Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
If I am to be fallen into love, I will. And if as a result I will appear to be stupid, disillusioned, and of poor judgment, I will. And I would be damned if I cared what other people think. For I would rather be thought of as all of these things, than not love. If in loving, I become the naked woman on the horse, I will ride that horse with my head held high. This is my spirit. I am unbreakable.
C. JoyBell C.
Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Collected Poems and Translations)
In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun)
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above and I fly! Grace always conquers! Be graceful in everything; in anger, in sadness, in joy, in kindness, in unkindness, retain grace with you!
C. JoyBell C.
When I am wicked I am in high spirits.
Henry James (The Europeans)
It is a giggle full of high spirits and merry mischief, proof that we never lose our girlish selves, no matter what sort of women we become.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root.
Emma Goldman (Marriage and Love)
Joshua's ministry was three years of preaching, sometimes three times a day, and although there were some high and low points, I could never remember the sermons word for word, but here's the gist of almost every sermon I ever heard Joshua give.
You should be nice to people, even creeps.
And if you:
a) believed that Joshua was the Son of God (and)
b) he had come to save you from sin (and)
c) acknowledged the Holy Spirit within you (became as a little child, he would say) (and)
d) didn't blaspheme the Holy Ghost (see c)
then you would:
e) live forever
f) someplace nice
g) probably heavan
However, if you:
h) sinned (and/or)
i) were a hypocrite (and/or)
j) valued things over people (and)
k) didn't do a, b, c, and d,
then you were:
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
We are sometimes dragged into a pit of unhappiness by someone else’s opinion that we do not look happy.
... so this is for us.
This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love
and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know
because the beauty is in the act of doing it.
Not what it can lead to.
This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing
and no one is around and they will never know
but I will forever remember
and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have,
and this is for you who write or play or read or sing
by yourself with the light off and door closed
when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned
and maybe no one will ever hear it
or read your words
or know your thoughts
but it doesn’t make it less glorious.
It makes it ethereal. Mysterious.
For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in
and only you can decide how much it meant
and will forever mean
and other people will experience it too
Through your spirit. Through the way you talk.
Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care
and I never meant to write this long
but what I want to say is:
Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it; make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself
and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story.
Let your very identity be your book.
Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody.
So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain
where no one will ever hear
and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar.
Make your life be your art
and you will never be forgotten.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
This is my prayer to thee, my lord - strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
Oh, hey. This looks promising. "
We came to a stop before a high, barbwire fence with an enormous
PRIVATE PROPERTY--NO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ALLOWED sign on it.
The lettering was red, apparently to emphasize how serious they were. Personally, I would have added a skull and crossbones to really drive the message home.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
I still believe in the resilience of the human heart and the essential validity of love;I still believe that connections between people can be made and that the spirits which inhabit us sometimes touch. I still believe that the cost of these connections is horribly, outrageously high... and I still believe that the value received far outweighs the price which must be paid. (From introductory notes.)
Stephen King (Four Past Midnight)
She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love.
He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love.
He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises.
She had desperately wanted his promises.
She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get.
Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation.
He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving.
If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct.
If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself.
He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see.
If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow.
He was deathly afraid of his shadow.
She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it.
She thought her love would change him.
He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave.
He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain.
He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him.
Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her.
His dark heart concealed.
She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender.
Wide open, exposed to deception.
It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love.
It was blinding the way she wanted him.
She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen.
She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed.
He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs.
Intimacy would lead to his undoing—in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake.
When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it.
Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem.
She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life.
He stirred her core.
The place she dared not enter.
The place she could not stir for herself.
But something wasn’t right.
His eyes were cold and dark.
His energy, unaffected.
He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess.
Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain.
And her heart stopped.
G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil]
Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.
Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.
But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.
You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'?
Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.
I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,--
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!
There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.
I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.
I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,--
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
Maybe freedom really is nothing left to lose. You had it once in childhood, when it was okay to climb a tree, to paint a crazy picture and wipe out on your bike, to get hurt. The spirit of risk gradually takes its leave. It follows the wild cries of joy and pain down the wind, through the hedgerow, growing ever fainter. What was that sound? A dog barking far off? That was our life calling to us, the one that was vigorous and undefended and curious.
Peter Heller (Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River)
Like that's the only reason anyone would ever buy a first-aid kit? Don't take this the wrong way, Professor McGonagall, but what sort of crazy children are you used to dealing with?"
"Gryffindors," spat Professor McGonagall, the word carrying a freight of bitterness and despair that fell like an eternal curse on all youthful heroism and high spirits.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Bones was in high spirits. Why wouldn't he be? He had just hypothetically fucked
me into incomprehension.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
Nothing grows old-fashioned so fast as modernity.
Robertson Davies (High Spirits)
If someone does not consider those around them to be valuable and hold only themselves in high regard, they too have a very bad self-esteem.
Stephen Richards (Boost Your Self Esteem)
So, explain this," Avery said, "You just, what, hang around the Academy all day? Are you trying to redo your high school experience?"
"Nothing to redo," said Adrian loftily. "I totally ruled my high school. I was worshiped and adored—not that that should come as a shock." Beside him, Christian nearly choked on his food.
"So. . .You're trying to relive your glory days. It's all gone downhill since then, huh?"
"No way," said Adrian. "I'm like a fine wine. I get better with age. The best is yet to come."
"Seems like it'd get old after a while," said Avery, "I'm certainly bored, and I even spend part of the day helping my dad."
"Adrian sleeps most of the day," noted Lissa, "So he doesn't actually have to worry about finding things to do."
"Hey, I spend a good portion of my time helping you unravel the mysteries of spirit," Adrian reminded her. "And," he added, "I can visit people in their dreams."
Christian held up a hand. "Stop. I can feel there's a comment coming on about how women already dream about you. I just ate, you know."
"I wasn't going to go there," said Adrian. But he kind of looked like he wished he'd thought of the joke first.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
George!' [Horace] said, the relief evident in his voice. 'Are you all right?'
'No! I am not!' George replied with considerable spirit. 'I have a whacking great arrow stuck through my arm and it hurts like the very dickens! How could anybody be all right in those circumstances?'...
'You saved my life, George,' Horace said gently...
George grimaced. 'Well, if I'd known it was going to hurt like this, I wouldn't have! I would have just let them shoot you! Why do you live this way?' he demanded in a high-pitched voice. 'How can you bear it? This sort of thing is very, very painful. I always suspected that warriors are crazy. Now I know.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
Since childhood, I’d believed it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level. And to be clear, we were now up against a bully, a man who among other things demeaned minorities and expressed contempt for prisoners of war, challenging the dignity of our country with practically his every utterance. I wanted Americans to understand that words matter—that the hateful language they heard coming from their TVs did not reflect the true spirit of our country and that we could vote against it. It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations. Dignity had always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it again and again, every single day. There was a motto Barack and I tried to live by, and I offered it that night from the stage: When they go low, we go high.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
So, " Nathan said, attention focused on Adrian, "now that Vasilisa's graduated, what are you going to do with yourself? You aren't going to keep slumming with high school students, are you? There's no point in you being there anymore. "
"I don't know, " said Adrian lazily. "I kind of like hanging out with them. They think I'm funnier than I really am. "
"Unsurprising, " his father replied. "You aren't funny at all. It's time you do something productive. If you aren't going to go back to college, you should at least start sitting in on some of the family business meetings. Tatiana spoils you, but you could learn a lot from Rufus. "
"True, " said Adrian deadpan."I'd really like to know how he keeps his two mistresses a secret from his wife. "
"Adrian!" snapped Daniella, a flush spilling over her pale cheeks
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
If a man could taste wind and fire, they would taste like Katherine. When he stood in high places looking down on things made small by distance, he tried to feel what the eagle felt soaring free on the wind. He was an earthbound man. Only his spirit could ever soar, and only Katherine raised him so high.
Ellen O'Connell (Dancing on Coals)
When your madness is creative and necessary, people will not notice the fact that you are crazy.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Evie gave birth later that year to a high-spirited girl with flame-colored curls, leading St. Vincent to the conclusion that it was his destiny to be loved by many red-haired women. He was very pleased.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
Puddleglum,' they've said, 'You're altogether too full of bobance and bounce and high spirits. You've got to learn that life isn't all fricasseed frogs and ell pie. You want something to sober you down a bit. We're only saying it for your own good, Puddleglum.' That's what they say. Now a job like this --a journey up north just as winter's beginning looking for a prince that probably isn't there, by way of ruined city nobody's ever seen-- will be just the thing. If that doesn't steady a chap, I don't know what will.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
I feel as though I stand at the foot of an infinitely high staircase, down which some exuberant spirit is flinging tennis ball after tennis ball, eternally, and the one thing I want in the world is a tennis ball.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Giovanni had awakened an itch, had released a gnaw in me. I realized it one afternoon, when I was taking him to work via the Boulevard Montparnasse. We had bought a kilo of cherries and we were eating them as we walked along. We were both insufferably childish and high-spirited that afternoon and the spectacle we presented, two grown men jostling each other on the wide sidewalk and aiming the cherry pits, as though they were spitballs, into each other's faces, must have been outrageous. And I realized that such childishness was fantastic at my age and the happiness out of which it sprang yet more so; for that moment I really loved Giovanni, who had never seemed more beautiful than he was that afternoon.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Constantinos P. Cavafy (C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems)
But the soul, the spirit that made her Livvy was no longer there: It was something that had gone away to a far and untouchable place, even as Julian ran his hands over her hair again and again and begged her to wake up and look at him just one more time.
High above the Council Hall, the golden clock began to chime the hour.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
I wish I could make you see how much fuller the life I offer you is than anything you have a conception of. I wish I could make you see how exciting the life of the spirit is and how rich in experience. It's illimitable. It's such a happy life. There's only one thing like it, when you're up in a plane by yourself, high, high, and only infinity surrounds you. You're intoxicated by the boundless space.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
The preacher must have, "bonds of a servant with the spirit of a king, a king in high, royal, independent bearing, with the simplicity and sweetness of a child.
An orphans curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! How more horrible that that
Is the curse in a dead man’s eye!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
If you can't quite make it as a high flier then join a trampoline club.
Slowly, a gentle, quiet, personal victory of the spirit grows out of her fear and doubt.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
high spirits and overflowing joy making the absence of love known.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Last Exit to Brooklyn)
Without knowing it, the adults in our lives practiced a most productive kind of behavior modification. After our chores and household duties were done we were give "permission" to read. In other words, our elders positioned reading as a privilege - a much sought-after prize, granted only to those goodhardworkers who earned it. How clever of them.
Mildred Armstrong Kalish (Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression)
I mean a man whose hopes and aims may sometimes lie (as most men's sometimes do, I dare say) above the ordinary level, but to whom the ordinary level will be high enough after all if it should prove to be a way of usefulness and good service leading to no other. All generous spirits are ambitious, I suppose, but the ambition that calmly trusts itself to such a road, instead of spasmodically trying to fly over it, is of the kind I care for.
Charles Dickens (Bleak House)
There's this thing, they have in french: L'espirit d'escalier. The spirit of the stairway. I don't think we have a word for it in English. It means, well, the clever things to say that you only think to yourself when you're on the way out.
Neil Gaiman (Death: The High Cost of Living)
I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles; - I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art; - I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men; - I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her; - I believe that through Art all men are saved.
the spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and many-headed in its incarnations that there seems nothing more to do than personally refuse to worship any of the hydras' heads.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays)
Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin. It is a blessing that we do not know what is really going to happen. Could we foresee it, there are times when children might seem like innocent prisoners, condemned, not to death, but to life, and as yet all unconscious of what their sentence means.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Studies in Pessimism: The Essays)
I should emphasize this, to keep well-meaning but misguided multiculturalists at bay: the theoretical entities in which these tribal people frankly believe — the gods and other spirits — don't exist. These people are mistaken, and you know it as well as I do. It is possible for highly intelligent people to have a very useful but mistaken theory, and we don't have to pretend otherwise in order to show respect for these people and their ways.
Daniel C. Dennett (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon)
Imagination, however high it flies,
Falls short, however hard it tries.
But spirits fit to see deeply invest
In what is boundless a boundless trust.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, Part Two)
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potters oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirits the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
God and Destiny are not against us, rather they are for us, they are the ones who never forget the things we have long forgotten, the ones who hear the desires of our heart that our own heads can't hear, and they are the ones who never forget who we really are, long after our minds have forgotten the images of who we are. We come from God and we belong to Destiny, yet for some reason of ignorance we think that to be the master of our own fates and the captain of our own souls means to write everything down on a paper and plan everything out on a grid! Such great things to be done, and we think they are accomplished by our primitive ways! No. We must only know what we want. And want what we want. And then fly high enough to see all that which we want that we couldn't yet see.
C. JoyBell C.
My Father and my God, I thank You for Your discipline and correction that is pushing me to reach my full potential. I open myself to receive the success and victory Your chastisement brings. I speak competence and excellence to my spirit. I call forth discipline into my life that I may be able to sustain high levels of success and accomplishment for the kingdom of God. I decree and declare growth and expansion to be released into my life, in the name of Jesus!
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
You set my spirit so high.
That's why I keep chasing you though I know I may never get to be loved back.
It wouldn't hurt you to show a little school spirit," Mom said. As if she were a fan of high school football. Mom can take a simple obvservation, such as saying that it wouldn't hurt for a person to show a little school spirit, and say it in such a way that she might as well be saying, 'It wouldn't hurt you to stop clubbing those baby seals.
Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die, #1))
To allow only the kind of art that the average man understands is the worst small-mindedness and the murder of mind and spirit. It is my conviction that the intellect can be certain that in doing what most disconcerts the crowd, in pursuing the most daring, unconventional advances and explorations, it will in some highly indirect fashion serve man - and in the long run, all men.
Thomas Mann (Doctor Faustus)
Books that teach us to dance: There are writers who, by portraying the impossible as possible, and by speaking of morality and genius as if both were high-spirited freedom, as if man were rising up on tiptoe and simply had to dance out of inner pleasure.
Once upon a time black male “cool” was defined by the ways in which black men confronted hardships of life without allowing their spirits to be ravaged. They took the pain of it and used it alchemically to turn the pain into gold. That burning process required high heat. Black male cool was defined by the ability to withstand the heat and remain centered. It was defined by black male willingness to confront reality, to face the truth, and bear it not by adopting a false pose of cool while feeding on fantasy; not by black male denial or by assuming a “poor me” victim identity. It was defined by individual black males daring to self-define rather than be defined by others.
bell hooks (We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity)
A degree of culture, and assuredly a very high one, is attained when man rises above superstitions and religious notions and fears, and, for instance, no longer believes in guardian angels or in original sin, and has also ceased to talk of the salvation of his soul.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
They were the most depressing group of people Yossarian had ever been with. They were always in high spirits.
There are moments when I dare not think of it, but there are others when I rise in spirit to where she ever dwells; then I can thank God that I love the noblest lady in the world, the most gracious and beautiful, and that there was nothing in my love that made her fall short in her high duty.
Anthony Hope (The Prisoner of Zenda (The Ruritania Trilogy, #2))
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective.
This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God.
Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, "The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life" (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of heaven or the agonies of hell!
It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who "grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer." The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally -- a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin!
People often ask me, "What is the ruling demon over our church or city?" They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude!
Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were "destroyed by the destroyer." Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means "destroyer" (Rev. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell!
In the Presence of God
Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the "science of misery." They are experts -- moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly.
Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present.
The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote,
"Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:2, 4-5).
It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
I call the high and light aspects of my being SPIRIT and the dark and heavy aspects SOUL.
Soul is at home in the deep shaded valleys.
Heavy torpid flowes saturated with black grow there.
The rivers flow like arm syrup. They empty into huge oceans of soul.
Spirit is a land of high,white peaks and glittering jewel-like lakes and flowers.
Life is sparse and sound travels great distances.
There is soul music, soul food, and soul love.
People need to climb the mountain not because it is there
But because the soulful divinity need to be mated with the Spirit.
Deep down we must have a rel affection for each other, a clear recognition of our shared human status. At the same time we must openly accept all ideologies and systems as means of solving humanity's problems. No matter how strong the wind of evil may blow, the flame of truth cannot be extinguished.
Dalai Lama XIV
As highly sensitive individuals, we simply cannot stand feeling trapped, constricted or smothered in any way. We highly value our freedom and autonomy, making us particularly prone to staying single for long periods of time.
Aletheia Luna (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
The price for freedom may be high, but the price that we pay for being imprisoned and cut off from the very root of our being is even higher.
Queen Afua (Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit)
If someone who wanted to learn to dance were to say: For centuries, one generation after the other has learned the positions, and it is high time that I take advantage of this and promptly begin with the quadrille--people would presumably laugh a little at him, but in the world of spirit this is very plausible. What, then, is education? I believed it is the course the individual goes through in order to catch up with himself, and the person who will not go through this course is not much helped by being born in the most enlightened age.
After getting dressed at warp speed, I actually managed to drive all the way to high school before I realized I'd forgotten my morning coffee. Mystery, intrigue, and naked dreams aside, that didn't bode well for my chances at making it through the morning without killing myself. Or someone else.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Killer Spirit (The Squad, #2))
Those times are over and gone, and good-riddance to them, too. We were hopelessly high-spirited. Now we're the thick-waisted generation, dragging along our children behind us and carrying our parents on our backs. And we're in charge, while the figures who used to command our respect are wasting away.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
There have been rich meat and bloody wine. There have been brandies, and thick puddings. There has already been some dirty talk. Selina is in high spirits, and as for me, I'm a gurgling wizard of calorific excess.
Martin Amis (Money)
What will he [Satan] do first? Prevent spirits from coming to earth. How will he do this? He'll do all in his power to promote abortion. He'll convince people to have no children. He will raise fears about over population and encourage governments to make laws that limit the number of children couples can have. He'll do whatever he can to keep those spirits form coming!
John Bytheway (What I Wish I'd Known in High School: A Crash Course in Teenage Survival)
Confidence is good, but when they hold their heads high like that, it just makes them look cocky and snobbish.
Grace Fiorre (The Nothing Spirit: Nothing is Everything)
I grew up with an ambition and determination without which I would have been a good deal happier. I thought a lot and developed the faraway look of a dreamer, for it was always the distant heights that fascinated me and drew me to them in spirit. I was not sure what could be accomplished with tenacity and little else, but the target was set high and each rebuff only saw me more determined to see at least one major dream to its fulfillment.
Earl Denman (Alone to Everest)
I Have Decided
I have decided to find myself a home in the mountains, somewhere high up where one learns to live peacefully in the cold and the silence. It’s said that in such a place certain revelations may be discovered. That what the spirit reaches for may be eventually felt, if not exactly understood. Slowly, no doubt. I’m not talking about a vacation. Of course at the same time I mean to stay exactly where I am. Are you following me?
Mary Oliver (A Thousand Mornings: Poems)
The world is a strange place for humans like me, we don't really belong anywhere but we fit everywhere. We carry a depth, thay most get high to reach - we're busy creating magic whilst half the world is building wars.
We are Knights of the Trinity, Angels of the Third Realm of Heaven
Warriors of The Almighty
Defenders of Righteousness, Truth. And Justice
Protectors of the Weak and Downtrodden
Guardians of the realms of men.
We pledge our spirits, our swords, and our shields in service,
Not for glory, not for pride, but for the honor to serve the Most-High
May the forces of Darkness tremble in our wake and die at our hands! We are the Chosen Twelve, the Blessed, the Mighty War-riors of the Everlasting Order
Hazah! Hazah! Hazah!
J.B. Lion (The Seventh Spark: Volume One – Knights of the Trinity)
The modern picture of the artist began to form: The poor, but free spirit, plebeian but aspiring only to be classless, to cut himself forever free from the bonds of the greedy bourgeoisie, to be whatever the fat burghers feared most, to cross the line wherever they drew it, to look at the world in a way they couldn't see, to be high, live low, stay young forever -- in short, to be the bohemian.
You should read Wodehouse when you're well and when you're poorly;when you're travelling, and when you're not;when you're feeling clever, and when you're feeling utterly dim. Wodehouse always lifts your spirits,no matter how high they happen to be already.
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.
Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.
We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?
Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.
It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.
It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Maya Angelou (Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)
Good fortune will elevate even petty minds, and gives them the appearance of a certain greatness and stateliness, as from their high place they look down upon the world; but the truly noble and resolved spirit raises itself, and becomes more conspicuous in times of disaster and ill fortune...
Plutarch (Plutarch's Lives: Volume II)
I have sent books and music there, and all / Those instruments with which high spirits call / The future from its cradle, and the past / Out of its grave, and make the present last / In thoughts and joys which sleep, but cannot die, / Folded within their own eternity.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (Shelley's Poetry and Prose)
You promise mercy to spies so they will spill their story, then you kill them after. You beat men who mutiny. You coax heroes from their sulks. You keep spirits high at any cost.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Look at the high and the low, all the world over, and it's the same story,—the lower class used up, body, soul and spirit, for the good of the upper.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Those times are over and gone, and good riddance to them, too. We were hopelessly high-spirited. Now we're the tick-waisted generation, dragging along our children behind us and carrying our parents on our backs. And we're in charge, while the figures who used to command our respect are wasting away.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
No matter where you go, you'll find that people in high positions like to make themselves look good. A general, for example, must always be a hero, because who will respect him if he is a coward? I've traveled to many countries and heard many stories, and a victory in battle is always the general's, even when it's won by the hard work of ordinary soldiers. And when time passes, these stories often develop into legends.
Nahoko Uehashi (Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (Moribito, #1))
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
Acceptance is supposed to be a good thing - Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Also compromise, as every couples therapist will tell you. But the cost was high - the damping of expectation, the dwindling of spirit, the resignation that comes to replace enthusiasm, the cynicism that supplants hope. The mouldering that goes unnoticed and unchecked.
A.S.A. Harrison (The Silent Wife)
To stay cheerful when involved in a gloomy and exceedingly responsible business is no inconsiderable art: yet what could be more necessary than cheerfulness? Nothing succeeds in which high spirits play no part. Only excess of strength is proof of strength.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols / The Anti-Christ)
An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
Biking is about rhythm and flow. It's the wind in you face and the challenge of hammering up along hill. It's the reward at the top and the thrill of a high-speed descent. Biking lets you come alive in both body and spirit. After awhile the bike disappears beneath you and you feel as if you're suspended in midair.
The shamanic Quechuan word for empath is “Qawaq” which means “one who sees.” It comes from the verb “Qaway” which means “to see” the living energy. The Incas believe that people born with the ability to experience the energy of others have a great blessing as they are able to connect to their Souls and the Spirit of existence much more easily than others.
Mateo Sol (Awakened Empath: The Ultimate Guide to Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Healing)
Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and largely tax free. Mighty starships plied their way between exotic suns, seeking adventure and reward among the furthest reaches of Galactic space. In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before--and thus was the Empire forged.
...In these enlightened days, of course, no one believes a word of it.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
To live in high spirits but not recklessly, to be lighthearted without swaggering or rampaging, to show trust and truthfulness but not unconditionally and not naively, and to face uncertainty with imagination instead of fatalism - this is the art of living.
David A. Nyberg
No prizefighter can go with high spirits into the strife if he has never been beaten black and blue; the only contestant who can confidently enter the lists is the man who has seen his own blood, who has felt his teeth rattle beneath his opponent's fist, who has been tripped and felt the full force of his adversary's charge, who has been downed in bloody but not it spirit, one who as often as he falls, rises again with greater defiance than ever.
There are some who never try, get left behind, forever dying, they just sit it by on the sidelines while they criticize, hide and scrutinize; but then there are others who are tough enough, who stand to risk their wrongs, flying high, as they rise up in this life and thus, fight right through the lies.
Criss Jami (Healology)
But even now, with the crates piled high in the hall, what I see most plainly about the books is that they are beautiful. They take up room? Of course they do: they are an environment; atoms, not bits. My books are not dead weight, they are live weight — matter infused by spirit, every one of them, even the silliest. They do not block the horizon; they draw it. They free me from the prison of contemporaneity: one should not live only in one’s own time. A wall of books is a wall of windows.
An exaltation of spirit lifted me, as it were, far above the earth and the sinful creatures crawling on its surface; and I deemed myself as an eagle among the children of men, soaring on high, and looking down with pity and contempt on the grovelling creatures below.
It is well known that stone can think, because the whole of electronics is based on that fact, but in some universes men spend ages looking for other intelligences in the sky without once looking under their feet. That is because they've got the time-span all wrong. From stone's point of view the universe is hardly created and mountain ranges are bouncing up and down like organ-stops while continents zip backward and forward in general high spirits, crashing into each other from the sheer joy of momentum and getting their rocks off. It is going to be quite some time before stone notices its disfiguring skin disease and starts to scratch, which is just as well.
Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1))
This bruising is required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by levelling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature. We love to wander from ourselves and to be strangers at home, till God bruises us by one cross or other, and then we `begin to think', and come home to ourselves with the prodigal (Luke 15:17). It is a very hard thing to bring a dull and an evasive heart to cry with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like criminals, until they be beaten from all evasions, never cry for the mercy of the judge.
Richard Sibbes (The Bruised Reed)
...when the words pour out of you just right, you understand that these sentences are all part of a river flowing out of your own distant, hidden ranges, and all words become the dissolving snow that feeds your mountain streams forever. The language locks itself in the icy slopes of our own high passes, and it is up to us, the writers, to melt the glaciers within us. When these glaciers break off, we get to call them novels, the changelings of our burning spirits, our life's work.
Pat Conroy (My Reading Life)
So I grew. And as I grew I learned that in the world beyond family and family friends, your mistakes—bad manners, poor taste, an excess of high spirits—could put you, your parents, and your people at risk.
Margo Jefferson (Negroland: A Memoir)
And so their spirits soared
as they took positions own the passageways of battle
all night long, and the watchfires blazed among them.
Hundreds strong, as stars in the night sky glittering
round the moon's brilliance blaze in all their glory
when the air falls to a sudden, windless calm...
all the lookout peaks stand out and the jutting cliffs
and the steep ravines and down from the high heavens bursts
the boundless bright air and all the stars shine clear
and the shepherd's heart exults - so many fires burned
between the ships and the Xanthus' whirling rapids
set by the men of Troy, bright against their walls.
A thousand fires were burning there on the plain
and beside each fire sat fifty fighting men
poised in the leaping blaze, and champing oats
and glistening barley, stationed by their chariots,
stallions waited for Dawn to mount her glowing throne.
Homer (The Iliad)
Finally, I’d say to anyone who wants to tell these tales, don’t be afraid to be superstitious. If you have a lucky pen, use it. If you speak with more force and wit when wearing one red sock and one blue one, dress like that. When I’m at work I’m highly superstitious. My own superstition has to do with the voice in which the story comes out. I believe that every story is attended by its own sprite, whose voice we embody when we tell the tale, and that we tell it more successfully if we approach the sprite with a certain degree of respect and courtesy. These sprites are both old and young, male and female, sentimental and cynical, sceptical and credulous, and so on, and what’s more, they’re completely amoral: like the air-spirits who helped Strong Hans escape from the cave, the story-sprites are willing to serve whoever has the ring, whoever is telling the tale. To the accusation that this is nonsense, that all you need to tell a story is a human imagination, I reply, ‘Of course, and this is the way my imagination works.
Philip Pullman (Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version)
Sensitivity to nature is not an innate attribute of indigenous peoples. It is a consequence of adaptive choices that have resulted in the development of highly specialized peripheral skills. but those choices in turn spring from a comprehensive view of nature and the universe in which man and woman are perceived as but elements inextricably linked to the whole.
Wade Davis (Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire)
But let me describe the characteristics of peace, my young friend. A pervasive dulling of the senses, a decadence afflicting the culture, evinced by a growing obsession with low entertainment. The virtues of extremity – honour, loyalty, sacrifice – are lifted high as shoddy icons, currency for the cheapest of labours. The longer peace lasts, the more those words are used, and the weaker they become. Sentimentality pervades daily life. All becomes a mockery of itself, and the spirit grows … restless.
Steven Erikson (Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5))
Live a life abundant in love and rich in spirit, these are the seeds of a fulfilling existence. Be the safe harbor you seek in the world. Follow your dreams, not your fear.
Go into the New Year with an open mind and hopeful heart. Don't let the chains of unforgiveness weigh you down. Life is too short to live in a prison of past hurts. The futures is yours for the taking and creating.
Life is bittersweet, when we can let darkness and light co-exist as illumination, we can live in true happiness. When we live life at its best, it is a symphony of feelings, of high and low notes, of tragedy and comedy, love and loss, magic and the sublime. It can be quite a spectacular journey when we fully embrace and accept it.
The Holy Spirit did not go into such detail about the Pharisees in the New Testament just so we could understand a group unique to the first century. Pharisaism is a poisonous weed that grows in every garden of orthodox religion. Pharisaism is every bit the threat to the orthodox today that it was then.
J.D. Greear (Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the truth high without putting people down)
Suddenly, everything was easy and clear. I simply did whatever Chade told me to do, and trusted to him to have it turn out right. My spirit rode high on the crest of that wave of faith, and sometime during the night it occurred to me: this was what Burrich had had from Chivalry, and what he missed so badly.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1))
When bad news is riding high and despair in fashion, when loud mouths and corruption seem to own center stage, when some keep crying that the country is going to the dogs, remember it’s always been going to the dogs in the eyes of some, and that 90 percent, or more, of the people are good people, generous-hearted, law-abiding, good citizens who get to work on time, do a good job, love their country, pay their taxes, care about their neighbors, care about their children’s education, and believe, rightly, as you do, in the ideals upon which our way of life is founded.
David McCullough (The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For)
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
I lie in bed beside my little sister, listening to the singing in the yard. Life is transformed, by these voices, by these presences, by their high spirits and grand esteem, for themselves and each other. My parents, all of us, are on holiday. The mixture of voices and words is so complicated and varied it seems that such confusion, such jolly rivalry, will go on forever, and then to my surprise—for I am surprised, even though I know the pattern of rounds—the song is thinning out, you can hear the two voices striving.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
Then the one voice alone, one of them singing on, gamely, to the finish. One voice in which there is an unexpected note of entreaty, of warning, as it hangs the five separate words on the air. Life is. Wait. But a. Now, wait. Dream.
Alice Munro (The Moons of Jupiter)
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann (Desiderata of Happiness)
The diversity of sounds rule my ever presence with their highs and blows, encompassing the totality of sensual experience. I'm a child of the sirens of knowledge, a warrior for the truth in a world of washed perspectives and harsh realities. My voice cries the initial cry of the unborn into the perplexing illusion. I long for the realization of the human drama, the defeat of the dogs war, and the unity of existence. The beloved Gods of virtue have been undersold for the bleeding bread of empathy. I now awaist the triumphant roar of destiny, dressed in the inviting hand of a mother, perplexed by discovering, aroused by spirit. The door is open, the road transformed. The exit code to civilization is hacked beyond dispair, chased but the moon toward the freeing sun, on our journey to light. This is an open plea to the beautiful insanity of your hearts. It is time to consummate the kiss of oblivion into the obsidian of love!
You have to plan and cultivate good health. You have to commit to good health. You have to live good health because it comes from the inside out. It comes from what you bring to your life: positive, empowering thoughts, prayers and affirmations, uplifting company, and high-quality, life-giving foods. To have excellent health you must invest time and energy into the transformation of your Sacred Body Temple. And once you’ve acquired excellent health, you must maintain it vigilantly. That’s the true divine challenge—one that you can and must meet.
Queen Afua (Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit)
I cried, sitting by her bed, and I told her the story of us. “It’s about the feed,” I said. “It’s about this meg normal guy, who doesn’t think about anything until one wacky day, when he meets a dissident with a heart of gold.” I said, “Set against the backdrop of America in its final days, it’s the high-spirited story of their love together, it’s laugh-out-loud funny, really heartwarming, and a visual feast.” I picked up her hand and held it to my lips. I whispered to her fingers. “Together, the two crazy kids grow, have madcap escapades, and learn an important lesson about love. They learn to resist the feed. Rated PG-13. For language,” I whispered, “and mild sexual situations.
M.T. Anderson (Feed)
She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the plaudits and admiration of mankind. But she who would willingly and anxiously rear successfully a family of beautiful healthy sons and daughters whose lives reflect the teachings of the gospel, deserves the highest honors that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God. In fact, in her high duty and service to humanity, endowing with mortality eternal spirits, she is a co-partner with the Great Creator Himself.
David O. McKay
...when the years have all passed, there will gape the uncomfortable and unpredictable dark void of death, and into this I shall at last fall headlong, down and down and down, and the prospect of that fall, that uprooting, that rending apart of body and spirit, that taking off into so blank an unknown, drowns me in mortal fear and mortal grief. After all, life, for all its agonies of despair and loss and guilt, is exciting and beautiful, amusing and artful and endearing, full of liking and of love, at times a poem and a high adventure, at times noble and at times very gay; and whatever (if anything) is to come after it, we shall not have this life again.
Rose Macaulay (The Towers of Trebizond)
One more impression I gathered from that work of my boyhood, an impression which I did not formulate till afterward, and which will probably astonish many a reader. It is the spirit of equality which is highly developed in the Russian peasant, and in fact in the rural population everywhere. The Russian peasant is capable of much servile obedience to the landlord and the police officer; he will bend before their will in a servile manner; but he does not consider them superior men, and if the next moment that same landlord or officer talks to the same peasant about hay or ducks, the latter will reply to him as an equal to an equal. I never saw in a Russian peasant that servility, grown to be a second nature, with which a small functionary talks to one of high rank, or a valet to his master. The peasant too easily submits to force, but he does not worship it.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Memoirs of a Revolutionist)
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
For all the successes of Western civilization, the world paid a dear price in terms of the most crucial component of existence - the human spirit. The shadow side of high technology - modern warfare and thoughtless homicide and suicide, urban blight, ecological mayhem, cataclysmic climate change, polarization of economic resources - is bad enough. Much worse, our focus on exponential progress in science and technology has left many of us relatively bereft in the realm of meaning and joy, and of knowing how our lives fit into the grand scheme of existence for all eternity.
Eben Alexander (Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife)
Go now, and live.
Experience. Dream. Risk. Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall. Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life. Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut. Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another. Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need. Know when to hold on and when to let go. Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge. Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free. Embrace your darkness along with your light. Be wrong everyday once in a while, and don't be afraid to admit it. Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments. Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology. See goodness in the world. Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful. Be Wild, Crazy and Gloriously Free. Be You.
Go now, and live.
A poor man is not disposed to quick and high resentment when he is among the rich: he is apt to yield to others, for he knows others are above him: he is not stiff and self-willed; he is patient with hard fare; he expects no other than to be despised, and takes it patiently; he does not take it heinously that he overlooked and but little regarded; he is prepared to be in a lowly place; he readily honours his superiors; he takes reproofs quietly; he readily honours others as above him; he easily yields to be taught, and does not claim much to his understanding and judgment; he is not over nice or humoursome, and has his spirit subdued to hard things; he is not assuming, nor apt to take much upon him, but it is natural for him to be subject to others. Thus it is with the humble Christian.
Jonathan Edwards (The Religious Affections)
The gospel can lift this destroying burden from the mind, give beauty for ashes, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. But unless the weight of the burden is felt the gospel can mean nothing to the man; and until he sees a vision of God high and lifted up, there will be no woe and no burden. Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them.
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
Brewster Place became especially fond of its colored daughters as they milled like determined spirits among its decay, trying to make it home. Nutmeg arms leaned over windowsills, gnarled ebony legs carried groceries up double flights of steps, and saffron hands strung out wet laundry on backyard lines. Their perspiration mingled with the steam from boiling pots of smoked pork greens, and it curled on the edges of the aroma of vinegar douches and Evening in Paris cologne that drifted through the street where they stood together - hands on hips, straight-backed, round-bellied, high-behinded women who threw their heads back when they laughed and exposed strong teeth and dark gums. They cursed, badgered, worshiped, and shared their men. Their love drove them to fling dishcloths in someone else's kitchen to help him make the rent, or to fling hot lye to help him forget that bitch behind the counter at the five-and-dime. They were hard-edged, soft-centered, brutally demanding, and easily pleased, these women of Brewster Place. They came, they went, grew up, and grew old beyond their years. Like an ebony phoenix, each in her own time and with her own season had a story.
Gloria Naylor (The Women of Brewster Place)
We had bought a kilo of cherries and we were eating them as we walked along. We were both insufferably childish and high-spirited that afternoon and th spectacle we presented, two grown men, jostling each other on the wide sidewalk, and aiming the cherry-pips, as though they were spitballs, into each other's facesm must have been outrageous. And I realized that such childishness was fantastic at my age and the happiness out of which it sprang yet more so; for that moment I really loved Giovanni, who had never seemed more beautiful than he was that afternoon. And, watching his face, I realized that it meant much to me that I could make his face so bright. I saw that I might be willing to give a great deal not to lose that power. And I felt myself flow toward him, as a river rushes when the ice breaks up.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
Imagine the spirit as a mansion. You’ll guess we don’t use many rooms. Apart from a few moments in childhood we don’t dance around it in sunlight. But there’s a traffic of things in and out, and what happens is that unwanted bulks can gather inside. Gather and gather, menacing us. Unable to shift them, we hide in ever-smaller spaces. And in our last hole, life offers a choice: to play out our demise in parallel theatres - psychosis, zealotry, religion, cancer, addiction - or to bow quietly out. But beware: life doesn’t ask these high questions when we’re confident and fresh - it waits for hopelessness.
D.B.C. Pierre (Lights Out in Wonderland)
One of the timeless secrets to a long, happy life is to love your work. The golden thread running through the lives of history’s most satisfied people is that they all loved what they did for a living. When psychologist Vera John-Steiner interviewed one hundred creative people, she found they all had one thing in common: an intense passion for their work. Spending your days doing work that you find rewarding, intellectually challenging and fun will do more than all the spa vacations in the world to keep your spirits high and your heart engaged.
Robin S. Sharma (Daily Inspiration From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari)
God language can tie people into knots, of course. In part, that is because ‘God’ is not God's name. Referring to the highest power we can imagine, ‘God’ is our name for that which is greater than all and yet present in each. For some the highest imaginable power will be a petty and angry tribal baron ensconced high above the clouds on a golden throne, visiting punishment on all who don't believe in him. But for others, the highest power is love, goodness, justice, or the spirit of life itself. Each of us projects our limited experience on a cosmic screen in letters as big as our minds can fashion. For those whose vision is constricted (illiberal, narrow-minded people), this can have horrific consequences. But others respond to the munificence of creation with broad imagination and sympathy. Answering to the highest and best within and beyond themselves, they draw lessons and fathom meaning so redemptive that surely it touches the divine.
Forrest Church (The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology)
Never let anyone break you down. You need to be strong enough to stand your ground and not let others crush your spirit or soul.
There are sick people out there who get pleasure out of watching others suffer. You cannot let them make you fail or quit. That's your choice, not thiers. Hold your head high, stand your ground and don't ever let them see that thier evilness is getting to you.
Do not b
elieve thier lies. You know who you are. You are an awesome person. Keep faith. Maintain hope and know you can make it through anything. You've already been through a lot.
If it feels like its getting to be too much, consider praying. And if that doesn't help... just call me up and you know I'll be there. You are never alone.
José N Harris
Today, we must look to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, as a metaphor of our national character and aspiration, its symbol a thirty-foot-high cardboard picture of a slot machine and a chorus girl. For Las Vegas is a city entirely devoted to the idea of entertainment, and as such proclaims the spirit of a culture in which all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment. Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Humanity's "progress of knowledge" and the "evolution of consciousness" have too often been characterized as if our task were simply to ascend a very tall cognitive ladder with graded hierarchical steps that represent successive developmental stages in which we solve increasingly challenging mental riddles, like advanced problems in a graduate exam in biochemistry or logic. But to understand life and the cosmos better, perhaps we are required to transform not only our minds but our hearts. For the whole being, body and soul, mind and spirit, is implicated. Perhaps we must go not only high and far but down and deep. Our world view and cosmology, which defines the context for everything else, is profoundly affected by the degree to which all out faculties–intellectual, imaginative, aesthetic, moral, emotional, somatic, spiritual, relational–enter the process of knowing. How we approach "the other," and how we approach each other, will shape everything, including out own evolving self and the cosmos in which we participate.
Richard Tarnas (Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View)
As you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that your journey be a long one,
filled with adventure, filled with discovery.
Laestrygonians and Cyclopes,
the angry Poseidon--do not fear them:
you'll never find such things on your way
unless your sight is set high, unless a rare
excitement stirs your spirit and your body.
The Laestrygonians and Cyclopes,
the savage Poseidon--you won't meet them
so long as you do not admit them to your soul,
as long as your soul does not set them before you.
Pray that your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings
when with what pleasure, with what joy,
you enter harbors never seen before.
May you stop at Phoenician stations of trade to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and voluptuous perfumes of every kind--
buy as many voluptuous perfumes as you can.
And may you go to many Egyptian cities
to learn and learn from those who know.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
You are destined to arrive there.
But don't hurry your journey at all.
Far better if it takes many years,
and if you are old when you anchor at the island,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will give you wealth.
Ithaca has given you a beautiful journey.
Without her you would never have set out.
She has no more left to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not mocked you.
As wise as you have become, so filled with experience,
you will have understood what these Ithacas signify.
Barry B. Powell (Classical Myth)
Not so much because many occupations would not permit of a loving attitude, but because the spirit of a production-centered, commodity-greedy society is such that only the non-conformist can defend himself successfully against it. Those who are seriously concerned with love as the only rational answer to the problem of human existence must, then, arrive at the conclusion that important and radical changes in our social structure are necessary, if love is to become a social and not a highly individualistic, marginal phenomenon.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
Blow on, ye death fraught whirlwinds! blow,
Around the rocks, and rifted caves;
Ye demons of the gulf below!
I hear you, in the troubled waves.
High on this cliff, which darkness shrouds
In night's impenetrable clouds,
My solitary watch I keep,
And listen, while the turbid deep
Groans to the raging tempests, as they roll
Their desolating force, to thunder at the pole.
Eternal world of waters, hail!
Within thy caves my Lover lies;
And day and night alike shall fail
Ere slumber lock my streaming eyes.
Along this wild untrodden coast,
Heap'd by the gelid' hand of frost;
Thro' this unbounded waste of seas,
Where never sigh'd the vernal breeze;
Mine was the choice, in this terrific form,
To brave the icy surge, to shiver in the storm.
Yes! I am chang'd - My heart, my soul,
Retain no more their former glow.
Hence, ere the black'ning tempests roll,
I watch the bark, in murmurs low,
(While darker low'rs the thick'ning' gloom)
To lure the sailor to his doom;
Soft from some pile of frozen snow
I pour the syren-song of woe;
Like the sad mariner's expiring cry,
As, faint and worn with toil, he lays him down to die.
Then, while the dark and angry deep
Hangs his huge billows high in air ;
And the wild wind with awful sweep,
Howls in each fitful swell - beware!
Firm on the rent and crashing mast,
I lend new fury to the blast;
I mark each hardy cheek grow pale,
And the proud sons of courage fail;
Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves,
Yawns the disparted main, and opes its shelving graves.
When Vengeance bears along the wave
The spell, which heav'n and earth appals;
Alone, by night, in darksome cave,
On me the gifted wizard calls.
Above the ocean's boiling flood
Thro' vapour glares the moon in blood:
Low sounds along the waters die,
And shrieks of anguish fill the' sky;
Convulsive powers the solid rocks divide,
While, o'er the heaving surge, the embodied spirits glide.
Thrice welcome to my weary sight,
Avenging ministers of Wrath!
Ye heard, amid the realms of night,
The spell that wakes the sleep of death.
Where Hecla's flames the snows dissolve,
Or storms, the polar skies involve;
Where, o'er the tempest-beaten wreck,
The raging winds and billows break;
On the sad earth, and in the stormy sea,
All, all shall shudd'ring own your potent agency.
To aid your toils, to scatter death,
Swift, as the sheeted lightning's force,
When the keen north-wind's freezing breath
Spreads desolation in its course,
My soul within this icy sea,
Fulfils her fearful destiny.
Thro' Time's long ages I shall wait
To lead the victims to their fate;
With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy,
And lure, in seraph-strains, unpitying, to destroy.
Anne Bannerman (Poems by Anne Bannerman.)
I embrace the rain like no one else and I call for storms because I live for the moments when I get through to the other side with all my organs intact.
I change with the seasons and the seasons live in me, depending on the weather as if it's something to be trusted. I don't feel safe unless I'm far below or high above, near the ocean, or climbing the mountain. Where I can't be reached or seen by anyone or anything and not even myself, because it seems to me that these voices in my head get louder just to kill the noise from the outside,
and so I need to go away from time to time.
You will never see me surrender, never see me cry, but you will often see me walk away. Turn around and just leave, without looking back.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
By no means would I describe Adolph Hitler as sexually normal in his relationships with women. In the case of Eva Braun in particular, it seems clear to me that aside from occasional passionate episodes there was no sexual activity at all for long periods of time. The effect of this on Hitler I do not know, but Eva Braun's misery was well-known at headquarters. During the long dry spells she was irritable, impatient and quick to anger. She smoked much more and was incessantly lighting one cigarette after another. By contrast, when once in a great while Hitler's more human feelings expressed themselves in a sudden cloudburst, her manner changed completely. Eva at such times was radiant, flushed with happiness. Her natural warmth and high spirits returned, and she seemed to sparkle again like the cheerful and spontaneous girl she once was.
Though it seems obscene to pity one individual human being with so many millions dead, I do believe that Eva Braun was the loneliest woman I ever knew.
Albert Speer (Inside the Third Reich)
Pleasure is a freedom-song,
But it is not freedom.
It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.
It is a depth calling unto a height,
But it is not the deep nor the high.
It is the caged taking wing,
But it is not space encompassed.
Aye, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.
And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would
not have you lose your hearts in the singing.
Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged
I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek.
For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone;
Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than
Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots
and found a treasure?
And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs
committed in drunkenness.
But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement.
They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would
the harvest of a summer.
Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.
And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old
And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures,
lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.
But even in their foregoing is their pleasure.
And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering
But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?
Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the
And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?
Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?
Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in
the recesses of your being.
Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?
Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not
And your body is the harp of your soul,
And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.
And now you ask in your heart, “How shall we distinguish that which
is good in pleasure from that which is not good?”
Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the
pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure
is a need and an ecstasy.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
While the sound mixing was underway, Bonzo was on the loose, taking care of buisness his own way. One night he showed up backstage at a Deep Purple concert at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Bonzo was drunk and in very high spirits, and was wobbling on his feet in the wings when he noticed a free microphone during a lull in the music. Staggering forward, Bonzo walked out onto the stage before the Deep Purple roadies could grab him. The group stopped playing, amazed, as Bonzo grabbed the mike and shouted, 'My name is John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, and I just wanna tell ya that we got a new album comin' out and that it's fuckin' great!!' Then Bonzo turned to leave, but before he went he turned back and gratuitously insulted Deep Purple's guitarist. 'And as far as Tommy Bolin is concerned, he can't play for shit!!
Stephen Davis (Hammer of the Gods)
Got a job for you, Seven.”
“I need you to find someone.”
“A woman,” I say. “About five and a half feet tall. Brown hair. Brown eyes.”
“That describes half the women in New York.”
“Yeah, well, the one I’m looking for is twenty-one or so,” I say. “She’s good-looking, kind of curvy for being so petite... got a red ‘S’ tattooed on her wrist...”
He stares at me, like he expects more information. “What else?”
I shrug, glancing at the high heels, flipping them over to look at the red soles. “She wears a size thirty-nine shoe.”
“Shouldn’t be too hard,” he says, blinking a few times as he looks at the ground. “Only a couple million people in the city.”
“That’s the spirit,” I say, slapping him on the back.
J.M. Darhower (Menace (Scarlet Scars, #1))
Now I want you to remember something because I don't think we shall meet again very soon. It is this; however fashionable despair about the world and about people may be at present, and however powerful despair may become in the future, not everybody, or even most people, think and live fashionably; virtue and honour will not be banished from the world, however many popular moralists and panicky journalists say so. Sacrifice will not cease to be because psychiatrists have popularized the idea that there is often some concealed, self-serving element in it; theologians always knew that. Nor do I think love as a high condition of honour will be lost; it is a pattern in the spirit, and people long to make the pattern a reality in their own lives, whatever means they take to do so. In short, Davey, God is not dead. And I can assure you God is not mocked.
Robertson Davies (The Manticore (The Deptford Trilogy, #2))
This one phrase, "It is my life, I will do what I want," has done more damage than good. People choose to ignore the spirit and derive the meaning that is convenient to them. Such people have tied this phrase to selfishness and I'm sure that was not the intent.
These people forget that we don't live in isolation. What you do affects me and what I do affects you. We are connected. We have to realize that we are sharing this planet and we must learn to behave responsibly.
There are two kinds of people in this world--takers and givers. Takers eat well and givers sleep well. Givers have high self-esteem, a positive attitude, and they serve society. By serving society, I do not mean a run-of-the-mill pseudo leader-turned- politician who serves himself by pretending to serve others.
As human beings, we all have the need to receive and take. But a healthy personality with high self-esteem is one that not only has its need to take but also to give.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step by Step Tool for Top Achievers)
Speaking of which, I also met a teenager that could command silver butterflies around on Mount Yu Jun. Does anyone know who that was?”
The lively, bustling chaotic spirit communication array suddenly fell silent the moment those words were out.
This kind of reaction, Xie Lian had seen it coming and so he just waited patiently. After a while, Ling Wen finally asked, “Your Highness Crown Prince, what did you just say?”
Mu Qing coldly answered for him, “He just said, he met Hua Cheng.”
Finally obtaining the name of that red-clothed young man, Xie Lian was ineffably in a good mood. He smiled and said, “So his name is Hua Cheng? Hm, this name suits him quite well.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (Heaven Official's Blessing)
Some Christians pretend that Christianity was not established by the sword; but of what period of time do they speak? It was impossible that twelve men could begin with the sword: they had not the power; but no sooner were the professors of Christianity sufficiently powerful to employ the sword than they did so, and the stake and faggot too; and Mahomet could not do it sooner. By the same spirit that Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's servant (if the story be true) he would cut off his head, and the head of his master, had he been able. Besides this, Christianity grounds itself originally upon the [Hebrew] Bible, and the Bible was established altogether by the sword, and that in the worst use of it — not to terrify, but to extirpate. The Jews made no converts: they butchered all. The Bible is the sire of the [New] Testament, and both are called the word of God. The Christians read both books; the ministers preach from both books; and this thing called Christianity is made up of both. It is then false to say that Christianity was not established by the sword.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
If thou dost continually draw thine impulse, thy life, the whole of thy being from the Holy Spirit, without whom thou canst do nothing; and if thou dost live in close communion with Christ, there will be no fear of thy having a dry heart. He who lives without prayer—he who lives with little prayer—he who seldom reads the Word—he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high—he will be the man whose heart will become dry and barren; but he who calls in secret on his God—who spends much time in holy retirement—who delights to meditate on the words of the Most High—whose soul is given up to Christ—who delights in his fullness, rejoices in his all-sufficiency, prays for his second coming, and delights in the thought of his glorious advent—such a man, I say, must have an overflowing heart; and as his heart is, such will his life be. It will be a full life; it will be a life that will speak from the sepulcher, and wake the echoes of the future. "Keep thine heart with all diligence," and entreat the Holy Spirit to keep it full; for, otherwise, the issues of thy life will be feeble, shallow, and superficial; and thou mayest as well not have lived at all.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
It breaks my heart. Better than your words, your eye tells me all your peril.
You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. Your search has fatigued you and made you too wakeful.
You long for the open heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your bad instincts too thirst for freedom.
Your fierce dogs long for freedom; they bark for joy in their cellar when your spirit aspires to break open all prisons.
To me you are still a prisoner who imagines freedom: ah, such prisoners of the soul become clever, but also deceitful and base.
The free man of the spirit, too, must still purify himself. Much of the prison and rottenness still remain within him: his eye still has to become pure.
Yes, I know your peril. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject your love and hope!
You still feel yourself noble, and the others, too, who dislike you and cast evil glances at you, still feel you are noble. Learn that everyone finds the noble man an obstruction.
The good, too, find the noble man an obstruction: and even when they call him a good man they do so in order to make away with him.
The noble man wants to create new things and a new virtue. The good man wants the old things and that the old things shall be preserved.
But that is not the danger for the noble man — that he may become a good man — but that he may become an impudent one, a derider, a destroyer.
Alas, I have known noble men who lost their highest hope. And henceforth they slandered all high hopes.
Henceforth they lived impudently in brief pleasures, and they had hardly an aim beyond the day.
‘Spirit is also sensual pleasure’ — thus they spoke. Then the wings of their spirit broke: now it creeps around and it makes dirty what it feeds on.
Once they thought of becoming heroes: now they are sensualists. The hero is to them an affliction and a terror.
But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject the hero in your soul! Keep holy your highest hope!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Sirs, I am but a nameless man,
A rhymester without a home,
Yet since I come of the Wessex clay
And carry the cross of Rome,
I will even answer the mighty earl
That asked of Wessex men
Why they be meek and monkish folk,
And bow to the White Lord's broken yoke;
What sign have we save blood and smoke?
Here is my answer then.
That on you is fallen the shadow,
And not upon the Name;
That though we scatter and though we fly,
And you hang over us like the sky,
You are more tired of victory,
Than we are tired of shame.
That though you hunt the Christian man
Like a hare on the hill-side,
The hare has still more heart to run
Than you have heart to ride.
That though all lances split on you,
All swords be heaved in vain,
We have more lust again to lose
Than you to win again.
Your lord sits high in the saddle,
A broken-hearted king,
But our king Alfred, lost from fame,
Fallen among foes or bonds of shame,
In I know not what mean trade or name,
Has still some song to sing.
Our monks go robed in rain and snow,
But the heart of flame therein,
But you go clothed in feasts and flames,
When all is ice within;
Nor shall all iron dooms make dumb
Men wandering ceaselessly,
If it be not better to fast for joy
Than feast for misery.
Nor monkish order only
Slides down, as field to fen,
All things achieved and chosen pass,
As the White Horse fades in the grass,
No work of Christian men.
Ere the sad gods that made your gods
Saw their sad sunrise pass,
The White Horse of the White Horse Vale,
That you have left to darken and fail,
Was cut out of the grass.
Therefore your end is on you,
Is on you and your kings,
Not for a fire in Ely fen,
Not that your gods are nine or ten,
But because it is only Christian men
Guard even heathen things.
For our God hath blessed creation,
Calling it good. I know
What spirit with whom you blindly band
Hath blessed destruction with his hand;
Yet by God's death the stars shall stand
And the small apples grow.
G.K. Chesterton (The Ballad of the White Horse)
With My Beloved -
With my Beloved I alone have been,
When secrets tenderer than evening airs
Passed, and the Vision blest
Was granted to my prayers,
That crowned me, else obscure, with endless fame;
The while amazed between
His Beauty and His Majesty
I stood in silent ecstasy
Revealing that which o'er my spirit went and came.
Lo, in His face commingled
Is every charm and grace;
The whole of Beauty singled
Into a perfect face
Beholding Him would cry,
'There is no God but He, and He is the most High
Rabia al Basri
[Israel's military occupation is] in gross violation of international law and has been from the outset. And that much, at least, is fully recognized, even by the United States, which has overwhelming and, as I said, unilateral responsibility for these crimes. So George Bush No. 1, when he was the U.N. ambassador, back in 1971, he officially reiterated Washington's condemnation of Israel's actions in the occupied territories. He happened to be referring specifically to occupied Jerusalem. In his words, actions in violation of the provisions of international law governing the obligations of an occupying power, namely Israel. He criticized Israel's failure "to acknowledge its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and spirit of this Convention." [...] However, by that time, late 1971, a divergence was developing, between official policy and practice. The fact of the matter is that by then, by late 1971, the United States was already providing the means to implement the violations that Ambassador Bush deplored. [...] on December 5th , there had been an important international conference, called in Switzerland, on the 4th Geneva Convention. Switzerland is the state that's responsible for monitoring and controlling the implementation of them. The European Union all attended, even Britain, which is virtually a U.S. attack dog these days. They attended. A hundred and fourteen countries all together, the parties to the Geneva Convention. They had an official declaration, which condemned the settlements in the occupied territories as illegal, urged Israel to end its breaches of the Geneva Convention, some "grave breaches," including willful killing, torture, unlawful deportation, unlawful depriving of the rights of fair and regular trial, extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. Grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, that's a serious term, that means serious war crimes. The United States is one of the high contracting parties to the Geneva Convention, therefore it is obligated, by its domestic law and highest commitments, to prosecute the perpetrators of grave breaches of the conventions. That includes its own leaders. Until the United States prosecutes its own leaders, it is guilty of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, that means war crimes. And it's worth remembering the context. It is not any old convention. These are the conventions established to criminalize the practices of the Nazis, right after the Second World War. What was the U.S. reaction to the meeting in Geneva? The U.S. boycotted the meeting [..] and that has the usual consequence, it means the meeting is null and void, silence in the media.
Mastery is not a function of genius or talent. It is a function of time and intense focus applied to a particular field of knowledge. But there is another element, an X factor that Masters inevitably possess, that seems mystical but that is accessible to us all. Whatever field of activity we are involved in, there is generally an accepted path to the top. It is a path that others followed, and because we are conformist creatures, most of us opt for this conventional route. But Masters have a strong inner guiding system and a high level of self-awareness. What has suited others in the past does not suit them, and they know that trying to fit into a conventional mold would only lead to a dampening of spirit, the reality they seek eluding them.
And so inevitably, these Masters, as they progress on their career paths, make a choice at a key moment in their lives: they decide to forge their own route, one that others will see as unconventional, but that suits their own spirit and rhythms and leads them closer to discovering the hidden truths of their objects of study. This key choice takes self-confidence and self-awarenes–the X factor that is necessary for attaining mastery...
Robert Greene (Mastery)
You have a wellspring of beautiful energy inside of you. When you are open you feel it; when you are closed you don’t. This flow of energy comes from the depth of your being. It’s been called by many names. In ancient Chinese medicine, it is called Chi. In yoga, it is called Shakti. In the West, it is called Spirit. Call it anything you want. All the great spiritual traditions talk about your spiritual energy; they just give it different names. That spiritual energy is what you’re experiencing when love rushes up into your heart. That is what you’re experiencing when you’re enthused by something and all this high energy comes up inside of you. You
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
As I watched the men throw more earth into the grave, I dug into the cold soil of my own mind, and it became suddenly clear—the way things always become clearer only after they have happened—that Ikenna was a fragile delicate bird; he was a sparrow. Little things could unbridle his soul. Wistful thoughts often combed his melancholic spirit in search of craters to be filled with sorrow. As a younger boy, he often sat in the backyard, brooding and contemplative, his arms clasped over his knees. He was highly critical of things, a part of him that greatly resembled Father. He nailed small things to big crosses and would ponder for long on a wrong word he said to someone; he greatly dreaded the reprove of others. He had no place for ironies or satires; they troubled him.
Chigozie Obioma (The Fishermen)
Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
John Keats (Ode On A Grecian Urn And Other Poems)
But you shouldn't have let her. That's the only way with these fanciful women that chaw high--innocent or guilty. She'd have come round in time. We all do! Custom does it! It's all the same in the end! However, I think she's fond of her man still--whatever he med be of her. You were too quick about her. I shouldn't have let her go! I should have kept her chained on-- her spirit for kicking would have been broke soon enough! There's nothing like bondage and a stone-deaf taskmaster for taming us women. Besides, you've got the laws on your side. Moses knew.
Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure)
Come, Spirits" she murmured; and was instantly fortified by a sense of the presence of the things that aren't there. There were the beautiful drowned statues, there were the glens and hills of an undiscovered country; there were divine musical notes, which, struck high up in the air, made one's heart beat with delight at the assurance that the world of things that aren't there was splendidly vigorous and far more real than the other. She felt that one never spoke of the things that mattered, but carried them about, until a note of music, or a sentence or a sight, joined hands with them.
Virginia Woolf (Melymbrosia)
She staggered to a stop and slowly turned as her father's voice reverberated around the room.
"You just accused your brothers of trying to commit murder."
"No, Father. From this day forward, Cameron is the only brother I have. If you allow these two to remain in your home after what I have just told you, then I also have no father."
"You're as high-spirited and stubborn as your mother. I warned Leigh that he needed to keep a tight rein on you, but he wouldn't listen."
"Dallas isn't one to follow in other men's footsteps. Giving him permission to marry me was the finest gift you could have ever given me.
Lorraine Heath (Texas Glory (Texas Trilogy, #2))
Dear my strong girls, you will all go through that phase of life making a mistake of helping a toxic girl whose friendship with you turns into her self-interest. This kind of girls is a real burden towards the empowerment of other females as they can never get past their own insecurity and grow out of high-school-like drama. Despite how advanced we are in educating modern women, this type will still go through life living in identity crisis, endlessly looking for providers of any kind at the end of the day. They can never stand up for others or things that matter because they can't stand up for themselves. They care what everyone thinks only doing things to impress men, friends, strangers, everyone in society except themselves, while at the same time can't stand seeing other women with purpose get what those women want in life. But let me tell you, this is nothing new, let them compete and compare with you as much as they wish, be it your career, love or spirit. You know who you are and you will know who your true girls are by weeding out girls that break our girlie code of honor, but do me a favor by losing this type of people for good. Remind yourself to never waste time with a person who likes to betray others' trust, never. Disloyalty is a trait that can't be cured. Bless yourself that you see a person's true colors sooner than later. With love, your mama. XOXO
Shannon L. Alder
Allah, Most High, has truly blessed us. He has created just for us the mysterious spirit that He has breathed into us and by so doing distinguished us from all other physical creation. He has adorned us with our incomparable intellect, which further distinguishes us from all else in this creation. What other creature on this planet -another gift He has blessed us with- can even begin to create the likes of this Internet? Will we not stop, give thanks to our Merciful and Generous Lord? Will we not stop and realize how precious our lives are and begin to show each other more love, mercy, kindness and empathy? Will we not stop, take time, and reflect?
Imam Zaid Shakir
At times I wondered whether writing was not a solipsistic luxury in countries like mine, where there were scant readers, so many people who were poor and illiterate, so much injustice, and where culture was a privilege of the few. These doubts, however, never stifled my calling, and I always kept writing even during those periods when
earning a living absorbed most of my time. I believe I did the right thing, since if, for literature to flourish, it was first necessary for a society to achieve high culture, freedom, prosperity, and justice, it never would have existed. But thanks to literature, to the consciousness it shapes, the desires and longings it inspires, and our disenchantment with reality when we return from the journey to a beautiful fantasy, civilization is now less cruel than when storytellers began to humanize life with their fables. We would be
worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as
restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exist. Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look
in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that life as it is does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute – the foundation of the human condition – and should be better. We invent fictions in order to live somehow
the many lives we would like to lead when we barely have one at our disposal.
Mario Vargas Llosa (In Praise of Reading and Fiction: The Nobel Lecture)
This. This is exactly it.
"It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside — but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond — only a glimpse — and heard a note of unearthly music.
This moment came rarely — went swiftly, leaving her breathless with the inexpressible delight of it. She could never recall it — never summon it — never pretend it; but the wonder of it stayed with her for days. It never came twice with the same thing. Tonight the dark boughs against that far-off sky had given it. It had come with a high, wild note of wind in the night, with a shadow wave over a ripe field, with a grey bird lighting on her windowsill in a storm, with the singing of “Holy, holy, holy” in church, with a glimpse of the kitchen fire when she had come home on a dark autumn night, with the spirit-like blue of ice palms on a twilit pane, with a felicitous new word when she writing down a ‘description’ of something. And always when the flash came to her Emily felt that life was a wonderful, mysterious thing of persistent beauty.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1))
That night I never thought to sleep; but a slumber fell on me as soon as I lay down in bed. I was transported in thought to the scenes of childhood: I dreamt I lay in the red-room at Gateshead; that the night was dark, and my mind impressed with strange fears. The light that long ago had struck me into syncope, recalled in this vision, seemed glidingly to mount the wall, and tremblingly to pause in the centre of the obscured ceiling. I lifted up my head to look: the roof resolved to clouds, high and dim; the gleam was such as the moon imparts to vapours she is about to sever. I watched her come—watched with the strangest anticipation; as though some word of doom were to be written on her disk. She broke forth as never moon yet burst from cloud: a hand first penetrated the sable folds and waved them away; then, not a moon, but a white human form shone in the azure, inclining a glorious brow earthward. It gazed and gazed on me. It spoke to my spirit: immeasurably distant was the tone, yet so near, it whispered in my heart—
'My daughter, flee temptation.'
'Mother, I will.'
So I answered after I had waked from the trance-like dream.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
What is important is that you get your house in order at each stage of the journey so that you can proceed. “If some day it be given to you to pass into the inner temple, you must leave no enemies behind.”—de Lubicz For example, if you never got on well with one of your parents and you have left that parent behind on your journey in such a way that the thought of that parent arouses anger or frustration or self-pity or any emotion . . . you are still attached. You are still stuck. And you must get that relationship straight before you can finish your work. And what, specifically, does “getting it straight” mean? Well, it means re-perceiving that parent, or whoever it may be, with total compassion . . . seeing him as a being of the spirit, just like you, who happens to be your parent . . . and who happens to have this or that characteristic, and who happens to be at a certain stage of his evolutionary journey. You must see that all beings are just beings . . . and that all the wrappings of personality and role and body are the coverings. Your attachments are only to the coverings, and as long as you are attached to someone else’s covering you are stuck, and you keep them stuck, in that attachment. Only when you can see the essence, can see God, in each human being do you free yourself and those about you. It’s hard work when you have spent years building a fixed model of who someone else is to abandon it, but until that model is superceded by a compassionate model, you are still stuck. In India they say that in order to proceed with one’s work one needs one’s parents’ blessings. Even if the parent has died, you must in your heart and mind, re-perceive that relationship until it becomes, like every one of your current relationships, one of light. If the person is still alive you may, when you have proceeded far enough, revisit and bring the relationship into the present. For, if you can keep the visit totally in the present, you will be free and finished. The parent may or may not be . . . but that is his karmic predicament. And if you have been truly in the present, and if you find a place in which you can share even a brief eternal moment . . . this is all it takes to get the blessing of your parent! It obviously doesn’t demand that the parent say, “I bless you.” Rather it means that he hears you as a fellow being, and honors the divine spark within you. And even a moment in the Here and Now . . . a single second shared in the eternal present . . . in love . . . is all that is required to free you both, if you are ready to be freed. From then on, it’s your own individual karma that determines how long you can maintain that high moment.
Ram Dass (Be Here Now)
A Strange Prayer:
I, the self searching illusion, has seen and experienced the outer world:
success and failure,
strangers and backbiters.
I lived the different emotions
during different seasons;
I witnessed ups & downs,
enjoyed love & hate,
was good & bad,
faced beauty & ugliness.
There were times when I was brave,
there were times when I was a coward.
There were times when I was proactive,
there were times when I was indecisive.
After, flying high in the skies,
and yet being a loser...
After, being nothing & no one,
and yet feeling content..
I have understood
between lust and love,
happiness and sadness,
selfishness and selflessness.
One often leads to another;
another secretly carries the one!
Yet I am lost
between being and becoming.
An inner voice admits that
my heart is an unexplored realm,
my mind is a prisoner to my wishful thinking,
and the soul is unknown to me.
Setting that unknown free...
now, this is my heartiest wish.
As Saurabh Sharma,
the human being,
pray to thee, " O lord, set me free.
I don't want love,
I don't want to be loved;
I want myself to be love itself now.
That beautiful, silent and divine existence...!
I want to get merged into that.
Please give me wisdom and courage; Merge me into your supreme kingdom
by setting my soul free.
Love, is it morning risen or night deceased
That makes the mirth of this triumphant east?
Is it bliss given or bitterness put by
That makes most glad men's hearts at love's high feast?
Grief smiles, joy weeps, that day should live and die.
"Is it with soul's thirst or with body's drouth
That summer yearns out sunward to the south,
With all the flowers that when thy birth drew nigh
Were molten in one rose to make thy mouth?
O love, what care though day should live and die?
"Is the sun glad of all love on earth,
The spirit and sense and work of things and worth?
Is the moon sad because the month must fly
And bring her death that can but bring back birth?
For all these things as day must live and die.
"Love, is it day that makes thee thy delight
Or thou that seest day made out of thy light?
Love, as the sun and sea are thou and I,
Sea without sun dark, sun without sea bright;
The sun is one though day should live and die.
"O which is elder, night or light, who knows?
And life or love, which first of these twain grows?
For life is born of love to wail and cry,
And love is born of life to heal his woes,
And light of night, that day should live and die.
"O sun of heaven above the wordly sea,
O very love, what light is this of thee!
My sea of soul is deep as thou art high,
But all thy light is shed through all of me,
As love's through love, while day shall live and die.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Tristram of Lyonesse: And Other Poems)
You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand, such as i am. Though for myself alone I would not be ambitious in my wish to wish myself much better, yet for you I would be trebled twenty times myself, a thousand times more rich, that only to stand high in your accunt I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends, exceed account. But the full sum of me is sum of something, which, to term in gross, is an unlessoned girl, unschooled, unpracticed; happy in this, she is not yet so old but she may learn; happier than this, she is not bred so dull but she can learn; happiest of all, is that her gentle spirit commits itself to yours to be idrected as from her lord, her governor, her king. Myself, and what is mine, to you and yours is now converted. But now I was the lord of this fair mansion, master of my servants, queen o'er myself; and even now, but now, this house, these servants, and this same myself are yours, my lord's. I give them.
Shorn of unattractive language about "robots" who will be producing taxes and not burglarizing homes, the general idea that schools in ghettoized communities must settle for a different set of goals than schools that serve the children of the middle class and upper middle class has been accepted widely. And much of the rhetoric of "rigor" and "high standards" that we hear so frequently, no matter how egalitarian in spirit it may sound to some, is fatally belied by practices that vulgarize the intellects of children and take from their education far too many of the opportunities for cultural and critical reflectiveness without which citizens become receptacles for other people's ideologies and ways of looking at the world but lack the independent spirits to create their own.
Jonathan Kozol (The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America)
Greek writers of the fifth century B.C. have a way of speaking of, an attitude towards, religion, as though it were wholly a thing of joyful confidence, a friendly fellowship with the gods, whose service is but a high festival for man. In Homer sacrifice is but, as it were, the signal for a banquet of abundant roast flesh and sweet wine; we hear nothing of fasting, of cleansing, and atonement. This we might perhaps explain as part of the general splendid unreality of the heroic saga, but sober historians of the fifth century B.C. express the same spirit. Thucydides is assuredly by nature no reveller, yet religion is to him in the main 'a rest from toil.' He makes Pericles say: 'Moreover we have provided for our spirit very many opportunities of recreation, by the celebration of games and sacrifices throughout the year.
Jane Ellen Harrison (Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (Mythos Books))
The Idea of Order at Key West
She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.
The sea was not a mask. No more was she.
The song and water were not medleyed sound
Even if what she sang was what she heard,
Since what she sang was uttered word by word.
It may be that in all her phrases stirred
The grinding water and the gasping wind;
But it was she and not the sea we heard.
For she was the maker of the song she sang.
The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea
Was merely a place by which she walked to sing.
Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew
It was the spirit that we sought and knew
That we should ask this often as she sang.
If it was only the dark voice of the sea
That rose, or even colored by many waves;
If it was only the outer voice of sky
And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,
However clear, it would have been deep air,
The heaving speech of air, a summer sound
Repeated in a summer without end
And sound alone. But it was more than that,
More even than her voice, and ours, among
The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,
Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped
On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres
Of sky and sea.
It was her voice that made
The sky acutest at its vanishing.
She measured to the hour its solitude.
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.
Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,
Why, when the singing ended and we turned
Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,
As the night descended, tilting in the air,
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.
Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,
The maker's rage to order words of the sea,
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,
And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds
Hypercritical, Shaming Parents
Hypercritical and shaming parents send the same message to their children as perfectionistic parents do - that they are never good enough. Parents often deliberately shame their children into minding them without realizing the disruptive impact shame can have on a child's sense of self. Statements such as "You should be ashamed of yourself" or "Shame on you" are obvious examples. Yet these types of overtly shaming statements are actually easier for the child to defend against than are more subtle forms of shaming, such as contempt, humiliation, and public shaming.
There are many ways that parents shame their children. These include belittling, blaming, contempt, humiliation, and disabling expectations.
-BELITTLING. Comments such as "You're too old to want to be held" or "You're just a cry-baby" are horribly humiliating to a child. When a parent makes a negative comparison between his or her child and another, such as "Why can't you act like Jenny? See how she sits quietly while her mother is talking," it is not only humiliating but teaches a child to always compare himself or herself with peers and find himself or herself deficient by comparison.
-BLAMING. When a child makes a mistake, such as breaking a vase while rough-housing, he or she needs to take responsibility. But many parents go way beyond teaching a lesson by blaming and berating the child: "You stupid idiot! Do you think money grows on trees? I don't have money to buy new vases!" The only thing this accomplishes is shaming the child to such an extent that he or she cannot find a way to walk away from the situation with his or her head held high.
-CONTEMPT. Expressions of disgust or contempt communicate absolute rejection. The look of contempt (often a sneer or a raised upper lip), especially from someone who is significant to a child, can make him or her feel disgusting or offensive. When I was a child, my mother had an extremely negative attitude toward me. Much of the time she either looked at me with the kind of expectant expression that said, "What are you up to now?" or with a look of disapproval or disgust over what I had already done. These looks were extremely shaming to me, causing me to feel that there was something terribly wrong with me.
-HUMILIATION. There are many ways a parent can humiliate a child, such as making him or her wear clothes that have become dirty. But as Gershen Kaufman stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, "There is no more humiliating experience than to have another person who is clearly the stronger and more powerful take advantage of that power and give us a beating." I can personally attest to this. In addition to shaming me with her contemptuous looks, my mother often punished me by hitting me with the branch of a tree, and she often did this outside, in front of the neighbors. The humiliation I felt was like a deep wound to my soul.
-DISABLING EXPECTATIONS. Parents who have an inordinate need to have their child excel at a particular activity or skill are likely to behave in ways that pressure the child to do more and more. According to Kaufman, when a child becomes aware of the real possibility of failing to meet parental expectations, he or she often experiences a binding self-consciousness. This self-consciousness - the painful watching of oneself - is very disabling. When something is expected of us in this way, attaining the goal is made harder, if not impossible.
Yet another way that parents induce shame in their children is by communicating to them that they are a disappointment to them. Such messages as "I can't believe you could do such a thing" or "I am deeply disappointed in you" accompanied by a disapproving tone of voice and facial expression can crush a child's spirit.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
These are among the people I've tried to know twice, the second time in memory and language. Through them, myself. They are what I've become, in ways I don't understand but which I believe will accrue to a rounded truth, a second life for me as well as them.
Cracking jokes in the mandatory American manner of people self-concious about death. This is the humor of violent surprise.
How do you connect things? Learn their names.
It was a strange conversation, full of hedged remarks and obscure undercurrents, perfect in its way.
I was not a happy runner. I did it to stay interested in my body, to stay informed, and to set up clear lines of endeavor, a standard to meet, a limit to stay within. I was just enough of a puritan to think there must be some virtue in rigorous things, although I was careful not to overdo it.
I never wore the clothes. the shorts, tank top, high socks. Just running shoes and a lightweight shirt and jeans. I ran disguised as an ordinary person.
-When are you two going to have children?
-We're our own children.
In novels lately the only real love, the unconditional love I ever come across is what people feel for animals. Dolphins, bears, wolves, canaries.
I would avoid people, stop drinking.
There was a beggar with a Panasonic.
This is what love comes down to, things that happen and what we say about them.
But nothing mattered so much on this second reading as a number of spirited misspellings. I found these mangled words exhilarating. He'd made them new again, made me see how they worked, what they really were. They were ancient things, secret, reshapable.The only safety is in details.
Hardship makes the world obscure.
How else could men love themselves but in memory, knowing what they know?
The world has become self-referring. You know this. This thing has seeped into the texture of the world. The world for thousands of years was our escape, was our refuge. Men hid from themselves in the world. We hid from God or death. The world was where we lived, the self was where we went mad and died. But now the world has made a self of its own.
Don DeLillo (The Names)
In this entre-nous spirit, then, old confidant before we join the others, the grounded everywhere, including, I’m sure, the middle-aged hot-rodders who insist on zooming us to the moon, the Dharma Bums, the makers of cigarette filters for thinking men, the Beat and the Sloppy and the Petulant, the chosen cultists, all the lofty experts who know so well what we should or shouldn’t do with our poor little sex organs, all the bearded, proud, unlettered young men and unskilled guitarists and Zen-killers and incorporated aesthetic Teddy boys who look down their thoroughly unenlightened noses at this splendid planet where (please don’t shut me up) Kilroy, Christ, and Shakespeare all stopped – before we join these others, I privately say to you, old friend (unto you, really, I’m afraid), please accept from me this unpretentious bouquet of very early-blooming parentheses: (((()))).
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
Open them, weak yet proud man, pitiful ant that struggles to crawl over its
speck of dust! You declare yourself free and great, and for all the wretchedness of
your life you hold yourself in high esteem, celebrating – no doubt in a spirit of
derision – your rotten and transient flesh. And then you imagine that this beautiful
life, lived out between a little pride that you call greatness, and that base selfinterest
which is at the heart of your society, will be rewarded by some form of
immortality. Immortality for you – more lascivious than the monkey, more evil
than the tiger, more crawling than the serpent? Come on! Show me a paradise for
the monkey, the tiger, the snake, a paradise of lust, of cruelty and baseness, a
paradise of selfishness – eternity for this dust, immortality for this nothingness.
You boast of being free and of being able to do what you call good and evil?
Doubtless so that you can be denounced more rapidly, for what good can you
possibly do? Is a single one of your gestures produced by anything other than
pride or self-interest?
Gustave Flaubert (Memoirs of a Madman)
Indeed I now think that the Indian and Chinese description of the afterlife, the system of the six lokas or realms of reality – the devas, asuras, humans, beasts, pretas, and inhabitants of hell – is in fact a metaphorical but precise description of this world and the inequalities that exist in it, with the devas sitting in luxury and judgment on the rest, the asuras fighting to keep the devas in their high position, the humans getting by as humans do, the beasts laboring as beasts do, the homeless preta suffering in fear at the edge of bell, and the inhabitants of hell enslaved to pure immiseration.
My feeling is that until the number of whole lives is greater than the number of shattered lives, we remain stuck in some kind of prehistory, unworthy of humanity's great spirit. History as a story worth telling will only begin when the whole lives outnumber the wasted ones. That means we have many generation s to go before history begins. All the inequalities must end; all the surplus wealth must be equitably distributed. Until then we are still only some kind of gibbering monkey, and humanity, as we usually like to think of it, does not yet exist.
To put it in religious terms, we are still indeed in the bardo, waiting to be born.
Kim Stanley Robinson (The Years of Rice and Salt)
And when neither their property nor honour is touched, the majority of men live content, and he has only to contend with the ambition of a few, whom he can curb with ease in many ways. It makes him contemptible to be considered fickle, frivolous, effeminate, mean-spirited, irresolute, from all of which a prince should guard himself as from a rock; and he should endeavour to show in his actions greatness, courage, gravity, and fortitude; and in his private dealings with his subjects let him show that his judgments are irrevocable, and maintain himself in such reputation that no one can hope either to deceive him or to get round him. That prince is highly esteemed who conveys this impression of himself, and he who is highly esteemed is not easily conspired against; for, provided it is well known that he is an excellent man and revered by his people, he can only be attacked with difficulty.
Life without strife is a rose without thorns.
Alive as one is thriving today towards tomorrow,
Nowhere is the past but simply a school of memory.
Dreams, wishes, goals then becomes a wheel of “wills,”
Spirit of a unique being on each soul breathing.
Care to ponder some matter or another?
Awareness sliding towards discovery gliding…
Peace, contentment, fulfillment,
Enwrapped like a mirage enchantment.
Soaring freely, excitingly, happily home-love-bound!
Over precious moments in a breathing of a soul,
Flowing high emotions, feelings, hearts in bliss.
All around any season of one's existence, one asks:
“Anyone out there?
A heart of a soul that didn’t harden?
A touch of a soul that didn’t hurt?
A life of a soul that didn't love?”
Sands of time, rough, warm, indefinite,
simply spreading, transforming, mounting.
Oasis of a soul from a desert journey,
flourishing with endless beauty and security.
Utmost bliss, fulfillment and contentment,
under covers a struggling, hopeful soul,
Laboring service, living justice,
loving peace and tranquillity passed on to humanity!�
Angelica Hopes (Rhythm of a Heart, Music of a Soul)
When by my solitary hearth I sit,
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom;
When no fair dreams before my "mind's eye" flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.
Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright ray,
Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away,
Peep with the moon-beams through the leafy roof,
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof.
Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chace him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!
Whene'er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,
O bright-eyed Hope, my morbid fancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!
Should e'er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair;
O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed.
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!
In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country's honour fade:
O let me see our land retain her soul,
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom's shade.
From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed--
Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!
Let me not see the patriot's high bequest,
Great Liberty! how great in plain attire!
With the base purple of a court oppress'd,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire:
But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings!
And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud;
Brightening the half veil'd face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud,
Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed,
Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head.
- To Hope
John Keats (The Complete Poems)
What is the use of beauty in woman? Provided a woman is physically well made and capable of bearing children, she will always be good enough in the opinion of economists.
What is the use of music? -- of painting? Who would be fool enough nowadays to prefer Mozart to Carrel, Michael Angelo to the inventor of white mustard?
There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use. Everything useful is ugly, for it expresses a need, and man's needs are low and disgusting, like his own poor, wretched nature. The most useful place in a house is the water-closet.
For my part, saving these gentry's presence, I am of those to whom superfluities are necessaries, and I am fond of things and people in inverse ratio to the service they render me. I prefer a Chinese vase with its mandarins and dragons, which is perfectly useless to me, to a utensil which I do use, and the particular talent of mine which I set most store by is that which enables me not to guess logogriphs and charades. I would very willingly renounce my rights as a Frenchman and a citizen for the sight of an undoubted painting by Raphael, or of a beautiful nude woman, -- Princess Borghese, for instance, when she posed for Canova, or Julia Grisi when she is entering her bath. I would most willingly consent to the return of that cannibal, Charles X., if he brought me, from his residence in Bohemia, a case of Tokai or Johannisberg; and the electoral laws would be quite liberal enough, to my mind, were some of our streets broader and some other things less broad. Though I am not a dilettante, I prefer the sound of a poor fiddle and tambourines to that of the Speaker's bell. I would sell my breeches for a ring, and my bread for jam. The occupation which best befits civilized man seems to me to be idleness or analytically smoking a pipe or cigar. I think highly of those who play skittles, and also of those who write verse. You may perceive that my principles are not utilitarian, and that I shall never be the editor of a virtuous paper, unless I am converted, which would be very comical.
Instead of founding a Monthyon prize for the reward of virtue, I would rather bestow -- like Sardanapalus, that great, misunderstood philosopher -- a large reward to him who should invent a new pleasure; for to me enjoyment seems to be the end of life and the only useful thing on this earth. God willed it to be so, for he created women, perfumes, light, lovely flowers, good wine, spirited horses, lapdogs, and Angora cats; for He did not say to his angels, 'Be virtuous,' but, 'Love,' and gave us lips more sensitive than the rest of the skin that we might kiss women, eyes looking upward that we might behold the light, a subtile sense of smell that we might breathe in the soul of the flowers, muscular limbs that we might press the flanks of stallions and fly swift as thought without railway or steam-kettle, delicate hands that we might stroke the long heads of greyhounds, the velvety fur of cats, and the polished shoulder of not very virtuous creatures, and, finally, granted to us alone the triple and glorious privilege of drinking without being thirsty, striking fire, and making love in all seasons, whereby we are very much more distinguished from brutes than by the custom of reading newspapers and framing constitutions.
Théophile Gautier (Mademoiselle de Maupin)
Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
Such I created all th’ Ethereal Powers
And Spirits, both them who stood and them who fail’d;
Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
Not free, what proof could they have giv’n sincere
Of true allegiance, constant Faith or Love,
Where only what they needs must do, appear’d,
Not what they would? what praise could they receive?
What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice)
Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil’d,
Made passive both, had served necessity,
Not mee. They therefore as to right belong’d,
So were created, nor can justly accuse
Thir maker, or thir making, or thir Fate;
As if Predestination over-rul’d
Thir will, dispos’d by absolute Decree
Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
Thir own revolt, not I; if I foreknew
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
Which had no less prov’d certain unforeknown.
So without least impulse or shadow of Fate,
Or aught by me immutable foreseen,
They trespass, Authors to themselves in all
Both what they judge and what they choose; for so
I form’d them free, and free they must remain,
Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
Thir nature, and revoke the high Decree
Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordain’d
Thir freedom: they themselves ordain’d thir fall.
John Milton (Complete Poems and Major Prose)
Or should I have said that I wanted to die, not in the sense of wanting to throw myself off of that train bridge over there, but more like wanting to be asleep forever because there isn’t any making up for killing women or even watching women get killed, or for that matter killing men and shooting them in the back and shooting them more times than necessary to actually kill them and it was like just trying to kill everything you saw sometimes because it felt like there was acid seeping down into your soul and then your soul is gone and knowing from being taught your whole life that there is no making up for what you are doing, you’re taught that your whole life, but then even your mother is so happy and proud because you lined up your sign posts and made people crumple and they were not getting up ever and yeah they might have been trying to kill you too, so you say, What are you goona do?, but really it doesn’t matter because by the end you failed at the one good thing you could have done, and the one person you promised would live is dead, and you have seen all things die in more manners than you’d like to recall and for a while the whole thing fucking ravaged your spirit like some deep-down shit, man, that you didn’t even realize you had until only the animals made you sad, the husks of dogs filled with explosives and old arty shells and the fucking guts of everything stinking like metal and burning garbage and you walk around and the smell is deep down into you now and you say, How can metal be so on fire? and Where is all this fucking trash coming from? and even back home you’re getting whiffs of it and then that thing you started to notice slipping away is gone and now it’s becoming inverted, like you have bottomed out in your spirit but yet a deeper hole is being dug because everybody is so fucking happy to see you, the murderer, the fucking accomplice, that at-bare-minimum bearer of some fucking responsibility, and everyone wants to slap you on the back and you start to want to burn the whole goddamn country down, you want to burn every yellow ribbon in sight, and you can’t explain it but it’s just, like, Fuck you, but then you signed up to go so it’s your fault, really, because you went on purpose, so you are in the end doubly fucked, so why not just find a spot and curl up and die and let’s make it as painless as possible because you are a coward and, really, cowardice got you into this mess because you wanted to be a man and people made fun of you and pushed you around in the cafeteria and the hallways in high school because you liked to read books and poems sometimes and they’d call you a fag and really deep down you know you went because you wanted to be a man and that’s never gonna happen now and you’re too much of a coward to be a man and get it over with so why not find a clean, dry place and wait it out with it hurting as little as possible and just wait to go to sleep and not wake up and fuck ‘em all.
Kevin Powers (The Yellow Birds)
The spirit of that human you call Jesus was not of this Earth. That spirit simply filled a human body, allowed itself to learn as a child, become a man, and self-realized. He was not the only one to have done this. All spirits are “not of this Earth.” All souls come from another realm, then enter the body. Yet not all souls self-realize in a particular “lifetime.” Jesus did. He was a highly evolved being (what some of you have called a god), and he came to you for a purpose, on a mission. To save our souls. In a sense, yes. But not from everlasting damnation. There is no such thing as you have conceived it. His mission was—is—to save you from not knowing and never experiencing Who You Really Are. His intention was to demonstrate that by showing you what you can become. Indeed, what you are—if you will only accept it. Jesus sought to lead by example. That is why he said, “I am the way and the life. Follow me.” He didn’t mean “follow me” in the sense that you would all become his “followers,” but in the sense that you would all follow his example and become one with God. He said, “I and the Father are One, and ye are my brethren.” He couldn’t have put it more plainly.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
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)
What does Africa — what does the West stand for? Is not our own interior white on the chart? black though it may prove, like the coast, when discovered. Is it the source of the Nile, or the Niger, or the Mississippi, or a Northwest Passage around this continent, that we would find? Are these the problems which most concern mankind? Is Franklin the only man who is lost, that his wife should be so earnest to find him? Does Mr. Grinnell know where he himself is? Be rather the Mungo Park,the Lewis and Clark and Frobisher,of your own streams and oceans; explore your own higher latitudes — with shiploads of preserved meats to support you, if they be necessary; and pile the empty cans sky-high for a sign. Were preserved meats invented to preserve meat merely? Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice. Yet some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads.What was the meaning of that South-Sea Exploring Expedition,with all its parade and expense, but an indirect recognition of the fact that there are continents and seas in the moral world to which every man is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored by him, but that it is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Traffic was in confusion for several days. For red to mean "stop' was considered impossibly counterrevolutionary. It should of course mean "go." And traffic should not keep to the right, as was the practice, it should be on the left. For a few days we ordered the traffic policemen aside and controlled the traffic ourselves. I was stationed at a street corner telling cyclists to ride on the left. In Chengdu there were not many cars or traffic lights, but at the few big crossroads there was chaos. In the end, the old rules reasserted themselves, owing to Zhou Enlai, who managed to convince the Peking Red Guard leaders. But the youngsters found justifications for this: I was told by a Red Guard in my school that in Britain traffic kept to the left, so ours had to keep to the right to show our anti-imperialist spirit. She did not mention America.
As a child I had always shied away from collective activity. Now, at fourteen, I felt even more averse to it. I suppressed this dread because of the constant sense of guilt I had come to feel, through my education, when I was out of step with Mao. I kept telling myself that I must train my thoughts according to the new revolutionary theories and practices. If there was anything I did not understand, I must reform myself and adapt. However, I found myself trying very hard to avoid militant acts such as stopping passersby and cutting their long hair, or narrow trouser legs, or skirts, or breaking their semi-high-heeled shoes. These things had now become signs of bourgeois decadence, according to the Peking Red Guards.
My own hair came to the critical attention of my schoolmates. I had to have it cut to the level of my earlobes. Secretly, though much ashamed of myself for being so "petty bourgeois," I shed tears over losing my long plaits. As a young child, my nurse had a way of doing my hair which made it stand up on top of my head like a willow branch. She called it "fireworks shooting up to the sky." Until the early 1960s I wore my hair in two coils, with rings of little silk flowers wound around them. In the mornings, while I hurried through my breakfast, my grandmother or our maid would be doing my hair with loving hands. Of all the colors for the silk flowers, my favorite was pink.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Now what we call "bourgeois," when regarded as an element always to be found in human
life, is nothing else than the search for a balance. It is the striving after a mean between the
countless extremes and opposites that arise in human conduct. If we take any one of these
coupled opposites, such as piety and profligacy, the analogy is immediately comprehensible. It is
open to a man to give himself up wholly to spiritual views, to seeking after God, to the ideal of saintliness. On the other hand, he can equally give himself up entirely to the life of instinct, to
the lusts of the flesh, and so direct all his efforts to the attainment of momentary pleasures. The
one path leads to the saint, to the martyrdom of the spirit and surrender to God. The other path
leads to the profligate, to the martyrdom of the flesh, the surrender to corruption. Now it is
between the two, in the middle of the road, that the bourgeois seeks to walk. He will never
surrender himself either to lust or to asceticism. He will never be a martyr or agree to his own
destruction. On the contrary, his ideal is not to give up but to maintain his own identity. He
strives neither for the saintly nor its opposite. The absolute is his abhorrence. He may be ready to
serve God, but not by giving up the fleshpots. He is ready to be virtuous, but likes to be easy and
comfortable in this world as well. In short, his aim is to make a home for himself between two
extremes in a temperate zone without violent storms and tempests; and in this he succeeds
though it be at the cost of that intensity of life and feeling which an extreme life affords. A man
cannot live intensely except at the cost of the self. Now the bourgeois treasures nothing more
highly than the self (rudimentary as his may be). And so at the cost of intensity he achieves his
own preservation and security. His harvest is a quiet mind which he prefers to being possessed
by God, as he does comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to that
deathly inner consuming fire. The bourgeois is consequently by nature a creature of weak
impulses, anxious, fearful of giving himself away and easy to rule. Therefore, he has substituted
majority for power, law for force, and the polling booth for responsibility.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
And cried for mamma, at every turn'-I added, 'and trembled if a country lad heaved his fist against you, and sat at home all day for a shower of rain.-Oh, Heathcliff, you are showing a poor spirit! Come to the glass, and I'll let you see what you should wish. Do you mark those two lines between your eyes, and those thick brows, that instead of rising arched, sink in the middle, and that couple of black fiends, so deeply buried, who never open their windows boldly, but lurk glinting under them, like devil's spies? Wish and learn to smooth away the surly wrinkles, to raise your lids frankly, and change the fiends to confident, innocent angels, suspecting and doubting nothing, and always seeing friends where they are not sure of foes-Don't get the expression of a vicious cur that appears to know the kicks it gets are its desert, and yet, hates all the world, as well as the kicker, for what it suffers.'
'In other words, I must wish for Edgar Linton's great blue eyes, and even forehead,' he replied. 'I do - and that won't help me to them.'
'A good heart will help you to a bonny face, my lad,' I continued, 'if you were a regular black; and a bad one will turn the bonniest into something worse than ugly. And now that we've done washing, and combing, and sulking - tell me whether you don't think yourself rather handsome? I'll tell you, I do. You're fit for a prince in disguise. Who knows, but your father was Emperor of China, and your mother an Indian queen, each of them able to buy up, with one week's income, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange together? And you were kidnapped by wicked sailors, and brought to England. Were I in your place, I would frame high notions of my birth; and the thoughts of what I was should give me courage and dignity to support the oppressions of a little farmer!
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
We are focus-points of consciousness, [...] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [...] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons.
"Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles.
"Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [...]
"The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime.
"The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist.
"The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [...]
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
When I describe for my far-away friends the Northwest’s subtle shades of weather — from gloaming skies of ‘high-gray’ to ‘low-gray’ with violet streaks like the water’s delicate aura — they wonder if my brain and body have, indeed, become water-logged. Yet still, I find myself praising the solace and privacy of fine, silver drizzle, the comforting cloaks of salt, mold, moss, and fog, the secretive shelter of cedar and clouds.
Whether it’s in the Florida Keys, along the rocky Maine coast, within the Gulf of Mexico’s warm curves, on the brave Outer Banks; or, for those who nestle near inland seas, such as the brine-steeped Great Salk Lake or the Midwest’s Great Lakes — water is alive and in relationship with those of us who are blessed with such a world-shaping, yet abiding, intimate ally.
Every day I am moved by the double life of water — her power and her humility. But most of all, I am grateful for the partnership of this great body of inland sea. Living by water, I am never alone. Just as water has sculpted soil and canyon, it also molds my own living space, and every story I tell.
…Living by water restores my sense of balance and natural rhythm — the ebb and flow of high tides and low tides, so like the rise and fall of everyday life. Wind, water, waves are not simply a backdrop to my life, they are steady companions. And that is the grace, the gift of inviting nature to live inside my home. Like a Chambered Nautilus I spin out my days, drifting and dreaming, nurtured by marine mists, like another bright shell on the beach, balancing on the back of a greater body.
Brenda Peterson (Singing to the Sound: Visions of Nature, Animals, and Spirit)
An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity-even under the most difficult circumstances- to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified, and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.
Do not think that these considerations are unworldly and too far removed from real life. It is true that only a few people are capable of reaching such high moral standards. Of the prisoners only a few kept their full inner liberty and obtained those values which their suffering afforded, but even one such example is sufficient proof that man's inner strength may raise him above his outward fate. Such men are not only in concentration camps. Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
Error regarding life necessary to life. - Every belief in the value and dignity of life rests on false thinking; it is possible only through the fact that empathy with the universal life and suffering of mankind is very feebly developed in the individual. Even those rarer men who think beyond themselves at all have an eye, not for this universal life, but for fenced-off portions of it. If one knows how to keep the exceptions principally in view, I mean the greatly gifted and pure of soul, takes their production for the goal of world-evolution and rejoices in the effects they in turn produce, one may believe in the value of life, because the one is overlooking all other men: thinking falsely, that is to say. And likewise if, though one does keep in view all mankind, one accords validity only to one species of drives, the less egoistical, and justifies them in face of all the others, then again one can hope for something of mankind as a whole and to this extent believe in the value of life: thus, in this case too, through falsity of thinking. Whichever of these attitudes one adopts, however, one is by adopting in an exception among men. The great majority endure life without complaining overmuch; they believe in the value of existence, but they do so precisely because each of them exists for himself alone, refusing to step out of himself as those exceptions do: everything outside themselves they notice not at all or at most as a dim shadow. Thus for the ordinary, everyday man the value of life rests solely on the fact that regards himself more highly than he does the world. The great lack of imagination from which he suffers means he is unable to feel his way into other beings and thus he participates as little as possible in their fortunes and sufferings. He, on the other hand, who really could participate in them would have to despair of the value of life; if he succeeded in encompassing and feeling within himself the total consciousness of mankind he would collapse with a curse on existence - for mankind has as a whole no goal, and the individual man when he regards its total course cannot derive from it any support or comfort, but must be reduced to despair. If in all he does he has before him the ultimate goallessness of man, his actions acquire in his own eyes the character of useless squandering. But to feel thus squandered, not merely as an individual fruits but as humanity as a whole, in the way we behold the individual fruits of nature squandered, is a feeling beyond all other feelings. - But who is capable of such a feeling? Certainly only a poet: and poets always know how to console themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Thus pride wears the mask of loftiness of spirit, although You alone, O God, are high over all. Ambition seeks honour and glory, although You alone are to be honoured before all and glorious forever. By cruelty the great seek to be feared, yet who is to be feared but God alone: from His power what can be wrested away, or when or where or how or by whom? The caresses by which the lustful seduce are a seeking for love: but nothing is more caressing than Your charity, nor is anything more healthfully loved than Your supremely lovely, supremely luminous Truth. Curiosity may be regarded as a desire for knowledge, whereas You supremely know all things. Ignorance and sheer stupidity hide under the names of simplicity and innocence: yet no being has simplicity like to Yours: and none is more innocent than You, for it is their own deeds that harm the wicked. Sloth pretends that it wants quietude: but what sure rest is there save the Lord? Luxuriousness would be called abundance and completeness; but You are the fullness and inexhaustible abundance of incorruptible delight. Wastefulness is a parody of generosity: but You are the infinitely generous giver of all good. Avarice wants to possess overmuch: but You possess all. Enviousness claims that it strives to excel: but what can excel before You? Anger clamours for just vengeance: but whose vengeance is so just as Yours? Fear is the recoil from a new and sudden threat to something one holds dear, and a cautious regard for one’s own safety: but nothing new or sudden can happen to You, nothing can threaten Your hold upon things loved, and where is safety secure save in You? Grief pines at the loss of things in which desire delighted: for it wills to be like to You from whom nothing can be taken away.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
She dances around the burning flames with passion,
Under the same dull stars,
Under the same hell with crimson embers crashing,
Under the same silver chains that wires,
All her beauty and who she is inside,
She's left with the loneliness of human existence,
She's left questioning how she's survived,
She's left with this awakening of brutal resilience,
Her true beauty that she denies,
As much she's like to deny it,
As much as it continues to shine,
That she doesn't even have to admit,
Because we all know it's true,
Her glory and success,
After all she's been through,
Her triumph and madness,
Broken legs- but she's still standing,
Still dancing in this void,
You must wonder how she's still dancing,
You must wonder how she's not destroyed,
She doesn't even begin to drown within the flames,
But little do you realize,
Within these chains,
She weeps and she cries,
But she still goes on,
And just you thought you could stop her?
You thought you'd be the one?
Well, let me tell you, because you thought wrong.
Nothing will ever silence her,
Because I KNOW,
I know that she is admiringly strong,
Her undeniable beauty,
The triumph of her song,
She's shining bright like a ruby,
Reflecting in the golden sand,
She's shining brighter like no other,
She's far more than human or man,
She continues to dance with free-spirit,
Even though she's locked in these chains,
Though she never desired to change it,
Even throughout the agonizing pain,
Throughout all the distress,
Anxiety, depression, tears and sorrow,
She still dances so beautify in her dress,
She looks forward to tomorrow,
Not because of a fresh start but a new page,
A new day full of opportunities,
Despite being trapped in her cage,
She still smiles after being beaten so brutally,
A smile that could brighten anyone's day,
She's so much more than anyone could ask for,
She's so much more than I could ever say,
She's a girl absolutely everyone should adore,
She never gets in the way,
Even after her hearts been broken,
Even after the way she has been treated,
After all these severe emotions,
After all all the blood she's bled,
Even if sometimes she wonders why she's still here,
She wonders why she's not dead,
But there's this one thing that had been here throughout every tear,
Throughout the blazing fire leaving her cheeks cherry red,
Everyday this thing has given her a place to exist,
This thing, person, these people,
Like warm sunlight it had so softly kissed,
The apples of her cheeks,
Even when she's feeling feeble,
Always there at her worst and at her best
Because of you and all the other people,
She has this thing deep inside her chest,
That she will cherish forever,
Even once you're gone,
Because today she smiles like no other,
Even when the sun sets at dawn,
Because today is the day,
She just wants you to remember,
In dark and stormy weather,
It gets better.
And after what she's been through she knows,
Throughout the highs and the lows,
Because of you and all others,
After crossing the seas,
She has come to understand,
You have formed this key,
This key to free her from this land,
This endless gorge that swallowed her,
Her and other men,
She had never knew, nor had she planned,
That because of you,
THIS VERY DAY,
EVEN IN THE RAIN.
Socrates tried to soothe us, true enough. He said there were only two possibilities. Either the soul is immortal or, after death, things would be again as blank as they were before we were born. This is not absolutely comforting either. Anyway it was natural that theology and philosophy should take the deepest interest in this. They owe it to us not to be boring themselves. On this obligation they don’t always make good. However, Kierkegaard was not a bore. I planned to examine his contribution in my master essay. In his view the primacy of the ethical over the esthetic mode was necessary to restore the balance. But enough of that. In myself I could observe the following sources of tedium: 1) The lack of a personal connection with the external world. Earlier I noted that when I was riding through France in a train last spring I looked out of the window and thought that the veil of Maya was wearing thin. And why was this? I wasn’t seeing what was there but only what everyone sees under a common directive. By this is implied that our worldview has used up nature. The rule of this view is that I, a subject, see the phenomena, the world of objects. They, however, are not necessarily in themselves objects as modern rationality defines objects. For in spirit, says Steiner, a man can step out of himself and let things speak to him about themselves, to speak about what has meaning not for him alone but also for them. Thus the sun the moon the stars will speak to nonastronomers in spite of their ignorance of science. In fact it’s high time that this happened. Ignorance of science should not keep one imprisoned in the lowest and weariest sector of being, prohibited from entering into independent relations with the creation as a whole. The educated speak of the disenchanted (a boring) world. But it is not the world, it is my own head that is disenchanted. The world cannot be disenchanted. 2) For me the self-conscious ego is the seat of boredom. This increasing, swelling, domineering, painful self-consciousness is the only rival of the political and social powers that run my life (business, technological-bureaucratic powers, the state). You have a great organized movement of life, and you have the single self, independently conscious, proud of its detachment and its absolute immunity, its stability and its power to remain unaffected by anything whatsoever — by the sufferings of others or by society or by politics or by external chaos. In a way it doesn’t give a damn. It is asked to give a damn, and we often urge it to give a damn but the curse of noncaring lies upon this painfully free consciousness. It is free from attachment to beliefs and to other souls. Cosmologies, ethical systems? It can run through them by the dozens. For to be fully conscious of oneself as an individual is also to be separated from all else. This is Hamlet’s kingdom of infinite space in a nutshell, of “words, words, words,” of “Denmark’s a prison.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
Valentine’s concept of introversion includes traits that contemporary psychology would classify as openness to experience (“thinker, dreamer”), conscientiousness (“idealist”), and neuroticism (“shy individual”).
A long line of poets, scientists, and philosophers have also tended to group these traits together. All the way back in Genesis, the earliest book of the Bible, we had cerebral Jacob (a “quiet man dwelling in tents” who later becomes “Israel,” meaning one who wrestles inwardly with God) squaring off in sibling rivalry with his brother, the swashbuckling Esau (a “skillful hunter” and “man of the field”). In classical antiquity, the physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments—and destinies—were a function of our bodily fluids, with extra blood and “yellow bile” making us sanguine or choleric (stable or neurotic extroversion), and an excess of phlegm and “black bile” making us calm or melancholic (stable or neurotic introversion). Aristotle noted that the melancholic temperament was associated with eminence in philosophy, poetry, and the arts (today we might classify this as opennessto experience). The seventeenth-century English poet John Milton wrote Il Penseroso (“The Thinker”) and L’Allegro (“The Merry One”), comparing “the happy person” who frolics in the countryside and revels in the city with “the thoughtful person” who walks meditatively through the nighttime woods and studies in a “lonely Towr.” (Again, today the description of Il Penseroso would apply not only to introversion but also to openness to experience and neuroticism.) The nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer contrasted “good-spirited” people (energetic, active, and easily bored) with his preferred type, “intelligent people” (sensitive, imaginative, and melancholic). “Mark this well, ye proud men of action!” declared his countryman Heinrich Heine. “Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.”
Because of this definitional complexity, I originally planned to invent my own terms for these constellations of traits. I decided against this, again for cultural reasons: the words introvert and extrovert have the advantage of being well known and highly evocative. Every time I uttered them at a dinner party or to a seatmate on an airplane, they elicited a torrent of confessions and reflections. For similar reasons, I’ve used the layperson’s spelling of extrovert rather than the extravert one finds throughout the research literature.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Lord,I love you truly with all my heart. Every moment with you is precious to me but I would give up even that if it meant peace between our peoples. Nothing else can be allowed to matter so much as that."
Dragon did not reply. He was staring at her very oddly. Of the others, she had no awareness at all. Only he existed for her just then.She felt as though there was no ground beneath her but this time instead of falling as she had off the cliff, she soared frantically, desperately,not knowing if at any moment gravity might reclaim her but soaring all the same.
"What did you say?" he demanded.
"Nothing else can be allowed to matter so much as the peace between our peoples! I understand full well how angry you are. The insult done you was profound,but I beg you,think of what you do.Do you go against my father,he wins!"
Slowly,Dragon shook his head as though trying to clear it. His gaze locked on Rycca's like a man holding fast to the rudder in a mighty storm. A dull flush crept over his high-boned cheeks. "Insult? You think I want to kill your father because he insulted me? For pity's sake, woman, I damn near lost you! Don't you have any idea what that means to me?"
Her eyes widened, never leaving him as he stalked across the stone floor of the Saxon's king's great hall and took firm hold of her by her shoulders. He dragged her up against him even as he near yelled, "Dammit to hell, woman, I love you! What care I for insults? Nothing matters to me save keeping you safe and-"
"Love?" Rycca repeated in a daze.
"Loki take you, lady, you are not the easiet woman in the world to get along with, you know! You are strong, spirited, stubborn, not a meek bone in your body! Your body...Never mind that, the point is you have stolen into my heart and I lack any will to get you out, so do not dare you think of dying! I absolutely forbid it! Did you say you love me?"
Oh,my,Rycca thought, she truly did have wings after all.Strong, sturdy wings that would carry her as high as she wanted to climb. And that was very high indeed.
A smile crept over her clear to her toes.She cupped her husband's face between her hands and took his mouth with hers.Well and thoroughly did she kiss him right there in front of everyone. That took some time, and when she was done she was rather breathless. Yet she managed to say, "I love you, lord.More than life,more even than freedom.You are dearest to me above all."
And for just a moment, there in the hall of the king,Rycca of Landsende saw the sheen of tears in her Viking's eyes.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
"Scant rain had fallen and the summer sun
Had scorched with waves of heat the ripening corn,
That August nightfall, as I crossed the down
Work-weary, half in dream. Beside a fence
Skirting a penning’s edge, an old man waited
Motionless in the mist, with downcast head
And clothing weather-worn. I asked his name
And why he lingered at so lonely a place.
“I was a shepherd here. Two hundred seasons
I roamed these windswept downlands with my flock.
No fences barred our progress and we’d travel
Wherever the bite grew deep. In summer drought
I’d climb from flower-banked combe to barrow’d hill-top
To find a missing straggler or set snares
By wood or turmon-patch. In gales of March
I’d crouch nightlong tending my suckling lambs.
“I was a ploughman, too. Year upon year
I trudged half-doubled, hands clenched to my shafts,
Guiding my turning furrow. Overhead,
Cloud-patterns built and faded, many a song
Of lark and pewit melodied my toil.
I durst not pause to heed them, rising at dawn
To groom and dress my team: by daylight’s end
My boots hung heavy, clodded with chalk and flint.
“And then I was a carter. With my skill
I built the reeded dew-pond, sliced out hay
From the dense-matted rick. At harvest time,
My wain piled high with sheaves, I urged the horses
Back to the master’s barn with shouts and curses
Before the scurrying storm. Through sunlit days
On this same slope where you now stand, my friend,
I stood till dusk scything the poppied fields.
“My cob-built home has crumbled. Hereabouts
Few folk remember me: and though you stare
Till time’s conclusion you’ll not glimpse me striding
The broad, bare down with flock or toiling team.
Yet in this landscape still my spirit lingers:
Down the long bottom where the tractors rumble,
On the steep hanging where wild grasses murmur,
In the sparse covert where the dog-fox patters.”
My comrade turned aside. From the damp sward
Drifted a scent of melilot and thyme;
From far across the down a barn owl shouted,
Circling the silence of that summer evening:
But in an instant, as I stepped towards him
Striving to view his face, his contour altered.
Before me, in the vaporous gloaming, stood
Nothing of flesh, only a post of wood.
John Rawson (From The English Countryside: Tales Of Tragedy: Narrated In Dramatic Traditional Verse)
Politics is the science of domination, and persons in the process of enlargement and illumination are notoriously difficult to control. Therefore, to protect its vested interests, politics usurped religion a very long time ago. Kings bought off priests with land and adornments. Together, they drained the shady ponds and replaced them with fish tanks. The walls of the tanks were constructed of ignorance and superstition, held together with fear. They called the tanks “synagogues” or “churches” or “mosques.” After the tanks were in place, nobody talked much about soul anymore. Instead, they talked about spirit. Soul is hot and heavy. Spirit is cool, abstract, detached. Soul is connected to the earth and its waters. Spirit is connected to the sky and its gases. Out of the gases springs fire. Firepower. It has been observed that the logical extension of all politics is war. Once religion became political, the exercise of it, too, could be said to lead sooner or later to war. “War is hell.” Thus, religious belief propels us straight to hell. History unwaveringly supports this view. (Each modern religion has boasted that it and it alone is on speaking terms with the Deity, and its adherents have been quite willing to die—or kill—to support its presumptuous claims.) Not every silty bayou could be drained, of course. The soulfish that bubbled and snapped in the few remaining ponds were tagged “mystics.” They were regarded as mavericks, exotic and inferior. If they splashed too high, they were thought to be threatening and in need of extermination. The fearful flounders in the tanks, now psychologically dependent upon addictive spirit flakes, had forgotten that once upon a time they, too, had been mystical. Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished. Those who witness the dropping of the fourth veil might see clearly what Spike Cohen and Roland Abu Hadee dimly suspected: that not only is religion divisive and oppressive, it is also a denial of all that is divine in people; it is a suffocation of the soul.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
We owe all to Jesus crucified. What is your life, my brethren, but the cross? Whence comes the bread of your soul but from the cross? What is your joy but the cross? What is your delight, what is your heaven, but the Blessed One, once crucified for you, who ever liveth to make intercession for you? Cling to the cross, then, put both arms around it! Hold to the Crucified, and never let Him go. Come afresh to the cross at this moment, and rest there now and for ever! Then, with the power of God resting upon you, go forth and preach the cross! Tell out the story of the bleeding Lamb. Repeat the wondrous tale, and nothing else. Never mind how you do it, only proclaim that Jesus died for sinner.
The cross held up by a babe’s hands is just as powerful as if a giant held it up. The power lies in the word itself, or rather in the Holy Spirit who works by it and with it. O glorious Christ, when I have had a vision of Thy cross, I have seen it at first like a common gibbet, and Thou wast hanging on it like a felon; but, as I have looked, I have seen it begin to rise, and tower aloft till it has reached the highest heaven, and by its mighty power has lifted up myriads to the throne of God. I have seen its arms extend and expand until they have embraced all the earth. I have seen the foot of it go down deep as our helpless miseries are; and what a vision I have had of Thy magnificence, O Thou crucified One! Brethren, believe in the power of the cross for the conversion of those around you. Do not say of any man that he cannot be saved. The blood of Jesus is omnipotent. Do not say of any district that it is too sunken, or of any class of men that they are too far gone: the word of the cross reclaims the lost. Believe it to be the power of God, and you shall find it so.
Believe in Christ crucified, and preach boldly in His name, and you shall see great and gladsome things. Do not doubt the ultimate triumph of Christianity. Do not let a mistrust flit across your soul. The cross must conquer; it must blossom with a crown, a crown commensurate with the person of the Crucified, and the bitterness of His agony. His reward shall parallel His sorrows. Trust in God, and lift your banner high, and now with psalms and songs advance to battle, for the Lord of hosts is with us, the Son of the Highest leads our van. Onward, with blast of silver trumpet and shout of those that seize the spoil. Let no man’s heart fail him! Christ hath died! Atonement is complete! God is satisfied! Peace is proclaimed! Heaven glitters with proofs of mercy already bestowed upon ten thousand times ten thousand! Hell is trembling, heaven adoring, earth waiting. Advance, ye saints, to certain victory! You shall overcome through the blood of the Lamb.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
You've given me everything I need of you-thanks to you I have all my heart desires, all I thought I might never have. All I need for a wonderful, fulfilling future. And I nearly lost it all."
She held his gaze but was wise enough not to interrupt. If she had...
He drew breath and forged on, "Nearly dying clarified things. When you stand on the border between life and death, the truly important things are easy to discern. One of the things I saw and finally understood was that only fools and cowards leave the truth of love unsaid. Only the weak leave love unacknowledged."
Holding her gaze, all but lost in the shimmery blue of her eyes, he raised her hand to his lips, gently kissed. "So, my darling Heather, even though you already know it, let me put the truth-my truth-into words. I love you. With all my heart, to the depths of my soul. And I will love you forever, until the day I die."
Her smile lit his world. "Just as well." Happiness shone in her eyes. She pressed his fingers. "Because I plan to be with you, by your side, every day for the rest of your life, and in spirit far beyond. I'm yours for all eternity."
Smiling, he closed his hand about hers. "Mine to protect for our eternity."
Yes. Neither said the word, yet the sense of it vibrated in the air all around them.
A high-pitched giggle broke the spell, had them both looking along the path.
TO Lucilla and Marcus, who slipped out from behind a raised bed and raced toward them.
Reaching them, laughing with delight, the pair whooped and circled.
Heather glanced to left and right, trying to keep the twins in sight, uncertain of what had them so excited. So exhilarated.
Almost as if they were reacting to the emotions coursing through her, and presumably Breckenridge. Her husband-to-be.
"You're getting married!" Lucilla crowed.
Catching Lucilla's eyes as the pair slowed their circling dance, Heather nodded. "Yes, we are. And I rather think you two will have to come down in London to be flower girl and page boy."
Absolute delight broke across Lucilla's face. She looked at her brother. "See? I told you-the Lady never makes a mistake, and if you do what shetells you, you get a reward."
"I suppose." Marcus looked up at Breckenridge. "London will be fun." He switched his gaze to Lucilla. "Come on! Let's go and tell Mama and Papa.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
The people cast themselves down by the fuming boards
while servants cut the roast, mixed jars of wine and water,
and all the gods flew past like the night-breaths of spring.
The chattering female flocks sat down by farther tables,
their fresh prismatic garments gleaming in the moon
as though a crowd of haughty peacocks played in moonlight.
The queen’s throne softly spread with white furs of fox
gaped desolate and bare, for Penelope felt ashamed
to come before her guests after so much murder.
Though all the guests were ravenous, they still refrained,
turning their eyes upon their silent watchful lord
till he should spill wine in libation for the Immortals.
The king then filled a brimming cup, stood up and raised
it high till in the moon the embossed adornments gleamed:
Athena, dwarfed and slender, wrought in purest gold,
pursued around the cup with double-pointed spear
dark lowering herds of angry gods and hairy demons;
she smiled and the sad tenderness of her lean face,
and her embittered fearless glance, seemed almost human.
Star-eyed Odysseus raised Athena’s goblet high
and greeted all, but spoke in a beclouded mood:
“In all my wandering voyages and torturous strife,
the earth, the seas, the winds fought me with frenzied rage;
I was in danger often, both through joy and grief,
of losing priceless goodness, man’s most worthy face.
I raised my arms to the high heavens and cried for help,
but on my head gods hurled their lightning bolts, and laughed.
I then clasped Mother Earth, but she changed many shapes,
and whether as earthquake, beast, or woman, rushed to eat me;
then like a child I gave my hopes to the sea in trust,
piled on my ship my stubbornness, my cares, my virtues,
the poor remaining plunder of god-fighting man,
and then set sail; but suddenly a wild storm burst,
and when I raised my eyes, the sea was strewn with wreckage.
As I swam on, alone between sea and sky,
with but my crooked heart for dog and company,
I heard my mind, upon the crumpling battlements
about my head, yelling with flailing crimson spear.
Earth, sea, and sky rushed backward; I remained alone
with a horned bow slung down my shoulder, shorn of gods
and hopes, a free man standing in the wilderness.
Old comrades, O young men, my island’s newest sprouts,
I drink not to the gods but to man’s dauntless mind.”
All shuddered, for the daring toast seemed sacrilege,
and suddenly the hungry people shrank in spirit;
They did not fully understand the impious words
but saw flames lick like red curls about his savage head.
The smell of roast was overpowering, choice meats steamed,
and his bold speech was soon forgotten in hunger’s pangs;
all fell to eating ravenously till their brains reeled.
Under his lowering eyebrows Odysseus watched them sharply:
"This is my people, a mess of bellies and stinking breath!
These are my own minds, hands, and thighs, my loins and necks!"
He muttered in his thorny beard, held back his hunger
far from the feast and licked none of the steaming food.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel)
But Rousseau — to what did he really want to return? Rousseau, this first modern man, idealist and rabble in one person — one who needed moral "dignity" to be able to stand his own sight, sick with unbridled vanity and unbridled self-contempt. This miscarriage, couched on the threshold of modern times, also wanted a "return to nature"; to ask this once more, to what did Rousseau want to return? I still hate Rousseau in the French Revolution: it is the world-historical expression of this duality of idealist and rabble. The bloody farce which became an aspect of the Revolution, its "immorality," is of little concern to me: what I hate is its Rousseauan morality — the so-called "truths" of the Revolution through which it still works and attracts everything shallow and mediocre. The doctrine of equality! There is no more poisonous poison anywhere: for it seems to be preached by justice itself, whereas it really is the termination of justice. "Equal to the equal, unequal to the unequal" — that would be the true slogan of justice; and also its corollary: "Never make equal what is unequal." That this doctrine of equality was surrounded by such gruesome and bloody events, that has given this "modern idea" par excellence a kind of glory and fiery aura so that the Revolution as a spectacle has seduced even the noblest spirits. In the end, that is no reason for respecting it any more. I see only one man who experienced it as it must be experienced, with nausea — Goethe.
Goethe — not a German event, but a European one: a magnificent attempt to overcome the eighteenth century by a return to nature, by an ascent to the naturalness of the Renaissance — a kind of self-overcoming on the part of that century. He bore its strongest instincts within himself: the sensibility, the idolatry of nature, the anti-historic, the idealistic, the unreal and revolutionary (the latter being merely a form of the unreal). He sought help from history, natural science, antiquity, and also Spinoza, but, above all, from practical activity; he surrounded himself with limited horizons; he did not retire from life but put himself into the midst of it; he if was not fainthearted but took as much as possible upon himself, over himself, into himself. What he wanted was totality; he fought the mutual extraneousness of reason, senses, feeling, and will (preached with the most abhorrent scholasticism by Kant, the antipode of Goethe); he disciplined himself to wholeness, he created himself.
In the middle of an age with an unreal outlook, Goethe was a convinced realist: he said Yes to everything that was related to him in this respect — and he had no greater experience than that ens realissimum [most real being] called Napoleon.
Goethe conceived a human being who would be strong, highly educated, skillful in all bodily matters, self-controlled, reverent toward himself, and who might dare to afford the whole range and wealth of being natural, being strong enough for such freedom; the man of tolerance, not from weakness but from strength, because he knows how to use to his advantage even that from which the average nature would perish; the man for whom there is no longer anything that is forbidden — unless it be weakness, whether called vice or virtue.
Such a spirit who has become free stands amid the cosmos with a joyous and trusting fatalism, in the faith that only the particular is loathesome, and that all is redeemed and affirmed in the whole — he does not negate anymore. Such a faith, however, is the highest of all possible faiths: I have baptized it with the name of Dionysus.
50 One might say that in a certain sense the nineteenth century also strove for all that which Goethe as a person had striven for: universality in understanding and in welcoming, letting everything come close to oneself, an audacious realism, a reverence for everything factual.
Young man,” he went on, raising his head again, “in your face I seem to read some trouble of mind. When you came in I read it, and that was why I addressed you at once. For in unfolding to you the story of my life, I do not wish to make myself a laughing-stock before these idle listeners, who indeed know all about it already, but I am looking for a man of feeling and education. Know then that my wife was educated in a high-class school for the daughters of noblemen, and on leaving, she danced the shawl dance before the governor and other personages for which she was presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit. The medal … well, the medal of course was sold—long ago, hm … but the certificate of merit is in her trunk still and not long ago she showed it to our landlady. And although she is most continually on bad terms with the landlady, yet she wanted to tell some one or other of her past honours and of the happy days that are gone. I don’t condemn her for it. I don’t blame her, for the one thing left her is recollection of the past, and all the rest is dust and ashes. Yes, yes, she is a lady of spirit, proud and determined. She scrubs the floors herself and has nothing but black bread to eat, but won’t allow herself to be treated with disrespect. That’s why she would not overlook Mr. Lebeziatnikov’s rudeness to her, and so when he gave her a beating for it, she took to her bed more from the hurt to her feelings than from the blows. She was a widow when I married her, with three children, one smaller than the other. She married her first husband, an infantry officer, for love, and ran away with him from her father’s house. She was exceedingly fond of her husband; but he gave way to cards, got into trouble and with that he died. He used to beat her at the end: and although she paid him back, of which I have authentic documentary evidence, to this day she speaks of him with tears and she throws him up at me; and I am glad, I am glad that, though only in imagination, she should think of herself as having once been happy.… And she was left at his death with three children in a wild and remote district where I happened to be at the time; and she was left in such hopeless poverty that, although I have seen many ups and downs of all sorts, I don’t feel equal to describing it even. Her relations had all thrown her off. And she was proud, too, excessively proud.… And then, honoured sir, and then, I, being at the time a widower, with a daughter of fourteen left me by my first wife, offered her my hand, for I could not bear the sight of such suffering. You can judge the extremity of her calamities, that she, a woman of education and culture and distinguished family, should have consented to be my wife. But she did! Weeping and sobbing and wringing her hands, she married me! For she had nowhere to turn! Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn? No, that you don’t understand yet…
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
About his madmen Mr. Lecky was no more certain. He knew less than the little to be learned of the causes or even of the results of madness. Yet for practical purposes one can imagine all that is necessary. As long as maniacs walk like men, you must come close to them to penetrate so excellent a disguise. Once close, you have joined the true werewolf.
Pick for your companion a manic-depressive, afflicted by any of the various degrees of mania - chronic, acute, delirious. Usually more man than wolf, he will be instructive. His disorder lies in the very process of his thinking, rather than in the content of his thought. He cannot wait a minute for the satisfaction of his fleeting desires or the fulfillment of his innumerable schemes. Nor can he, for two minutes, be certain of his intention or constant in any plan or agreement. Presently you may hear his failing made manifest in the crazy concatenation of his thinking aloud, which psychiatrists call "flight of ideas." Exhausted suddenly by this
riotous expense of speech and spirit, he may subside in an apathy dangerous and morose, which you will be well advised not to disturb.
Let the man you meet be, instead, a paretic. He has taken a secret departure from your world. He dwells amidst choicest, most dispendious superlatives. In his arm he has the strength to lift ten elephants. He is already two hundred years old. He is more than nine feet high; his chest is of iron, his right leg is silver, his incomparable head is one whole ruby. Husband of a thousand wives, he has begotten on them ten thousand children. Nothing is mean about him; his urine is white wine; his faeces are always soft gold. However, despite his splendor and his extraordinary attainments, he cannot successfully pronounce the words: electricity, Methodist Episcopal, organization, third cavalry brigade. Avoid them. Infuriated by your demonstration of any accomplishment not his, he may suddenly kill you.
Now choose for your friend a paranoiac, and beware of the wolf! His back is to the wall, his implacable enemies are crowding on him. He gets no rest. He finds no starting hole to hide him. Ten times oftener than the Apostle, he has been, through the violence of the unswerving malice which pursues him, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Now that, face to face with him, you simulate innocence and come within his reach, what pity can you expect? You showed him none; he will certainly not show you any.
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, 0 Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Mr. Lecky's maniacs lay in wait to slash a man's head half off, to perform some erotic atrocity of disembowelment on a woman. Here, they fed thoughtlessly on human flesh; there, wishing to play with him, they plucked the mangled Tybalt from his shroud. The beastly cunning of their approach, the fantastic capriciousness of their intention could not be very well met or provided for. In his makeshift fort everywhere encircled by darkness, Mr. Lecky did not care to meditate further on the subject.
James Gould Cozzens (Castaway)