Vigor Quotes

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All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.
Flannery O'Connor (The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor)
If you understand others you are smart. If you understand yourself you are illuminated. If you overcome others you are powerful. If you overcome yourself you have strength. If you know how to be satisfied you are rich. If you can act with vigor, you have a will. If you don't lose your objectives you can be long-lasting. If you die without loss, you are eternal.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
But it is the same with man as with the tree. The more he seeks to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthword, downword, into the dark, the deep - into evil.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
Human beings can always be relied upon to exert, with vigor, their God-given right to be stupid.
Dean Koontz
Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.
Leonardo da Vinci
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
Samuel Johnson (The Rambler)
Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own.
Bertrand Russell (What I Believe)
We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.
Martin Luther King Jr.
My hate is general, I detest all men; Some because they are wicked and do evil, Others because they tolerate the wicked, Refusing them the active vigorous scorn Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds.
Molière (The Misanthrope)
Close your eyes and turn your face into the wind. Feel it sweep along your skin in an invisible ocean of exultation. Suddenly, you know you are alive.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
It is a sad but unavoidable fact of life," he began, "that as we age our social circles grow smaller. Whether from increased habit or diminished vigor, we suddenly find ourselves in the company of just a few familiar faces.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
If we suspect that a man is lying, we should pretend to believe him; for then he becomes bold and assured, lies more vigorously, and is unmasked.
Arthur Schopenhauer
A single sentence will suffice for modern man. He fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
Hello," Newel said. "Look, Doren, we have visitors. Kendra, Seth, and ... Muriel's weirdo puppet."....Newel grabbed Seth's hand and shook it vigorously. "Congratulations. You just found yourself a secret entrance." "So seriously," Doren said. "What's with the puppet?
Brandon Mull (Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, #2))
We looked at each other. And it occurred to me that despite his faults, which were numerous and spectacular, the reason I’d liked Boris and felt happy around him from almost the moment I’d met him was that he was never afraid. You didn’t meet many people who moved freely through the world with such a vigorous contempt for it and at the same time such oddball and unthwartable faith in what, in childhood, he had liked to call “the Planet of Earth.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Youth and what the Italians so prettily call stamina. The vigor, the fire, that enables you to love and create. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Woman Destroyed)
These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.
Abigail Adams
The habits of a vigorous mind are born in contending with difficulties.
Abigail Adams
In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
John Muir (The Mountains of California)
Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelms us.
Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
In the twentieth century, nowhere on Earth was sex so vigorously suppressed as in America---and nowhere else was there such a deep interest in it.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal, while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before
Herodotus (The Histories)
Long dormant feelings poured through my dried-up limbs and wound through me, slowly filling the emptiness. Like an irrigated field, I felt myself blossom and grow with new vigor. He was the sun, and the tenderness he showed me was life-giving water.
Colleen Houck
Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it. "He who desires but acts not," wrote Blake with his accustomed vigor, "Breeds pestilence.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
I am not forgotten, you know, no, I still receive a very great deal of fan mail. . . . Gladys Gudgeon writes weekly. . . . I just wish I knew why. . . .” He paused, looking faintly puzzled, then beamed again and returned to his signing with renewed vigor. “I suspect it is simply my good looks. . . .
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Charles,” Bones said distinctly. “You’d better have a splendid explanation for her being on top of you.” The black-haired vampire rose to his feet as soon as I jumped off, brushing the dirt off his clothes. “Believe me, mate, I’ve never enjoyed a woman astride me less. I came out to say hello, and this she-devil blinded me by flinging rocks in my eyes. Then she vigorously attempted to split my skull before threatening to impale me with silver if I so much as even twitched! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to America, but I daresay the method of greeting a person has changed dramatically!” Bones rolled his eyes and clapped him on the shoulder. “I’m glad you’re still upright, Charles, and the only reason you are is because she didn’t have any silver. She’d have staked you right and proper otherwise. She has a tendency to shrivel someone first and then introduce herself afterwards.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it. There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, a time for being in danger. The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
I'm the last one in the dark, until- suddenly- it happens. St. Clair removes something from his pocket. And then he gets down on one knee. Anna's entire body lights with shock and joy and love. She nods a vigorous yes. St. Clair places the ring on her finger. He stands, she throws her arms around him, and they kiss. He spins her in a circle. They kiss again. Deep, hungry, long. And then he turns to us and waves- with the biggest smile I've ever seen- clearly aware that we've been standing here the whole time.
Stephanie Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3))
My mind is the only sanctuary that has not been stolen from me. Men have tried to breach it before, but I've learned to defend it vigorously, for I am only safe with my innermost thoughts.
Christopher Paolini
She wasn't, nor ever had been, under the illusion that marriage was a relationship characterized by endless bliss and romance. Throw any two people together, add the inevitable ups and downs, give the mixture a vigorous stir, and a few stormy arguments were inevitable, no matter how the couple loved each other.
Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me)
Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. So we must stretch ourselves to the very limits of human possibility. Anything less is a sin against both God and man.
Leonardo da Vinci
As long as you live, you will be subject to change, whether you will it or not - now glad, now sorrowful; now pleased, now displeased; now devout, now undevout; now vigorous, now slothful; now gloomy, now merry. But a wise man who is well taught in spiritual labor stands unshaken in all such things, and heeds little what he feels, or from what side the wind of instability blows.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.
William Strunk Jr. (The Elements of Style)
It is a surprising fact that those who object most violently to the manipulation of behaviour nevertheless make the most vigorous effort to manipulate minds.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
So, preferring death to capture, I accomplished the most astonishing deeds, and which, more then once, showed me that the too great care we take of our bodies is the only obstacle to the sucess of those projects which require rapid decision, and vigorous and determined execution. In reality, when you have once devoted your life to your enterprises, you are no longer the equal of other men, or, rather, other men are no longer your equals, and whosoever has taken this resolution, feels his strength and resources doubled.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.
Ludwig von Mises
Maybe freedom really is nothing left to lose. You had it once in childhood, when it was okay to climb a tree, to paint a crazy picture and wipe out on your bike, to get hurt. The spirit of risk gradually takes its leave. It follows the wild cries of joy and pain down the wind, through the hedgerow, growing ever fainter. What was that sound? A dog barking far off? That was our life calling to us, the one that was vigorous and undefended and curious.
Peter Heller (Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River)
Vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
William Strunk Jr. (The Elements of Style)
Maybe I couldn’t make it. Maybe I don’t have a pretty smile, good teeth, nice tits, long legs, a cheeky arse, a sexy voice. Maybe I don’t know how to handle men and increase my market value, so that the rewards due to the feminine will accrue to me. Then again, maybe I’m sick of the masquerade. I’m sick of pretending eternal youth. I’m sick of belying my own intelligence, my own will, my own sex. I’m sick of peering at the world through false eyelashes, so everything I see is mixed with a shadow of bought hairs; I’m sick of weighting my head with a dead mane, unable to move my neck freely, terrified of rain, of wind, of dancing too vigorously in case I sweat into my lacquered curls. I’m sick of the Powder Room. I’m sick of pretending that some fatuous male’s self-important pronouncements are the objects of my undivided attention, I’m sick of going to films and plays when someone else wants to, and sick of having no opinions of my own about either. I’m sick of being a transvestite. I refuse to be a female impersonator. I am a woman, not a castrate.
Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch)
The Hermit was known to be pretty sniffy about disciples who returned in failure. There was a wall of the institute layered with their skins- an ingenious display that encouraged vigor in his students, as well as nicely keeping out the drafts.
Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus, #3))
I don't know where we should take this company, but I do know that if I start with the right people, ask them the right questions, and engage them in vigorous debate, we will find a way to make this company great.
James C. Collins
Your vigor for life appalls me.
Robert Crumb
People love to talk but hate to listen. Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. You can listen like a blank wall or like a splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller and richer.
Alice Duer Miller
Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled. Trying to control leads to ruin. Trying to grasp, we lose. Allow your life to unfold naturally. Know that it too is a vessel of perfection. Just as you breathe in and breathe out, there is a time for being ahead and a time for being behind; a time for being in motion and a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous and a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe and a time for being in danger.
Lao Tzu
Years steal fire from the mind as vigor from the limb; and life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
Lord Byron
After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor. The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
to one whose elastic and vigorous thoughts keep pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning. It matters not the labors and attitudes of men, morning is when I am awake and there is dawn in me.
Henry David Thoreau
A strong life force can be seen in physical vitality, courage, competent judgment, self-mastery, sexual vigor, and the realization of each person’s unique talents and purpose in life. To maintain a powerful life force, forget yourself, forget about living and dying, and bring your full attention into this moment.
H.E. Davey (Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation)
I believe the defining moment was when certain persons, who shall remain nameless, objected to my fuchsia silk striped waistcoat. I loved that waistcoat. I put my foot down, right then and there; I do not mind telling you!" To punctuate his deeply offended feelings, he stamped one silver-and-pearl-decorated high heel firmly. "No one tells me what I can and cannot wear!" He snapped up a lace fan from where it lay on a hall table and fanned himself vigorously with it for emphasis.
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
Though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates. Louie and Phil's hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work toward their survival, and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigor. Mac's resignation seemed to paralyze him and the less he participated in their efforts to survive, the more he slipped. Though he did the least, as the days passed, it was he who faded the most. Louie and Phil's optimism, and Mac's hopelessness, were becoming self-fulfilling.
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption)
Raphael was a bouda and they viewed sex as a fun recreational activity that should be practiced vigorously and often.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
Her mind was like a spring-tide in full flood; rich, shining, vigorous, and capable of infinite variety.
Vera Brittain (Testament of Friendship)
The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.
Parley P. Pratt
Morning brings back the heroic ages. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Rochester: "I am no better than the old lightning-struck chestnut-tree in Thornfield orchard…And what right would that ruin have to bid a budding woodbine cover its decay with freshness?" Jane: "You are no ruin sir - no lighting-struck tree: you are green and vigorous. Plants will grow about your roots, whether you ask them or not, because they take delight in your bountiful shadow; and as they grow they will lean towards you, and wind round you, because your strength offers them so safe a prop.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
With regard to freedom of speech there are basically two positions: you defend it vigorously for views you hate, or you reject it and prefer Stalinist/fascist standards. It is unfortunate that it remains necessary to stress these simple truths.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
Atoms, in short, are very abundant. They are also fantastically durable. Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms-- up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested-- probably once belonged to Shakespeare.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love. In a modern economy it is impossible to seal oneself off from injustice. If we have brains or courage, then we are blessed and called on not to frit these qualities away, standing agape at the ideas of others, winning pissing contests, improving the efficiencies of the neocorporate state, or immersing ourselves in obscuranta, but rather to prove the vigor of our talents against the strongest opponents of love we can find. If we can only live once, then let it be a daring adventure that draws on all our powers. Let it be with similar types whos hearts and heads we may be proud of. Let our grandchildren delight to find the start of our stories in their ears but the endings all around in their wandering eyes. The whole universe or the structure that perceives it is a worthy opponent, but try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.
Julian Assange
A crash of cymbals exploded in her ear. She opened her eyes to behold Driggs clanging them vigorously, a mischievous grin on his face and a large bruise surrounding his eye. "I hope, for the sake of your fertility, you're wearing a cup," she warned through clenched teeth." "Come on," he said, jumping onto to the mattress. "It's time for work." Lex moaned. "How are you so awake already?" "If you recall, I eat a lot of chocolate.
Gina Damico (Croak (Croak, #1))
The nowadays ruling that no word is unprintable has, I think, done nothing whatever for beautiful letters. The boys have gone hog-wild with liberty, yet the short flat terms used over and over, both in dialogue and narrative, add neither vigor nor clarity; the effect is not of shock but of something far more dangerous — tedium.
Dorothy Parker
Widespread intellectual and moral docility may be convenient for leaders in the short term, but it is suicidal for nations in the long term. One of the criteria for national leadership should therefore be a talent for understanding, encouraging, and making constructive use of vigorous criticism.
Carl Sagan
The most vigorous expression of a resolution does not always coincide with the greatest vigour of the resolution itself. It is often flung out as a sort of prop to support a decaying conviction which, whilst strong, required no enunciation to prove it so.
Thomas Hardy (Far From the Madding Crowd)
Those who understand others are intelligent Those who understand themselves are enlightened Those who overcome others have strength Those who overcome themselves are powerful Those who know contentment are wealthy Those who proceed vigorously have willpower Those who do not lose their base endure Those who die but do not perish have longevity
Lao Tzu
The best motivation is love," I offered. Beside me, Kamala nodded vigorously. "And food!
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
Thus Carol hit upon the tragedy of old age, which is not that it is less vigorous than youth, but that it is not needed by youth...
Sinclair Lewis
Reading is a dialog with oneself; it is self-reflection, which cultivates profound humanity. Reading is therefore essential to our development. It expands and enriches the personality like a seed that germinates after a long time and sends forth many blossom-laden branches. People who can say of a book, 'this changed my life' truly understand the meaning of happiness. Reading that sparks inner revolution is desperately needed to escape drowning in the rapidly advancing information society. Reading is more than intellectual ornamentation; it is a battle for the establishment for the self, a ceaseless challenge that keeps us young and vigorous.
Daisaku Ikeda
On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
You are no ruin sir--no lighting-struck tree: you are green and vigorous. Plants will grow about your roots, whether you ask them or not, because they take delight in your bountiful shadow; and as they grow they will lean towards you, and wind round you, because your strength offers them so safe a prop.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” - Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
She had not made a lot of money, but she had not made a loss, and she had been happy and entertained. That counted for infinitely more than a vigorously healthy balance sheet. In fact, she thought, annual accounts should include an item specifically headed Happiness, alongside expenses and receipts and the like.
Alexander McCall Smith (Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2))
Back, devil! Return thee to Hell!" The beast rolled its eyes. "I am not a devil, fool. Do you ever wonder why you seek the Devil with such vigor? I shall tell you. Because you cannot face your own wickedness. The truth is there is no Devil making you torture, rape, murder, and sodomize one another, or making you destroy the very land that feeds you. There is only you. So look at yourself, for you are the only devil in this room.
Brom (Krampus: The Yule Lord)
When one is confirmed in celibacy, spiritual vigor is gained.
Patañjali
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
John Stuart Mill
Age - That period of life in which we compound for the vices that remain by reviling those we have no longer the vigor to commit.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary and Other Works)
The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts.
George Müller
When virtue has slept it will arise more vigorous.
Friedrich Nietzsche (A Nietzsche Reader)
I have known many graduates of Bryn Mawr. They are all of the same mold. They have all accepted the same bright challenge: something is lost that has not been found, something's at stake that has not been won, something is started that has not been finished, something is dimly felt that has not been fully realized. They carry the distinguishing mark – the mark that separates them from other educated and superior women: the incredible vigor, the subtlety of mind, the warmth of spirit, the aspiration, the fidelity to past and to present. As they grow in years, they grow in light. As their minds and hearts expand, their deeds become more formidable, their connections more significant, their husbands more startled and delighted. I once held a live hummingbird in my hand. I once married a Bryn Mawr girl. To a large extent they are twin experiences. Sometimes I feel as though I were a diver who had ventured a little beyond the limits of safe travel under the sea and had entered the strange zone where one is said to enjoy the rapture of the deep.
E.B. White
You know...” Amaranthe dumped her dust pile outside and returned to face him. “It’s hard for me to maintain my vigor and enthusiasm for leading you when you do nothing but stand there and ooze disapproval at me.
Lindsay Buroker (Deadly Games (The Emperor's Edge, #3))
...when a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.
William Strunk Jr.
Withstanding the cold develops vigor for the relaxing days of spring and summer. Besides, in this matter as in many others, it is evident that nature abhors a quitter.
Arthur C. Crandall (New England Joke Lore: The Tonic of Yankee Humor)
For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellence, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method)
How I loathe the servitude people try to hold up to me as being so valuable. I pity the man who is condemned to it, who cannot generally escape it, but it is not the burden of his labor that disposes me in his favor, it is -- it can only be -- the vigor of his protest against it.
André Breton (Nadja)
How are you coming with your home library? Do you need some good ammunition on why it's so important to read? The last time I checked the statistics...I think they indicated that only four percent of the adults in this country have bought a book within the past year. That's dangerous. It's extremely important that we keep ourselves in the top five or six percent. In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading good books is not something to be indulged in as a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who intends to give his life and work a touch of quality. The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of its attributes. You do not read a book for the book's sake, but for your own. You may read because in your high-pressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind. You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed. You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life. You may read because you did go to college. You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too. You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people. Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation. It cultivates your mind by calling its faculties into exercise. Books are a source of pleasure - the purest and the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life. Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight. Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces. One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it. Some people act as if it were demeaning to their manhood to wish to be well-read but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food. Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good. Dr. Johnson said: "Whilst you stand deliberating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both.
Earl Nightingale
Ah, afflicted one, your disabilities were meant to unite with God's enablings, your weakness to mate His power. God's grace is at hand -sufficent-- and at its best when human weakness is most profound. Appropriate it and learn that those who wait on God are stronger in their weakness than the sons of men in their stoutest health and vigor.
F.B. Meyer
Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect - We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions - The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
George Washington
Horatia said eagerly: "Oh, you will take m-me instead?" "No," said Rule, with a faint smile. "I won't do that. But I will engage not to marry your sister. It's not necessary to offer me an exchange, my poor child." "B-but it is!" said Horatia vigorously. "One of us m-must marry you!
Georgette Heyer (The Convenient Marriage)
To stay vigorous, a company needs to provide a stimulating and challenging environment for all these types: the dreamer, the entrepreneur, the professional manager, and the leader. If it doesn't, it risks becoming yet another mediocre corporation.
Howard Schultz (Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time)
Who will deny that true religion consists, in a great measure, in vigorous and lively actings of the inclination and will of the soul, or the fervent exercises of the heart? That religion which God requires, and will accept, does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless, wishes, raising us but a little above a state of indifference.
Jonathan Edwards
There are no more deserts. There are no more islands. Yet there is a need for them. In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion; in order to serve men better, one has to hold them at a distance for a time. But where can one find the solitude necessary to vigor, the deep breath in which the mind collects itself and courage gauges its strength?
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
The atheist, agnostic, or secularist ... should guard against the encroachment of religion in areas where it has no place, and in particular the control of education by religious authority. The attempts to ban the teaching of evolution or other scientific theories -- a feeble echo of medieval church tyranny and hostility to learning, but an echo nonetheless are serious threats to freedom of inquiry and should be vigorously combated.
S.T. Joshi (Atheism: A Reader)
Be grateful for holiness when you find it among churchmen, but do not expect it. As Flannery O’Connor wrote, “All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful. Priests resist it as well as others.
Rod Dreher (How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem)
Adam was snoring vigorously, Luke with dignity and serenity, the servants like a full orchestra..
Thomas B. Costain
Wake up wild one! Your mind is a cageless bird waiting to fly to uncharted lands. Like the phoenix, you'll rise again with renewed vigor, clarity, compassion and insight.
Melody Lee (Moon Gypsy)
To write in plain, vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox.
George Orwell (All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays)
Relying on his own strength and the support of his family and community, Paul faced each stage of his illness with grace—not with bravado or a misguided faith that he would “overcome” or “beat” cancer but with an authenticity that allowed him to grieve the loss of the future he had planned and forge a new one. He cried on the day he was diagnosed. He cried while looking at a drawing we kept on the bathroom mirror that said, “I want to spend all the rest of my days here with you.” He cried on his last day in the operating room. He let himself be open and vulnerable, let himself be comforted. Even while terminally ill, Paul was fully alive; despite physical collapse, he remained vigorous, open, full of hope not for an unlikely cure but for days that were full of purpose and meaning.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
The struggle of the Black people in the United States for emancipation is a component part of the general struggle of al the people of the world against U.S. imperialism, a component part of the contemporary world revolution. I call on the workers, peasants, and revolutionary intellectuals of all countries and all who are willing to fight against U.S. imperialism to take action and extend strong support to the struggle of the Black people in the United States! People of the whole world, unite still more closely and launch a sustained and vigorous offensive against our common enemy, U.S. imperialism, and its accomplices! It can be said with certainty that the complete collapse of colonialism, imperialism, and all systems of exploitation, and the complete emancipation of all the oppressed peoples and nations of the world are not far off.
Mao Zedong
For the first thing a writer should be is - excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it would be better for his health.
Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing)
You're half-dead, yet you have the vigor to philander? I was stabbed, not castrated.
Cheryl Holt (Too Wicked to Wed)
And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness, Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.
Joseph Glanvill
Edison was by far the most successful and, probably, the last exponent of the purely empirical method of investigation. Everything he achieved was the result of persistent trials and experiments often performed at random but always attesting extraordinary vigor and resource. Starting from a few known elements, he would make their combinations and permutations, tabulate them and run through the whole list, completing test after test with incredible rapidity until he obtained a clue. His mind was dominated by one idea, to leave no stone unturned, to exhaust every possibility.
Nikola Tesla
Today the danger of the pro-life position, which I vigorously support, is that it can be frighteningly selective. The rights of the unborn and the dignity of the age-worn are pieces of the same pro-life fabric. We weep at the unjustified destruction of the unborn. Did we also weep when the evening news reported from Arkansas that a black family had been shotgunned out of a white neighborhood. When we laud life and blast abortionists, our credibility as Christians is questionable. On one hand we proclaim the love and anguish, the pain and joy that goes into fashioning a single child. We proclaim how precious each life is to God and should be to us. On the other hand, when it is the enemy that shrieks to heaven with his flesh in flames, we do not weep, we are not shamed; we call for more
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms - up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested - probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. So we are all reincarnations - though short-lived ones. When we die, our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere - as part of a leaf or other human being or drop of dew.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Maybe it’s not metaphysics. Maybe it’s existential. I’m talking about the individual US citizen’s deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we’ve lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it’s all passing away, and so are we, so am I, and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it’s not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than “die,” “pass away,” the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday—’ ‘And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die, and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die, and so on, and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we’re remembered, these’ll last what—a hundred years? two hundred?—and they’ll crumble, and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die, and their offspring, or if I’m cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay, and my urn will decay, and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here, and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire, and we’re all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that’s why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies... is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.
Carroll Quigley
Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds.
Thomas Jefferson
Is that all?” he blurted out. Crowley and Halt exchanged slightly puzzled glances. Then Crowley pursed his lips thoughtfully. “Um…it seems to be…Listed your trainging, mentioned a few achievements, made sure you know which end of an arrow is the sharp part…decided your new name…I think that’s…” Then it seemed that understanding dawned on him and his eyes opened wide. “Of course! You have to have you Silver…whatsis, don ‘t you?” He took hold of the chain that held his own Silver Oakleaf around his throat and shook it lightly. It was a badge of a Graduate Ranger. Then he began to search through his pockets, frowning. “Had it here! Had it here! Where the devil is it…wait. I heard something fall on the boards as I came in! Must have dropped it. Just check outside the front door, will you, Will?” Too stunned to talk, Will rose and went to the door. As he set his hand on the latch, he looked back at the two Rangers, still seated at the table. Crowley made a small shooing motion with the back of his hand, urging him to go outside. Will was still looking back at them when he opened the door and stepped through on the verandah. “Congratulations!” The massive cry went up from at least forty throats. He swung around in shock to find all his friends gathered in the clearing outside around the table laid for a feast, their faces beaming with smiles. Baron Arald, Sir Rodney, Lady Pauline and Master Chubb were all there. So were Jenny and George, his former wardmates. There were a dozen others in the Ranger uniform – men he had met worked with over the past five years. And wonder of wonders, there were Erak and Svengal , bellowing his name and waving their huge axes overhead in his praise. Close by them stood Horace and Gilan, both brandishing their swords overhead as well. It looked like a dangerous section of the crowd to be in, Will thought. After the first concerted shout, people began cheering and calling his name, laughing and waving to him. Halt and Crowley joined him on the verandah. The Commandant was doubled over with laughter. “Oh, if you could have seen yourself!” he wheezed. “Your face! Your face! It was priceless! ‘Is that all?’” He mimicked Will’s plaintive tones and doubled over again. Will tuned to Halt accusingly. His teacher grinned at him. “Your face was a study,” he said. “Do you so that to all apprentices?” Will asked. Halt nodded vigorously. “Every one. Stops them getting a swelled head at the last minute. You have to swear never to let an apprentice in on the secret.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessay sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
William Strunk Jr.
I saw Oberon charge into the fray on a huge black warhorse, glamour swirling around him, and sweep a hand toward the thickest of the fighting. Vines and roots erupted from the ground, coiling around the Iron fey, strangling them or pulling them beneath the earth. Atop a rise, Mab raised her arms, and a savage whirlwind swept across the field, freezing fey solid or impaling them with ice shards. The armies of Summer and Winter howled with renewed vigor and threw themselves at the enemy.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
...there is no real advance in human reason, for what we gain in one direction we lose in another; for all minds start from the same point, and as the time spent in learning what others have thought is so much time lost in learning to think for ourselves, we have more acquired knowledge and less vigor of mind. Our minds like our arms are accustomed to use tools for everything, and to do nothing for themselves.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education)
Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a tempermental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirits back to dust. Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what's next and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station: so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young. When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at 20, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at 80.
Samuel Ullman
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)
SHOW GOOD WILL TO ALL Be fearless and pure; never waiver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve. Realize the truth of the scriptures; learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will purity; avoid malice and pride Then, Arjuna, you will achieve your divine destiny.
Bhagavad Gita
Political writing in our time consists almost entirely of prefabricated phrases bolted together like the pieces of a child's Meccano set. It is the unavoidable result of self-censorship. To write in plain, vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox.
George Orwell (Essays)
This is a book about a very simple idea: where the criminal justice system fails to respond vigorously to violent injury and death, homicide becomes endemic. African Americans have suffered from just such a lack of effective criminal justice, and this, more than anything, is the reason for the nation’s long-standing plague of black homicides.
Jill Leovy (Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America)
Would a musician feel flattered by the loud applause of an audience if he knew that they were nearly all deaf, and that, to conceal their infirmity, they set to work to clap vigorously as soon as ever they saw one or two persons applauding?
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Wisdom of Life (Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer))
[...] the diversity of our opinions, consequently, does not arise from some being endowed with a larger share of reason than others, but solely from this, that we conduct our thoughts along different ways, and do not fix our attention on the same objects. For to be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable of the highest excellences, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided they keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake it.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen. Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty. I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it. Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution. Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine. ...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession. In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
Several yards away – closer to the cathedral’s legendary carved doorways – Anna and St. Clair are standing on top of Point Zéro. It’s been hand-brushed clear of its dusting of snow. Point Zéro is the bronze marker, a star, which designates the official centre of France. There are at least two superstitions about it. One is that anyone who stands on the star will return to France. The other is that you can use it to make a wish. “Wait for it,” Josh says. Lola stands straighter, excited. “No!” “Yes,” Cricket says. I’m the last one in the dark, until – suddenly – it happens. St. Clair removes something from his pocket. And then he gets down on one knee. Anna’s entire body lights with shock and joy and love. She nods a vigorous yes. St. Clair places the ring on her finger. He stands, she throws her arms around him, and they kiss. He spins her in a circle. They kiss again. Deep, hungry, long. And then he turns to us and waves – with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen – clearly aware that we’ve been standing here the whole time.
Stephanie Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3))
No man demands what he desires; each man demands what he fancies he can get. Soon people forget what the man really wanted first; and after a successful and vigorous political life, he forgets it himself. The whole is an extravagant riot of second bests, a pandemonium of pis-aller.
G.K. Chesterton (What's Wrong with the World)
Stories are bulls. Writers come of age full of vigor, and they feel the need to drive the old stories from the herd. One bull rules the herd awhile but then he loses his vigor and the young bulls take over. Stories are nations, empires. They can last as long as ancient Rome or as short as the Third Reich. Story-nations rise and decline. Governments change, trends rise, and they go on conquering their neighbors. Stories are people. I'm a story, you're a story . . . your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we're lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we're less alone.
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
When I got home I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of traffic on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and looked at the glare of the big angry city hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut. Far off the banshee wail of police or fire sirens rose and fell, never for very long completely silent. Twenty four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes, people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were being beaten, robbed, strangled, raped, and murdered. People were hungry, sick; bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness. It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. I didn't have one. I didn't care. I finished the drink and went to bed.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye)
Whenever I hear people talking about "liberal ideas," I am always astounded that men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive. The proper place for liberality is in the realm of the emotions.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It drops us into a vigorous current, a constant state of misguided control. The doomed generation takes a final step forward, ignoring all the signs that state the obvious, and leaps into a trip no drug known to man could ever encompass.
Hunter S. Thompson
It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed...the habits of a vigorous mind are formed contending with difficulties. All history will convince you of this, and that wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues.
Abigail Adams
The web of hypocrisy of today hangs on the frontiers of two domains, between which our time swings back and forth, attaching its fine threads of deception and self-deception. No longer vigorous enough to serve morality without doubt or weakening, not yet reckless enough to live wholly to egoism, it trembles now toward the one and now toward the other in the spider-web of hypocrisy, and, crippled by the curse of halfness, catches only miserable, stupid flies.
Max Stirner (The Ego and Its Own)
The reason the founders chafed at the idea of an American standing army and vested the power of war making in the cumbersome legislature was not to disadvantage us against future enemies, but to disincline us toward war as a general matter... With citizen-soldiers, with the certainty of a vigorous political debate over the use of a military subject to politicians' control, the idea was for us to feel it- uncomfortably- every second we were at war. But after a generation or two of shedding the deliberate political encumbrances to war that they left us... war making has become almost an autonomous function of the American state. It never stops.
Rachel Maddow (Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power)
It is natural to feel happy when you achieve something, or when somebody appreciates your efforts. But try to recall something out of the ordinary that made you feel complete.
Prem Jagyasi
Integrity is unity of the personality; it implies being brutally honest with ourselves about our intentionality. Since intentionality is inextricably bound up with the daimonic, this is never an easy, nor always pleasant pursuit. But being willing to admit our daimonic tendencies - to know them consciously and to wisely oversee them - brings with it the invaluable blessing of freedom, vigor, inner strength, and self-acceptance.
Stephen A. Diamond (Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic)
There was something alike terrifying and piteous in the spectacle of these frail old morsels of humanity consecrating their last flickering energies to the task of making each other wretched. Hatred seemed to be the one faculty which had survived in undiminished vigor where all else was dropping into ordered and symmetrical decay.
Saki (The Chronicles of Clovis)
I suppose next time I come home I shall find you wearing false moustaches—or are you doing so now?' Poirot winced. His moustaches had always been his sensitive point. He was inordinately proud of them. My words touched him on the raw. 'No, no, indeed, mon ami. That day, I pray the good God, is still far off. The false moustaches! Quelle Horreur!’ He tugged at them vigorously to assure me of their genuine character. 'Well, they are very luxuriant still,' I said. 'N’est-ce pas? Never, in the whole of London, have I seen a pair of moustaches to equal mine.' A good job too, I thought privately.
Agatha Christie (The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot, #13))
You’re going to make your lip bleed, biting it like that,” he said. “I’m feeling . . . kind of nervous.” “I can see that. Would it help if I held your hand?” I shook my head vigorously. No, it would make things worse, you idiot! Quite apart from the fact that I’m at a total loss to understand the way you’re treating me now, anyway! Not to mention our relationship in general. What’s more, Mr. Whitman is looking at us like some kind of know-it-all squirrel! I almost groaned aloud. Would I feel any better if I told him any of what I was thinking? I thought about doing just that for a moment, but I didn’t.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
Gillette--The best a man can get." I stared at the screen. What happened to me? I was meant to be one of those guys, vigorous and athletic and successful and, most of all, American. I was going to walk on the moon, be a movie star or a rock got or a comedian. I was going to have an amazing life and kids with Helen and die like Chaplin a thousand years from now in my Beverly Hills mansion surrounded by my adoring family, with the grieving world media standing by. Instead, I was just another show-business mediocrity. A drunk who shat his pants and ran for help. My life had been careless and selfish. Pleasure in the moment was my only thought, my solitary motivation. I had disappointed whoever had been foolish enough to love me, and left them scarred. I was a very long way from being the best a man can get.
Craig Ferguson (American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot)
A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred millions. Tell this to a man free from superstition and he will fail to grasp what these words mean. What does it mean that thirty thousand men, not athletes but rather weak and ordinary people, have subdued two hundred million vigorous, clever, capable, and freedom-loving people?
Leo Tolstoy (A Letter to a Hindu)
TEN RULES FOR WINNING THE GAME OF CONFIDENCE The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later. Genuine confidence is not the absence of fear; it is a transformed relationship with fear. Negative thoughts are normal. Don’t fight them; defuse them. Self-acceptance trumps self-esteem. True success is living by your values. Hold your values lightly, but pursue them vigorously. Don’t obsess about the outcome; get passionate about the process. Don’t fight your fear: allow it, befriend it, and channel it. Failure hurts—but if we’re willing to learn, it’s a wonderful teacher. The key to peak performance is total engagement in the task.
Russ Harris (The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt)
I grieve to leave Thornfield: I love Thornfield - I love it, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life, -momentarily at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright and energetic, and high. I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence; with what I delight in, -with an original, a vigorous, an expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you for ever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
If anything is horrible, if there is a reality that surpasses our worst dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of manly vigor, to have health and joy, to laugh heartily, to rush toward a glory that lures you on, to feel lungs that breathe, a heart that beats, a mind that thinks, to speak, to hope, to love; to have mother, wife, children, to have sunlight, and suddenly, in less time than it takes to cry out, to plunge into an abyss, to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed, to see the heads of grain, the flowers, the leaves, the branches, unable to catch hold of anything, to feel your sword useless, men under you, horses over you, to struggle in vain, your bones broken by some kick in the darkness, to feel a heel gouging your eyes out of their sockets, raging at the horseshoe between your teeth, to stifle, to howl, to twist, to be under all this, and to say, ‘Just then I was a living man!
Victor Hugo
Toward the back of the small property, Twentymile Creek flows through a ravine two to three feet deep and three times as wide. The waters of the creek, high and vigorous from recent rains, purl noisily around stones bearded with green moss and swatched with lichen. There she finds the body, stretched across the frothing stream.
Hank Quense (The King Who Disappeared)
It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed,” Abigail Adams wrote to her son John Quincy Adams in the midst of the American Revolution, suggesting that “the habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Leadership: In Turbulent Times)
Crowds exhibit a docile respect for force, And are but slightly impressed by kindness, Which for them is scarcely other than a form of weakness. Their sympathies have never been bestowed upon easy going masters, but the tyrants who vigorously oppressed them. It is to these latter that they always erect the loftiest statues. It is true that they willingly trample on the despot whom they have stripped of his power, but it is because having lost his power he resumes his place among the feeble who are to be despised because they are not to be feared. The type of hero dear to a crowd will always have the semblance of a Caesar, His insignia attract them, His authority overawes them, and his sword instils them with fear.
Gustave Le Bon (The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind)
You are no ruin, sir—no lightning-struck tree: you are green and vigorous. Plants will grow about your roots, whether you ask them or not, because they take delight in your bountiful shadow; and as they grow they will lean towards you, and wind round you, because your strength offers them so safe a prop.
Jane Eyre
You could knock,” Trey said. Brian paused in the bedroom’s doorway holding his towel around his waist. Standing before the long dresser, Trey wrapped his arms around the thin young man in front of him and plastered his body to the guy’s back. Trey’s hand slid up under the hem of his new friend’s T-shirt. The guy’s eyes widened and he caught Trey’s hands in his. “H-hey, Master Sinclair, erm, Brian. Can I call you Brian?” Brian shrugged and the guy flushed. “This isn’t what it looks like. I don’t like guys or anything.” He shook his head vigorously. “You will,” Trey murmured, inching the guy’s shirt further up his belly. “Trey, are you molesting virgins again?” Brian grinned at his best friend’s delight with his latest conquest.
Olivia Cunning (Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour, #1))
When a belief vanishes, there survives it -- more and more vigorously so as to cloak the absence of the power, now lost to us, of imparting reality to new things -- a fetishistic attachment to the old things which it did once animate, as if it was in them and not in ourselves that the divine spark resided, and as if our present incredulity had a contingent cause -- the death of the gods.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
So then the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association merged to create the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which personally I think is rather a mouthful,' Adelaide said as she set down her wineglass. 'I'm sure others have much shorter terms,' the doctor said, sawing into his steak with more vigor than necessary. 'Such as?' Grace asked. 'There are plenty who just call us bitches, dear.
Mindy McGinnis (A Madness So Discreet)
TODAY I THINK MY RELATIONSHIP WITH HELL IS OVER. It was hell, the ancient hell. Hell: I believed that if I loved V enough, we would love each other. All I know is that I’ve been returned to earth violently; I’ve a duty to myself to survive and to see what is. I have to deal with the truth, with nothing else. Did V’s charity to me almost cause my death? I, starving, fed on the dream that V loved me and I lived a lie. So forgive me, You who knows that only truth matters. Yes—this dawn is at best difficult. The blood he let out of my skin, now dried and stiff, hurts me and there’s nothing else in my life but memories of him. Mental war is constant. Nonetheless, this is the eve before the morning. May I accept the influxes of vigor and whatever real tenderness floats by in these barren waters. And when dawn comes, armed with my patience which burns, I shall see the cities of humans which are splendid. The imagination is nothing unless it is made actual.
Kathy Acker (In Memoriam to Identity)
But tears were not the things to find their way to Mr. Bumble’s soul; his heart was waterproof. Like washable beaver hats that improve with rain, his nerves were rendered stouter and more vigorous, by showers of tears, which, being tokens of weakness, and so far tacit admissions of his own power, pleased and exalted him.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
One of the greatest glories of growing older is the willingness to ask why and, getting no good answer, deciding to follow my own inclinations and desires. Asking why is the way to wisdom. Why are we supposed to want possessions we don't need and work that seems beside the point and tight shoes and a fake tan? Why are we supposed to think new is better than old, youth and vigor better than long life and experience? Why are we supposed to turn our backs on those who have preceded us and to snipe at those who come after? When we were small children we asked 'Why?' constantly. Asking the question now is more a matter of testing the limits of what sometimes seems a narrow world. One of the useful things about age is realizing conventional wisdom is often simply inertia with a candy coating conformity.
Anna Quindlen (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake)
Beethoven introduced us to anger. Haydn taught us capriciousness, Rachmaninoff melancholy. Wagner was demonic. Bach was pious. Schumann was mad, and because his genius was able to record his fight for sanity, we heard what isolation and the edge of lunacy sounded like. Liszt was lusty and vigorous and insisted that we confront his overwhelming sexuality as well as our own. Chopin was a poet, and without him we never would have understood what night was, what perfume was, what romance was.
Doris Mortman (The Wild Rose)
It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.
John Adams
... Have you ever reflected that posterity may not be the faultless dispenser of justice that we dream of? One consoles oneself for being insulted and denied, by reyling on the equity of the centuries to come; just as the faithful endure all the abominations of this earth in the firm belief of another life, in which each will be rewarded according to his deserts. But suppose Paradise exists no more for the artist than it does for the Catholic, suppose that future generations prolong the misunderstanding and prefer amiable little trifles to vigorous works! Ah! What a sell it would be, eh? To have led a convict's life - to have screwed oneself down to one's work - all for a mere delusion!... "Bah! What does it matter? Well, there's nothing hereafter. We are even madder than the fools who kill themselves for a woman. When the earth splits to pieces in space like a dry walnut, our works won't add one atom to its dust.
Émile Zola
We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-cost with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.
Henry David Thoreau
The solutions are obvious. Stop making excuses. Stop saying women run publishing. Stop justifying the lack of parity in prominent publications that have the resources to address gender inequity. Stop parroting the weak notiong that you're simply publishing the best writing, regardless. There is ample evidence of the excellence of women writers. Publish more women writers. If women aren't submitting to your publication or press, ask yourself why, deal with the answers even if those answers make you uncomfortable, and then reach out to women writers. If women don't respond to your solicitations, go find other women. Keep doing that, issue after issue after issue. Read more widely. Create more inclusive measures of excellence. Ensure that books by mean and women are being reviewed in equal numbers. Nominate more deserving women for the important awards. Deal with your resentment. Deal with your biases. Vigorously resist the urge to dismiss the gender problem. Make the effort and make the effort and make the effort until you no longer need to, until we don't need to keep having this conversation. Change requires intent and effort. It really is that simple.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)
When those who are responsible for the leadership of State begin to move in villainous ways; when they begin to destroy the fabric of what it is that our nation is held together with; when they violate the Constitution of our nation and begin to do things that are false to our dreams and our hopes--it is incumbent upon every citizen by right, but also by responsibility, to challenge that administration, to raise their voice in vigorous dissent and to challenge the way in which the state is doing business. And those who fail to do that, should be charged with patriotic treason!
Theodore Roosevelt
I went about the job in a direct way. I took the hatchet in both my hands and vigorously beat the fish on the head with the hammerhead (I still didn’t have the stomach to use the sharp edge). The dorado did the most extraordinary thing as it died: it began to flash all kinds of colours in rapid succession. Blue, green, red, gold, and violet flickered and shimmered neon-like on its surface as it struggled. I felt I was beating a rainbow to death.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
A few weeks later, I’m in a fluorescent-lit classroom in Chelsea awaiting the start of the official Mensa test. I’m sitting next to a guy who’s doing a series of elaborate neck stretches, like we’re about to engage in a vigorous rugby match. He’s neatly laid out four types of gum on his Formica desk: Juicy Fruit, Wrigley Spearmint, Big Red, and Eclipse. I hate this guy. I hope to God he’s not a genius.
A.J. Jacobs (The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World)
One fast more or I'm gone', I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline you take, or Peyote goop up with-- That feeling when you wake up with the delirium tremens with the fear of eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being a bent back mudman monster groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden nowhere, the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up to your waist in a giant pan of greasy brown dishwater not a trace of suds left in it--The face of yourself you see in the mirror with its expression of unbearable anguish so hagged and awful with sorrow you can't even cry for a thing so ugly, so lost, no connection whatever with early perfection and therefore nothing to connect with tears or anything: it's like William Seward Burroughs' 'Stranger' suddenly appearing in your place in the mirror- Enough! 'One fast move or I'm gone' so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back into the hairy brain, take a shower in the hall, new T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run out throwing the key on the desk and hit the cold street...I've got to escape or die...
Jack Kerouac
Suffering is the nature of this world. It is the golden standard by which all things are measured. It is not happiness that sets the bar, but agony. Even happiness cannot be fully recognized without the right measure of misery to contrast its borders. Suffering magnifies hunger-exhaustion-prods you to move when prosperity is just a dream out of reach. It is the mortal twin of eternal hope. How you respond to its touch molds you, shapes your future as it rains down oppression like fire over your shoulders. Deception. It laid over my world like a bruise. Covered it so completely I bought the lie that the shadow offered and found comfort nestled in its thorny arms. I walked the trail it dusted with breadcrumb, walked in the slip noose it had skillfully wove and dove off the cliff without realizing- willingly, with vigor. Heartbreak. There is no bigger void, no darker shade of soot- no ache more unstoppable than that of a broken heart. A heart in pieces can very much kill you-without love’s healing touch, you will surely die. They say time heals all wounds. They lied.
Addison Moore (Expel (Celestra, #6))
Someone asked the other day, "Why do we go to school?" Pat, with vigor unusual in her, said, "So when we grow up we won't be stupid." These children equate stupidity with ignorance. Is this what they mean when they call themselves stupid? Is this one of the reasons why they are so ashamed of not knowing something? If so, have we, perhaps un-knowingly, taught them to feel this way? We should clear up this distinction, show them that it is possible to know very few facts, but make very good use of them. Conversely, one can know many facts and still act stupidly. The learned fool is by no means rare in this country.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail)
A new civil rights movement cannot be organized around the relics of the earlier system of control if it is to address meaningfully the racial realities of our time. Any racial justice movement, to be successful, must vigorously challenge the public consensus that underlies the prevailing system of control. Nooses, racial slurs, and overt bigotry are widely condemned by people across the political spectrum; they are understood to be remnants of the past, no longer reflective of the prevailing public consensus about race. Challenging these forms of racism is certainly necessary, as we must always remain vigilant, but it will do little to shake the foundations of the current system of control. The new caste system, unlike its predecessors, is officially colorblind. We must deal with it on its own terms.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
For years now, I have waited to grow up. The truth, that I've learned, is that age has no reality except in the physical world. Our essence, of being human, is resistant to the passage of time. Our core and inner selves can remain eternal. Which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we thought we were in full bloom. As for me, I'm still quite a child inside..
José N. Harris
I think it is effective to constrict your anus 100 times, dent your navel 100 times in succession everyday. You can do so at a boring meeting or in a subway without being noticed for you to do so. I have known 70 year old man who has practiced it for 20 years. As a result, he has good complexion and has grown 20 years younger. His eyes sparkle. He is full of vigor, happiness, and joy. He has neither complained nor born a grudge under any circumstance.
Hiroyuki Nishigaki (How to Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way?)
I feel compelled to make another 'nonapology.' Many readers are likely to be concerned about my use of masculine pronouns in relation to God. I think I both understand and appreciate this concern. It is a matter to which I have given much thought. I have generally been a strong supporter of the women's movement and action that is reasonable to combat sexist language. But first of all, God is not neuter. He is exploding with life and love and even sexuality of a sort. So 'It' is not appropriate. Certainly I consider God androgynous. He is as gentle and tender and nurturing and maternal as any woman could ever be. Nonetheless, culturally determined though it may be, I subjectively experience His reality as more masculine than feminine. While He nurtures us, He also desires to penetrate us, and while we more often than not flee from His love like a reluctant virgin, He chases after us with a vigor in the hunt that we most typically associate with males. As CS Lewis put it, in relation to God we are all female. Moreover, whatever our gender or conscious theology, it is our duty---our obligation---in response to His love to attempt to give birth, like Mary, to Christ in ourselves and in others. "I shall, however, break with tradition and use the neuter for Satan. While I know Satan to be lustful to penetrate us, I have not in the least experienced this desire as sexual or creative---only hateful and destructive. It is hard to determine the sex of a snake.
M. Scott Peck (People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil)
We are giving the world back to man, and man back to himself. Man shall no longer be vile, but noble. We shall not destroy his mind in return for an immortal soul. Without a free, vigorous and creative mind, man is but an animal, and he will die like an animal, without any shred of a soul. We return to man his arts, his literature, his sciences, his independence to think and feel as an individual, not to be bound to dogma like a slave, to rot in his chains.
Irving Stone (The Agony and the Ecstasy)
For books are not absolutely dead things, but ...do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous Dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men....Yet on the other hand unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, God's Image; but he who destroys a good Book, kills reason itself, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
John Milton (Areopagitica)
What belonged to Jack McKenna belonged only to Jack McKenna, and the pussy he was feverishly sucking on was definitely his. He went in for the kill then, sucking her clit firmly and vigorously, growling low in his throat as she bucked up beneath him. On a loud groan she burst, her legs violently trembling as her nipples stabbed up and she drenched his mouth with her sweet climax. He lapped it all up, gluttonously sucking at her hole to get every drop of liquid her cunt had made for him... "MINE," Jack murmured, causing her to seek out his gaze. "This pussy is ALL mine, baby.
Jaid Black (The Possession (Possession / Addiction, #1))
Concentrate on sharpening your memory and peeling your sensibility. Cut every page you write by at least one third. Stop constructing those piffling little similes of yours. Work out what it is you want to say. Then say it in the most direct and vigorous way you can. Eat meat. Drink blook. Give up your social life and don't think you can have friends. Rise in the quiet hours of the night and prick your fingertips and use the blood for ink; that will cure you of persiflage!
Hilary Mantel (Giving Up the Ghost)
Our democracy cannot survive its current downward drift into tribalism, extremism, and seething resentment. Today it’s “us versus them” in America. Politics is little more than blood sport. As a result, our willingness to believe the worst about everyone outside our own bubble is growing, and our ability to solve problems and seize opportunities is shrinking. We have to do better. We have honest differences. We need vigorous debates. Healthy skepticism is good. It saves us from being too naive or too cynical. But it is impossible to preserve democracy when the well of trust runs completely dry.
Bill Clinton (The President Is Missing)
I AM come of a race noted for vigor of fancy and ardor of passion. Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence--whether much that is glorious--whether all that is profound--does not spring from disease of thought--from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil. They penetrate, however, rudderless or compassless into the vast ocean of the "light ineffable", and again, like the adventures of the Nubian geographer, "agressi sunt mare tenebrarum, quid in eo esset exploraturi". We will say then, that I am mad.
Edgar Allan Poe (Eleonora)
The colonization of the Southern economy by capitalists from the North gave lynching its most vigorous impulse. If Black people, by means of terror and violence, could remain the most brutally exploited group within the swelling ranks of the working class, the capitalists could enjoy a double advantage. Extra profits would result from the superexploitation of Black labor, and white workers’ hostilities toward their employers would be defused. White workers who assented to lynching necessarily assumed a posture of racial solidarity with the white men who were really their oppressors. This was a critical moment in the popularization of racist ideology.
Angela Y. Davis (Women, Race, & Class)
One of the most memorably unexpected events I experienced in the course of doing this book came in a dissection room at the University of Nottingham in England when a professor and surgeon named Ben Ollivere (about whom much more in due course) gently incised and peeled back a sliver of skin about a millimeter thick from the arm of a cadaver. It was so thin as to be translucent. “That,” he said, “is where all your skin color is. That’s all that race is—a sliver of epidermis.” I mentioned this to Nina Jablonski when we met in her office in State College, Pennsylvania, soon afterward. She gave a nod of vigorous assent. “It is extraordinary how such a small facet of our composition is given so much importance,” she said. “People act as if skin color is a determinant of character when all it is is a reaction to sunlight. Biologically, there is actually no such thing as race—nothing in terms of skin color, facial features, hair type, bone structure, or anything else that is a defining quality among peoples. And yet look how many people have been enslaved or hated or lynched or deprived of fundamental rights through history because of the color of their skin.
Bill Bryson (The Body: A Guide for Occupants)
Every now and then, I’m lucky enough to teach a kindergarten or first-grade class. Many of these children are natural-born scientists - although heavy on the wonder side and light on scepticism. They’re curious, intellectually vigorous. Provocative and insightful questions bubble out of them. They exhibit enormous enthusiasm. I’m asked follow-up questions. They’ve never heard of the notion of a ‘dumb question’. But when I talk to high school seniors, I find something different. They memorize ‘facts’. By and large, though, the joy of discovery, the life behind those facts, has gone out of them. They’ve lost much of the wonder, and gained very little scepticism. They’re worried about asking ‘dumb’ questions; they’re willing to accept inadequate answers; they don’t pose follow-up questions; the room is awash with sidelong glances to judge, second-by-second, the approval of their peers.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
The wild. I have drunk it, deep and raw, and heard it's primal, unforgettable roar. We know it in our dreams, when our mind is off the leash, running wild. 'Outwardly, the equivalent of the unconscious is the wilderness: both of these terms meet, one step even further on, as one,' wrote Gary Snyder. 'It is in vain to dream of a wildness distinct from ourselves. There is none such,' wrote Thoreau. 'It is the bog in our brains and bowls, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires the dream.' And as dreams are essential to the psyche, wildness is to life. We are animal in our blood and in our skin. We were not born for pavements and escalators but for thunder and mud. More. We are animal not only in body but in spirit. Our minds are the minds of wild animals. Artists, who remember their wildness better than most, are animal artists, lifting their heads to sniff a quick wild scent in the air, and they know it unmistakably, they know the tug of wildness to be followed through your life is buckled by that strange and absolute obedience. ('You must have chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star,' wrote Nietzsche.) Children know it as magic and timeless play. Shamans of all sorts and inveterate misbehavers know it; those who cannot trammel themselves into a sensible job and life in the suburbs know it. What is wild cannot be bought or sold, borrowed or copied. It is. Unmistakeable, unforgettable, unshamable, elemental as earth and ice, water, fire and air, a quitessence, pure spirit, resolving into no contituents. Don't waste your wildness: it is precious and necessary.
Jay Griffiths (Wild: An Elemental Journey)
She said that her grandmother was skeptical of many things in this world and of none more than men. She said that in every trade save war men of talent and vigor prosper. In war they die. Her grandmother spoke to her often of men and she spoke with great earnestness and she said that rash men were a great temptation to women and this was simply a misfortune like others and there was little that could be done to remedy it. She said that to be a woman was to live a life of difficulty and heartbreak and those who said otherwise simply had no wish to face the facts. And she said that since this was so nor could it be altered one was better to follow one’s heart in joy and in misery than simply to seek comfort for there was none. To seek it was only to welcome in the misery and to know little else. She said that these were things all women knew yet seldom spoke of. Lastly she said that if women were drawn to rash men it was only that in their secret hearts they knew that a man who would not kill for them was of no use at all.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
...When our thoughts revolve we are so often deceived into supposing that their violent movement is an indication of their vigorous originality, the upheaval of prejudice and fixed ideas, when all the time it is more likely that the machine which contains them is only an elaborate cement-mixer, and when the thinking is finished, those whirling thoughts are smoothed into the unchanged conventional mould and seeing them set solid enough to dance, to build, to travel upon, we would never dream of their first deceit, of the hope once roused by their apparently violent reorganisation...
Janet Frame (Towards Another Summer)
Resilient strength is the opposite of helplessness. The tree is made strong and resilient by its grounded root system. These roots take nourishment from the ground and grow strong. Grounding also allows the tree to be resilient so that it can yield to the winds of change and not be uprooted. Springiness is the facility to ground and ‘unground’ in a rhythmical way. This buoyancy is a dynamic form of grounding. Aggressiveness is the biological ability to be vigorous and energetic, especially when using instinct and force. In the immobility (traumatized) state, these assertive energies are inaccessible. The restoration of healthy aggression is an essential part in the recovery from trauma. Empowerment is the acceptance of personal authority. It derives from the capacity to choose the direction and execution of one’s own energies. Mastery is the possession of skillful techniques in dealing successfully with threat. Orientation is the process of ascertaining one’s position relative to both circumstance and environment. In these ways the residue of trauma is renegotiated.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
Regardless of what you do, your body is the subject of public discourse with family, friends, and strangers alike. Your body is subject to commentary when you gain weight, lose weight, or maintain your unacceptable weight. People are quick to offer you statistics and information about the dangers of obesity, as if you are not only fat but also incredibly stupid, unaware, delusional about the realities of your body and a world that is vigorously inhospitable to that body. This commentary is often couched as concern, as people only having your best interests at heart. They forget that you are a person. You are your body, nothing more, and your body should damn well become less.
Roxane Gay (Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body)
. . . we come astonishingly close to the mystical beliefs of Pythagoras and his followers who attempted to submit all of life to the sovereignty of numbers. Many of our psychologists, sociologists, economists and other latter-day cabalists will have numbers to tell them the truth or they will have nothing. . . . We must remember that Galileo merely said that the language of nature is written in mathematics. He did not say that everything is. And even the truth about nature need not be expressed in mathematics. For most of human history, the language of nature has been the language of myth and ritual. These forms, one might add, had the virtues of leaving nature unthreatened and of encouraging the belief that human beings are part of it. It hardly befits a people who stand ready to blow up the planet to praise themselves too vigorously for having found the true way to talk about nature.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
It's not good, is it?" Galen's reply was convincingly nonchalant. "I've seen worse." "Yes-on a dead man." Galen averted his eyes for a moment before giving a reply. "Don't talk like that." "Sorry." "Don't apologize, either." Steldor gave a wry laugh. "Would you mind telling me what I am allowed to do?" Galen couldn't suppress a smirk, thought it was laced with sadness, as he recognized the beginning of one of their classic bickering contests. "Sure-you can shut your trap." Steldor was smirking, too, then he grimaced, arching his back as unexpected pain shot through him, and new drops of sweat materialized on his forehead. "Steldor-" Galen started, humor lost, reaching toward him with undetermined intent. Steldor smacked his hand away with as much vigor as he could muster. "No," he growled, gritting his teeth. "Ignore it.I don't want to think about it." Galen nodded, thought he looked uneasy. "Just tell me what to do," he said in a small voice. "Tell me to shut my trap again.
Cayla Kluver (Allegiance (Legacy, #2))
At the time of Lewis and Clark, setting the prairies on fire was a well-known signal that meant, ‘Come down to the water.’ It was an extravagant gesture, but we can’t do less. If the landscape reveals one certainty, it is that the extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation. After the extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever fresh vigor. The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look, I see fire: that which isn’t flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Dzieje kultury wykazują, ze głupota jest siostrą bliźniaczą rozumu, ona rośnie najbujniej nie na glebie dziewiczej ignorancji , lecz na gruncie uprawnym siódmym potem doktorów i profesorów. Wielkie absurdy nie są wymyślane przez tych, których rozum krząta się wokół spraw codziennych. Nic dziwnego zatem, że właśnie najintensywniejsi myśliciele bywali producentami największego głupstwa. / The history of culture shows that foolishness is a twin sister of wisdom. It does not flourish on the fields of pure ignorance but on the fields tirelessly plowed by doctors and professors. Great absurdities do not flourish where one is busy with everyday life. No wonder that sometimes most vigorous thinkers come up with utmost stupidities. (Dziennik 1956, XIX, Thursday)
Witold Gombrowicz
There's something I have learned from what I've lived: lf you're to live something, live it to its fullest Your beloved should fall exhausted from your kisses You should fall exhausted from smelling a flower One can watch the sky for hours Can for hours watch the sea, a bird, a child To live on earth is to mingle with it Growing roots that cannot be eradicated When you hug a friend you should hug him vigorously You should fight with all your muscles, body, passion And once you stretch out on the hot sand You should rest like a grain of sand, a leaf, a stone One should listen to all the beautiful music on earth So as to fill all his being with sounds and songs One should dive into life as if Diving from a rock into an emerald sea Distant lands should lure you, people you do not know You should burn with desire to read all the books, to know all the lives You should not exchange for anything the pleasure of drinking a glass of water All the joys should fill you with the yearning to live And you should live grief also, with honor, with all your being For grief also, like joy, matures a person Your blood should mingle with the great circulation of life In your veins must circulate the eternal fresh blood of life There is something I have learned from what I've lived: If you're to live, live big, as if you are mingling with the rivers, the sky, the whole universe For what we call a life span is a gift to life And life is a gift to mankind
Ataol Behramoğlu
Stay." The strangled word, spoken in anguish, tore at her heart, ripped through her resolve. She swiped at the tears raining over her cheeks and slowly turned, forcing the painful truth past her lips. "I can't stay. I can no longer give you what you want. I can't give you a son." Dallas stepped off the veranda and extended a bouquet of wildflowers toward her. "Then stay and give me what I need." Her heart lurched at the abundance of flowers wilting within his smothering grasp. She shook her head vigorously. "You don't need me. There are a dozen eligible women in Leighton who would happily give you a son and within the month there will be at least a dozen more—" "I'll never love any of them as much as I love you. I know that as surely as I know the sun will come up in the morning." Her breath caught, her trembling increased, words lodged in her throat. He loved her? She watched as he swallowed. "I know I'm not an easy man. I don't expect you to ever love me, but if you'll tolerate me, I give you my word that I'll do whatever it takes to make you happy—" Quickly stepping forward, she pressed her shaking fingers against his warm lips. "My God, don't you know that I love you? Why do you think I'm leaving? I'm leaving because I do love you—so much. Dallas, I want you to have your dream, I want you to have your son." Closing his eyes, he laid his roughened hand over hers where it quivered against his lips and pressed a kiss against the heart of her palm. "I can't promise that I won't have days when I'll look toward the horizon and feel the aching emptiness that comes from knowing we'll never have a child to pass our legacy on to…"Opening his eyes, he captured her gaze. "But I know the emptiness you'll leave behind will eat away at me every minute of every day." -Dallas and Dee
Lorraine Heath (Texas Glory (Texas Trilogy, #2))
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Wise Blood has reached the age of ten and is still alive. My critical powers are just sufficient to determine this, and I am gratified to be able to say it. The book was written with zest and, if possible, it should be read that way. It is a comic novel about a Christian malgré lui, and as such, very serious, for all comic novels that are any good must be about matters of life and death. Wise Blood was written by an author congenitally innocent of theory, but one with certain preoccupations. That belief in Christ is to some a matter of life and death has been a stumbling block for some readers who would prefer to think it a matter of no great consequence. For them, Hazel Motes's integrity lies in his trying with such vigor to get rid of the ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of his mind. For the author, Hazel's integrity lies in his not being able to do so. Does one's integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man. Freedom cannot be conceived simply. It is a mystery and one which a novel, even a comic novel, can only be asked to deepen. (Preface to second edition, 1962)
Flannery O'Connor (3 by Flannery O'Connor: The Violent Bear It Away / Everything That Rises Must Converge / Wise Blood)
For the purposes of science, information had to mean something special. Three centuries earlier, the new discipline of physics could not proceed until Isaac Newton appropriated words that were ancient and vague—force, mass, motion, and even time—and gave them new meanings. Newton made these terms into quantities, suitable for use in mathematical formulas. Until then, motion (for example) had been just as soft and inclusive a term as information. For Aristotelians, motion covered a far-flung family of phenomena: a peach ripening, a stone falling, a child growing, a body decaying. That was too rich. Most varieties of motion had to be tossed out before Newton’s laws could apply and the Scientific Revolution could succeed. In the nineteenth century, energy began to undergo a similar transformation: natural philosophers adapted a word meaning vigor or intensity. They mathematicized it, giving energy its fundamental place in the physicists’ view of nature. It was the same with information. A rite of purification became necessary. And then, when it was made simple, distilled, counted in bits, information was found to be everywhere.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
The justification I hear more often than any other for leaving the Bible behind is that “everyone knows” it is antiquated and full of scientific nonsense, if not blatant errors and contradictions. Amazingly, when I ask people to cite examples, many cannot bring to mind even one. Apparently, they base their opinion on hearsay and repeat a widespread misconception. Among those who do answer my question, one Bible portion draws more vigorous attack than all others combined: the first few chapters of Genesis. This attack opens a wonderful door of opportunity for me—and for every believer who knows something about the scientific discoveries of the past few decades. Instead of offering an excuse for disbelief and rejection, these chapters present some of the most persuasive evidences ever assembled for the supernatural authorship, accuracy, and authority of the Bible.
Hugh Ross (Navigating Genesis: A Scientist's Journey through Genesis 1–11)
When I was a boy of seven or eight I read a novel untitled "Abafi" — The Son of Aba — a Servian translation from the Hungarian of Josika, a writer of renown. The lessons it teaches are much like those of "Ben Hur," and in this respect it might be viewed as anticipatory of the work of Wallace. The possibilities of will-power and self-control appealed tremendously to my vivid imagination, and I began to discipline myself. Had I a sweet cake or a juicy apple which I was dying to eat I would give it to another boy and go through the tortures of Tantalus, pained but satisfied. Had I some difficult task before me which was exhausting I would attack it again and again until it was done. So I practiced day by day from morning till night. At first it called for a vigorous mental effort directed against disposition and desire, but as years went by the conflict lessened and finally my will and wish became identical.
Nikola Tesla
If tribulation is a necessary element in the redemption we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable. A Christian cannot, therefore, believe any of those who promise that if only some reform in our economic, political, or hygienic system were made, a heaven on earth would follow. This might seem to have a discouraging effect on the social worker, but it is not found in practice to discourage him. On the contrary, a strong sense of our common miseries, simply as men, is at least as good a spur to the removal of all the miseries we can, as any of those wild hopes which tempt men to seek their realisation by breaking the moral law and prove such dust and ashes when they are realised. If applied to individual life, the doctrine that an imagined heaven on earth as necessary for vigorous attempts to remove present evil, would at once reveal its absurdity. Hungry men seek food and sick men healing none the less because they know that after the meal or the cure the ordinary ups and downs of life still await them.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men, and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white to his grave. The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What happened? It took Gibbon six volumes to describe the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, so I shan’t embark on that. But thinking about this almost incredible episode does tell one something about the nature of civilisation. It shows that however complex and solid it seems, it is actually quite fragile. It can be destroyed. 

What are its enemies?
 
Well, first of all fear — fear of war, fear of invasion, fear of plague and famine, that make it simply not worthwhile constructing things, or planting trees or even planning next year’s crops. And fear of the supernatural, which means that you daren’t question anything or change anything. The late antique world was full of meaningless rituals, mystery religions, that destroyed self-confidence. And then exhaustion, the feeling of hopelessness which can overtake people even with a high degree of material prosperity. 

There is a poem by the modern Greek poet, Cavafy, in which he imagines the people of an antique town like Alexandria waiting every day for the barbarians to come and sack the city. Finally the barbarians move off somewhere else and the city is saved; but the people are disappointed — it would have been better than nothing. Of course, civilisation requires a modicum of material prosperity—

What civilization needs:

confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, and confidence in one’s own mental powers. The way in which the stones of the Pont du Gard are laid is not only a triumph of technical skill, but shows a vigorous belief in law and discipline. Vigour, energy, vitality: all the civilisations—or civilising epochs—have had a weight of energy behind them. People sometimes think that civilisation consists in fine sensibilities and good conversations and all that. These can be among the agreeable results of civilisation, but they are not what make a civilisation, and a society can have these amenities and yet be dead and rigid.
Kenneth Clark (Civilisation)
Perhaps we are not following Christ all the way or in the right spirit. We are likely, for example, to be a little sparing of the palms and hosannas. We are chary of wielding the scourge of small cords, lest we should offend somebody or interfere with trade. We do not furnish up our wits to disentangle knotty questions about Sunday observance and tribute money, nor hasten to sit at the feet of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. We pass hastily over disquieting jests about making friends with the mammon of unrighteousness and alarming observations about bringing not peace but a sword; nor do we distinguish ourselves by the graciousness by which we sit at meat with publicans and sinners. Somehow or other, and with the best intentions, we have shown the world the typical Christian in the likeness of a crashing and rather ill-natured bore---and this in the name of the one who assuredly never bored a soul in those thirty-three years during which he passed through the world like a flame. Let us, in heaven's name, drag out the divine drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction. If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much worse for the pious---others will pass into the kingdom of heaven before them. If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like him? We do him singularly little honor by watering down his personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Letters to a Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian Doctrine)
We are afraid of what we will do to others, afraid of the rage that lies in wait somewhere deep in our souls. How many human beings go through the world frozen with rage against life! This deeply hidden inner anger may be the product of hurt pride or of real frustration in office, factory, clinic, or home. Whatever may be the cause of our frozen rage (which is the inevitable mother of depression), the great word of hope today is that this rage can be conquered and drained off into creative channels … …What should we do? We should all learn that a certain amount of aggressive energy is normal and certainly manageable in maturity. Most of us can drain off the excess of our angry feelings and destructive impulses in exercise, in competitive games, or in the vigorous battles against the evils of nature and society. We also must realize that no one will punish us for the legitimate expression of self-assertiveness and creative pugnacity as our parents once punished us for our undisciplined temper tantrums. Furthermore, let us remember that we need not totally repress the angry part of our nature. We can always give it an outlet in the safe realm of fantasy. A classic example of such fantasy is given by Max Beerborn, who made a practice of concocting imaginary letters to people he hated. Sometimes he went so far as to actually write the letters and in the very process of releasing his anger it evaporated. As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of ideas and emotions should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberties to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the majority within our minds? Do I mean that we should hit out at our enemy whenever the mood strikes us? No, I repeat that I am suggesting quite the reverse—self-control in action based upon (positive coping mechanisms such as) self expression in fantasy.
Joshua Loth Liebman (Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature That Can Change Your Life)
The political merchandisers appeal only to the weak­nesses of voters, never to their potential strength. They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government; they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them. For this pur­pose all the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized and set to work. Carefully se­lected samples of the electorate are given "interviews in depth." These interviews in depth reveal the uncon­scious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given so­ciety at the time of an election. Phrases and images aimed at allaying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained. After which the political campaign is ready for the mass communicators. All that is now needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look "sincere." Under the new dispen­sation, political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The person­ality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really mat­ter. In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous. He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience. Inured to television and radio, that audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to con­centrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort. All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefore be short and snappy. The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most -- and prefera­bly (since the audience will be eager to pass on to something a little livelier than inflation or the H-bomb) in sixty seconds flat. The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to over-simplify complex is­sues. From a pulpit or a platform even the most con­scientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth. The methods now being used to merchan­dise the political candidate as though he were a deo­dorant positively guarantee the electorate against ever hearing the truth about anything.
Aldous Huxley
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree.I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during former years may represent the long succession of extinct species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have at all times overmastered other species in the great battle for life. The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was young, budding twigs; and this connection of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants. From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.
Charles Darwin
Having proven that solitary pleasures are as delicious as any others and much more likely to delight, it becomes perfectly clear that this enjoyment, taken in independence of the objectwe employ, is not merely of a nature very remote from what could be pleasurable to thatobject, but is even found to be inimical to that object’s pleasure: what is more, it may becomean imposed suffering, a vexation, or a torture, and the only thing that results from this abuse isa very certain increase of pleasure for the despot who does the tormenting or vexing; let usattempt to demonstrate this.”Voluptuous emotion is nothing but a kind of vibration produced in our soul by shockswhich the imagination, inflamed by the remembrance of a lubricious object, registers uponour senses, either through this object’s presence, or better still by this object’s being exposedto that particular kind of irritation which most profoundly stirs us; thus, our voluptuoustransport Ä this indescribable convulsive needling which drives us wild, which lifts us to thehighest pitch of happiness at which man is able to arrive Ä is never ignited save by twocauses: either by the perception in the object we use of a real or imaginary beauty, the beautyin which we delight the most, or by the sight of that object undergoing the strongest possiblesensation; now, there is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certainand dependable, they never deceive as may those of the pleasure women perpetually feign andalmost never experience; and, furthermore, how much self-confidence, youth, vigor, healthare not needed in order to be sure of producing this dubious and hardly very satisfyingimpression of pleasure in a woman. To produce the painful impression, on the contrary,requires no virtues at all: the more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable,the more resounding his success. With what regards the objective, it will be far more certainlyattained since we are establishing the fact that one never better touches, I wish to say, that onenever better irritates one’s senses than when the greatest possible impression has been produced in the employed object, by no matter what devices; therefore, he who will cause themost tumultuous impression to be born in a woman, he who will most thoroughly convulsethis woman’s entire frame, very decidedly will have managed to procure himself the heaviest possible dose of voluptuousness, because the shock resultant upon us by the impressionsothers experience, which shock in turn is necessitated by the impression we have of thoseothers, will necessarily be more vigorous if the impression these others receive be painful,than if the impression they receive be sweet and mild; and it follows that the voluptuousegoist, who is persuaded his pleasures will be keen only insofar as they are entire, willtherefore impose, when he has it in his power to do so, the strongest possible dose of painupon the employed object, fully certain that what by way of voluptuous pleasure he extractswill be his only by dint of the very lively impression he has produced.
Marquis de Sade
ASANA Now I shall instruct you regarding the nature of asana or seat. Although by 'asana' is generally meant the erect posture assumed in meditation, this is not its central or essential meaning. When I use the word 'asana' I do not mean the various forms of asana’s such as Padmasana, Vajrasana, Svastikasana, or Bhadrasana. By 'asana' I mean something else, and this is what I want to explain to you. First let me speak to you about breath; about the inhaling breath-apana, and the exhaling breath-prana. Breath is extremely important in meditation; particularly the central breath-madhyama-pranan, which is neither prana nor apana. It is the center of these two, the point existing between the inhaling and exhaling breaths. This center point cannot be held by any physical means, as a material object can be held by the hand. The center between the two breaths can be held only by knowledge-jnana – not discursive knowledge, but by knowledge which is awareness. When this central point is held by continuously refreshed awareness – which is knowledge and which is achieved through devotion to the Lord – that is, in the true sense settling into your asana. “On the pathway of your breath maintain continuously refreshed and full awareness on and in the center of breathing in and breathing out. This is internal asana." (Netra Tantra) Asana, therefore, is the gradual dawning in the spiritual aspirant of the awareness which shines in the central point found between inhaling and exhaling. This awareness is not gained by that person who is full of prejudice, avarice, or envy. Such a person, filled with all such negative qualities, cannot concentrate. The prerequisite of this glorious achievement is, therefore, the purification of your internal egoity. It must become pure, clean, and crystal clear. After you have purged your mind of all prejudice and have started settling with full awareness into that point between the two breaths, then you are settling into your asana. “When in breathing in and breathing out you continue to maintain your awareness in continuity on and in the center between the incoming and outgoing breath, your breath will spontaneously and progressively become more and more refined. At that point you are driven to another world. This is pranayama." (Netra Tantra) After settling in the asana of meditation arises the refined practice of pranayama. ‘Pranayama’ does not mean inhaling and exhaling vigorously like a bellow. Like asana, pranayama is internal and very subtle. There is a break less continuity in the traveling of your awareness from the point of asana into the practice of pranayama. When through your awareness you have settled in your asana, you automatically enter into the practice of pranayama. Our Masters have indicated that there are two principle forms of this practice of ‘asana-pranayama’, i.e. cakrodaya and ajapa-gayatri. In the practice of ajapa-gayatri you are to maintain continuously refreshed full awareness-(anusandhana) in the center of two breaths, while breathing in and out slowly and silently. Likewise in the practice of cakrodaya you must maintain awareness, which is continually fresh and new, filled with excitement and vigor, in the center of the two breaths – you are to breathe in and out slowly, but in this case with sound.
Lakshmanjoo
Laden with all these new possessions, I go and sit at a table. And don't ask me what the table was like because this was some time ago and I can't remember. It was probably round." [...] "So let me give you the layout. Me sitting at the table, on my left, the newspaper, on my right, the cup of coffee, in the middle of the table, the packet of biscuits." "I see it perfectly." "What you don't see," said Arthur, "because I haven't mentioned him yet, is the guy sitting at the table already. He is sitting there opposite me." "What's he like?" "Perfectly ordinary. Briefcase. Business suit. He didn't look," said Arthur, "as if he was about to do anything weird." "Ah. I know the type. What did he do?" "He did this. He leaned across the table, picked up the packet of biscuits, tore it open, took one out, and . . ." "What?" "Ate it." "What?" "He ate it." Fenchurch looked at him in astonishment. "What on earth did you do?" "Well, in the circumstances I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do. I was compelled," said Arthur, "to ignore it." "What? Why?" "Well, it's not the sort of thing you're trained for, is it? I searched my soul, and discovered that there was nothing anywhere in my upbringing, experience, or even primal instincts to tell me how to react to someone who has quite simply, calmly, sitting right there in front of me, stolen one of my biscuits." "Well, you could. . ." Fenchurch thought about it. "I must say I'm not sure what I would have done either. So what happened?" "I stared furiously at the crossword," said Arthur, "couldn't do a single clue, took a sip of coffee, it was too hot to drink, so there was nothing for it. I braced myself. I took a biscuit, trying very hard not to notice," he added, "that the packet was already mysteriously open. . ." "But you're fighting back, taking a tough line." "After my fashion, yes. I ate the biscuit. I ate it very deliberately and visibly, so that he would have no doubt as to what it was I was doing. When I eat a biscuit," said Arthur, "it stays eaten." "So what did he do?" "Took another one. Honestly," insisted Arthur, "this is exactly what happened. He took another biscuit, he ate it. Clear as daylight. Certain as we are sitting on the ground." Fenchurch stirred uncomfortably. "And the problem was," said Arthur, "that having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject the second time around. What do you say? 'Excuse me... I couldn't help noticing, er . . .' Doesn't work. No, I ignored it with, if anything, even more vigor than previously." "My man..." "Stared at the crossword again, still couldn't budge a bit of it, so showing some of the spirit that Henry V did on St. Crispin's Day . ." "What?" "I went into the breach again. I took," said Arthur, "another biscuit. And for an instant our eyes met." "Like this?" "Yes, well, no, not quite like that. But they met. Just for an instant. And we both looked away. But I am here to tell you," said Arthur, "that there was a little electricity in the air. There was a little tension building up over the table. At about this time." "I can imagine."” "We went through the whole packet like this. Him, me, him, me . . ." "The whole packet?" "Well, it was only eight biscuits, but it seemed like a lifetime of biscuits we were getting through at this point. Gladiators could hardly have had a tougher time." "Gladiators," said Fenchurch, "would have had to do it in the sun. More physically gruelling." "There is that. So. When the empty packet was lying dead between us the man at last got up, having done his worst, and left. I heaved a sigh of relief, of course. "As it happened, my train was announced a moment or two later, so I finished my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper . . ." "Yes?" "Were my biscuits." "What?" said Fenchurch. "What?" "True." "No!
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