University Leaving Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to University Leaving. Here they are! All 200 of them:

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
Richard Lingard (A Letter of Advice to a Young Gentleman Leaving the University Concerning His Behaviour and Conversation in the World)
Sometimes, all you have to do is tell people the truth. They won't believe you. After that, they'll leave you alone.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
Albert Camus
Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.
Nayyirah Waheed
We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.
Alan W. Watts
When the first living thing existed, I was there waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I'll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave.
Neil Gaiman (Dream Country (The Sandman, #3))
Dear friend, You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only you there is. Don’t be afraid to leave the castle. It’s a great big world out there. Love, a fellow reader
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
I decided that maybe we left each other alone too much. Leaving each other alone was killing us.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
I've come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call "The Physics of The Quest" — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: "If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you." Or so I've come to believe.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Why did god create a dual universe? So he might say ‘Be not like me. I am alone.' And it might be heard.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have. So let us leave behind all these boys' philosophies--these over simple answers. The problem is not simple and the answer is not going to be simple either.
C.S. Lewis
Eight full lives,” I whispered against his jaw, my voice breaking. “Eight full lives and I never found anyone I would stay on a planet for, anyone I would follow when they left. I never found a partner. Why now? Why you? You're not of my species. How can you be my partner?” “It's a strange universe,” he murmured. “It's not fair,” I complained, echoing Sunny's words. It wasn't fair. How could I find this, find love–now, in this eleventh hour–and have to leave it? Was it fair that my soul and body couldn't reconcile? Was it fair that I had to love Melanie, too? Was it fair that Ian would suffer? He deserved happiness if anyone did. Itwasn't fair or right or even…sane. How could I do this to him? “I love you,” I whispered. “Don't say that like you're saying goodbye.” But I had to. “I, the soul called Wanderer, love you, human Ian. And that will never change, no matter what I might become.” I worded it carefully, so that there would be no lie in my voice. “If I were a Dolphin or a Bear or a Flower, it wouldn't matter. I would always love you, always remember you. You will be my only partner.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
I loved her for so long. Our past trails behind us like a comet's tail, the future stretched out before us like the universe. Things happen. People get lost and love breaks.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
As I took another breath, I saw the three stars again. They were not calling to me; they were letting me go, leaving me to the black universe I had wandered for so many lifetimes. I drifted into the black, and it got brighter and brighter. It wasn't black at all - it was blue. Warm, vibrant, brilliant blue...I floated into it with no fear at all.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
We don't ever leave that old world behind. We just create a new one.
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
When the immense drugged universe explodes In a cascade of unendurable colour And leaves us gasping naked, This is no more than the ectasy of chaos: Hold fast, with both hands, to that royal love Which alone, as we know certainly, restores Fragmentation into true being. Ecstasy of Chaos
Robert Graves (Poems 1965-1968)
His eyes softened. I thought maybe he pitied me, but it was something else. "Ultimately, it will be your burden to bear. It's always the Mortal who bears it. Trust me, I know." "I don't trust you and you're wrong. We aren't too different." "Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures." He was talking to me, but it didn't feel like he was talking about me anymore. "I apologize for the intrusion. I'll leave you to your sleep.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can't stop pissing on fire hydrants...I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. she walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. She knows the truth: We're as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we're not likely to do either. People will say it's sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it's not sad. It's triumphant. It's heroic. Isn't that the real heroism? The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like, guys, oh, but don't eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting "Gotcha". It wouldn't have made any difference if they hadn't eaten it.' 'Why not?' 'Because if you're dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won't give up. They'll get you in the end.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
Time and space recede and blast away like a universe expanding forever outward, and leaving only darkness and the two of us on its periphery, darkness and breathing and touch.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
She was so going to get it later. "Macy, queen of my universe, I beseechingly request you place your sweetest lips upon my manhood and make it your lollipop.
Cherrie Lynn (Leave Me Breathless (Ross Siblings, #3))
I know there is a terrible distance between us. But our bodies are made of stardust, and we are hurtling through space and time, toward the most beautiful collision.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Procrastination is not the problem. It is the solution. It is the universe's way of saying stop, slow down, you move too fast. Listen to the music. Whoa whoa, listen to the music. Because music makes the people come together, it makes the bourgeois and the rebel. So come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody try to love one another. Because what the world needs now is love, sweet love. And I know that love is a battlefield, but boogie on reggae woman because you're gonna make it after all. So celebrate good times, come on. I've gotta stop I've gotta come to my senses, I've been out riding fences for so long... oops I did it again... um... What I'm trying to say is, if you leave tonight and you don't remember anything else that I've said, leave here and remember this: Procrastinate now, don't put it off.
Ellen DeGeneres
I’m living in separate universes, and I have no idea where I actually belong.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
Physics depends on a universe infinitely centred on an equals sign.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
The energy of life entering and leaving your body flows evenly throughout the universe. With that current, the mind of the cosmos communicates with all things.
Ilchi Lee (LifeParticle Meditation: A Practical Guide to Healing and Transformation)
The centripetal force on our planet is still fearfully strong, Alyosha. I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves as they open in spring. I love the blue sky, I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I’ve long ceased perhaps to have faith in them, yet from old habit one’s heart prizes them. Here they have brought the soup for you, eat it, it will do you good. It’s first-rate soup, they know how to make it here. I want to travel in Europe, Alyosha, I shall set off from here. And yet I know that I am only going to a graveyard, but it’s a most precious graveyard, that’s what it is! Precious are the dead that lie there, every stone over them speaks of such burning life in the past, of such passionate faith in their work, their truth, their struggle and their science, that I know I shall fall on the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them; though I’m convinced in my heart that it’s long been nothing but a graveyard. And I shall not weep from despair, but simply because I shall be happy in my tears, I shall steep my soul in emotion. I love the sticky leaves in spring, the blue sky — that’s all it is. It’s not a matter of intellect or logic, it’s loving with one’s inside, with one’s stomach.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
A book travels for days, for years, sometimes for centuries to meet you at an exact point in time.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Every man believes to some extent that the world began when he was born and, at the moment of leaving it, suffers at having to let the Universe remain unfinished.
Maurice Druon (The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, #1))
The sad thing is,” she said, “the moment you start to miss someone, it means they’re already gone.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
This much I'm certain of: it doesn't happen immediately. You'll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years. You'll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won't matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you'll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You'll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you'll realize it's always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won't understand why or how. You'll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place ... You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep. Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
It was a kind love, a selfless love. I was a dreamer, and you were a traveler. We met at the crossroads. I saw love in your smile, and I recognized it for the first time in my life. But you had a plane to catch, and I was already home.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
There should be a disconnect button you can push when someone leaves: you’ve fucked me over; therefore I no longer love you. I’m not asking for the button to be connected to an ejector seat that removes them from the universe, just one small button that removes them from your heart.
Cath Crowley (Words in Deep Blue)
She can feel it down to her very core—this is her time. She will not only climb mountains—she will move them too.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate. ”He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.“But I love him.” “So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
When you lose a person, a whole universe goes along with them.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
If the day should ever come when we must go, if some day we are compelled to leave the scene of history, we will slam the door so hard that the universe will shake and mankind will stand back in stupefaction..
Joseph Goebbels
When we have no reason to be happy we often think to end ourselves, We often think we have no one in this world, it happens when our loved ones leave us and make us alone in this vast universe.
Debolina
If you believed that thoughts were energy and energy is matter (E=mc2) and matter never disappears, then a person can never truly leave you unless you stop thinking about them. Everything you shared with a person is still there swirling around in the universe. Love, Cam had to admit, might be real. And love endures. Relationships endure. Because thoughts are energy, energy is matter, and matter never disappears.
Wendy Wunder (The Probability of Miracles)
There's an old Jewish story that says in the beginning God was everywhere and everything, a totality. But to make creation, God had to remove Himself from some part of the universe, so something besides Himself could exist. So He breathed in, and in the places where God withdrew, there creation exists." So God just leaves?" No. He watches. He rejoices. He weeps. He observes the moral drama of human life and gives meaning to it by caring passionately about us, and remembering." Matthew ten, verse twenty-nine: Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it." But the sparrow still falls.
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1))
They’d lied to me and betrayed me, leaving jagged edges where all my trust had been, and I didn’t like or respect or admire them any more, but still I loved them. I had no choice. I understood that, perfectly, standing in the white wilderness of snow. You can’t kill love. You can’t even kill it with hate. You can kill in-love, and loving, and even loveliness. You can kill them all, or numb them into dense, leaden regret, but you can’t kill love itself. Love is the passionate search for a truth other than your own; and once you feel it, honestly and completely, love is forever. Every act of love, every moment of the heart reaching out, is a part of the universal good: it’s a part of God, or what we call God, and it can never die.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain. If the greatnesses are in conjunction in a man or woman it is enough...the fact will prevail through the universe...but the gaggery and gilt of a million years will not prevail. Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. This is what you shall so: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The second I tried to tell myself I wasn’t in love was the moment I realized I was.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace - these qualities you find always in that the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush of the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and in our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move towards death.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1))
I'm going to find a way to fix you" "I'm not broken", Amy says in a voice as empty as her eyes. I lead her down the hall, deposit her in her chamber, and tell her not lo leave. I have no doubt she will follow my order.
Beth Revis (Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1))
Scientists estimate the universe unfolded from its state of infinite destiny* - a moment commonly referred to as "the big bang" - approximately 1.3-2 x 10^10 years ago. *Typo: "destiny" should read "density.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
If people knew how small, lonely and vulnerable they are in this boundless blue of the universe, they would not leave each other alone and they would be friends and mourners.
The Philosopher Hakim Orod Bozorg Khorasani
Situations seem to happen to people, but in reality, they unfold from deeper karmic causes. The universe unfolds to itself, bringing to bear any cause that needs to be included. Don’t take this process personally. The working out of cause and effect is eternal. You are part of this rising and falling that never ends, and only by riding the wave can you ensure that the waves don’t drown you. The ego takes everything personally, leaving no room for higher guidance or purpose. If you can, realize that a cosmic plan is unfolding and appreciate the incredibly woven tapestry for what it is, a design of unparalleled marvel.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The longest and most destructive party ever held is now into its fourth generation and still no one shows any signs of leaving. Somebody did once look at his watch, but that was eleven years ago now, and there has been no follow up.
Douglas Adams (Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3))
It's not moving on, Libbs. It's moving differently. That's all it is. Different life. Different world. Different rules. We don't ever leave that old world behind. We just create a new one.
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
It was all I wanted for the longest time- to open my eyes and see you there. To stretch out my hand and touch the soft, yielding warmth of your skin. But now I have learned the secret of distance. Now I know being close to you was never about the proximity.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Leaving North Korea is not like leaving any other country. It is more like leaving another universe. I will never truly be free of its gravity, no matter how far I journey.
Hyeonseo Lee
No man should leave in the universe anything of which he is afraid.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday)
I think the mysterious pull that draws you to another person is identical to the one that moves our eyes upward to the stars.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
You see, the religious people — most of them — really think this planet is an experiment. That's what their beliefs come down to. Some god or other is always fixing and poking, messing around with tradesmen's wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding you to mutilate your children, telling people what words they can say and what words they can't say, making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves, and like that. Why can't the gods leave well enough alone? All this intervention speaks of incompetence. If God didn't want Lot's wife to look back, why didn't he make her obedient, so she'd do what her husband told her? Or if he hadn't made Lot such a shithead, maybe she would've listened to him more. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn't he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why's he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there's one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He's not good at design, he's not good at execution. He'd be out of business if there was any competition.
Carl Sagan
A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble broken-hearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires. Their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable and full of glory, is a humble broken-hearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behaviour.
Jonathan Edwards (The Religious Affections)
God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else - something it never entered your head to conceive - comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.
C.S. Lewis
How can we be alive and not wonder about the stories we knit together this place we call the world? Without stories our universe is merely rocks and clouds and lava and blackness. It's a village scraped raw by warm waters leaving not a trace of what existed before.
Douglas Coupland (Generation A)
I’ve grown quiet now. You won’t hear me talk about you anymore. It doesn’t hurt like it used to. I suppose that is something to be thankful for.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Sometimes the loneliest place to be is in love.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
I know you are scared. Who could blame you? Love is a hurricane wrapped inside a chrysalis. And you are a girl walking into the storm.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
If knowledge isn't self-knowledge it isn't doing much, mate. Is the universe expanding? Is it contracting? Is it standing on one leg and singing 'When Father Painted the Parlour'? Leave me out. I can expand my universe without you. 'She walks into beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies, and all that's best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes.
Tom Stoppard (Arcadia)
Dudes who look dangerous should just be dangerous. Period. The end. They should not be dangerous and beautiful all at the same time. It leaves the universe out of balance, and it makes me do stupid things like stare.
Cora Carmack (All Broke Down (Rusk University, #2))
Her Time She has been feeling it for awhile - that sense of awaking. There is a gentle rage simmering inside her, and it is getting stronger by the day. She will hold it close to her - she will nurture it and let it grow. She won't let anyone take it away from her. It is her rocket fuel and finally, she is going places. She can feel it down to her very core - this is her time. She will not only climb mountains - she will move them too.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
It was truly an abomination of nature that one always found the most comfortable spot in the bed five minutes before one had to leave it.
Mia Ryan (The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown (Lady Whistledown, #1))
Until It’s Gone “Some people don’t know what they have until it’s gone.” “But what about the ones who do know? The ones who never took a damn thing for granted? Who tried their hardest to hold on, yet could only look on helplessly while they lost the thing they loved the most.” “Isn’t it so much worse for them?
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
I suppose it's only human nature to add and substract from our memories; to recall them the way we feel they should be remembered. After all, our lives are a living work of art - shouldn't we be allowed to shape it in any way we choose?
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
People come and go from our lives all the time. It's not our fault that people leave. The Universe is just making room for new people with new lessons.
Sue Fitzmaurice
the universe wants from us is two things: don’t do any intentional harm to yourself or anyone else, and get happy.
Jodi Picoult (Leaving Time)
It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes.
Gustave Flaubert
Maybe love, too, is beautiful because it has a wildness that cannot be tamed. I don't know. All I know is that passion can take you up like a house of cards in a tornado, leaving destruction in its wake. Or it can let you alone because you've built a stone wall against it, set out the armed guards to keep it from touching you. The real trick is not to let it in, but to hold on. To understand that the heart is as wide and vast as the universe, but that we come to know it best from here, this place is gravity and stability, where out feet can still touch ground.
Deb Caletti
Libraries are about Freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
Miracles do happen. You must believe this. No matter what else you believe about life, you must believe in miracles. Because we are all, every one of us, living on a round rock that spins around and around at almost a quarter of a million miles per hour in an unthinkably vast blackness called space. There is nothing else like us for as far as our telescopic eyes can see. In a universe filled with spinning, barren rocks, frozen gas, ice, dust, and radiation, we live on a planet filled with soft, green leaves and salty oceans and honey made from bees, which themselves live within geometrically complex and perfect structures of their own architecture and creation. In our trees are birds whose songs are as complex and nuanced as Beethoven’s greatest sonatas. And despite the wild, endless spinning of our planet and its never-ending orbit around the sun–itself a star on fire–when we pour water into a glass, the water stays in the glass. All of these are miracles.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
Leave, instead. Get away for good, far from the life we’ve lived since birth. Settle in well-organized lands where everything really is possible. I had fled, in fact. Only to discover, in the decades to come, that I had been wrong, that it was a chain with larger and larger links: the neighborhood was connected to the city, the city to Italy, Italy to Europe, Europe to the whole planet. And this is how I see it today: it’s not the neighborhood that’s sick, it’s not Naples, it’s the entire earth, it’s the universe, or universes. And shrewdness means hiding and hiding from oneself the true state of things.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
...I'm worried I will leave grad school and no longer be able to speak English. I know this woman in grad school, a friend of a friend, and just listening to her talk is scary. The semiotic dialetics of intertextual modernity. Which makes no sense at all. Sometimes I feel that they live in a parallel universe of academia speaking acadamese instead of English and they don't really know what's happening in the real world.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
You won’t hear from me again after today, and I don’t want you to worry. I’ll be okay. Because I have to be.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Yes, I think it is entirely possible to fall in love with someone you've never met. Physicality is an expression of intimacy- not an indication of it.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their other half. It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloveds entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a persons face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself?
Alexandra Adornetto (Halo (Halo, #1))
It was a quiet love, a tacit love. It came without prelude or preamble. We never said the word love–we didn’t have to. It was in our laughter, in the sense of wonder we found in each other. And if we had doubts then, time has told us otherwise.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
I’ll never understand why some people can’t just let others live their lives, you know,” Danial said. “You don’t have to understand. You don’t have to agree. Just leave people alone. When I look at the moon and planets and stars, all that narrow-mindedness and hate seem so petty. The universe is such a big place. One hundred thousand light years just from one end of the Milky Way to the other. One hundred. Thousand. Light years. In the time it’s taken for light to travel from one end of our galaxy to the other, thousands of generations have passed. It really makes you realize how small we are, doesn’t it? How short our time on earth is.
J.H. Trumble (Don't Let Me Go)
Today Today I am not in my skin. My body cannot contain me. I am spilling out and over, like a rogue wave on the shore. Today I can't keep myself from feeling like I don't have a friend in the world. And no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to pick myself up off the floor. My demons are lying in wait, they are grinning in the shadows, their polished fangs glinting, knowing today, it will be an easy kill. But tomorrow, tomorrow could be different, and that is what keeps me going today.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
My heart is like a time capsule—it keeps safe the memory of you. I know it’s harder with you gone than if you had never been here at all—but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
The universe is one great kindergarten. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson. The mountain teaches stability and grandeur; the ocean immensity and change. Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon our soul.
Orison Swett Marden
There is safety in numbness– there is solace in sleep.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
You forsake all that you hold dear, for a dream that is not your own; you would rather live a lie than live your life alone Universe of Us and on thoughtcatalog
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls." -from "Song of the Open Road
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
This is true freedom: to be capable of leaving ourselves, crossing the boundaries of our little world to open up the universe.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (Psicomagia)
Loving you is like being ten years old again, scaling a tree with my eyes bright and skyward, wanting only to get higher and higher, without a thought of how I would get back down.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
But when I look at you, I just know instinctively, that despite the odds against you and although life will always find a way to test you, someday you’ll have everything you want. Your ending will be a happy one.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
You are a universe,” he reverentially whispered, and then his game began. A game of pushing me to the brink, of building the anticipation... and leaving me stranded in the midst of it.
Chloe Neill (Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires, #6))
Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more." "I see." The girl regarded him uncertainly, not knowing whether to believe him. Not sure if he meant it seriously. "There's the First Law of Kipple," he said. "'Kipple drives out nonkipple.' Like Gresham's law about bad money. And in these apartments there's been nobody here to fight the kipple." "So it has taken over completely," the girl finished. She nodded. "Now I understand." "Your place, here," he said, "this apartment you've picked--it's too kipple-ized to live in. We can roll the kipple-factor back; we can do like I said, raid the other apts. But--" He broke off. "But what?" Isidore said, "We can't win." "Why not?" [...] "No one can win against kipple," he said, "except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my apartment I've sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I'll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over. It's a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1))
Ah college years, those were the days. Pure freedom ... leaving home for the first time…the parties…” "What about the tutorials, the lectures, the large building with all the books called the ‘library’?” “Is that what those were?” Gerry blithely replied.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
Thinking about time is to acknowledge two contradictory certainties: that our outward lives are governed by the seasons and the clock; that our inward lives are governed by something much less regular-an imaginative impulse cutting through the dictates of daily time, and leaving us free to ignore the boundaries of here and now and pass like lightning along the coil of pure time, that is, the circle of the universe and whatever it does or does not contain.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
Today, suddenly, I reached an absurd but unerring conclusion. In a moment of enlightenment, I realized that I'm nobody, absolutely nobody. When the lightning flashed, I saw that what I had thought to be a city was in fact a deserted plain and, in the same sinister light that revealed me to myself, there seemed to be no sky above it. I was robbed of any possibility of having existed before the world. If I was ever reincarnated, I must have done so without myself, without a self to reincarnate. I am the outskirts of some non-existent town, the long-winded prologue to an unwritten book. I'm nobody, nobody. I don't know how to feel or think or love. I'm a character in a novel as yet unwritten, hovering in the air and undone before I've even existed, amongst the dreams of someone who never quite managed to breathe life into me. I'm always thinking, always feeling, but my thoughts lack all reason, my emotions all feeling. I'm falling through a trapdoor, through infinite, infinitous space, in a directionless, empty fall. My soul is a black maelstrom, a great madness spinning about a vacuum, the swirling of a vast ocean around a hole in the void, and in the waters, more like whirlwinds than waters, float images of all I ever saw or heard in the world: houses, faces, books, boxes, snatches of music and fragments of voices, all caught up in a sinister, bottomless whirlpool. And I, I myself, am the centre that exists only because the geometry of the abyss demands it; I am the nothing around which all this spins, I exist so that it can spin, I am a centre that exists only because every circle has one. I, I myself, am the well in which the walls have fallen away to leave only viscous slime. I am the centre of everything surrounded by the great nothing. And it is as if hell itself were laughing within me but, instead of the human touch of diabolical laughter, there's the mad croak of the dead universe, the circling cadaver of physical space, the end of all worlds drifting blackly in the wind, misshapen, anachronistic, without the God who created it, without God himself who spins in the dark of darks, impossible, unique, everything. If only I could think! If only I could feel!
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Most people want to save the entire world. It’s a lovely thought, and I’m not saying it’s not a noble pursuit—but it’s impossible to save everyone. You just have to pick your little corner of the world and focus your energy there. That’s the only way you will ever make a difference.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
To know him If you want to know his heart, pay close attention to what angers him. If you want to know his mind, listen for the words that linger in his silence. If you want to know his soul, look to where his eyes are when you catch him smiling.
Lang Leav
My point is that this Potter business has legs. It will run and run, and we must be utterly mad, as a country, to leave it to the Americans to make money from a great British invention. I appeal to the children of this country and to their Potter-fiend parents to write to Warner Bros and Universal, and perhaps, even, to the great J K herself. Bring Harry home to Britain—and if you want a site with less rainfall than Rome, with excellent public transport, and strong connections to Harry Potter, I have just the place.
Boris Johnson
But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me The Quarrel of the Universe let be: And, in some corner of the Hubbub couch'd, Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.
Omar Khayyám (The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)
Sometimes all you have to do is tell people the truth. They won't believe you. After that they leave you alone.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
Here's the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That's what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, "They'll remember me now," but (a) they don't remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. ... We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can't stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it's silly and useless--epically useless in my current state--but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We're as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we're not likely to do either. People will say it's sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it's not sad, Van Houten. It's triumphant. It's heroic. Isn't that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn't actually invent anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn't get smallpox. ... But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. ... What else? She is so beautiful. You don't get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The One I don’t want you to love me because I’m good for you, because I say and do all the right things. Because I am everything you have been looking for. I want to be the one that you didn’t see coming. The one who gets under your skin. Who makes you unsteady. Who makes you question everything you have ever believed about love. Who makes you feel reckless and out of control. The one you are infuriatingly and inexplicably drawn to. I don’t want to be the one who tucks you into bed—I want to be the reason why you can’t sleep at night.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
We spoke once about lovers who kept finding each other, no matter how many times the world came between them. And I think I had to break your heart, and you had to break mine. How else could we know the worth of what we were given?
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. Secure in its reality, the self is neither better nor worse, bigger nor smaller, than anything else in the universe. It *is*--is nothing, yet at the same time one with everything. It is in this sense that humility is absolute self-effacement. To be nothing in the self-effacement of humility, yet, for the sake of the task, to embody its whole weight and importance in your earing, as the one who has been called to undertake it. To give to people, works, poetry, art, what the self can contribute, and to take, simply and freely, what belongs to it by reason of its identity. Praise and blame, the winds of success and adversity, blow over such a life without leaving a trace or upsetting its balance.
Dag Hammarskjöld (Markings)
And I told him, if I am so hard to love, then let me run wild. My love is not a testament to my surrender. I will show you just how much I love you, with the inward draw of every breath—the collective sigh of the world and all its despair. But I will never give you what you want in chains.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
My demons are lying in wait, they are grinning in the shadows, their polished fangs glinting, knowing today, it will be an easy kill. But tomorrow, tomorrow could be different, and that is what keeps me going today.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
So you didn’t tell me it was a messed-up idea to keep this all a secret because. . .” “Because experience is the only teacher,” Hey-Soos says. “Even if I could have told you, it would have been a lecture. Why do you think kids don’t listen to their parents, or people don’t leave churches and do what the preacher tells them? There’s only one thing that’s universal.” “What’s that?” “The truth.
Chris Crutcher (Deadline)
I could leave it no longer. No-one had taken steps to ensure that he would reach Herron. I had to do it myself. I felt cold at the idea that I had almost decided that it was pointless seeking truths in Rael’s past. I had almost not been here and then he would never have lived in Herron. My life had almost not happened – everyone who had ever lived in Herron had almost not lived - more lost possibilities in the endless possibilities floating in the universe. It was terrifying to me, although I suspected the universe was resigned.
Aaron D. Key (Damon Ich (The Wheel of Eight Book 2))
While I truly believe that you must have intentions to fulfill your dreams, I also think you have to leave room for the universe to have its way and play around a bit. Don’t get so focused on one particular opportunity that you’re blind to other ones that come up. If you think about one thing, and talk about it all the time, you’re being too obsessive. You might ruin it. If you let yourself meander a bit, then the right things and the right people fall into place. Some things are worth fighting for—don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a fighter—but I really think that what is right should be easy. My dad has always said that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and it’s so true.
Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)
Featherweight by Suzy Kassem One evening, I sat by the ocean and questioned the moon about my destiny. I revealed to it that I was beginning to feel smaller compared to others, Because the more secrets of the universe I would unlock, The smaller in size I became. I didn't understand why I wasn't feeling larger instead of smaller. I thought that seeking Truth was what was required of us all – To show us the way, not to make us feel lost, Up against the odds, In a devilish game partitioned by An invisible wall. Then the next morning, A bird appeared at my window, just as the sun began Spreading its yolk over the horizon. It remained perched for a long time, Gazing at me intently, to make sure I knew I wasn’t dreaming. Then its words gently echoed throughout my mind, Telling me: 'The world you are in – Is the true hell. The journey to Truth itself Is what quickens the heart to become lighter. The lighter the heart, the purer it is. The purer the heart, the closer to light it becomes. And the heavier the heart, The more chained to this hell It will remain.' And just like that, it flew off towards the sun, Leaving behind a tiny feather. So I picked it up, And fastened it to a toothpick, To dip into ink And write my name.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Choose Love My mother once said to me there are two kinds of men you’ll meet. The first will give you the life you want and the second will give you the love you desire. If you’re one of the lucky few, you will find both in the one person. But if you ever find yourself having to choose between the two, then always choose love.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Antonia had always been one to leave images in the mind that did not fade - that grew stronger with time. In my memory there was a succession of such pictures, fixed there like the old woodcuts of one's first primer...She lent herself to immemorial human attitudes which we recognize by instinct as universal and true...She was a battered woman now, not a lovely girl; but she still had that something which fires the imagination, could still stop one's breath for a moment by a look or gesture...All the strong things of her heart came out in her body, that had been so tireless in serving generous emotions.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia (Great Plains Trilogy, #3))
The leaves that remain are only a very small part of the tea. The tea that goes into me is a much bigger part of the tea. It is the richest part. We are the same; our essence has gone into our children, our friends, and the entire universe. We have to find ourselves in those directions and not in the spent tea leaves.
Thich Nhat Hanh (No Death, No Fear)
I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves in spring. I love the blue sky. I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I've long ceased perhaps to have faith in them. Yet from habit one's heart prizes them.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I recently heard of someone studying the ellipsis (or three dots) for a PhD. And, I have to say, I was horrified. The ellipsis is the black hole of the punctuation universe, surely, into which no right-minded person would willingly be sucked, for three years, with no guarantee of a job at the end.
Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation)
In the great cities we see so little of the world, we drift into our minority. In the little towns and villages there are no minorities; people are not numerous enough. You must see the world there, perforce. Every man is himself a class; every hour carries its new challenge. When you pass the inn at the end of the village you leave your favourite whimsy behind you; for you will meet no one who can share it. We listen to eloquent speaking, read books and write them, settle all the affairs of the universe. The dumb village multitudes pass on unchanging; the feel of the spade in the hand is no different for all our talk: good seasons and bad follow each other as of old. The dumb multitudes are no more concerned with us than is the old horse peering through the rusty gate of the village pound. The ancient map-makers wrote across unexplored regions, 'Here are lions.' Across the villages of fishermen and turners of the earth, so different are these from us, we can write but one line that is certain, 'Here are ghosts.' ("Village Ghosts")
W.B. Yeats (The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore)
I wonder if childhood is ever really happy. Just as well, perhaps. To be blissfully happy so young would leave one always seeking to recapture the unobtainable. Like those people who were always happiest at school or university. Always going back. No reunion ever missed. It always seemed to me rather pathetic.
P.D. James (The Lighthouse (Adam Dalgliesh #13))
The true and not despairing Friend will address his Friend in some such terms as these. "I never asked thy leave to let me love thee,--I have a right. I love thee not as something private and personal, which is your own, but as something universal and worthy of love, which I have found. O, how I think of you! You are purely good, --you are infinitely good. I can trust you forever. I did not think that humanity was so rich. Give me an opportunity to live.
Henry David Thoreau (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers / Walden / The Maine Woods / Cape Cod)
Either god exists or it doesn’t exist. If a god does exist, it either interacts with the universe in some detectable way or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, that god is indistinguishable from a non-existent god. That only leaves a god who interacts with the universe in some detectable way. But if science, which is the greatest realization of the use of our senses to, you know, detect things, hasn’t found this god, that doesn’t say much for individuals. In short, the god you’ve created is, in fact, undetectable by science. The limits of science are not the province of religious knowledge. Where science is ignorant, so is religion. The only difference is that religion lacks the integrity of science.
Matt Dillahunty
There’s something about taking the cart back instead of leaving it in the parking lot…It’s significant…Because somebody has to take them in…And if you know that, and you do it for that one guy, you do something else. You join the world…You move out of your isolation and become universal.
Andre Dubus (Dancing After Hours)
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked... who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war... who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall... who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts...
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
If the human race develops an electronic nervous system, outside the bodies of individual people, thus giving us all one mind and one global body, this is almost precisely what has happened in the organization of cells which compose our own bodies. We have already done it. [...] If all this ends with the human race leaving no more trace of itself in the universe than a system of electronic patterns, why should that trouble us? For that is exactly what we are now!
Alan W. Watts (The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
The person who desires to leave things better than he found them, who does more than his share, who is not attached to rewards, who is always seeking to benefit others, who knows he is cared for and rewarded by the Universe for his every effort, is able to act selflessly, without expectation of a reward or a return, without thought of advantage, and of him it is said, “He is better than the best,” and, of course, he is greatly rewarded.
Wu Wei (I Ching Wisdom: More Guidance from the Book of Answers, Volume Two)
We might not be the ones to change the world. We might not belong to the few that “put a ding in the universe.” We might not be something the whole world would celebrate. But...In the little corners that we live; in the lives that we’ve played a part in, we should be nothing but unforgettable.
Nesta Jojoe Erskine (Unforgettable: Living a Life That Matters)
There has come to you as your birthright something beautiful and sacred and divine. Never forget that. Your Eternal Father is the Great master of the Universe. He rules over all, but He also will listen to your prayers as His daughter and hear you as you speak with Him. He will answer your prayers. He will not leave you alone.
Gordon B. Hinckley
On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering that has ever taken place in the world or that ever will take place, the Savior said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27) I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart.
Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy
Albert Camus
It started when we were little kids. Free spirits, but already tormented by our own hands given to us by our parents. We got together and wrote on desks and slept in laundry rooms near snowy mountains and slipped through whatever cracks we could find, minds altered, we didn't falter in portraving hysterical and tragic characters in a smog filled universe. we loved the dirty city and the journeys away from it. We had not yet been or seen our friends, selves, chase tails round and round in downward spirals, leaving trail of irretrievable, vital life juice behind. Still, the brothersbloodcomradespartnerfamilycuzz was impenetrable and we lived inside it laughing with no clothes, and everything experimental 'till death was upon us. In our face, mortality.
Anthony Kiedis (Scar Tissue)
She's never asked for a drawing before. I'm horrible at giving them away. 'For the sun, stars, oceans, and all the trees, I'll consider it,' I say, knowing she'll never agree. She knows how badly I want the sun and trees. We've been dividing up the world since we were five. I'm kicking butt at the moment - universe domination is within my grasp for the first time. 'Are you kidding?' she says, standing up straight. It annoys me how tall she's getting. It's like she's being stretched at night. 'That leaves me just the flowers, Noah.' Fine, I think. She'll never do it. It's settled, but it isn't. She reaches over and props up the pad, gazing at the portrait like she's expecting the English guy to speak to her. 'Okay,' she says. 'Trees, stars, oceans. Fine.' 'And the sun, Jude.' 'Oh, all right," she says, totally surprising me. 'I'll give you the sun.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain, You, at least, hail me and speak to me While a thousand others ignore my face. You offer me an hour of love, And your fees are not as costly as most. You are the madonna of the lonely, The first-born daughter in a world of pain. You do not turn fat men aside, Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones, You are the meadow where desperate men Can find a moment's comfort. Men have paid more to their wives To know a bit of peace And could not walk away without the guilt That masquerades as love. You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them And bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood. Your passion is as genuine as most, Your caring as real! But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain, You, whose virginity each man may make his own Without paying ought but your fee, You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions, You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger, Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive, You make more sense than stock markets and football games Where sad men beg for virility. You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less? At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive, At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow. The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned, Warm and loving. You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love; Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous. You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children, And your fee is not as costly as most. Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness, When liquor has dulled his sense enough To know his need of you. He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria, And leave without apologies. He will come in loneliness--and perhaps Leave in loneliness as well. But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions, More than priests who offer absolution And sweet-smelling ritual, More than friends who anticipate his death Or challenge his life, And your fee is not as costly as most. You admit that your love is for a fee, Few women can be as honest. There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone Except their hungry ego, Monuments to mothers who turned their children Into starving, anxious bodies, Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners. I would erect a monument for you-- who give more than most-- And for a meager fee. Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all, You come so close to love But it eludes you While proper women march to church and fantasize In the silence of their rooms, While lonely women take their husbands' arms To hold them on life's surface, While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and Their lips with lies, You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most-- And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain. You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid, But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you, The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you. You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain. You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war, More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred, More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories Where men wear chains. You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass, And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
You could hear the wind in the leaves, and on that wind traveled the screams of the kids on the playground in the distance, the little kids figuring out how to be alive, how to navigate a world that was not built for them by navigating a playground that was. . . Who am I to say that these things might not be forever? Who is Pete Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? All I know of heaven and all I know of death is in this park: an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The leaves of the world comprise countless billion elaborations of a single, simple machine designed for one job only – a job upon which hinges humankind. Leaves make sugar. Plants are the only things in the universe that can make sugar out of nonliving inorganic matter. All the sugar that you have ever eaten was first made within a leaf. Without a constant supply of glucose to your brain, you will die. Period. Under duress, your liver can make glucose out of protein or fat – but that protein or fat was originally constructed from a plant sugar within some other animal. It’s inescapable: at this very moment, within the synapses of your brain, leaves are fueling thoughts of leaves.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
Never had the sky been more studded with stars and more charming, the trees more trembling, the odor of the grass more penetrating; never had the birds fallen asleep among the leaves with a sweeter noise; never had all the harmonies of universal serenity responded more thoroughly to the inward music of love; never had Marius been more captivated, more happy, more ecstatic.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Happiness, do not leave me. I know you, a capricious monarch perching on the fortunate flowers you see. Hear me: I am too attached to this royalty now. Can I make you rest here somehow? I will offer you the nectar of every flower in blossom, the honey of every fruit in harvest. I will make the Earth a garden, the entire universe a forest. I beg of you not to flutter by. I beg of you not to leave me, butter-coloured fly. Nest here and for you, I will create a home.
Kamand Kojouri
I just believe that us as women— should not criticize nor pull down other women. And why? Because we’re all just trying our best to be beautiful! We all just want to be loved, we want to be beautiful, we’re all trying to leave our own legacy! The good news is that the universe is unending and that means there is enough space for each woman on earth to leave her own mark and to be her own legacy. To be her own kind of beautiful. So why spend even a second on trying to take away from another woman? Trying to steal, trying to criticize, trying to oppress? There is enough space for every woman and every kind of beautiful, in this vast cosmos! When you waste any amount of time trying to take what is another’s— you are wasting your huge chunk of a galaxy that’s already been given to you!
C. JoyBell C.
From the ruins, lonely and inexplicable as the sphinx, rose the Empire State Building. And just as it had been tradition of mine to climb to the Plaza roof to take leave of the beautiful city extending as far as the eyes could see, so now I went to the roof of that last and most magnificent of towers. Then I understood. Everything was explained. I had discovered the crowning error of the city. Its Pandora's box. Full of vaunting pride, the New Yorker had climbed here, and seen with dismay what he had never suspected. That the city was not the endless sucession of canyons that he had supposed, but that it had limits, fading out into the country on all sides into an expanse of green and blue. That alone was limitless. And with the awful realization that New York was a city after all and not a universe, the whole shining ediface that he had reared in his mind came crashing down. That was the gift of Alfred Smith to the citizens of New York.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (My Lost City: Personal Essays 1920-40 (Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald))
To my way of thinking and working, the greatest service a piece of fiction can do any reader is to leave him with a higher ideal of life than he had when he began. If in one small degree it shows him where he can be…gentler, saner, cleaner, kindlier…it is a wonder-working book. If it opens his eyes to one beauty in nature he never saw for himself and leads him one step toward the God of the Universe, it is a beneficial book…
Gene Stratton-Porter
Evil is not just a theory of paradox, but an actual entity that exists only for itself. From its ether of manifestation that is garlanded in perpetual darkness, it not only influences and seeks the ruination and destruction of everything that resides in our universe, but rushes to embrace its own oblivion as well. To accomplish this, however, it must hide within the shroud of lies and deceit it spins to manipulate the weak-minded as well as those who choose to ally themselves with it for their own personal gain. For evil must rely on the self-serving interests of the arrogant, the lustful, the power-hungry, the hateful, and the greedy to feed and proliferate. This then becomes the condition of evil’s existence: the baneful ideologies of those who wantonly chose to ignore the needs and rights of others, inducing oppression, fear, pain, and even death throughout the cosmos. And by these means, evil seeks to supplant the balance of the universe with its perverse nature. And once all that was good has been extinguished by corruption or annihilation, evil will then turn upon and consume what remains: particularly its immoral servants who have assisted its purpose so well … along with itself. And within that terrible instant of unimaginable exploding quantum fury, it will burn brighter than a trillion galaxies to herald its moment of ultimate triumph. But a moment is all that it shall be. And a micro-second later when the last amber burns and flickers out to the demise of dissolving ash, evil will leave its legacy of a totally devoid universe as its everlasting monument to eternal death.
R.G. Risch (Beyond Mars: Crimson Fleet)
Someone Like You Do you think there is the possibility of you and I? In this lifetime, is that too much to hope for? There is something so delicate about this time, so fragile. And if nothing ever comes of it, at least I have known this feeling, this wonderful sense of optimism. It is something I can always keep close to me—to draw from in my darkest hour like a ray of unspent sunshine. No matter what happens next, I will always be glad to know there is someone like you in the world.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Befuddlement is a healthy part of the learning process. When students approach a problem and don’t know how to do it, they’ll often decide they’re no good at the subject. Brighter students, in particular, can have difficulty in this way—their breezing through high school leaves them no reason to think that being confused is normal and necessary. But the learning process is all about working your way out of confusion. Articulating your question is 80 percent of the battle. By the time you’ve figured out what’s confusing, you’re likely to have answered the question yourself!” —Kenneth R. Leopold, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota
Barbara Oakley (A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra))
You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
It was love, and it hit me so hard I leaned against the screen door that still stood between us, just to stay vertical. I wanted to touch him like he was a bunny, a kitten, something so special and soft your fingertips can’t leave it alone. The universe was good because he was in it. I loved the hole in his jeans and the dirt on his bare feet and the scrab on his elbow and the scar that laced through one eyebrow. Gat, my Gat.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
When dealing with a depression the problem is not to bring the depressed person back to his/her normality, to reintegrate behavior in the universal standards of normal social language. The goal is to change the focus of his/her depressive attention, to re-focalize, to deterritorialize the mind and the flow of expression. Depression is based on the stiffening of existential refrain, on the obsessive repetition of the stiffened refrain. The depressed person is unable to go out, to leave the repetitive refrain and s/he goes and goes again in the labyrinth. The goal of the schizoanalyst is to give him/her the possibility to see other landscapes, and to change the focus, to open some new ways of imagination.
Franco "Bifo" Berardi
Haven't you noticed, too, on the part of nearly everyone you know, a growing rebellion against the present? And an increasing longing for the past? I have. Never before in all my long life have I heard so many people wish that they lived 'at the turn of the century,' or 'when life was simpler,' or 'worth living,' or 'when you could bring children into the world and count on the future,' or simply 'in the good old days.' People didn't talk that way when I was young! The present was a glorious time! But they talk that way now. For the first time in man's history, man is desperate to escape the present. Our newsstands are jammed with escape literature, the very name of which is significant. Entire magazines are devoted to fantastic stories of escape - to other times, past and future, to other worlds and planets - escape to anywhere but here and now. Even our larger magazines, book publishers and Hollywood are beginning to meet the rising demand for this kind of escape. Yes, there is a craving in the world like a thirst, a terrible mass pressure that you can almost feel, of millions of minds struggling against the barriers of time. I am utterly convinced that this terrible mass pressure of millions of minds is already, slightly but definitely, affecting time itself. In the moments when this happens - when the almost universal longing to escape is greatest - my incidents occur. Man is disturbing the clock of time, and I am afraid it will break. When it does, I leave to your imagination the last few hours of madness that will be left to us; all the countless moments that now make up our lives suddenly ripped apart and chaotically tangled in time. Well, I have lived most of my life; I can be robbed of only a few more years. But it seems too bad - this universal craving to escape what could be a rich, productive, happy world. We live on a planet well able to provide a decent life for every soul on it, which is all ninety-nine of a hundred human beings ask. Why in the world can't we have it? ("I'm Scared")
Jack Finney (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940's Until Now)
Eight full lives,” I whispered against his jaw, my voice breaking. “Eight full lives and I never found anyone I would stay on a planet for, anyone I would follow when they left. I never found a partner. Why now? Why you? You're not of my species. How can you be my partner?” “It's a strange universe,” he murmured. “It's not fair,” I complained, echoing Sunny's words. It wasn't fair. How could I find this, find love–now, in this eleventh hour–and have to leave it? Was it fair that my soul and body couldn't reconcile? Was it fair that I had to love Melanie, too?
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
Two thousand years later, John’s call remains a wilderness call, a cry from the margins. Because we religious types are really good at building walls and retreating to temples. We’re good at making mountains out of our ideologies, obstructions out of our theologies, and hills out of our screwed-up notions of who’s in and who’s out, who’s worthy and who’s unworthy. We’re good at getting in the way. Perhaps we’re afraid that if we move, God might use people and methods we don’t approve of, that rules will be broken and theologies questioned. Perhaps we’re afraid that if we get out of the way, this grace thing might get out of hand. Well, guess what? It already has. Grace got out of hand the moment the God of the universe hung on a Roman cross and with outstretched hands looked out upon those who had hung him there and declared, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Do not miss me, because I will always be with you. In every drop of rain that touches your tongue, in every breath of air you inhale. In the tips of the leaves that you brush with your fingertips as you pass by. I will be there, in every moment. I am not gone, I am only altered, from this state of matter to another. For a moment, for too brief a moment, I was the man that loved you, but now that I am changed, I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved. You and I, and all of life, we were all born out of the death of a star, millions of billions of years ago. A star that lived long and then, before its death, burned at its brightest, its fiercest - an enflaming supernova. But when it died, it did not cease to exist; instead everything it was made of became part of the universe once again, and everything that is part of the universe will once more become part of us. So do not miss me, because I do not die; I transform - into the wind in the tops of the trees, the wave on the ocean, the pebbles under your foot, the dust on your bookshelves, the midnight sky. Wherever you look, I will be there.
Rowan Coleman (We Are All Made of Stars)
Destiny does not mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to leave everything to fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all-pervading and it is composed on...different levels. Your destiny is the level where you will play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well you play is entirely in your hands.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
If God wants something from me, he would tell me. He wouldn't leave someone else to do this, as if an infinite being were short on time. And he would certainly not leave fallible, sinful humans to deliver an endless plethora of confused and contradictory messages. God would deliver the message himself, directly, to each and every one of us, and with such clarity as the most brilliant being in the universe could accomplish. We would all hear him out and shout "Eureka!" So obvious and well-demonstrated would his message be. It would be spoken to each of us in exactly those terms we would understand. And we would all agree on what that message was.
Richard C. Carrier (Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith)
The greatest book in the world, the Mahabharata, tells us we all have to live and die by our karmic cycle. Thus works the perfect reward-and-punishment, cause-and-effect, code of the universe. We live out in our present life what we wrote out in our last. But the great moral thriller also orders us to rage against karma and its despotic dictates. It teaches us to subvert it. To change it. It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present. The Mahabharata is not a work of religious instruction. It is much greater. It is a work of art. It understands men will always fall in the shifting chasm between the tug of the moral and the lure of the immoral. It is in this shifting space of uncertitude that men become men. Not animals, not gods. It understands truth is relative. That it is defined by context and motive. It encourages the noblest of men - Yudhishtra, Arjuna, Lord Krishna himself - to lie, so that a greater truth may be served. It understands the world is powered by desire. And that desire is an unknowable thing. Desire conjures death, destruction, distress. But also creates love, beauty, art. It is our greatest undoing. And the only reason for all doing. And doing is life. Doing is karma. Thus it forgives even those who desire intemperately. It forgives Duryodhana. The man who desires without pause. The man who precipitates the war to end all wars. It grants him paradise and the admiration of the gods. In the desiring and the doing this most reviled of men fulfils the mandate of man. You must know the world before you are done with it. You must act on desire before you renounce it. There can be no merit in forgoing the not known. The greatest book in the world rescues volition from religion and gives it back to man. Religion is the disciplinarian fantasy of a schoolmaster. The Mahabharata is the joyous song of life of a maestro. In its tales within tales it takes religion for a spin and skins it inside out. Leaves it puzzling over its own poisoned follicles. It gives men the chance to be splendid. Doubt-ridden architects of some small part of their lives. Duryodhanas who can win even as they lose.
Tarun J. Tejpal (The Alchemy of Desire)
I once expected to spend seven years walking around the world on foot. I walked from Mexico to Panama where the road ended before an almost uninhabited swamp called the Choco Colombiano. Even today there is no road. Perhaps it is time for me to resume my wanderings where I left off as a tropical tramp in the slums of Panama. Perhaps like Ambrose Bierce who disappeared in the desert of Sonora I may also disappear. But after being in all mankind it is hard to come to terms with oblivion - not to see hundreds of millions of Chinese with college diplomas come aboard the locomotive of history - not to know if someone has solved the riddle of the universe that baffled Einstein in his futile efforts to make space, time, gravitation and electromagnetism fall into place in a unified field theory - never to experience democracy replacing plutocracy in the military-industrial complex that rules America - never to witness the day foreseen by Tennyson 'when the war-drums no longer and the battle-flags are furled, in the parliament of man, the federation of the world.' I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is 'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.' I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world." [Shakespeare & Company, archived statement]
George Whitman
I sit by the window and watch the rain and the leaves and the snow collide. They take turns dancing in the wind, performing choreographed routines for unsuspecting masses. The soldiers stomp stomp stomp through the rain, crushing leaves and fallen snow under their feet. Their hands are wrapped in gloves wrapped around guns that could put a bullet through a million possibilities. They don’t bother to be bothered by the beauty that falls from the sky. They don’t understand the freedom in feeling the universe on their skin. They don’t care.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
I miss talking to him. Every time I come across something I think he'd like, I just wish I could call him up or send him a text. Like the other day, I saw this movie, Coherence. It was about parallel universes, and I just know he'd love it. That's the thing; he's the ongly person i know who would appreciete it the same way I do. And I wish I could watch it with him and talk to him about it. Why is that so important to me? I don't get it. I didn't even think about all this before I knew him.
Lang Leav (Sad Girls)
We don't have a choice in how or when our bad days will blindside us. But what we do choose is how we allow them to leave us once they're gone. You can use those moments as a catalyst to spur you on to greater things or you can let it be the event that breaks you and leaves you shattered and forever lost in darkness. That, my friend, is the curse of free will. You can blame it all on fate and the universe, but in the end you alone decide if you're going to lie down and let hell take you under, or if you're going to stand strong in defiance of it all with your middle finger raised. ~ Caleb
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
I went outside. Tried taking in the billions of stars above, lingering long enough to allow each point of light the chance to scratch a deep hole in the back of my retina, so that when I finally did turn to face the dark surrounding forest I thought I saw the billion eyes of a billion cats blinking out, in the math of the living, the sum of the universe, the stories of history , a life older than anyone could have ever imagined. And even after they were gone--fading away together, as if they really were one--something still lingered in those sweet folds of black pine , sitting quietly, almost as if it too were waiting for something to wake.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
I know I'm just a human woman, but so help me, if anything happens to her while she's with you-” “I assure you she'll be in good hands.” “Mm-hm, that's part of what I'm worried about.” She pointed at his hands. “Hands off, mister." His eyes widened, and so did mine. “Patti!” I said. She crossed her arms, fierce and serious. We both shrank back a fraction. “Bring her back to me safely, with her virtue intact.” I closed my eyes. Someone kill me now. “Yes, ma'am,” Kaidan responded. I couldn't speak or move because of my hot-faced embarrassment. “And thank you for doing this,” Patti added. She came forward, sat down next to Kaidan, and hugged him. She liked him! He hesitated for a second before wrapping his own arms around her in return. It was one of the strangest sights I'd ever witnessed-an embrace between two people who didn't seem to belong in the same universe, as far as I was concerned. When Patti pulled away, her face was calm. “So we'll leave in the morning then, yes?” Kaidan raised a last eyebrow at me and I shivered, breaking into a cold sweat as I nodded my agreement. What had I done?
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
We all behave like Maxwell’s demon. Organisms organize. In everyday experience lies the reason sober physicists across two centuries kept this cartoon fantasy alive. We sort the mail, build sand castles, solve jigsaw puzzles, separate wheat from chaff, rearrange chess pieces, collect stamps, alphabetize books, create symmetry, compose sonnets and sonatas, and put our rooms in order, and all this we do requires no great energy, as long as we can apply intelligence. We propagate structure (not just we humans but we who are alive). We disturb the tendency toward equilibrium. It would be absurd to attempt a thermodynamic accounting for such processes, but it is not absurd to say we are reducing entropy, piece by piece. Bit by bit. The original demon, discerning one molecules at a time, distinguishing fast from slow, and operating his little gateway, is sometimes described as “superintelligent,” but compared to a real organism it is an idiot savant. Not only do living things lessen the disorder in their environments; they are in themselves, their skeletons and their flesh, vesicles and membranes, shells and carapaces, leaves and blossoms, circulatory systems and metabolic pathways - miracles of pattern and structure. It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in the universe.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
I thought, There is nowhere else in the universe I would rather be at this moment. I could count all the places I would not rather be. I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand, but I’d rather be here. The majestic ruins of Machu Picchu? I’d rather be here. A hillside in Cuenca, Spain, sipping coffee and watching leaves fall? Not even close. There is nowhere else I could imagine wanting to be besides here in this car, with this girl, on this road, listening to this song. If she breaks my heart, no matter what hell she puts me through, I can say it was worth it, just because of right now. Out the window is a blur and all I can really hear is this girl’s hair flapping in the wind, and maybe if we drive fast enough the universe will lose track of us and forget to stick us somewhere else.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
PLANETARIUM Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750–1848) astronomer, sister of William; and others. A woman in the shape of a monster a monster in the shape of a woman the skies are full of them a woman ‘in the snow among the Clocks and instruments or measuring the ground with poles’ in her 98 years to discover 8 comets she whom the moon ruled like us levitating into the night sky riding the polished lenses Galaxies of women, there doing penance for impetuousness ribs chilled in those spaces of the mind An eye, ‘virile, precise and absolutely certain’ from the mad webs of Uranusborg encountering the NOVA every impulse of light exploding from the core as life flies out of us Tycho whispering at last ‘Let me not seem to have lived in vain’ What we see, we see and seeing is changing the light that shrivels a mountain and leaves a man alive Heartbeat of the pulsar heart sweating through my body The radio impulse pouring in from Taurus I am bombarded yet I stand I have been standing all my life in the direct path of a battery of signals the most accurately transmitted most untranslatable language in the universe I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo- luted that a light wave could take 15 years to travel through me And has taken I am an instrument in the shape of a woman trying to translate pulsations into images for the relief of the body and the reconstruction of the mind.
Adrienne Rich (Collected Early Poems, 1950-1970)
We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that "I myself" is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body—a center which "confronts" an "external" world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. "I came into this world." "You must face reality." "The conquest of nature." This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated "egos" inside bags of skin.
Alan W. Watts (The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IN WHICH I AM UNFAZED BY THE MEN WHO DO NOT LOVE ME when the businessman shoulder checks me in the airport, i do not apologize. instead, i write him an elegy on the back of a receipt and tuck it in his hand as i pass through the first class cabin. like a bee, he will die after stinging me. i am twenty-four and have never cried. once, a boy told me he doesn’t “believe in labels” so i embroidered the word chauvinist on the back of his favorite coat. a boy said he liked my hair the other way so i shaved my head instead of my pussy. while the boy isn’t calling back, i learn carpentry, build a desk, write a book at the desk. i taught myself to cum from counting ceiling tiles. the boy says he prefers blondes and i steam clean his clothes with bleach. the boy says i am not marriage material and i put gravel in his pepper grinder. the boy says period sex is disgusting and i slaughter a goat in his living room. the boy does not ask if he can choke me, so i pretend to die while he’s doing it. my mother says this is not the meaning of unfazed. when the boy says i curse too much to be pretty and i tattoo “cunt” on my inner lip, my mother calls this “being very fazed.” but left over from the other universe are hours and hours of waiting for him to kiss me and here, they are just hours. here, they are a bike ride across long island in june. here, they are a novel read in one sitting. here, they are arguments about god or a full night’s sleep. here, i hand an hour to the woman crying outside of the bar. i leave one on my best friend’s front porch, send my mother two in the mail. i do not slice his tires. i do not burn the photos. i do not write the letter. i do not beg. i do not ask for forgiveness. i do not hold my breath while he finishes. the man tells me he does not love me, and he does not love me. the man tells me who he is, and i listen. i have so much beautiful time.
Olivia Gatwood (New American Best Friend)
You would hardly think, at first, that horrid monsters lie up there waiting to be discovered by any moderately penetrating mind--monsters to which those of the oceans bear no sort of comparison." What monsters may they be?" Impersonal monsters, namely, Immensities. Until a person has thought out the stars and their inter-spaces, he has hardly learnt that there are things much more terrible than monsters of shape, namely, monsters of magnitude without known shape. Such monsters are the voids and waste places of the sky... In these our sight plunges quite beyond any twinkler we have yet visited. Those deep wells for the human mind to let itself down into, leave alone the human body! and think of the side caverns and secondary abysses to right and left as you pass on!... There is a size at which dignity begins," he exclaimed; "further on there is a size at which grandeur begins; further on there is a size at which solemnity begins; further on, a size at which awfulness begins; further on, a size at which ghastliness begins. That size faintly approaches the size of the stellar universe. So am I not right in saying that those minds who exert their imaginative powers to bury themselves in the depths of that universe merely strain their faculties to gain a new horror?
Thomas Hardy (Two on a Tower)
Western man has tried for too many centuries to fool himself that he lives in a rational world. No. There's a story about a man who, while walking along the street, was almost hit on the head and killed by an enormous falling beam. This was his moment of realization that he did not live in a rational world but a world in which men's lives can be cut off by a random blow on the head, and the discovery shook him so deeply that he was impelled to leave his wife and children, who were the major part of his old, rational world. My own response to the wild unpredictability of the universe has been to write stories, to play the piano, to read, listen to music, look at paintings - not that the world may become explainable and reasonable but that I may rejoice in the freedom which unaccountability gives us.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Circle of Quiet (Crosswicks Journals #1))
I was seized at once with a profound fascination, a burning thirst to learn, to immerse myself totally, to melt away, to become as one with this foreign universe. To know it as if I had been born and raised there, begun life there. I wanted to learn the language, I wanted to read the books, I wanted to penetrate every nook and cranny. It was a kind of malady, a dangerous weakness, because I also realized that these civilizations are so enormous, so rich, complex, and varied, that getting to know even a fragment of one of them, a mere scrap, would require devoting one's whole life to the enterprise. Cultures are edifices with countless rooms, corridors, balconies, and attics, all arranged, furthermore, into such twisting, turning labyrinths, that if you enter one of them, there is no exit, no retreat, no turning back. To become a Hindu scholar, a Sinologist, an Arabist, or a Hebraist is a lofty all-consuming pursuit, leaving no space or time for anything else.
Ryszard Kapuściński (Travels with Herodotus)
If," ["the management consultant"] said tersely, “we could for a moment move on to the subject of fiscal policy. . .” “Fiscal policy!" whooped Ford Prefect. “Fiscal policy!" The management consultant gave him a look that only a lungfish could have copied. “Fiscal policy. . .” he repeated, “that is what I said.” “How can you have money,” demanded Ford, “if none of you actually produces anything? It doesn't grow on trees you know.” “If you would allow me to continue.. .” Ford nodded dejectedly. “Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.” Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed. “But we have also,” continued the management consultant, “run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship’s peanut." Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The management consultant waved them down. “So in order to obviate this problem,” he continued, “and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and. . .er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances." The crowd seemed a little uncertain about this for a second or two until someone pointed out how much this would increase the value of the leaves in their pockets whereupon they let out whoops of delight and gave the management consultant a standing ovation. The accountants among them looked forward to a profitable autumn aloft and it got an appreciative round from the crowd.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
How I hate this world. I would like to tear it apart with my own two hands if I could. I would like to dismantle the universe star by star, like a treeful of rotten fruit. Nor do I believe in progress. A vermin-eaten saint scratching his filth for heaven is better off than you damned in clean linen. Progress doubles our tenure in a vale of tears. Man is a mistake, to be corrected only by his abolition, which he gives promise of seeing to himself. Oh, let him pass, and leave the earth to the flowers that carpet the earth wherever he explodes his triumphs. Man is inconsolable, thanks to that eternal "Why?" when there is no Why, that question mark twisted like a fishhook in the human heart. "Let there be light," we cry, and only the dawn breaks.
Peter De Vries (The Blood of the Lamb)
Inspirations sleet through the universe continuously. Their destination, as if they cared, is the right mind in the right place at the right time. They hit the right neuron, there's a chain reaction, and a little while later someone is blinking furiously in the TV lights and wondering how the hell he came up with the idea of pre-sliced bread in the first place. Leonard of Quirm knew about inspirations. One of his earliest inventions was an earthed metal nightcap, worn in the hope that the damned things would stop leaving their white-hot trails across his tortured imagination. It seldom worked. He knew the shame of waking up to find the sheets covered with nocturnal sketches of seige engines for apple-peeling machines.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch #2))
Sometimes driven aground by the photon storms, by the swirling of the galaxies, clockwise and counterclockwise, ticking with light down the dark sea-corridors lined with our silver sails, our demon-haunted sails, our hundred-league masts as fine as threads, as fine as silver needles sewing the threads of starlight, embroidering the stars on black velvet, wet with the winds of Time that go racing by. The bone in her teeth! The spume, the flying spume of Time, cast up on these beaches where old sailors can no longer keep their bones from the restless, the unwearied universe. Where has she gone? My lady, the mate of my soul? Gone across the running tides of Aquarius, of Pisces, of Aries. Gone. Gone in her little boat, her nipples pressed against the black velvet lid, gone, sailing away forever from the star-washed shores, the dry shoals of the habitable worlds. She is her own ship, she is the figurehead of her own ship, and the captain. Bosun, Bosun, put out the launch! Sailmaker, make a sail! She has left us behind. We have left her behind. She is in the past we never knew and the future we will not see. Put out more sail, Captain for the universe is leaving us behind…
Gene Wolfe (The Citadel of the Autarch (The Book of the New Sun, #4))
There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
I was living and dying in all the fibers of what is chewed and digested and in all the fibers that absorb the sun, consuming and digesting. Under the thatched arbor of a restaurant on a river-bank, where Olivia had waited for me, our teeth began to move slowly, with equal rhythm, and our eyes stared into each other's with the intensity of serpents'—serpents concentrated in the ecstasy of swallowing each other in turn, as we were aware, in our turn, of being swallowed by the serpent that digests us all, assimilated ceaselessly in the process of ingestion and digestion, in the universal cannibalism that leaves its imprint on every amorous relationship and erases the lines between our bodies and sopa de frijoles, huachinango a la vera cru-zana, and enchiladas.
Italo Calvino (Under the Jaguar Sun)
Faith is always coveted most and needed most urgently where will is lacking; for will, as the affect of command, is the decisive sign of sovereignty and strength. In other words, the less one knows how to command, the more urgently one covets someone who commands, who commands severely—a god, prince, class, physician, father confessor, dogma, or party conscience. From this one might perhaps gather that the two world religions, Buddhism and Christianity, may have owed their origin and above all their sudden spread to a tremendous collapse and disease of the will. And that is what actually happened: both religions encountered a situation in which the will had become diseased, giving rise to a demand that had become utterly desperate for some "thou shalt." Both religions taught fanaticism in ages in which the will had become exhausted, and thus they offered innumerable people some support, a new possibility of willing, some delight in willing. For fanaticism is the only "strength of the will" that even the weak and insecure can be brought to attain, being a sort of hypnotism of the whole system of the senses and the intellect for the benefit of an excessive nourishment (hypertrophy) of a single point of view and feeling that henceforth becomes dominant— which the Christian calls his faith. Once a human being reaches the fundamental conviction that he must be commanded, he becomes "a believer." Conversely, one could conceive of such a pleasure and power of self-determination, such a freedom of the will [ This conception of "freedom of the will" ( alias, autonomy) does not involve any belief in what Nietzsche called "the superstition of free will" in section 345 ( alias, the exemption of human actions from an otherwise universal determinism).] that the spirit would take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practiced in maintaining himself on insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses. Such a spirit would be the free spirit par excellence.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this?-And-how many of us do know it? Not Lotze. Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally. Waking up. I suppose only a few are aware of all this. Isolated persons here and there. But the broad masses...what do they think? All these hundreds of thousands in this city, here. Do they imagine that they live in a sane world? Or do they guess, glimpse the truth...? But, he thought, what does it mean, insane? A legal definition. What do I mean? I feel it, see it, but what is it? He thought, it is something they do, something they are. It is their unconsciousness. Their lack of knowledge about others. Their not being aware of what they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing. No, he thought. That isn't it. I don't know; I sense it, inuit it. But-they are purposely cruel...is that it? No. God, he thought, I can't find it, make it clear. Do they ignore parts of reality? Yes. But it is more. It is their plans. Yes, their plans. The conquering of the planets. Something frenzied and demented, as was their conquering of Africa, and before that, Europe and Asia. Their view; it is cosmic. Not of man here, a child there, but an abstraction: race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honorable men but of Ehre itself, honor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Gute, but not good men, this good man. It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life. Because eventually there will be no life; there was once only the dust particles in space, the hot hydrogen gases, nothing more, and it will come again. This is an interval, ein Augenblick. The cosmic process is hurrying on, crushing life back into the granite and methane; the wheel turns for all life. It is all temporary. And they-these madmen-respond to the granite, the dust, the longing of the inanimate; they want to aid Natur. And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. it is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate-confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man. What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small...and you will escape the jealousy of the great.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
Of course that is not the whole story, but that is the way with stories; we make them what we will. It’s a way of explaining the universe while leaving the universe unexplained, it’s a way of keeping it all alive, not boxing it into time. Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently. Some people say there are true things to be found, some people say all kinds of things can be proved. I don’t believe them. The only thing for certain is how complicated it all is, like string full of knots. It’s all there but hard to find the beginning and impossible to fathom the end. The best you can do is admire the cat’s cradle, and maybe knot it up a bit more. History should be a hammock for swinging and a game for playing, the way cats play. Claw it, chew it, rearrange it and at bedtime it’s still a ball of string full of knots. Nobody should mind. Some people make a lot of money out of it. Publishers do well, children, when bright, can come top. It’s an all-purpose rainy day pursuit, this reducing of stories called history.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
I have said that the soul is not more than the body, And I have said that the body is not more than the soul, And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's self is, And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud, And I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth, And to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times, And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero, And there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheel'd universe, And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God, For I who am curious about each am not curious about God, (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and about death.) I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least, Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself. Why should I wish to see God better than this day? I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass, I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is sign'd by God's name, And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go, Others will punctually come for ever and ever.
Walt Whitman
Margery," I blurted out in a passion of frustration. "I don't know what to make of you!" Nor I you, Mary. Frankly, I cannot begin to comprehend the motives of a person who dedicates a large portion of her life to the contemplation of a God in whom she only marginally believes." I felt stunned, as if she had struck me in the diaphragm. She looked down at me, trying to measure the effect of her words. Mary, you believe in the power that the idea of God has on the human mind. You believe in the way human beings talk about the unknowable, reach for the unattainable, pattern their imperfect lives and offer their paltry best up to the beingless being that created the universe and powers its continuation. What you balk as it believing the evidence of your eyes, that God can reach out and touch a single human life in a concrete way." She smiled a sad, sad smile. "You mustn't be so cold, Mary. If you are, all you will see is a cold God, cold friends, cold love. God is not cold-never cold. God sears with heat, not ice, the heat of a thousand suns, heat that inflames but does not consume. You need warmth, Mary-you, Mary, need it. You fear it, you flirt with it, you imagine that you can stand in its rays and retain your cold intellectual attitude towards it. You imagine that you can love with your brain. Mary, oh my dear Mary, you sit in the hall and listen to me like some wild beast staring at a campfire, unable to leave, fearful of losing your freedom if you come any closer. It won't consume you; I won't capture you. Love does not do either. It only brings life. Please, Mary, don't let yourself be tied up by the bonds of cold academia." Her words, the power of her conviction, broke over me like a great wave, inundating me, robbing me of breath, and, as they receded in the room, they pulled hard at me to folllow. I struggled to keep my footing against the wash of Margery's vision, and only when it began to lose its strength, dissipated against the silence in the room, was I seized by a sudden terror at the nearness of my escape.
Laurie R. King (A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #2))
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have though much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else -something it never entered your head to conceive- comes crasing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.
C.S. Lewis (The Case for Christianity)
From now on, every ghost who enters the world of the dead will have to come with a story, the story of his or her life, and tell it to the harpies. It doesn't have to be a big adventure; it can just be a description of a day playing with the children, like Lyra's, or whatever it might happen to be. In exchange for this true story, the harpies will lead that ghost outside to dissolve into the Universe and be one with everything else. Of course, I stole that, as I stole everything else! I stole that from the Oresteia -- the bargain Aeschylus's characters make with the Furies that are following them about. "You will be the guardians of this place, and we will worship you and we will give you honor," they say. Then the Furies are satisfied, and they leave off their pursuit of Orestes. There's nothing new in stories. It goes round again and again and again. But that was something that I thought was a good way out for Lyra, and it did reassert the value of story. States it fully and clearly, brings it out. And also the value of realistic story. It's got to be true. And there's a moral consequence; for those who have eyes to see, they can see it: you have to live. You have to experience things to have a story to tell, and if you spend all your life playing video games, that will not do.
Philip Pullman
The cosmic perspective comes from the frontiers of science, yet it is not solely the provenance of the scientist. It belongs to everyone. The cosmic perspective is humble. The cosmic perspective is spiritual, even redemptive, but not religious. The cosmic perspective enables us to grasp, in the same thought, the large and the small. The cosmic perspective opens our minds to extraordinary ideas but does not leave them so open that our brains spill out, making us susceptible to believing anything we're told. The cosmic perspective opens our eyes to the universe, not as a benevolent cradle designed to nurture life but as a cold, lonely, hazardous place, forcing us to reassess the value of all humans to one another. The cosmic perspective shows Earth to be a mote. But it's a precious mote and, for the moment, it's the only home we have. The cosmic perspective finds beauty in the images of planets, moons, stars, and nebulae, but also celebrates the laws of physics that shape them. The cosmic perspective enables us to see beyond our circumstances, allowing us to transcend the primal search for food, shelter, and a mate. The cosmic perspective reminds us that in space, where there is no air, a flag will not wave, an indication that perhaps flag-waving and space exploration do not mix. The cosmic perspective not only embraces our genetic kinship with all life on Earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet-to-be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Alexandra Adornetto
There are many who consider as an injury to themselves any conduct which they have a distaste for, and resent it as an outrage to their feelings; as a religious bigot, when charged with disregarding the religious feelings of others, has been known to retort that they disregard his feelings, by persisting in their abominable worship or creed. But there is no parity between the feeling of a person for his own opinion, and the feeling of another who is offended at his holding it; no more than between the desire of a thief to take a purse, and the desire of the right owner to keep it. And a person's taste is as much his own peculiar concern as his opinion or his purse. It is easy for any one to imagine an ideal public, which leaves the freedom and choice of individuals in all uncertain matters undisturbed, and only requires them to abstain from modes of conduct which universal experience has condemned. But where has there been seen a public which set any such limit to its censorship? or when does the public trouble itself about universal experience. In its interferences with personal conduct it is seldom thinking of anything but the enormity of acting or feeling differently from itself; and this standard of judgment, thinly disguised, is held up to mankind as the dictate of religion and philosophy, by nine tenths of all moralists and speculative writers. These teach that things are right because they are right; because we feel them to be so. They tell us to search in our own minds and hearts for laws of conduct binding on ourselves and on all others. What can the poor public do but apply these instructions, and make their own personal feelings of good and evil, if they are tolerably unanimous in them, obligatory on all the world?
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Tell the trafic jams to no open their roads to you. Tell the eyes that meet you on the road, that I’m no longer jealous. Tell the souls that share with you the details of your day, that I no longer wich to be them. Tell to the one I advised to take care of you, to forget my advice, and to neglect you as she wants. Tell your pillow to not be gentle with your head. Tell your tooth brush to not be gentle with your gums. Tell your hair brush to not care about your head skin. Tell your blanket to not give you warmth. Tell your winter clothes to not protect you from the cold. Tell the streets’ dogs to frighten you. Tell your car’s other seat that I no longer dream of sitting on it. Tell your country that I no longer dream of flying to it. Tell your friends, your coworkers, your best friend, your neighbours, the world, the universe, your ground, your sky, I broke your chains, and I no longer care about you. So leave on the story’s seat a dry flower, and leave my memory.
Shahrazad al-Khalij
When a person dies, they cross over from the realm of freedom to the realm of slavery. Life is freedom, and dying is a gradual denial of freedom. Consciousness first weakens and then disappears. The life-processes – respiration, the metabolism, the circulation – continue for some time, but an irrevocable move has been made towards slavery; consciousness, the flame of freedom, has died out. The stars have disappeared from the night sky; the Milky Way has vanished; the sun has gone out; Venus, Mars and Jupiter have been extinguished; millions of leaves have died; the wind and the oceans have faded away; flowers have lost their colour and fragrance; bread has vanished; water has vanished; even the air itself, the sometimes cool, sometimes sultry air, has vanished. The universe inside a person has ceased to exist. This universe is astonishingly similar to the universe that exists outside people. It is astonishingly similar to the universes still reflected within the skulls of millions of living people. But still more astonishing is the fact that this universe had something in it that distinguished the sound of its ocean, the smell of its flowers, the rustle of its leaves, the hues of its granite and the sadness of its autumn fields both from those of every other universe that exists and ever has existed within people, and from those of the universe that exists eternally outside people. What constitutes the freedom, the soul of an individual life, is its uniqueness. The reflection of the universe in someone's consciousness is the foundation of his or her power, but life only becomes happiness, is only endowed with freedom and meaning when someone exists as a whole world that has never been repeated in all eternity. Only then can they experience the joy of freedom and kindness, finding in others what they have already found in themselves.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
Our ability to leave our physical bodies and travel to other places has been demonstrated in controlled laboratory experiments by researchers with good academic credentials. These include Charles Tart at the University of California in Davis, and Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff at the Stanford Reesearch Institute. Russell Targ's research of "remote viewing" involves two people. The "viewer" stays in a carefully controlled laboratory environment while a "beacon" person is located somewhere outside that vicinity. A computer then selects a location that is unknown to the viewer. The beacon person is secretly notified where he or she is to go, based on the computer's random selection of a site. After the beacon person gets to the site, the viewer is asked to describe what the beacon person is seeing. The distance between the beacon person and the viewer appears to have no significant effect on the viewer's ability to accurately describe the site; the distance between them can be a few blocks or many thousand miles. In several successful attempts, a Soviet psychic not only accurately described the location of Targ's associate Keith Harary who acted as a beacon, he also described what Harary would see at the next computer-selected site--even before he got there or knew what he would see!
Stanislav Grof (The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives)
Truths turn into dogmas the instant that they are disputed. Thus every man who utters a doubt defines a religion. And the scepticism of our time does not really destroy the beliefs, rather it creates them; gives them their limits and their plain and defiant shape. We who are Liberals once held Liberalism lightly as a truism. Now it has been disputed, and we hold it fiercely as a faith. We who believe in patriotism once thought patriotism to be reasonable, and thought little more about it. Now we know it to be unreasonable, and know it to be right. We who are Christians never knew the great philosophic common sense which inheres in that mystery until the anti-Christian writers pointed it out to us. The great march of mental destruction will go on. Everything will be denied. Everything will become a creed. It is a reasonable position to deny the stones in the street; it will be a religious dogma to assert them. It is a rational thesis that we are all in a dream; it will be a mystical sanity to say that we are all awake. Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life, but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face. We shall fight for visible prodigies as if they were invisible. We shall look on the impossible grass and the skies with a strange courage. We shall be of those who have seen and yet have believed.
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
At first I couldn't see anything. I fumbled along the cobblestone street. I lit a cigarette. Suddenly the moon appeared from behind a black cloud, lighting a white wall that was crumbled in places. I stopped, blinded by such whiteness. Wind whistled slightly. I breathed the air of the tamarinds. The night hummed, full of leaves and insects. Crickets bivouacked in the tall grass. I raised my head: up there the stars too had set up camp. I thought that the universe was a vast system of signs, a conversation between giant beings. My actions, the cricket's saw, the star's blink, were nothing but pauses and syllables, scattered phrases from that dialogue. What word could it be, of which I was only a syllable? Who speaks the word? To whom is it spoken? I threw my cigarette down on the sidewalk. Falling, it drew a shining curve, shooting out brief sparks like a tiny comet. I walked a long time, slowly. I felt free, secure between the lips that were at that moment speaking me with such happiness. The night was a garden of eyes.
Octavio Paz (The Blue Bouquet)
When she says margarita she means daiquiri. When she says quixotic she means mercurial. And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window." He's supposed to know that. When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm. When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks. When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water rushing over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe. Ripe apples fall about them. What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era," "that's very original of you," she replies, dry as the martini he is sipping. They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead. A sign is held up saying "Laughter." It's a silent picture. "I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent. One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times. When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep. When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator. When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake. She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end. When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved. A thousand fireflies wink at him. The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up. The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
I do not consider myself a religious person, because I don't adhere to a particular religion or faith or prescribed beliefs, as did my father, who was a Baptist minister. And I am not an atheist, one who thinks that belief in anything beyond the here and now and the rational is delusion. I love science, but I allow for mystery, things that can never be proven by a rational mind. I am a person who thinks about the nature of the spirit when I write. I think about what can't be known and only imagined. I often sense a spirit or force or meaning beyond myself. I leave it open as to what the spirit is, but I continue to make guesses -- that it could be the universal binding of the emotion of love, or a joyful quality of humanity, or a collective unconscious that turns out to be a unified conscience. The spirit could be all those worshiped by all the religions, even those that deny the validity of others. It could be that we all exist in all ten dimensions of a string-theory universe and are seeding memories in all of them and occupy them simultaneously as memory. Or we exist only as thought and out perception that it is a physical world is a delusion. The nature of spirit could also be my mother and my grandmother and that they really do serve as my muses as I fondly imagine them doing at times. Or maybe the nature of the spirit is a freer imagination. I've often thought that imagination was the conduit to compassion, and compassion is a true spiritual nature. Whatever the spirit might be, I am not basing what I do in this life on any expected reward or punishment in the hereafter or thereafter. It is enough that I feel blessed -- and by whom or what I don't know -- but I receive it with gratitude that I am a writer and my work is to imagine all the possibilities.
Amy Tan
Is the mask magic?" he demanded with sudden, passionate interest. "Yes." I bowed my head, so that our eyes no longer met. "I made it magic to keep you safe. The mask is your friend, Erik. As long as you wear it, no mirror can ever show you the face again." He was silent then and when I showed him the new mask he accepted it without question and put it on hastily with his clumsy, bandaged fingers. But when I stood up to go, he reacted with panic and clutched at my grown. "Don't go! Don't leave me here in the dark." "You are not in the dark," I said patiently. "Look, I have left the candle ..." But I knew, as I looked at him, that it would have made no difference if I had left him fifty candles. The darkness he feared was in his own mind and there was no light in the universe powerful enough to take that darkness from him. With a sigh of resignation I sat back on the bed and began to sing softly; and before I had finished the first verse, he was asleep. The bandages on his hands and wrists showed white and eerie in the candle-light, as I eased my skirts from his grasp. I knew that Marie was right. Physically and mentally, I had scarred him for life.
Susan Kay (Phantom)
Suppose after all that death does end all. Next to eternal joy, next to being forever with those we love and those who have loved us, next to that, is to be wrapt in the dreamless drapery of eternal peace. Next to eternal life is eternal sleep. Upon the shadowy shore of death the sea of trouble casts no wave. Eyes that have been curtained by the everlasting dark, will never know again the burning touch of tears. Lips touched by eternal silence will never speak again the broken words of grief. Hearts of dust do not break. The dead do not weep. Within the tomb no veiled and weeping sorrow sits, and in the rayless gloom is crouched no shuddering fear. I had rather think of those I have loved, and lost, as having returned to earth, as having become a part of the elemental wealth of the world – I would rather think of them as unconscious dust, I would rather dream of them as gurgling in the streams, floating in the clouds, bursting in the foam of light upon the shores of worlds, I would rather think of them as the lost visions of a forgotten night, than to have even the faintest fear that their naked souls have been clutched by an orthodox god. I will leave my dead where nature leaves them. Whatever flower of hope springs up in my heart I will cherish, I will give it breath of sighs and rain of tears. But I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony. I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful. Upon that rock I stand. – That he will not torture the forgiving. – Upon that rock I stand. – That every man should be true to himself, and that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime. Upon that rock I stand. The honest man, the good woman, the happy child, have nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come. Upon that rock I stand.
Robert G. Ingersoll
These are lines from my asteroid-impact novel, Regolith: Just because there are no laws against stupidity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be punished. I haven’t faced rejection this brutal since I was single. He smelled trouble like a fart in the shower. If this was a kiss of gratitude, then she must have been very grateful. Not since Bush and Cheney have so few spent so much so fast for so long for so little. As a nympho for mind-fucks, Lisa took to politics like a pig to mud. She began paying men compliments as if she expected a receipt. Like the Aerosmith song, his get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went. “You couldn’t beat the crap out of a dirty diaper!” He embraced his only daughter as if she was deploying to Iraq. She was hotter than a Class 4 solar flare! If sex was a weapon, then Monique possessed WMD I haven’t felt this alive since I lost my virginity. He once read that 95% of women fake organism, and the rest are gay. Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but ugly is universal. Why do wives fart, but not girlfriends? Adultery is sex that is wrong, but not necessarily bad. The dinosaurs stayed drugged out, drooling like Jonas Brothers fans. Silence filled the room like tear gas. The told him a fraction of the truth and hoped it would take just a fraction of the time. Happiness is the best cosmetic, He was a whale of a catch, and there were a lot of fish in the sea eager to nibble on his bait. Cheap hookers are less buck for the bang, Men cannot fall in love with women they don’t find attractive, and women cannot fall in love with men they do not respect. During sex, men want feedback while women expect mind-reading. Cooper looked like a cow about to be tipped over. His father warned him to never do anything he couldn’t justify on Oprah. The poor are not free -- they’re just not enslaved. Only those with money are free. Sperm wasn’t something he would choose on a menu, but it still tasted better than asparagus. The crater looked alive, like Godzilla was about to leap out and mess up Tokyo. Bush follows the Bible until it gets to Jesus. When Bush talks to God, it’s prayer; when God talks to Bush, it’s policy. Cheney called the new Miss America a traitor – apparently she wished for world peace. Cheney was so unpopular that Bush almost replaced him when running for re-election, changing his campaign slogan to, ‘Ain’t Got Dick.’ Bush fought a war on poverty – and the poor lost. Bush thinks we should strengthen the dollar by making it two-ply. Hurricane Katrina got rid of so many Democratic voters that Republicans have started calling her Kathleen Harris. America and Iraq fought a war and Iran won. Bush hasn’t choked this much since his last pretzel. Some wars are unpopular; the rest are victorious. So many conservatives hate the GOP that they are thinking of changing their name to the Dixie Chicks. If Saddam had any WMD, he would have used them when we invaded. If Bush had any brains, he would have used them when we invaded. It’s hard for Bush to win hearts and minds since he has neither. In Iraq, you are a coward if you leave and a fool if you stay. Bush believes it’s not a sin to kill Muslims since they are going to Hell anyway. And, with Bush’s help, soon. In Iraq, those who make their constitution subservient to their religion are called Muslims. In America they’re called Republicans. With great power comes great responsibility – unless you’re Republican.
Brent Reilly
If you didn’t already know this, the sun is going to die. When I think about the future, I don’t think about inescapable ends. But even if we solve global warming and destroy nuclear bombs and control population, ultimately the human race will annihilate itself if we stay here. Eventually, inevitably, we will no longer be able to live on Earth: we have a giant fireball clock ticking down twilight by twilight. In many ways, I think mortality is more manageable when we consider our eternal components, our genetics and otherwise that carry on after us. Still, soon enough, the books we write and the plants we grow will freeze up and rot in the darkness. But maybe there’s hope. What the universe really boils down to is whether a planet evolves a life-form intelligent enough to create technology capable of transporting and sustaining that life-form off the planet before the sun in that planet’s solar system explodes. I have a limited set of comparative data points, but I’d estimate that we’re actually doing okay at this point. We already have (intelligent) life, technology, and (primitive) space travel. And we still have some time before our sun runs out of hydrogen and goes nuclear. Yet none of that matters unless we can develop a sustainable means of living and traveling in space. Maybe we can. What I’ve concluded is that if we do reach this point, we have crossed a remarkable threshold—and will emerge into the (rare?) evolutionary status of having outlived the very life source that created us. It’s natural selection on a Universal scale. “The Origin of the Aliens,” one could say; a survival of the fittest planets. Planets capable of evolving life intelligent enough to leave before the lights go out. I suppose that without a God, NASA is my anti-nihilism. Alone and on my laptop, these ideas can humble me into apathy.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
Every Day You Play.... Every day you play with the light of the universe. Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water, You are more than this white head that I hold tightly as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands. You are like nobody since I love you. Let me spread you out among yellow garlands. Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south? Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed. Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window. The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish. Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them. The rain takes off her clothes. The birds go by, fleeing. The wind.  The wind. I alone can contend against the power of men. The storm whirls dark leaves and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky. You are here.  Oh, you do not run away. You will answer me to the last cry. Curl round me as though you were frightened. Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes. Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle, and even your breasts smell of it. While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth. How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me, my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running. So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes, and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans. My words rained over you, stroking you. A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body. Until I even believe that you own the universe. I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
The problem is that moderates of all faiths are committed to reinterpreting, or ignoring outright, the most dangerous and absurd parts of their scripture—and this commitment is precisely what makes them moderates. But it also requires some degree of intellectual dishonesty, because moderates can’t acknowledge that their moderation comes from outside the faith. The doors leading out of the prison of scriptural literalism simply do not open from the inside. In the twenty-first century, the moderate’s commitment to scientific rationality, human rights, gender equality, and every other modern value—values that, as you say, are potentially universal for human beings—comes from the past thousand years of human progress, much of which was accomplished in spite of religion, not because of it. So when moderates claim to find their modern, ethical commitments within scripture, it looks like an exercise in self-deception. The truth is that most of our modern values are antithetical to the specific teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And where we do find these values expressed in our holy books, they are almost never best expressed there. Moderates seem unwilling to grapple with the fact that all scriptures contain an extraordinary amount of stupidity and barbarism that can always be rediscovered and made holy anew by fundamentalists—and there’s no principle of moderation internal to the faith that prevents this. These fundamentalist readings are, almost by definition, more complete and consistent—and, therefore, more honest. The fundamentalist picks up the book and says, “Okay, I’m just going to read every word of this and do my best to understand what God wants from me. I’ll leave my personal biases completely out of it.” Conversely, every moderate seems to believe that his interpretation and selective reading of scripture is more accurate than God’s literal words. Presumably, God could have written these books any way He wanted. And if He wanted them to be understood in the spirit of twenty-first-century secular rationality, He could have left out all those bits about stoning people to death for adultery or witchcraft. It really isn’t hard to write a book that prohibits sexual slavery—you just put in a few lines like “Don’t take sex slaves!” and “When you fight a war and take prisoners, as you inevitably will, don’t rape any of them!” And yet God couldn’t seem to manage it. This is why the approach of a group like the Islamic State holds a certain intellectual appeal (which, admittedly, sounds strange to say) because the most straightforward reading of scripture suggests that Allah advises jihadists to take sex slaves from among the conquered, decapitate their enemies, and so forth.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
The first school shooting that attracted the attention of a horrified nation occurred on March 24, 1998, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Two boys opened fire on a schoolyard full of girls, killing four and one female teacher. In the wake of what came to be called the Jonesboro massacre, violence experts in media and academia sought to explain what others called “inexplicable.” For example, in a front-page Boston Globe story three days after the tragedy, David Kennedy from Harvard University was quoted as saying that these were “peculiar, horrible acts that can’t easily be explained.” Perhaps not. But there is a framework of explanation that goes much further than most of those routinely offered. It does not involve some incomprehensible, mysterious force. It is so straightforward that some might (incorrectly) dismiss it as unworthy of mention. Even after a string of school shootings by (mostly white) boys over the past decade, few Americans seem willing to face the fact that interpersonal violence—whether the victims are female or male—is a deeply gendered phenomenon. Obviously both sexes are victimized. But one sex is the perpetrator in the overwhelming majority of cases. So while the mainstream media provided us with tortured explanations for the Jonesboro tragedy that ranged from supernatural “evil” to the presence of guns in the southern tradition, arguably the most important story was overlooked. The Jonesboro massacre was in fact a gender crime. The shooters were boys, the victims girls. With the exception of a handful of op-ed pieces and a smattering of quotes from feminist academics in mainstream publications, most of the coverage of Jonesboro omitted in-depth discussion of one of the crucial facts of the tragedy. The older of the two boys reportedly acknowledged that the killings were an act of revenge he had dreamed up after having been rejected by a girl. This is the prototypical reason why adult men murder their wives. If a woman is going to be murdered by her male partner, the time she is most vulnerable is after she leaves him. Why wasn’t all of this widely discussed on television and in print in the days and weeks after the horrific shooting? The gender crime aspect of the Jonesboro tragedy was discussed in feminist publications and on the Internet, but was largely absent from mainstream media conversation. If it had been part of the discussion, average Americans might have been forced to acknowledge what people in the battered women’s movement have known for years—that our high rates of domestic and sexual violence are caused not by something in the water (or the gene pool), but by some of the contradictory and dysfunctional ways our culture defines “manhood.” For decades, battered women’s advocates and people who work with men who batter have warned us about the alarming number of boys who continue to use controlling and abusive behaviors in their relations with girls and women. Jonesboro was not so much a radical deviation from the norm—although the shooters were very young—as it was melodramatic evidence of the depth of the problem. It was not something about being kids in today’s society that caused a couple of young teenagers to put on camouflage outfits, go into the woods with loaded .22 rifles, pull a fire alarm, and then open fire on a crowd of helpless girls (and a few boys) who came running out into the playground. This was an act of premeditated mass murder. Kids didn’t do it. Boys did.
Jackson Katz (Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help)
Billos ran. He tore down the shore, bounded up on the rock, and dove into the air. The warm water engulfed him. A boiling heat knocked the wind from his lungs. The shock alone might kill him. But it was pleasure that surged through his body, not pain. The sensations coursed through his bones in great unrelenting waves. Elyon. How he was certain, he did not know. But he knew. Elyon was in this lake with him. Billos opened his eyes. Gold light drifted by. He lost all sense of direction. The water pressed in on every inch of his body, as intense as any acid, but one that burned with pleasure instead of pain. He sank into the water, opened his mouth and laughed. He wanted more, much more. He wanted to suck the water in and drink it. Without thinking, he did just that. The liquid hit his lungs. Billos pulled up, panicked. He tried to hack the water from his lungs, but inhaled more instead. No pain. He carefully sucked more water and breathed it out slowly. Then again, deep and hard. Out with a soft whoosh. He was breathing the water! Billos shrieked with laughter. He swam into the lake, deeper and deeper. The power contained in this lake was far greater than anything he'd ever imagined. "I made this, Billos." Billos whipped his body around, searching for the words' source. "Elyon?" His voice was muffled, hardly a voice at all. "Do you like it?" "Yes!" Billos said. He might have spoken; he might have shouted--he didn't know. He only knew that his whole body screamed it. Billos looked around. "Elyon?" "Why do you doubt me, Billos?" In that single moment the full weight of Billos's foolishness crashed on him like a sledgehammer. "I see you, Billos." "I made you." "I love you." The words crashed over him, reaching into the deepest folds of his flesh, caressing each hidden synapse, flowing through every vein, as though he had been given a transfusion. "I choose you, Billos." Billos began to weep. The feeling was more intense than any pain he had ever felt. The current pulled at him, tugging him up through the colors. His body trembled with pleasure. He wanted to speak, to yell, to tell the whole world that he was the most fortunate person in the universe. That he was loved by Elyon. Elyon himself. "Never leave me, Billos." "Never! I will never leave you." The current pushed him through the water and then above the surface not ten meters from the shore. He stood on the sandy bottom. For a moment he had such clarity of mind that he was sure he could understand the very fabric of space if he put his mind to it. He was chosen. He was loved.
Ted Dekker (Renegade (The Lost Books, #3))
This was something new. Or something old. I didn’t think of what it might be until after I had let Aubrey go back to the clinic to bed down next to her child. Bankole had given him something to help him sleep. He did the same for her, so I won’t be able to ask her anything more until she wakes up later this morning. I couldn’t help wondering, though, whether these people, with their crosses, had some connection with my current least favorite presidential candidate, Texas Senator Andrew Steele Jarret. It sounds like the sort of thing his people might do—a revival of something nasty out of the past. Did the Ku Klux Klan wear crosses—as well as burn them? The Nazis wore the swastika, which is a kind of cross, but I don’t think they wore it on their chests. There were crosses all over the place during the Inquisition and before that, during the Crusades. So now we have another group that uses crosses and slaughters people. Jarret’s people could be behind it. Jarret insists on being a throwback to some earlier, “simpler” time. Now does not suit him. Religious tolerance does not suit him. The current state of the country does not suit him. He wants to take us all back to some magical time when everyone believed in the same God, worshipped him in the same way, and understood that their safety in the universe depended on completing the same religious rituals and stomping anyone who was different. There was never such a time in this country. But these days when more than half the people in the country can’t read at all, history is just one more vast unknown to them. Jarret supporters have been known, now and then, to form mobs and burn people at the stake for being witches. Witches! In 2032! A witch, in their view, tends to be a Moslem, a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or, in some parts of the country, a Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, or even a Catholic. A witch may also be an atheist, a “cultist,” or a well-to-do eccentric. Well-to-do eccentrics often have no protectors or much that’s worth stealing. And “cultist” is a great catchall term for anyone who fits into no other large category, and yet doesn’t quite match Jarret’s version of Christianity. Jarret’s people have been known to beat or drive out Unitarians, for goodness’ sake. Jarret condemns the burnings, but does so in such mild language that his people are free to hear what they want to hear. As for the beatings, the tarring and feathering, and the destruction of “heathen houses of devil-worship,” he has a simple answer: “Join us! Our doors are open to every nationality, every race! Leave your sinful past behind, and become one of us. Help us to make America great again.
Octavia E. Butler (Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2))