Symbol Of Hope Quotes

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To be rejected by someone doesn't mean you should also reject yourself or that you should think of yourself as a lesser person. It doesn't mean that nobody will ever love you anymore. Remember that only ONE person has rejected you at the moment, and it only hurt so much because to you, that person's opinion symbolized the opinion of the whole world, of God.
Jocelyn Soriano (Mend My Broken Heart)
Nothing but a symbol? People die for symbols. People have hope because of symbols. They're not just lines. They're histories, cultures, traditions, given shape.
Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1))
I love tunnels. They 're the symbol of hope: sometime it will be bright again. If by chance it is not night.
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
For our people, butterflies are a symbol of hope. It's said that if you capture one in your hands and whisper your dreams to it, it will carry them up to the heavens so that the wish can be granted.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
A semicolon is where a writer can choose to end the sentence,” she said, tucking a lock of brown hair behind her ear. “But they don’t. The story goes on. It’s a symbol of hope. To keep going.” She smiled tremulously. “Sometimes I need that reminder.
Emma Scott (All In (Full Tilt, #2))
It means we're on your side." That's what Bonnie said. I have people on my side? What side? Am I unwittingly the face of the hoped-for rebellion? Has the mockingjay on my pin become a symbol of resistance? If so, my side's not doing too well.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I came hoping to see those eyes, but instead I return with my heart, leaving behind only flowers.
Kim Dong Hwa
i am a little church(no great cathedral) far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities --i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest, i am not sorry when sun and rain make april my life is the life of the reaper and the sower; my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving (finding and losing and laughing and crying)children whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness around me surges a miracle of unceasing birth and glory and death and resurrection: over my sleeping self float flaming symbols of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains i am a little church(far from the frantic world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature --i do not worry if longer nights grow longest; i am not sorry when silence becomes singing winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to merciful Him Whose only now is forever: standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence (welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)
E.E. Cummings
Symbolism gives folks hope. But I’ve come to learn that symbolism is a threat to actual change—it’s a chance for those in power to say, “Look how far you have come” rather than admitting, “Look how long we’ve stopped you from getting here.
George M. Johnson (All Boys Aren't Blue)
There is something inspiring and sublime about the little forget-me-not flower. I hope it will be a symbol of the little things that make your lives joyful and sweet.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.
Rachel Carson (The Sense of Wonder)
It is a natural human instinct to turn our fears into symbols, and destroy the symbols, in the hope that it will destroy the fear. It is a logic that keeps recurring throughout human history, from the Crusades to the witch hunts to the present day.
Johann Hari (Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs)
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
This is the worst of our ways of remembering--this tendency to prod the crust of anecdote in the hope of releasing a gush of piping-hot symbolism.
Kamila Shamsie (Kartography)
The Resurrection of Jesus is...a symbol of hope...I don't see how you can show love...without being in solidarity with the victims of this world. And if you are in solidarity with the victims, I don't see how you can avoid the cross. The theology of the cross is the theology of love in our real world.
Jon Sobrino (The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross)
Far more powerful than religion, far more powerful than money, or even land or violence, are symbols. Symbols are stories. Symbols are pictures, or items, or ideas that represent something else. Human beings attach such meaning and importance to symbols that they can inspire hope, stand in for gods, or convince someone that he or she is dying. These symbols are everywhere around you.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
One could not stand and watch very long without being philosophical, without beginning to deal in symbols and similes, and to hear the hog-squeal of the universe.... Each of them had an individuality of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a heart's desire; each was full of self-confidence, of self-importance, and a sense of dignity. And trusting and strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while a black shadow hung over him, and a horrid Fate in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorseless, all his protests, his screams were nothing to it. It did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Elizabeth's barreness and advanced age--a double symbol of hopelessness--became the means by which God would announce to the world that nothing is impossible for Him.
Charles R. Swindoll
And, in the warm silence, in the peaceful solitude of the study, Clotilde smiled down at the baby who was still sucking - his little arm in the air, pointing upwards, a symbol of hope and life.
Émile Zola (Le Docteur Pascal (Les Rougon-Macquart #20))
The principles underlying propaganda are extremely simple. Find some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will make the dream come true. They are selling hope. We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not just buy an auto, we buy prestige. And so with all the rest. In toothpaste, for example, we buy not a mere cleanser and antiseptic, but release from the fear of being sexually repulsive. In vodka and whisky we are not buying a protoplasmic poison which in small doses, may depress the nervous system in a psychologically valuable way; we are buying friendliness and good fellowship, the warmth of Dingley Dell and the brilliance of the Mermaid Tavern. With our laxatives we buy the health of a Greek god. With the monthly best seller we acquire culture, the envy of our less literate neighbors and the respect of the sophisticated. In every case the motivation analyst has found some deep-seated wish or fear, whose energy can be used to move the customer to part with cash and so, indirectly, to turn the wheels of industry.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
But what a feeling can come over a man just from seeing the things he believes in and hopes for symbolized in the concrete form of a man. In something that gives a focus to all the other things he knows to be real. Something that makes unseen things manifest and allows him to come to his hopes and dreams through his outer eye and through the touch and feel of his natural hand.
Ralph Ellison (Juneteenth)
The Son symbolizes the hope of humanity, bringing light to the darkness of our material existence, and reuniting us with the divinity of our own higher nature.
Belsebuub (The Path of the Spiritual Sun)
I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there, in prison, that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. I certainly wasn’t seeking any degree, the way a college confers a status symbol upon its students. My home made education gave me, with every additional book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness, and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America. Not long ago, an English writer telephoned me from London asking questions. One was, “What’s your alma mater?” I told him, “Books.” You will never catch me with a free fifteen minutes in which I’m not studying something I feel might be able to help the black man.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
Of course, we know that the world sees this wedding as a historical event. The first recorded marriage union between a Lunar and an Earthen since the second era. And maybe that is important. Maybe the love and compassion these two people have for each other is symbolic of hope for the future. Maybe this wedding signifies the possibility that someday our two races will not only learn to tolerate each other, but to love and appreciate each other as well. Or, maybe…” Kai’s eyes glinted. "… this relationship has absolutely nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with our shared human need to find someone who will care for us as much as we care for them. To find a partner who complements us and teaches us. Who makes us stronger. Who makes us want to be our best possible self.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
To me, the rainbow was a profoundly hopeful symbol, separating the the white light of appearances into its multiple spectrum and revealing a hidden dimension. It reminded me of my belief that it was the mission of science to pierce through the layers of everyday reality and penetrate to the truth.
Candace B. Pert (Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine)
Words. Words. I play with words, hoping that some combination, even a chance combination, will say what I want. Perhaps better with music? But music attacks my inner ear like an antagonist, it's not my world. The fact is, the real experience can't be described. I think, bitterly, that a row of asterisks, like an old-fashioned novel, might be better. Or a symbol of some kind, a circle perhaps, or a square. Anything at all, but not words. The people who have been there, in the place in themselves where words, patterns, order, dissolve, will know what I mean and others won't. But once having been there, there's a terrible irony, a terrible shrug of the shoulders, and it's not a question of fighting it, or disowning it, or of right or wrong, but simply knowing it is there, always. It's a question of bowing to it, so to speak, with a kind of courtesy, as to an ancient enemy: All right, I know you are there, but we have to preserve the forms, don't we? And perhaps the condition of your existing at all is precisely that we preserve the forms, create the patterns - have you thought of that?
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Your smile is the twinkle of happiness. Your heart is the source of kindness. Your presence is the source of joyfulness. Your thoughts are symbols of greatness.
Debasish Mridha
In our democratic society, the library stands for hope, for learning, for progress, for literacy, for self-improvement and for civic engagement. The library is a symbol of opportunity, citizenship, equality, freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and hence, is a symbol for democracy itself.
Vartan Gregorian
Politicians could talk about building walls and changing laws to keep people out, but in the end they were just symbols. Neither would stop the tide any more than the rock jetties at the mouth of the port did. Nothing could stop the tide of hope and desire. Bosch
Michael Connelly (The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Harry Bosch, #19; Harry Bosch Universe, #28))
One of the schools of Tlön goes so far as to negate time; it reasons that the present is indefinite, that the future has no reality other than as a present hope, that the past has no reality other than as a present memory. Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified an mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process. Another, that the history of the universe — and in it our lives and the most tenuous detail of our lives — is the scripture produced by a subordinate god in order to communicate with a demon. Another, that the universe is comparable to those cryptographs in which not all the symbols are valid and that only what happens every three hundred nights is true. Another, that while we sleep here, we are awake elsewhere and that in this way every man is two men.
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings)
it behoves you to develop a sagacious flair for sniffing and smelling out and appreciating such fair and fatted books, to be swiff: in pursuit and bold in the attack, and then, by careful reading and frequent meditation, to crack open the bone and seek out the substantificial marrow – that is to say, what I mean by such Pythagorean symbols – sure in the hope that you will be made witty and wise by that reading; for you will discover therein a very different savour and a more hidden instruction which will reveal to you the highest hidden truths and the most awesome mysteries
François Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel)
Faustus, who embraced evil and shunned righteousness, became the foremost symbol of the misuse of free will, that sublime gift from God with its inherent opportunity to choose virtue and reject iniquity. “What shall a man gain if he has the whole world and lose his soul,” (Matt. 16: v. 26) - but for a notorious name, the ethereal shadow of a career, and a brief life of fleeting pleasure with no true peace? This was the blackest and most captivating tragedy of all, few could have remained indifferent to the growing intrigue of this individual who apparently shook hands with the devil and freely chose to descend to the molten, sulphuric chasm of Hell for all eternity for so little in exchange. It is a drama that continues to fascinate today as powerfully as when Faustus first disseminated his infamous card in the Heidelberg locale to the scandal of his generation. In fine, a life of good or evil, the hope of Heaven or the despair of Hell, Faustus stands as a reminder that the choice between these two absolutes also falls to us.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Faust: My Soul Be Damned for the World Volume 1)
The individual artist is a medium for making representational and deeply meaningful symbols of the community’s collective consciousness, whether they are symbols of the community’s religion, love, hurt, power, hate, hope, dream, fables, foibles or on and on and on.
Inga Muscio (Cunt: A Declaration of Independence)
Is it any wonder that the cultural archetype of my generation is the Nerd, whose apps and gadgets symbolize the hope of economic growth? “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” a former math whiz at Facebook recently lamented.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
Hail to St. Aegolius Our Alma Mater. Hail, our song we raise in praise of thee Long in the memory of every loyal owl Thy splendid banner emblazoned be. Now to thy golden talons Homage we're bringing. Guiding symbol of our hopes and fears Hark to the cries of eternal praises ringing Long may we triumph in the coming years. - The Owls of St. Aegolius
Kathryn Lasky (The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #1))
For women, men creates war, even though women are the symbols of love, peace, and harmony.
Debasish Mridha
A flower is symbol of beauty for eyes, but music is the expression of beauty for ears.
Debasish Mridha
I have never seen a more desperate symbol of hope since the world ended and I've never felt the world more desperate to make a mockery of it.
Courtney Summers (Please Remain Calm (This Is Not a Test, #1.5))
The morning weighs on my shoulders with the dreadful weight of hope and I take the blue envelope which Jacques has sent me and tear it slowly into many pieces, watching them dance in the wind, watching the wind carry them away. Yet, as I turn and begin walking toward the waiting people, the wind blows some of them back on me.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
There is no remedy against this reversal of the natural order. Man cannot escape from his own achievement. He cannot but adopt the conditions of his own life. No longer in a merely physical universe, man lives in a symbolic universe. Language, myth, art, and religion are parts of this universe. They are the varied threads which weave the symbolic net, the tangled web of human experience. All human progress in thought and experience refines and strengthens this net. No longer can man confront reality immediately; he cannot see it, as it were, face to face. Physical reality seems to recede in proportion as man's symbolic activity advances. Instead of dealing with the things themselves man is in a sense constantly conversing with himself. He has so enveloped himself in linguistic forms, in artistic images, in mythical symbols or religious rites that he cannot see or know anything except by the interposition of this artificial medium. His situation is the same in the theoretical as in the practical sphere. Even here man does not live in a world of hard facts, or according to his immediate needs and desires. He lives rather in the midst of imaginary emotions, in hopes and fears, in illusions and disillusions, in his fantasies and dreams. 'What disturbs and alarms man,' said Epictetus, 'are not the things, but his opinions and fantasies about the things.
Ernst Cassirer (An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture)
He finally pulled it all back into his heart, sucking in the painful tide of his misery. In the Glade, Chuck had become a symbol for him—a beacon that somehow they could make everything right again in the world. Sleep in beds. Get kissed goodnight. Have bacon and eggs for breakfast, go to a real school. Be happy. But now Chuck was gone. And his limp body, to which Thomas still clung, seemed a cold talisman—that not only would those dreams of a hopeful future never come to pass, but that life had never been that way in the first place. That even in escape, dreary days lay ahead. A life of sorrow. His returning memories were sketchy at best. But not much good floated in the muck. Thomas reeled in the pain, locked it somewhere deep inside him. He did it for Teresa. For Newt and Minho. Whatever darkness awaited them, they’d be together, and that was all that mattered right then.
James Dashner (The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1))
There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of ‘Heaven’ ridiculous by saying they do not want ‘to spend eternity playing harps’. The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Social rejection—or fearing it—is one of the most common causes of anxiety. Feelings of inclusion depend not so much on having frequent social contacts or numerous relationships as on how accepted we feel, even in just a few key relationships.20 Small wonder that we have a hardwired system that is alert to the threat of abandonment, separation, or rejection: these were once actual threats to life itself, though they are only symbolically so today. Still, when we hope to be a You, being treated like an It, as though we do not matter, carries a particularly harsh sting.
Daniel Goleman (Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships)
Just sleep here.” At my sharp look he laughs. “I’ll take the floor, and I’ll get you to your job on time. I promise.” “You’re full of promises.” But the thought of sleeping in a soft bed with warm blankets is appealing. And I understand Jannik now. I’m his symbol of hope, his reason to believe that one day he too can throw off the shackles of his family.
Cat Hellisen (When the Sea Is Rising Red (Hobverse #1))
There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
Be the symbol of love to feel the joy of life.
Debasish Mridha
The word amen, which found its way from Judaism into Christianity and Islam, crossing cultures and continents, borders and chasms, is in fact an acronym of the Hebrew phrase ‘el melech ne’eman.’ Spoken in response to a blessing, it means: the words of the blessing are true and may they come to pass…Since that word is so universal, it symbolizes for me, much as literature does, everything that we, all of humanity, have in common despite the differences in our way of thinking, in our faith, and our inner and outer landscapes, the living, quivering hope of every human being for forgiveness, salvation, mercy. And so I think that even the very fact of its existence is comforting, although all our wishes may not come true.
Zeruya Shalev
...I'm a fool. I expect too much, then I'm angry because nothing ever works out the way I want. When I was young and full of hopes and aspirations, I didn't know I would get hurt so often. I think I'll get tough and won't ache again, then my fragile shell shatters, and again, symbolically, my blood is spilled with the tears I shed. I pull myself back together again, go on, convince myself there is a reason for everything, and at some point in my life it will be disclosed. And when I have what I want, I hope to god it stays long enough to let me know I have it, and it wont hurt when it goes, for I don't expect it to stay, not now. I'm like a doughnut, always being punch out in the middle, and constantly I go around searching for the missing piece, and on and on it goes, never ending, only beginning...
V.C. Andrews (Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger, #2))
I am the beast with a contorted grin, contracting down to illusion and dilating toward infinity, both growing and dying, delightfully suspended between hope for nothing and despair of everything, brought up among perfumes and poisons, consumed with love and hatred, killed by lights and shadows. My symbol is death of light and the flame of death. Sparks die in me only to be reborn as thunder and lightning. Darkness itself glows in me.
Emil M. Cioran
...despite the headmaster's romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fascalia worn by Roman orators to warm their vocal cords, Langdon knew that, etymologically, "cravat" actually derived from a ruthless band of Croat mercenaries who donned knotted neckerchiefs before they stormed into battle. To this day, this ancient battle garb was donned by modern office warriors hoping to intimidate their enemies in daily boardroom battles.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
I am a little child I am the symbols of peace I am the symbols of love I am your future, just for you I will be hear for ever I am your love I am your hope I am really the reflection of you So just for me Save the peace, keep alive the hope Light the lamp, whatever you do.
Debasish Mridha
Finding it so directly on the threshold of our narrative, which is now about to issue from that inauspicious portal, we could hardly do otherwise than pluck one of its flowers and present it to the reader. It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom, that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
There's a class of things to be afraid of: it's "those things that you should be afraid of". Those are the things that go bump in the night, right? You're always exposed to them when you go to horror movies, especially if they're not the gore type of horror movie. They're always hinting at something that's going on outside of your perceptual sphere, and they frighten you because you don't know what's out there. For that the Blair Witch Project was a really good example, because nothing ever happens in that movie but it's frightenting and not gory. It plays on the fact tht you do have a category of Those Things Of Which You Should Be Afraid. So it's a category, frightening things. And only things capable of abstraction can come up with something like the caregory of frightenting things. And so Kali is like an embodied representation of the category of frightening things. And then you might ask yourself, well once you come up with the concept of the category of frightening things, maybe you can come up with the concept of what to do in the face of frightening things. Which is not the same as "what do you do when you encounter a lion", or "what do you do when you encounter someone angry". It's a meta question, right? But then you could say, at a philosophical level: "You will encounter elements of the category of all those things which can frighten and undermine you during your life. Is there something that you can do *as a category* that would help you deal with that." And the answer is yeah, there is in fact. And that's what a lot of religious stories and symbolic stories are trying to propose to you, is the solution to that. One is, approach it voluntarily. Carefully, but voluntarily. Don't freeze and run away. Explore, instead. You expose yourself to risk but you gain knowledge. And you wouldn't have a cortex which, you know, is ridiculously disproportionate, if as a species we hadn't decided that exploration trumps escape or freezing. We explore. That can make you the master of a situation, so you can be the master of something like fire without being terrified of it. One of the things that the Hindus do in relationship to Kali, is offer sacrifices. So you can say, well why would you offer sacrifices to something you're afraid of. And it's because that is what you do, that's always what you do. You offer up sacrifices to the unknown in the hope that good things will happen to you. One example is that you're worried about your future. Maybe you're worried about your job, or who you're going to marry, or your family, there's a whole category of things to be worried about, so you're worried about your future. SO what're you doing in university? And the answer is you're sacrificing your free time in the present, to the cosmos so to speak, in the hope that if you offer up that sacrifice properly, the future will smile upon you. And that's one of the fundamental discoveries of the human race. And it's a big deal, that discovery: by changing what you cling to in the present, you can alter the future.
Jordan B. Peterson
Oh! how immaterial are all materials! What things real are there, but imponderable thoughts? Here now ’s the very dreaded symbol of grim death, by a mere hap, made the expressive sign of the help and hope of most endangered life. A life-buoy of a coffin! Does it go further? Can it be that in some spiritual sense the coffin is, after all, but an immortality-preserver! I ’ll think of that.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
I feel the life slipping out of me. When the pain comes, I cry out, but there is no prayer in it, only fear. I kneel and recite my office and the Rosary but the words are empty - dry gourds rattling in the silence. The dark is terrible and I feel so alone. I see no signs but the symbols of contradiction. I try to dispose myself to faith, hope and charity, but my will is a blown reed in the winds of despair.
Morris L. West (The Devil's Advocate)
You are not. The sword is for her, not for you. Come here, girl with a collar on her neck. Examine the marks etched into the blade. You don’t understand them, naturally. But I shall explain them to you. Look. The line delineated by destiny is winding, but leads to this tower. Towards annihilation, towards the destruction of established values, of the established order. But there, above the tower, do you see? A swallow. The symbol of hope. Take this sword. And may what is to come about, come about.
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Tower of the Swallow (The Witcher, #6))
From Pandora's box, where all the ills of humanity swarmed, the Greeks drew out hope after all the others, as the most dreadful of all. I know no more stirring symbol; for contrary to the general belief, hope equals resignation. And to live is not to resign oneself.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
Trees are living symbols of peace and hope. A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded...
Wangari Maathai (Unbowed)
Fantasyland was designed as a home for some of the classic characters [from those films], and as a symbol of the magic, hope and beauty of the human imagination.
Leslie Le Mon (The Disneyland Book of Secrets 2014 - Disneyland: One Local's Unauthorized, Rapturous and Indispensable Guide to the Happiest Place on Earth)
A baby is the symbol of the future, hope for the future, and our opinion in the future.
Debasish Mridha
Their Bibles had become an idol before God. That the cross, as a symbol, was an idol, even their own self-image was an idol before God.
Trevor D. Richardson (Dystopia Boy: The Unauthorized Files)
Oh my love, pure and divine love, I want to drown in you and then get lost, to find myself again and again, as a symbol and source of love, pure, blissful and divine.
Debasish Mridha
Skip had loved that lighthouse—and all it symbolized. Light in the darkness. Guidance through turbulent waters. Salvation for the floundering. Hope for lost souls.
Irene Hannon (Pelican Point (Hope Harbor, #4))
But somehow the small red-painted sled had become a symbol of courage and hope.
Lois Lowry (Messenger (The Giver, #3))
The green earth is a symbol of hope. Walk on it like you are going somewhere, even when you are going nowhere.
Michael Bassey Johnson (Song of a Nature Lover)
God has a way of taking messed-up situations and flipping them on their heads.' 'Oh yeah? Give me one example.' 'Turning an executioner's cross into a symbol of hope.
Katie Ganshert (A Broken Kind of Beautiful)
Chris, with Dana steadfastly at his side, would battle back to become both a leader in the fight to cure spinal cord injuries and a symbol of hope for millions.
Christopher Andersen (Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve)
The witch is notorious shape-shifter and comes in many guises. More than anything, though, the witch is a shifting and shadowy symbol of female power and a force for subverting the status quo. She is also a vessel that contains our conflicting feelings about female power: our fear of it, our desire for it, our hope that it can and will grow stronger despite the flames that are thrown at it.
Pam Grossman (Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power)
These stories had intrigued her with their strange mix of violence and love, so unlike the distant, passionless affection of her own mother. She thought, she hoped, that the handkerchief was something fantastic, like a piece of a tale, but real, and just for her, a symbol of the real, hidden love of her mother.
Shannon Hale (The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1))
...the whole of American life was organized around the cult of the powerful individual, that phantom ideal which Europe herself had only begun to outgrow in her last phase. Those Americans who wholly failed to realize this ideal, who remained at the bottom of the social ladder, either consoled themselves with hopes for the future, or stole symbolical satisfaction by identifying themselves with some popular star, or gloated upon their American citizenship, and applauded the arrogant foreign policy of their government.
William Olaf Stapledon (Last and First Men)
I heard somewhere that challenges make you either bitter or beautiful (like Esther was, I suppose). Symbolically, with a face that was paralyzed on one side, I was choosing to be beautiful . . . gorgeous, in fact.
Katherine Wolf (Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love)
I am the symbol of peace, I am the humanity I am the symbol of goodness I am the community I am the symbol of change I am the light in darkness I am the symbol of compassion I am the soul of kindness I am the symbol of joyful future I will bring brightness I am the symbol of unity and harmony I will bring happiness.
Debasish Mridha
The often heard lament, “I have so little time,” gives the lie to the delusion that the daily is of little significance. Everyone has exactly the same amount of time, the same twenty—four hours in which many a weary voice has uttered the gospel truth: “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Mt 6:34, KJV). But most of us, most of the time, take for granted what is closest to us and is most universal. The daily round of sunrise and sunset, for example, that marks the coming and passing of each day, is no longer a symbol of human hopes, or of God’s majesty, but a grind, something we must grit our teeth to endure. Our busy schedules, and even urban architecture, which all too often deprives us of a sense of the sky, has diminished our capacity to marvel with the psalmist in the passage of time as an expression of God’s love for us and for all creation: It was God who made the great lights, whose love endures forever; the sun to rule in the day, whose love endures forever; the moon and stars in the night, whose love endures forever. (Ps 136: 7—9, GR) When
Kathleen Norris (The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work")
Then, in the late summer of 1790, Humboldt began to study finance and economics at the academy of trade in Hamburg. He hated it for it was all numbers and account books. In his spare time, Humboldt delved into scientific treatises and travel book, he learned Danish and Swedish - anything was better than his business studies. Whenever he could, he walked down to the River Elbe in Hamburg where he watched the large merchant vessels that brought tobacco, rice and indigo from the United States. The 'sight of the ships in the harbour', he told a friend, was what held him together - a symbol of his hopes and dreams. He couldn't wait to be finally the 'master of his own luck'.
Andrea Wulf (The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World)
In your dread of dictators you established a state of society in which every ward boss is a dictator, every financier a dictator, every private employer a dictator, all with the livelihood of the workers at their mercy, and no public responsibility. And to symbolize this state of things, this defeat of all government, you have set up in New York Harbour a monstrous idol which you call Liberty. The only thing that remains to complete this monument is to put on its pedestal the inscription written by Dante on the gate of Hell ‘All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
George Bernard Shaw (The Political Madhouse in America and Nearer Home)
Symbolic value of the pickling process: all the six hundred million eggs which gave birth to the population of India could fit inside a single, standard-sized pickle-jar; six hundred million spermatozoa could be lifted on a single spoon. Every pickle-jar (you will forgive me if I become florid for a moment) contains, therefore, the most exalted of possibilities: the feasibility of the chutnification of history; the grand hope of the pickling of time!
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
The communist world, it may be noted, has one big myth (which we call an illusion, in the vain hope that our superior judgment will make it disappear). It is the time-hallowed archetypal dream of a Golden Age (or Paradise), where everything is provided in abundance for everyone, and a great, just, and wise chief rules over a human kindergarten.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
This means, of course, that the most foundational change of all, the one from which all else issues, is hardest to track. It means that politics arises out of the spread of ideas and the shaping of imaginations. It means that symbolic and cultural acts have real political power. And it means that the changes that count take place not merely onstage as action but in the minds of those who are again and again pictured only as audience or bystanders. The revolution that counts is the one that takes place in the imagination; many kinds of change issue forth thereafter, some gradual and subtle, some dramatic and conflict-ridden—which is to say that revolution doesn't necessarily look like revolution.
Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark)
The cross is a paradoxical religious symbol because it inverts the world’s value system with the news that hope comes by way of defeat, that suffering and death do not have the last word, that the last shall be first and the first last.
James H. Cone (The Cross and the Lynching Tree)
An artistic image is one that ensures its own development, its historical viability. An image is a grain, a self-evolving retroactive organism. It is a symbol of actual life, as opposed to life itself. Life contains death. An image of life, by contrast, excludes it, or else sees in it a unique potential for the affirmation of life. Whatever it expresses—even destruction and ruin—the artistic image is by definition an embodiment of hope, it is inspired by faith. Artistic creation is by definition a denial of death. Therefore it is optimistic, even if in an ultimate sense the artist is tragic. And so there can never be optimistic artists and pessimistic artists. There can only be talent and mediocrity.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Journal 1970-1986)
...because of women like us, I believe that in the end, tyranny will never succeed, and goodness will always vanquish evil. Although I may not see it in my lifetime, peace will overcome. I believe, I know, that if you have unshakable faith in yourself, in your sisters and in the possibility of change, you can do almost anything. The work is hard. The immensity of what needs to be done is discouraging. But you look at communities that are struggling on a daily basis. They keep on---and in the eyes of the people there, you are a symbol of hope. And so you, too, must keep on. You are not at liberty to give up. Don't stop, echoes the older Liberian lady's voice. Don't ever stop. My answer to her: I never will.
Leymah Gbowee (Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War)
The Ego is ignorant towards both sigils and symbols, but they both give the Ego a flow of knowledge from themselves. All knowledge of ideas, gained by means of sigils, should be re-clothed in pure symbolism to designate and stimulate its own wisdom. Symbolism is also a means of accelerating and exhausting by living a belief instead of repressing it by choice rather than of necessity, which serves its own time. All begging, self-punishment, sacrifice, etc., is but an attempt to escape the law of reaction or Karma, and by symbolising the reading of these laws, they hope to take that power from nature.
Austin Osman Spare (Book of Pleasure in Plain English)
I love watching everyone’s reactions. There are always some people who are kind of feeling it, and some who look like they’re plotting murder, and then the ones who pretend it’s not happening. I always tip because I don’t want to live in a world where no one’s doing that. I can’t think of a greater symbol of hope than a person who’s willing to drag themselves out of bed and sing at the top of their lungs to a group of strangers trapped on a train. That tenacity should be rewarded.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
I have never tried to symbolize our relationship by planting a bamboo as you might have supposed, naming my child or visiting her back. For me, she is above all typification and our relationship is immortal. And I hope to have freed her today.
Ranjani Ramachandran (Fourteen Urban Folklore)
And to think, she'd once had the hots for him, back in the old days (six months ago) when razor-thin men with noses like Durante and an encyclopaedic knowledge of de Niro movies had really been her style. Now she saw him for what he was, flotsam from a lost ship of hope. Still a pill-freak, still a theoretical bisexual, still devoted to early Polanski movies and symbolic pacifism.
Clive Barker (Books of Blood, Volume Three (Books of Blood, #3))
Imagine if all the car makers in the world were to sit down together to design one extremely simple, embellishment-free, functional car that was made from the most environmentally-sustainable materials, how cheap to buy and humanity-and-Earth-considerate that vehicle would be. And imagine all the money that would be saved by not having different car makers duplicating their efforts, competing and trying to out-sell each other, and overall how much time that would liberate for all those people involved in the car industry to help those less fortunate and suffering in the world. Likewise, imagine when each house is no longer designed to make an individualised, ego-reinforcing, status-symbol statement for its owners and all houses are constructed in a functionally satisfactory, simple way, how much energy, labour, time and expense will be freed up to care for the wellbeing of the less fortunate and the planet.
Jeremy Griffith
The communist world, it may be noted, has one big myth (which we call an illusion, in the vain hope that our superior judgment will make it disappear). It is the time-hallowed archetypal dream of Golden Age (or Paradise) where everything is provided in abundance for everyone, and a great, just and wise chief rules over the human kindergarten. This powerful archetype in its infantile form has gripped them, but it will never disappear from the world at the mere sight of our superior points of view. We even support it by our own childishness, for our Western civilization is in the grip of the same mythology. Unconsciously, we cherish the same prejudices, hopes, and expectations. We too believe in the welfare state, in universal peace, in the equality of man, in his eternal human rights, in justice, truth, and (do not say it too loudly) in the Kingdom of God on Earth. The sad truth is that man's real life consists of a complex and inexorable opposites - day and night, birth and death, happiness and misery, good and evil. We are not even sure that one will prevail against the other, that good will overcome evil, or joy defeat pain. Life is a battleground. It always has been, and always will be; and if it were not so, existence would come to an end.
C.G. Jung
A child is a part of the self, and of the loved partner; a representation of generations past; the genes of the forebears; the hope of the future; a source of love, pleasure, even narcissistic delight; a tie or a burden; and sometimes a symbol of the worst parts of the self and others.
Beverly Raphael (Anatomy Of Bereavemt)
To share Eucharistic communion with someone unbaptized, or committed to another story or system, is odd—not because the sacrament is 'profaned', or because grace cannot be given to those outside the household, but because the symbolic integrity of the Eucharist depends upon its being celebrated by those who both commit themselves to the paradigm of Jesus' death and resurrection and acknowledge that their violence is violence offered to Jesus. All their betrayals are to be understood as betrayals of him; and through that understanding comes forgiveness and hope. Those who do not so understand themselves and their sin or their loss will not make the same identification of their victims with Jesus, nor will they necessarily understand their hope for their vocation in relation to him and his community. Their participation is thus anomalous: it is hard to see the meaning of what is being done.
Rowan Williams (Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel)
People referred to the symbolism of the empty Cross more than once on its journey. It would seem obviously to point to our faith in Jesus’ resurrection. It’s not quite so simple though. The Cross is bare, but in and of itself the empty Cross does not point directly to the Resurrection. It says only that the body of Jesus was removed from the Cross. If a crucifix is a symbol of Good Friday, then it is the image of the empty tomb that speaks more directly of Easter and resurrection. The empty Cross is a symbol of Holy Saturday. It’s an indicator of the reality of Jesus’ death, of His sharing in our mortal coil. At the same time, the empty Cross is an implicit sign of impending resurrection, and it tells us that the Cross is not only a symbol of hatred, violence and inhumanity: it says that the Cross is about something more. The empty Cross also tells us not to jump too quickly to resurrection, as if the Resurrection were a trump card that somehow absolves us from suffering. The Resurrection is not a divine ‘get-out-of-jail free’ card that immunises people from pain, suffering or death. To jump too quickly to the Resurrection runs the risk of trivialising people’s pain and seemingly mapping out a way through suffering that reduces the reality of having to live in pain and endure it at times. For people grieving, introducing the message of the Resurrection too quickly cheapens or nullifies their sense of loss. The empty Cross reminds us that we cannot avoid suffering and death. At the same time, the empty Cross tells us that, because of Jesus’ death, the meaning of pain, suffering and our own death has changed, that these are not all-crushing or definitive. The empty Cross says that the way through to resurrection must always break in from without as something new, that it cannot be taken hold of in advance of suffering or seized as a panacea to pain. In other words, the empty Cross is a sign of hope. It tells us that the new life of God surprises us, comes at a moment we cannot expect, and reminds us that experiences of pain, grief and dying are suffused with the presence of Christ, the One Who was crucified and is now risen.
Chris Ryan MGL (In The Light Of The Cross: Reflections On The Australian Journey Of The World Youth Day Cross And Icon)
Hope that had sparked in my chest now lit a fire, and I fanned it, wanting it to burn hot and bright, because hope… hope was not the enemy. It was a friend, a savior. Hope was more than a new beginning. Hope was tomorrow, and hope was the symbol that I would get better, that I would undo the bad choices that I’d made, and that I would never make them again. Hope was more than a chance of redemption. It was the promise of one day finding absolution, of forgiving myself. But it was more than that. Hope was also today, and today was so very important. There would be no more rushing through seconds and minutes. I promised myself that. I was going to live, and it was going to be hard at times. There would be setbacks and days when everything would feel dull and tarnished somehow, but I had hope and I had the knowledge to face what was causing me to suffer. I had my friends. I had Tanner. And most importantly, I had myself.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Scorched (Frigid, #2))
I am the symbol of peace I am the humanity I am the symbol of goodness I am the community I am the symbol of change I am the light in darkness I am the symbol of compassion I am the sole of kindness I am the symbol of joyful future I will bring brightness I am the symbol of unity and harmony I will bring happiness
Debasish Mridha
I am the symbol of peace I am the humanity I am the symbol of goodness I am the community I am the symbol of change I am the light in darkness I am the symbol of compassion I am the sole of kindness I am the symbol of joyful future I will bring brightness I am the symbol of unity and harmony I will bring happiness.
Debasish Mridha
I bring peace in the world, When I am an example of peace. When I love without condition. When I am the symbol of justice. When I can see people without prejudice. When I plant trees with great love. When I love the nature and take care. When I see no difference between you and me. When I am the symbol of compassion, care, and love.
Debasish Mridha
Those Americans who wholly failed to realize this ideal, who remained at the bottom of the social ladder, either consoled themselves with hopes for the future, or stole symbolical satisfaction by identifying themselves with some popular star, or gloated upon their American citizenship, and applauded the arrogant foreign policy of their government.
William Olaf Stapledon (Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future)
Kafka calls it the Indestructible—the thing at the bottom of each individual that keeps going whether they feel like going or not. The Indestructible is a place that has nothing to do with optimism—instead, it’s something far deeper and far less self-conscious than optimism—the Indestructible is the thing we mask with all sorts of other symbols, hopes, and ambitions—that don’t force you to acknowledge what is underneath. Well…if you do (or are forced to) remove all those excesses, you get the Indestructible, and once you acknowledge it, Kafka goes deeper—he doesn’t let you think the Indestructible is optimistic or positive—instead it is the thing that could actually rip us apart and destroy us…
Lulu Miller (Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life)
life of bees and how they are a symbol of vulnerability and life and hope.
Christy Lefteri (The Beekeeper of Aleppo)
Three perfect symbols of hope that someday he wouldn’t be alone anymore.
Emma Hamm (Fire Heart (The Dragon of Umbra, #1))
Other flowers came at the end of the summer, but by then the winter sadness had already dissipated, and the effect of the blooms was not the same.
Jessica Stern (Denial: A Memoir of Terror)
It is a natural human instinct to turn our fears into symbols, and destroy the symbols, in the hope that it will destroy the fear.
Johann Hari
I am the love. I am the slave of love. I worship love. I adore unconditional love. I am the pure devotee of love. My heart and eyes are the symbols of love. Love has the inconceivable innumerable attribute. Love is the indivisible, infinite, and limitless truth. Love is the supreme with most dazzling splendor. Love is eternal, blissful, spiritual, and tender.
Debasish Mridha
I am the humanity, I am the symbols of peace. I am the symbol of peace, I am the humanity I am the symbol of goodness I am the community I am the symbol of change I am the light in darkness I am the symbol of compassion I am the sole of kindness I am the symbol of joyful future I will bring brightness I am the symbol of unity and harmony I will bring happiness.
Debasish Mridha
I thought I was getting away from politics for a while. But I now realise that the vuvuzela is to these World Cup blogs what Julius Malema is to my politics columns: a noisy, but sadly unavoidable irritant. With both Malema and the vuvuzela, their importance is far overstated. Malema: South Africa's Robert Mugabe? I think not. The vuvuzela: an archetypal symbol of 'African culture?' For African civilisation's sake, I seriously hope not. Both are getting far too much airtime than they deserve. Both have thrust themselves on to the world stage through a combination of hot air and raucous bluster. Both amuse and enervate in roughly equal measure. And both are equally harmless in and of themselves — though in Malema's case, it is the political tendency that he represents, and the right-wing interests that lie behind his diatribes that is dangerous. With the vuvu I doubt if there are such nefarious interests behind the scenes; it may upset the delicate ears of the middle classes, both here and at the BBC, but I suspect that South Africa's democracy will not be imperilled by a mass-produced plastic horn.
Richard Calland
We’re the blue line, sir, and that will resonate on-screen. But Peabody is the face, the very human element. And she would symbolize who we are, contrast sharply against what Renee Oberman is.” He rubbed his chin, and his lips curved a little above his fingers. “You can carve out an angle like that, an excellent angle, and believe the idea of your ass in the chair someday down the road is terrifying?” He waved off her response before she could make it. “I should have thought of it myself, should have thought it through exactly that way. I’ll contact Furst.” Something inside her unknotted. “Thank you, sir.” “Don’t thank me. I’m wondering why I haven’t assigned you to Media and PR.” “Because, sir, I hope I’ve done nothing to deserve that kind of punishment.
J.D. Robb (Treachery in Death (In Death, #32))
The only possible demand at the endpoint of deconstruction is to deconstruct some more. And it seems possible to pull apart and find cause for resentment endlessly. Certainly, that is the hope of the deconstructionists, who now scour the world of art and look for symbols of rape, male dominance, privilege, racism, and much more.10 And of course they find things to occupy their time.
Douglas Murray (The War on the West)
hyacinth the same blue as Molly’s eyes for constancy, the Bachelor’s Button at my right hip symbolizing hope in love, the periwinkles intertwined with vines beneath Dane’s lotus for sweet remembrance.
Giana Darling (Inked in Lies (The Fallen Men, #5))
The Creator did not give humans wards. Humans created them out of unified need. Alone, the symbols had no power. It was the resolve of their makers, the hope and prayers of the masses huddling behind them.
Peter V. Brett (The Core (The Demon Cycle, #5))
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless. OSCAR WILDE
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
You’re not defined by how you fall. Everyone falls at some time or another. You’re defined by how you rise. Every phoenix has to burn before it can rise from the ashes. It’s why they are a symbol of strength and hope.
Amelia Hutchins (Death Before Dawn (Guardian's Diary, #2))
So, cutting the lashing of the waterproof match keg, after many failures Starbuck contrived to ignite the lamp in the lantern; then stretching it on a waif pole, handed it to Queequeg as the standard-bearer of this forlorn hope. There, then, he sat, holding up that imbecile candle in the heart of that almighty forlornness. There, then, he sat, the sign and symbol of a man without faith, hopelessly holding up hope in the midst of despair.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
derelict. my voice cracked and yolk poured out. wind chimes rigid, no breeze, no song. my wings found hidden in your suitcase. pleas for help mistaken for a swan song. i'm stuffing pages from my journal down my throat as kindling. hoping the smoke will get the taste of you out of my mouth. he looks at me from across the room and all i want is to push him against the wall. ravage. ravage. carnage has never been more vogue. is it still art if it doesn't bring you to your knees? lover, let me prey at your altar. let me bare my fangs in praise. don't i look so pretty in a funeral shroud? i keep time with the click of my creaking bones. dance with me under the milky translucence of a world suffocating. how did you find me? i buried myself beneath the cicadas. is a girl trapped in glass still a prize? let me get under your skin. i want to know what your fears taste like. i want to consume.
Taylor Rhodes (calloused: a field journal)
I agree with Pierre Bayle and with Unamuno that when cold reason contemplates the world it finds not only an absence of God, but good reasons for supposing that there is no God at all. From this perspective, from what Unamuno called the 'tragic sense of life', from this despair, faith comes to the rescue, not only as something nonrational but in a sense irrational. For Unamuno the great symbol of a person of faith was his Spanish hero Don Quixote. Faith is indeed quixotic. It is absurd. Let us admit it. Let us concede to everything! To a rational mind the world looks like a world without God. It looks like a world with no hope for another life. To think otherwise, to believe in spite of appearances, is surely a kind of madness. The atheist sees clearly that windmills are in fact only windmills, that Dulcinea is just a poor country bumpkin with a homely face and an unpleasant smell. The atheist is a Sarah, justifiably laughing in her old age at Abraham's belief that God will give them a son. What can be said in reply? How can a fideist admit that faith is a kind of madness, a dream fed by passionate desire, and yet maintain that one is not mad to make the leap?
Martin Gardner
The real propaganda is what—if we are genuinely a living member of a nation—we tell ourselves because we have hope, hope being a symbol of a nation's instinct of self-preservation. To remain blind to the unjustness of the cause of the individual "Germany," to recognise at every moment the justness of the cause of the individual "France," the surest way was not for a German to be without judgement, or for a Frenchman to possess it, it was, both for the one and for the other, to be possessed of patriotism.
Marcel Proust (Time Regained)
This is not how you thought it would be. Time has stopped. Nothing feels real. Your mind cannot stop replaying the events, hoping for a different outcome. The ordinary, everyday world that others still inhabit feels coarse and cruel. You can’t eat (or you eat everything). You can’t sleep (or you sleep all the time). Every object in your life becomes an artifact, a symbol of the life that used to be and might have been. There is no place this loss has not touched. In the days and weeks since your loss, you’ve heard all manner of things about your grief: They wouldn’t want you to be sad. Everything happens for a reason. At least you had them as long as you did. You’re strong and smart and resourceful—you’ll get through this! This experience will make you stronger. You can always try again—get another partner, have another child, find some way to channel your pain into something beautiful and useful and good. Platitudes and cheerleading solve nothing. In fact, this kind of support only makes you feel like no one in the world understands. This isn’t a paper cut. It’s not a crisis of confidence. You didn’t need this thing to happen in order to know what’s important, to find your calling, or even to understand that you are, in fact, deeply loved. Telling the truth about grief is the only way forward: your loss is exactly as bad as you think it is. And people, try as they might, really are responding to your loss as poorly as you think they are. You aren’t crazy. Something crazy has happened, and you’re responding as any sane person would.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
I once read a theory about ‘positive thinking’ that seems to be true or, at least, made a sufficient impression on me to remember it. I have always been distrustful of positive thinking, believing it to be as fixed and unyielding as negative thinking. Yet it is the advice most often offered to depressives. That it does not work seems not to occur to those who offer it up like some benevolent panacea. Perhaps it works for them or perhaps they are a product of some positive thinking gene pool. Who knows? Anywhere, here is the theory that helped me. I hope that it will help you too. Imagine you are driving a car, and you are heading straight for a brick wall. If you stay in habitual or rigid thinking (the kind of thinking that says, ‘this is the way I always do things’) and do not change the direction in the way you are headed, you will drive you car into the brick wall. Now imagine you are driving that same car towards that same brick wall. Now use positive thinking to imagine that wall is, in fact, a tunnel. It is not, of course, you simply hope or wish that it is a tunnel but it is the same old, intractable brick. You still drive your car into the wall. You are in the same car, facing the same wall except that you use creative or constructive thinking. You see the wall as an obstacle set dead ahead and see that it is solid and immoveable. You use your thinking to change direction and drive your car around it. Understanding that our thinking is not always helpful sounds so obvious and simple. So does changing our thinking, yet both are formidably difficult to do, perhaps because, most of the time, we never question it. We go right ahead and do what we have always done, in the same way we have always done it. We crash into relationships, mess up jobs, ruin friendships and all because we believe that our way is the right way. There is a saying: ‘I’d rather be right than happy.’ And here is another: ‘My way or no way.’ I see that wall as a symbol for an obstacle (or obstacles, there may be many) in our emotional make-up. If we go on behaving in the same way, we will crash. If we pretend that those obstacles in our character don’t exist, or are something else entirely, we will still crash. But if we acknowledge them and behave in a different way, we will come to a better and safer place. Or at least we will, until we meet the next obstacle.
Sally Brampton (Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression)
I still remember—so vividly I can smell the gentle fragrance of the spring air—the afternoon when I decided, after thinking everything over, to abdicate from love as from an insoluble problem. it was in May, a May that was softly summery, with the flowers around my estate already in full bloom, their colors fading as the sun made its slow descent. Escorted by regrets and self-reproach, I walked among my few trees, I had dined early and was wandering, like a symbol, under the useless shadows and faint rustle of leaves. And suddenly I was overwhelmed by a desire to renounce completely, to withdraw once and for all, and I felt an intense nausea for having had so many desires, so many hopes, with so many outer conditions for attaining them and so much inner impossibility of really wanting to attain them.
Fernando Pessoa (The Education of the Stoic: The Only Manuscript of the Baron of Teive)
The ballpark is the star. In the age of Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth, the era of Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams, through the empty-seats epoch of Don Buddin and Willie Tasby and unto the decades of Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice, the ballpark is the star. A crazy-quilt violation of city planning principles, an irregular pile of architecture, a menace to marketing consultants, Fenway Park works. It works as a symbol of New England's pride, as a repository of evergreen hopes, as a tabernacle of lost innocence. It works as a place to watch baseball
Martin F. Nolan
Unlike the classical Greeks, for whom the fruit symbolized the inescapable cycle of bitter death, with a remorseful Persephone returning to the underworld for her six months of required winter, Marjan liked to believe the old stories of Persian soothsayers, who held a different vision of the tart fruit's purpose in life. She liked to remember that above all else, above all the unfortunate connotations of death and winter, the pomegranate was, and always would be, the fruit of hope. The flower of fertility, of new things and old seasons to be cradled.
Marsha Mehran (Pomegranate Soup)
A church removed the American flag from its sanctuary. The pastor explained the flag’s removal: “There may have been a time when this national symbol, positioned so close to Christ’s holy table, might have been innocent. But in our day, when it’s becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to keep our symbols straight, and when we are asking too much of this flag, we don’t want to confuse people about the dominant signifiers of Christian reality. As you know, our hope is not in the flag of any nation; our hope is in the cross, the broken bread and shared cup.
William H. Willimon (How Odd of God: Chosen for the Curious Vocation of Preaching)
Growing up, my mother used to tell me to cherish life. Think of a candle flame. It burns bright but slowly dies out, when its burning bright it represents living life to its fullest. Each flicker is an obstacle that is overcome. In the end the flame slowly wanes. You have to make the most of what you have when the flame is brightest. You never know when the flame is going to be blown out. Life is short, but it can also be beautiful. Its a symbol of hope. Candle flames take away the small portion of darkness giving the slightest bit of illumination in the darkest of times.. -Liam
Kaitlyn Hoyt (BlackMoon Beginnings (Prophesized, #1))
I'd hoped for someone who was remarkably intelligent, but disadvantaged by home circumstance, someone who only needed an hour's extra tuition a week to become some kind of working-class prodigy. I wanted my hour a week to make the difference between a future addicted to heroin and a future studying English at Oxford. That was the sort of kid I wanted, and instead they'd given me someone whose chief interest was in eating fruit. I mean, what did he need to read for? There's an international symbol for the gents' toilets, and he could always get his mother to tell him what was on television.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
The real risk is that we will fall into depression and despair; the danger is that we will lose hope in the human project. It is this kind of despondency that art is uniquely well suited to correct. Flowers in spring, blue skies, children running on the beach . . . these are the visual symbols of hope.
Alain de Botton
Life can be easily lived in a diminutive puddle or travelled on a vast ocean of discovery but until you gaze upon that sea of hope, vision and possibility, exploring, determining and pressing every button that enforces aspiration and action, you’ll be unlikely to experience its symbolic drenching of success
Michael Khatkar (Motivation from a Tortured Mind)
They must have thought I'm moon. Therefore they made known to me their hopes and expectations that is beyond flesh and blood. I'm only the symbol of creativity within the ancient spirits of my great ancestors. All life that never dies in all stormy season. I'm the oak tree in the breath of the warlike heros.
Darmie O-Lujon
We write, edit, and rewrite the story of our own life employing descriptive words, metaphors, and symbols. Our lives are full of symbols including those supplied by nature and religion, which touch upon the mystical and spiritual aspects of life. Symbols inspire enduring hope by formulating idealist expectations.
Kilroy J. Oldster
This gruesome and absurd doorstep suicide symbolized for me the mood of Beirut at the end of 1983 and in early 1984—a mood of dashed hopes and utter desperation. The Marines had come to Beirut to project strength, presence, security, and calm, while the Lebanese resolved their differences and rebuilt their nation.
Thomas L. Friedman (From Beirut to Jerusalem)
When I was on a book tour last year, I saw a sign in a bookstore in a seaside town in Maine that was carefully drawn with popular symbols of coastal living and these words were entwined: Hope anchors the soul. From that childhood that many might call "disadvantaged," I was anchored in the belief that most things are possible.
Jewelle L. Gómez (Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times)
...in microphysics the observer interferes with the experiment in a way that can't be measured and that therefore can't be eliminated. No natural laws can be formulated, saying "such-and-such will happen in every case." All the microphysicist can say is "such-and-such is, according to statistical probability, likely to happen." This naturally represents a tremendous problem for our classical physical thinking. It requires a consideration, in a scientific experiment, of the mental outlook of the participant-observer: It could this be said that scientists can no longer hope to describe any aspects or qualities of outer objects in a completely independent, "objective" manner.
M.L. von Franz
It was the best kind of class to have in the afternoon, an exercise in almost pure language, demanding nothing more than fractional consciousness since there wasn't the slightest hope of understanding what those poems were all about, and we drowsed and smiled, happy in our own little angel-infancy, snug in our Thamesian punt, and when the sonic belch of experimental jets went ripping across the desert we came close to applauding the symbolism; but a trembling applause it would have been, for we knew that it signaled the death of our drowsy England and the beginning of a new mortality, just months away now, the start of job, mate, child, desk, drink, sit, squat, quiver, die.
Don DeLillo (Americana)
Not again,” groaned Hypnos. “It’s nothing but a symbol—” Laila hissed in her breath. She could practically see Enrique brandishing a sword. “Nothing but a symbol?” repeated Enrique quietly. “People die for symbols. People have hope because of symbols. They’re not just lines. They’re histories, cultures, traditions, given shape.” Hypnos blushed and plucked at his vest.
Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1))
No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by the word. It is every individual's individual code of behavior, by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only. Whatever its symbol—cross or crescent or whatever—that symbol is man's reminder of his duty inside the human race. Its various allegories are the charts against which he measures himself and learns to know what he is. It cannot teach man to be good as the textbook teaches him mathematics. It shows him how to discover himself, evolve for himself a moral code and standard within his capacities and aspirations, by giving him a matchless example of suffering and sacrifice and the promise of hope.
William Faulkner
On the one hand, the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European Enlightenment (that’s a metaphor, by the way) correctly “enlightened” us on the necessity of observation and experimentation in the physical sciences and the value of reason and debate, proof and repetition in science and technology. In that process, the dead hand of inquisitional power and the cold gaze of ecclesiastical control were removed from spheres about which they knew too little and claimed too much. That was a magnificent achievement and must always be appreciated as such. On the other hand, the Enlightenment also dramatically “endarkened” us on metaphor and symbol, myth and parable, especially in religion and theology. We judge, for example, that the ancients took their religious stories literally, but that we are now sophisticated enough to recognize their delusions. What, however, if those ancients intended and accepted their stories as metaphors or parables, and we are the mistaken ones? What if those pre-Enlightenment minds were quite capable of hearing a metaphor, grasping its meaning immediately and its content correctly, and never worrying about the question: Is this literal or metaphorical? Or, better, what if they knew how to take their foundational metaphors and stories programmatically, functionally, and seriously without asking too closely about literal and metaphorical distinctions? We have, in other words, great post-Enlightenment gain, but also great post-Enlightenment loss.
John Dominic Crossan (The Greatest Prayer: A Revolutionary Manifesto and Hymn of Hope)
I do not want to live in a world without butterflies. Without the intricate eyes and velvety wings, graceful splashes of color dancing on the breeze. Airy, delicate keepers of hope. Metamorphic symbols of change, growth, maturation. ... I do not want this world without the butterflies. I could not bear the wailing of flowers. --from 'A World Without Butterflies' (a poem)
Christina M. Ward (organic)
BELONG You said I belong to you And I agree But the quality of that belonging Is a question of some importance. I do not belong to you Like a purchase Something ordered and sold And delivered in a box To be put up and shown off To friends and admirers. I would not belong to you that way And I know you would not have me so. I will tell you how I belong to you. I belong to you like a ring on a finger A symbol of something eternal. I belong to you like a heart in a chest Beating in time to another heart. I belong to you like a word on the air Sending love to your ear. I belong to you like a kiss on your lips Put there by me, in the hope of more to come. And most of all I belong to you Because in where I hold my hopes I hold the hope that you belong to me. It is a hope I unfold for you now like a gift. Belong to me like a ring And a heart And a word And a kiss And like a hope held close. I will belong to you like all these things And also something more Something we will discover between us And will belong to us alone. You said I belong to you And I agree. Tell me you belong to me, too. I wait for your word And hope for your kiss. Love you. Enzo.
John Scalzi
Monsters’ can help us by giving a tangible form to our secret fears. It is less widely appreciated today that ‘wonders’ such as the unicorn legitimize our hopes. But all imaginary animals, to some degree all animals, are ultimately both monsters and wonders, which assist us by deflecting and absorbing our uncertainties . It is hard to tell ‘imaginary animals’ from symbolic, exemplary, heraldic, stylized, poetic, literary, or stereotypical ones. What is reality? Until we answer that question with confidence, a sharp differentiation between real animals and imaginary ones will remain elusive. There is some yeti in every ape, and a bit of Pegasus in every horse. Men and women are not only part angel and part demon, as the old cliché goes; they are also part centaur, part werewolf, part mandrake, and part sphinx.
Boria Sax (Imaginary Animals: The Monstrous, the Wondrous and the Human)
A world full of people hating themselves is not a happy world. Buddhism does not seem to be about self-punishment. A key buddhist symbol is that of the lotus flower. The lotus flower grows in mud at the bottom of a pool, but rises above the murky water and blooms in the clear air, pure and beautiful, before eventually dying. This metaphor for spiritual enlightenment also works as a metaphor for hope and change.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
In most published stories, adoptees still aren't the adults, the ones with power or agency or desires that matter - we're the babies in the orphanage; we're the kids who don't quite fit in; we are struggling souls our adoptive families fought for, objects of hope, symbols of tantalizing potential and parental magnanimity and wishes fulfilled. We are wanted, found, or saved, but never grown, never entirely our own.
Nicole Chung (All You Can Ever Know)
Psychodynamic theorists and psychologists of various traditions theorise that the sense of having fallen originates in our experience of birth. We are created in the body of woman and grow in the womb where all our needs are automatically met. Then we fall, in birth, into the human world, separated from our maternal Eden, but always remembering a heavenly place where all our needs were met. It should not be a surprise, but we now know that the baby in the womb can see and hear and remember. Any parent who has seen a placenta will know that it is made in the image of a tree, a wondrous tree of life that fed us until we were ready for birth. Is it any surprise that in so many traditions the symbolism of trees is so important? The tree of life is the first thing we see in the womb, we never forget this and psychodynamic theorists argue we yearn for this, all our lives, hoping to escape life’s frustrations by returning to a blissful womb like state. If this is true, is it any wonder that legends of fallen angels so fascinate and entice us? In these legends perhaps we see echoes of our own fall. Psychologically we identify with those with whom we share similar experiences; and the fallen angels can easily become mirrors in which to see ourselves.
Stephen Skinner (Both Sides of Heaven: A collection of essays exploring the origins, history, nature and magical practices of Angels, Fallen Angels and Demons)
At the beginning of the war…I had to look in on the War Office, and in a room I found a fellow…What do you think he was doing…what the hell do you think he was doing? He was devising the ceremonial for the disbanding of a Kitchener battalion. You can’t say we were not prepared in one matter at least…. Well, the end of the show was to be: the adjutant would stand the battalion at ease; the band would play Land of Hope and Glory, and then the adjutant would say: There will be no more parades…. Don’t you see how symbolical it was—the band playing Land of Hope and Glory, and then the adjutant saying: There will be no more parades?…For there won’t. There won’t, there damn well won’t. No more Hope, no more Glory, no more parades for you and me any more. Nor for the country…nor for the world, I dare say… None… Gone… Napoo finny! No…more…parades!
Ford Madox Ford (Parade's End)
The paradox of identity liberalism is that it paralyzes the capacity to think and act in a way that would actually accomplish the things it professes to want. It is mesmerized by symbols: achieving superficial diversity in organizations, retelling history to focus on marginal and often minuscule groups, concocting inoffensive euphemisms to describe social reality, protecting young ears and eyes already accustomed to slasher films from any disturbing encounter with alternative viewpoints. Identity liberalism has ceased being a political project and has morphed into an evangelical one. The difference is this: evangelism is about speaking truth to power. Politics is about seizing power to defend the truth… If liberals hope ever to recapture America’s imagination and become a dominant force across the country, it will not be enough to beat the Republicans at flattering the vanity of the mythical Joe Sixpack. They must offer a vision of our common destiny based on one thing that all Americans, of every background, actually share. And that is citizenship. We must relearn how to speak to citizens as citizens and to frame our appeals — including ones to benefit particular groups — in terms of principles that everyone can affirm. Ours must become a civic liberalism.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
There were things hiding inside of her I wasn’t equipped to see and this collapse ripped her open to me. I searched her cavities for symbols that would betray her true nature, but found nothing I could read, just a vast absence containing her poverty of morals. I should’ve known, the need for my presence in her life was never love, only a sluice of goodness she would let flood the gulley of her body when she needed to appear human.
K.I. Hope (We Are Making the World a Better Place)
I come from the heart land of New Zealand. A place where men are men and there is no such thing as a latte. Where a day’s work is only done one way. THE HARD WAY. Where the vehicle you drive doesn’t symbolize who you are. A place where a beer is a beer and it comes only one way, ICE COLD. Yes the great land I like to call home the Waikato but yes all this beauty comes at a price obviously where men actually act like men not knob head; makeup wearing, tight jean wearing homos there will always be a shortage of real women. So just as the last generation of real men, almost every weekend we head into every bar, club, party or music festival we can in the hopes of finding a real women. Don’t get me wrong, bars clubs a music fests are the best fun ever. And I drink alcohol like it’s going out of fashion not that we care about fashion round here. See you in the heart land
Daniel Anderson
The sequel [to The Silmarillion and The Hobbit], The Lord of the Rings, much the largest, and I hope also in proportion the best, of the entire cycle, concludes the whole business – an attempt is made to include in it, and wind up, all the elements and motives of what has preceded: elves, dwarves, the Kings of Men, heroic ‘Homeric’ horsemen, orcs and demons, the terrors of the Ring-servants and Necromancy, and the vast horror of the Dark Throne, even in style it is to include the colloquialism and vulgarity of Hobbits, poetry and the highest style of prose. We are to see the overthrow of the last incarnation of Evil, the unmaking of the Ring, the final departure of the Elves, and the return in majesty of the true King, to take over the Dominion of Men, inheriting all that can be transmitted of Elfdom in his high marriage with Arwen daughter of Elrond, as well as the lineal royalty of Númenor. But as the earliest Tales are seen through Elvish eyes, as it were, this last great Tale, coming down from myth and legend to the earth, is seen mainly though the eyes of Hobbits: it thus becomes in fact anthropocentric. But through Hobbits, not Men so-called, because the last Tale is to exemplify most clearly a recurrent theme: the place in ‘world politics’ of the unforeseen and unforeseeable acts of will, and deeds of virtue of the apparently small, ungreat, forgotten in the places of the Wise and Great (good as well as evil). A moral of the whole (after the primary symbolism of the Ring, as the will to mere power, seeking to make itself objective by physical force and mechanism, and so also inevitably by lies) is the obvious one that without the high and noble the simple and vulgar is utterly mean; and without the simple and ordinary the noble and heroic is meaningless.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
The inspiration our campaign was providing, the sight of so many young people newly invested in their ability to make change, the bringing together of Americans across racial and socio-economic lines - it was the realization of everything I’d once dreamed might be possible in politics, and it made me proud. But the continuing elevation of me as a symbol ran contrary to my organizer’s instincts, that sense that change involves “we” and not “me”.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
The internet is like everything that came before it, but so much more. More powerful than the greatest words ever written or spoken in any language, more powerful than any image or symbol ever seen, more powerful than hope or fear, more powerful than religion, faith itself, the totality of the human spirit. The invisible infinite that rules over our lives whether we want it to or not. But really, who doesn’t? Everyone wants a master, everyone needs some version of God.
A.D. Aliwat (In Limbo)
Why not?” I asked, letting my tears spill over. It was easy to cry. All I had to do was look at Alex’s limp body, and the tears came effortlessly. “You were happy enough to do it to me.” There was a beat. Then John said cautiously, “What do you mean?” “The consequences, John?” I let out a bitter laugh. “Persephone wasn’t doomed to stay in the Underworld because she ate a pomegranate. She was doomed to stay there because she did with Hades what we did last night. That’s what the pomegranate symbolizes, right?” John stared, speechless. But I could tell I was right by the color that slowly started to suffuse his cheeks…and the fact that he didn’t try to contradict me. And of course the fact that the whole thing was spelled out right in front of me by the statue Hope was sitting on. I didn’t get why the Rectors were so obsessed by the myth of Persephone that they’d put a statue of it in their mausoleum, but it was clear enough they were involved in an underworld of one kind or another. “Don’t worry,” I said, lowering my voice because I didn’t want Frank to overhear. “I don’t blame you. You asked me if I was sure, despite the consequences. I said I was. But I thought by consequences you meant a baby, and I already knew that could never happen. I guess Mr. Smith must have told you last night that he found out the pomegranate symbolized something completely different than babies or death-“ “Pierce.” John grasped my hand. His fingers were like ice, but his voice and his gaze had an urgency that was anything but cold. “That isn’t why I did it. I love you. I’ve always loved you, because you’re good…you’re so good, you make me want to be good, too. But that’s the problem, Pierce. I’m not good. And I’ve always been afraid that when you find out the truth about me, you’d run away again-“ I sucked in my breath to tell him for the millionth time that this wasn’t true, but he cut me off, not allowing me to speak until he’d had his say. “Then you almost died yesterday,” he went on, “and it was my fault. I wanted to show you how much I loved you, and things…things went further than I expected. But you didn’t stop me”-his silver eyes blazed, as if daring me to deny what he was saying-“even though I told you we could slow down if you wanted to.” “I know,” I said softly, dropping my gaze to look down at our joined fingers. We’d each kept a hand on Alex. “I know you did.” “I don’t want to lose you again,” he said fiercely. “I lost you once and I couldn’t bear it. I won’t go through that again. I…I know I did the wrong thing. But it didn’t feel wrong at the time.” I raised my gaze to his. “You’re right about that, at least,” I said. “So am I forgiven?” he asked. I hesitated, confused by the myriad of emotions I was feeling. John had known. He’d known the whole time we had been together the night before that he was forever sealing my destiny to his. Of course, he’d thought I’d known, too. He’d asked if I was sure it was what I wanted, despite the consequences. I might have misunderstood what those consequences were, but I’d been very adamant in my response. I’d said yes. And I’d meant it. “Excuse me,” called Frank’s voice from the opposite wall of vaults. “But you might want to take a look at the boy.” John and I both glanced down. Beneath the hands we’d left on Alex, he’d come back to life.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don’t grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus’ sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement—a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.) Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as “Alpha and Omega” (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, “In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a ‘more excellent hope’ (Ether 12:32)” (Grace Works, 62). Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the “light” (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn’t always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. “For my yoke is easy,” He said, “and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). He doesn’t always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good. Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain” (“Eve Heard All These Things,” 27). Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our “advocate” (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler” (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn’t always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone. … We’ve already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means “to cover.” In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means “to embrace.” Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20). (Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).
Brad Wilcox
The fact is that an unscrupulous tyrant mobilizes the suppressed fears and anxieties of those who were beaten as children but have never been able to accuse their own fathers of doing so. Their loyalty to these fathers is unswerving, despite the torments suffered at their hands. Every tyrant symbolizes such a father, the figure whom the abused children remain attached to with every fiber of their being, hoping that one day they will be able to transform him into a loving parent by remaining blind.
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting)
We were scorning the symbol of hypocrisy and hope. Many of us had only begun to realize in Africa that the Stars and Stripes was our flag and our only flag, and that knowledge was almost too painful to bear. We could physically return to Africa, find jobs, learn languages, even marry and remain on African soil all our lives, but we were born in the United States and it was the United States which had rejected, enslaved, exploited, then denied us. It was the United States which held the graves of our grandmothers and grandfathers. It was in the United States, under conditions too bizarre to detail, that those same ancestors had worked and dreams of “a better day, by and by.” . . . I shuddered to think that while we wanted that flag dragged into the mud and sullied beyond repair, we also wanted it pristine, its white stripes, summer cloud white. Watching it wave in the breeze of a distance made us nearly choke with emotion. It lifted us up with its promise and broke our hearts with its denial.
Maya Angelou (All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes)
Ultimately Fitzgerald chose not to use the word "America" at all in the novel's concluding passage. America remains an emblem -- not quite a metaphor, but a symbol, a figure, the fact as colossal as a continent -- and what it represents is not a specific nation but a human capacity, our capacity for hope, for wonder, for discovery. It represents the corruption of that capacity into a faith in the material world, rather than the ideal one. And it reminds us, too of our careless habit of losing our paradises.
Sarah Churchwell (Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby)
In actuality, myths are neither fiction nor history. Nor are most myths—and this will surprise some people—an amalgamation of fiction and history. Rather, a myth is something that never happened but is always happening. Myths are the plots of the psyche. They are ongoing, symbolic dramatizations of the inner life of the species, external metaphors for internal events. As Campbell used to say, myths come from the same place dreams come from. But because they’re more coherent than dreams, more linear and refined, they are even more instructive. A myth is the song of the universe, a song that, if accurately perceived, explains the universe and our often confusing place in it. It is only when it is allowed to crystallize into “history” that a myth becomes useless—and possibly dangerous. For example, when the story of the resurrection of Jesus is read as a symbol for the spiritual rebirth of the individual, it remains alive and can continually resonate in a vital, inspirational way in the modern psyche. But when the resurrection is viewed as historical fact, an archival event that occurred once and only once, some two thousand years ago, then its resonance cannot help but flag. It may proffer some vague hope for our own immortality, but to our deepest consciousness it’s no longer transformative or even very accessible on an everyday basis. The self-renewing model has atrophied into second-hand memory and dogma, a dogma that the fearful, the uninformed, and the emotionally troubled feel a need to defend with violent action.
Tom Robbins (Wild Ducks Flying Backward)
Anxiety (loneliness or “abandonment anxiety” being its most painful form) overcomes the person to the extent that he loses orientation in the objective world. To lose the world is to lose one's self, and vice versa; self and world are correlates. The function of anxiety is to destroy the self-world relationship, i.e., to disorient the victim in space and time and, so long as this disorientation lasts, the person remains in the state of anxiety. Anxiety overwhelms the person precisely because of the preservation of this disorientation. Now if the person can reorient himself—as happens, one hopes, in psychotherapy—and again relate himself to the world directly, experientially, with his senses alive, he overcomes the anxiety. My slightly anthropomorphic terminology comes out of my work as a therapist and is not out of place here. Though the patient and I are entirely aware of the symbolic nature of this (anxiety doesn’t do anything, just as libido or sex drives don’t), it is often helpful for the patient to see himself as struggling against an “adversary.” For then, instead of waiting forever for the therapy to analyze away the anxiety, he can help in his own treatment by taking practical steps when he experiences anxiety such as stopping and asking just what it was that occurred in reality or in his fantasies that preceded the disorientation which cued off the anxiety. He is not only opening the doors of his closet where the ghosts hide, but he often can also then take steps to reorient himself in his practical life by making new human relationships and finding new work which interests him.
Rollo May (Love and Will)
Neckties had been required six days a week when Langdon attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and despite the headmaster’s romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fascalia worn by Roman orators to warm their vocal cords, Langdon knew that, etymologically, cravat actually derived from a ruthless band of “Croat” mercenaries who donned knotted neckerchiefs before they stormed into battle. To this day, this ancient battle garb was donned by modern office warriors hoping to intimidate their enemies in daily boardroom battles.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
You need only embrace the best-known secret of all: no mystery is closed to an open mind. What came of that mystical wedding, of the world we know and the world we do not know, by that rose of the spirit, committed thus in so great a hope, so great a faith? The Druid is not here to tell. Faith after Faith has withered like a leaf. But still we stand by ancestral altars, still offer the Rose of Desire to the veiled Mystery, still commit this our symbol to the fathomless, the everlasting, the unanswered Deep. —WILLIAM SHARP, from Where the Forest Murmurs
Raven Grimassi (Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery)
I too felt ready to start life all over again. As if this great release of anger had purged me of evil, emptied me of hope; and standing before this symbolic night bursting with stars, I opened myself for the first time to tender indifference of the world. To feel it so like me, so like a brother, in fact, I understood that I had been happy, and I was still happy. So that it might be finished, so that I might feel less alone, I could only hope there would be many, many spectators on the day of my execution and that they would greet me with cries of hatred.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
I too felt ready to start life all over again. As if this great release of anger had purged me of evil, emptied me of hope; and standing before this symbolic night bursting with stars, I opened myself for the first time to the tender indifference of the world. To feel it so like me, so like a brother, in fact, I understood that I had been happy, and I was still happy. So that it might be finished, so that I might feel less alone, I could only hope there would be many, many spectators on the day of my execution and that they would greet me with cries of hatred.
Albert Camus (The Outsider)
BELONG You said I belong to you And I agree But the quality of that belonging Is a question of some importance. I do not belong to you Like a purchase Something ordered and sold And delivered in a box To be put up and shown off To friends and admirers. I would not belong to you that way And I know you would not have me so. I will tell you how I belong to you. I belong to you like a ring on a finger A symbol of something eternal. I belong to you like a heart in a chest Beating in time to another heart. I belong to you like a word on the air Sending love to your ear. I belong to you like a kiss on your lips Put there by me, in the hope of more to come. And most of all I belong to you Because in where I hold my hopes I hold the hope that you belong to me. It is a hope I unfold for you now like a gift. Belong to me like a ring And a heart And a word And a kiss And like a hope held close. I will belong to you like all these things And also something more Something we will discover between us And will belong to us alone. You said I belong to you And I agree. Tell me you belong to me, too. I wait for your word And hope for your kiss
John Scalzi (Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4))
The essence of Hilbert's program was to find a decision process that would operate on symbols in a purely mechanical fashion, without requiring any understanding of their meaning. Since mathematics was reduced to a collection of marks on paper, the decision process should concern itself only with the marks and not with the fallible human intuitions out of which the marks were reduced. In spite of the prolonged efforts of Hilbert and his disciples, the Entscheidungsproblem was never solved. Success was achieved only in highly restricted domains of mathematics, excluding all the deeper and more interesting concepts. Hilbert never gave up hope, but as the years went by his program became an exercise in formal logic having little connection with real mathematics. Finally, when Hilbert was seventy years old, Kurt Godel proved by a brilliant analysis that the Entscheindungsproblem as Hilbert formulated it cannot be solved. Godel proved that in any formulation of mathematics, including the rules of ordinary arithmetic, a formal process for separating statements into true and false cannot exist. He proved the stronger result which is now known as Godel's theorem, that in any formalization of mathematics including the rules of ordinary arithmetic there are meaningful arithmetical statements that cannot be proved true or false. Godel's theorem shows conclusively that in pure mathematics reductionism does not work. To decide whether a mathematical statement is true, it is not sufficient to reduce the statement to marks on paper and to study the behavior of the marks. Except in trivial cases, you can decide the truth of a statement only by studying its meaning and its context in the larger world of mathematical ideas.
Freeman Dyson (The Scientist as Rebel)
What would ultimately help Dibs the most was not the sand mountain, not the powerful, little plastic duck, but the feeling of security and adequacy that they symbolized in the creation he had built last week. Now, faced with the disappearance of the concrete symbols, I hoped that he could experience within himself confidence and adequacy as he coped now with his disappointment and realization that things outside ourselves change - and many times we have little control over those elements, but if we learn to utilize our inner resources, we carry our security around with us.
Virginia M. Axline (Dibs in Search of Self)
In an effort to demonstrate their commitment to a genuinely multiracial, working-class movement against white elites, the Populists made strides toward racial integration, a symbol of their commitment to class-based unity. African Americans throughout the South responded with great hope and enthusiasm, eager to be true partners in a struggle for social justice. According to Woodward, “It is altogether probable that during the brief Populist upheaval in the nineties Negroes and native whites achieved a greater comity of mind and harmony of political purpose than ever before or since in the South.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Patriarchy is not simply the domination of women by men. Patriarchy is an integral system in which men’s control of women’s sexuality, private property, violence, war, and the institutions of conquest, rape, slavery arise and thrive together. The different elements are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate one as the cause of the others. Patriarchy is an integral system of interlocking oppressions, enforced through violence. The whole of the patriarchal system is legitimated by patriarchal religions. This is why changing religious symbols is necessary if we hope to create alternatives to patriarchal systems.
Carol P. Christ
Many a tale of inguldgent parenthood illustrates the antique idea that when the roles of life are assumed by the improperly initiated, chaos supervenes. When the child outgrows the popular idyle of the mother breast and turns to face the world of specialized adult action, it passes, spiritually, into the sphere of the father-who becomes for his son, the sign of the future task, and for his daughter, the future husband. Whether he knows it or not, and no matter what his position in society, the father is the initiating priest through whom the young being passes on into the larger world. And just as, formerly, the mother represented the good and evil, so does now the father, but with this complication - that there is a new element of rivalry in the picture: the son against the father for the mastery of the universe, and the daughter against the mother to be the mastered world. The traditional idea of initiation combines an introduction of the candidate into the techniques, duties, and prerogatives of his vocation with a radical readjustment of his emotional relationship to the parental images. The mystagogue is to entrust the symbols of office only to a son who has been effectually purged of all inappropriate infantile cathexes-for whom the just, impersonal exercise of the powers will not be rendered impossible by unconscious motives of self-aggrandizement, personal preference, or resentment. Ideally, the invested one has been divested of his mere humanity and is representative of an impersonal cosmic force. He is the twice-born: he has become himself the father. And he is competent consequently now to enact himself the role of the initiator, the guide, the sun door, through whom one may pass from infantile illusions of good and evil to an experience of the majesty of cosmic law, purged of hope and fear, and at peace in understanding the revelation of being.
Joseph Campbell (The Hero With a Thousand Faces)
I acknowledge my inadequacies as a spokesman. I acknowledge my many imperfections as a human being. And yet, as the Elders taught me, speaking out is my first duty, my first obligation to myself and to my people. To speak your mind and heart is Indian Way. This book is not a plea or a justification. Neither is it an explanation or an apology for the events that overtook my life and many other lives in 1975 and made me unwittingly — and, yes, even unwillingly — a symbol, a focus for the sufferings of my people. But all of my people are suffering, so I'm in no way special in that regard. You must understand.... I am ordinary. Painfully ordinary. This isn't modesty. This is fact. Maybe you're ordinary, too. If so, I honor your ordinariness, your humanness, your spirituality. I hope you will honor mine. That ordinariness is our bond, you and I. We are ordinary. We are human. The Creator made us this way. Imperfect. Inadequate. Ordinary. Be thankful you weren't cursed with perfection. If you were perfect, there'd be nothing for you to achieve with your life. Imperfection is the source of every action. This is both our curse and our blessing as human beings. Our very imperfection makes a holy life possible. We're not supposed to be perfect. We're supposed to be useful.
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
But,” she said sadly, “I could not become an Indian.” “Of course not,” said Dr. Mukhtar. “There is a whole world of signs, symbols and spirits which all must be absorbed from birth. You could not hope to grasp the meanings except by living the entire life.” She could not, she explained to Dr. Mukhtar, express affection except by teaching, holding out books as tokens of love. When at last light the doctor, exhausted from listening, stood to go to his room above for the night and pinched out the candle, she begged him to leave the curtains and the window open. The door closed gently and she could look at the moon, a blood-streaked egg yolk rolling in the shell of sky. •
Annie Proulx (Barkskins)
Those cries of the executed patriots — “Long live Christ the King! Down with Communism!” — awakened me to a new life as they echoed through the two-hundred-year-old moats of the fortress. The cries became such a potent and stirring symbol that by 1963 the men condemned to death were gagged before being carried down to be shot. The jailers feared those shouts. They could not afford to allow even that last courageous cry from those about to die. That rebellious, defiant gesture at the supreme moment, that show of bravery and integrity by those who were about to die, could easily become a bad example for the soldiers. It might even make them think about what they were doing.
Armando Valladares (Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro's Gulag)
The cross, we note, already had a symbolic meaning throughout the Roman world, long before it had a new one for the Christians. It meant: we Romans run this place, and if you get in our way we’ll obliterate you—and do it pretty nastily too. Crucifixion meant that the kingdom hadn’t come, not that it had. Crucifixion of a would-be Messiah meant that he wasn’t the Messiah, not that he was. When Jesus was crucified, every single disciple knew what it meant: we backed the wrong horse. The game is over. Whatever their expectations, and however Jesus had been trying to redefine those expectations, as far as they were concerned hope had crumbled into ashes. They knew they were lucky to escape with their own lives.
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
Right now, many female activists in their forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties are gazing thoughtfully into the glowing embers of lesbian culture. For us, this is still an active campfire where we gather and warm ourselves; one which, we hope, will not fade away into forgotten ash, but instead retain hot coals to stoke new fires. Such images of heat and spark have always served to symbolize shifts in leadership; think of that other fire-based metaphor, the passing of the torch - presumably, to a next generation. What does it mean if that next generation is disdainful of the torch, welcomes its dousing, or lacks the data or the will to learn how it was lit and carried forward in the first place?
Bonnie J. Morris (The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture)
The lynching tree is the most potent symbol of the trouble nobody knows that blacks have seen but do not talk about because the pain of remembering—visions of black bodies dangling from southern trees, surrounded by jeering white mobs—is almost too excruciating to recall. In that era, the lynching tree joined the cross as the most emotionally charged symbols in the African American community—symbols that represented both death and the promise of redemption, judgment and the offer of mercy, suffering and the power of hope. Both the cross and the lynching tree represented the worst in human beings and at the same time “an unquenchable ontological thirst”[1] for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning.
James H. Cone (The Cross and the Lynching Tree)
It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was porkmaking by machinery, porkmaking by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests—and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretense of apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a visitor wept, to be sure; but this slaughtering machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory. One could not stand and watch very long without becoming philosophical, without beginning to deal in symbols and similes, and to hear the hog squeal of the universe. Was it permitted to believe that there was nowhere upon the earth, or above the earth, a heaven for hogs, where they were requited for all this suffering? Each one of these hogs was a separate creature. Some were white hogs, some were black; some were brown, some were spotted; some were old, some young; some were long and lean, some were monstrous. And each of them had an individuality of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a heart’s desire; each was full of self-confidence, of self-importance, and a sense of dignity. And trusting and strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while a black shadow hung over him and a horrid Fate waited in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorseless, it was; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to it—it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life. And now was one to believe that there was nowhere a god of hogs, to whom this hog personality was precious, to whom these hog squeals and agonies had a meaning? Who would take this hog into his arms and comfort him, reward him for his work well done, and show him the meaning of his sacrifice?
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Mark appears to acknowledge the reality that “no one had the strength to subdue” the demon of Roman military occupation (5: 4)—including the Jewish rebels. Yet he makes his revolutionary stance clear by symbolically reenacting the exodus story through a “herd” of pigs. With the divine command, the imperial forces are drowned in the sea. It is no accident that in the aftermath of this action the crowd, like Pilate, responds with “wonder” (thaumazein; 5: 20). To invoke the great exodus liberation story was, as it has been subsequently throughout Western history, to fan the flames of revolutionary hope (Walzer, 1986). Yet Mark realized that the problem was much deeper than throwing off the yoke of yet another colonizer. After all, biblical history itself attested to the fact that Israel had always been squeezed, courted, or threatened by the great empires that surrounded it. And the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucids had only resulted in recycling oppressive power into the hands of a native dynasty, one that in turn became an early victim of a newly ascendent imperial power, Rome. Thus the meaning of Jesus’ struggle against the strong man is not reducible solely to his desire for the liberation of Palestine from colonial rule, though it certainly includes that. It is a struggle against the root “spirit” and politics of domination—which, Mark acknowledges matter of factly, is most clearly represented by the “great men” of the Hellenistic imperial sphere (10: 42).
Ched Myers (Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus)
Therefore, if we restrict our studies of apocalyptic to the canon of Scripture (Daniel, Zechariah, the Gospels, 22 and Revelation), we can make a case for drawing a sharp distinction between apocalyptic (symbolic imagery for this-worldly events 23 ) and eschatology (theology of last things, the parousia , and heaven and hell 24 ). We run into difficulty when we conflate and literalize the two, which is precisely what happened as the apocalyptic-Talmudic-infernalist stream developed. Their authors progressively converted imagery of God’s furnace from a metaphor for historic destruction, which acts to judge and refine his people, into actual ovens of material flames into which damned souls are tossed in the afterlife or on Judgment Day.
Bradley Jersak (Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hope, Hell, and the New Jerusalem)
Moving on, while he wondered, the dark through which Mr. Lecky's light cut grew more beautiful with scents. Particles of solid matter so minute, gases so subtle, that they filtered through stopping and sealing, hung on the unstirred air. Drawn in with Mr. Lecky's breath came impalpable dews cooked out of disintegrating coal. Distilled, chemically split and reformed, they ended in flawless simulation of the aromas of gums, the scent of woods and the world's flowers. The chemists who made them could do more than that. Loose on the gloom were perfumes of flowers which might possibly have bloomed but never had, and the strong-smelling saps of trees either lost or not yet evolved. Mixed in the mucus of the pituitary membrane, these volatile essences meant more than synthetic chemistry to Mr. Lecky. Their microscopic slime coated the bushed-out ends of the olfactory nerve; their presence was signaled to the anterior of the brain's temporal lobe. At once, thought waited on them, tossing down from the great storehouse of old images, neglected ideas - sandalwood and roses, musk and lavender. Mr. Lecky stood still, wrung by pangs as insistent and unanswerable as hunger. He was prodded by the unrest of things desired, not had; the surfeit of things had, not desired. More than anything he could see, or words, or sounds, these odors made him stupidly aware of the past. Unable to remember it, whence he was, or where he had previously been, all that was sweet, impermanent and gone came back not spoiled by too much truth or exact memory. Volatile as the perfumes, the past stirred him with longing for what was not - the only beloved beauty which you will have to see but which you may not keep. Mr. Lecky's beam of light went through glass top and side of a counter, displayed bottles of colored liquid - straw, amber, topaz - threw shadows behind their diverse shapes. He had no use for perfume. All the distraction, all the sense of loss and implausible sweetness which he felt was in memory of women. Behind the counter, Mr. Lecky, curious, took out bottles, sniffed them, examined their elaborately varied forms - transparent squares, triangles, cones, flattened ovals. Some were opaque, jet or blue, rough with embedded metals in intricate design. This great and needless decoration of the flasks which contained it was one strange way to express the inexpressible. Another way was tried in the names put on the bottles. Here words ran the suggestive or symbolic gamut of idealized passion, or festive night, of desired caresses, or of abstractions of the painful allure yet farther fetched. Not even in the hopeful, miracle-raving fancy of those who used the perfumes could a bottle of liquid have any actual magic. Since the buyers at the counters must be human beings, nine of every ten were beyond this or other help. Women, young, but unlovely and unloved, women, whatever they had been, now at the end of it and ruined by years or thickened to caricature by fat, ought to be the ones called to mind by perfume. But they were not. Mr. Lecky held the bottle in his hand a long while, aware of the tenth woman.
James Gould Cozzens
Do you know that the United States is the only country in history that has ever used its own monogram as a symbol of depravity? Ask yourself why. Ask yourself how long a country that did that could hope to exist, and whose moral standards have destroyed it. It was the only country in history where wealth was not acquired by looting, but by production, not by force, but by trade, the only country whose money was the symbol of man’s right to his own mind, to his work, to his life, to his happiness, to himself. If this is evil, by the present standards of the world, if this is the reason for damning us, then we—we, the dollar chasers and makers—accept it and choose to be damned by that world. We choose to wear the sign of the dollar on our foreheads, proudly, as our badge of nobility—the badge we are willing to live for and, if need be, to die.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Being wounded by one’s own arrow signifies, therefore, a state of introversion. What this means we already know: the libido sinks “into its own depths” (a favourite image of Nietzsche’s), and discovers in the darkness a substitute for the upper world it has abandoned—the world of memories (“Amidst a hundred memories”), the strongest and most influential of which are the earliest ones. It is the world of the child, the paradisal state of early infancy, from which we are driven out by the relentless law of time. In this subterranean kingdom slumber sweet feelings of home and the hopes of all that is to be. As Heinrich says of his miraculous work in Gerhart Hauptmann’s The Sunken Bell: It sings a song, long lost and long forgotten, A song of home, a childlike song of love, Born in the waters of some fairy well, Known to all mortals, and yet heard of none.54
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation)
The overhead lights hit the Serch Bythol sculpture on the utmost tier, the sugar crystals shimmering and dancing like a cascade of diamonds. The planes of the cake beneath were clean and crisp, and the sugar-stained glass panels caught every light on the ceiling, throwing back shimmering rainbow rays. Sylvie was most proud of the silhouette that circled the middle stained-glass tiers--the skylines of London and Johnny's family estate in Lancashire. Only when viewed at close range did a second, hidden skyline emerge from within the reflective depths---the fantasy lands of I, Slayer, complete with a tiny, flying dragon. It was a work of art---and even now, she was taken aback by the level of harmony they had achieved, twinning together two very different styles. In honor of the union of two very different people, whose lives would hopefully interlock just as successfully.
Lucy Parker (Battle Royal (Palace Insiders, #1))
Harman was right: those pictures were worse. But, leaving aside the fact that photographs of death and nudity, however newsworthy, don't get much play in the press, the power of an image does not necessarily reside in what it depicts. A photograph of a mangled cadaver, or of a naked man trussed in torment, can shock and outrage, provoke protest and investigation, but it leaves little to the imagination. It may be rich in practical information while being devoid of any broader meaning. To the extent that it represents any circumstances or conditions beyond itself, it does so generically. Such photographs are repellent in large part because they have a terrible reductive sameness. Except from a forensic point of view, they are unambiguous, and have the quality of pornography. They are what they show, nothing more. They communicate no vision and, shorn of context, they offer little, if anything, to think about, no occasion for wonder. They have no value as symbols. Of course, the dominant symbol of Western civilization is the figure of a nearly naked man being tortured to death⁠—or more simply, the torture implement itself, the cross. But our pictures of Christ's savage death are the product of religious imagination and idealization. In reality, with his battered flesh scabbed and bleeding and bloated and discolored beneath the pitiless Judean desert sun, he must have been ghastly to behold. Had there been cameras at Calvary, would twenty centuries of believers have been moved to hang photographs of the scene on their altarpieces and in their homes, or to wear an icon of a man being executed around their necks as as an emblem of peace and hope and human fellowship? Photography is too frank to allow for the notion of suffering as noble and ennobling...
Philip Gourevitch (Standard Operating Procedure)
God is found in the collection of Many . . . rather than in the One. “Elohim,” Langdon said suddenly, his eyes flying open again as he made an unexpected connection. “I’m sorry?” Katherine was still gazing down at him. “Elohim,” he repeated. “The Hebrew word for God in the Old Testament! I’ve always wondered about it.” Katherine gave a knowing smile. “Yes. The word is plural.” Exactly! Langdon had never understood why the very first passages of the Bible referred to God as a plural being. Elohim. The Almighty God in Genesis was described not as One . . . but as Many. “God is plural,” Katherine whispered, “because the minds of man are plural.” Langdon’s thoughts were spiraling now . . . dreams, memories, hopes, fears, revelations . . . all swirling above him in the Rotunda dome. As his eyes began to close again, he found himself staring at three words in Latin, painted within the Apotheosis. E PLURIBUS UNUM. “Out of many, one,
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of “Heaven” ridiculous by saying they do not want “to spend eternity playing harps.” The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.
C.S. Lewis (The Complete Works of C. S. Lewis: Fantasy Classics, Science Fiction Novels, Religious Studies, Poetry, Speeches & Autobiography: The Chronicles of Narnia, ... Letters, Mere Christianity, Miracles…)
Adelia began to get cross. Why was it women who were to blame for everything—everything, from the Fall of Man to these blasted hedges? “We are not in a labyrinth, my lord,” she said clearly. “Where are we, then?” “It’s a maze.” “Same difference.” Puffing at the horse: “Get back, you great cow.” “No, it isn’t. A labyrinth has only one path and you merely have to follow it. It’s a symbol of life or, rather, of life and death. Labyrinths twist and turn, but they have a beginning and an end, through darkness into light.” Softening, and hoping that he would, too, she added, “Like Ariadne’s. Rather beautiful, really.” “I don’t want mythology, mistress, beautiful or not, I want to get to that sodding tower. What’s a maze when it’s at home?” “It’s a trick. A trick to confuse. To amaze.” “And I suppose Mistress Clever-boots knows how to get us out?” “I do, actually.” God’s rib, he was sneering at her, sneering. She’d a mind to stay where she was and let him sweat. “Then in the name of Christ, do it.” “Stop bellowing at me,” she yelled at him. “You’re bellowing.” She saw his teeth grit in the pretense of a placatory smile; he always had good teeth. Still did. Between them, he said, “The Bishop of Saint Albans presents his compliments to Mistress Adelia and please to escort him out of this hag’s hole, for the love of God. How will you do it?” “My business.” Be damned if she’d tell him. Women were defenseless enough without revealing their secrets. “I’ll have to take the lead.” She stumped along in front, holding Walt’s mount’s reins in her right hand. In the other was her riding crop, which she trailed with apparent casualness so that it brushed against the hedge on her left. As she went, she chuntered to herself. Lord, how disregarded I am in this damned country. How disregarded all women are. ... Ironically, the lower down the social scale women were, the greater freedom they had; the wives of laborers and craftsmen could work alongside their men—even, sometimes, when they were widowed, take over their husband’s trade. Adelia trudged on. Hag’s hole. Grendel’s mother’s entrails. Why was this dreadful place feminine to the men lost in it? Because it was tunneled? Womb-like? Is this woman’s magic? The great womb? Is that why the Church hates me, hates all women? Because we are the source of all true power? Of life? She supposed that by leading them out of it, she was only confirming that a woman knew its secrets and they did not. Great God, she thought, it isn't a question of hatred. It’s fear. They are frightened of us. And Adelia laughed quietly, sending a suggestion of sound reverberating backward along the tunnel, as if a small pebble was skipping on water, making each man start when it passed him. “What in hell was that?” Walt called back stolidly, “Reckon someone’s laughing at us, master.” “Dear God.
Ariana Franklin (The Serpent's Tale (Mistress of the Art of Death, #2))
You said to step on the brake to put us into drive, then to step on the right one to-" "Not at the same time!" "Well, you should have told me that. How was I supposed to know?" I snort. "You acted like the freaking Dalai Lama when I tried to tell you how to shift gears. I told you, one was for go and one was for stop. You can't stop and go at the same time! You have to make up your mind." From the expression on her face, she's either about to punch me or call me something really bad. She opens her mouth, but the really bad something doesn't come out; she shuts it again. Then she giggles. Now I've seen everything. "Galen tells me that all the time," she chortles. "That I can never make up my mind." Then she bursts out laughing so hard she spits all over the steering wheel. She keeps laughing until I'm convinced an unknown force is tickling her senseless. What? As far as I can tell, her indecisiveness almost got us killed. Killed isn't funny. "You should have seen your face," she says, between gulps of breaths. "You were all, like-" And she makes the face of a drunk clown. "I bet you wet yourself, didn't you?" She cracks herself up so much she clutches her side as if she's holding in her own guts. I feel my lips fracture into a smile before I can stop them. "You were more scared than me. You swallowed like ten flies while you were screaming." She spits all over the steering wheel again. And I spew laughter onto the dash. It takes a good five minutes for us to sober up enough for another driving lesson. My throat is dry, and my eyes are wet when I say, "Okay, now. Let's concentrate. The sun is going down. These woods probably get pretty creepy at night." She clears her throat, still giggling a little. "Okay. Concentrate. Right." "So, this time, when you take your foot off the brake, the car will go on its own. There, see?" We slink along the road at an idle two miles per hour. She huffs up at her bangs. "This is boring. I want to go faster." I start to say, "Not too fast," but she squashes the gas under her foot, and my words are snatched away by the wind. She gives a startled shout, which I find hypocritical because after all, I'm the one helpless in the passenger seat, and she's the one screaming like a teapot, turning the wheel back and forth like the road isn't straight as a pencil. "Brake, brake, brake!" I shout, hoping repetition will somehow penetrate the small part of her brain that actually thinks. Everything happens fast. We stop. There's a crunching sound. My face slams into the dash. No wait, the dash becomes an airbag. Rayna's scream is cut off by her airbag. I open my eyes. A tree. A freaking tree. The metal frame groans, and something under the hood lets out a mechanical hiss. Smoke billows up from the front, the universal symbol for "you're screwed." I turn to the rustling sound beside me. Rayna is wrestling with the airbag like it has attacked her instead of saved her life. "What is this thing?" she wails, pushing it out of her way and opening the door. One Mississippi...two Mississippi... "Well, are you just going to sit there? We have a long walk home. You're not hurt are you? Because I can't carry you." Three Mississippi...four Mississippi... "What are those flashing blue lights down there?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Main Street is dead, which is no news to the families whose families ran family businesses on Main Street. When I returned...I found that all the local businesses from my childhood had been extirpated by Wal-Mart. If there is one single symbol for the demise of regional American culture, it is this superstore prototype, a huge capitalist boot that stomped the moms and pops, like soft, damp worms, to death. Don’t get me wrong. I love Wal-Mart. There is nothing I like more than to consign a mindless afternoon to those aisles, suspending thought, judgment. It’s like television. But to a documentarian of American culture, Wal-Mart is a nightmare. When it comes to towns, Hope, Alabama, becomes the same as Hope, Wyoming, or, for that matter, Hope, Alaska, and in the end, all that remains of our pioneering aspirations are the confused and self-conscious simulacra of relic culture: Ye Olde Curiosities ‘n’ Copie Shoppe, Deadeye Dick’s Saloon and Karaoke Bar—ingenious hybrids and strange global grafts that are the local businessperson’s only chance of survival in economies of scale.
Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats)
And, under and above it all, there was the fear of death before which he was naked and without defense; he had to go forward and meet his end like any other living thing upon the earth. And regulating his attitude toward death was the fact that he was black, unequal, and despised. Passively, he hungered for another orbit between two poles that would let him live again; for a new mode of life that would catch him up with the tension of hate and love. There would have to hover above him, like the stars in a full sky, a vast configuration of images and symbols whose magic and power could lift him up and make him live so intensely that the dread of being black and unequal would be forgotten; that even death would not matter, that it would be a victory. This would have to happen before he could look them in the face again: a new pride and a new humility would have to be born in him, a humility springing from a new identification with some part of the world in which he lived, and this identification forming the basis for a new hope that would function in him as pride and dignity.
Richard Wright (Native Son)
Ezra asked me to bring you this,' I said and handed him the jar. 'He said you would know what it was.' He took the jar and looked at it. Then he threw it at me. It struck me on the chest or the shoulder and rolled down the stairs. 'You son of a bitch,' he said. 'You bastard.' 'Ezra said you might need it,' I said. He countered that by throwing a milk bottle. 'You are sure you don't need it?' I asked. He threw another milk bottle. I retreated and he hit me with yet another milk bottle in the back. Then he shut the door. I picked up the jar which was only slightly cracked and put it in my pocket. 'He did not seem to want the gift of Monsieur Pound," I said to the concierge. 'Perhaps he will be tranquil now,' she said. 'Perhaps he has some of his own,' I said. 'Poor Monsieur Dunning,' she said. The lovers of poetry that Ezra organized rallied to Dunning's aid again eventually. My own intervention and that of the concierge had been unsuccessful. The jar of alleged opium which had been cracked I stored wrapped in waxed paper and carefully tied in one of an old pair of riding boots. When Evan Shipman and I were removing my personal effects from that apartment some years later the boots were still there but the jar was gone. I do not know why Dunning threw the milk bottles at me unless he remembered my lack of credulity the night of his first dying, or whether it was only an innate dislike of my personality. But I remember the happiness that the phrase 'Monsieur Dunning est monté sur le toit et refuse catégoriquement de descendre' gave to Evan Shipman. He believed there was something symbolic about it. I would not know. Perhaps Dunning took me for an agent of evil or of the police. I only know that Ezra tried to be kind to Dunning as he was kind to so many people and I always hoped Dunning was as fine a poet as Ezra believed him to be. For a poet he threw a very accurate milk bottle. But Ezra, who was a very good poet, played a good game of tennis too. Evan Shipman, who was a very fine poet and who truly did not care if his poems were ever published, felt that it should remain a mystery. 'We need more true mystery in our lives, Hem,' he once said to me. 'The completely unambitious writer and the really good unpublished poem are the things we lack most at this time. There is, of course, the problem of sustenance.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
And it was only then that I realized what I had let myself in for, and only then I realized how bloody thick I had been not to have predicted it. It would seem that the combination of elements--woman, desert, camels, aloneness--hit some soft sport in this era's passionless, heartless, aching psyche. It fired the imaginations of people who seem themselves as alienated, powerless, unable to do anything about a world gone mad. And wouldn't it be my luck to pick just this combination. The reaction was totally unexpected and it was very, very weird. I was now public property. I was now a kind of symbol. I was now an object of ridicule for small-minded sexists, and I was a crazy, irresponsible adventurer (though not as crazy as I would have been had I failed). But worse than all that, I was now a mythical being who had done something courageous and outside the possibilities that ordinary people could hope for. And that was the antithesis of what I wanted to share. That anyone could do anything. If I could bumble my way across a desert, then anyone could do anything. And that was true especially for women, who have used cowardice for so long to protect themselves that it has become a habit.
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback)
To Harry James Potter,’” he read, and Harry’s insides contracted with a sudden excitement, “‘I leave the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match at Hogwarts, as a reminder of the rewards of perseverance and skill.’” As Scrimgeour pulled out the tiny, walnut-sized golden ball, its silver wings fluttered rather feebly, and Harry could not help feeling a definite sense of anticlimax. “Why did Dumbledore leave you this Snitch?” asked Scrimgeour. “No idea,” said Harry. “For the reasons you just read out, I supposed . . . to remind me what you can get if you . . . persevere and whatever it was.” “You think this a mere symbolic keepsake, then?” “I suppose so,” said Harry. “What else could it be?” “I’m asking the questions,” said Scrimgeour, shifting his chair a little closer to the sofa. Dusk was really falling outside now; the marquee beyond the windows towered ghostly white over the hedge. “I notice that your birthday cake is in the shape of a Snitch,” Scrimgeour said to Harry. “Why is that?” Hermione laughed derisively. “Oh, it can’t be a reference to the fact Harry’s a great Seeker, that’s way too obvious,” she said. “There must be a secret message from Dumbledore hidden in the icing!” “I don’t think there’s anything hidden in the icing,” said Scrimgeour, “but a Snitch would be a very good hiding place for a small object. You know why, I’m sure?” Harry shrugged. Hermione, however, answered: Harry thought that answering questions correctly was such a deeply ingrained habit she could not suppress the urge. “Because Snitches have flesh memories,” she said. “What?” said Harry and Ron together; both considered Hermione’s Quidditch knowledge negligible. “Correct,” said Scrimgeour. “A Snitch is not touched by bare skin before it is released, not even by the maker, who wears gloves. It carries an enchantment by which it can identify the first human to lay hands upon it, in case of a disputed capture. This Snitch”—he held up the tiny golden ball—“will remember your touch, Potter. It occurs to me that Dumbledore, who had prodigious magical skill, whatever his other faults, might have enchanted this Snitch so that it will open only for you.” Harry’s heart was beating rather fast. He was sure that Scrimgeour was right. How could he avoid taking the Snitch with his bare hand in front of the Minister? “You don’t say anything,” said Scrimgeour. “Perhaps you already know what the Snitch contains?” “No,” said Harry, still wondering how he could appear to touch the Snitch without really doing so. If only he knew Legilimency, really knew it, and could read Hermione’s mind; he could practically hear her brain whirring beside him. “Take it,” said Scrimgeour quietly. Harry met the Minister’s yellow eyes and knew he had no option but to obey. He held out his hand, and Scrimgeour leaned forward again and placed the Snitch, slowly and deliberately, into Harry’s palm. Nothing happened. As Harry’s fingers closed around the Snitch, its tired wings fluttered and were still. Scrimgeour, Ron, and Hermione continued to gaze avidly at the now partially concealed ball, as if still hoping it might transform in some way. “That was dramatic,” said Harry coolly. Both Ron and Hermione laughed. “That’s all, then, is it?” asked Hermione, making to prise herself off the sofa. “Not quite,” said Scrimgeour, who looked bad-tempered now. “Dumbledore left you a second bequest, Potter.” “What is it?” asked Harry, excitement rekindling. Scrimgeour did not bother to read from the will this time. “The sword of Godric Gryffindor,” he said. Hermione and Ron both stiffened. Harry looked around for a sign of the ruby-encrusted hilt, but Scrimgeour did not pull the sword from the leather pouch, which in any case looked much too small to contain it.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
History is a ribbon, always unfurling; history is a journey. And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us. We stand together again at the steps of this symbol of our democracy--or we would have been standing at the steps if it hadn't gotten so cold. Now we are standing inside this symbol of our democracy. Now we hear again the echoes of our past: a general falls to his knees in the hard snow of Valley Forge; a lonely President paces the darkened halls, and ponders his struggle to preserve the Union; the men of the Alamo call out encouragement to each other; a settler pushes west and sings a song, and the song echoes out forever and fills the unknowing air. It is the American sound. It is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair. That's our heritage; that is our song. We sing it still. For all our problems, our differences, we are together as of old, as we raise our voices to the God who is the Author of this most tender music. And may He continue to hold us close as we fill the world with our sound--sound in unity, affection, and love--one people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He has placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world.
Ronald Reagan
Once I've coated the parsnips in a honey-saffron glaze, Rachel helps me plate them alongside the brisket, stuffed cabbage, and sweet potato tzimmes, and we carry the plates out to the dining room together. "Let me explain a little about tonight's dinner," I say, addressing the softly lit faces around the table, which is covered with flickering votives and tapered candles. I launch into a description of the Jewish New Year and the symbolism behind all of the food: how the honey represents the hope of a sweet new year, how the challah is round instead of braided to represent the circle of life, how my grandmother used to make stuffed cabbage on every possible occasion because it reminded her of her Hungarian mother. I tell them lots things- about food, about my bubbe, about me- and to my surprise, they actually pay attention. They hang on my every word and ask intelligent questions and make thought-provoking points of their own. And I realize, hey, these are people who get it, people who love to eat and talk about food and culture as much as I do. Most of them aren't Jewish, but that doesn't matter. Every family has its traditions. Every family has a story to share. That's the point of this dinner- to swap stories and histories and see how food can bring people together.
Dana Bate (The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs)
I stood next to Breeze in a small quartz room. A sea lantern served as the only light source, bathing the room in its pale blue light. Against the center of one wall stood a mysterious object. It was three meters tall, three meters wide, and flat, like a banner. However, instead of dyed wool was a surface like the calmest pool of water. Breeze reached out with her right hand. Her fingers touched those of her reflection. After she lowered her arm, we continued staring at ourselves in silence. In awe. It was the first time we'd seen ourselves this way. But more than that were our outfits. Our clothes were made of spider silk, a type of cloth crafted using spider string. Puddles, the owner of the Clothing Castle, had worked with the humans for days to craft perfect recreations of Earth fashion. Then, to make us look even more majestic, our cloaks had been modified to fall over our shoulders. Poster children. Symbols of hope. Villagetown's biggest stars. That's what we've become. Some say it's sweet: a budding romance between two young heroes fighting valiantly against all odds. I'd say that's an exaggeration. Although Breeze and I are close, we haven't had much time for anything beyond battle or preparing for the next. I guess the mayor wants to change that, though. The people need something to believe in, he says. I suppose that's why he whisked us away in
Cube Kid (Wimpy Villager 13: Quest Mode)
[Titus] knew that it was no dream, but he had no power to override the dream-like nature of it all. The reality was in himself — in his longing to experience the terror of what he already thought of as love. He had heard of love: he had guessed at love: he had no knowledge of love but he knew all about it. What, if not love, was the cause of all this? The head had been turned away. The limbs had floated. But it was not the beauty. It was the sin against the world of his fathers. It was the arrogance! It was the wicked swagger of it all! It was the effrontery! It was that Gormenghast meant nothing to this elastic switch of a girl! But it was not only that she was so much the outward expression of all he meant by the word “Freedom”, or that the physical she and what she symbolized had become fused into one thing — it was not only this that intoxicated Titus — it was more than an abstract excitement that set his limbs trembling when he thought of her. [...] She was a thing that breathed the same air and trod the same ground, though she might have been a faun or a tigress or a moth or a fish or a hawk or a martin. Had she been any of these she would have been no more dissimilar from him than she was now. He trembled at the thought of this disparity. It was not closeness or a sameness, or any affinity or hope of it, that thrilled him. It was the difference, the difference that mattered; the difference that cried aloud.
Mervyn Peake (Gormenghast (Gormenghast, #2))
Conservative foreign policy is in the business of shaping habits of behavior, not winning hearts and minds. It announces red lines sparingly but enforces them unsparingly. It is willing to act decisively, or preventively, to punish or prevent blatant transgressions of order—not as a matter of justice but in the interests of deterrence. But it knows it cannot possibly punish or prevent every transgression. It champions its values consistently and confidently, but it doesn’t conflate its values and its interests. It wants to let citizens go about their business as freely and easily as possible. But it knows that security is a prerequisite for civil liberty, not a threat to it. Where it can use a finger, or a hand, to tilt the political scales of society toward liberal democracy, it will do so. But it won’t attempt to tilt the scales in places where the tilting demands all of its weight and strength and endurance. It does not waste its energy or time chasing diplomatic symbols: its ambitions do not revolve around a Nobel Peace Prize. It prefers liberal autocracy to illiberal democracy, because the former is likelier to evolve into democracy than the latter is to evolve into liberalism. It knows the value of hope, and knows also that economic growth based on enterprise and the freest possible movement of goods, services, capital, and labor is the best way of achieving it. And it is mindful of the claims of conscience, which is strengthened by faith.
Bret Stephens (America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder)
I want a love like me thinking of you thinking of me thinking of you type love or me telling my friends more than I've ever admitted to myself about how I feel about you type love or hating how jealous you are but loving how much you want me all to yourself type love or seeing how your first name just sounds so good next to my last name. and shit- I wanted to see how far I could get without calling you and I barely made it out of my garage. See, I want a love that makes me wait until she falls asleep then wonder if she's dreaming about us being in love type love or who loves the other more or what she's doing at this exact moment or slow dancing in the middle of our apartment to the music of our hearts. Closing my eyes and imagining how a love so good could just hurt so much when she's not there and shit I love not knowing where this love is headed type love. And check this- I wanna place those little post-it notes all around the house so she never forgets how much I love her type love then not have enough ink in my pen to write all the love type love and hope I make her feel as good as she makes me feel and I wanna deal with my friends making fun of me the way I made fun of them when they went through the same kind of love type love. The only difference is this is one of those real type loves and just like in high school I wanna spend hours on the phone not saying shit and then fall asleep and then wake up with her right next to me and smell her all up in my covers type love and I wanna try counting the ways I love her then lose count in the middle just so I could start all over again and I wanna celebrate one of those one-month anniversaries even though they ain't really anniversaries but doing it just 'cause it makes her happy type love and check this- I wanna fall in love with the melody the phone plays when our numbers dial in type love and talk to you until I lose my breath, she leaves me breathless, but with the expanding of my lungs I inhale all of her back into me. I want a love that makes me need to change my cell phone calling plan to something that allows me to talk to her longer 'cause in all honesty, I want to avoid one of them high cell phone bill type loves and I don't want a love that makes me regret how small my hands are I mean the lines on my palms don't give me enough time to love you as long as I'd like to type love and I want a love that makes me st-st-st-stutter just thinking about how strong this love is type love and I want a love that makes me want to cut off all my hair. Well maybe not all of the hair, maybe like I'd cut the split ends and trim the mustache but it would still be a symbol of how strong my love is for her. I kind of feel comfortable now so I even be fantasize about walking out on a green light just dying to get hit by a car just so I could lose my memory, get transported to some third world country just to get treated and somehow meet up again with you so I could fall in love with you in a different language and see if it still feels the same type love. I want a love that's as unexplainable as she is, but I'm married so she is gonna be the one I share this love with.
Saul Williams
What you call ‘Western civilization.’ Do you think it’s just an abstract concept? No, it’s a living force. A collective consciousness that has burned bright for thousands of years. The gods are part of it. You might even say they are the source of it, or at least, they are tied so tightly to it that they couldn’t possibly fade, not unless all of Western civilization were obliterated. The fire started in Greece. Then, as you well know—or as I hope you know, since you passed my course—the heart of the fire moved to Rome, and so did the gods. Oh, different names, perhaps—Jupiter for Zeus, Venus for Aphrodite, and so on—but the same forces, the same gods.” “And then they died.” “Died? No. Did the West die? The gods simply moved, to Germany, to France, to Spain, for a while. Wherever the flame was brightest, the gods were there. They spent several centuries in England. All you need to do is look at the architecture. People do not forget the gods. Every place they’ve ruled, for the last three thousand years, you can see them in paintings, in statues, on the most important buildings. And yes, Percy, of course they are now in your United States. Look at your symbol, the eagle of Zeus. Look at the statue of Prometheus in Rockefeller Center, the Greek facades of your government buildings in Washington. I defy you to find any American city where the Olympians are not prominently displayed in multiple places. Like it or not—and believe me, plenty of people weren’t very fond of Rome, either—America is now the heart of the flame. It is the great power of the West. And so Olympus is here.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
Are you ready, children?” Father Mikhail walked through the church. “Did I keep you waiting?” He took his place in front of them at the altar. The jeweler and Sofia stood nearby. Tatiana thought they might have already finished that bottle of vodka. Father Mikhail smiled. “Your birthday today,” he said to Tatiana. “Nice birthday present for you, no?” She pressed into Alexander. “Sometimes I feel that my powers are limited by the absence of God in the lives of men during these trying times,” Father Mikhail began. “But God is still present in my church, and I can see He is present in you. I am very glad you came to me, children. Your union is meant by God for your mutual joy, for the help and comfort you give one another in prosperity and adversity and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children. I want to send you righteously on your way through life. Are you ready to commit yourselves to each other?” “We are,” they said. “The bond and the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation. Christ himself adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. A marriage is a symbol of the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church. Do you understand that those whom God has joined together, no man can put asunder?” “We do,” they said. “Do you have the rings?” “We do.” Father Mikhail continued. “Most gracious God,” he said, holding the cross above their heads, “look with favor upon this man and this woman living in a world for which Your Son gave His life. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world. Defend this man and this woman from every enemy. Lead them into peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle upon their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their friendship, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and their sorrows, in their life and in their death.” Tears trickled down Tatiana’s face. She hoped Alexander wouldn’t notice. Father Mikhail certainly had. Turning to Tatiana and taking her hands, Alexander smiled, beaming at her unrestrained happiness. Outside, on the steps of the church, he lifted her off the ground and swung her around as they kissed ecstatically. The jeweler and Sofia clapped apathetically, already down the steps and on the street. “Don’t hug her so tight. You’ll squeeze that child right out of her,” said Sofia to Alexander as she turned around and lifted her clunky camera. “Oh, wait. Hold on. Let me take a picture of the newlyweds.” She clicked once. Twice. “Come to me next week. Maybe I’ll have some paper by then to develop them.” She waved. “So you still think the registry office judge should have married us?” Alexander grinned. “He with his ‘of sound mind’ philosophy on marriage?” Tatiana shook her head. “You were so right. This was perfect. How did you know this all along?” “Because you and I were brought together by God,” Alexander replied. “This was our way of thanking Him.” Tatiana chuckled. “Do you know it took us less time to get married than to make love the first time?” “Much less,” Alexander said, swinging her around in the air. “Besides, getting married is the easy part. Just like making love. It was the getting you to make love to me that was hard. It was the getting you to marry me…” “I’m sorry. I was so nervous.” “I know,” he said. He still hadn’t put her down. “I thought the chances were twenty-eighty you were actually going to go through with it.” “Twenty against?” “Twenty for.” “Got to have a little more faith, my husband,” said Tatiana, kissing his lips.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Doggerel by a Senior Citizen (for Robert Lederer) Our earth in 1969 Is not the planet I call mine, The world, I mean, that gives me strength To hold off chaos at arm’s length. My Eden landscapes and their climes Are constructs from Edwardian times, When bath-rooms took up lots of space, And, before eating, one said Grace. The automobile, the aeroplane, Are useful gadgets, but profane: The enginry of which I dream Is moved by water or by steam. Reason requires that I approve The light-bulb which I cannot love: To me more reverence-commanding A fish-tail burner on the landing. My family ghosts I fought and routed, Their values, though, I never doubted: I thought the Protestant Work-Ethic Both practical and sympathetic. When couples played or sang duets, It was immoral to have debts: I shall continue till I die To pay in cash for what I buy. The Book of Common Prayer we knew Was that of 1662: Though with-it sermons may be well, Liturgical reforms are hell. Sex was of course —it always is— The most enticing of mysteries, But news-stands did not then supply Manichean pornography. Then Speech was mannerly, an Art, Like learning not to belch or fart: I cannot settle which is worse, The Anti-Novel or Free Verse. Nor are those Ph.D’s my kith, Who dig the symbol and the myth: I count myself a man of letters Who writes, or hopes to, for his betters. Dare any call Permissiveness An educational success? Saner those class-rooms which I sat in, Compelled to study Greek and Latin. Though I suspect the term is crap, There is a Generation Gap, Who is to blame? Those, old or young, Who will not learn their Mother-Tongue. But Love, at least, is not a state Either en vogue or out-of-date, And I’ve true friends, I will allow, To talk and eat with here and now. Me alienated? Bosh! It’s just As a sworn citizen who must Skirmish with it that I feel Most at home with what is Real.
W.H. Auden
The population, who are, ultimately, indifferent to public affairs and even to their own interests, negotiate this indifference with an equally spectral partner and one that is similarly indifferent to its own will: the government [Ie pouvoir] . This game between zombies may stabilize in the long term. The Year 2000 will not take place in that an era of indifference to time itself - and therefore to the symbolic term of the millennium - will be ushered in by negotiation. Nowadays, you have to go straight from money to money, telegraphically so to speak, by direct transfer (that is the viral side of the matter). A viral revolution, then, more akin to the Glass Bead Game than to the steam engine, and admirably personified in Bernard Tapie's playboy face. For the look of money is reflected in faces. Gone are the hideous old capitalists, the old-style industrial barons wearing the masks of the suffering they have inflicted. Now there are only dashing playboys, sporty and sexual, true knights of industry, wearing the mask of the happiness they spread all around themselves. The world put on a show of despair after 1968. It's been putting on a big show of hope since 1980. No more tears, alright? Reaganite optimism, the pump ing up of the dollar. Fabius's glossy new look. Patriotic conviviality. Reluctance prohibited. The old pessimism was produced by the idea that things were getting worse and worse. The new pessimism is produced by the fact that everything is getting better and better. Supercooled euphoria. Controlled anaesthesia. I should like to see the equivalent of Bernard Tapie in the world of business emerge in the world of concepts. Buying up failing concepts, swallowing them up, dusting them off (firing all the deadbeats who are in the way), putting them back into circulation with a dynamic virginity, sending them shooting up on the Stock Exchange and then abandoning them afterwards like dogs. Some people do this very well. It is perhaps better to save tired concepts by maintaining them in a super cooled state like unemployed labour, or locking them away in interactive data banks kept alive on a respirator.
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories)
Then Faust descends into the realm of the Mothers — the spiritual world; he succeeds in bringing up with him the spirit of Helena. But he is not ripe enough to unite this spirit with his own soul. Hence the scene where desire stirs in Faust, where he wishes to embrace the archetype of Helena with sensual passion. He is therefore thrust back. That is the fate of everyone who seeks to approach the Spiritual World harboring personal, egotistical feelings; he is repelled like Faust. He must first mature; must learn the real relationship between the three members of man's nature: the immortal spirit which goes on from life to life, from incarnation to incarnation; the body, commencing and ending its existence between birth and death, and the soul between the two of them. Body, soul and spirit — how they unite, how they mutually react — that is the lesson Faust must learn. The archetype of Helena, the immortal, the eternal, that passes from life to life, from one incarnation to the other, Faust has already tried to find, but was then immature. Now he is to become ripe so that he is worthy to truly penetrate into the spirit realm. For this purpose he had to learn that this immortality comes to man only when he can be re-embodied repeatedly within physical existence — have new lives extending from birth to death. Therefore must Goethe show how the soul lives between spirit and body, how the soul is placed between the immortal spirit and the body which exists only between birth and death. The second part of Faust shows us this. Now can Goethe compress all that Faust has achieved since the time of premonitory striving, the time when he despaired of science and turned away from it, till he gained his highest degree of spiritual perception. This he does in the chorus mysticus which, by its name alone, indicates that it contains something very deep. Here, in this chorus, is to be condensed in few words — paradigmatically — that which offers the key to all the world mysteries: how everything temporal is only a symbolism for the eternal. What the physical eye can see is only a symbol for the spiritual, the immortal of which Goethe has shown that he, when entering into this spiritual realm, even gains the knowledge of reincarnation. He will finally show man's entrance into the spiritual kingdom coincides with the knowledge that what was premonition and hope in the physical is truth in the spiritual; what was aspiration in the physical becomes attainment in the spiritual world.
Rudolf Steiner
Hey Princess.” Good God I missed hearing his voice. “Chase,” I had to clear my throat to continue, “I didn’t think you were going to be here.” “I asked if you were coming to the house.” He replied hesitantly. “Right, I just figured you meant your house.” The room was thick with the tension that always followed us around. My heart started racing from his nearness and I silently cursed myself. I really didn’t want any kind of feelings for this guy, and here I was wishing he would try to kiss me again. We sat there watching each other for who knows how long before he walked over and sank down on the floor next to me, handing me a small wrapped box. “Merry Christmas Harper.” I picked it up and just stared at it, all I could say was “Why?” “Because you’re my favorite, remember?” he huffed and his lips tilted up a little, “When I saw it, there was no way I couldn’t get it for you. Please open it.” So slowly I probably drove him crazy, I took off the wrapping and opened the little leather box. I gasped when I saw the ring inside there. It was a silver band that wrapped into the trinity symbol on top. I’d always wanted that symbol as a tattoo. I looked up at Chase and shook my head in wonder. “How did you know?” “You doodle it on everything put in front of you.” He was right of course, if I had a pen and paper or napkin, it always ended up on there at some point. I just hadn’t realized anyone other than Brandon noticed that, especially him. “Chase …” I couldn’t hold them back any longer, tears started falling down my cheeks and I quickly dropped my head hoping he wouldn’t notice. He did. “Don’t cry Harper. If you don’t like it, or you don’t like that it’s from me I’ll take it back.” My laugh sounded more like a sob than anything else. “I love it, please don’t take it.” “Then what’s wrong?” He tilted my head up and brushed away a few tears with his thumbs. I had to force myself to not lean into his hands, it was the first time we’d had any type of physical contact in over a month. He was a whole new kind of Chase on Sundays, but I’d never seen him like this. So gentle and kind. It made my entire being crave him. “I’ve never had this before. Not just the presents … the love that your family has for me. I’ve never had it until now, and it’s so overwhelming. I don’t know what I did to deserve it and I don’t know if I show them that too.” “You do. Trust me.” He searched my face for a long time and wiped the remaining tears from my cheeks. “You’re special Harper, it’s not hard to love you.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
I’m sure we can manage to tolerate each other’s company for one meal.” “I won’t say anything about farming. We can discuss other subjects. I have a vast and complex array of interests.” “Such as?” Mr. Ravenel considered that. “Never mind, I don’t have a vast array of interests. But I feel like the kind of man who does.” Amused despite herself, Phoebe smiled reluctantly. “Aside from my children, I have no interests.” “Thank God. I hate stimulating conversation. My mind isn’t deep enough to float a straw.” Phoebe did enjoy a man with a sense of humor. Perhaps this dinner wouldn’t be as dreadful as she’d thought. “You’ll be glad to hear, then, that I haven’t read a book in months.” “I haven’t gone to a classical music concert in years,” he said. “Too many moments of ‘clap here, not there.’ It makes me nervous.” “I’m afraid we can’t discuss art, either. I find symbolism exhausting.” “Then I assume you don’t like poetry.” “No . . . unless it rhymes.” “I happen to write poetry,” Ravenel said gravely. Heaven help me, Phoebe thought, the momentary fun vanishing. Years ago, when she’d first entered society, it had seemed as if every young man she met at a ball or dinner was an amateur poet. They had insisted on quoting their own poems, filled with bombast about starlight and dewdrops and lost love, in the hopes of impressing her with how sensitive they were. Apparently, the fad had not ended yet. “Do you?” she asked without enthusiasm, praying silently that he wouldn’t offer to recite any of it. “Yes. Shall I recite a line or two?” Repressing a sigh, Phoebe shaped her mouth into a polite curve. “By all means.” “It’s from an unfinished work.” Looking solemn, Mr. Ravenel began, “There once was a young man named Bruce . . . whose trousers were always too loose.” Phoebe willed herself not to encourage him by laughing. She heard a quiet cough of amusement behind her and deduced that one of the footmen had overheard. “Mr. Ravenel,” she asked, “have you forgotten this is a formal dinner?” His eyes glinted with mischief. “Help me with the next line.” “Absolutely not.” “I dare you.” Phoebe ignored him, meticulously spreading her napkin over her lap. “I double dare you,” he persisted. “Really, you are the most . . . oh, very well.” Phoebe took a sip of water while mulling over words. After setting down the glass, she said, “One day he bent over, while picking a clover.” Ravenel absently fingered the stem of an empty crystal goblet. After a moment, he said triumphantly, “. . . and a bee stung him on the caboose.” Phoebe almost choked on a laugh. “Could we at least pretend to be dignified?” she begged. “But it’s going to be such a long dinner.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
Babel led to an explosion in the number of languages. That was part of Enki's plan. Monocultures, like a field of corn, are susceptible to infections, but genetically diverse cultures, like a prairie, are extremely robust. After a few thousand years, one new language developed - Hebrew - that possessed exceptional flexibility and power. The deuteronomists, a group of radical monotheists in the sixth and seventh centuries B.C., were the first to take advantage of it. They lived in a time of extreme nationalism and xenophobia, which made it easier for them to reject foreign ideas like Asherah worship. They formalized their old stories into the Torah and implanted within it a law that insured its propagation throughout history - a law that said, in effect, 'make an exact copy of me and read it every day.' And they encouraged a sort of informational hygiene, a belief in copying things strictly and taking great care with information, which as they understood, is potentially dangerous. They made data a controlled substance... [and] gone beyond that. There is evidence of carefully planned biological warfare against the army of Sennacherib when he tried to conquer Jerusalem. So the deuteronomists may have had an en of their very own. Or maybe they just understood viruses well enough that they knew how to take advantage of naturally occurring strains. The skills cultivated by these people were passed down in secret from one generation to the next and manifested themselves two thousand years later, in Europe, among the Kabbalistic sorcerers, ba'al shems, masters of the divine name. In any case, this was the birth of rational religion. All of the subsequent monotheistic religions - known by Muslims, appropriately, as religions of the Book - incorporated those ideas to some extent. For example, the Koran states over and over again that it is a transcript, an exact copy, of a book in Heaven. Naturally, anyone who believes that will not dare to alter the text in any way! Ideas such as these were so effective in preventing the spread of Asherah that, eventually, every square inch of the territory where the viral cult had once thrived was under the sway of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. But because of its latency - coiled about the brainstem of those it infects, passed from one generation to the next - it always finds ways to resurface. In the case of Judaism, it came in the form of the Pharisees, who imposed a rigid legalistic theocracy on the Hebrews. With its rigid adherence to laws stored in a temple, administered by priestly types vested with civil authority, it resembled the old Sumerian system, and was just as stifling. The ministry of Jesus Christ was an effort to break Judaism out of this condition... an echo of what Enki did. Christ's gospel is a new namshub, an attempt to take religion out of the temple, out of the hands of the priesthood, and bring the Kingdom of God to everyone. That is the message explicitly spelled out by his sermons, and it is the message symbolically embodied in the empty tomb. After the crucifixion, the apostles went to his tomb hoping to find his body and instead found nothing. The message was clear enough; We are not to idolize Jesus, because his ideas stand alone, his church is no longer centralized in one person but dispersed among all the people.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)