing from what’s mine, fleeing from what I love. I want to depart, not for impossible Indias or for the great islands south of everything, but for any place at all – village or wilderness – that isn’t this place. I want to stop seeing these unchanging faces, this routine, these days. I want to rest, far removed, from my inveterate feigning. I want to feel sleep come to me as life, not as rest. A cabin on the seashore or even a cave in a rocky mountainside could give me this, but my will, unfortunately, cannot. Slavery is the law of life, and it is the only law, for it must be observed: there is no revolt possible, no way to escape it. Some are born slaves, others become slaves, and still others are forced to accept slavery. Our faint-hearted love of freedom – which, if we had it, we would all reject, unable to get used to it – is proof of how ingrained our slavery is. I myself, having just said that I’d like a cabin or a cave where I could be free from the monotony of everything, which is the monotony of me – would I dare set out for this cabin or cave, knowing from experience that the monotony, since it stems from me, will always be with me? I myself, suffocating from where I am and because I am – where would I breathe easier, if the sickness is in my lungs rather than in the things that surround me? I myself, who long for pure sunlight and open country, for the ocean in plain view and the unbroken horizon – could I get used to my new bed, the food, not having to descend eight flights of stairs to the street, not entering the tobacco shop on the corner, not saying good-morning to the barber standing outside his shop? Everything that surrounds us becomes part of us, infiltrating our physical sensations and our feeling of life, and like spittle of the great Spider it subtly binds us to whatever is close, tucking us into a soft bed of slow death which is rocked by the wind. Everything is us, and we are everything, but what good is this, if everything is nothing? A ray of sunlight, a cloud whose shadow tells us it is passing, a breeze that rises, the silence that follows when it ceases, one or another face, a few voices, the incidental laughter of the girls who are talking, and then night with the meaningless, fractured hieroglyphs of the stars.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Latter-day Saints are far from being the only ones who call Jesus the Savior. I have known people from many denominations who say those words with great feeling and deep emotion. After hearing one such passionate declaration from a devoutly Christian friend, I asked, “From what did Jesus save us?” My friend was taken aback by the question, and struggled to answer. He spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus and being born again. He spoke of his intense love and endless gratitude for the Savior, but he still never gave a clear answer to the question. I contrast that experience with a visit to an LDS Primary where I asked the same question: “If a Savior saves, from what did Jesus save us?” One child answered, “From the bad guys.” Another said, “He saved us from getting really, really, hurt really, really bad.” Still another added, “He opened up the door so we can live again after we die and go back to heaven.” Then one bright future missionary explained, “Well, it’s like this—there are two deaths, see, physical and spiritual, and Jesus, well, he just beat the pants off both of them.” Although their language was far from refined, these children showed a clear understanding of how their Savior has saved them. Jesus did indeed overcome the two deaths that came in consequence of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Because Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), we will all overcome physical death by being resurrected and obtaining immortality. Because Jesus overcame spiritual death caused by sin—Adam’s and our own—we all have the opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and live with our Heavenly Father and other loved ones eternally. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). To Latter-day Saints this knowledge is basic and fundamental—a lesson learned in Primary. We are blessed to have such an understanding. I remember a man in Chile who scoffed, “Who needs a Savior?” Apparently he didn’t yet understand the precariousness and limited duration of his present state. President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon all mankind” (“Book of Mormon,” 85). Perhaps the man who asked, “Who needs a Savior?” would ask President Benson, “Who believes in Adam and Eve?” Like many who deny significant historical events, perhaps he thinks Adam and Eve are only part of a folktale. Perhaps he has never heard of them before. Regardless of whether or not this man accepts the Fall, he still faces its effects. If this man has not yet felt the sting of death and sin, he will. Sooner or later someone close to him will die, and he will know the awful emptiness and pain of feeling as if part of his soul is being buried right along with the body of his loved one. On that day, he will hurt in a way he has not yet experienced. He will need a Savior. Similarly, sooner or later, he will feel guilt, remorse, and shame for his sins. He will finally run out of escape routes and have to face himself in the mirror knowing full well that his selfish choices have affected others as well as himself. On that day, he will hurt in a profound and desperate way. He will need a Savior. And Christ will be there to save from both the sting of death and the stain of sin.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
And I am overwhelmed now by the awfulness of over-simplification. For now I realize that not only have I been guilty of it through this long and burning day but also through most of my yet young life and it is only now that I am doubly its victim that I begin to vaguely understand. For I had somehow thought that ‘going away’ was but a physical thing. And that it had only to do with movement and with labels like the silly ‘Vancouver’ that I had glibly rolled from off my tongue; or with the crossing of bodies of water or with the boundaries of borders. And because my father told me I was ‘free’ I had foolishly felt that it was really so. Just like that. And I realize now that the older people of my past are more complicated than perhaps I had ever thought. And that there are distinctions between my sentimental, romantic grandfather and his love for coal, and my stern and practical grandmother her hatred of it; and my quietly strong but passive mother and the souring extremes of my father’s passionate violence and the quiet power of his love. They are all so different. Perhaps it is possible I think now to be both and yet to see only one. For the man in whose glassed-in car I now sit sees only similarity. For him the people of this multi-scarred little town are reduced to but a few phrases and the act of sexual intercourse. They are only so many identical goldfish leading identical, incomprehensible lives within the glass prison of their bowl. And the people on the street view me from behind my own glass in much the same way and it is the way that I have looked at others in their ‘foreign licence’ cars and it is the kind of judgment that I myself have made. And yet it seems that neither these people nor this man are in any way unkind and not to understand does not necessarily mean that one is cruel. But one should at least be honest. And perhaps I have tried too hard to be someone else without realizing at first what I presently am. I do not know. I am not sure. But I do know that I cannot follow this man into a house that is so much like the one I have left this morning and go down into the sexual embrace of a woman who might well be my mother. And I do not know what she, my mother, may be like in the years to come when she is deprived of the lighting movement of my father’s body and the hammered pounding of his heart. For I do not know when he may die. And I do not know in what darkness she may cry out his name nor to whom. I do not know very much of anything, it seems, except that I have been wrong and dishonest with others and myself. And perhaps this man has left footprints on a soul I did not even know that I possessed.
Alistair MacLeod (The Lost Salt Gift of Blood)
We must learn to modulate our exposure, allowing things to ripen and mature in the container of the heart before revealing our secret inside flesh to others. In so doing, we will be better able to hear the subtle character and nuanced complexities of our inner life. This is delicate work, requiring a watchful attention to the rhythms of the soul. It is important to distinguish it from isolation and withholding—those are strategies devised early in our lives to keep hidden what had been shamed or wounded. Many of us had our expressions of suffering silenced. We heard the voices of those we looked to for comfort saying, “We’ve heard you say this all before. Stop repeating yourself.” “Get over it! Stop whining.” Or we heard nothing at all. Rarely did we find a refuge for our grief. Similarly, many of us found ourselves isolated in times of loss, shamed by the absence of someone who cared.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
We’re different, all right. But I enjoy him. He makes me laugh. And we have a lot in common.” “People go to the rescue shelter and choose dogs for similar reasons. Not seventy-year soul mates.” “Okay, Dr. Phil, what reason would you choose?” “Love.” She shook her head. “That kind only happens to the select few. The rest of us better get what we can while we can. Otherwise…” “Otherwise what?” “Otherwise we end up waiting on a fairy tale that never comes true.
Charles Martin (The Mountain Between Us)
we need a more capacious model of love. In this model, love is not predicated on sharing each other’s world as we might share a soul. It is predicated, instead, on sharing it as we might share a story. This analogy is not accidental. What is true of a story is true of love: for either one to work, you’d better be good at talking and good at listening. Likewise, if stories only succeed when we consent to suspend disbelief, relationships require of us something similar: the ability to let go of our own worldview long enough to be intrigued and moved by someone else’s. This is storybook love in a whole different sense of the phrase. It is not about living idyllically in our similarities, but about living peacefully and pleasurably in our differences. It is not bestowed from beyond the normal human realm but struggled for and gained, slowly and with effort. And it is not about unchanging love. It is about letting love change us.
Kathryn Schulz (Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error)
Suppose... that you acquit me... Suppose that, in view of this, you said to me 'Socrates, on this occasion we shall disregard Anytus and acquit you, but only on one condition, that you give up spending your time on this quest and stop philosophizing. If we catch you going on in the same way, you shall be put to death.' Well, supposing, as I said, that you should offer to acquit me on these terms, I should reply 'Gentlemen, I am your very grateful and devoted servant, but I owe a greater obedience to God than to you; and so long as I draw breath and have my faculties, I shall never stop practicing philosophy and exhorting you and elucidating the truth for everyone that I meet. I shall go on saying, in my usual way, "My very good friend, you are an Athenian and belong to a city which is the greatest and most famous in the world for its wisdom and strength. Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and similarly with reputation and honour, and give no attention or thought to truth and understanding and the perfection of your soul?" And if any of you disputes this and professes to care about these things, I shall not at once let him go or leave him; no, I shall question him and examine him and test him; and if it appears that in spite of his profession he has made no real progress towards goodness, I shall reprove him for neglecting what is of supreme importance, and giving his attention to trivialities. I shall do this to everyone that I meet, young or old, foreigner or fellow-citizen; but especially to you my fellow-citizens, inasmuch as you are closer to me in kinship. This, I do assure you, is what my God commands; and it is my belief that no greater good has ever befallen you in this city than my service to my God; for I spend all my time going about trying to persuade you, young and old, to make your first and chief concern not for your bodies nor for your possessions, but for the highest welfare of your souls, proclaiming as I go 'Wealth does not bring goodness, but goodness brings wealth and every other blessing, both to the individual and to the State.' ...And so, gentlemen, I would say, 'You can please yourselves whether you listen to Anytus or not, and whether you acquit me or not; you know that I am not going to alter my conduct, not even if I have to die a hundred deaths.
Socrates (Apology, Crito And Phaedo Of Socrates.)
To me it seems that those sciences are vain and full of error which are not born of experience, mother of all certainty, firsthand experience which in its origins, or means, or end has passed through one of the five senses. And if we doubt the certainty of everything which passes through the senses, how much more ought we to doubt things contrary to these senses such as the existence of god or of the soul or similar things over which there is always dispute and contention,
Leonardo da Vinci
What is the result of constant practice of this higher concentration? All old tendencies of restlessness and dullness will be destroyed, as well as the tendencies of goodness too. The case is similar to that of the chemicals used to take the dirt and alloy off gold. When the ore is smelted down, the dross is burnt along with the chemicals. So this constant controlling power will stop the previous bad tendencies, and eventually, the good ones also. Those good and evil tendencies will suppress each other, leaving alone the Soul, in its own splendour untrammelled by either good or bad, the omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Then the man will know that he had neither birth nor death, nor need for heaven or earth. He will know that he neither came nor went, it was nature which was moving, and that movement was reflected upon the soul. The form of the light reflected by the glass upon the wall moves, and the wall foolishly thinks it is moving.
Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (9 volume set))
Experiential versus the God eye! Possessing ‘ego vision’, a person’s view through her/his physical eyes is quite versatile; able to discern wide and varied vistas over huge distances or scrutinizing the minutest of details. Ego’s very nature: capable of relatively expansive, detailed, and yet individualistic perspective is crucial. Separating itself out from the God Force, ego extracts infinite unique experiences, integral to humanity’s process of spiritualizing matter. Incarnating on the earth, achieving individualism is therefore critical for attainment of divinity. Individualism may cause momentary estrangement from the God Self. However, this person has forgotten that they are everything in the mirror, the ‘sliver’ and the ‘ball of light’,” continues Kuan Yin. During this complex passage Lena was inundated by infinite rapid-fire visuals: emanations from the God Mind. “Further and unfortunately, wrong assumptions are made about suffering. Some individuals even believe that it is required, that suffering brings one closer to salvation. Quite the contrary,” disputes Kuan Yin, “the God Force likes to play. Therefore, if all individuals could unite creating a real sense of community many problems could be healed. The God Force is separate and not separate, whole and not whole at the same time. Really, it is not ‘sliceable’, not reducible. Even when it is sliced into individual energies, it does not diminish the total God Force or the power of the individual. Each of you has the potential for the God Force potency. However, no individual can overcome the God Force. There is a misinterpretation, (by some) that Satan is as powerful as God. Limited energy cannot live on its own. Every experience must exist and yet they (the limiting forces) can never exist on their own. Limited energy, then, is the experience of the absence of the God Force. Therefore, there is no need to fear it. Those choosing such experiences have a need to understand how it feels to believe evil powers exist. Again, I say those who pursue this route are taking it too personally. They believe the story they’ve made up about themselves. It is similar to a person going into an ice cream store and only choosing one flavor from many. Preoccupied with tasting that flavor for a very long time, they are probably quite sick and tired of it. Still, they don’t want to believe there are any other flavors available. The ‘agreement’, then, is to continue to believe in that particular flavor. Here’s where reincarnation and its opportunity for experiencing a vast array of perspectives, “agreements”, enters in. Another life offers another opportunity, a chance to ‘switch flavors’ so to speak. Taking oneself too personally, however, can cause a soul to get caught up, stuck in redundancy: in a particular (and perhaps unfortunate) flavor. In such instances, the individual is forgetting one has the ability to choose his or her flavors, lives,” contends Kuan Yin.
Hope Bradford (Oracle of Compassion: The Living Word of Kuan Yin)
Everything, which we invent, discover and in a higher sense name, is the meaningful execution and proof of the existence of an original sense of truth, which quietly long formed, leads immediately, with lightning speed, to a fruitful insight. It is a revelation, which develops from the interior according to the exterior and allows humans to glimpse their similarity with god. It is a synthesis of the world and of spirit-mind (Geist), which conveys the most soulful reassurance of the eternal harmony of existence.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I have followed the procedure of the ancient painter Zeuxis, who worked in a material temple as I propose to work in a spiritual one. As Cicero tells the story, the people of Croton asked Zeuxis to decorate a temple they held in high esteem with the finest paintings he could devise. He approached the task with care, selecting five of the town’s most beautiful women to sit beside him as he worked and model their beauty for his painting. There were several good reasons for this. Zeuxis, we know, was a master in portraying women’s beauty, which by nature is more elegant and delicate than men’s. But as Cicero makes it a point to explain, he chose several women because he did not think he could find one who was uniformly lovely in all her parts. Nature, he thought, had never conferred such beauty on a single woman that all her parts should have an equal share: nothing composed by nature is complete in all respects, as if, in bestowing all her bounties in one place, nature would have none left to bestow elsewhere. Similarly, in my depiction of the beauty of the soul
Pierre Abélard (The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse)
As the two held stares, it was hard not to feel part of a unique club that no one would ever volunteer to be associated with. Membership wasn’t sought or desirable or something to crow about . . . but it was real and it was powerful: Survivors of similar wrecks could see the horrors of those jagged shoals in the eyes of others. It was like recognizing like. It was two people with the same tattoo on their insides, the divide of a trauma that separated them from the rest of the planet unexpectedly bringing a pair of weary souls closer together. Or
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
Every human that ever existed came into being as a result of male sperm inseminating a female egg. Think of the first baby to possess a soul. That baby was very similar to her mother and father, except that she had a soul and they didn’t. Our biological knowledge can certainly explain the birth of a baby whose cornea was a bit more curved than her parents’ corneas. A slight mutation in a single gene can account for that. But biology cannot explain the birth of a baby possessing an eternal soul from parents who did not have even a shred of a soul.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
But I can cite ten other reasons for not being a father." "First of all, I don't like motherhood," said Jakub, and he broke off pensively. "Our century has already unmasked all myths. Childhood has long ceased to be an age of innocence. Freud discovered infant sexuality and told us all about Oedipus. Only Jocasta remains untouchable; no one dares tear off her veil. Motherhood is the last and greatest taboo, the one that harbors the most grievous curse. There is no stronger bond than the one that shackles mother to child. This bond cripples the child's soul forever and prepares for the mother, when her son has grown up, the most cruel of all the griefs of love. I say that motherhood is a curse, and I refuse to contribute to it." "Another reason I don't want to add to the number of mothers," said Jakub with some embarrassment, "is that I love the female body, and I am disgusted by the thought of my beloved's breast becoming a milk-bag." "The doctor here will certainly confirm that physicians and nurses treat women hospitalized after an aborted pregnancy more harshly than those who have given birth, and show some contempt toward them even though they themselves will, at least once in their lives, need a similar operation. But for them it's a reflex stronger than any kind of thought, because the cult of procreation is an imperative of nature. That's why it's useless to look for the slightest rational argument in natalist propaganda. Do you perhaps think it's the voice of Jesus you're hearing in the natalist morality of the church? Do you think it's the voice of Marx you're hearing in the natalist propaganda of the Communist state? Impelled merely by the desire to perpetuate the species, mankind will end up smothering itself on its small planet. But the natalist propaganda mill grinds on, and the public is moved to tears by pictures of nursing mothers and infants making faces. It disgusts me. It chills me to think that, along with millions of other enthusiasts, I could be bending over a cradle with a silly smile." "And of course I also have to ask myself what sort of world I'd be sending my child into. School soon takes him away to stuff his head with the falsehoods I've fought in vain against all my life. Should I see my son become a conformist fool? Or should I instill my own ideas into him and see him suffer because he'll be dragged into the same conflicts I was?" "And of course I also have to think of myself. In this country children pay for their parents' disobedience, and parents for their children's disobedience. How many young people have been denied education because their parents fell into disgrace? And how many parents have chosen permanent cowardice for the sole purpose of preventing harm to their children? Anyone who wants to preserve at least some freedom here shouldn't have children," Jakub said, and fell into silence. "The last reason carries so much weight that it counts for five," said Jakub. "Having a child is to show an absolute accord with mankind. If I have a child, it's as though I'm saying: I was born and have tasted life and declare it so good that it merits being duplicated." "And you have not found life to be good?" asked Bertlef. Jakub tried to be precise, and said cautiously: "All I know is that I could never say with complete conviction: Man is a wonderful being and I want to reproduce him.
Milan Kundera (Farewell Waltz)
Wynter's Pass was a picturesque region in the north of Vohlfhein, where the Bleak Hills eventually collapsed into the Frozen Sea. From the back of Mr. Buckles, who had been on a slow trot since sunrise, Monch watched the light glisten off of the frozen branches of the evergreens. As the sun warmed the frozen ground, sending the evening's frost into retreat, Monch absorbed the splendor of it all and wondered how expensive the local real estate must be around here. He then contemplated attempting to find an agent that would represent his interests well. "This land is such a spectacular wonder," the Lion of Ahriman declared. "It would be very much sought after if they could just do something about the bears, the White Orts, the wolves, the bloodthirsty cannibals, the snow manapés, the frost wizards, the northern bandit gangs, the dire lynxes, the similarly sounding but not related pygmy bloodthirsty cannibals, the demon possessed yaks, the dead-soul animated trees, the..." Monch paused for a moment. "It just occurred to me that this land is really not safe at all. It seems almost everything in it wants to kill me," the Templar admitted.
D.F. Monk (Tales of Yhore: The Chronicles of Monch)
In contrast to our society’s mistaken emphasis on positive emotions in our relationship with God, the great Spanish mystic and poet John of the Cross (1542–1591), who is most famous for his reflections on the “dark night of the soul,” also wrote a piece called “Advice on Disregarding Spiritual Sweetness.” In this work St. John compliments the person who loves God without feeling any emotional sweetness, for that individual is focusing on truly loving God and not the feelings. To set our will on gratifying and soothing sensations, to concentrate on capturing them and basking in them, is simply to set our will on what God has created, instead of God Himself. Thereby, we turn those created feelings into the end instead of a means—and a non-necessary means at that. According to St. John, we are ignorant if we suppose that because we fail to have any sweetness or bliss God is failing us. Similarly, we are uninstructed if we presume that in having such delectable emotions we have God. But the height of ignorance, he claims, is if we would follow God only to seek the sweetness and consequently stopped our yearning for God to wallow in delightful feelings when we acquired them.
Marva J. Dawn (Being Well When We are Ill: Wholeness And Hope In Spite Of Infirmity (Living Well))
But it can also happen, if will and grace are joined, that as I contemplate the tree I am drawn into a relation, and the tree ceases to be an It. The power of exclusiveness has seized me. This does not require me to forego any of the modes of contemplation. There is nothing that I must not see in order to see, and there is no knowledge that I must forget. Rather is everything, picture and movement, species and instance, law and number included and inseparably fused. Whatever belongs to the tree is included: its form and its mechanics, its colors and its chemistry, its conversation with the elements and its conversation with the stars - all this in its entirety. The tree is no impression, no play of my imagination, no aspect of a mood; it confronts me bodily and has to deal with me as I must deal with it - only differently. One should not try to dilute the meaning of the relations: relation is reciprocity. Does the tree then have consciousness, similar to our own? I have no experience of that. But thinking that you have brought this off in your own case, must you again divide the indivisible? What I encounter is neither the soul of a tree nor a dryad, but the tree itself.
Martin Buber (I and Thou)
A Personal Atonement At some point the multitudinous sins of countless ages were heaped upon the Savior, but his submissiveness was much more than a cold response to the demands of justice. This was not a nameless, passionless atonement performed by some detached, stoic being. Rather, it was an offering driven by infinite love. This was a personalized, not a mass atonement. Somehow, it may be that the sins of every soul were individually (as well as cumulatively) accounted for, suffered for, and redeemed for, all with a love unknown to man. Christ tasted "death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9; emphasis added), perhaps meaning for each individual person. One reading of Isaiah suggests that Christ may have envisioned each of us as the atoning sacrifice took its toll—"when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed" (Isaiah 53:10; emphasis added; see also Mosiah 15:10–11). Just as the Savior blessed the "little children, one by one" (3 Nephi 17:21); just as the Nephites felt his wounds "one by one" (3 Nephi 11:15); just as he listens to our prayers one by one; so, perhaps, he suffered for us, one by one. President Heber J. Grant spoke of this individual focus: "Not only did Jesus come as a universal gift, He came as an individual offering with a personal message to each one of us. For each one of us He died on Calvary and His blood will conditionally save us. Not as nations, communities or groups, but as individuals."55 Similar feelings were shared by C. S. Lewis: "He [Christ] has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world."56 Elder Merrill J. Bateman spoke not only of the Atonement's infinite nature, but also of its intimate reach: "The Savior's atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person's pains, sufferings, and sicknesses."57 Since the Savior, as a God, has the capacity to simultaneously entertain multiple thoughts, perhaps it was not impossible for the mortal Jesus to contemplate each of our names and transgressions in concomitant fashion as the Atonement progressed, without ever sacrificing personal attention for any of us. His suffering need never lose its personal nature. While such suffering had both macro and micro dimensions, the Atonement was ultimately offered for each one of us.
Tad R. Callister (The Infinite Atonement)
Just the opposite. In childhood and youth their study, and what philosophy they learn, should be suited to their tender years: during this period while they are growing up towards manhood, the chief and special care should be given to their bodies that they may have them to use in the service of philosophy; as life advances and the intellect begins to mature, let them increase the gymnastics of the soul; but when the strength of our citizens fails and is past civil and military duties, then let them range at will and engage in no serious labour, as we intend them to live happily here, and to crown this life with a similar happiness in another. How
Plato (The Republic)
The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living. Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent. To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
The same thing applies to the mind. We think and feel and act, but there is not, in addition to thoughts and feelings and actions, a bare entity, the mind or the soul, which does or suffers these occurrences. The mental capacity of a person is a continuity of habit and memory: there was yesterday one person whose feelings I can remember, and that person I regard as myself of yesterday; but, in fact, myself of yesterday was only certain mental occurrences which are now remembered and are regarded as part of the person who now recollects them. All that constitutes a person is a series of experiences connected by memory and by certain similarities of the sort we call habit.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
LIVING WITH COMPASSION One aspect of Buddhism that I found to be especially compelling was the teachings on compassion. The Buddha was known as the “compassionate one,” and according to religion scholars, his moral teachings bear a close resemblance to those of Jesus, who told his followers at the Last Supper: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In a similar vein, the Buddha said, “Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world.
Phil Jackson (Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success)
So here we find that the animals, and the plants, the vegetation, became living souls, and were created spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth. These are very significant expressions, and I am stressing them as evidence that contradicts and confutes the organic theory of evolution. . . . Evolution teaches production and development of all things by chance, development of the smallest germ to a man created in the image of God, requiring several billions of years for that development. Moreover, this process would, if true, produce on other earths, passing through similar conditions, beings of a most hideous and dreadful nature imaginable. As they teach it has produced some very hideous beings on this earth. There could be no intelligence in a Supreme Being who had each time an earth is formed to leave everything to chance hoping that in some great period of time from an amoeba, creatures would be developed, fit to possess an eternal spirit in his image. I want you to get that! The idea, for us, sons and daughters of God, to be led astray by these theories of men into thinking that things began way back in that far distant time by some chance, suddenly appearing. Why, conditions today are far more favorable to spontaneous life than they were according to the teachings of science, millions of years ago, and have not men struggled and done everything that they knew how to do to find spontaneous life, and in searching for it they have always been defeated. So I state, and have the evidence in this book. They have never found life coming only from antecedent life. God is the author of life, and that is one secret he has not revealed to man. . . . We are transplanted beings. Adam was transplanted. I do not want to get a misunderstanding when I say that. He did not come here a resurrected being. He did not die on some other earth and then come here to die again, to be changed to mortality again, for the resurrected being cannot die. . . . So, Adam was the first man upon the earth, according to the Lord's statement, and the first flesh also. That needs a little explanation. Adam did not come to this earth until it was prepared for him. The animals were here. Plants were here. The Lord did not bring him to a desolate world, and then bring other creatures. It was all prepared for him, just according to the order that is written in our scriptures, and when it was all ready for Adam he was placed upon the earth. Then what is meant by the "first flesh"? It is simple when you understand it. Adam was the first of all creatures to fall and become flesh, and flesh in this sense means mortality, and all through our scriptures the Lord speaks of this life as flesh, while we are here in the flesh, so Adam became the first flesh. There was no other mortal creature before him, and there was no mortal death until he brought it, and the scriptures tell you that. It is here written, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . Here the Lord says to Adam that through the fall came death, and other statements of that kind are given in these scriptures. . . . Now, evolution leads men away from God. Men who have had faith in God, when they have become converted to that theory, forsake him. Charles Darwin was a religious man when he started out. I have told in this book something about what happened to him, and how his feelings changed, and what was beautiful to him in the beginning ceased to be beautiful to him thereafter. [Seek Ye Earnestly, 277-283]
Joseph Fielding Smith (Seek Ye Earnestly .)
Other accounts of Lilith are far less rapturous,” Miriam said in stern tones, drawing us back to the matter at hand. “In ancient stories she was a creature of the night, goddess of the wind and the moon, and the mate of Samael, the angel of death.” “Did the goddess of the moon and the angel of death have children?” Sarah asked, looking at us sharply. Once more the similarities between old stories, alchemical texts, and my relationship with a vampire were uncanny. “Yes.” Matthew plucked the reports from my hands and put them into a tidy pile. “So that’s what the Congregation is worried about,” I said softly. “They fear the birth of children that are neither vampire nor witch nor daemon, but mixed.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1))
In this primal sense, then, evil is evil because it is rebellion against God. Evil is the failure to do what God demands or the performance of what God forbids. Not to love God with heart and soul and mind and strength is a great evil, for God has demanded it; not to love our neighbor as ourself is a great evil, for the same reason. To covet someone’s house or car or wife is a great evil, for God has forbidden covetousness; to nurture bitterness and self-pity is evil, for a similar reason. The dimensions of evil are thus established by the dimensions of God; the ugliness of evil is established by the beauty of God; the filth of evil is established by the purity of God; the selfishness of evil is established by the love of God.
D.A. Carson (How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil)
Objectivism and Christianity disagree on where money falls in the hierarchy of values. Objectivists see it at or close to the top because it supports the life of the individual. Christians see it down the hierarchy, not because Christians value the individual any less, but because they value God above all else. While the practical out-workings of each perspective may look similar, the core filter that precipitates each of the respective actions is different. Both value achievement and production. Both can be good Capitalists. But the Objectivist’s choices will value and exalt the worth of the Individual, while the choices of a Christian will exalt the worth of God. The Objectivist idea of virtue is closely linked to work and production.
Mark David Henderson (The Soul of Atlas: Ayn Rand, Christianity, a Quest for Common Ground)
The fact that the scientist has succeeded where the magician failed has put such a wide contrast between them in popular thought that the real story of the birth of Science is misunderstood. You will even find people who write about the sixteenth century as if Magic were a medieval survival and Science the new thing that came in to sweep it away. Those who have studied the period know better. There was very little magic in the Middle Ages: the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the high noon of magic. The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins. They were born of the same impulse. I allow that some (certainly not all) of the early scientists were actuated by a pure love of knowledge. But if we consider the temper of that age as a whole we can discern the impulse of which I speak. There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the ‘wisdom’ of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious—such as digging up and mutilating the dead. If we compare the chief trumpeter of the new era (Bacon) with Marlowe's Faustus, the similarity is striking.
C.S. Lewis
Worried about fitting in, being part of a group, feeling accepted? People gather in groups of similar interests, but these interests are usually based on external preferences and attires. “We think that if other people like this sport or activity, they’ll accept us without an interview or further questions, and we need that because we are afraid of standing naked in front of others, of showing whom we really are underneath the fake smiles and bland expressions of anger and pain: this nakedness is one of the heart and mind. “It’s within these groups that most people find their ‘soul-mates’ and ‘fall in love’ with the person they’ll never get to know for real. “Little did you know, you have to keep pretending to be someone else, while your partner is exhausted from having to put on a daily show just to please you.
Nityananda Das (Divine Union)
For what people of color quickly come to see—in a sense the primary epistemic principle of the racialized social epistemology of which they are the object—is that they are not seen at all. Correspondingly, the “central metaphor” of W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk is the image of the “veil,”20 and the black American cognitive equivalent of the shocking moment of Cartesian realization of the uncertainty of everything one had taken to be knowledge is the moment when for Du Bois, as a child in New England, “it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their [white] world by a vast veil.”21 Similarly, Ralph Ellison’s classic Invisible Man, generally regarded as the most important twentieth-century novel of the black experience, is arguably in key respects—while a multi-dimensional and multi-layered work of great depth and complexity, not to be reduced to a single theme—an epistemological novel.22 For what it recounts is the protagonist’s quest to determine what norms of belief are the right ones in a crazy looking-glass world where he is an invisible man “simply because [white] people refuse to see me… . When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me.” And this systematic misperception is not, of course, due to biology, the intrinsic properties of his epidermis, or physical deficiencies in the white eye, but rather to “the construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality.”23
Charles W. Mills (Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities))
His task was to survive and endure through the harsh winter months, winnowing his soul until it could cross to the spirit world. There, he would undertake the search for his guide, a god embodied in some kind of beast or bird, who would protect him throughout his life. His spirit guide would enlighten his mind and guide his steps in myriad ways, until the end of his life. In those cold woods, he would learn his destiny. He said that if the spirit guide came to him in the form of a snake, then he would gain his heart’s desire, and become pawaaw. “I thought of the quarantine of Jesus, a similar harsh and lonely trial of character and purpose. But that vigil passed in searing desert, not snowy wood. And when, at the end, the devil came with his visions of cities and offers of power, Jesus shunned him. Caleb desired to bid him welcome.
Geraldine Brooks (Caleb's Crossing)
The great self-limitation practiced by man for ten centuries yielded, between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, the whole flower of the so-called "Renaissance." The root, usually, does not resemble the fruit in appearance, but there is an undeniable connection between the root's strength and juiciness and the beauty and taste of the fruit. The Middle Ages, it seems, have nothing in common with the Renaissance and are opposite to it in every way; nonetheless, all the abundance and ebullience of human energies during the Renaissance were based not at all on the supposedly "renascent" classical world, nor on the imitated Plato and Virgil, nor on manuscripts torn from the basements of old monasteries, but precisely on those monasteries, on those stern Franciscians and cruel Dominicans, on Saints Bonaventure, Anselm of Canterbury, and Bernard of Clairvaux. The Middle Ages were a great repository of human energies: in the medieval man's asceticism, self-abnegation, and contempt for his own beauty, his own energies, and his own mind, these energies, this heart, and this mind were stored up until the right time. The Renaissance was the epoch of the discovery of this trove: the thin layer of soil covering it was suddenly thrown aside, and to the amazement of following centuries dazzling, incalculable treasures glittered there; yesterday's pauper and wretched beggar, who only knew how to stand on crossroads and bellow psalms in an inharmonious voice, suddenly started to bloom with poetry, strength, beauty, and intelligence. Whence came all this? From the ancient world, which had exhausted its vital powers? From moldy parchments? But did Plato really write his dialogues with the same keen enjoyment with which Marsilio Ficino annotated them? And did the Romans, when reading the Greeks, really experience the same emotions as Petrarch, when, for ignorance of Greek, he could only move his precious manuscripts from place to place, kiss them now and then, and gaze sadly at their incomprehensible text? All these manuscripts, in convenient and accurate editions, lie before us too: why don't they lead us to a "renascence" among us? Why didn't the Greeks bring about a "renascence" in Rome? And why didn't Greco-Roman literature produce anything similar to the Italian Renaissance in Gaul and Africa from the second to the fourth century? The secret of the Renaissance of the fourteenth-fifteenth centuries does not lie in ancient literature: this literature was only the spade that threw the soil off the treasures buried underneath; the secret lies in the treasures themselves; in the fact that between the fourth and fourteenth centuries, under the influence of the strict ascetic ideal of mortifying the flesh and restraining the impulses of his spirit, man only stored up his energies and expended nothing. During this great thousand-year silence his soul matured for The Divine Comedy; during this forced closing of eyes to the world - an interesting, albeit sinful world-Galileo was maturing, Copernicus, and the school of careful experimentation founded by Bacon; during the struggle with the Moors the talents of Velasquez and Murillo were forged; and in the prayers of the thousand years leading up to the sixteenth century the Madonna images of that century were drawn, images to which we are able to pray but which no one is able to imitate. ("On Symbolists And Decadents")
Vasily Rozanov (The Silver Age of Russian Culture: An Anthology)
Similarly, Harlem restaurant owner and cook Obie Green, who, like James Brown, was a native of Augusta, Georgia, insisted that soul is cooking with love. “And I cook with soul and feeling.” Bob Jeffries, also a southerner, argued that soul food was down-home food “cooked with care and love—with soul.”57 South Carolina–born culinary writer and cook Verta Mae Grosvenor also makes the argument that the right feelings are essential to making soul food, “and you can’t it get [them] from no recipe book (mine included).” She insists that a good cookbook does not make a good cook. “How a book gon tell you how to cook.” It’s what you “put in the cooking and I don’t mean spices either.” Jeffries also agreed that soul food was made without recipes; it was made with inexpensive ingredients that “any fool would know how to cook” if they grew up eating it.58
Frederick Douglass Opie (Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History))
The Eternal Return has certainly not been thought by philosophers or by those who are concerned about Nietzsche in the contemporary history of ideas, and this because the Eternal Return can not be thought of. It is a revelation that presents next to the Silvaplana rock, or on the threshold of the Gateway of the Moment, where the Two Ways meet. You will have to travel step by step along the path of Western yoga that Nietzsche rediscovered and practiced, putting his feet in the tracks that he left in the paths of the high peaks, relive their great pains and divine glories, reaching to reach similar tonalities of the soul, to be possessed by Dionysus and his ancient drunkenness, Luciferian, that makes dance in the solitude of forests and lost from a solar age, laughing and crying at the same time. And this is not achieved by the philosophers of the intellect or the beings 'of the flock'. For to achieve this, the Circle will have to be traversed for several eternities, again at the Gateway of the Moment, already predestined at noon. In addition, the doctrine of the Eternal Return is selective. As the initiatory practice Tantric Panshatattva is not for the paśu [animal], but only for some heroes or viryas, thus the Noon is reached by the 'Lords of the Earth' and by the poets of the Will to Power, predestined in a mysterious way to perform the Superman, that individualistic and aristocratic mutation. The 'herd', the vulgar, has nothing to do with all this, including here the scientists, technologists and most philosophers, politicians and government of the Kaliyuga. Nietzsche's description of the Eternal Return is found in some aphorisms that precede 'The Gay Science', Joyful Science, using Nietzsche the Provencal term, Occitan, from 'Gay'. Joyful Science will be that of the one who has accepted the Eternal Return of all things and has transmuted the values. The one of Superman. There is also a description in the schemes of 'The Will to Power'. In they all take hold, with genius that transcends their time, of the scientific knowledge and the mechanics of the time, which does not lose validity to the doctrine, let us say better to the revealed Idea, to the Revelation that, of somehow, it was also in the Pythagoreans, in their Aryan-Hyperborean form, differentiating itself from other elaborations made in the millennia of the East. Also would have been veiled in the Persian reformer Zarathustra. We are going to reproduce what Nietzsche has written about the Eternal Return. In the schemes of 'The Will to Power', he says: 'Everything returns and returns eternally; We can not escape this.
Miguel Serrano
Bede states that “the essential truth of Hinduism is the doctrine of the Brahman. The Brahman is the Mystery of Being, the ultimate Truth, the one Reality. Yet it also can only be described by negatives.…It is unseen, unrelated, inconceivable, uninferable, unimaginable, indescribable.” Yet it can be experienced “in the depth of the soul as the very ground of its being. It is the Atman, the Self, the real being of man as of the universe. ‘I am Brahman,’ ‘Thou are that,’ ‘All this [world] is Brahman.’ These are the mahavakyas, the ‘great sayings,’ of the Upanishads, in which the Mystery of being is revealed.” How similar these great sayings are to Meister Eckhart — who says we too learn, in the experience of “breakthrough,” that “God and I are one,” that “every creature is a word of God and a book about God,” that “God’s ground and my ground are one ground,” and that the Godhead “has no name and will never be given a name.
Matthew Fox (Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times)
It is a remarkable fact that in modern Europe and America institutional religion has declined while belief in God and the supernatural has remained strong and in some settings has even increased. Recent surveys, for example, show that while a declining group of Americans regularly go to church or synagogue (20–30 percent), overwhelming majorities of Americans report believing in a God who responds to prayer (80–90 percent), in angels and demons who actively interact with the living (70 percent), or in a heavenly afterlife that welcomes the souls of the departed (70–85 percent). An astonishing 30 percent of Americans report that they have been “in touch” with someone who has died.1 Similar data are also available for European nations, which report even lower levels of religious affiliation but an explosion of self-identified “spiritual but not religious” people. There are many reasons for the distaste for institutional religion,
Christopher G. White (Other Worlds: Spirituality and the Search for Invisible Dimensions)
Then there were times when Vassy compulsively yet touchingly would get very drunk and break down in great heaving sobs when we got home. No one could possibly understand what it meant to be a 'fucking Russian in America,' he sobbed. 'My fucking country, my beloved Russia,' he would cry. 'No one understands my country. You judge us, you condemn us, you believe we have swords in our teeth. You're so conditioned, so brainwashed, even more than we are. At least Russians know about America, not only bad things. And you here imagine Russia as a concentration camp! You don't like Commies! That's your problem. Now I hear Americans think 'Russian' is the same as evil, stupidity, idleness. That's dangerous! What about our culture, our music, our ingenuity, our patience, endurance--these are qualities, not drawbacks! Yes, we are fucking different, why not? Why should we be the same? Instead of trying to change each other, why don't we simply tolerate our differences and enjoy similarities?
Shirley MacLaine (Dancing in the Light)
The emotions commanding him were similarly simple and straightforward. He feared what he could not understand, and he despised what he feared. But acknowledging fear did not make him a coward – for he had proclaimed for himself an eternal war against all that threatened him, be it a devious wife who had raised walls round her soul, or conspirators against the empire of Lether. His enemies, he well understood, were the true cowards. They thought within clouds that obscured all the harsh truths of the world. Their struggles to ‘understand’ led, inevitably, to seditious positions against authority. Even as they forgave the empire’s enemies, they condemned the weaknesses of their own homeland – not recognizing that they themselves personified such weaknesses. An empire such as Lether was ever under siege. (...) A siege, inside and out, yes – the very privileges the empire granted were exploited by those who would see the empire destroyed. And there could be no room for ‘understanding’ such people – they were evil, and evil must be expurgated.
Steven Erikson (Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7))
It is important to note that the meaning of the Arabic word nafs should not be limited here to the soul, for this word is found in the Arabic translation of the saying in question, while its Greek equivalent psyche does not appear in the original. Nafs should therefore not be taken in its usual sense, for it is certain that it has another much higher significance, which makes it similar to the word essence, and which refers to the Self or to the real being ; as proof of this, we can cite what has been said in a ḥadīth that is like a complement of the Greek saying" 'He who knows himself, knows his Lord'. When man knows himself in his deepest essence, that is, in the center of his being, then at the same time he knows his Lord. And Knowing his Lord, he at the same time Knows all things, which come from Him and return to Him. He knows all things in the supreme oneness of the Divine Principle, outside of which, according to the words of Muhyi 'd-Din Ibn Al-Arabi 'there is absolutely nothing which exists', for nothing can be outside of the Infinite.
René Guénon (Know Thyself)
Many time-honored principles of classification clearly decreased in importance during the early modern period. In particular, the possibility of psychic conflict, especially that which could generate competing motives for action, had been a common device in ancient and medieval theories for distinguishing among passions, kinds of passions, and faculties of the soul in general. This principle played some role for Descartes in distinguishing between movements coming from the body and those originating in the soul, and it was deployed sporadically by other theorists. But the practice died out over the course of the two centuries, as theorists came to recognize the possibility that a single, or similar, emotional source might produce conflicting motions or tendencies, both in the individual and across societies. Indeed, some emotions were characterized exactly by such conflict or turbulence. Descartes's description of regret is one such example. A somewhat happier case is the emotions generated by tragedy, as explained by philosophers from Malebranche to Hume.
What tempts you, Pippa?" "I-" She hesitated. "I care a great deal for meringue." He laughed, the sound bigger and bolder than she expected. "It's true." "No doubt you do. But you may have meringue anytime you like." He stood back and indicated that she should enter the carriage. She ignored the silent command, eager to make her point. "Not so. If the cook has not made it, I cannot eat it." A smile played on his lips. "Ever-practical Pippa. If you want it, you can find it. That's my point. Surely, somewhere in London, someone will take pity upon you and satisfy your craving for meringue." Her brow furrowed. "Therefore, I am not tempted by it?" "No. You desire it. But that's not the same thing. Desire is easy. It's as simple as you wish to have meringue, and meringue is procured." He waved a hand toward the interior of the carriage but did not offer to help her up. "In." She ascended another step before turning back. The additional height brought them eye to eye. "I don't understand. What is temptation, then?" "Temptation..." He hesitated, and she found herself leaning forward, eager for this curious, unsettling lesson. "Temptation turns you. It makes you into something you never dreamed, it presses you to give up everything you ever loved, it calls you to sell your soul for one, fleeting moment." The words were low and dark and full of truth, and they hovered in the silence for a long moment, an undeniable invitation. He was close, protecting her from toppling off the block, the heat of him wrapping around her despite the cold. "It makes you ache," he whispered, and she watched the curve of his lips in the darkness. "You'll make any promise, swear any oath. For one... perfect... unsoiled taste." Oh, my. Pippa exhaled, long and reedy, nerves screaming, thoughts muddled. She closed her eyes, swallowed, forced herself back, away from him and the way he... tempted her. Why was he so calm and cool and utterly in control? Why was he not riddled with similar... feelings? He was a very frustrating man. She sighed. "That must be a tremendous meringue." A beat followed the silly, stupid words... words she wished she could take back. How ridiculous. And then he chuckled, teeth flashing in the darkness. "Indeed," he said, the words thicker and more gravelly than before.
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
One peculiarity of our present [ethical] climate is that we care much more about our rights than about our 'good'. For previous thinkers about ethics, such as those who wrote the Upanishads, or Confucius, or Plato, or the founders of the Christian tradition, the central concern was the state of one's soul, meaning some personal state of justice or harmony. Such a state might include resignation or renunciation, or detachment, or obedience, or knowledge, especially self-knowledge. For Plato there could be no just political order except one populated by just citizens.... Today we tend not to believe that; we tend to think that modern constitutional democracies are fine regardless of the private vices of those within them. We are much more nervous talking about our good: it seems moralistic, or undemocratic, or elitist. Similarly, we are nervous talking about duty. The Victorian ideal of a life devoted to duty, or a calling, is substantially lost to us. So a greater proportion of our moral energy goes to protecting claims against each other, and that includes protecting the state of our soul as purely private, purely our own business.
Simon Blackburn (Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics)
t is discovered an extraordinary similarity between Nietzsche and the Hindu-Aryan Rishi, visionary poets of the Vedas. They also thought the ideas from outside to inside: they 'appeared' to them. Rishi means 'he who sees'. See an Idea, express it, or try to express it. The job of the Rishis has been fulfilled for millennia and the vision of the Vedas was revised, elaborated, in subsequent visions, in scholastics, in doctrinal buildings and sophisticated verifications, through centuries. In any case, he, who preached not to subtract anything that life offers as Will of Power, as possession, increasing its power, lived chaste, like a yogi, always looking for the highest tensions of the soul, climbing always, more and more lonely, to be able to open up to that style of thinking, where the ideas could possess him as the most authentic expression of life, as his 'pulse', hitting him in the center of the personal being, or of the existence there accumulated, and that he called, long before Jung and any other psychologist, the Self, to differentiate it from the conscious and limited self, from the rational self. Let's clarify, then. What Nietzsche called thinking is something else, Nietzsche did not think with his head (because 'synchronistically' it hurt) but with the Self, with all of life and, especially, 'with the feet'. 'I think with my feet,' he said, 'because I think walking, climbing.' That is, when the effort and exhaustion caused the conscious mind to enter a kind of drowsiness or semi-sleep, there it took possession of the work of thinking that 'other thing', the Self, opening up to the dazzling penetration of the Idea, or that expression of the Original Power of Life, of Being, of the Will of Power, which crosses man from part to part, as in a yoga samadhi, or in a kaivalya, from an ancient rishi, or Tantric Siddha. Also like those rays that pierced the Etruscan 'fulgurators', to change them, and that they were able to resist thanks to a purified technique of concentration and initiation preparation. That this is a deep Aryan, Hyperborean, that is, Nordic-polar, Germanic style of origins ('let's face ourselves, we are Hyperborean'), and that he knew it, is proved in the name he gave his more beautiful, bigger work: 'Thus spoke Zarathustra'. Zarathustra is the Aryan Magician-reformer of ancient Persia.
Miguel Serrano
A great Iranian mystic of the fourteenth century, fAlll'uddawla Semnlini, was to speak in similar terms of the "invisible master," the "Gabriel of your being." His esoteric exegesis, his ta'wll, carries the figures of Koranic revelation to a sevenfold depth; to attain to the "Gabriel of your being" is to pass successively through the seven esoteric levels and to be reunited with the Spirit which guides and initiates the "seven prophets of your being." This striving is also designated as jacob's contest with the Angel, which was so interpreted in the symbolic exegesis of the jewish mystic joseph ben Judah: the intellective soul struggling to be united with the Angel, with the active Intelligence, until the rising of the light ( ishraq), at which time the soul emerges, delivered, from the darkness that imprisoned it.10 Thus no doubt we should speak not of a combat with, that is against, the Angel, but of a combat for the Angel, for the Angel in tum needs the response of a soul if his being is to become what it has to be. A whole series of jewish speculative mystics found the same symbolism in the Song of Songs, where the Beloved plays the role of the active Intelligence, while the heroine is the thinking human soul.
Abul Barkat
The men who had inhabited prehistoric Egypt, who had carved the Sphinx and founded the world‘s oldest civilization, were men who had made their exodus from Atlantis to settle on this strip of land that bordered the Nile. And they had left before their ill-fated continent sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, a catastrophe which had drained the Sahara and turned it into a desert. The shells which to-day litter the surface of the Sahara in places, as well as the fossil fish which are found among its sands, prove that it was once covered by the waters of a vast ocean. It was a tremendous and astonishing thought that the Sphinx provided a solid, visible and enduring link between the people of to-day and the people of a lost world, the unknown Atlanteans. This great symbol has lost its meaning for the modern world, for whom it is now but an object of local curiosity. What did it mean to the Atlanteans? We must look for some hint of an answer in the few remnants of culture still surviving from peoples whose own histories claimed Atlantean origin. We must probe behind the degenerate rituals of races like the Incas and the Mayas, mounting to the purer worship of their distant ancestors, and we shall find that the loftiest object of their worship was Light, represented by the Sun. Hence they build pyramidal Temples of the Sun throughout ancient America. Such temples were either variants or slightly distorted copies of similar temples which had existed in Atlantis. After Plato went to Egypt and settled for a while in the ancient School of Heliopolis, where he lived and studied during thirteen years, the priest-teachers, usually very guarded with foreigners, favoured the earnest young Greek enquirer with information drawn from their well-preserved secret records. Among other things they told him that a great flat-topped pyramid had stood in the centre of the island of Atlantis, and that on this top there had been build the chief temple of the continent – a sun temple. […] The Sphinx was the revered emblem in stone of a race which looked upon Light as the nearest thing to God in this dense material world. Light is the subtlest, most intangible of things which man can register by means of one of his five senses. It is the most ethereal kind of matter which he knows. It is the most ethereal element science can handle, and even the various kind of invisible rays are but variants of light which vibrate beyond the power of our retinas to grasp. So in the Book of Genesis the first created element was Light, without which nothing else could be created. „The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Deep,“ wrote Egyptian-trained Moses. „And God said, Let there be Light: and there was Light.“ Not only that, it is also a perfect symbol of that heavenly Light which dawns within the deep places of man‘s soul when he yields heart and mind to God; it is a magnificent memorial to that divine illumination which awaits him secretly even amid the blackest despairs. Man, in turning instinctively to the face and presence of the Sun, turns to the body of his Creator. And from the sun, light is born: from the sun it comes streaming into our world. Without the sun we should remain perpetually in horrible darkness; crops would not grow: mankind would starve, die, and disappear from the face of this planet. If this reverence for Light and for its agent, the sun, was the central tenet of Atlantean religion, so also was it the central tenet of early Egyptian religion. Ra, the sun-god, was first, the father and creator of all the other gods, the Maker of all things, the One, the self-born [...] If the Sphinx were connected with this religion of Light, it would surely have some relationship with the sun.
Paul Brunton (A Search in Secret Egypt)
July 19th FORGIVE THEM BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW “As Plato said, every soul is deprived of truth against its will. The same holds true for justice, self-control, goodwill to others, and every similar virtue. It’s essential to constantly keep this in your mind, for it will make you more gentle to all.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.63 As he wound his way up Via Dolorosa to the top of Calvary Hill, Jesus (or Christus as he would have been known to Seneca and other Roman contemporaries) had suffered immensely. He’d been beaten, flogged, stabbed, forced to bear his own cross, and was set to be crucified on it next to two common criminals. There he watched the soldiers roll dice to see who would get to keep his clothes, listened as the people sneered and taunted him. Whatever your religious inclinations, the words that Jesus spoke next—considering they came as he was subjected to unimaginable human suffering—send chills down your spine. Jesus looked upward and said simply, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” That is the same truth that Plato spoke centuries earlier and that Marcus spoke almost two centuries after Jesus; other Christians must have spoken this truth as they were cruelly executed by the Romans under Marcus’s reign: Forgive them; they are deprived of truth. They wouldn’t do this if they weren’t. Use this knowledge to be gentle and gracious.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
I left Brookstone and went to the Pottery Barn. When I was a kid and everything inside our house was familiar, cheap, and ruined, walking into the Pottery Barn was like entering heaven. If they really wanted people to enjoy church, I thought back then, they should make everything in church look and smell like the Pottery Barn. My dream was to surround myself one day with everything in the store, with the wicker baskets and scented candles, the brushed-silver picture frames. But that was a long time ago. I had already gone through a period of buying everything there was to buy at the Pottery Barn and decorating my apartment like a Pottery Barn outlet, and then getting rid of it all during a massive upgrade. Now everything at the Pottery Barn looked ersatz and mass-produced. To buy any of it now would be to regress in aspiration and selfhood. I didn’t want to buy anything at the Pottery Barn so much as I wanted to recapture the feeling of wanting to buy everything from the Pottery Barn. Something similar happened at the music store. I should try to find some new music, I thought, because there was a time when new music could lift me out of a funk like nothing else. But I wasn’t past the Bs when I saw the only thing I really cared to buy. It was the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, which had been released in 1965. I already owned Rubber Soul. I had owned Rubber Soul on vinyl, then on cassette, and now on CD, and of course on my iPod, iPod mini, and iPhone. If I wanted to, I could have pulled out my iPhone and played Rubber Soul from start to finish right there, on speaker, for the sake of the whole store. But that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to buy Rubber Soul for the first time all over again. I wanted to return the needle from the run-out groove to the opening chords of “Drive My Car” and make everything new again. That wasn’t going to happen. But, I thought, I could buy it for somebody else. I could buy somebody else the new experience of listening to Rubber Soul for the first time. So I took the CD up to the register and paid for it and, walking out, felt renewed and excited. But the first kid I offered it to, a rotund teenager in a wheelchair looking longingly into a GameStop window, declined on the principle that he would rather have cash. A couple of other kids didn’t have CD players. I ended up leaving Rubber Soul on a bench beside a decommissioned ashtray where someone had discarded an unhealthy gob of human hair. I wandered, as everyone in the mall sooner or later does, into the Best Friends Pet Store. Many best friends—impossibly small beagles and corgis and German shepherds—were locked away for display in white cages where they spent their days dozing with depression, stirring only long enough to ponder the psychic hurdles of licking their paws. Could there be anything better to lift your spirits than a new puppy?
Joshua Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour)
What did E.S. like about dreams? Their similarity to life and their dissimilarity; their salutary effect on body and soul; their unrestricted choice and arrangement of themes and contents; their bottomless depths and eerie heights; their eroticism; their freedom; their openness to guidance by will and suggestion (a perfumed handkerchief under one's pillow, soft music on the radio or gramophone, etc.); their resemblance to death and their power to confer intimations of eternity; their resemblance to madness without the consequences of madness; their cruelty and their gentleness; their power to pry the deepest secrets out of us; their blissful silence, to which cries are not unknown; their telepathic and spiritist faculty of communication with those dead or far away; their coded language, which we manage to understand and translate; their ability to condense the mythical figures of Icarus, Ahasuerus, Jonah, Noah, etc., into images; their monochrome and polychrome quality; their resemblance to the womb and to the jaws of a shark; their faculty of transforming unknown places, people, and landscapes into known ones, and vice versa; their power to diagnose certain ailments and traumas before it is too late; the difficulty of determining how long they last; the fact that they can be mistaken for reality; their power to preserve images and distant memories; their disrespect for chronology and the classical unities of time and action.
Danilo Kiš (Hourglass)
Starting as some fungus, some very minute, microscopic bubble, and all the time drawing from that infinite store-house of energy, a form is changed slowly and steadily until in course of time it becomes a plant, then an animal, then man, ultimately God. This is attained through millions of aeons, but what is time? An increase of speed, an increase of struggle, is able to bridge the gulf of time. That which naturally takes a long time to accomplish can be shortened by the intensity of the action, says the Yogi. A man may go on slowly drawing in this energy from the infinite mass that exists in the universe, and, perhaps, he will require a hundred thousand years to become a Deva, and then, perhaps, five hundred thousand years to become still higher, and, perhaps, five millions of years to become perfect. Given rapid growth, the time will be lessened. Why is it not possible, with sufficient effort, to reach this very perfection in six months or six years? There is no limit. Reason shows that. If an engine, with a certain amount of coal, runs two miles an hour, it will run the distance in less time with a greater supply of coal. Similarly, why shall not the soul, by intensifying its action, attain perfection in this very life? All beings will at last attain to that goal, we know. But who cares to wait all these millions of aeons? Why not reach it immediately, in this body even, in this human form? Why shall I not get that infinite knowledge, infinite power, now?
Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (9 volume set))
He, in truth, bears witness to himself that he is faithful and loyal towards God; and to the tempter, that he in vain envied him who is faithful through love; and to the Lord, of the inspired persuasion in reference to His doctrine, from which he will not depart through fear of death; further, he confirms also the truth of preaching by his deed, showing that God to whom he hastes is powerful. You will wonder at his love, which he conspicuously shows with thankfulness, in being united to what is allied to him, and besides by his precious blood, shaming the unbelievers. He then avoids denying Christ through fear by reason of the command; nor does he sell his faith in the hope of the gifts prepared, but in love to the Lord he will most gladly depart from this life; perhaps giving thanks both to him who afforded the cause of his departure hence, and to him who laid the plot against him, for receiving an honourable reason which he himself furnished not, for showing what he is, to him by his patience, and to the Lord in love, by which even before his birth he was manifested to the Lord, who knew the martyr's choice. With good courage, then, he goes to the Lord, his friend, for whom he voluntarily gave his body, and, as his judges hoped, his soul, hearing from our Saviour the words of poetry, "Dear brother," by reason of the similarity of his life. We call martyrdom perfection, not because the man comes to the end of his life as others, but because he has exhibited the perfect work of love.
Clement of Alexandria (Volume 12. The Writings of Clement of Alexandria (Volume 2: THE MISCELLANIES))
God created the human species by materialising the bodies of man and woman through the force of His will; He endowed the new species with the power to create children in a similar ‘immaculate’ or divine manner. Because His manifestation in the individualised soul had hitherto been limited to animals, instinct-bound and lacking the potentialities of full reason, God made the first human bodies, symbolically called Adam and Eve. To these, for advantageous upward evolution, He transferred the souls or divine essence of two animals. In Adam or man, reason predominated; in Eve or woman, feeling was ascendant. Thus was expressed the duality or polarity which underlies the phenomenal worlds. Reason and feeling remain in a heaven of cooperative joy so long as the human mind is not tricked by the serpentine energy of animal propensities. “The human body was therefore not solely a result of evolution from beasts, but was produced by an act of special creation by God. The animal forms were too crude to express full divinity; the human being was uniquely given a tremendous mental capacity—the ‘thousand-petalled lotus’ of the brain—as well as acutely awakened occult centres in the spine. “God, or the Divine Consciousness present within the first created pair, counselled them to enjoy all human sensibilities, but not to put their concentration on touch sensations. These were banned in order to avoid the development of the sex organs, which would enmesh humanity in the inferior animal method of propagation. The warning not to revive subconsciously present bestial memories was not heeded. Resuming the way of brute procreation, Adam and Eve fell from the state of heavenly joy natural to the original perfect man.
Paramahansa Yogananda (The Autobiography of a Yogi ("Popular Life Stories"))
Woe beside those who live by way of examples! Life is not with them. If you live according to an example, you thus live the life of that example, but who should live your own life if not yourself? So live yourselves. The signposts have fallen, unblazed trails lie before us. Do not be greedy to gobble up the fruits of foreign fields. Do you not know that you yourselves are the fertile acre which bears everything that avails you? Yet who today knows this? Who knows the way to the eternally fruitful climes of the soul, You seek the way through mere appearances, you study books and give ear to all kinds of opinion. What good is all that? There is only one way and that is your way. You seek the path? I warn you away from my own. It can also be the wrong way for you. May each go his own way. I will be no savior, no lawgiver, no master teacher unto you. You are no longer little children. Giving laws, wanting improvements, making things easier, has all become wrong and evil. May each one seek out his own way. The way leads to mutual love in community. Men will come to see and feel the similarity and commonality of their ways. Laws and teachings held in common compel people to solitude, so that they may escape the pressure of undesirable contact, but solitude makes people hostile and venomous. Therefore give people dignity and let each of them stand apart, so that each may find his own fellowship and love it. Power stands against power, contempt against contempt, love against love. Give humanity dignity, and trust that life will find the better way. The one eye of the Godhead is blind, the one ear of the Godhead is deaf, the order of its being is crossed by chaos. So be patient with the crippledness of the world and do not overvalue its consummate beauty.
J. Krishnamurti
Irene: Why would anyone choose to experience illness or disease as part of their spiritual agenda? Jared: The purpose of disease varies with each individual. For most people, disease serves to end physical life when the soul’s agenda has been fulfilled. Irene: An exit strategy. Jared: Yes. Disease also helps people put things in proper perspective and discover what’s really important. Irene: My brother Joe comes to mind. Since suffering a mild heart attack, he’s less judgmental and more accepting. Jared: Precisely. Disease also serves to remind people that control is an illusion and that a greater Power is directing life, providing them with an opportunity to surrender to that Power. Irene: That’s a good example of why it’s impossible to judge a situation as “good,” or “bad.” (Pause) In what other ways do illness and disease serve us? Jared: When people are no longer able to do things the same way they used to, disease can lead to deeper levels of compassion for oneself, as well as for others who are facing similar challenges. Irene: Sometimes we need a wake-up call to open our hearts. Jared: That’s true. As people begin to appreciate what they’d once taken for granted, disease can also assist them in accessing gratitude; maybe they hadn’t stopped to enjoy the changing colors in the evening sky, or maybe it takes being home with an illness to help them appreciate their family. Irene: It’s all for our highest good. Jared: Yes, it is. (Pause) Disease can also provide an opportunity to ask for assistance. People are forced to call on the service of others, who are given the chance to help. Irene: That’s my Achilles heel. I don’t like to impose on others. Anything else? Jared: Yes. People are often more receptive to the wisdom of their soul as a result of disease.
Irene Kendig (Conversations with Jerry and Other People I Thought Were Dead: Seven compelling dialogues that will transform the way you think about dying . . . and living)
I see at least three reasons why the gospel, as many white Christians understand and proclaim it, causes so few disturbances within our racialized society. The first has to do with the dualistic spirituality that separates people’s souls from their bodies. In this view, the priority of evangelism is to save souls for an eternity with God; everything else is secondary. An evangelistic sermon climaxes with a call to conversion without ever meaningfully addressing the material realities in the new Christian’s life. So this new believer is left to assume that the point of the Christian life is salvation from sin for heaven. A second reason for our culturally palatable evangelism is the hyper-individualism we’ve discussed in previous chapters. Because white Christianity tends to view people as self-contained individuals, we can miss significant relational connections and networks. We are blind, for example, to the cultural privilege into which white people are born in this country. Similarly, the generational oppression and disempowerment attached to the African-American experience is generally invisible to people who believe so strongly in people’s ability to determine their own future. From this individualistic vantage point, inviting people to follow Jesus will almost never disrupt the societal forces that resist the kingdom of God in their lives. Finally, in the previous chapter we observed how race detaches people from place. When Paul began proclaiming the gospel in Ephesus, both the Jews and the Greeks immediately saw how the kingdom of God challenged the deep cultural and religious assumptions of their city. But our detachment from place blinds us to how we have been impacted by our society as well as to how the gospel may very well be an offense to that same society.
David W. Swanson (Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity)
In short the only fully rational world would be the world of wishing-caps, the world of telepathy, where every desire is fulfilled instanter, without having to consider or placate surrounding or intermediate powers. This is the Absolute's own world. He calls upon the phenomenal world to be, and it IS, exactly as he calls for it, no other condition being required. In our world, the wishes of the individual are only one condition. Other individuals are there with other wishes and they must be propitiated first. So Being grows under all sorts of resistances in this world of the many, and, from compromise to compromise, only gets organized gradually into what may be called secondarily rational shape. We approach the wishing-cap type of organization only in a few departments of life. We want water and we turn a faucet. We want a kodak-picture and we press a button. We want information and we telephone. We want to travel and we buy a ticket. In these and similar cases, we hardly need to do more than the wishing—the world is rationally organized to do the rest. But this talk of rationality is a parenthesis and a digression. What we were discussing was the idea of a world growing not integrally but piecemeal by the contributions of its several parts. Take the hypothesis seriously and as a live one. Suppose that the world's author put the case to you before creation, saying: "I am going to make a world not certain to be saved, a world the perfection of which shall be conditional merely, the condition being that each several agent does its own 'level best.' I offer you the chance of taking part in such a world. Its safety, you see, is unwarranted. It is a real adventure, with real danger, yet it may win through. It is a social scheme of co-operative work genuinely to be done. Will you join the procession? Will you trust yourself and trust the other agents enough to face the risk?" Should you in all seriousness, if participation in such a world were proposed to you, feel bound to reject it as not safe enough? Would you say that, rather than be part and parcel of so fundamentally pluralistic and irrational a universe, you preferred to relapse into the slumber of nonentity from which you had been momentarily aroused by the tempter's voice? Of course if you are normally constituted, you would do nothing of the sort. There is a healthy- minded buoyancy in most of us which such a universe would exactly fit. We would therefore accept the offer—"Top! und schlag auf schlag!" It would be just like the world we practically live in; and loyalty to our old nurse Nature would forbid us to say no. The world proposed would seem 'rational' to us in the most living way. Most of us, I say, would therefore welcome the proposition and add our fiat to the fiat of the creator. Yet perhaps some would not; for there are morbid minds in every human collection, and to them the prospect of a universe with only a fighting chance of safety would probably make no appeal. There are moments of discouragement in us all, when we are sick of self and tired of vainly striving. Our own life breaks down, and we fall into the attitude of the prodigal son. We mistrust the chances of things. We want a universe where we can just give up, fall on our father's neck, and be absorbed into the absolute life as a drop of water melts into the river or the sea. The peace and rest, the security desiderated at such moments is security against the bewildering accidents of so much finite experience. Nirvana means safety from this everlasting round of adventures of which the world of sense consists. The hindoo and the buddhist, for this is essentially their attitude, are simply afraid, afraid of more experience, afraid of life. And to men of this complexion, religious monism comes with its consoling words: "All is needed and essential—even you with your sick soul and heart. All are one
William James (Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking)
Because,' he said, 'I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you, especially when you are near me, as now; it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situation in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and the nI've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, you'd forget me.' 'That I never would, sir; you know -,' impossible to proceed. [...] The vehemence of emotion, stirred by grief and love within me, was claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway and asserting a right to predominate - to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last; yes, and to speak. 'I grieve to leave Thornfield; I love Thornfield; I love it, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life, momentarily at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright, and energetic, and high. I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence; with what I delight in, with an origin, a vigorous, and expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you forever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.' 'Where do you see the necessity?' he asked, suddenly. 'Where? You, sir, have placed it before me.' 'In what shape?' 'In the shape of Miss Ingram; a noble and beautiful woman, your bride.' 'My bride! What bride? I have no bride!' 'But you will have.' 'Yes; I will! I will!' He set his teeth. 'Then I must go; you have said it yourself.' 'No; you must stay! I swear it, and the oath shall be kept.' 'I tell you I must go!' I retorted, roused to something like passion. 'Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automation? a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty, and much wealth, I should have made it hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh; it is my spirit that addresses your spirits; just as if both had passed through the grace, and we stood at God's feel, equal - as we are!' 'As we are!' repeated Mr. Rochester - 'so,' he added, including me in his arms, gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips; 'so, Jane!' 'Yes, so, sir,' I rejoined; 'and yet not so; for you are a married man, or as good as a married man, and we'd to one inferior to you - to one with whom you have no sympathy - whom I do not believe you truly love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her. I would scorn such a union; therefore I am better than you - let me go!' 'Where, Jane? to Ireland?' 'Yes - to Ireland. I have spoke my mind, and can go anywhere now.' 'Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild, frantic bird that is tending its own plumage in its desperation.' 'I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.' Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him. 'And your will shall decide your destiny,' he said; 'I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.' 'You play a farce, which I merely taught at.' 'I ask you to pass through life at my side - to be my second self, and best earthly companion.' [...] 'Do you doubt me, Jane?' 'Entirely.' 'You have no faith in me?' 'Not a whit.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I now principally allude to Rousseau, for his character of Sophia is, undoubtedly, a captivating one, though it appears to me grossly unnatural; however, it is not the superstructure, but the foundation of her character, the principles on which her education was built, that I mean to attack; nay, warmly as I admire the genius of that able writer, whose opinions I shall often have occasion to cite, indignation always takes place of admiration, and the rigid frown of insulted virtue effaces the smile of complacency, which his eloquent periods are wont to raise, when I read his voluptuous reveries. Is this the man, who, in his ardour for virtue, would banish all the soft arts of peace, and almost carry us back to Spartan discipline? Is this the man who delights to paint the useful struggles of passion, the triumphs of good dispositions, and the heroic flights which carry the glowing soul out of itself? How are these mighty sentiments lowered when he describes the prettyfoot and enticing airs of his little favourite! But, for the present, I waive the subject, and, instead of severely reprehending the transient effusions of overweening sensibility, I shall only observe, that whoever has cast a benevolent eye on society, must often have been gratified by the sight of humble mutual love, not dignified by sentiment, nor strengthened by a union in intellectual pursuits. The domestic trifles of the day have afforded matter for cheerful converse, and innocent caresses have softened toils which did not require great exercise of mind, or stretch of thought: yet, has not the sight of this moderate felicity excited more tenderness than respect? An emotion similar to what we feel when children are playing, or animals sporting, whilst the contemplation of the noble struggles of suffering merit has raised admiration, and carried our thoughts to that world where sensation will give place to reason. Women are, therefore, to be considered either as moral beings, or so weak that they must be entirely subjected to the superior faculties of men.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
Now we move on to the dominant idea of this ancient heroic tradition, namely the mystical conception of victory. The fundamental assumption is that of a true correspondence between the physical and metaphysical, between the visible and the invisible, whereby the deeds of the spirit reveal supra-individual traits and express themselves through action and real events. On this basis, a spiritual realization is presumed to be the hidden soul of certain martial endeavors, which are crowned by the actual victory. Then the material, military victory becomes the correlation to a spiritual event, which has called forth victory in the place where outer and inner connect. The victory appears as a tangible sign for a consecration and mystical rebirth that are fulfilled in the same instant. The Furies and the death which the warrior withstood physically on the battlefield also confront him internally, in his spiritual element, in the form of a dangerous and threatening outburst of the primordial energy of his being. In triumphing over this, victory is his. This connection clarifies why, in the Traditional world, every victory also takes on a sacred meaning. The celebrated commander on the battlefield thus provided the experience of the presence of a mystical, transformative energy. In the same way we can understand the deep meaning a supra-wordly character that breaks forth in the victory’s glory and 'divinity', as well as the fact that the ancient Roman triumphal ceremony had far more of a sacred quality than a military one. It sheds a totally different light on those recurring symbols of the ancient Aryan tradition of Victories, Valkyries, and similar beings who leads the souls of warriors into 'Heaven', as well as on the myth of a victorious hero such as the Doric Hercules, who receives the crown from Nike, the 'victory goddess', enabling him to participate in Olympian immortality. And now it becomes obvious how paralyzing and frivolous that viewpoint is which prefers to see only 'poetics', rhetorics, and fairy tales in all of this.
Julius Evola (Metaphysics of War)
Nothing in life stands still. Movement and change are the very essence of life and yet our normal tendency is to believe that everything is fixed and solid. We wish to believe that all we see is real and secure, even though our ordinary experience tells us that nothing remains unchanged and nothing lasts forever. On the contrary, everything in the world around us is constantly falling apart and requires a great deal of maintenance on our part if we wish to hold it together. What happens during this process of change is the great mystery revealed in symbolic form within this book. The state called here the "transitional phase" (Tibetan: "bardo") is the actual moment of change, occurring at the end of one phase and the beginning of the next. It is the state of flux itself, the only state that can really be called "real." It is a condition of great power and potential within which anything could happen. It is the moment between moments. It may seem to span an entire lifetime, like the moment between being born and dying, or it may be imperceptibly short and fleeting, like the moment between one thought and the next. Whatever its duration, however, it is a moment of great opportunity for those who perceive it. Anyone who can do this is called a yogin. Such a person has the power of destiny in their hands. He or she has no need of a priest to guide him towards the clear light of truth, for he sees already the clear light of truth in the intermediate phases that occur between all other states. Refusing to become trapped in the false belief that all about him is fixed and solid, the yogin moves with calm and graceful ease through life, confident that changes are now under his own direction. He becomes the master of change instead of its slave.....Similarly, between any encounter and one's reaction to it, there is an intermediate space that offers choice to those who can see it. One is not obliged to react on the basis of habit or prejudice. The opportunity for a fresh approach is always there in the intermediate state for those who have learned to recognize it. Such recognition is the essential message of this ancient and profound book.
Stephen Hodge (The Illustrated Tibetan Book of the Dead: A New Reference Manual for the Soul)
The liberal notion that more government programs can solve racial problems is simplistic—precisely because it focuses solely on the economic dimension. And the conservative idea that what is needed is a change in the moral behavior of poor black urban dwellers (especially poor black men, who, they say, should stay married, support their children, and stop committing so much crime) highlights immoral actions while ignoring public responsibility for the immoral circumstances that haunt our fellow citizens. The common denominator of these views of race is that each still sees black people as a “problem people,” in the words of Dorothy I. Height, president of the National Council of Negro Women, rather than as fellow American citizens with problems. Her words echo the poignant “unasked question” of W. E. B. Du Bois, who, in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), wrote: They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town.… Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word. Nearly a century later, we confine discussions about race in America to the “problems” black people pose for whites rather than consider what this way of viewing black people reveals about us as a nation. This paralyzing framework encourages liberals to relieve their guilty consciences by supporting public funds directed at “the problems”; but at the same time, reluctant to exercise principled criticism of black people, liberals deny them the freedom to err. Similarly, conservatives blame the “problems” on black people themselves—and thereby render black social misery invisible or unworthy of public attention. Hence, for liberals, black people are to be “included” and “integrated” into “our” society and culture, while for conservatives they are to be “well behaved” and “worthy of acceptance” by “our” way of life. Both fail to see that the presence and predicaments of black people are neither additions to nor defections from American life, but rather constitutive elements of that life.
Cornel West (Race Matters: With a New Introduction)
The Eternal Return has certainly not been thought by philosophers or by those who are concerned about Nietzsche in the contemporary history of ideas, and this because the Eternal Return can not be thought of. It is a revelation that presents itself next to the Silvaplana rock, or on the threshold of the Gateway of the Moment, where the Two Ways meet. You will have to travel step by step along the path of Western yoga that Nietzsche rediscovered and practiced, putting his feet in the tracks that he left in the paths of the high peaks, relive their great pains and divine glories, reaching to reach similar tonalities of the soul, to be possessed by Dionysus and his ancient drunkenness, Luciferian, that makes dance in the solitude of forests and lost from a solar age, laughing and crying at the same time. And this is not achieved by the philosophers of the intellect or the beings 'of the flock'. For to achieve this, the Circle will have to be traversed for several eternities, again at the Gateway of the Moment, already predestined at noon. In addition, the doctrine of the Eternal Return is selective. As the initiatory practice Tantric Panshatattva is not for the paśu [animal], but only for some heroes or viryas, thus the Noon is reached by the 'Lords of the Earth' and by the poets of the Will to Power, predestined in a mysterious way to perform the Superman, that individualistic and aristocratic mutation. The 'herd', the vulgar, has nothing to do with all this, including here the scientists, technologists and most philosophers, politicians and government of the Kaliyuga. Nietzsche's description of the Eternal Return is found in some aphorisms that precede 'The Gay Science', Joyful Science, using Nietzsche the Provencal term, Occitan, from 'Gay'. Joyful Science will be that of the one who has accepted the Eternal Return of all things and has transmuted the values. The one of Superman. There is also a description in the schemes of 'The Will to Power'. In they all take hold, with genius that transcends their time, of the scientific knowledge and the mechanics of the time, which does not lose validity to the doctrine, let us say better to the revealed Idea, to the Revelation that, of somehow, it was also in the Pythagoreans, in their Aryan-Hyperborean form, differentiating itself from other elaborations made in the millennia of the East. Also would have been veiled in the Persian reformer Zarathustra. We are going to reproduce what Nietzsche has written about the Eternal Return. In the schemes of 'The Will to Power', he says: 'Everything returns and returns eternally; We can not escape this.
Miguel Serrano
The Eternal Return has certainly not been thought by philosophers or by those who are concerned about Nietzsche in the contemporary history of ideas, and this because the Eternal Return can not be thought of. It is a revelation that presents itself next to the Silvaplana rock, or on the threshold of the Gateway of the Moment, where the Two Ways meet. You will have to travel step by step along the path of Western yoga that Nietzsche rediscovered and practiced, putting his feet in the tracks that he left in the paths of the high peaks, relive their great pains and divine glories, reaching to reach similar tonalities of the soul, to be possessed by Dionysus and his ancient drunkenness, Luciferian, that makes dance in the solitude of forests and lost from a solar age, laughing and crying at the same time. And this is not achieved by the philosophers of the intellect or the beings 'of the flock'. For to achieve this, the Circle will have to be traversed for several eternities, again at the Gateway of the Moment, already predestined at noon. In addition, the doctrine of the Eternal Return is selective. As the initiatory practice Tantric Panshatattva is not for the paśu [animal], but only for some heroes or viryas, thus the Noon is reached by the 'Lords of the Earth' and by the poets of the Will to Power, predestined in a mysterious way to perform the Superman, that individualistic and aristocratic mutation. The 'herd', the vulgar, has nothing to do with all this, including here the scientists, technologists and most philosophers, politicians and government of the Kaliyuga. Nietzsche's description of the Eternal Return is found in some aphorisms that precede 'The Gay Science', Joyful Science, using Nietzsche the Provencal term, Occitan, from 'Gay'. Joyful Science will be that of the one who has accepted the Eternal Return of all things and has transmuted the values. The one of Superman. There is also a description in the schemes of 'The Will to Power'. In they all take hold, with genius that transcends their time, of the scientific knowledge and the mechanics of the time, which does not lose validity to the doctrine, let us say better to the revealed Idea, to the Revelation that, of somehow, it was also in the Pythagoreans, in their Aryan-Hyperborean form, differentiating itself from other elaborations made in the millennia of the East. Also would have been veiled in the Persian reformer Zarathustra. We are going to reproduce what Nietzsche has written about the Eternal Return. In the schemes of 'The Will to Power', he says: 'Everything returns and returns eternally; We can not escape this.
Miguel Serrano
Rule by decree has conspicuous advantages for the domination of far-flung territories with heterogeneous populations and for a policy of oppression. Its efficiency is superior simply because it ignores all intermediary stages between issuance and application, and because it prevents political reasoning by the people through the withholding of information. It can easily overcome the variety of local customs and need not rely on the necessarily slow process of development of general law. It is most helpful for the establishment of a centralized administration because it overrides automatically all matters of local autonomy. If rule by good laws has sometimes been called the rule of wisdom, rule by appropriate decrees may rightly be called the rule of cleverness. For it is clever to reckon with ulterior motives and aims, and it is wise to understand and create by deduction from generally accepted principles. Government by bureaucracy has to be distinguished from the mere outgrowth and deformation of civil services which frequently accompanied the decline of the nation-state—as, notably, in France. There the administration has survived all changes in regime since the Revolution, entrenched itself like a parasite in the body politic, developed its own class interests, and become a useless organism whose only purpose appears to be chicanery and prevention of normal economic and political development. There are of course many superficial similarities between the two types of bureaucracy, especially if one pays too much attention to the striking psychological similarity of petty officials. But if the French people have made the very serious mistake of accepting their administration as a necessary evil, they have never committed the fatal error of allowing it to rule the country—even though the consequence has been that nobody rules it. The French atmosphere of government has become one of inefficiency and vexation; but it has not created and aura of pseudomysticism. And it is this pseudomysticism that is the stamp of bureaucracy when it becomes a form of government. Since the people it dominates never really know why something is happening, and a rational interpretation of laws does not exist, there remains only one thing that counts, the brutal naked event itself. What happens to one then becomes subject to an interpretation whose possibilities are endless, unlimited by reason and unhampered by knowledge. Within the framework of such endless interpretive speculation, so characteristic of all branches of Russian pre-revolutionary literature, the whole texture of life and world assume a mysterious secrecy and depth. There is a dangerous charm in this aura because of its seemingly inexhaustible richness; interpretation of suffering has a much larger range than that of action for the former goes on in the inwardness of the soul and releases all the possibilities of human imagination, whereas the latter is consistently checked, and possibly led into absurdity, by outward consequence and controllable experience.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
The word “empath” jumped up in my awareness a few years after I had already been in the States. When I first came across it, it felt so woo-woo and new-agey that the “normal” part of me balked at it. It was hard enough to own being a Highly Sensitive Person, words that had research backing them. But this empath thing, this was taking it even a step further. It veered off into ambiguous, questionable territory. In fact, when I had first stumbled across the word online, trying to find a way to understand a part of my sensitivity that being an HSP didn’t quite encapsulate, I hadn’t even thought that it could possibly have anything to do with me. But the more I listened to other people’s stories, the more I followed the breadcrumbs, the more it started feeling that although the words that people used to describe their empath experiences were foreign, what they were talking about was essentially my own experience. It was just that some of these people connected that experience to belief systems I didn’t always resonate with while some others wrapped up the word in explanations that felt like the making up of a false story. But slowly, I could see that at the heart of it, beyond the cloak of words, beyond the different interpretations that people gave, our experiences felt similar. Like these so-called empaths, I often felt flooded with other people’s feelings. Their curiosity, worry and frustration jumped out at me. This often made me feel like I was walking through emotional minefields or collecting new feelings like you would collect scraps of paper. Going back to India after moving to the States, each time, I was stuck by how much all the little daily interactions, packed tightly in one day, which were part of my parents’ Delhi household, affected me energetically. Living in suburban America, I had often found the quiet too much. Then, I had thought nostalgically about India. Weeks could pass here without anyone so much as ringing the bell to our house. But it seemed like I had conveniently forgotten the other side of the story, forgotten how overstimulating Delhi had always been for me. There was, of course, the familiar sensory overload all around -- the continuous honking of horns, the laborers working noisily in the house next door, the continuous ringing of the bell as different people came and went -- the dhobi taking the clothes for ironing, the koodawalla come to pick up the daily trash, the delivery boy delivering groceries from the neighborhood kiraana store. But apart from these interruptions, inconveniences and overstimulations, there was also something more. In Delhi, every day, more lives touched mine in a day than they did in weeks in America. Going back, I could see, clearly for the first time, how much this sensory overload cost me and how much other people’s feelings leaked into mine, so much so that I almost felt them in my body. I could see that the koodawalla, the one I had always liked, the one from some kind of a “lower caste,” had changed in these past few years. He was angry now, unlike the calm resignation, almost acceptance he had carried inside him before. His anger seemed to jump out at me, as if he thought I was part of a whole tribe of people who had kept people like him down for years, who had relegated him to this lower caste, who had only given him the permission to do “dirty,” degrading work, like collecting the trash.
Ritu Kaushal, The Empath's Journey
Making A Connection With The Word Of God Now that we’ve discussed the various methods of memorizing, we will move on to what is necessary to prepare for the memorization session itself. When you’re preparing to memorize the first thing that you need to do is read the text to make sure you understand it. It is easier to retain and recall what you memorized if you have full comprehension of what the scriptures are saying. Therefore it is always good to read the scriptures first. When you memorize focus on the meaning of the scripture that it may remain true to you. When you read the word of God certain things will jump out at you. This is God speaking to you through the pages. By memorizing what speaks out to you, you have a heartfelt association linked to the memory. Similar to peg and memorization by association, having a deep heartfelt connection to what you memorize gives your mind something extra to grab onto. It is infinitely more powerful to have a personal heart felt attachment to the verses in order to be able to recall it at the most practical or emotional times. Whereas other methods require a silly mental image or the smell of bacon to associate a verse with which has no emotional connection with you. If we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength then we also should love His word by which we are saved. If then we love His word we will have the heartfelt connection necessary to practically apply the scriptures in a daily walk with Him. However if we do not have a heartfelt connection with the word of God, then we will not apply it at the appropriate times and thus our walks with God will be hindered. Rather than using the other seemingly ridiculous memorizing methods that are out there it is better to focus on the meaning while retaining it for later use. Seeing that it has a special place in your heart you will be able to more accurately recall it at the most necessary times. This is why I teach that you should only memorize what is jumping out at you from the pages. When this happens God is speaking to you through the pages for your daily walk. He uses life experiences mixed with teaching from His “text book” (the bible) to teach you. If then God uses this method to help you retain the scripture and the meaning behind it, shouldn't we also apply it when memorizing? Whatever God is teaching you at the time, He will compare the scriptures to your experiences in life that you’re currently going through. Even as it is written, “These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1Co 2:13  Understanding this it is good to memorize the subject He is giving us to learn. It will have practical, heartfelt meaning for you and for what you’re going through now. As a result because the meaning was associated with your heart, every time you need to recall this scripture accurately it will pop back up in your mind. A walk with God in His Spirit and His word must be heartfelt. Therefore Beloved, take the time to memorize what God is teaching you. Whatever is speaking true to the current situations of your life, memorize. These current situations God will use for lessons for growth, a troubling situation to overcome, or maybe a doctrinal dispute. If you’re learning new lessons then it’s good to remember these things as a good student of God. If it’s something to overcome always memorize what God has encouraged you with.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
The centre of the conception of wisdom in the Bible is the Book of Ecclesiastes, whose author, or rather, chief editor, is sometimes called Koheleth, the teacher or preacher. Koheleth transforms the conservatism of popular wisdom into a program of continuous mental energy. Those who have unconsciously identified a religious attitude either with illusion or with mental indolence are not safe guides to this book, although their tradition is a long one. Some editor with a “you’d better watch out” attitude seems to have tacked a few verses on the end suggesting that God trusts only the anti-intellectual, but the main author’s courage and honesty are not to be defused in this way. He is “disillusioned” only in the sense that he has realized that an illusion is a self-constructed prison. He is not a weary pessimist tired of life: he is a vigorous realist determined to smash his way through every locked door of repression in his mind. Being tired of life is in fact the only mental handicap for which he has no remedy to suggest. Like other wise men, he is a collector of proverbs, but he applies to all of them his touchstone and key word, translated in the AV [the Authorized Version] as “vanity.” This word (hebel) has a metaphorical kernel of fog, mist, or vapour, a metaphor that recurs in the New Testament (James 4:14). It this acquires a derived sense of “emptiness,” the root meaning of the Vulgate’s vanitas. To put Koheleth’s central intuition into the form of its essential paradox: all things are full of emptiness. We should not apply a ready-made disapproving moral ambience to this word “vanity,” much less associate it with conceit. It is a conception more like the shunyata or “void” of Buddhist though: the world as everything within nothingness. As nothing is certain or permanent in the world, nothing either real or unreal, the secret of wisdom is detachment without withdrawal. All goals and aims may cheat us, but if we run away from them we shall find ourselves bumping into them. We may feel that saint is a “better” man than a sinner, and that all of our religious and moral standards would crumble into dust if we did not think so; but the saint himself is most unlikely to take such a view. Similarly Koheleth went through a stage in which he saw that wisdom was “better” than folly, then a stage in which he saw that there was really no difference between them as death lies in wait for both and finally realized that both views were equally “vanity”. As soon as we renounce the expectation of reward, in however, refined a guise, for virtue or wisdom, we relax and our real energies begin to flow into the soul. Even the great elegy at the end over the failing bodily powers of old age ceases to become “pessimistic” when we see it as part of the detachment with which the wise man sees his life in the context of vanity. We take what comes: there is no choice in the matter, hence no point in saying “we should take what comes.” We soon realize by doing so that there is a cyclical rhythm in nature. But, like other wheels, this is a machine to be understood and used by man. If it is true that the sun, the seasons, the waters, and human life itself go in cycles, the inference is that “there is a time for all things,” something different to be done at each stage of the cycle. The statement “There is nothing new under the sun” applies to wisdom but not to experience , to theory but not to practice. Only when we realize that nothing is new can we live with an intensity in which everything becomes new.
Northrop Frye (The Great Code: The Bible and Literature)
Let us now assume that under truly extraordinary circumstances, the daimon nevertheless breaks through in the individual, so to speak, and is this able to let its destructive transcendence be felt: then one would have a kind of active experience of death. Thereupon the second connection becomes clear: why the figure of the daimon or doppelgänger in the ancient myths could be melded with the deity of death. In the Nordic tradition the warrior sees his Valkyrie precisely at the moment of death or mortal danger. In religious asceticism, mortification, self-renunciation, and the impulse of devotion to God are the preferred methods of provoking and successfully overcoming the crisis I have just mentioned. Everyone knows the expressions which refer to these states, such as the 'mystical death' or 'dark night of the soul', etc. In contrast to this, within the framework of a heroic tradition, the path to the same goal is the active rapture, the Dionysian unleashing of the active element. At its lower levels, we find phenomenons such as the use of dance as a sacred technique for achieving an ecstasy of the soul that summons and uses profound energies. While the individual’s life is surrendered to Dionysian rhythm, another life sinks into it, as if it where his abyssal roots surfacing. The 'wild host' Furies, Erinyes, and suchlike spiritual natures are symbolic picturings of this energy, thus corresponding to a manifestation of the daimon in its terrifying and active transcendence. At a higher level we find sacred war-games; higher still, war itself. And this brings us back to the ancient Aryan concept of battle and the warrior ascetic. At the climax of danger and heroic battle, the possibility for such an extraordinary experience was recognized. The Lating ludere, meaning both 'to play' and 'to fight', seems to contain the idea of release. This is one of the many allusions to the inherent ability of battle to release deeply-buried powers from individual limitations and let them freely emerge. Hence the third comparison: the daimon, the Lar, the individualizing I, etc., are not only identical with the Furies, Erinyes, and other unleashed Dionysian natures, which themselves have many traits similar to the goddess of death — they are also synonymous with the storm maidens of battle, the Valkyries and Fravartis. In the texts, for example, the Fravartis are called 'the terrible, the all-powerful', 'those who attack in storm and bestow victory upon those who conjure them', or, more precisely, those who conjure them up in themselves. From there to the final comparison is only a short step. In the Aryan tradition the same martial beings eventually take on the form of victory-goddesses, a transformation which denotes the happy completion of the inner experience in question. Just as the daimon or doppelgänger signifies a deep, supra-individual power in its latent condition as compared to ordinary consciousness; just as the Furies and Erinyes reflect a particular manifestation of daimonic rages and eruptions (and the goddesses of death, Valkyries, Fravartis, etc., refer to the same conditions, as long as these are facilitated by battle and heroism) — in the same way the goddess of victory is the expression of the triumph of the I over this power. She signifies the victorious ascent to a state unendangered by ecstasies and sub-personal forms of disintegration, a danger that always lurks behind the frenetic moment of Dionysian and even heroic action. The ascent to a spiritual, truly supra-personal condition that makes one free, immortal, and internally indestructible, when the 'Two becomes One', expresses itself in this image of mythical consciousness.
Julius Evola (Metaphysics of War)
Spellbinders are characterized by pathological egotism. Such a person is forced by some internal causes to make an early choice between two possibilities: the first is forcing other people to think and experience things in a manner similar to his own; the second is a feeling of being lonely and different, a pathological misfit in social life. Sometimes the choice is either snake-charming or suicide. Triumphant repression of selfcritical or unpleasant concepts from the field of consciousness gradually gives rise to the phenomena of conversive thinking (twisted thinking), or paralogistics (twisted logic), paramoralisms (twisted morality), and the use of reversion blockades (Big Lies). They stream so profusely from the mind and mouth of the spellbinder that they flood the average person’s mind. Everything becomes subordinated to the spellbinder’s over-compensatory conviction that they are exceptional, sometimes even messianic. An ideology emerges from this conviction, true in part, whose value is supposedly superior. However, if we analyze the exact functions of such an ideology in the spellbinder’s personality, we perceive that it is nothing other than a means of self-charming, useful for repressing those tormenting selfcritical associations into the subconscious. The ideology’s instrumental role in influencing other people also serves the spellbinder’s needs. The spellbinder believes that he will always find converts to his ideology, and most often, they are right. However, they feel shock (or even paramoral indignation) when it turns out that their influence extends to only a limited minority, while most people’s attitude to their activities remains critical, pained and disturbed. The spellbinder is thus confronted with a choice: either withdraw back into his void or strengthen his position by improving the ef ectiveness of his activities. The spellbinder places on a high moral plane anyone who has succumbed to his influence and incorporated the experiential method he imposes. He showers such people with attention and property, if possible. Critics are met with “moral” outrage. It can even be proclaimed that the compliant minority is in fact the moral majority, since it professes the best ideology and honors a leader whose qualities are above average. Such activity is always necessarily characterized by the inability to foresee its final results, something obvious from the psychological point of view because its substratum contains pathological phenomena, and both spellbinding and self-charming make it impossible to perceive reality accurately enough to foresee results logically. However, spellbinders nurture great optimism and harbor visions of future triumphs similar to those they enjoyed over their own crippled souls. It is also possible for optimism to be a pathological symptom. In a healthy society, the activities of spellbinders meet with criticism effective enough to stifle them quickly. However, when they are preceded by conditions operating destructively upon common sense and social order; such as social injustice, cultural backwardness, or intellectually limited rulers sometimes manifesting pathological traits, spellbinders’ activities have led entire societies into large-scale human tragedy. Such an individual fishes an environment or society for people amenable to his influence, deepening their psychological weaknesses until they finally join together in a ponerogenic union. On the other hand, people who have maintained their healthy critical faculties intact, based upon their own common sense and moral criteria, attempt to counteract the spellbinders’ activities and their results. In the resulting polarization of social attitudes, each side justifies itself by means of moral categories. That is why such commonsense resistance is always accompanied by some feeling of helplessness and deficiency of criteria.
Andrew Lobabczewski
No words need be wasted over the fact that all these narcotics are harmful. The question whether even a small quantity of alcohol is harmful or whether the harm results only from the abuse of alcoholic beverages is not at issue here. It is an established fact that alcoholism, cocainism, and morphinism are deadly enemies of life, of health, and of the capacity for work and enjoyment; and a utilitarian must therefore consider them as vices. But this is far from demonstrating that the authorities must interpose to suppress these vices by commercial prohibitions, nor is it by any means evident that such intervention on the part of the government is really capable of suppressing them or that, even if this end could be attained, it might not therewith open up a Pandora's box of other dangers, no less mischievous than alcoholism and morphinism. Whoever is convinced that indulgence or excessive indulgence in these poisons is pernicious is not hindered from living abstemiously or temperately. This question cannot be treated exclusively in reference to alcoholism, morphinism, cocainism, etc., which all reasonable men acknowledge to be evils. For if the majority of citizens is, in principle, conceded the right to impose its way of life upon a minority, it is impossible to stop at prohibitions against indulgence in alcohol, morphine, cocaine, and similar poisons. Why should not what is valid for these poisons be valid also for nicotine, caffeine, and the like? Why should not the state generally prescribe which foods may be indulged in and which must be avoided because they are injurious? In sports too, many people are prone to carry their indulgence further than their strength will allow. Why should not the state interfere here as well? Few men know how to be temperate in their sexual life, and it seems especially difficult for aging persons to understand that they should cease entirely to indulge in such pleasures or, at least, do so in moderation. Should not the state intervene here too? More harmful still than all these pleasures, many will say, is the reading of evil literature. Should a press pandering to the lowest instincts of man be allowed to corrupt the soul? Should not the exhibition of pornographic pictures, of obscene plays, in short, of all allurements to immorality, be prohibited? And is not the dissemination of false sociological doctrines just as injurious to men and nations? Should men be permitted to incite others to civil war and to wars against foreign countries? And should scurrilous lampoons and blasphemous diatribes be allowed to undermine respect for God and the Church? We see that as soon as we surrender the principle that the state should not interfere in any questions touching on the individual's mode of life, we end by regulating and restricting the latter down to the smallest detail. The personal freedom of the individual is abrogated. He becomes a slave of the community, bound to obey the dictates of the majority. It is hardly necessary to expatiate on the ways in which such powers could be abused by malevolent persons in authority. The wielding, of powers of this kind even by men imbued with the best of intentions must needs reduce the world to a graveyard of the spirit. All mankind's progress has been achieved as a result of the initiative of a small minority that began to deviate from the ideas and customs of the majority until their example finally moved the others to accept the innovation themselves. To give the majority the right to dictate to the minority what it is to think, to read, and to do is to put a stop to progress once and for all. Let no one object that the struggle against morphinism and the struggle against "evil" literature are two quite different things. The only difference between them is that some of the same people who favor the prohibition of the former will not agree to the prohibition of the latter.
Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition)