Toll Death Quotes

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Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to "die before you die" --- and find that there is no death.
Eckhart Tolle
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (No man is an island – A selection from the prose)
The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.
Eckhart Tolle
Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (Meditation XVII - Meditation 17)
Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul
Bob Dylan (The Bob Dylan Scrapbook: 1956-1966)
What will be left of all the fearing and wanting associated with your problematic life situation that every day takes up most of your attention? A dash, one or two inches long, between the date of birth and date of death on your gravestone.
Eckhart Tolle
Survivors do not mourn together. They each mourn alone, even when in the same place. Grief is the most solitary of all feelings. Grief isolates, and every ritual, every gesture, every embrace, is a hopeless effort to break through that isolation. None of it works. The forms crumble and dissolve. To face death is to stand alone.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Dying was nothing and he had no picture of it nor fear of it in his mind. But living was a field of grain blowing in the wind on the side of a hill. Living was a hawk in the sky. Living was an earthen jar of water in the dust of the threshing with the grain flailed out and the chaff blowing. Living was a horse between your legs and a carbine under one leg and a hill and a valley and a stream with trees along it and the far side of the valley and the hills beyond.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Symptoms of Amor Deliria Nervosa PHASE ONE: -preoccupation; difficulty focusing -dry mouth -perspiration, sweaty palms -fits of dizziness and disorientation -reduced mental awareness; racing thoughts; impaired reasoning skills PHASE TWO: -periods of euphoria; hysterical laughter and heightened energy -periods of despair; lethargy -changes in appetite; rapid weight loss or weight gain -fixation; loss of other interests -compromised reasoning skills; distortion of reality -disruption of sleep patterns; insomnia or constant fatigue -obsessive thoughts and actions -paranoia; insecurity PHASE THREE (CRITICAL): -difficulty breathing -pain in the chest, throat or stomach -complete breakdown of rational faculties; erratic behavior; violent thoughts and fantasies; hallucinations and delusions PHASE FOUR (FATAL): -emotional or physical paralysis (partial or total) -death If you fear that you or someone you know may have contracted deliria, please call the emergency line toll-free at 1-800-PREVENT to discuss immediate intake and treatment.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.
H.G. Wells (The War of the Worlds)
The frightening assaults of pandemic terror have vastly increased our vulnerability. At the outset, hope and humor were able to alleviate the sabotage of our living together, until bit by bit, the raging roars and the thundering crashes of the death toll called the shots. The ground zero of our mental structure must inevitably make us remold another thinking pattern. ("What do they think behind their dirty aprons?" )
Erik Pevernagie
Never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (No man is an island – A selection from the prose)
The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
If ever I to the moment shall say: Beautiful moment, do not pass away! Then you may forge your chains to bind me, Then I will put my life behind me, Then let them hear my death-knell toll, Then from your labours you'll be free, The clock may stop, the clock-hands fall, And time come to an end for me!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust)
Die before you die and find that there is no death.
Eckhart Tolle
Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are.
Eckhart Tolle
All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated... As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all... No man is an island, entire of itself... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Death's Duel: With the Life of Dr. John Donne by Izaak Walton)
let us sleep," he said and he felt the long light body, warm against him, comforting against him, abolishing loneliness against him, magically, by a simple touching of flanks, of shoulders and of feet, making an alliance against death with him.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Grief isolates, and every ritual, every gesture, every embrace, is a hopeless effort to break through that isolation. None of it works. The forms crumble and dissolve. To face death is to stand alone.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Ever peaceful be you slumber Though your days were few in number On this earth-spite took its toll- Yet shall heaven have your soul With pure love we did regard you For your loved one did we guard you But you came not to the groom Only to a chill dark tomb
Alexander Pushkin (The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights)
If you have ever been in a life-or-death emergency situation, you will know that it wasn’t a problem. The mind didn’t have time to fool around and make it into a problem. In a true emergency, the mind stops; you become totally present in the Now, and something infinitely more powerful takes over.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
What will be left of all the fearing and wanting associated with your problematic life situation that every day takes up most of your attention? A dash — one or two inches long, between the date of birth and date of death on your gravestone. To the egoic self, this is a depressing thought. To you, it is liberating.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
If we are to live,' Rake went on, 'we must take risks. Else our lives become deaths in all but name. There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail - should we fall - we will know that we have lived.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Death is not an anomaly or the most dreadful of all events as modern culture would have you believe, but the most natural thing in the world, inseparable from and just as natural as its polarity — birth.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
If we are to live ... we must take risks. Else our lives become deaths in all but name. There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail - should we fall - we will know that we have lived.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
The first toll was a warning that Death was coming, the second meant Death had found his victim, and the third was Death’s arrival.
Jamie Begley (Keeping What's His: Tate (Porter Brothers Trilogy, #1))
Death is the stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to "die before you die" -- and find that there is no death.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Some people are not even that precious to be counted in the official death tolls.
Neeraj Agnihotri (In The Name Of Blasphemy)
And then one day, you too disappear. Your armchair is still there. But instead of you sitting in it, there is just an empty space. You went back to where you came from just a few years ago.
Eckhart Tolle
When you walk through a forest that has not been tamed and interfered with by man, you will see not only abundant life all around you, but you will also encounter fallen trees and decaying trunks, rotting leaves and decomposing matter at every step. Wherever you look, you will find death as well as life. Upon closer scrutiny, however, you will discover that the decomposing tree trunk and rotting leaves not only give birth to new life, but are full of life themselves. Microorganisms are at work. Molecules are rearranging themselves. So death isn't to be found anywhere. There is only the metamorphosis of life forms. What can you learn from this? Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
So whenever any kind of disaster strikes, or something goes seriously “wrong” — illness, disability, loss of home or fortune or of a socially defined identity, breakup of a close relationship, death or suffering of a loved one, or your own impending death — know that there is another side to it, that you are just one step away from something incredible: a complete alchemical transmutation of the base metal of pain and suffering into gold. That one step is called surrender.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Whenever any kind of deep loss occurs in your life — such as loss of possessions, your home, a close relationship; or loss of your reputation, job, or physical abilities — something inside you dies. You feel diminished in your sense of who you are. There may also be a certain disorientation. “Without this...who am I?” When a form that you had unconsciously identified with as part of yourself leaves you or dissolves, that can be extremely painful. It leaves a hole, so to speak, in the fabric of your existence. When this happens, don't deny or ignore the pain or the sadness that you feel. Accept that it is there. Beware of your mind's tendency to construct a story around that loss in which you are assigned the role of victim. Fear, anger, resentment, or self-pity are the emotions that go with that role. Then become aware of what lies behind those emotions as well as behind the mind-made story: that hole, that empty space. Can you face and accept that strange sense of emptiness? If you do, you may find that it is no longer a fearful place. You may be surprised to find peace emanating from it. Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death. That is why the peace of God can come to you through the contemplation and acceptance of death.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
witness two scenes. In one, an angry, bitter man beats another man to death in an alley in the Gadrobi District. In the other, a man of vast wealth conspires with equally wealthy compatriots to raise yet again the price of grain, making the cost of simple bread so prohibitive that families starve, are led into lives of crime, and die young. Are both acts of violence?
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
The bell tolling not for us, it’s time for bluebells.
Lara Biyuts
Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
You felt, in spite of all bureaucracy and inefficiency and party strife something that was like the feeling you expected to have and did not have when you made your first communion. It was a feeling of consecration to a duty toward all of the oppressed of the world which would be as difficult and embarrasing to speak about as religious experience and yet it was as authentic as the feeling you had when you heard Bach, or stood in Chartres Cathedral or the Cathedral at León and saw the light coming through the great windows; or when you saw Mantegna and Greco and Brueghel in the Prado. It gave you a part in something that you could believe in wholly and completely and in which you felt an absolute brotherhood with the others who were engaged in it. It was something that you had never known before but that you had experienced now and you gave such importance to it and the reasons for it that you own death seemed of complete unimportance; only a thing to be avoided because it would interfere with the performance of your duty. But the best thing was that there was something you could do about this feeling and this necessity too. You could fight.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is the deadliest disaster in maritime history, with losses dwarfing the death tolls of the famous ships Titanic and Lusitania. Yet remarkably, most people have never heard of it. On January 30, 1945, four torpedoes waited in the belly of Soviet submarine S-13.
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
One thing all the stories agreed on: King Robert was dead. The bells in the seven towers of the Great Sept of Baelor had tolled for a day and a night, the thunder of their grief rolling across the city in a bronze tide. They only rang the bells like that for the death of a king, a tanner's boy told Arya.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
He felt the long light body, warm against him, comforting against him, abolishing loneliness against him, magically, by a simple touching of flanks, of shoulders and of feet, making an alliance against death with him.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Many of the early explorers in my field—Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, John Bowlby—concluded that early trauma, even dating back to preverbal eras, takes its toll, often an indelible toll, on the comfort, the ease, the self-esteem, of the adult, even into late stages of life.
Irvin D. Yalom (A Matter of Death and Life: Love, Loss and What Matters in the End)
...at last she drew on her gloves, straightened her hat, and went away with that odd self-possession which seems to characterize all the older women of the Crescent. Time takes its toll of them, death and tragedy come inevitably, but they face the world with quiet faces and unbroken dignity.
Mary Roberts Rinehart (The Album)
My friend, life can often be most brutal and unfair. Death is the same.
Neal Shusterman (The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3))
At least 600,000 men died in the Civil War. Major battles numbered the dead in the thousands; even minor skirmishes killed hundreds...Then why study the death of thirteen men?... Mass death numbs the mind and heart as it numbers its vast toll. Relief from the horror is less possible when we watch old Joe Woods and thirteen-year-old David Shelton plead for life - and then die.
Phillip Shaw Pauadan (Victims: A True Story Of The Civil War)
This was the greatest gift that he had, the talent that fitted him for war; that ability not to ignore but to despise whatever bad ending there could be. This quality was destroyed by too much responsibility for others or the necessity of undertaking something ill planned or badly conceived. For in such things the bad ending, failure, could not be ignored. It was not simply a possibility of harm to one's self, which could be ignored. He knew he himself was nothing, and he knew death was nothing. He knew that truly, as truly as he knew anything. In the last few days he had learned that he himself, with another person, could be everything. But inside himself he knew that this was the exception. That we have had, he thought. In that I have been most fortunate. That was given to me, perhaps, because I never asked for it. That cannot be taken away nor lost. But that is over and done with now on this morning and what there is to do now is our work.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Nimander wondered if he had discovered the face of the one true god. Naught else but time, this ever changing and yet changeless tyrant against whom no creature could win. Before whom even trees, stone and air must one day bow. There would be a last dawn, a last sunset, each kneeling in final surrender. Yes, time was indeed god, playing the same games with lowly insects as it did with mountains and the fools who would carve fastnesses into them. At peace with every scale, pleased by the rapid patter of a rat’s heart and the slow sighing of devouring wind against stone. Content with a star’s burgeoning light and the swift death of a raindrop on a desert floor.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
The world will somehow manage to get rid of the coronavirus, most probably with extraordinary death tolls. But then guess what happens? The world will go back to its routine stupidities, namely the wars, supporting the dictators, voting for stupid politicians, destroying the forests, killing earth's climate etc.!
Mehmet Murat ildan
That's my town,' Joaquin said. 'What a fine town, but how the buena gente, the good people of that town, have suffered in this war.' Then, his face grave, 'There they shot my father. My mother. My brother-in-law and now my sister.' 'What barbarians,' Robert Jordan said. How many times had he heard this? How many times had he watched people say it with difficulty? How many times had he seen their eyes fill and their throats harden with the difficulty of saying my father, or my brother, or my mother, or my sister? He could not remember how many times he heard them mention their dead in this way. Nearly always they spoke as this boy did now; suddenly and apropos of the mention of the town and always you said, 'What barbarians.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
And in a way, this was how he had come to see his death, as a series of small ones taking place over the course of his life and leading finally to the main event, which would be so anti-climatic, so undramatic (a sudden violent seizure in his long abused heart, a quick massive flooding of the brain) it would go unnoticed. It was the small deaths occurring over an entire lifetime that took the greater toll.
Paule Marshall (The Chosen Place, The Timeless People)
In the past 20 years alone, it adds up to more death than were caused by all the civil and international wars adn government repression of the entire twentieth century, the century of Hitler and Stalin. How much would we give to prevent those horrors? Yet how little are we doing to prevent today's even larger toll and all the misery that it involves? I believe that if you read this book to the end, and look honestly and carefully at our situation, assessing both the facts and the ethical arguments, you will agree that we must act.
Peter Singer (The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty)
According to the CDC, cigarettes kill over 435,000 people a year in the United States. Most of us in Danbury were locked away for trading in illegal drugs. The annual death toll of illegal drug addicts, according to the same government study? Seventeen thousand. Heroin
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison)
An attraction to self-discovery and self-expression can be uplifting and assist us combat epic boredom. The toll of writing truthfully as possible can cause the writer to spiral emotionally out of control. Writing’s tempest temperament can prove a fatal attraction and many notable writers succumbed to the dark knight’s powerful sword. Too many writers and a cast of dead poets found themselves dangerously adrift on the flowing river of black ink interlocked in a life and death struggle with the creative streams of impulsion colliding with the rocky pods of madness. All artists must fight off the impulse to surrender to the aftershock of madness. The mad vein of stabbing pain that we might think belongs exclusively to ourselves is in actuality the capstone of the blood sport known as communal anxiety.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers.
H.G. Wells (The War of the Worlds)
Send not to know For whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
John Donne (Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions)
Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
If we are to live, we must take risks. Else our lives become deaths in all but name.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” and find that there is no death.
Echart Tolle
Thus, in moments of catastrophe, when hard decisions needed to be made quickly, all AIs included in their calculations a human death toll governed by a factor called ‘pigheadedness’.
Neal Asher (Polity Agent (Agent Cormac, #4))
That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death, or made to grieve on account of me. "& that I be not bury'd in consecrated ground. "& that no sexton be asked to toll the bell. "& that nobody is wished to see my dead body. "& that no mourners walk behind me at my funeral. "& that no flowers be planted on my grave, "& that no man remember me. "To this I put my name.
Thomas Hardy
So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over a thousand homicides of that kind a year—meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular kind of terror. (Another way to put it: the more than 11,766 corpses from domestic-violence homicides between 9/11 and 2012 exceed the number of deaths of victims on that day and all American soldiers killed in the “war on terror.”)
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays)
In 1999, The Black Book of Communism endeavored to attempt the impossible task of tabulating a Marxist-Leninist death toll in the twentieth century. It came up with a figure approaching 100 million. Here is the breakdown: *USSR: 20 million deaths *China: 65 million deaths *Vietnam: 1 million deaths *North Korea: 2 million deaths *Cambodia: 2 million deaths *Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths *Latin America: 150,000 deaths *Africa: 1.7 million deaths *Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths *The international communist movement and Communist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths
Paul Kengor (The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism's Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration)
Who isn't interesting enough to help -- what forgotten woman sits in a lawn chair in her yard with a can of soda pressed to her thigh, and the radio blaring the death toll of Texans, who were victims of a record heat wave? Whose inner voice sits quiet like an obedient dog and never says, go go go. I want to go places I've never been Because I haven't failed there yet. So you can understand a little better, How a disgruntled waitress might pack her dog And a few belongings and head for a town She dreamed of, searching for something to break The spell of monotonous, morbid night speak.
Ali Liebegott (The Beautifully Worthless)
As I was walking with a friend through a beautiful nature reserve near Malibu in California, we came upon the ruins of what had been once a country house, destroyed by a fire several decades ago. As we approached the property, long overgrown with trees and all kinds of magnificent plants, there was a sign by the side of the trail put there by the park authorities. It read: danger. all structures are unstable. I said to my friend, “That’s a profound sutra [sacred scripture].” And we stood there in awe. Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you. This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it “eternal life.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Holocaust deniers will always come up with pathetic lies and red herrings aimed at deceiving and leading the gullible astray. Be it death toll anomalies, gas chamber debates, criticizing Holocaust denial laws, repeating the ancient myth that the “Joooz control the world,” blaming Israel, claiming Anne Frank’s diary is fabricated etc…etc…yada…yada…yawn…the list goes on. Why do the deniers persist? Because they have an agenda – and it isn't a nice agenda.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
If armed terrorists had tried to hijack any of the flights I’ve been on lately, we passengers would have swiftly beaten them to death with those hard rolls you get with your in-flight meal. Funny, isn’t it? The airlines go to all that trouble to keep you from taking a gun on board, then they just hand you a dinner toll you could kill a musk ox with.
Dave Barry (Dave Barry's Greatest Hits)
If we are to live,’ Rake went on, ‘we must take risks. Else our lives become deaths in all but name. There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail – should we fall – we will know that we have lived.’ Endest
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Resurrection plants are usually tiny, no bigger than your fist. They are ugly and small and useless and special. When it rains, their leaves puff up but do not become green for forty-eight hours because it takes time for photosynthesis to start up. During those strange days of its reawakening the plant lives off of pure concentrated sugar, an intense sustained infusion of sweetness, a year's worth of sucrose coursing through its veins in just one day. This little plant has done the impossible: it has transcended the wilted brown of death. The miracle is not sustainable, of course, and within a day or two things will inevitably go back to normal. Such a crazy life takes its toll, and in the long term, even a resurrection plant withers and dies completely. But for a brief, glorious moment it knows something that no other plant has ever known: how to grow without being green.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
You don’t seek permanency where it cannot be found: in the world of form, of gain and loss, birth and death. You don’t demand that situations, conditions, places, or people should make you happy, and then suffer when they don’t live up to your expectations. Everything is honored, but nothing matters. Forms are born and die, yet you are aware of the eternal underneath the forms. You know that “nothing real can be threatened.”3
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Citizens, the nineteenth century is great, but the twentieth century will be happy. Then, there will be nothing more like the history of old, we shall no longer, as to-day, have to fear a conquest, an invasion, a usurpation, a rivalry of nations, arms in hand, an interruption of civilization depending on a marriage of kings, on a birth in hereditary tyrannies, a partition of peoples by a congress, a dismemberment because of the failure of a dynasty, a combat of two religions meeting face to face, like two bucks in the dark, on the bridge of the infinite; we shall no longer have to fear famine, farming out, prostitution arising from distress, misery from the failure of work and the scaffold and the sword, and battles and the ruffianism of chance in the forest of events. One might almost say: There will be no more events. We shall be happy. The human race will accomplish its law, as the terrestrial globe accomplishes its law; harmony will be re-established between the soul and the star; the soul will gravitate around the truth, as the planet around the light. Friends, the present hour in which I am addressing you, is a gloomy hour; but these are terrible purchases of the future. A revolution is a toll. Oh! the human race will be delivered, raised up, consoled! We affirm it on this barrier. Whence should proceed that cry of love, if not from the heights of sacrifice? Oh my brothers, this is the point of junction, of those who think and of those who suffer; this barricade is not made of paving-stones, nor of joists, nor of bits of iron; it is made of two heaps, a heap of ideas, and a heap of woes. Here misery meets the ideal. The day embraces the night, and says to it: 'I am about to die, and thou shalt be born again with me.' From the embrace of all desolations faith leaps forth. Sufferings bring hither their agony and ideas their immortality. This agony and this immortality are about to join and constitute our death. Brothers, he who dies here dies in the radiance of the future, and we are entering a tomb all flooded with the dawn.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
As politicians weigh courses of action against their political agendas the death toll weighs heavy on the conscience of the world. The once vibrant Syrian streets are now haunted by the souls of the innocent and the historic monuments that told of an unrivalled Arab civilisation no longer stand tall.
Aysha Taryam
According to the CDC, cigarettes kill over 435,000 people a year in the United States. Most of us in Danbury were locked away for trading in illegal drugs. The annual death toll of illegal drug addicts, according to the same government study? Seventeen thousand. Heroin or coffin nails, you be the judge.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
Sonnet III: Black Coffin opened wide for all to See Black Coffin opened wide for all to See, The lifeless form of one I loved so dear. O, listen! mournful knells that soon shall be All night long tolling for the folk to hear. The lanterns overlight the old churchyard To watch the coffin lowered into the ground; Soon Frost shall grasp the turf already hard, Decay ye have to face without a sound. But years have pass'd herein do I relate My dear sweet mother's form within my mind. Still happiness fills all my heart and state, As I see my small family so kind. Love cannot be withheld by death or grave, It stays alive within the heart so brave.
Timothy Salter
Remember, deniers claim 90 to 100% of all Holocaust deaths are some fantasy concocted years after the war. Rest assured the only books anywhere that talk about the tiny death toll numbers deniers believe in (i.e. tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands instead of millions) are Holocaust-denying books written by anti-Semitic “historians,” religious zealots or neo-Nazis. No mainstream history books ever published since 1945 mention a death toll that isn't in the millions for the Holocaust. Period.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
Remember that your perception of the world is a reflection of your state of consciousness. You are not separate from it, and there is no objective world out there. Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit. One of the greatest insights that has come out of modern physics is that of the unity between the observer and the observed: the person conducting the experiment — the observing consciousness — cannot be separated from the observed phenomena, and a different way of looking causes the observed phenomena to behave differently. If you believe, on a deep level, in separation and the struggle for survival, then you see that belief reflected all around you and your perceptions are governed by fear. You inhabit a world of death and of bodies fighting, killing, and devouring each other. Nothing is what it seems to be. The world that you create and see through the egoic mind may seem a very imperfect place, even a vale of tears. But whatever you perceive is only a kind of symbol, like an image in a dream. It is how your consciousness interprets and interacts with the molecular energy dance of the universe. This energy is the raw material of so-called physical reality. You see it in terms of bodies and birth and death, or as a struggle for survival. An infinite number of completely different interpretations, completely different worlds, is possible and, in fact, exists — all depending on the perceiving consciousness. Every being is a focal point of consciousness, and every such focal point creates its own world, although all those worlds are interconnected. There is a human world, an ant world, a dolphin world, and so on. There are countless beings whose consciousness frequency is so different from yours that you are probably unaware of their existence, as they are of yours. Highly conscious beings who are aware of their connectedness with the Source and with each other would inhabit a world that to you would appear as a heavenly realm — and yet all worlds are ultimately one.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
It was always exciting, but it was also always dangerous. And fear takes a toll finally: when you live in danger from moment to moment, the constant tension becomes very wearying. Every step I took on the roads of Gelderland was nerve-wracking, because I was secretly carrying the very material that could turn out to be my own death warrant.
Diet Eman (Things We Couldn't Say)
The fully human person is in deep and meaningful contact with the world outside of him. He not only listens to himself, but to the voices of the world. The breadth of his own individual experience is infinitely multiplied through a sensitive empathy with others. He suffers with the suffering, rejoices with the joyful. He is born again in every springtime, feels the impact of the great mysteries of life: birth, growth, love, suffering, death. His heart skips along with the 'young lovers', and he knows something of the exhilaration that is in them. He also knows the ghetto's philosophy of despair, the loneliness of suffering without relief, and the bell never tolls without tolling in some strange way for him.
John Joseph Powell (Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? / Why Am I Afraid to Love)
You are only allowed to see a sanitized version of death.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Reincarnation doesn't help you if in your next incarnation you still don't know who you are. Eckhart Tolle -The Power of Now
Julie Kelly (A Death Worth Living For)
Good! Brad thought. Great! I can see the headline now: MORGANTOWN MYSTERY DISEASE FELLS ALL CHILDREN, BUT TOLL PALES IN COMPARISON WITH BLACK DEATH. CDC OFFICIALS GREATLY RELIEVED!
Chet Williamson (A Haunting of Horrors: A Twenty-Novel eBook Bundle of Horror and the Occult)
The worst stories usually make you think: 'but nobody had to die'. These are called true stories.
Moonie
Good-by,'! he said to all those who were kneeling. 'Don't be said. To die is nothing. The only bad thing is to die at the hands of this canalla.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
It’s not that easy living with malaria. The reality of the high annual death toll should make that very obvious.
T.K. Naliaka
The death toll had gotten so bad, Mexico would eventually rank second only to Iraq in the number of killed or kidnapped reporters.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
The official death toll of the Osage Reign of Terror had climbed to at least twenty-four members of the tribe.
David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI)
In 4.5 billion years there will arrive the demise of your phenomenology and your utopian politics, and there'll be no one there to toll the death knell or hear it.
Jean-François Lyotard (The Inhuman: Reflections on Time)
History conditioned you for epic-scale calamity. Once, when she was studying the death tolls of battles in World War I, she'd caught herself thinking, Only eight thousand men died here. Well, that's not many. Because next to, say, the million who died at the Somme, it wasn't. The stupendous numbers deadened you to the merely tragic, and history didn't average in the tame days for balance. On this day, no one in the world was murdered. A lion gave birth. Ladybugs launched on aphids. A girl in love daydreamed all morning, neglecting her chores, and wasn't even scolded.
Laini Taylor (Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3))
For a moment I was dizzied by the impulse to leave her there: shove the techs' hands away, shout at hovering morgue men to get the hell out. We had taken enough toll on her. All she had left was her death and I wanted to leave her that, that at least. I wanted to wrap her up in soft blankets, stroke back her clotted hair, pull up a duvet of falling leaves and little animals' rustles. Leave her to sleep, sliding away forever down her secret underground river, while breathing seasons spun dandelion seeds and moon phases and snowflakes above her head. She had tried so hard to live.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
No purer artist exists or has ever existed than a child freed to imagine. [...] To drive children into labour is to slaughter artists, to scour deathly all wonder, the flickering dart of imagination eager as finches flitting from branch to branch – all crushed to serve grown-up needs and heartless expectations. The adult who demands such a thing is dead inside, devoid of nostalgia's bright dancing colours, so smooth, so delicious, so replete with longing both sweet and bitter – dead inside, yes, and dead outside, too. Corpses in motion, cold with the resentment the undead bear towards all things still alive, all things still warm, still breathing. Pity these ones? Nay, never, never so long as they drive on hordes of children into grisly labour, then sup languid of air upon the myriad rewards.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
The expansion of this country was accomplished at the cost of decimation to the Native American population. The American Indian death toll due to the United States’ march to the Pacific was massive. Much of the land we stole from the Native Americans is uninhabited to this day; basically, the Indians could have stayed where they were. Had America expanded its boundaries yet been true to its conscience, the American Indian nations could have remained intact. And were there a greater prevalence of Native American philosophy and culture in the United States today, the life of our nation would be immeasurably enriched.
Marianne Williamson (Illuminata: Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage)
Do you want an easy death? Would you rather die without pain, without agony? Then die to the past every moment, and let the light of your presence shine away the heavy, time-bound self you thought of as "you".
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Even such a seemingly trivial and "normal" thing as the compulsive need to be right in an argument and make the other person wrong- defending the mental position with which you have identified- is due to fear of death [of the ego].
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
XXIV. And more than that - a furlong on - why, there! What bad use was that engine for, that wheel, Or brake, not wheel - that harrow fit to reel Men's bodies out like silk? With all the air Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel. XXV. Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood, Next a marsh it would seem, and now mere earth Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth, Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood Changes and off he goes!) within a rood - Bog, clay and rubble, sand, and stark black dearth. XXVI. Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim, Now patches where some leanness of the soil's Broke into moss, or substances like boils; Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils. XXVII. And just as far as ever from the end! Naught in the distance but the evening, naught To point my footstep further! At the thought, A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom friend, Sailed past, not best his wide wing dragon-penned That brushed my cap - perchance the guide I sought. XXVIII. For, looking up, aware I somehow grew, Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place All round to mountains - with such name to grace Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view. How thus they had surprised me - solve it, you! How to get from them was no clearer case. XXIX. Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick Of mischief happened to me, God knows when - In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then Progress this way. When, in the very nick Of giving up, one time more, came a click As when a trap shuts - you're inside the den. XXX. Burningly it came on me all at once, This was the place! those two hills on the right, Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight; While to the left a tall scalped mountain ... Dunce, Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce, After a life spent training for the sight! XXXI. What in the midst lay but the Tower itself? The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart, Built of brown stone, without a counterpart In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf He strikes on, only when the timbers start. XXXII. Not see? because of night perhaps? - why day Came back again for that! before it left The dying sunset kindled through a cleft: The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay, Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, - Now stab and end the creature - to the heft!' XXXIII. Not hear? When noise was everywhere! it tolled Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears Of all the lost adventurers, my peers - How such a one was strong, and such was bold, And such was fortunate, yet each of old Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years. XXXIV. There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met To view the last of me, a living frame For one more picture! In a sheet of flame I saw them and I knew them all. And yet Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.
Robert Browning
So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over a thousand homicides of that kind a year—meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular kind of terror.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
I confess that I'm a sinner. Just like my old man. In word and in deed I enjoy my sin. In word and in deed my sin enjoys me. There is no one to blame. No one but me. Sin is my nature. I sin instinctually. Sin mimics the gates of paradise. Sin beats me to the floor. Sin is the dark shadow that no one can ignore. Sin screams "What's yours I want". Sin screams. "What's mine I'll keep." Sin is forever knocking, beating at the iron door. Don't even open it for an instant. Sin always wants more. Sin forever stole the key. But you're not locked out forever. In this sinner's Garden of Eden where sin pretends to be a treasure. Sin wants to make you bleed. Sin cuts down every giver. Sin cuts every hand. Sin wants total control. Sin wants to command. Sin just wants to kill you. And yes, for you the bell tolls. So death came before life entered. In death sin was conceived. Sin will linger forever Blameless, it's part of you and me. But there's a silver lining to sin's story. And the silver lining is this-When I was out chasing sin. The truth was out chasing me and when it finally caught me. That truth set me free. Now I've shared it all. Perhaps I've shared too much. But in this you must believe. The only truth I have left is this, my Sinner's Creed.
Scott Stapp (Sinner's Creed)
When your deeper sense of self is derived from Being, when you are free of "becoming" as a psychological need, neither your happiness nor your sense of self depends on the outcome, and so there is freedom from fear. You don't seek permanency where it cannot be found: in the world of form, of gain and loss, birth and death. You don't demand that situations, conditions, places or people should make you happy, and then suffer when they don't live up to your expectations. Everything is honoured, but nothing matters.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
It is from these cold, hard facts that Truman’s advisers estimated that between 250,000 and 1 million American lives would be lost in an invasion of Japan.59 General Douglas MacArthur estimated that there could be a 22:1 ratio of Japanese to American deaths, which translates to a minimum death toll of 5.5 million Japanese.60 By comparison (cold though it may sound), the body count from both atomic bombs—about 200,000 to 300,000 total (Hiroshima: 90,000 to 166,000 deaths, Nagasaki: 60,000 to 80,000 deaths61)—was a bargain.
Michael Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom)
One 2007 study showed that public health measures such as banning mass gatherings and imposing the wearing of masks collectively cut the death toll in some American cities by up to 50 per cent (the US was much better at imposing such measures than Europe). The timing of the measures was critical, however. They had to be introduced early, and kept in place until after the danger had passed. If they were lifted too soon, the virus was presented with a fresh supply of immunologically naive hosts, and the city experienced a second peak of death.9
Laura Spinney (Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World)
In Britain, and in many parts of her former Empire, the blame for the death toll is generally laid on the incompetence and callousness of the Great War generals, especially the British generals. In France, they blame their politicians; in Germany, historians blame the Kaiser.
Robin Neillands (Attrition: The Great War on the Western Front – 1916)
An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the Earth’s atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn’t get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and the temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvin, or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor’s path—people, houses, factories, cars—would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame. One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the Earth’s surface, where the people of Manson had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn’t been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it. For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light—the brightest ever seen by human eyes—followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a roiling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone in a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look in the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion. Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had once been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities—the whole of the Midwest, in short—nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish. But that’s just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the globe would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that at least a billion and a half people would be dead by the end of the first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean “selecting a slow death over a quick one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since Earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Let us sleep,” he said, and he felt the long light body, warm against him, comforting against him, abolishing loneliness against him, magically, by a simple touching of flanks, of shoulders and of feet, making an alliance against death with him, and he said, “Sleep well, little long rabbit.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
So here, twisted in steel, and spoiled with red your sunlight hide, smelling of death and fear, they crushed out your throat the terrible song you sang in the dark ranges. With what crying you mourned him! - the drinker of blood, the swift death-bringer who ran with you so many a night; and the night was long. I heard you, desperate poet, Did you hear my silent voice take up the cry? - replying: Achilles is overcome, and Hector dead, and clay stops many a warrior's mouth, wild singer. Voice from the hills and the river drunken with rain, for your lament the long night was too brief. Hurling your woes at the moon, that old cleaned bone, till the white shorn mobs of stars on the hill of the sky huddled and trembled, you tolled him, the rebel one. Insane Andromache, pacing your towers alone, death ends the verse you chanted; here you lie. The lover, the maker of elegies is slain, and veiled with blood her body's stealthy sun.
Judith A. Wright
Night and day rule from their two thrones, Where the darkest hour and the brightest light meet the Hellmouth shall be crossed by she strengthened under the gift of day, by she liberated with the gift of light. And the world is whole again. But the Cruel Kingdom hungers for a sacrifice. Sacrifice overthrows chaos. Sacrifice is necessary for what was two to become one. Test your worth; offer to her, Inanna’s immortality. She will grieve endlessly for the sister Who slumbers in the house of the dead, but her tears will save us all. And until the Gates of Death and Life interwine, Love continues to be the toll. And she will pay. She will pay.
Rin Chupeco (The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1))
Survivors do not mourn together. They each mourn alone, even when in the same place. Grief is the most solitary of all feelings. Grief isolates, and every ritual, every gesture, every embrace, is a hopeless effort to break through that isolation. None of it works. The forms crumble and dissolve. To face death is to stand alone.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. It needs to be both defended and fed constantly. The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you. Do you find this frightening? Or is it a relief to know this? All of these things you will have to relinquish sooner or later. Perhaps you find it as yet hard to believe, and I am certainly not asking you to believe that your identity cannot be found in any of those things. You will know the truth of it for yourself. You will know it at the latest when you feel death approaching. Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
When the Cathedral bell tolled just after dark, the Mexican population of Santa Fe fell upon their knees, and all American Catholics as well. Many others who did not kneel prayed in their hearts. Eusabio and the Tesuque boys went quietly away to tell their people; and the next morning the old Archbishop lay before the high altar in the church he had built.
Willa Cather
To drive children into labour is to slaughter artists, to scour deathly all wonder, the flickering dart of imagination eager as finches flitting from branch to branch – all crushed to serve grown-up needs and heartless expectations. The adult who demands such a thing is dead inside, devoid of nostalgia’s bright dancing colours, so smooth, so delicious, so replete with longing both sweet and bitter – dead inside, yes, and dead outside, too. Corpses in motion, cold with the resentment the undead bear towards all things still alive, all things still warm, still breathing. Pity these ones? Nay, never, never so long as they drive on hordes of children into grisly labour, then sup languid of air upon the myriad rewards.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
If, in recommending that Americans avoid meat, cheese, milk, cream, butter, eggs, and the rest, it turns out that nutrition experts made a mistake, it will have been a monumental one. Measured just by death and disease, and not including the millions of lives derailed by excess weight and obesity, it’s very possible that the course of nutrition advice over the past sixty years has taken an unparalleled toll on human history. It now appears that since 1961, the entire American population has, indeed, been subjected to a mass experiment, and the results have clearly been a failure. Every reliable indicator of good health is worsened by a low-fat diet. Whereas diets high in fat have been shown, again and again, in a large body of clinical trials, to lead to improved measures for heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes, and are better for weight loss. Moreover, it’s clear that the original case against saturated fats was based on faulty evidence and has, over the last decade, fallen apart. Despite more than two billion dollars in public money spent trying to prove that lowering saturated fat will prevent heart attacks, the diet-heart hypothesis has not held up.
Nina Teicholz (The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet)
Death was a thief that always wore a mask. Accident, disease, stillbirths, old age, natural causes, war, murder. It existed in the shivering silence between tolls of a bell. It stole everything away while it left its mark, a dark knowledge that lingered at the back of smiling eyes, a hesitation between thought and action in times of danger, a heaviness that tunneled wormholes into happy memories.
Thea Harrison (Natural Evil (Elder Races, #4.5))
To a watching world,” wrote The Guardian, “the absence of a fair, affordable US healthcare system, the cut-throat contest between American states for scarce medical supplies, the disproportionate death toll among ethnic minorities, chaotic social distancing rules, and a lack of centralised coordination are reminiscent of a poor, developing country, not the most powerful, influential nation on earth.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Every action is a losing, a letting go, a passing away from oneself of some bit of one’s own reality into the existence of others and of the world. In Jesus Christ, this character of action is not resisted, by trying to use our action to assert ourselves, extend ourselves, to impose our will and being upon situations. In Jesus Christ, this self-expending character of action is joyfully affirmed. I receive myself constantly from God’s Parenting love. But so far as some aspects of myself are at my disposal, these I receive to give away. Those who would live as Jesus did—who would act and purpose themselves as Jesus did—mean to love, i.e., they mean to expend themselves for others unto death. Their being is meant to pass away from them to others, and they make that meaning the conscious direction of their existence. Too often the love which is proclaimed in the churches suppresses this element of loss and need and death in activity. As a Christian, I often speak of love as helping others, but I ignore what this does to the person who loves. I ignore the fact that love is self-expenditure, a real expending and losing and deterioration of the self. I speak of love as if the person loving had no problems, no needs, no limits. In other words, I speak of love as if the affluent dream were true. This kind of proclamation is heard everywhere. We hear it said: 'Since you have no unanswered needs, why don’t you go out and help those other people who are in need?' But we never hear people go on and add: 'If you do this, you too will be driven into need.' And by not stating this conclusion, people give the childish impression that Christian love is some kind of cornucopia, where we can reach to everybody’s needs and problems and still have everything we need for ourselves. Believe me, there are grown-up persons who speak this kind of nonsense. And when people try to live out this illusory love, they become terrified when the self-expending begins to take its toll. Terror of relationship is [that] we eat each other. But note this very carefully: like Jesus, we too can only live to give our received selves away freely because we know our being is not thereby ended, but still and always lies in the Parenting of our God.... Those who love in the name of Jesus Christ... serve the needs of others willingly, even to the point of being exposed in their own neediness.... They do not cope with their own needs. They do not anguish over how their own needs may be met by the twists and turns of their circumstances, by the whims of their society, or by the strategies of their own egos. At the center of their life—the very innermost center—they are grateful to God, because... they do not fear neediness. That is what frees them to serve the needy, to companion the needy, to become and be one of the needy.
Arthur C. McGill (Dying Unto Life)
What then, had I discovered? That there is nobody so duplicitous as oneself? That certainty is nothing but unreasonable belief? That there can be no answer to death? That there should be no answer to it, at least not for the living? That we have in all of us, written into our very matter, an unpassable divide; and if there is a bridge between this world and the next, then surely there is only one toll to pay.
A.J. West (The Spirit Engineer)
The girl had taken a few restless turns to and fro—closely watched meanwhile by her hidden observer—when the heavy bell of St. Paul’s tolled for the death of another day. Midnight had come upon the crowded city. The palace, the night-cellar,* the jail, the madhouse: the chambers of birth and death, of health and sickness, the rigid face of the corpse and the calm sleep of the child: midnight was upon them all.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
We’d thought the same, once. We’d deceived ourselves into thinking we were the masters, that every force bowed to our command. And what happened? They destroyed everything!’ ‘I don’t-’ ‘Understand! I see that! They are conjurations — manifestations — they exist to warn you. They are the proof that all that you think to enslave will turn on you.’ And it backed away. ‘The end begins again, it begins again.’ Cotillion stepped forward. ‘Light, Dark and Shadow — these three — are you saying-’ ‘Three?’ Tulas Shorn laughed with savage bitterness. ‘What then of Life? Fire and Stone and Wind? What, you fools, of the Hounds of Death? Manifestations, I said. They will turn — they are telling you that! That is why they exist! The fangs, the fury — all that is implacable in nature — each aspect but a variation, a hue in the maelstrom of destruction!
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
To deny the reported six million (approximately) Jews who died, or the 11 million people in total, is to ignore all the eyewitness accounts from Holocaust survivors, the non-Jewish witnesses of the millions who died the open-air massacres around Europe, the concentration camp guards, Nazi officers who admitted to gassings and other related crimes immediately after WW2, and the universal agreement of all mainstream historians who have studied this historical event inside out – not to mention every single scientist who has ever analyzed forensic evidence retrieved from the Nazi genocide. Not even the most corrupt courtroom on Earth could ignore this much evidence – for collectively these confirmations of the Holocaust equate to irrefutable proof that the reported death toll is indeed correct. It is possibly the most well-documented crime of the 20th Century, but remember for religious extremists, Nazi apologists or other anti-Semites it would never matter how much evidence you put in front of them. They would always deny the Holocaust because to admit the event occurred would be to stop believing the Jews are inferior to them. It would also require such bigots to admit the very uncomfortable truth to themselves: that their ‘own kind’ did these despicable things to the Jewish people.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
At least ten times as many people died from preventable, poverty-related diseases on September 11, 2011, as died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that black day. The terrorist attacks led to trillions of dollars being spent on the ‘war on terrorism’ and on security measures that have inconvenienced every air traveller since then. The deaths caused by poverty were ignored. So whereas very few people have died from terrorism since September 11, 2001, approximately 30,000 people died from poverty-related causes on September 12, 2001, and on every day between then and now, and will die tomorrow. Even when we consider larger events like the Asian tsunami of 2004, which killed approximately 230,000 people, or the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed up to 200,000, we are still talking about numbers that represent just one week’s toll for preventable, poverty-related deaths — and that happens fifty-two weeks in every year.
Peter Singer (Practical Ethics)
The two friends went on and on toward the sierra, at times keeping the highway, at times. deviating from it. Whenever they passed through a town or a hamlet, the slow peal of bells tolling the death-knell announced to our hero that the Angel of Death was not losing his time; that his arm reached to every part of the world, and that, though Gil felt it now weighing upon his breast like a mountain of ice, none the less did it scatter ruin and desolation over the entire surface of the earth. As they went, the Angel of Death related many strange and wonderful things to his protege. The foe of history, he took pleasure in scoffing at its pretended utility, in disproof of which he narrated many facts as they had actually occurred, and not as they are recorded on monuments and in chronicles. The abysses of the past opened before the entranced imagination of Gil Gil, revealing to him facts of transcendent importance concerning the fate of man and of empires, disclosing to him the great mystery of the origin of life and the no less great and terrible mystery of the end to which we, wrongly called mortals, are progressing, and causing him, finally, to comprehend, by the light of this sublime philosophy, the laws which preside at the evolution of cosmic matter, and its various manifestations in those ephemeral and transitory forms which are called minerals, plants,animals, stars, constellations, nebula, and worlds. ("The Friend Of The Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Ghostly By Gaslight)
In Stalin’s famous words, one death is a tragedy; one million deaths is a statistic. In this case, it is not even a particularly good statistic. The very incomprehensibility of what a million horrible and violent deaths might mean, and the impossibility of producing an appropriate response, is perhaps the reason that the events following partition have yielded such a great and moving body of fictional literature and such an inadequate and flimsy factual history. What does it matter to the readers of history today whether there were 200,000 deaths, or 1 million, or 2 million? On that scale, is it possible to feel proportional revulsion, to be five times more upset at 1 million deaths than at 200,000? Few can grasp the awfulness of how it might feel to have their fathers barricaded in their houses and burnt alive, their mothers beaten and thrown off speeding trains, their daughters torn away, raped and branded, their sons held down in full view, screaming and pleading, while a mob armed with rough knives hacked off their hands and feet. All these things happened, and many more like them; not just once, but perhaps a million times. It is not possible to feel sufficient emotion to appreciate this monstrous savagery and suffering. That is the true horror of the events in the Punjab in 1947: one of the vilest episodes in the whole of history, a devastating illustration of the worst excesses to which human beings can succumb. The death toll is just a number.
Alex von Tunzelmann (Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire)
In the Black Death, mortalities of 30 and 40 percent were common, and in the urban centers of eastern England and central Italy, death rates reached an almost unimaginable 50 to 60 percent. Historian Samuel K. Cohn claims that in the worst years of the Third Pandemic, death tolls never exceeded 3 percent. While that estimate is open to question, no one challenges Cohn’s contention that, overall, the mortality rates of the Third Pandemic were dramatically lower than those of the Black Death. In
John Kelly (The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time)
Despite the intervening six decades of scientific inquiry since Selye’s groundbreaking work, the physiological impact of the emotions is still far from fully appreciated. The medical approach to health and illness continues to suppose that body and mind are separable from each other and from the milieu in which they exist. Compounding that mistake is a definition of stress that is narrow and simplistic. Medical thinking usually sees stress as highly disturbing but isolated events such as, for example, sudden unemployment, a marriage breakup or the death of a loved one. These major events are potent sources of stress for many, but there are chronic daily stresses in people’s lives that are more insidious and more harmful in their long-term biological consequences. Internally generated stresses take their toll without in any way seeming out of the ordinary. For those habituated to high levels of internal stress since early childhood, it is the absence of stress that creates unease, evoking boredom and a sense of meaninglessness. People may become addicted to their own stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, Hans Selye observed. To such persons stress feels desirable, while the absence of it feels like something to be avoided. When people describe themselves as being stressed, they usually mean the nervous agitation they experience under excessive demands — most commonly in the areas of work, family, relationships, finances or health. But sensations of nervous tension do not define stress — nor, strictly speaking, are they always perceived when people are stressed. Stress, as we will define it, is not a matter of subjective feeling. It is a measurable set of objective physiological events in the body, involving the brain, the hormonal apparatus, the immune system and many other organs. Both animals and people can experience stress with no awareness of its presence. “Stress is not simply nervous tension,” Selye pointed out. “Stress reactions do occur in lower animals, and even in plants, that have no nervous systems…. Indeed, stress can be produced under deep anaesthesia in patients who are unconscious, and even in cell cultures grown outside the body.” Similarly, stress effects can be highly active in persons who are fully awake, but who are in the grip of unconscious emotions or cut off from their body responses. The physiology of stress may be triggered without observable effects on behaviour and without subjective awareness, as has been shown in animal experiments and in human studies.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
There is no place left for the buffalo to roam. There’s only corn, wheat, and soy. About the only animals that escaped the biotic cleansing of the agriculturalists are small animals like mice and rabbits, and billions of them are killed by the harvesting equipment every year. Unless you’re out there with a scythe, don’t forget to add them to the death toll of your vegetarian meal. They count, and they died for your dinner, along with all the animals that have dwindled past the point of genetic feasibility.
Lierre Keith (The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability)
Just seven minutes after most of Murphysboro was leveled, the Tri-State Tornado hit DeSoto at 2:48 P.M. No town in the path would proportionally suffer a higher fatality rate than this tiny village in which sixty-nine people died. Thirty-three of them were children buried in the burning ruins of the DeSoto Schoolhouse, a heartbreaking record that remains the single worst tornado-related death toll for a school in US history. One in four DeSoto children who walked off to school that day would never come home to supper.
Geoff Partlow (America's Deadliest Twister: The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 (Shawnee Books))
When we go into a forest that has not been interfered with by man, our thinking mind will see only disorder and chaos all around us. It won't be able to differentiate between life (good) and death (bad) anymore since everywhere new life grows out of rotting and decaying matter. ... The mind is more comfortable in a landscaped park because it has been planned through thought; it has not grown organically. There is an order here that the mind can understand. IN the forest, there is an incomprehensible order that to the mind looks like chaos. It is beyond the mental categories of good and bad. You cannot understand it through thought, but you can sense it when you let go of thought, become still and alert, and don't try to understand or explain. Only then can you be aware of the sacredness of the forest. As soon as you sense that hidden harmony, that sacredness, you realize you are not separate from it, and when you realize that, you become a conscious participant in it. In this way, nature can help you become realigned with the wholeness of life.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Will you come and tell me when the music ends When the musicians are swallowed in flames Every instrument blackening and crumbling to ash When the dancers stumble and sprawl their diseased limbs rotting off and twitching the skin sloughing away Will you come and tell me when the music ends When the stars we pushed into the sky loose their roars And the clouds we built into visible rage do now explode When the bright princes of privilege march past with dead smiles falling from their faces a host of deceiving masks Will you come and tell me when the music ends When reason sinks into the morass of superstition Waging a war of ten thousand armies stung to the lash When we stop looking up even as we begin our mad running into stupidity’s nothingness with heavenly choirs screaming Will you come and tell me when the music ends When the musicians are no more than black grinning sticks Every instrument wailing its frantic death cry down the road When the ones left standing have had their mouths cut off leaving holes from which a charnel wind eternally blows
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
One 2007 study showed that public health measures such as banning mass gatherings and imposing the wearing of masks collectively cut the death toll in some American cities by up to 50 per cent (the US was much better at imposing such measures than Europe). The timing of the measures was critical, however. They had to be introduced early, and kept in place until after the danger had passed. If they were lifted too soon, the virus was presented with a fresh supply of immunologically naive hosts, and the city experienced a second peak of death.
Laura Spinney (Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World)
The Costs of War Project at Brown University reports that over 6,800 US troops have died in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In addition, the Costs of War Project says at least 6,780 US contractors, rarely counted, should be included in the American death toll. Suicides by American veterans number into the thousands and are not counted in battle-related deaths. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan citizens have died as well. Total dollar costs for the wars will exceed $4 trillion. I predict it will cost even more since the total tally won’t be in for decades. And it’s not over yet. Even in 2013 we still had over 100,000 Department of Defense contractors in Afghanistan. And we’re not about to close down the biggest embassy in the world in Baghdad. There are no plans to actually leave either country. Yet there are plenty of plans to maintain and to expand our presence worldwide as we deal with Syria, Lebanon, Iran, or wherever our US Empire chooses. Killing hundreds of thousands of the so-called enemy makes no sense given that most of them had no involvement in 9/11. This is pure bloodlust.
Ron Paul (Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity)
In 1968, Pope Paul VI responded instead with an encylical Humanae Vitae. The encyclical reaffirmed the Church's rejectionist stance: Contraceptives were evil and against God's law...In the West, many if not most Catholics ignored the ban. For them, however painful, the decision of whether to conceive or not was rarely a life-or-death issue. Unfortunately, for women in the poorest parts of the world, it often is. There, the right to choose whether or not to conceive was vitally linked to a woman's prospects for freeing herself and her family from poverty. It is in this context that the inherent and deeply rooted misogyny of the Church has taken its greatest toll on the lives of women. Pope John Paul II spent a considerable part of his pontificate propagandizing on behalf of a doctrine that tells ppor and illiterate women that to use a condom is the moral equivalent of murder and that each time they use contraceptives they render Christ's sacrifice on the cross 'in vain'. He said:'no personal or social circumstances have ever been able, or will be able, to rectify the moral wrong of the contraceptive act.
Jack Holland (Misogyny: The World's Oldest Prejudice)
As the number of deaths climbed to the highest in the world, America—and those looking to it for leadership—had to come to terms with the untested fragilities of its social ecosystem. “To a watching world,” wrote The Guardian, “the absence of a fair, affordable US healthcare system, the cut-throat contest between American states for scarce medical supplies, the disproportionate death toll among ethnic minorities, chaotic social distancing rules, and a lack of centralised coordination are reminiscent of a poor, developing country, not the most powerful, influential nation on earth.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
I’m hoping that you will look at the larger picture and think about what it takes to live ethically in a world in which 18 million people are dying unnecessarily each year. That’s a higher annual death rate than in World War II. In the past twenty years alone, it adds up to more deaths than were caused by all the civil and international wars and government repression of the entire twentieth century, the century of Hitler and Stalin. How much would we give to prevent those horrors? Yet how little are we doing to prevent today’s even larger toll, and all the misery that it involves?
Peter Singer (The Life You Can Save: How to play your part in ending world poverty)
happiness nor your sense of self depends on the outcome, and so there is freedom from fear. You don’t seek permanency where it cannot be found: in the world of form, of gain and loss, birth and death. You don’t demand that situations, conditions, places, or people should make you happy, and then suffer when they don’t live up to your expectations. Everything is honored, but nothing matters. Forms are born and die, yet you are aware of the eternal underneath the forms. You know that “nothing real can be threatened.”3 When this is your state of Being, how can you not succeed? You have succeeded already.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading - treading - till it seemed That Sense was breaking through - And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum - Kept beating - beating - till I thought My mind was going numb - And then I heard them lift a Box And creak across my Soul With those same Boots of Lead, again, Then Space - began to toll, As all the Heavens were a Bell, And Being, but an Ear, And I, and Silence, some strange Race, Wrecked, solitary, here - And then a Plank in Reason, broke, And I dropped down, and down - And hit a World, at every plunge, And Finished knowing - then -
Emily Dickinson (The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson)
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,— That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease. O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim: Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Away! away! for I will fly to thee, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy, Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night, And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays; But here there is no light, Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child, The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. Darkling I listen; and, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die, To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. Forlorn! the very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? - Ode to a Nightingale
John Keats (The Complete Poems)
At that moment Sonny noticed that the other car had not kept going but had parked a few feet ahead, still blocking his way. At that same moment his lateral vision caught sight of another man in the darkened tollbooth to his right. But he did not have time to think about that because two men came out of the car parked in front and walked toward him. The toll collector still had not appeared. And then in the fraction of a second before anything actually happened, Santino Corleone he knew he was a dead man. And in that moment his mind was lucid, drained of all violence, as if the hidden fear finally real and present had purified him.
Mario Puzo (The Godfather (The Godfather, #1))
A Personal Atonement At some point the multitudinous sins of countless ages were heaped upon the Savior, but his submissiveness was much more than a cold response to the demands of justice. This was not a nameless, passionless atonement performed by some detached, stoic being. Rather, it was an offering driven by infinite love. This was a personalized, not a mass atonement. Somehow, it may be that the sins of every soul were individually (as well as cumulatively) accounted for, suffered for, and redeemed for, all with a love unknown to man. Christ tasted "death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9; emphasis added), perhaps meaning for each individual person. One reading of Isaiah suggests that Christ may have envisioned each of us as the atoning sacrifice took its toll—"when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed" (Isaiah 53:10; emphasis added; see also Mosiah 15:10–11). Just as the Savior blessed the "little children, one by one" (3 Nephi 17:21); just as the Nephites felt his wounds "one by one" (3 Nephi 11:15); just as he listens to our prayers one by one; so, perhaps, he suffered for us, one by one. President Heber J. Grant spoke of this individual focus: "Not only did Jesus come as a universal gift, He came as an individual offering with a personal message to each one of us. For each one of us He died on Calvary and His blood will conditionally save us. Not as nations, communities or groups, but as individuals."55 Similar feelings were shared by C. S. Lewis: "He [Christ] has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world."56 Elder Merrill J. Bateman spoke not only of the Atonement's infinite nature, but also of its intimate reach: "The Savior's atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person's pains, sufferings, and sicknesses."57 Since the Savior, as a God, has the capacity to simultaneously entertain multiple thoughts, perhaps it was not impossible for the mortal Jesus to contemplate each of our names and transgressions in concomitant fashion as the Atonement progressed, without ever sacrificing personal attention for any of us. His suffering need never lose its personal nature. While such suffering had both macro and micro dimensions, the Atonement was ultimately offered for each one of us.
Tad R. Callister (The Infinite Atonement)
The world’s last great pandemic was the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918 that killed a hundred million people—about 5 percent of the world’s population. If a pandemic like that were to happen again, it would spread faster and might be impossible to contain. According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in such a pandemic “the death toll could reach 360 million”—even with the full deployment of vaccines and powerful modern drugs. The Gates Foundation estimated that the pandemic would also devastate the world financially, precipitating a three-trillion-dollar economic collapse. This is not scaremongering: Most epidemiologists believe such a pandemic will eventually happen.
Douglas Preston (The Lost City of the Monkey God)
The underlying emotion that governs all the activity in the ego is fear. The fear of being nobody, the fear of nonexistence, the fear of death. All its activities are ultimately designed to eliminate this fear, but the most the ego can ever do is to cover it up temporarily with an intimate relationship, a new possession, or winning at this or that. Illusion will never satisfy you. Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free. Why fear? Because the ego arises by identification with form, and deep down it knows that no forms are permanent, that they are all fleeting. So there is always a sense of insecurity around the ego even if on the outside it appears confident.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Moreover, as long as you are identified with your mind, the ego runs your life, as I pointed out earlier. Because of its phantom nature, and despite elaborate defense mechanisms, the ego is very vulnerable and insecure, and it sees itself as constantly under threat. This, by the way, is the case even if the ego is outwardly very confident. Now remember that an emotion is the body’s reaction to your mind. What message is the body receiving continuously from the ego, the false, mind-made self? Danger, I am under threat. And what is the emotion generated by this continuous message? Fear, of course. Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the ego’s fear of death, of annihilation. To the ego, death is always just around the corner. In this mind-identified state, fear of death affects every aspect of your life. For example, even such a seemingly trivial and “normal” thing as the compulsive need to be right in an argument and make the other person wrong — defending the mental position with which you have identified — is due to the fear of death. If you identify with a mental position, then if you are wrong, your mind-based sense of self is seriously threatened with annihilation. So you as the ego cannot afford to be wrong. To be wrong is to die. Wars have been fought over this, and countless relationships have broken down.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
THE ACCEPTANCE OF SUFFERING is a journey into death. Facing deep pain, allowing it to be, taking your attention into it, is to enter death consciously. When you have died this death, you realize that there is no death — and there is nothing to fear. Only the ego dies. Imagine a ray of sunlight that has forgotten it is an inseparable part of the sun and deludes itself into believing it has to fight for survival and create and cling to an identity other than the sun. Would the death of this delusion not be incredibly liberating? DO YOU WANT AN EASY DEATH? Would you rather die without pain, without agony? Then die to the past every moment, and let the light of your presence shine away the heavy, time-bound self you thought of as “you.
Eckhart Tolle (Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now)
SERMON ON THE BODY What you perceive as a dense physical structure called the body, which is subject to disease, old age, and death, is not ultimately real — is not you. It is a misperception of your essential reality that is beyond birth and death, and is due to the limitations of your mind, which, having lost touch with Being, creates the body as evidence of its illusory belief in separation and to justify its state of fear. But do not turn away from the body, for within that symbol of impermanence, limitation, and death that you perceive as the illusory creation of your mind is concealed the splendor of your essential and immortal reality. Do not turn your attention elsewhere in your search for the Truth, for it is nowhere else to be found but within your body.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
I consider these things idly. Each one of them seems the same size as all the others. Not one seems preferable. Fatigue is here, in my body, in my legs and eyes. That is what gets you in the end. Faith is only a word, embroidered.   I look out at the dusk and think about its being winter. The snow falling, gently, effortlessly, covering everything in soft crystal, the mist of moonlight before a rain, blurring the outlines, obliterating color. Freezing to death is painless, they say, after the first chill. You lie back in the snow like an angel made by children and go to sleep. Behind me I feel her presence, my ancestress, my double, turning in midair under the chandelier, in her costume of stars and feathers, a bird stopped in flight, a woman made into an angel, waiting to be found. By me this time. How could I have believed I was alone in here? There were always two of us. Get it over, she says. I'm tired of this melodrama, I'm tired of keeping silent. There's no one you can protect, your life has value to no one. I want it finished.   As I'm standing up I hear the black van. I hear it before I see it; blended with the twilight, it appears out of its own sound like a solidification, a clotting of the night. It turns into the driveway, stops. I can just make out the white eye, the two wings. The paint must be phosphorescent. Two men detach themselves from the shape of it, come up the front steps, ring the bell. I hear the bell toll, ding-dong, like the ghost of a cosmetics woman, down in the hall. Worse is coming, then. I've
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
In the 2017–18 flu season, to take one recent example, people who had been vaccinated were only 36 percent less likely to get flu than those who hadn’t been vaccinated. In consequence, it was a bad year for flu in America, with a death toll estimated at eighty thousand. In the event of a really catastrophic epidemic—one that killed children or young adults in large numbers, say—Kinch believes we wouldn’t be able to produce vaccine fast enough to treat everyone, even if the vaccine was effective. “The fact is,” he says, “we are really no better prepared for a bad outbreak today than we were when Spanish flu killed tens of millions of people a hundred years ago. The reason we haven’t had another experience like that isn’t because we have been especially vigilant. It’s because we have been lucky.
Bill Bryson (The Body: A Guide for Occupants)
The monstrous effects on Korean civilians of the methods of warfare adopted by the United Nations — the blanket fire bombing of North Korean cities, the destruction of dams and the resulting devastation of the food supply and an unremitting aerial bombardment more intensive than anything experienced during the Second World War. At one point the Americans gave up bombing targets in the North when their intelligence reported that there were no more buildings over one story high left standing in the entire country … the overall death toll was staggering: possibly as many as four million people. About three million were civilians (one out of every ten Koreans). Even to a world that had just begun to recover from the vast devastation of the Second World War, Korea was a man-made hell with a place among the most violent excesses of the 20th century.
Reg Whitaker (Cold War Canada: The Making of a National Insecurity State, 1945-1957)
The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you. Do you find this frightening? Or is it a relief to know this? All of these things you will have to relinquish sooner or later. Perhaps you find it as yet hard to believe, and I am certainly not asking you to believe that your identity cannot be found in any of those things. You will know the truth of it for yourself. You will know it at the latest when you feel death approaching. Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” — and find that there is no death.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Life is transient and death is unfathomable, but questions nonetheless abound. What is the driving purpose behind the prosodic life of an ordinary person such as me? What emotional rhythms, pitches, pauses, stresses, and intonations drive the meter of person’s life? When the church bells toll my parting day, what tone will it strike in the hearts of other people, if any? Is there a person whoever traversed this crusty rock that we call planet Earth who did not wish for other people to remember them after their death? I confess sharing the vain longing of all men, however humble, to be remembered, not for the crimes that I committed but for fully expressing the poetic gift of life. When I ask what other people will think when I die, I must also ask why I lived, what did I live for, and what joy did I bring other people, if any. What acts, thoughts, and deeds make people beloved? What resounding chime resonates with all loving people? What magical filament binds us? What serves as the ethereal umbilical cord that causes all conscience stricken humans to crave the same universal sense of being?
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
everything for miles in all directions. The Space Needle. The aquarium and the science center. Amazon.com’s headquarters. Safeco Field. And every Starbucks in between. All of it was gone in the snap of a finger. None of the city’s twenty-one state-of-the-art air raid sirens went off. They had originally been installed in the early 1950s during the Cold War. They’d been cosmetically upgraded in 2006 at a cost of $91,000. But they’d been useless. No one in the mayor’s office or the police department or the fire department knew the missile was coming. No one knew the threat that was inbound. Thus no one had activated the sirens. But even if someone had, would anyone in Seattle have known what to do or where to go? Would there have been any time to seek shelter? No one was left to ask the questions, for now the air raid sirens and the city they were designed to protect were gone entirely. Untold thousands lay dead and dying. More would join them soon. Indeed, the death toll in Seattle alone would soar into the hundreds of thousands within hours. An enormous mushroom cloud, crackling with toxic radioactive dust, now formed over the city. Those not blinded by the initial
Joel C. Rosenberg (Dead Heat)
Sin and neurosis have another side: not only their unreal self-inflation in the refusal to admit creatureliness but also a penalty for intensified self-consciousness: the failure to be consoled by shared illusions. The result is that the sinner (neurotic) is hyperconscious of the very thing he tries to deny: his creatureliness, his miserableness and unworthiness.41 The neurotic is thrown back on his true perceptions of the human condition, which caused his isolation and individuation in the first place. He tried to build a glorified private inner world because of his deeper anxieties, but life takes its revenge. The more he separates and inflates himself, the more anxious he becomes. The more he artificially idealizes himself, the more exaggeratedly he criticizes himself. He alternates between the extremes of “I am everything” and “I am nothing.”42 But it is clear that if one is going to be something he has to be a secure part of something else. There is no way to avoid paying the debt of dependency and yielding to the larger meaning of the rest of nature, to the toll of suffering and the death that it demands; and there is no way to justify this payment from within oneself, no matter how mightily one tries.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
By the time that paper appeared, the SARS epidemic of 2003 had been stopped, with the final toll at 8,098 people infected, of whom 774 died. The last case was detected and isolated in Taiwan on June 15. Hong Kong had been declared “SARS-free.” Singapore and Canada had been declared “SARS-free.” The whole world was supposedly “SARS-free.” What those declarations meant, more precisely, was that no SARS infections were currently raging in humans. But the virus hadn’t been eradicated. This was a zoonosis, and no disease scientist could doubt that its causal agent still lurked within one or more reservoir hosts—the palm civet, the raccoon dog, or whatever—in Guangdong and maybe elsewhere too. People celebrated the end of the outbreak, but those best informed celebrated most guardedly. SARS-CoV wasn’t gone, it was only hiding. It could return. In late December, it did. Like an aftershock to a quake, a new case broke in Guangdong. Soon afterward, three more. One patient was a waitress who had been exposed to a civet. On January 5, 2004, the day the first case was confirmed, Guangdong authorities reversed policy again, ordering the death and disposal of every masked palm civet held at a farm or a market in the province. Wild civets were another question, left unanswered.
David Quammen (Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic)
On Sunday, November 10, Kaiser Wilhelm II was dethroned, and he fled to Holland for his life. Britain’s King George V, who was his cousin, told his diary that Wilhelm was “the greatest criminal known for having plunged the world into this ghastly war,” having “utterly ruined his country and himself.” Keeping vigil at the White House, the President and First Lady learned by telephone, at three o’clock that morning, that the Germans had signed an armistice. As Edith later recalled, “We stood mute—unable to grasp the significance of the words.” From Paris, Colonel House, who had bargained for the armistice as Wilson’s envoy, wired the President, “Autocracy is dead. Long live democracy and its immortal leader. In this great hour my heart goes out to you in pride, admiration and love.” At 1:00 p.m., wearing a cutaway and gray trousers, Wilson faced a Joint Session of Congress, where he read out Germany’s surrender terms. He told the members that “this tragical war, whose consuming flames swept from one nation to another until all the world was on fire, is at an end,” and “it was the privilege of our own people to enter it at its most critical juncture.” He added that the war’s object, “upon which all free men had set their hearts,” had been achieved “with a sweeping completeness which even now we do not realize,” and Germany’s “illicit ambitions engulfed in black disaster.” This time, Senator La Follette clapped. Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Lodge complained that Wilson should have held out for unconditional German surrender. Driven down Capitol Hill, Wilson was cheered by joyous crowds on the streets. Eleanor Roosevelt recorded that Washington “went completely mad” as “bells rang, whistles blew, and people went up and down the streets throwing confetti.” Including those who had perished in theaters of conflict from influenza and other diseases, the nation’s nineteen-month intervention in the world war had levied a military death toll of more than 116,000 Americans, out of a total perhaps exceeding 8 million. There were rumors that Wilson planned to sail for France and horse-trade at the peace conference himself. No previous President had left the Americas during his term of office. The Boston Herald called this tradition “unwritten law.” Senator Key Pittman, Democrat from Nevada, told reporters that Wilson should go to Paris “because there is no man who is qualified to represent him.” The Knickerbocker Press of Albany, New York, was disturbed by the “evident desire of the President’s adulators to make this war his personal property.” The Free Press of Burlington, Vermont, said that Wilson’s presence in Paris would “not be seemly,” especially if the talks degenerated into “bitter controversies.” The Chattanooga Times called on Wilson to stay home, “where he could keep his own hand on the pulse of his own people” and “translate their wishes” into action by wireless and cable to his bargainers in Paris.
Michael R. Beschloss (Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times)
In March 2002, the National Academy of Sciences, a private, nonprofit society of scholars, released a high-profile report documenting the unequivocal existence of racial bias in medical care, which many thought would mark a real turning point. Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care was so brutal and damning that it would seem impossible to turn away. The report, authored by a committee of mostly white medical educators, nurses, behavioral scientists, economists, health lawyers, sociologists, and policy experts, took an exhaustive plunge into more than 480 previous studies. Because of the knee-jerk tendency to assume that health disparities were the end result of differences in class, not race, they were careful to compare subjects with similar income and insurance coverage. The report found rampant, widespread racial bias, including that people of color were less likely to be given appropriate heart medications or to undergo bypass surgery or receive kidney dialysis or transplants. Several studies revealed significant racial differences in who receives appropriate cancer diagnostic tests and treatments, and people of color were also less likely to receive the most sophisticated treatments for HIV/AIDS. These inequities, the report concluded, contribute to higher death rates overall for Black people and other people of color and lower survival rates compared with whites suffering from comparable illnesses of similar severity.
Linda Villarosa (Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation)
I’m the living dead. I feel no connection to any other human. I have no friends and I don’t really care much about my family any longer. I feel no love for them. I can feel no joy. I’m incapable of feeling physical pleasure. There’s nothing to ever look forward to as a result. I don’t miss anyone or anything. I eat because I feel hunger pangs, but no food tastes like anything I like. I wear a mask when I’m with other people but it’s been slipping lately. I can’t find the energy to hide the heavy weight of survival and its effect on me. I’m exhausted all the time from the effort of just making it through the day. This depression has made a mockery of my memory. It’s in tatters. I have no good memories to sustain me. My past is gone. My present is horrid. My future looks like more of the same. In a way, I’m a man without time. Certainly, there’s no meaning in my life. What meaning can there be without even a millisecond of joy? Ah, scratch that. Let’s even put aside joy and shoot for lower. How about a moment of being content? Nope. Not a chance. I see other people, normal people, who can enjoy themselves. I hear people laughing at something on TV. It makes me cock my head and wonder what that’s like. I’m sure at sometime in my past, I had to have had a wonderful belly laugh. I must have laughed so hard once or twice that my face hurt. Those memories are gone though. Now, the whole concept of “funny” is dead. I stopped going to movies a long time ago. Sitting in a theater crowded with people, every one of them having a better time than you, is incredibly damaging. I wasn’t able to focus for that long anyway. Probably for the best. Sometimes I fear the thought of being normal again. I think I wouldn’t know how to act. How would I handle being able to feel? Gosh it would be nice to feel again. Anything but this terrible, suffocating pain. The sorrow and the misery is so visceral, I find myself clenching my jaw. It physically hurts me. Then I realize that it’s silly to worry about that. You see, in spite of all the meds, the ketamine infusions and other treatments, I’m not getting better. I’m getting worse. I was diagnosed 7 years ago but I’m sure I was suffering for longer. Of course, I can’t remember that, but depression is something that crept up on me. It’s silent and oppressive. I don’t even remember what made me think about going to see someone. But I did and it was a pretty clear diagnosis. So, now what? I keep waking up every morning unfortunately. I don’t fear death any more. That’s for sure. I’ve made some money for the couple of decades I’ve been working and put it away in retirement accounts. I think about how if I was dead that others I once cared for would get that money. Maybe it could at least help them. I don’t know that I’ll ever need it. Even if I don’t end it myself, depression takes a toll on the body. My life expectancy is estimated to be 14 years lower as a result according to the NIH. It won’t be fast enough though. I’m just an empty biological machine that doesn’t know that my soul is gone. My humanity is no more
Ahmed Abdelazeem
In short, every adventure of the mind is an adventure vehicled by words. Every adventure of the mind is an adventure with words; every such adventure is an adventure among words; and occasionally an adventure is an adventure of words. It is no exaggeration to say that, in every word of every language — every single word or phrase of every language, however primitive or rudimentary or frag­mentarily recorded, and whether living or dead- we discover an enlightening, sometimes a rather frightening, vignette of history; with such a term as water we find that we require a volume rather than a vignette. Sometimes the history concerned may seem to affect only an individual. But, as John Donne remarked in 1624, ‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.’ History is not merely individual, it is collective or social; not only national, but international; not simply terrestrial, but universal. History being recorded in words and achieved partly, sometimes predominantly, by words, it follows that he who despises or belittles or does no worse than underestimate, the value and power, the ineluctable necessity of words, despises all history and therefore despises mankind (himself perhaps excluded). He who ignores the enduring power and the history of words ignores that sole part of himself which can, after his death, influence the world outside himself, the sole part that merits a posterity.
Eric Partridge (Adventuring Among Words)
Fear seems to have many causes. Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of being hurt, and so on, but ultimately all fear is the ego’s fear of death, of annihilation. To the ego, death is always just around the corner. In this mind-identified state, fear of death affects every aspect of your life. For example, even such a seemingly trivial and “normal” thing as the compulsive need to be right in an argument and make the other person wrong — defending the mental position with which you have identified — is due to the fear of death. If you identify with a mental position, then if you are wrong, your mind-based sense of self is seriously threatened with annihilation. So you as the ego cannot afford to be wrong. To be wrong is to die. Wars have been fought over this, and countless relationships have broken down. Once you have disidentified from your mind, whether you are right or wrong makes no difference to your sense of self at all, so the forcefully compulsive and deeply unconscious need to be right, which is a form of violence, will no longer be there. You can state clearly and firmly how you feel or what you think, but there will be no aggressiveness or defensiveness about it. Your sense of self is then derived from a deeper and truer place within yourself, not from the mind. Watch out for any kind of defensiveness within yourself. What are you defending? An illusory identity, an image in your mind, a fictitious entity. By making this pattern conscious, by witnessing it, you disidentify from it. In the light of your consciousness, the unconscious pattern will then quickly dissolve. This is the end of all arguments and power games, which are so corrosive to relationships. Power over others is weakness disguised as strength.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
As we go forward in life, we come more and more to realize the wisdom of being obedient, not because we are afraid of the law, but because we recognize the importance, wisdom, and necessity of law in civilized life. Freedom within the law is indispensable if your life is to be rich and radiant. Liberty is a prized possession, which should be jealously guarded, but it may be jeopardized by disobedience. We should not assume that liberty and license are synonymous. Sometimes we find people of all ages who resent regulations, restraints, or prohibitions of any kind. They seem to assume that rebellious disregard for rules or laws indicates emancipation and independence. In a foolish attempt to demonstrate their freedom they lose it, forgetting that real liberty can only be enjoyed by obedience to law. Consider for a moment our traffic laws, with their daily toll of suffering, loss, and death. It must be evident to all that these laws are enacted and enforced for the good and protection of people and property. Is it not, therefore, foolhardy to endanger oneself and others simply to show one's independence or importance. Of course, we may disregard the traffic laws, drive on the wrong side of the street, exceed speed limits, go through red lights, just for the satisfaction of showing off and doing as we please, but if we continue to act in such an irresponsible manner, we must eventually pay a price all out of proportion to any momentary satisfaction. . . . Speaking of the duty of parents to children, [John] Locke said, "Liberty and indulgence can do no good to children; their want of judgment makes them stand in need of restraint." . . . Any person is stupid who thinks he can defy the law with impunity. They who obey the law find it to be a safeguard and protection, a guarantee against privilege and favoritism; it applies to all, regardless of rank, station, or status. When properly administered, its rewards and punishments are inflexible. They are at once a warning, a promise, and a safeguard. If they whose duty it is to enforce the law were whimsical or capricious, or if the laws were not administered and enforced with undeviating justice and equity, there would be confusion, defiance, and rebellion. With the average, normal person, force will not become necessary, but sometimes, for the safety of society, drastic measures must be employed.
Hugh B. Brown
I was sicker than I’d ever been in a short but healthy life, so sick I couldn’t sleep but lay watching imaginary bugs crawl up the walls. And of course it had to be while I was like this--just about the lowest I’d sunk yet--that the Marquis of Shevraeth chose to reappear in my life. It was not long after the single bell toll that means midnight and first-white-candle. Very suddenly the door opened, and a tall, glittering figure walked in, handing something to the silent guard at the door, who then went out. I heard footsteps receding as I stared, without at first comprehending, at the torch-bearing aristocrat before me. I blinked at the resplendent black and crimson velvet embroidered over with gold and set with rubies, and at the rubies glittering on fingers and in pale braided hair. My gaze rose to the rakish hat set low over the familiar gray eyes. He must have been waiting for me to recognize him. “The King will summon you at first-green tomorrow,” the Marquis said quickly, all trace of the drawl gone. “It appears that your brother has been making a fool of Debegri, leading him all over your mountains and stealing our horses and supplies. The King has changed his mind: Either you surrender, speaking for your brother and your people, or he’s going to make an example of you in a public execution tomorrow. Not a noble’s death, but a criminal’s.” “Criminal’s?” I repeated stupidly, my voice nearly gone. “It will last all day,” he said with a grimace of distaste. It was the first real expression I’d ever seen from him, but by then I was in no mood to appreciate it. Sheer terror overwhelmed me then. All my courage, my firm resolves, had worn away during the time-measures of illness, and I could not prevent my eyes from stinging with tears of fear--and shame. “Why are you telling me this?” I said, hiding my face in my hands. “Will you consider it? It might…buy you time.” This made no sense to me. “What time can I buy with dishonor?” All I could imagine was the messengers flying westward, and the looks on Bran’s and Khesot’s faces--and on Julen’s and Calaub’s and Devan’s, people who had risked their lives twice trying to rescue me--when they found out. “I know why you’re here.” I snuffled into my palms. “Want to gloat? See me turn coward? Well, gloat away…” But I couldn’t say anything more, and after about as excruciating a pause as I’d ever endured, I heard his heels on the stone. The door shut, the footsteps withdrew, and I was left in silence. It was then that I hit the low point of my life.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The fact is that the estimate of fatalities, in terms of what was calculable at that time—even before the discovery of nuclear winter—was a fantastic underestimate. More than forty years later, Dr. Lynn Eden, a scholar at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, revealed in Whole World on Fire71 the bizarre fact that the war planners of SAC and the Joint Chiefs—throughout the nuclear era to the present day—have deliberately omitted entirely from their estimates of the destructive effects of U.S. or Russian nuclear attacks the effects of fire. They have done so on the questionable grounds that these effects are harder to predict than the effects of blast or fallout, on which their estimates of fatalities are exclusively based, even though, as Eden found, experts including Hal Brode have disputed such conclusions for decades. (A better hypothesis for the tenacious lack of interest is that accounting for fire would reduce the number of USAF warheads and vehicles required to achieve the designated damage levels: which were themselves set high enough to preclude coverage by available Navy submarine-launched missiles.) Yet even in the sixties the firestorms caused by thermonuclear weapons were known to be predictably the largest producers of fatalities in a nuclear war. Given that for almost all strategic nuclear weapons, the damage radius of firestorms would be two to five times the radius destroyed by the blast, a more realistic estimate of the fatalities caused directly by the planned U.S. attacks on the Sino-Soviet bloc, even in 1961, would surely have been double the summary in the graph I held in my hand, for a total death toll of a billion or more: a third of the earth’s population, then three billion. Moreover, what no one would recognize for another twenty-two years were the indirect effects of our planned first strike that gravely threatened the other two thirds of humanity. These effects arose from another neglected consequence of our attacks on cities: smoke. In effect, in ignoring fire the Chiefs and their planners ignored that where there’s fire there’s smoke. But what is dangerous to our survival is not the smoke from ordinary fires, even very large ones—smoke that remained in the lower atmosphere and would soon be rained out—but smoke propelled into the upper atmosphere from the firestorms that our nuclear weapons were sure to create in the cities we targeted. (See chapter 16.) Ferocious updrafts from these multiple firestorms would loft millions of tons of smoke and soot into the stratosphere, where it would not be rained out and would quickly encircle the globe, forming a blanket blocking most sunlight around the earth for a decade or more. This would reduce sunlight and lower temperatures72 worldwide to a point that would eliminate all harvests and starve to death—not all but nearly all—humans (and other animals that depend on vegetation for food). The population of the southern hemisphere—spared nearly all direct effects from nuclear explosions, even from fallout—would be nearly annihilated, as would that of Eurasia (which the Joint Chiefs already foresaw, from direct effects), Africa, and North America. In a sense the Chiefs
Daniel Ellsberg (The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner)
By the time the final death toll is known for Hurricane Ian, it may be higher than 9-11.
Steven Magee
The delay in issuing the hurricane Ian evacuation order increased the death toll.
Steven Magee
Expect to see a significant rise in the death toll from hurricane Ian.
Steven Magee
It was well known to the locals that the death toll from Hurricane Ian was far higher than what the Florida government was telling the world.
Steven Magee
I had three numbers for the dead in Florida’s hurricane Ian disaster. The first came from the local Sheriff that reported hundreds dead. The second came from the Florida government that reported no confirmed dead. The third came from missing persons reported that was at approximately ten thousand. The eventual death toll will probably be somewhere in the hundreds to thousands dead.
Steven Magee
If the Florida government knew they had hundreds of dead bodies on the first day of the hurricane Ian aftermath and approximately ten thousand reported missing, then it is likely the final death toll will be in the many hundreds to thousands.
Steven Magee
Marijuana, up to now, gives me little reason to adjust that opinion. Pot can be responsibly legalized. Instead, we are choosing the route we took with opioids: a now-legal, potent drug is being made widely available and marketed with claims about its risk-free nature. Big Pot is only a matter of time. Altria, which owns Marlboro, is moving into legal marijuana. The final absurdity is that as we face climate change’s existential threat, we make a weed that thrives under the sun legal to grow indoors, with a huge carbon footprint. Pot may well have medical benefits. Opioids certainly do. But supply matters. So does potency and marketing and distribution. The opioid-addiction crisis should have taught us that. I’m sympathetic to the idea of decriminalizing drugs, as well. Yet I believe it misunderstands the nature of addiction and ignores the unforgiving drug stream every addict must face today. One reason overdose deaths during the coronavirus pandemic skyrocketed is that police in many areas stopped arresting people for the minor crimes and outstanding warrants that are symptoms of their addictions. Left on the street, many use until they die. Certainly the story of that death toll is as complex as those of the people whose deaths are counted in it. But I suspect we’ll come to see the last ten months of 2020 and into 2021 at least in part as one long, unplanned experiment into what happens when the most devastating street drugs we’ve known are, in effect, decriminalized, and those addicted to them are allowed to remain on the street to use them.
Sam Quinones (The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth)
The desertion of Rwanda by the UN force was Hutu Power’s greatest diplomatic victory to date, and it can be credited almost single-handedly to the United States. With the memory of the Somalia debacle still very fresh, the White House had just finished drafting a document called Presidential Decision Directive 25, which amounted to a checklist of reasons to avoid American involvement in UN peacekeeping missions. It hardly mattered that Dallaire’s call for an expanded force and mandate would not have required American troops, or that the mission was not properly peacekeeping, but genocide prevention. PDD 25 also contained what Washington policymakers call “language” urging that the United States should persuade others not to undertake the missions that it wished to avoid. In fact, the Clinton administration’s ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, opposed leaving even the skeleton crew of two hundred seventy in Rwanda. Albright went on to become Secretary of State, largely because of her reputation as a “daughter of Munich,” a Czech refugee from Nazism with no tolerance for appeasement and with a taste for projecting U.S. force abroad to bring rogue dictators and criminal states to heel. Her name is rarely associated with Rwanda, but ducking and pressuring others to duck, as the death toll leapt from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, was the absolute low point in her career as a stateswoman.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families)
There was an odd justice to it. Not so much live-by-the-blade/die-by-the-blade; it was more becoming the blade, and losing oneself. Scythe Faraday had once told him and Citra that they were called scythes rather than reapers, because they were not the ones who killed; they were merely the tool that society used to bring fair-handed death to the world. But once you’re the weapon, you’re nothing more than a tool for someone else to wield.
Neal Shusterman (The Toll (Arc of a Scythe Book 3))
That was validated by Agrawal’s study in June 2021, who found that deaths were falling before lockdowns were imposed, but once lockdowns were instituted, the death toll began rising.
Scott W. Atlas (A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America)
The United States has the highest rate of infant mortality and the lowest life expectancy in comparison with other wealthy countries. An American woman is more likely to die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth than women in other countries of comparable wealth. That rate is higher now than it was in the 1990s, even though most of these deaths of mothers are avoidable.
Linda Villarosa (Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation)
The poor health outcomes of the world’s wealthiest nation are often presented as a mystery, yet their root causes are hiding in plain sight: these disparities are driven by inequality and discrimination, which lead to poor health in people of color in the United States, particularly African Americans. The health outcomes of Black Americans are by several measures on par with people living in far poorer nations. At every stage of life, Blacks have poorer health outcomes than whites and, in most cases, than other ethnic groups. Black babies are more than twice as likely as white babies to die at birth or in the first year of life—a racial gap that adds up to thousands of lost lives every year. Blacks in every age-group under sixty-five have significantly higher death rates than whites. Black life expectancy at birth is several years lower than that of whites. African Americans have elevated death rates from conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease that among whites are found more commonly at older ages. In a phrase, African Americans “live sicker and die quicker,” which, if you estimate years of life lost because of deaths that could’ve been prevented, adds up to tens of thousands of lost years.
Linda Villarosa (Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation)
To put it in the plainest terms, from birth to death the impact on the bodies of Black Americans of living in communities that have been harmed by long-standing racial discrimination, of a deeply rooted and dangerous racial bias in our health-care system, and of the insidious consequences of present-day racism affects who lives and who dies.
Linda Villarosa (Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation)
2011, writing in the Yale Alumni Magazine, Ron Howell, Murphy’s classmate, noted that forty-one years after their graduation, nine of thirty-two Black men who entered Yale in 1966 were dead, a death rate three times higher than that of the class as a whole. Williams offered a sliver of hope and a broad set of suggestions to attack the problem. Even as he spoke of that sliver, I couldn’t shake the thought
Linda Villarosa (Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation)
your own death seemed of complete unimportance; only a thing to be avoided because it would interfere with the performance of your duty.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on the night of April fourteenth 1912, and sank in the North Atlantic waters in the wee hours of the following morning. She took more than 1,500 souls with her. While this death toll is devastating, it is by no means the greatest at-sea catastrophe in western history. Even besides wartime disasters, the explosion of the Mont-Blanc in Nova Scotia killed almost two thousand in 1917, the 1707 Sicily Naval Disaster killed almost the same number of people, and several other shipwrecks with smaller death tolls were arguably more dramatic. Yet fascination with the Titanic has persisted since she rested on the ocean floor, long before James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster film. Why?
Henry Freeman (Titanic: The Story About The Unsinkable Ship)
The reason why some people love to engage in dangerous activities, such as mountain climbing, car racing, and so on, although they may not be aware of it, is that it forces them into the Now — that intensely alive state that is free of time, free of problems, free of thinking, free of the burden of the personality. Slipping away from the present moment even for a second may mean death. Unfortunately, they come to depend on a particular activity to be in that state. But you don’t need to climb the north face of the Eiger. You can enter that state now.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
By the end of the war, the death toll of people with disabilities was estimated to be at least 275,000.
Amita Parikh (The Circus Train)
The cascade of sudden deaths, inexplicable and outrageous accidents, miserable ends and terrible murders filled every abode, every corner and every hovel in a spreading tide, a most fatal flood creeping out through the hapless city on all sides. No age was spared, no weight of injustice tipped these scales. Death took them all: well born and destitute, the ill and the healthy, criminal and victim, the unloved and the cherished. So many last breaths: coughed out, sighed, whimpered, bellowed in defiance, in disbelief, in numbed wonder. And if such breaths could coalesce, could form a think, dry, pungent, fugue of dismay, in the city on this night not a single globe of blue fire could be seen. There were survivors. Many, many survivors - indeed, more survived than died - but alas, it was a close run thing, this measure, this fell harvest. The god walked eastward, out from Gadrobi District and into Lakefront, and, from there, up into the Estates. This night was not done. My, not done at all.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
We're all born to die, you idiot. Let the span last a single heartbeat, let it last a thousand years. Stretch the heartbeat out, crush down the centuries, it's no different. They feel the same, when the end arrives. Gods, they feel the same!
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
There is nothing just in death. When the moment arrives, it is always too soon. The curse of incompletion, the loss that can never be filled. Before too long, rising like jagged rocks from the flood, there was anger.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Shan slid up beside Cotillion, eyes fixed on Tulas Shorn. A moment later Baran, Rood, Blind, and Gear arrived, padding round the rulers of the Realm of Shadow, and onward to encircle the Tiste Edur. Who held out his hands, as if inviting the beast to draw close. None did. 'They preferred you living, I think', Cotillion observed. 'The dead surrender so much.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
To see a dead body was to recoil, mind spinning a dust-devil of thoughts - that is not me - see the difference between us? That is not me, that is not me. No one I know, no one I have ever known. That is not me . . . but . . . it could be. So easily it could be.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
And these things were never so precious Listen to the bird in its cage as it speaks In a dying man's voice; when he is gone The voice lives to greet and give empty Assurances with random poignancy I do not know if I could live with that If I could armor myself as the unhuman beak Opens to a dead man's reminder, head cocked As if channeling the ghost of the one Who imagines an absence of sense, a vacuum awaiting The cage is barred and nightly falls the shroud To silene the commentary of impossible apostles Spirit godlings and spanning abyss, impenetrable cloud Between the living and the dead, the here and the gone Where no bridge can smooth the passage of pain And these things were never so precious Listening to the bird as it speaks and it speaks And it speaks, the one who has faded away The father departed knowing the unknown And it speaks and it speaks and it speaks In my father's voice Caged Bird Fisher kel Tath
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
I once led armies,' Traveller said. 'I was once the will of the Emperor of Malaz.' 'We served death, of course, in all that we did. For all our claims otherwise. Imposing peace, ending stupid feuds and tribal rivalries. Opening roads to merchants without fear of banditry. Coin flowed like blood in veins, such was the gift of those roads and the peace we enforced. And yet, behind it all, he waited. With a cold smile, he waits. Where all the roads converge, where every path ends. He waits.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
She saw the birth unfolding, saw the small creature with those strangely wise eyes that seemed to belong to every newborn. And then the years rushing on, the child growing, faces taking the shape they would carry into old age. But not all. As mother after mother stepped through her, futures flashed bright, and some died quickly indeed. Fraught, flickering sparks, ebbing, winking out, darkness rushing in. And at these she cried out, filled with anguish even as she understood that souls travelled countless journeys, of which only one could be known by a mortal, so many, in countless perturbations, and that the loss belonged only to others, never to the child itself, for in its inarticulate, ineffable wisdom, understanding was absolute; the passage of life that seemed tragically short could well be the perfect duration, the experience complete. Others, however, died in violence, and this was a crime, an outrage against life itself. Here, among these souls, there was fury, shock, denial. There was railing, struggling, bitter defiance.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Some people express abhorrence at eating meat, yet make an exception for fish and other 'seafood' to remain a part of their diet. Fish, it seems to them, 'don't count.' Nor, it turns out, do they count when it comes to compiling the daily toll of animals slaughtered: cows, chickens, pigs and sheep are counted individually – fish – on the other hand, have their lives measured by the tonne. But even by weight, theirs is a colossal number – over 150million tonnes killed for human consumption every year in the first decades of the 21st century.
Jo-Anne McArthur (Hidden: Animals in the Anthropocene)
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Various (The Hewson Anthology of Metaphysical Poets)
Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world? No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Together with Death's Duel)
The way of the cross is a complete reversal. It means that the worst thing in your life, your cross, turns into the best thing that ever happened to you, by forcing you into surrender, into “death,” forcing you to become as nothing, to become as God — because God, too, is no-thing.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. . . . Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Meghan O'Rourke (The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness)
The death toll was enormous. Historians of the time recorded that over half the population of Constantinople died,
Hourly History (Byzantine Empire: A History From Beginning to End)
When the Black Death swept through 14th century Europe, killing upwards of 200 million people and forever altering the course of human history, one of the original culprits of the epidemic was said to be the black rat, carrying plague-infested fleas into population centers to wreak their destruction. This is, in fact, not true. The true perpetrator was actually the Asian great gerbil, who took advantage of the warmer climate to travel the silk road and bring the disease into Europe. This is only important to know because Ralph, champion pit fighter of the kobold training grounds, lives his life in a perpetual state of rage. Why? Because he feels that human death toll of 200 million is much too low, and he will do everything in his power to triple that number. Starting with you. The only survivor of a family of gerbils left to starve by a child who’d grown bored with the pets, Ralph had to commit unspeakable acts of cannibalism in order to endure. Part earth rodent, part the embodiment of death, Frenzied Gerbils are regular mobs one might encounter on the fifth or seventh floors. But Ralph here is special. He has dedicated his existence to fighting and training in hopes that one day he might exact his revenge against the humans he so despises. He is fast, he is angry,
Matt Dinniman (Dungeon Crawler Carl (Dungeon Crawler Carl, #1))
The Chattering Season by Stewart Stafford Hear a fearsome banshee's wail, From a dank bog or Celtic dale, Like the pulling of the rat's tail, In the whistle of a thrashing gale. In this skittish son of Mc's room, A death knell tolls out his doom, A cursed shadow now does loom, Her spirit bride's unwilling groom. The stark evening's grim messenger, She's a maelstrom's fatal passenger, Howls from last breath's harbinger, No dowry for this eternal dowager. © Stewart Stafford, 2022. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless. In the last moments of their life, they then also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” Jesus said, “for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Create a Better Life)
Before the Australian fires were done, the flames would burn 72,000 square miles, destroy nearly 6,000 buildings, and kill at least 34 people. The toll on animals was even more dramatic, with an estimated one billion deaths. There would be at least one bush fire in Australia for 240 straight days.
Dave Pell (Please Scream Inside Your Heart: Breaking News and Nervous Breakdowns in the Year that Wouldn't End)
they were called scythes rather than reapers, because they were not the ones who killed; they were merely the tool that society used to bring fair-handed death to the world.
Neal Shusterman (The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3))
Hemingway’s great novels, which all revolve around journeys, bear ominous witness; for it can be argued that each journey is a quest for death. A Farewell to Arms details desertion to, flight with and death of the beloved; For Whom the Bell Tolls asserts the impossibility of escape even though it beautifully lengthens into fullness the last moments and days of its doomed hero. In both To Have and Have Not and Islands in the Stream, unlucky sailors of Cuban waters flee domestic loneliness to win death from the bullets of bad men. Finally, The Old Man and the Sea, whose protagonist completes an arduous circle from poverty and failure to the same, with only the skeleton of his once-in-a-lifetime fish to show for it, spells out the paradigm: It was the journey itself, with its hardships, triumphs, puzzles and unexpected joys, that made these books alive in the first place.
William T. Vollmann (Riding Toward Everywhere)
I tied my soul to the tide of the sea to see if my death bell was tolled by the whale since I was told to wail. He wished to create a son of the sun I needed to know if he could ever say no when I wanted to soar with him in my sore need From the poem - From the Ferry of My Fairytale
Munia Khan (To Evince the Blue)
To a world that had barely recovered from the shocking loss of the Titanic a few years earlier, the loss of the Lusitania came as a terrible blow.  While the death tolls in each disaster were nearly equal, there were aspects of the Lusitania’s sinking that made it so much more offensive to the human psyche.
Charles River Editors (The Titanic and the Lusitania: The Controversial History of the 20th Century’s Most Famous Maritime Disasters)
New York City was panicking, terrified. Copeland tried to reassure the public by announcing a strict quarantine, though no quarantine was actually implemented. There were literally hundreds of thousands of people sick simultaneously, many of them desperately sick. The death toll ultimately reached thirty-three thousand for New York City alone, and that understated the number considerably, since statisticians later arbitrarily stopped counting people as victims of the epidemic even though people were still dying of the disease at epidemic rates—still dying months later at rates higher than anywhere else in the country. It was impossible to get a doctor, and perhaps more impossible to get a nurse. Reports came in that nurses were being held by force in the homes of patients too frightened and desperate to allow them to leave. Nurses were literally being kidnapped. It did not seem possible to put more pressure on the laboratory. Yet more pressure came.
John M. Barry (The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History)
killed enough to depress the average life expectancy in the United States by more than ten years. Some of those who died from influenza and pneumonia would have died if no epidemic had occurred. Pneumonia was after all the leading cause of death. So the key figure is actually the “excess death” toll. Investigators today believe that in the United States the 1918–19 epidemic caused an excess death toll of about 675,000 people. The nation then had a population between 105 and 110 million, while it was approaching 300 million in 2006. So a comparable figure today would be approximately 1,750,000 deaths.
John M. Barry (The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History)
The reason why some people love to engage in dangerous activities, such as mountain climbing, car racing, and so on, although they may not be aware of it, is that it forces them into the Now — that intensely alive state that is free of time, free of problems, free of thinking, free of the burden of the personality. Slipping away from the present moment even for a second may mean death. Unfortunately, they come to depend on a particular activity to be in that state.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
In Spain, Torquemada personally sent 10,220 persons to the stake. . . . Counting those killed for other heresies, the persecutions were responsible for reducing the population of Spain from twenty million to six million in two hundred years … While the well-known estimate of the total death-toll, from Roman times onward, of nine million is probably somewhat too high, it can safely be said that more persons were put to death than were killed in all the European wars fought up to 1914.
Robert Anton Wilson (Coincidance: A Head Test)
Why was it still possible, in 2006, to say something original and important about the events of 1918? Why had it taken nearly a century to see a simple truth about the single most deadly pandemic in human history? Only after three amateur historians studied the various interventions, and the various death tolls in individual American cities, did the importance of timing became obvious.
Michael Lewis (The Premonition: A Pandemic Story)