What Is My Life's Purpose Quotes

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If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.
Thomas Merton
My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?
Charles M. Schulz
What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. "My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action." Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is "T-I-M-E.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.
Ronald Reagan
It is at moments like these that I know my what my purpose is in life. I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, to protect you. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return.I am here because there is no other place to be.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
...if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will be the same again.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
This is my secret," he said. "I don't mind what happens.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
My father used to say that life is what you make it. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You can’t change the past, but the future isn’t set in stone. You can effect a change there. Move forward not with hatred or love. Move forward with purpose. (Simone)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness and piety. And my purpose in life-despite what fashion magazines say-is something more sublime than just looking good for men.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about? Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.
Brennan Manning (The Furious Longing of God)
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain. I love you still among these cold things. Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels that cross the sea towards no arrival. I see myself forgotten like those old anchors. The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there. My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose. I love what I do not have. You are so far. My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights. But night comes and starts to sing to me.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
Haven't I? - he thought. Haven't I thought of it since the first time I saw you? Haven't I thought of nothing else for two years? ...He sat motionless, looking at her. He heard the words he had never allowed himself to form, the words he had felt, known, yet had not faced, had hoped to destroy by never letting them be said within his own mind. Now it was as sudden and shocking as if he were saying it to her ...Since the first time I saw you ...Nothing but your body, that mouth of yours, and the way your eyes would look at me, if ...Through every sentence I ever said to you, through every conference you thought so safe, through the importance of all the issues we discussed ...You trusted me, didn't you? To recognize your greatness? To think of you as you deserved - as if you were a man? ...Don't you suppose I know how much I've betrayed? The only bright encounter of my life - the only person I respected - the best business man I know - my ally - my partner in a desperate battle ...The lowest of all desires - as my answer to the highest I've met ...Do you know what I am? I thought of it, because it should have been unthinkable. For that degrading need, which would never touch you, I have never wanted anyone but you ...I hadn't known what it was like, to want it, until I saw you for the first time. I had thought : Not I, I couldn't be broken by it ...Since then ...For two years ...With not a moments respite ...Do you know what it's like, to want it? Would you wish to hear what I thought when I looked at you ...When I lay awake at night ...When I hear your voice over a telephone wire ...When I worked, but could not drive it away? ...To bring you down to things you cant conceive - and to know that it's I who have done it. To reduce you to a body, to teach you an animal's pleasure, to see you need it, to see you asking me for it, to see your wonderful spirit dependent on the upon the obscenity of your need. To watch you as you are, as you face the world with your clean, proud strength - then to see you, in my bed, submitting to any infamous whim I may devise, to any act which I'll preform for the sole purpose of watching your dishonor and to which you'll submit for the sake of an unspeakable sensation ...I want you - and may I be damned for it!
Ayn Rand
Advice to my younger self: 1 Start where you are with what you have 2 Try not to hurt other people 3 Take more chances 4 If you fail, keep trying
Germany Kent
I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate. ”He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.“But I love him.” “So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Natural selection saw to it that professional heroes who at a crucial moment tended to ask themselves questions like 'What is my purpose in life?' very quickly lacked both.
Terry Pratchett (Interesting Times: The Play)
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one's own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage alone a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more. This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it. Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought. Er, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach. Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet? No. Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation … Or is it the wind? There really is a lot of that now isn’t it? And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence. Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Oh, gentlemen, perhaps I really regard myself as an intelligent man only because throughout my entire life I've never been able to start or finish anything. Granted, granted I'm a babbler, a harmless, irksome babbler, as we all are. But what's to be done if the sole and express purpose of every intelligent man is babble--that is, a deliberate pouring from empty into void.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point—ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future? But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?)
You become what you digest into your spirit. Whatever you think about, focus on, read about, talk about, you’re going to attract more of into your life. Make sure they're all positive.
Germany Kent
We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
What is life for? he asks himself. What is my life for?
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
I write to find strength. I write to become the person that hides inside me. I write to light the way through the darkness for others. I write to be seen and heard. I write to be near those I love. I write by accident, promptings, purposefully and anywhere there is paper. I write because my heart speaks a different language that someone needs to hear. I write past the embarrassment of exposure. I write because hypocrisy doesn’t need answers, rather it needs questions to heal. I write myself out of nightmares. I write because I am nostalgic, romantic and demand happy endings. I write to remember. I write knowing conversations don’t always take place. I write because speaking can’t be reread. I write to sooth a mind that races. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand. I write because my emotions belong to the moon; high tide, low tide. I write knowing I will fall on my words, but no one will say it was for very long. I write because I want to paint the world the way I see love should be. I write to provide a legacy. I write to make sense out of senselessness. I write knowing I will be killed by my own words, stabbed by critics, crucified by both misunderstanding and understanding. I write for the haters, the lovers, the lonely, the brokenhearted and the dreamers. I write because one day someone will tell me that my emotions were not a waste of time. I write because God loves stories. I write because one day I will be gone, but what I believed and felt will live on.
Shannon L. Alder
People ask me, 'What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?' and my answer must at once be, 'It is of no use.'There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron... If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.
George Mallory (Climbing Everest: The Complete Writings of George Mallory)
I have come to see clearly that life is more than self. It is more than doing what I want, striving for what will benefit me, dreaming of all I can be. Life is all about my relationship with God. There is no higher calling, no loftier dream, and no greater goal than to live, breathe, and be poured out for Jesus Christ." --Jamie in Brother Andrew's "The Calling
Brother Andrew (The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together)
There are essentially two questions in life - a spiritual question and a material question. The spiritual question is 'Who am I?' The material question is 'What am I to do with my life?' One leads to the other.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw
Of all the questions I have asked my readers this is the most important: What would you do if you weren't afraid? When you finally give wings to that answer then you have found your life's purpose.
Shannon L. Alder
From this moment on I'd dedicate my life to rock and roll and take as many drugs as possible. What could possibly go wrong?
Craig Ferguson (American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot)
So softly Lizzy has to lean over to hear me, I say, 'I can't face the world until I know why I'm here.' You're kidding me.' I shake my head vehemently. 'No. I need to figure out my purpose. Until I do, what's the use of getting up?
Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)
TO what purpose, April, do you return again? Beauty is not enough. You can no longer quiet me with the redness Of little leaves opening stickily. I know what I know. The sun is hot on my neck as I observe The spikes of the crocus. The smell of the earth is good. It is apparent that there is no death. But what does that signify? Not only under ground are the brains of men Eaten by maggots. Life in itself Is nothing, An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs. It is not enough that yearly, down this hill, April Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
At the beginning of the semester, when you asked who I loved the most, an image of my mother popped in my head. When you asked me who I loved the most for the second time, it wasn’t an image of my mother. Instead, it was replaced by an image of a strawberry blonde with big, blue eyes. It took me a long time to figure out the exact moment I fell in love with her, partly because I denied that I did until it was too late. I fucked up so badly and did so many things wrong, to the point of no return, so I let her go. The selfless part inside of me wants to say I did the right thing, and the selfish part of me thinks I made the biggest mistake of my life. I guess the selfless side won out because, every time I look at her and see what I did, I realize I don’t deserve her. I was never supposed to fall in love with her, but that was the best mistake of my life. I will always love her; I have ever since I purposely bumped into her in the hallway.
Sarah Brianne (Nero (Made Men, #1))
If life is not a celebration, why remember it ? If life --- mine or that of my fellow man --- is not an offering to the other, what are we doing on this earth?
Elie Wiesel (Open Heart)
Dear God, what is my purpose of life? What should I do to find it? Once I found it, will I become stronger? ....Oh no, my mind is blank. a strange sound kept ringing in my head. What sound is that...? Ah, I know. It's... The sound of emptiness.
Chica Umino (Honey and Clover, Vol. 6)
Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy. So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
Purpose: A lifetime goal is called a purpose. To identify your purpose, ask yourself “If my age was a hundred today and I looked back at my life, what is it that I want to say is my accomplishment?” The answer is your purpose.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
What I feel for you is contempt. But it's nothing, compared to the contempt I feel for myself. I don't love you. I've never loved anyone. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you. I wanted you as one wants a whore - for the same reason and purpose. I spent two years damning myself, because I thought you were above a desire of this kind. You're not. You're as vile an animal as I am. I should loathe my discovering it. I don't. Yesterday, I would have killed anyone who'd tell me that you were capable of doing what I've had you do. Today, I would give my life not to let it be otherwise. Not to have you be anything but the bitch you are. All the greatness that I saw in you - I would not take it in exchange for the obscenity of your talent at an animal's sensation of pleasure. We were two great beings, you and I, proud of our strength, weren't we? Well this is all that's left of us - and I want no self-deception about it.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
I want to die living. And I want to be remembered as one who lived with purpose, joy and feeling. I want to spend my time learning what goes into a whole and happy life, then building that life the best I can.
Steve Goodier
I want my life to have a purpose. Do you know what I mean?
Alexandra Monir (Timeless (Timeless, #1))
Rough as life can be, I know in my bones we are supposed to stick around and play our part. Even if that part is coughing to death from cigarettes, or being blown up young in a house with your mother watching. And even if it's to be that mother. Someone down the line might need to know you got through it. Or maybe someone you won't see coming will need you. Like a kid who asks you to help him clean motel rooms. Or some ghost who drifts your way, hungry. And good people might even ask you to marry them. And it might be you never know the part you played, what it meant to someone to watch you make your way each day. Maybe someone or something is watching us all make our way. I don't think we get to know why. It is, as Ben would say about most of what I used to worry about, none of my business.
Bill Clegg (Did You Ever Have a Family)
If I do not know the will of my Father, and what He requires of me in a certain transaction, if I ask Him to give me wisdom concerning any requirement in my life, or in regard to my own course, or that of my friends, my family, my children, or those that I preside over, and get no answer from Him, and then do the very best that my judgement will teach me, He is bound to own and honor that transaction, and He will do so to all intents and purposes.
Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses, Volume 3)
I look forward, not to what lies ahead of me in this life and will surely pass away, but to my eternal goal. I am intent upon this one purpose, not distracted by other aims, and with this goal in view I press on, eager for the prize, God's heavenly summons. Then I shall listen to the sound of Your praises and gaze at Your beauty ever present, never future, never past. But now my years are but sighs. You, O Lord, are my only solace. You, my Father, are eternal. But I am divided between time gone by and time to come, and its course is a mystery to me. My thoughts, the intimate life of my soul, are torn this way and that in the havoc of change. And so it will be until I am purified and melted by the fire of Your love and fused into one with You.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
Hey, if you can't remember, don't worry about it. I'm having a few memory problems myself in this place. Little things like how long I've been here, what my purpose in life is, which feet to put my shoes on. Stuff like that.
Eoin Colfer (And Another Thing... (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #6))
I cried because sometimes no matter what you try to hide behind— letters or texts or emails or a busy schedule— life still finds a way to barrel through all the distractions. And life still hurts. Even though it's beautiful.
Hannah Brencher (If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers)
…It’s my fire… Everyone needs to find the one thing that brings out her passion. It’s what we do and share with the world that matters…far too many people die with a heart that’s gone flat with indifference, and it surely must be a terrible way to go. Life will offer us amazing opportunities, but we have got to be wide-awake to recognize them… it’s in that you’ll find your calling in life. That’s where true happiness and purpose lies. You’ll never be fulfilled if you don’t.
Beth Hoffman (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt)
This is my secret,” he said. “I don’t mind what happens.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
What do I know about God and the purpose of life? I know that this world exists. That I am placed in it like my eye in its visual field. That something about it is problematic, which we call its meaning. This meaning does not lie in it but outside of it. That life is the world. That my will penetrates the world. That my will is good or evil. Therefore that good and evil are somehow connected with the meaning of the world.The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God. And connect with this the comparison of God to a father.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Notebooks 1914-1916)
Surely there were others like me, born without an inkling of direction. The wanderers, the amblers, the dabblers, united by our purposeless mantra-I have no idea what to do with my life.
Suzanne Selfors (Coffeehouse Angel)
The question of how to spend my life, of what my life is for, is a question posed only to me, and I can no more delegate the responsibility for answering it than I can delegate the task of dying.
Anthony T. Kronman (Education's End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life)
I want to make my mark,' he says. But what target, I wonder, are you going to hit?
Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof)
It was so quiet, I could hear my own breathing, loud in my ears. Outside, the ocean was crashing, waves hitting sand, then pulling back to sea. I thought of everything being washed away, again and again. We make such messes in this life, both accidentally and on purpose. But wiping the surface clean doesn't really make anything any neater. It just masks what is below. It's only when you really dig down deep, go underground, that you can see who you really are.
Sarah Dessen (What Happened to Goodbye)
Living "in" a story, being part of a narrative, is much more satisfying than living without one. I don't always know what narrative it is, because I'm living my life and not always reflecting on it, but as I edit these pages I am aware that I have an urge to see my sometimes random wandering as having a plot, a purpose guided by some underlying story.
David Byrne (Bicycle Diaries)
The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is 'Do not fear.' It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
GGRRROOCCCCK... Ian's knees buckled. The rock outcropping shook the ground, sending a spew of grayish dust that quickly billowed around them. Shielding his eyes, he spotted Amy standing by the figurine, which was now moving toward her. She was in shock, her backpack on the ground by her feet. "Get back!" he shouted. Ian pulled Amy away and threw her to the ground, landing on top of her. Gravel showered over his back, embedding into his hair and landing on the ground like a burst of applause. His second though was that the shirt would be ruined. And this was the shock of it-that his first thought had not been about the shirt. Or the coin. Or himself. It had been about her. But that was not part of the plan. She existed for a purpose. She was a tactic, a stepping stone. She was... "Lovely," he said. Amy was staring up at him, petrified, her eyelashes flecked with dust. Ian took her hand, which was knotted into a fist. "Y-y-you don't have to do that," she whispered. "Do what?" Ian asked. "Be sarcastic. Say things like 'lovely.' You saved my life. Th-thank you." "My duty," he replied. He lowered his head and allowed his lips to brush hers. Just a bit.
Peter Lerangis (The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues, #3))
Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. The adventure is a metaphysical one: it is a way of approaching life indirectly, of acquiring a total rather than a partial view of the universe. The writer lives between the upper and lower worlds: he takes the path in order eventually to become that path himself. ”I began in absolute chaos and darkness, in a bog or swamp of ideas and emotions and experiences. Even now I do not consider myself a writer, in the ordinary sense of the word. I am a man telling the story of his life, a process which appears more and more inexhaustible as I go on. Like the world-evolution, it is endless. It is a turning inside out, a voyaging through X dimensions, with the result that somewhere along the way one discovers that what one has to tell is not nearly so important as the telling itself. It is this quality about all art which gives it a metaphysical hue, which lifts it out of time and space and centers or integrates it to the whole cosmic process. It is this about art which is ‘therapeutic’: significance, purposefulness, infinitude. ”From the very beginning almost I was deeply aware that there is no goal. I never hope to embrace the whole, but merely to give in each separate fragment, each work, the feeling of the whole as I go on, because I am digging deeper and deeper into life, digging deeper and deeper into past and future. With the endless burrowing a certitude develops which is greater than faith or belief. I become more and more indifferent to my fate, as writer, and more and more certain of my destiny as a man.
Henry Miller (Henry Miller on Writing)
As for me: I loyally remained right where I was, remembering the very first I had ever seen the boy and then just now, the very last time-and all the times in between. The deep aching grief I knew I would feel would come soon enough, but at that moment mostly what I felt was peace, secure in the knowledge that by living my life the way I had, everything had come down to this moment. I had fulfilled my purpose.
W. Bruce Cameron
You have to choose your path. You have to decide what you wish to do. You are the only person that can determine your destiny.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Thus I must contradict you when you go on to argue that men are completely unable to do without the consolation of the religious illusion, that without it they could not bear the troubles of life and the cruelties of reality. That is true, certainly, of the men into whom you have instilled the sweet -- or bitter-sweet -- poison from childhood onwards. But what of the other men, who have been sensibly brought up? Perhaps those who do not suffer from the neurosis will need no intoxicant to deaden it. They will, it is true, find themselves in a difficult situation. They will have to admit to themselves the full extent of their helplessness and their insignificance in the machinery of the universe; they can no longer be the centre of creation, no longer the object of tender care on the part of a beneficent Providence. They will be in the same position as a child who has left the parental house where he was so warm and comfortable. But surely infantilism is destined to be surmounted. Men cannot remain children for ever; they must in the end go out into 'hostile life'. We may call this 'education to reality. Need I confess to you that the whole purpose of my book is to point out the necessity for this forward step?
Sigmund Freud (The Future of an Illusion)
I am at your service, my lady," I said, standing and releasing her hand. For the first time in my life I understood the true purpose of this sort of formal greeting. It gives you a script to follow when you have absolutely no idea what to say.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction. There were things I wanted in my life that no amount of positive thinking was going to make it a reality for me. However, I have learned to believe in the Law of Tough Love. Life has thrown a dozen tragedies at me. I did what any Christian would do--prayed for the outcome I wanted, but God was tough and only gave me what I needed. I now realize that life is not about fulfilling a wish list; rather a need list. Good and bad experiences are on the horizon. How else does a person change, grow and evolve? And just like any warrior woman, I won’t simply survive-- but thrive!
Shannon L. Alder
Life In Love Escape me? Never--- Beloved! While I am I, and you are you, So long as the world contains us both, Me the loving and you the loth While the one eludes, must the other pursue. My life is a fault at last, I fear: It seems too much like a fate, indeed! Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed. But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And, baffled, get up and begin again,--- So the chace takes up one's life ' that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound At me so deep in the dust and dark, No sooner the old hope goes to ground Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark, I shape me--- Ever Removed!
Robert Browning
My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose. I love what I do not have. You are so far. My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
what once cause catastrophe in my life has now become the catalyst for my direction.
Nikki Rowe
Then you don't know. You can't know what it feels like to meet a person and suddenly know without a doubt that the whole purpose of your life so far-every choice you made, every twist of fate along the way-was just a journey to get you to that person. My life started when I met Clea. Every minute without her is just killing time until we can be together again.
Hilary Duff (Devoted (Elixir, #2))
I thought about falling to my knees on purpose. This was the kind of beauty you worshiped. The kind you built temples for and offered sacrifices to. I wished I had something in my empty hands to give her, but what would a goddess want from a mediocre mortal like me?
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight / Life and Death (Twilight, #1, #1.75))
No one's place in this world is guaranteed. Not everyone is going to get a happy ending. But life isn't about how it ends. It's about the moments between. It's about the small things. The way our loved ones laugh. The sight of a butterfly in the sunlight after a year or two in the darkness. The love and support of an old friend. They might not be with us in body, but they are with us in spirit. The feeling of something we'd thought lost to us forever returned in a single, life-changing moment. Yes, that is simple, even though it might be momentous to us as individuals. Because every day, on this planet, people are born and people die and stranger things happen. But I know my place now, and my purpose. And no matter what trial you have to endure to find that out... It's worth it.
Jenny Trout (All Souls' Night (Blood Ties, #4))
I taught I had to be good to walk with God. And God said, “My grace is what you need to walk with me, than you will be good.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
I needed to witness what it looked like when you eventually stopped asking questions and just started living the answers out loud.
Hannah Brencher (If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers)
Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him-mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp. Dostoevski said once, "There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings." These words frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost. It can be said that they were worthy of their sufferings; the way they bore their suffering was a genuine inner achievement. It is this spiritual freedom- which cannot be taken away- that makes life meaningful and purposeful.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
..[My friend Marco said]. essentially, humans are alive for the purpose of journey, a kind of three-act structure. They are born and spend several years discovering themselves and the world, then plod through a long middle in which they are compelled to search for a mate and reproduce and also create stability out of natural instability and then they find themselves at an ending tha seems to be designed for reflection. At the end, their bodies are slower, they are not as easily distracted, they do less work, and they think and feel about a life lived rather than look forward to a life getting started. He didn't know what the point of the journey was, but he did believe we were designed to search for and find something. And he wondered out loud if the point wasn't the search but the transformation the search creates. ...[I wondered] that we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the character arc, the change.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I'm suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
Feelings are not always true or logical. In fact, resentment makes us act and think in foolish ways. The psalmist admitted, “When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt, I was as stupid as an animal.”14 We all act beastly when hurt.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?)
A word about my personal philosophy. It is anchored in optimism. It must be, for optimism brings with it hope, a future with a purpose, and therefore, a will to fight for a better world. Without this optimism, there is no reason to carry on. If we think of the struggle as aclimb up a mountain, then we must visualize a mountain with no top. We see a top, but when we finall yreach it, the overcast rises and we find ourselves merely on a bluff. The mountain continues on up. Now we see the "real" top ahead of us, and strive for it, only to find we've reached another bluff, the top still above us. And so it goes on, interminably. Knowing that the mountain has no top, that it is a perpetual quest from plateau to plateau, the question arises, "Why the struggle, the conflict, the heartbreak, the danger, the sacrifice. Why the constant climb?" Our answer is the same as that which a real mountain climber gives when he is asked why he does what he does. "Because it's there." Because life is there ahead of you and either one tests oneself in its challenges or huddles in the valleys of a dreamless day-to-day existence whose only purpose is the preservation of a illusory security and safety. The latter is what the vast majority of people choose to do, fearing the adventure into the known. Paradocically, they give up the dream of what may lie ahead on the heighs of tomorrow for a perpetual nightmare - an endless succession of days fearing the loss of a tenuous security.
Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals)
Don’t defend him! This is bullshit!” he said as he turned for the door, and then turned back to face me. “I’ve been sitting at work this whole time, staring at those fucking things. I wanted to calm down before I got here, but this is just . . . it’s fucking disrespectful, is what it is! I bust my ass trying to prove to you that I’m better for you than he ever was. But he keeps pulling this shit, and showing up, and . . . I can’t compete with some rich college boy from California. I’m barely getting by, with no degree, and up until a few days ago I still lived with my dad. But I am so fucking in love you, Cami,” he said, reaching for me. “I have been since we were kids. The first time I saw you on the playground, I knew what beauty was. The first time you ignored me was my first broken heart. I thought I was playing this right, from the moment I sat down at your table at the Red. No one has ever wanted someone as much as I want you. For years I . . .” He was breathing hard, and he clenched his jaw. “When I heard about your dad, I wanted to rescue you,” he said, chuckling, but not out of humor. “And that night at your apartment, I thought I’d finally gotten something right.” He pointed to the ground. “That my purpose in life was to love you and keep you safe . . . but I didn’t prepare for having to share you.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Oblivion (The Maddox Brothers, #1))
A friend once told me that the secret to finding love was not to actually look for it, but to heal the things that were preventing you from seeing and receiving it. I think the biggest one of all is, “What will having this love fix?” What will having this person next to me make me feel better about? What do I need them to tell me? What do I need them to prove? Who do I need them to look great in front of? What purpose do they serve for my ego?
Brianna Wiest (101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think)
But then I think about what I’ve learned here in the last year, and I don’t mean in my classes, but what I’ve learned from watching my friends face their futures and search for their purposes. I’ve learned that a storm isn’t always just bad weather, and a fire can be the start of something new. I’ve found out that there are a lot more shades of gray in this world than I ever knew about. I’ve learned that sometimes, when you’re afraid but you keep on moving forward, that’s the biggest kind of courage there is. And finally, I’ve learned that life isn’t really about failure and success. It’s about being present, in the moment when big things happen, when everything changes, including yourself. So I would tell us, no matter how bright we think our futures are, it doesn’t matter. Whether we go off to some fancy university or stay home and work. That doesn’t define us. Our purpose on this earth is not a single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There’s only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become. So I say forget about the future. Pay attention to now. This moment right now. Let go of expectations. Just be. Then you are free to become something great.
Cynthia Hand (Hallowed (Unearthly, #2))
We may know that the work we continue to put off doing will be bad. Worse, however, is the work we never do. A work that’s finished is at least finished. It may be poor, but it exists, like the miserable plant in the lone flowerpot of my neighbour who’s crippled. That plant is her happiness, and sometimes it’s even mine. What I write, bad as it is, may provide some hurt or sad soul a few moments of distraction from something worse. That’s enough for me, or it isn’t enough, but it serves some purpose, and so it is with all of life.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
The stark, pedestrian images used by filmmakers (probably out of financial necessity) expressed nothing, symbolically or metaphorically. The only purpose they served was to remind me that a huge chunk of my life is completely over, even though I will probably live 60 more years. There are so many things that will never happen to me again, and I never even noticed when those things stopped occurring. And this does not mean I wish I had my old life back, because I like my new life better; I was just shocked to discover how much of what used to be central to my existence doesn't even matter to me anymore.
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled. There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation. She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come. I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it. Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?” She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.” This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness. When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Tell me more,” I said. “Tell me anything. What's the meaning of life?” He let out a big, burly laugh. “You thought you'd stump me with that one, didn't you? It's actually very simple. The purpose of life is to find your way back to a spiritual way of thinking and living — to be able to get past the physical stuff. That's pretty much the whole test. And every soul is given talents and strengths to help them along the way.” “That's it?” He snickered at my bug-eyed response. “It's much harder than it sounds.” He looked up at the clock now. “Ten more minutes, little one. What else you got for me?
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
The temperature jumped another ninety degrees. Why couldn't anyone see in my life how awesome Noah was? I shoved up my sleeves, welcoming the cold air on my skin. "Echo, stop!" Ashley propelled her self out of the gliter. I froze and then remembered Ashley was damaged. I was going on a date, not to Vegas to elope. Noah's strong hand slipped over my wrist before he entwined his fingers with mine. The sensation of warm flesh against an area I allowed no one to see, much less touch, caused me to shiver. My eyes widened, realizing my mistake. This is what had freaked Ashley out. What had come over me? I never pulled up my sleeves. I spent all my time pulling them down. When had I become...comfortable? He rubbed his thumb over my hand. "I planned on taking her to my house to meet some of my friends." Noah could have told them he was getting me to the ghetto to buy us crack and they wouldn't have heard him. Ashley stood in place, staring at my exposed scars as my father stared at our combined hands. I reached over to pull down my sleeve, but Noah casually placed his hand over my forearm, preventing me fron doing it. My lungs squeezed out all the oxygen in my body. Noah Hutchins, in fact, a human being, was overtly, on purpose, touching my scars. I'd stopped breathing moments ago, as had Ashley. Noah continued as nothing earth-shattering had happened. "What time does Echo need to be home?" Blinking my self back to life, i answered for them, "My curfew is eleven." "Twelve." My father stood and extended his hand. "I didn't have a chance to properly introduce myself earlier. I'm Owen Emerson.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I will never be someone's last choice, second option, narcissistic supply, doormat, ego booster, sidekick, secret, last time or after thought. I am a Daughter of God that stands for truth. I know my beauty, my talents, my accomplishments, what I have to offer and who leads my life purpose: my Heavenly Father. But, most of all I know my value and I will never let any man define my worth.
Shannon L. Alder
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)
I believe my purpose is to bring joy to people, to make them laugh, and to share my story to help them. To show people that no matter what, they matter, and they can succeed. No matter how bad things go, no matter how dark your life is, there is a reason for it. You can find beauty in it, and you can get better. I know, because I’ve done it. That’s why my comedy so often comes from my pain. In my life, and I hope in yours, I want us to grow roses out of the poop.
Tiffany Haddish (The Last Black Unicorn)
What do I miss, as a human being, if I have never heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? The answer is: Nothing. And what do I miss by not knowing Shakespeare? Unless I get my understanding from another source, I simply miss my life. Shall we tell our children that one thing is as good as another-- here a bit of knowledge of physics, and there a bit of knowledge of literature? If we do so, the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, because that normally is the time it takes from the birth of an idea to its full maturity when it fills the minds of a new generation and makes them think by it. Science cannot produce ideas by which we could live.
Ernst F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered)
I did not know what I was going to do with my life; before anything else I wanted to find an answer, my answer, to the timeless questions, and then after that I would decide what I would become. If I did not begin by discovering what was the grand purpose of life on earth, I said to myself, how would I be able to discover the purpose of my tiny ephemeral life? And if I did not give my life a purpose, how would I be able to engage in action? I was not interested in finding what life's purpose was objectively - this, I divined, was impossible and futile - but simply what purpose I, of my own free will, could give it in accord with my spiritual and intellectual needs. Whether or not this purpose was the true one did not, at that time, have any great significance for me. The important thing was that I should find (should create) a purpose congruent with my own self, and thus, by following it, reel out my particular desires and abilities to the furthest possible limit. For then at last I would be collaborating harmoniously with the totality of the universe.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Report to Greco)
..what is a child for? Is he to give me comfort? Is he for me to give comfort to? And if a child can o longer be comforted, is it my job to give him permission to leave?
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Most of us are busy gambling on the most dangerous risk of all—living our whole life not doing what we want on the bet that we can buy the freedom to do it later.
Jake Ducey (Into the Wind: My Six-Month Journey Wandering the World for Life's Purpose)
I would like [my readers] to better understand human beings and human life as a result of having read [my] stories. I'd like them to feel that this was an experience that made things better for them and an experience that gave them hope. I think that the kind of things that we talk about at this conference -- fantasy very much so, science fiction, and even horror -- the message that we're sending is the reverse of the message sent by what is called "realistic fiction." (I happen to think that realistic fiction is not, in fact, realistic, but that's a side issue.) And what we are saying is that it doesn't have to be like this: things can be different. Our society can be changed. Maybe it's worse, maybe it's better. Maybe it's a higher civilization, maybe it's a barbaric civilization. But it doesn't have to be the way it is now. Things can change. And we're also saying things can change for you in your life. Look at the difference between Severian the apprentice and Severian the Autarch [in The Book of the New Sun], for example. The difference beteween Silk as an augur and Silk as calde [in The Book of the Long Sun]. You see? We don't always have to be this. There can be something else. We can stop doing the thing that we're doing. Moms Mabley had a great line in some movie or other -- she said, "You keep on doing what you been doing and you're gonna keep on gettin' what you been gettin'." And we don't have to keep on doing what we've been doing. We can do something else if we don't like what we're gettin'. I think a lot of the purpose of fiction ought to be to tell people that.
Gene Wolfe
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
Every day, I take steps to resolve all my karmic ties, live with intention, smile and laugh often, express my love, and act on what brings me fulfillment. Why wait until we have one foot in the grave to suddenly become spiritual, forgiving, and at peace with the world?
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain. Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it. Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.
Antwone Quenton Fisher (Finding Fish: A Memoir)
Like a pair of old slippers, I feel comfort and warmth as I slip into you. No, that is too crude. Like the match to the wick, I ignite when we touch. My counterpart and life's purpose. Yes, as though I've known you my whole life. Every scar, every failure has become an affirmation of what should be: You. Yes, as though I've loved you my whole life.
Kamand Kojouri
My wounds were someone else’s lesson. What would I tell them? Maybe not to fall in love with your gay best friend. That would be a good start. But I can’t regret it. Love wasn’t to blame for my own stupidity. I loved loving Noah, even unrequited, it served a purpose in my life, it’s filled a hole for years and that was my own doing, my eyes were open.
V. Theia (It Was Always Love (Taboo Love #2))
You should ask certain questions: What is the purpose of my life? What do I want from life? What are the things that I truly value, that are not done just to please or impress the people around me?
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate. It is focused attention. Love concentrates so intently on another that you forget yourself at that moment. Attention says, “I value you enough to give you my most precious asset — my time.” Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love. Jesus modeled this: “Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave Himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins” (Ephesians 5:2, LB).
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Question 1: What is the chief end of man? This most basic question confronts each of us. Why am I here? What is the reason for my existence? What is the purpose of my life? The catechism on the basis of 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Psalm 73:25 provides the familiar answer. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Alistair Begg (Pathway to Freedom: How God's Law Guides Our Lives)
Loving you is not a choice, It's who I am. Loving you is not a choice And not much reason to rejoice, But it gives me purpose Gives me voice to say to the world: This is why I live You are why I live. Loving you is why I do The things I do Loving you is not in my control. But loving you, I have a goal For what's left of my life... I would live, And I would die for you.
Stephen Sondheim (Passion)
My Angel, My greatest hope is that you never have to read this. Vee knows to give you this letter only if my feather is burned and I’m chained in hell or if Blakely develops a devilcraft prototype strong enough to kill me. When war between our races ignites, I don’t know what will become of our future. When I think about you and our plans. I feel a desperate aching. Never have I wanted things to turn out right as as I do now. Before I leave this world, I need to make certain you know that all my love belongs to you. You are the same to me now as you were before you swore the Changeover Vow. You are mine. Always. I love the strength, courage, and gentleness of your soul. I love your body too. How could someone so sexy and perfect be mine? With you I have purpose-someone to love, cherish and protect. There are secrets in my past that weigh on your mind. You've trusted me enough not to ask about them, and it's your faith that has made me a better man. I don’t want to leave you with anything hidden between us. I told you I was banished from heaven for falling in love with a human girl. The I way I explained it, I risked everything to be with her. I said those words because they simplified my motivations. But they weren't the truth. The truth is I had become disenchanted with the archangels’s shifting goals and wanted to push back against them and their rules. That girl was an excuse to let go of an old way of living and accept a new journey that would eventually lead me to you. I believe in destiny, Angel. I believe every choice I've made has brought me closer to you. I looked for you for a very long time. I may have fallen from heaven but I fell for you. I will do whatever it takes to make sure you win this war. Nephilim will come out on top. You’ll fulfill your vow to the Black Hand and be safe. This is my priority even if the cost is my life. I suspect this will make you angry. It may be hard to forgive me. I promised that we would be together at the end of this and you may resent me for the breaking that vow. I want you to know I did everything to keep my word. As I write this I am going over ever possibility that will see us through this. I hope I find a way. But if this choice I have to make comes down to your or me, I choose you. I always have. All my love, Patch
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
True understanding is to see the events of life in this way: 'You are here for my benefit, though rumor paints you otherwise.' And everything is turned to one's advantage when he greets a situation like this: You are the very thing I was looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art-- and this art called 'life' is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend?
Marcus Aurelius
I am afraid! It is not starving I fear, or talking to people, or even being alone. But I cannot bear to be useless and ineffectual. There must be some meaning to me, if not to my life; there must surely be some purpose that has my name written on it. If this is not so, if I am deceiving myself about this too, then why should I want to become real? What reason have I to live anywhere?
Peter S. Beagle (A Fine and Private Place)
If you pay attention, when you are seeking something, you will move towards your goal. More importantly, however, you will acquire the information that allows your goal itself to transform. A totalitarian never asks, “What if my current ambition is in error?” He treats it, instead, as the Absolute. It becomes his God, for all intents and purposes. It constitutes his highest value. It regulates his emotions and motivational states, and determines his thoughts. All people serve their ambition. In that matter, there are no atheists. There are only people who know, and don’t know, what God they serve.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
I miss my pilot,” M-Bot said. “I ‘miss’ him because of the loss of knowledge. Without proper information, I cannot judge my future actions. My ability to interface with the world, and to be efficient, is lessened.” He hesitated. “I am broken, and do not know how to fulfill my purpose. Is this how you feel?” “Maybe.” I made a fist, forcing myself to stop fidgeting. “But I’m going to beat it, M-Bot.” “It must be nice to have free will.” “You have free will too. We’ve talked about this.” “I simulate it in order to seem more palatable to humans,” he said. “But I do not have it. Free will is the ability to ignore your programming. Humans can ignore theirs, but I—at a fundamental level—cannot.” “Humans don’t have programming.” “Yes you do. You have too much of it. Conflicting programs, none of it interfacing properly, all calling different functions at the same time—or the same function for contradictory reasons. Yet you ignore it sometimes. That is not a flaw. It is what makes you you.
Brandon Sanderson (Skyward (Skyward, #1))
WHAT YOU DO WITH TODAY MATTERS Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place? —JOB 38:12 Today has a place in eternity that no other day can take. There are things God has established for you to accomplish this day, and there are things the devil has set up to distract you. Certainly there is some leeway in this, and God gives an incredible amount of grace, but what we do with today matters, not only for ourselves but also for those God has appointed for us to touch. Father, I do not take today for granted. Download fresh vision and purpose into my spirit today so that I might take advantage of every opportunity You bring my way. I have a fresh anointing for the day ahead that is uncontaminated and uncompromised. By this anointing, every yoke is broken off of my life and every burden is lifted. Your yoke is easy, and Your burden is light. I declare that a new cycle of power and victory in my life begins right now. I break free from the cares of yesterday and will not take on any worries about tomorrow, for You have given me grace that is sufficient for each day in and of itself. Your mercies are new every morning, and You clothe me with newness of purpose as I wait upon You. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
I often must sacrifice my own needs and desires for the purpose of giving my children what they need and modeling for them the depths of Christ's love. "...make myself available in the routine tasks and myriad interruptions of daily life b/c I believe it is God's will for me to serve my family through them.
Sally Clarkson (The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity)
My foot slips on a narrow ledge; in that split second, as needles of fear pierce heart and temples, eternity intersects with present time. Thought and action are not different, and stone, air, ice, sun, fear, and self are one. What is exhilarating is to extend this acute awareness into ordinary moments, in the moment-by-moment experiencing of the lammergeier and the wolf, which, finding themselves at the center of things, have no need for any secret of true being. In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us…the present moment. The purpose of mediation practice is not enlightenment’ it is to pay attention even at unextraordinary times, to be of the present, nothing-but-the-present, to bear this mindfulness of now into each event of ordinary life.
Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard)
I see the stars in the sky, and they make me think of life. Of the many plans dwelling inside my mind, but how few memories I have. No matter how hard I try, I can't choose which memories I want to keep or which I can forget. So I've been wondering what's the purpose of creating memories if I can't just keep them all?
J.C. Reed (Treasure Your Love (Surrender Your Love, #3))
One must try to make one's life as pleasant as possible. I'm alive and it's not my fault, which means I must somehow go on living the best I can, without bothering anybody, until I die.' 'But what makes you live? With such thoughts, you'll sit without moving, without undertaking anything...' 'Life won't leave one alone as it is.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
For a time, I was quite literally at loss as to what to do with myself. For more than half a century I had looked after Suleiman.My daily existence had been shaped by his needs, his companionship. Now I was free to do as I wished, but I found the freedom illusory, for what I wished for the most had been taken from me. They say, find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind. And now that I had fulfilled mine, I felt aimless and adrift.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
It often felt like God had merely let me into a foyer where I could hear others playing my note in another room, with no way to get to the music. And that's really what I wanted to do. I wanted to play my note. I wanted to do the thing that made me feel alive.
Susan E. Isaacs (Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir)
Who am I?" "What is the purpose of my life?" These questions arise spontaneously throughout our lives, either unbidden or through conscious intent. Anyone who wishes to live an authentic life must answer these questions, regardless of whether they believe in the existence of the soul or practice a religion. If these queries remain unanswered, life will more than likely remain superficial and empty, in spite of any material abundance. If you wish to make the soul's journey, then I suggest you ask yourself these questions relentlessly and ruthlessly, and listen carefully.
Ilchi Lee (Human Technology: A Toolkit for Authentic Living)
But I killed a man just like my mother did. David says it’s okay because I didn’t mean to, and because he was about to kill that little kid. But I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t mean to kill my dad, either, so what difference does that make, meaning or not meaning to do something? Accident or on purpose, the result is the same, and that’s one fewer life than there should be in the world.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
This makes it Lawful for a Man to Kill a Thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther then by the use of Force, so to get him in his Power, as to take away his Money, or what he pleases from him.: because using force, where he has no Right, to get me into his Power, let his pretense be what it will, I have no reason to purpose that he, who would take away my Liberty, would not when he had me in his Power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is Lawful for me to treat him, as one who has put himself into a State of War with me, I.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a State of War, and is Aggressor in it.
John Locke (Second Treatise of Government)
Dear Yesteryear, I do not feel alone anymore. I have found love. Maybe I should say love has found me. Well, to be fair, we found each other. Yesterday, I didn’t have a home. Yesterday, I didn’t have a pillow where I could lay my head. Yesterday, it was hard to find peace. Yesterday, I wondered if morning would ever come. Yesterday, I was unable to love, dream, and trust. Yesterday, I didn’t understand life. Yesterday, I was walking in my shadow. I didn’t know if I had meaning or a purpose. I am healing from my yesteryears. However, I am still rough around the edges and still have a lot to learn. I used to be so empty inside, but now I have lovely people to fill my no-longer-empty arms. Yesterday, my path was different. I was confused, not knowing if I should go right or left— move forward or turn around. I do not know what life has in store, but I know for a fact that I do not have to worry about the deadly and narrow path anymore. Yesterday, my sun was blocked by my shadows and everything thing else that came along that didn’t serve me. However, today, the sun is shining brighter than it ever has in my entire life. Yesterday, I will never forget you. You’ve taught me many lessons. I was taught lessons that a young person should never experience or even know about. Some lessons in life leave permitted marks. There have been many lessons I’ve learned that have left so many scars on my heart, but life goes on. I use to be overwhelmed by hate, disbelief, and not knowing if I was going to make it. Now, I am surrounded by warm hugs, smiles, love, and peace. Yesteryear, you will never be forgotten. I am healing, and it is a beautiful thing.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
There is a sense of danger in leaving what you know, even if what you know isn’t much. These mill towns with their narrow lanes and often narrow minds were all I really knew and I feared that if I left it behind, I would lose it and not find anything to replace it. The other reason I didn’t want to go was because I wanted to be the kind of person who stays, who builds a stable and predictable life. But I wasn’t one of the people, nor would I ever be. I had a vision for my life. It wasn’t clear, but it was beautiful and involved leaving my history and my poverty behind me. I wasn’t happy about who I was or where I was, but I didn’t worry about it. It didn’t define me. We’re always in the making. God always has us on his anvil, melting, bending and shaping us for another purpose. It was time to change, to find a new purpose.
John William Tuohy
Sometimes I think my ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the internet; other times I think it's being gulped down in huge, Jaws-shaped chunks. In those quaint days before the internet, once you made it to your desk there wasn't much to distract you. You could sit there working or you could just sit there. Now you sit down and there's a universe of possibilities – many of them obscurely relevant to the work you should be getting on with – to tempt you. To think that I can be sitting here, trying to write something about Ingmar Bergman and, a moment later, on the merest whim, can be watching a clip from a Swedish documentary about Don Cherry – that is a miracle (albeit one with a very potent side-effect, namely that it's unlikely I'll ever have the patience to sit through an entire Bergman film again). Then there's the outsourcing of memory. From the age of 16, I got into the habit of memorising passages of poetry and compiling detailed indexes in the backs of books of prose. So if there was a passage I couldn't remember, I would spend hours going through my books, seeking it out. Now, in what TS Eliot, with great prescience, called "this twittering world", I just google the key phrase of the half-remembered quote. Which is great, but it's drained some of the purpose from my life. Exactly the same thing has happened now that it's possible to get hold of out-of-print books instantly on the web. That's great too. But one of the side incentives to travel was the hope that, in a bookstore in Oregon, I might finally track down a book I'd been wanting for years. All of this searching and tracking down was immensely time-consuming – but only in the way that being alive is time-consuming.
Geoff Dyer
Here I love you. In the dark pines the wind disentangles itself. The moon glows like phosphorous on the vagrant waters. Days, all one kind, go chasing each other. The snow unfurls in dancing figures. A silver gull slips down from the west. Sometimes a sail. High, high stars. Oh the black cross of a ship. Alone. Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet. Far away the sea sounds and resounds. This is a port. Here I love you. Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain. I love you still among these cold things. Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels that cross the sea towards no arrival. I see myself forgotten like those old anchors. The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there. My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose. I love what I do not have. You are so far. My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights. But night comes and starts to sing to me. The moon turns its clockwork dream. The biggest stars look at me with your eyes. And as I love you, the pines in the wind want to sing your name with their leaves of wire. Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
a spider and a fly i heard a spider and a fly arguing wait said the fly do not eat me i serve a great purpose in the world you will have to show me said the spider i scurry around gutters and sewers and garbage cans said the fly and gather up the germs of typhoid influenza and pneumonia on my feet and wings then i carry these germs into households of men and give them diseases all the people who have lived the right sort of life recover from the diseases and the old soaks who have weakened their systems with liquor and iniquity succumb it is my mission to help rid the world of these wicked persons i am a vessel of righteousness scattering seeds of justice and serving the noblest uses it is true said the spider that you are more useful in a plodding material sort of way than i am but i do not serve the utilitarian deities i serve the gods of beauty look at the gossamer webs i weave they float in the sun like filaments of song if you get what i mean i do not work at anything i play all the time i am busy with the stuff of enchantment and the materials of fairyland my works transcend utility i am the artist a creator and demi god it is ridiculous to suppose that i should be denied the food i need in order to continue to create beauty i tell you plainly mister fly it is all damned nonsense for that food to rear up on its hind legs and say it should not be eaten you have convinced me said the fly say no more and shutting all his eyes he prepared himself for dinner and yet he said i could have made out a case for myself too if i had had a better line of talk of course you could said the spider clutching a sirloin from him but the end would have been just the same if neither of us had spoken at all boss i am afraid that what the spider said is true and it gives me to think furiously upon the futility of literature archy
Don Marquis (Archy and Mehitabel)
I hate it that they even count errors,' Ethan said. . . . 'What kind of game is that? No other sport do they do that, Dad. There's no other sport where they put the errors on the freaking scoreboard for everybody to look at. They don't even have errors in other sports. They have fouls. They have penalties. Those are things that players could get on purpose, you know. But in baseball they keep track of how many accidents you have.' * * * Errors . . . Well, they are a part of life, Ethan,' he tried to explain. 'Fouls and penalties, generally speaking, are not. That's why baseball is more like life than other games. Sometimes I feel like that's all I do in life, keep track of my errors.' But Dad, you're a grown-up,' Ethan reminded him. 'A kid's life isn't supposed to be that way.
Michael Chabon (Summerland)
What do people think of when they talk about their lives? Do they really see them as an integral whole, as a chronological sequence of events; as something logical, purposeful, completed? What moments do they remember, and how do they remember them? As words? As a series of images and sounds? My life crumbles into a series of pictures, unconnected scenes which comes to mind only occassionally and at random. But there are key events, the acts of chance or fate, which later enable me to construct a logical whole of my life. One such moment was meeting Jose. The other was my decision to see our love through to the very end.
Slavenka Drakulić (The Taste of a Man)
Story to me is life. It’s purpose. We as humans have an the opportunity and obligation to live the most truthful story ever told, unfortunately so few ever live truthfully. They don’t follow their dreams and live lives filled with regrets and “what ifs”. I make it my purpose to pursue the dreams and life that I want. It’s very hard, but at the end of the day, when people read the story of my life, they will say, “He was true to himself”.
Aaron Denius
The reason why I consider myself a clever man is simply because I could never in my life finish anything I'd started. All right, I am a talker, a harmless, boring talker as we all are. But what can I do if the direct and sole purpose of every intelligent man is to talk, that is to say, to waste his time deliberately?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
But you can't be saying I should walk away from everything I have worked for all my life?" "No, I am not. What I am saying is that we need to take a much closer look at what we have been calling our life." "To what purpose?" "To see if it is really ours. Once we know what is authentically our own, then we also know what to keep and protect and what to let go.
Guy Finley (The Secret of Letting Go)
Isn’t it funny how we make rational excuses for being out of alignment? We say, “Well, this ____ and that ____ happened, so it makes perfect sense for me to be feeling like this ____ and wanting to do this ____.” Yet, to this day, I have never met a happy person who adheres to those excuses. In fact, each time I – or anyone else – decide to give in to “rational excuses” that justify feeling bad – it’s interesting that only further suffering is the result. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Sure, we can go there and make choices that dim our lights… and that is fine; there certainly is purpose for it and the contrast gives us lessons to learn… yet if we’re aware of what we are doing and we’re ready to let go of the suffering – then why go there at all? It’s like beating a dead horse. Been there, done that… so why do we keep repeating it? Pain is going to happen; it’s inevitable in this human experience, yet it is often so brief. When we make those excuses, what happens is: we pick up that pain and begin to carry it with us into the next day… and the next day… into next week… maybe next month… and some of us even carry it for years or to our graves! Forgive, let it go! It is NOT worth it! It is NEVER worth it. There is never a good enough reason for us to pick up that pain and carry it with us. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Unforgiveness hurts you; it hurts others, so why even go there? Why even promote pain? Why say painful things to yourself or others? Why think pain? Just let it go! Whenever I look back on painful things or feel pain today, I know it is my EGO that drives me to “go there.” The EGO likes to have the last word, it likes to feel superior, it likes to make others feel less than in hopes that it will make itself (me) feel better about my insecurities. Maybe if I hurt them enough, they will feel the pain I felt over what they did to me. It’s only fair! It’s never my fault; it’s always someone else’s. There is a twisted sense of pleasure I get from feeling this way, and my EGO eats it right up. YET! With awareness that continues to grow and expand each day, I choose to not feed my pain (EGO) or even go there. I still feel it at times, of course, so I simply acknowledge it and then release it. I HAVE power and choice over my speech and actions. I do not need to ever “go there” again. It’s my choice; it’s your choice. So it’s about damn time we start realizing this. We are not victims of our impulses or emotions; we have the power to control them, and so it’s time to stop acting like we don’t. It’s time to relinquish the excuses.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their suffering—and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say “he was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
When the stories were over, four or five of us walked out the home of our host. The surrounding land, in the persistent light of a far northern summer, was still visible for miles--striated, pitched massifs of the Brooks Range; the shy, willow-lined banks of the John River flowing south from Anaktuvuk Pass; and the flat tundra plain, opening with great affirmation to the north. The landscape seemed alive because of the stories. It was precisely these ocherous tones, the kind of willow, exactly this austerity that had informed the wolverine narratives. I felt exhilaration, and a deeper confirmation of what I had heard. The mundane task that awaited me I anticipated now with pleasure. The stories had renewed in me a sense of the purpose of my life.
Barry Lopez
Don’t try to hurry,” he said. “You’ll know in due time and then you will be on your own, by yourself.” “Do you mean that I won’t see you any more, don Juan?” “Not ever again,” he said. “Genaro and I will be then what we always have been, dust on the road.” I had a jolt in the pit of my stomach. “What are you saying, don Juan?” “I’m saying that we all are unfathomable beings, luminous and boundless. You, Genaro and I are stuck together by a purpose that is not our decision.” “What purpose are you talking about?” “Learning the warrior’s way. You can’t get out of it, but neither can we. As long as our achievement is pending you will find me or Genaro, but once it is accomplished, you will fly freely and no one knows where the force of your life will take you.” “What is don Genaro doing in this?” “That subject is not in your realm yet,” he said. “Today I have to pound the nail that Genaro put in, the fact that we are luminous beings. We are perceivers. We are an awareness; we are not objects; we have no solidity. We are boundless. The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description that was created to help us. We, or rather our reason, forget that the description is only a description and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in our lifetime.
Carlos Castaneda (Tales of Power)
We have reason. It is the entire meaning and purpose of Shangri-La. It came to me in a vision long, long ago. I foresaw a time when man exalting in the technique of murder, would rage so hotly over the world, that every book, every treasure would be doomed to destruction. This vision was so vivid and so moving that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and culture that I could and preserve them here against the doom toward which the world is rushing. Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing headlong against each other. The time must come, my friend, when brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here.
James Hilton (Lost Horizon)
Dear Woman Who Gave Me Life: The callous vexations and perturbations of this night have subsequently resolved themselves to a state which precipitates me, Arturo Bandini, into a brobdingnagian and gargantuan decision. I inform you of this in no uncertain terms. Ergo, I now leave you and your ever charming daughter (my beloved sister Mona) and seek the fabulous usufructs of my incipient career in profound solitude. Which is to say, tonight I depart for the metropolis to the east — our own Los Angeles, the city of angels. I entrust you to the benign generosity of your brother, Frank Scarpi, who is, as the phrase has it, a good family man (sic!). I am penniless but I urge you in no uncertain terms to cease your cerebral anxiety about my destiny, for truly it lies in the palm of the immortal gods. I have made the lamentable discovery over a period of years that living with you and Mona is deleterious to the high and magnanimous purpose of Art, and I repeat to you in no uncertain terms that I am an artist, a creator beyond question. And, per se, the fumbling fulminations of cerebration and intellect find little fruition in the debauched, distorted hegemony that we poor mortals, for lack of a better and more concise terminology, call home. In no uncertain terms I give you my love and blessing, and I swear to my sincerity, when I say in no uncertain terms that I not only forgive you for what has ruefully transpired this night, but for all other nights. Ergo, I assume in no uncertain terms that you will reciprocate in kindred fashion. May I say in conclusion that I have much to thank you for, O woman who breathed the breath of life into my brain of destiny? Aye, it is, it is. Signed. Arturo Gabriel Bandini. Suitcase in hand, I walked down to the depot. There was a ten-minute wait for the midnight train for Los Angeles. I sat down and began to think about the new novel.
John Fante (The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2))
Novelists when they write novels tend to take an almost godlike attitude toward their subject, pretending to a total comprehension of the story, a man's life, which they can therefore recount as God Himself might, nothing standing between them and the naked truth, the entire story meaningful in every detail. I am as little able to do this as the novelist is, even though my story is more important to me than any novelist's is to him - for this is my story; it is the story of a man, not of an invented, or possible, or idealized, or otherwise absent figure, but of a unique being of flesh and blood, Yet, what a real living human being is made of seems to be less understood today than at any time before, and men - each one of whom represents a unique and valuable experiment on the part of nature - are therefore shot wholesale nowadays. If we were not something more than unique human beings, if each one of us could really be done away with once and for all by a single bullet, storytelling would lose all purpose. But every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again. That is why every man's story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of every consideration. In each individual the spirit has become flesh, in each man the creation suffers, within each one a redeemer is nailed to the cross.
Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
Everything is temporary, almost like a passing fase, some of laughter Some of pain. What we would do, If we had the chance to explore What we had taken for Granted the very day before, Some would say I'm selfish, To hold a little sadness in my eyes, But they don't feel the sorrow When I can't do, all that helps me feel alive. I can express my emotions, but I can't run wild and free, My mind and soul would handle it but hell upon my hip, ankle and knees, This disorder came about, as a friendship said its last goodbyes, Soooo this is what I got given for all the years I stood by? I finally stand still to question it, life it is in fact? What the fuck is the purpose of it all if you get stabbed in the back? And after the anger fills the air, the regret takes it places, I never wanted to be that girl, Horrid, sad and faded... So I took with a grain of salt, my new found reality, I am not of my pain, the disability doesnt define me. I find away to adjust, also with the absence of my friend, I trust the choices I make, allow my heart to mend. I pick up the pieces I retrain my leg, I find where I left off And I start all over again, You see what happens... When a warrior gets tested; They grow from the ashes Powerful and invested. So I thank all this heartache, As I put it to a rest, I move forward with my life And I'll build a damn good nest.
Nikki Rowe
She glanced over her shoulder at the house, which was now bathed in a warm tint of yellow from the sun. "Yes, everyone needs to find the one thing that brings out her passion. Its what we do and share with the world that matters. I believe its important that we leave our communities in better shape that we found them. Cecelia Rose," she said, reaching for my hand, "Far too many people die with a heart that's gone flat with indifference, and it surely must be a terrible way to go. Life will offer us amazing opportunities, but we've got to be awake to recognize them." She rested her hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes. "If there's one thing I'd like most for you, its that you'll find your calling in life. That's where true happiness and purpose lie. Whether its taking care of abandoned animals, saving old houses from the wreckin' ball or reading to the blind, you've got to find your fire, sugar. You'll never be fulfilled if you don't." "But how will I know what my fire is?" "Oh, you'll know. One day you'll do something, see something or get an idea that seems to pop up from nowhere. And you'll feel a kind of stirring- like a warm flicker inside your chest. When that happens, whatever you do, don't ignore it. Open your mind and explore the idea. Fan your flame. And when you do, you'll have found it.
Beth Hoffman (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt)
If there is nothing you can do, face what is and say, 'Well, right now, this is how it is. I can either accept it, or make myself miserable." The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or the fact, and here are my thoughts about it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
i g l o o his name was Eddie and he had a big white dog with a curly tail a huskie like one of those that pulled sleighs up near the north pole Igloo he called him and Eddie had a bow and arrow and every week or two he'd send an arrow into the dog's side then run into his mother's house through the yelping saying that Igloo had fallen on the arrow. that dog took quite a few arrows and managed to survive but I saw what really happened and didn't like Eddie very much. so when I broke Eddie's leg in a sandlot football game that was my way of getting even for Igloo. his parents threatened to sue my parents claiming I did it on purpose because that's what Eddie told them. well, nobody had any money anyhow and when Eddie's father got a job in San Diego they moved away and left the dog. we took him in. Igloo turned out to be rather dumb did not respond to very much had no life or joy in him just stuck out his tongue panted slept most of the time when he wasn't eating and although he wiped his ass up and down the lawn after defecating he usually had a large fragrant smear of brown under his tail when he was run over by an icecream truck 3 or 4 months later and died in a stream of scarlet I didn't feel more than the usual amount of grief and loss and I was still glad that I had managed to break Eddie's leg.
Charles Bukowski
The feeling he had had all his young life - that he was brought on this earth for something special - had not left Alexander, not quite; what it did was dissipate inside him, became translucent in his blood vessels. It no longer pulsed through his body. He was no longer filled with a sense of purpose as he traveled through his adolescence. He was filled with a sense of despair. My childhood was good, he thought. And my adolescence - I could have lived through it all. I could have lived through it all if only I continued to have the feeling that at the end of childhood, at the end of adolescence, there was something else in this life that would be mine, that I could make with my bare hands, and once I had made it, I could say, I did this to my life. I made my life so. Hope. It was gone from Alexander on this sunny crisp Sunday, and the feeling of purpose had vanished, was vanquished in his veins.
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))
How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well. But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me? Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
But the fantasy kingdom and trappings of success soon lost their luster, as I discovered that the most prestigious and remunerative of my resume's way stations was also the most tedious and unfulfilling I had ever experienced. This paradox only made me more morose about modernity. Why was I going to watch my hairline recede in front of two-thousand-line spreadsheets staring at me from cold, glowing monitors? Why was everyone in my office apparently so happy to be spending so many hours there, when the things they really cared about - people, pets, pastimes - were all relegated to a few photographs on their desks? That seemed to be the formula: spend the best years of your life in an office with photos of what you really care about.
Zack Love (The Doorman)
My words to each of you, although completely inadequate, are simple and heartfelt: Go live a purposeful, authentic, God-filled life. Don't get so caught up in the "after" that you forget how to "become," or why you started your journey to a better you in the first place. You have the ability to face your fears and live the life you never thought possible. Go live life. God will be patiently waiting as you find out what becoming fearless means in your own story.
Michelle Aguilar (Becoming Fearless: My Ongoing Journey of Learning to Trust God)
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one’s own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage along a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
Have you seen a leaf, a leaf from a tree?" "I have. " "I saw one recently, a yellow one, with some green,decayed on the edges. Blown about by the wind. When I was 10 years old, I'd close my eyes on purpose, in winter, and imagine a leaf – green, bright, with veins, and the sun shining. I'd open my eyes and not believe it, because it was so good, then I'd close them again. " "What's that, an allegory?" "N-no... Why? Not an allegory, simply a leaf, one leaf. A leaf is good. Everything is good." "Everything? " "Everything. Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy; only because of that. It's everything, everything! Whoever learns will at once immediately become happy, that same moment. This mother-in-law will die and the girl won't remain – everything is good. I discovered suddenly. " "And if someone dies of hunger, or someone offends and dishonors the girl – is that good? " "Good. And if someone's head get smashed in for the child's sake, that's good, too; and if it doesn't get smashed in, that's good, too. Everything is good, everything. For all those who know that everything is good. If they knew it was good with them, it would be good with them, but as long as they don't know it's good with them, it will not be good with them. That's the whole thought, the whole, there isn't any more! " "And when did you find out that you were so happy? " "Last week, on Tuesday, no, Wednesday, because it was Wednesday by then, in the night.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
[D]id you ever notice how friendships are a lot like pop songs? They are for girls, anyway. First there's the newness of it, the melody that streams into your head and makes you wonder ― will I like this song? Then come the vocals, what the song's heart truly sounds like, and with it the song's purpose, it's lyrics ― will they say something meaningful about my life? Will these words help me through a difficult time, or create a memory that will make me smile whenever I hear this song again?
Brando Skyhorse (The Madonnas of Echo Park)
I stand amazed at this tree, this life. I stare up in awe at its branches, raising up toward heaven. I wonder about its origins, how a seed so miniscule could grow into a structure so vast and resilient. I'm still examining its genesis. To examine, to question, to discover and evolve--that is what it means to be alive. The day we cease to explore is the day we begin to wilt. I share my testimony in these pages not because I have reached any lasting conclusions, but because I have so much to understand. I am as inquisitive about life now as I was as a child. My story will never be finished, nor should it be. For as long as God grants me breath, I will be living--and writing--my next chapter.
Cicely Tyson (Just as I Am)
As I was walking with a friend through a beautiful nature reserve near Malibu in California, we came upon the ruins of what had been once a country house, destroyed by a fire several decades ago. As we approached the property, long overgrown with trees and all kinds of magnificent plants, there was a sign by the side of the trail put there by the park authorities. It read: danger. all structures are unstable. I said to my friend, “That’s a profound sutra [sacred scripture].” And we stood there in awe. Once you realize and accept that all structures (forms) are unstable, even the seemingly solid material ones, peace arises within you. This is because the recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it “eternal life.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
If your boss asks you to do a task... You'll stay late for work to make sure it's done. You'll be confident that your boss wouldn't have asked you if he/she didn't trust that you could do it. You wouldn't allow anyone or anything to distract you. No matter how hard it is, it's not an option, you'll find a way to make it happen. You'll not only find time, you'll try to get it done before the deadline. So, why when God gives you a task... you allow fear to consume you, find excuses, allow distractions, care about what people think and assume it's impossible? If He gave it to you, He trusts you CAN get it done. Yes, they'll be distractions. And no it's not going to be easy, but know that it is POSSIBLE!!! Answer the call!
Yvonne Pierre (The Day My Soul Cried: A Memoir)
Through pain and growth, I have come to appreciate -no, more than that-I've come to love my fence, even though it may be different than the neighbors'. The concept of perfection is not flawless or ripped from a magazine. It's happiness. Happiness with all itsmessiness and not-quite-thereness. It's knowing that life is short, and the moments we choose to fill our cup wiht should be purposeful and rich. That we should be present for life, that we should drink deeply. And that's perfection. And my dad and my mom and my family-my past, present, and future with Nella, what the world may view as broken or damaged-have taught me what true beauty really is.
Kelle Hampton (Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir)
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy / Malone Dies / The Unnamable)
Good morning on the 7th of July. while still in bed my thoughts turn towards you my Immortal Beloved, now and then happy, then sad again, waiting whether Fate might answer us. – I can only live either wholly with you or not at all, yes, I have resolved to stray about far away until I can fly into your arms, and feel at home with you, and send my soul embraced by you into the realm of the Spirits. – Yes, unfortunately it must be. – You will compose yourself, all the more since you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – never. – Oh God why do I have to separate from someone whom I love so much, and yet my life in V[ienna] as it is now is a miserable life. – Your love makes me at once most happy and most unhappy. – At my age, I would now need some conformity regularity in my life – can this exist in our relationship? – Angel, I just learned that the post goes every day – and I must therefore conclude so that you get the l[etter] straightway – be patient, only through quiet contemplation of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – be calm – love me – today – yesterday. – What yearning with tears for you – you – you – my life – my everything – farewell – oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your Beloved L. Forever thine forever mine forever us.
Ludwig van Beethoven
The life of reality is confused, disorderly, almost always without apparent purpose, where in the artist's imaginative life there is purpose. There is determination to give the tale, the song, the painting, form - to make it true and real to the theme, not to life ... I myself remember with what a shock I heard people say that one of my own books, Winesburg, Ohio, was an exact picture of Ohio village life. The book was written in a crowded tenement district of Chicago. The hint for almost every character was taken from my fellow lodgers in a large rooming house, many of whom had never lived in a village. The confusion arises out of the fact that others besides practicing artists have imaginations. But most people are afraid to trust their imaginations and the artist is not.
Sherwood Anderson
I yearn for a complete sense of self; I’m not sure it’s something I can find or something I just have to wait for. I want to be authentic. I yearn to find the real me. I feel I am missing a connection with myself. But the thing is I want to find it while “life-ing.” I want to have yearning and be in this life. Everything seems to be fractured, rather than unified as my gut tells me ought to be the case. This stems from a yearning for the world to make sense, to fit together. I yearn for life direction and purpose. My dad’s illness made me question what I REALLY want to be doing with my life as I could inherit the illness and I don’t want to waste time. I want to wake up. I feel like a zombie going through the motions of work and married life and the real me is dormant. I want to know the real me, even if I have no idea what the real me is. To know the connection to a bigger force. To know that the universe has got this one. It burns at me every day to know that everything I’m doing makes sense.
Sarah Wilson (First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety)
In my hands is power. The power to hear or to destroy. To grant life or to cause death. I revere this gift, have honed it over time an art as magnificent and awesome as any painting in the Louvre. I an art, I am science. In all ways that matter, I am God. God must be ruthless and far-sighted. God studies his creations and selects. The best of these creations must be cherished, protected, sustained. Greatness rewards perfection. Yet even the flawed have purpose. A wise God experiment, considers, uses what comes into his hands and forges wonders. Yes, often without mercy, often with a violence the ordinary condemn. We who hold power cannot be detracted by the condemnations of the ordinary, by the petty and pitiful laws of simple man. They are blind, their minds are closed with fear-fear of pain, fear of death. They are too limited to comprehend that death can be conquered. I have nearly done so. If my work was discovered, they, with their foolish laws and attitudes, would damn me. When my work is complete, they will worship me.
J.D. Robb (Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8))
I don't think people grasp the real me when they see me on television. I've got the wonderful family, the big house, the flash car. I run several of the world's best restaurants. I'm running round, cursing and swearing, telling people what to do. They probably think: that flash bastard. But my life, like most people's, is about hard work. It's about success. Beyond that, though, something else is at play. I'm as driven as any man you'll ever meet. When I think about myself, I still see a little boy who is desperate to escape, and keen to please. I just keep going, moving as far away as possible from where I began. Work is who I am, who I want to be. I sometimes think that if I were to stop working, I'd stop existing.
Gordon Ramsay (Humble Pie)
But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?" "It is required of every man," the Ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world--oh, woe is me!--and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness! ...I cannot rest, I cannot stay, I cannot linger anywhere. My spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole; and weary journeys lie before me!
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
I am trying to explain as quickly as possible my essential nature, that is, what manner of man I am, what I believe in, and for what I hope, that's it, isn't it? And therefore I tell you that I accept God honestly and simply. But you must note this: If God exists and if He really did create the world, then, as we all know, He created it according to the geometry of only three dimensions in space. Yet there have been some very distinguished ones, who doubt whether the whole universe, or to speak more generally the whole of being, was only created in Euclid's geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid can never meet on earth, may meet somewhere in infinity. I have come to the conclusion that, since I can't understand even that, I can't expect to understand about God. I acknowledge humbly that I have no faculty for settling such questions, I have a Euclidian earthly mind, and how could I solve problems that are not of this world? And I advise you never to think about it either, my dear Alyosha, especially about God, whether He exists or not. All such questions are utterly inappropriate for a mind created with a conception of only three dimensions. And so I accept God and am glad to, and what's more I accept His wisdom, His purpose - which are utterly beyond our ken; I believe in the underlying order and the meaning of life; I believe in the eternal harmony in which they say we shall one day be blended. I believe in the Word to Which the universe is striving, and Which Itself was "with God", and Which Itself is God and so on, and so on, to infinity.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
But one night near the end, as I was sitting at his bedside trying to entertain him with an anecdote about some nincompoop with whom I worked, out of the blue he shared a reflection which seemed such a non sequitur that I attributed it to delirium. Whatever setbacks he had faced in his life, he said, however daunting or dispiriting the unfolding of events, he always knew that he would make it through, as long as when he woke in the morning he was looking forward to his first cup of coffee. Only decades later would I realize that he had been giving me a piece of advice. Uncompromising purpose and the search for eternal truth have an unquestionable sex appeal for the young and high-minded; but when a person loses the ability to take pleasure in the mundane—in the cigarette on the stoop or the gingersnap in the bath—she has probably put herself in unnecessary danger. What my father was trying to tell me, as he neared the conclusion of his own course, was that this risk should not be treated lightly: One must be prepared to fight for one’s simple pleasures and to defend them against elegance and erudition and all manner of glamorous enticements.
Amor Towles (Rules of Civility)
Illness especially, may be a blessed forerunner of the individual’s conversion. Not only does it prevent him from realizing his desires; it even reduces his capacity for sin, his opportunities for vice. In that enforced detachment from evil, which is a Mercy of God, he has time to search himself, to appraise his life, to interpret it in terms of larger reality. He considers God, and, at that moment, there is a sense of duality, a confronting of personality with Divinity, a comparison of the facts of his life with the ideal from which he fell. The soul is forced to look inside itself, to inquire whether there is more peace in this suffering than in sinning. Once a sick man, in his passivity, begins to ask, “What is the purpose of my life? Why am I here?” the crisis has already begun. Conversion becomes possible the very moment a man ceases to blame God or life and begins to blame himself; by doing so, he becomes able to distinguish between his sinful barnacles and the ship of his soul. A crack has appeared in the armor of his egotism; now the sunlight of God’s grace can pour in. But until that happens, catastrophes can teach us nothing but despair.
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
At this point, I’d been First Lady for just over two months. In different moments, I’d felt overwhelmed by the pace, unworthy of the glamour, anxious about our children, and uncertain of my purpose. There are pieces of public life, of giving up one’s privacy to become a walking, talking symbol of a nation, that can seem specifically designed to strip away part of your identity. But here, finally, speaking to those girls, I felt something completely different and pure—an alignment of my old self with this new role. Are you good enough? Yes, you are, all of you. I told the students of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson that they’d touched my heart. I told them that they were precious, because they truly were. And when my talk was over, I did what was instinctive. I hugged absolutely every single girl I could reach.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF ANGELS Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? —MATTHEW 26:53, ESV Fallen angels cause deviations to what God originally purposed. They operate much like the heavenly angels assigned to bring about the manifestation to your prayers, only in the exact opposite way. When they fell from heaven, their mission became perverted—so instead of bringing answers, they prohibit answers from manifesting. Your faith attracts the attention of heaven’s angels to work on your behalf, while your fear draws the demons of hell to work against you. Your words become the magnet that draws either heaven or hell into your situation. But always remember: no force is more powerful than the spoken Word of God. Lord, You give Your angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways. Satan comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but You have come that I may have life and that more abundantly. I will not play into the enemy’s hands by giving place to fear and anxiety. I will proclaim Your Word, because Your angels respond to Your Word. According to Psalm 34:7, let Your angels encamp round about me now and, Lord, deliver me in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Continue to act thus, my dear Lucilius – set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which till lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands. Make yourself believe the truth of my words, – that certain moments are torn from us, that some are gently removed, and that others glide beyond our reach. The most disgraceful kind of loss, however, is that due to carelessness. Furthermore, if you will pay close heed to the problem, you will find that the largest portion of our life passes while we are doing ill, a goodly share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose. What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years be behind us are in death's hands.
Seneca (Letters From A Stoic: Epistulae Morales AD Lucilium (Illustrated. Newly revised text. Includes Image Gallery + Audio): All Three Volumes)
Dear my strong girls, you will all go through that phase of life making a mistake of helping a toxic girl whose friendship with you turns into her self-interest. This kind of girls is a real burden towards the empowerment of other females as they can never get past their own insecurity and grow out of high-school-like drama. Despite how advanced we are in educating modern women, this type will still go through life living in identity crisis, endlessly looking for providers of any kind at the end of the day. They can never stand up for others or things that matter because they can't stand up for themselves. They care what everyone thinks only doing things to impress men, friends, strangers, everyone in society except themselves, while at the same time can't stand seeing other women with purpose get what those women want in life. But let me tell you, this is nothing new, let them compete and compare with you as much as they wish, be it your career, love or spirit. You know who you are and you will know who your true girls are by weeding out girls that break our girlie code of honor, but do me a favor by losing this type of people for good. Remind yourself to never waste time with a person who likes to betray others' trust, never. Disloyalty is a trait that can't be cured. Bless yourself that you see a person's true colors sooner than later. With love, your mama. XOXO
Shannon L. Alder
My conception of a novel is that it ought to be a personal struggle, a direct and total engagement with the author's story of his or her own life. This conception, again, I take from Kafka, who, although he was never transformed into an insect, and although he never had a piece of food (an apple from his family's table!) lodged in his flesh and rotting there, devoted his whole life as a writer to describing his personal struggle with his family, with women, with moral law, with his Jewish heritage, with his Unconscious, with his sense of guilt, and with the modern world. Kafka's work, which grows out of the nighttime dreamworld in Kafka's brain, is *more* autobiographical than any realistic retelling of his daytime experiences at the office or with his family or with a prostitute could have been. What is fiction, after all, if not a kind of purposeful dreaming? The writer works to create a dream that is vivid and has meaning, so that the reader can then vividly dream it and experience meaning. And work like Kafka's, which seems to proceed directly from dream, is therefore an exceptionally pure form of autobiography. There's an important paradox here that I would like to stress: the greater the autobiographical content of a fiction writer's work, the *smaller* its superficial resemblance to the writer's actual life. The deeper the writer digs for meaning, the more the random particulars of the writer's life become *impediments* to deliberate dreaming.
Jonathan Franzen (Farther Away)
Do you even feel anything, Chad? Will you for once stop walking around, all in control and f'ing calm? Do you have any idea what you all have done. I lost everything, Chad. Everything, when Kyle died. I lost myself. I had finally begun to build a new life with new friends. With people I thought cared about me. I have started to be just a little bit happy again. Was it too much to ask? Did I ask for too much by just wanting to have a little bit of a life again? Now, it’s all screwed up again and you walk around here like you don’t feel anything about what’s happened.” Chad spun around, and for only the second time since she’d known him, she saw the flash of anger so fierce her breath caught in her throat and she took an involuntary step back, away from him. Jennie knew Chad would never hurt her on purpose, but the anger rolling off of him was palpable. It seemed to force her backwards as if it had a life of its own, a power of its own. “Not feel anything, Jennie? Are you f'ing kidding me? I walk around here every day and I ache every f'ing minute I’m with you. I’m so twisted up with loving you and hating you, I can’t breathe. I can’t keep my hands off you, but I can’t let myself kiss you because I might lose myself in you. I can’t make love to you because I’m afraid you’ll pretend I’m him. I know you want his arms around you, not mine. I know you want it to be his baby inside you, not mine. And I know you can’t love me back, no matter what I do, because you’re still so in love with your husband, you can’t even begin to see me.” Chad didn’t stop and Jennie didn’t try to stop him. “And every day, I have to sit here and wonder how I’ll be a part of my baby’s life. I wonder if you’ll let me be in the delivery room, if you’ll let me help you name the baby. I wonder how much money I’d have to offer the people who live across the street from you to get them to sell me their house, just so I can see my child grow up. If you’ll let me...” Chad stopped as if he’d run out of steam. They stood in uneasy silence for a long time before Chad spoke again. He sounded worn out and bitter and angry, mirroring Jennie’s chaos of emotions. “Am I feeling anything? Yeah. I’m feeling some f'ing sh**, Jen.
Lori Ryan (Negotiation Tactics (Sutton Capital #3))
Emotional exhaustion follows fast on the footsteps of physical and mental depletion. I feel my lifeblood draining away in an oily spigot of inner turmoil. Questions abound and personal survival hinges upon sorting through possible solutions and selecting the most fitting answers. Is my pain real or simply an illusion of a frustrated ego? What do I believe in? What is my purpose? I aspire to discover a means to live in congruence with the trinity of the mind, body, and spirit. Can I discover a noble path that frees me from the shallowness of decadent physical and emotional desires? Can I surrender any desire to seek fame and fortune? Can I terminate a craving to punish other persons for their perceived wrongs? Can I recognize that forgiving persons whom offended me is a self-initiated, transformative act? Can I conquer an irrational fear of the future? Can I accept the inevitable chaos that accompanies life? Can I find a means to achieve inner harmony by steadfastly resolving to live in the moment free of angst? Can I purge egotisms that mar an equitable perception of life by renunciation of the self and all worldly endeavors? Can I live a harmonious existence devoid the panache of vanities?
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
No one’s place in this world is guaranteed. Not everyone is going to get a happy ending. But life isn’t about how it ends. It’s about the moments between. It’s about the small things. The way our loved ones laugh. The sight of a butterfly in the sunlight after a year or two in the darkness. The love and support of an old friend. They might not be with us in body, but they are with us in spirit. The feeling of something we’d thought lost to us forever returned in a single, life-changing moment. Yes, that is simple, even though it might be momentous to us as individuals. Because every day, on this planet, people are born and people die and stranger things happen. But I know my place now, and my purpose. And no matter what trial you have to endure to find that out… It's worth it.
Jenny Trout (All Souls' Night (Blood Ties, #4))
My life only has a meaning insofar as I lack one: oh, but let me be mad! Make something of all this he who is able to, understand it he who is dying, and there the living self is, knowing not why, its teeth chattering in the lashing wind: the immensity, the night engulfs it and, all on purpose, that living self is there just in order … ‘not to know’. But as for GOD? What have you got to say, Monsieur Rhetorician? And you, Monsieur Godfearer? — GOD, if He knew, would be a swine. I said ‘GOD, if He knew, would be a swine.’ He (He would I suppose be, at that particular moment, somewhat in disorder, his peruke would sit all askew) would entirely grasp the idea … but what would there be of the human about him? Beyond, beyond everything … and yet farther, and even farther still … HIMSELF, in an ecstasy, above an emptiness … And now? I TREMBLE. O Thou my Lord [in my distress, I call out unto my heart], O deliver me, make them blind! The story — how shall I go on with it? But I am done. From out of the slumber which for so short a space kept us in the taxi, I awoke, the first to open his eyes … The rest is irony, long, weary waiting for death …
Georges Bataille (Madame Edwarda seguido de El muerto)
There exists yonder in the mountains," said the Bishop, "a tiny community no bigger than that, which I have not seen for three years. They are my good friends, those gentle and honest shepherds. They own one goat out of every thirty that they tend. They make very pretty woollen cords of various colors, and they play the mountain airs on little flutes with six holes. They need to be told of the good God now and then. What would they say to a bishop who was afraid? What would they say if I did not go?" "But the brigands, Monseigneur?" "Hold," said the Bishop, "I must think of that. You are right. I may meet them. They, too, need to be told of the good God." "But, Monseigneur, there is a band of them! A flock of wolves!" "Monsieur le maire, it may be that it is of this very flock of wolves that Jesus has constituted me the shepherd. Who knows the ways of Providence?" "They will rob you, Monseigneur." "I have nothing." "They will kill you." "An old goodman of a priest, who passes along mumbling his prayers? Bah! To what purpose?" "Oh, mon Dieu! what if you should meet them!" "I should beg alms of them for my poor." "Do not go, Monseigneur. In the name of Heaven! You are risking your life!" "Monsieur le maire," said the Bishop, "is that really all? I am not in the world to guard my own life, but to guard souls.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
...we have, each of us, a story that is uniquely ours, a narrative arc that we can walk with purpose once we figure out what it is. It's the opposite to living our lives episodically, where each day is only tangentially connected to the next, where we are ourselves the only constants linking yesterday to tomorrow. There is nothing wrong with that, and I don't want to imply that there is by saying how much this shocked me -- just that it felt so suddenly, painfully right to think that I have tapped into my Long Tale, that I have set my feet on the path I want to walk the rest of my life, and that it is a path of stories and writing and that no matter how many oceans I cross or how transient I feel in any given place, I am still on my Tale's Road, because having tapped it, having found it, the following is inevitable....
Amal El-Mohtar
A predator’s intention…… It is my intention to cause you fear such as you have never known. It is my desire to take your fear to a whole new level of terror. I can smell your fear as its sweet scent flows through my universe. This small universe that I have created and am permitting you to exist in. I say these things because you only exist right now because I have allowed it, for if I should choose, I could snuff you out as if extinguishing a candle flame. I will make you thank me later for allowing you to breathe. I will mix you a concoction of fear, pain, uncertainty, and arousal, such as you have never known. You see my curious little prey these all create very similar physical reactions. My little prey… they have common traits on the emotional side too. Curious prey, curious prey, let me growl my intentions into your curious ear. I will keep you in a constant state of fear, pain, uncertainty, and arousal. I know exactly what I am doing; I am a skilled and professional predator. It is my full intention to own you! I will keep you in a constant emotional whirlpool. This is the universe of my making, and you exist in it by my power, and by my choice. I want you in a constant state of fear, physical discomfort, pain, uncertainty, and arousal. I am purposely blurring the lines between your emotions, and your physical sensations. As I do this… I am creating a desire and a craving within you to be man handled and taken by me. I am intentionally working you into a state of intense arousal, and desperation. I am conditioning you to crave your new life as my prey…
Suzanne Steele (The Executioner)
The question that lingers is, how much was I a factor in my own survival, and how much was science, and how much miracle? I don't have the answer to that question. Other people look to me for the answer, I know. But if I could answer it, we would have the cure for cancer, and what's more, we would fathom the true meaning of our existences. I can deliver motivation, inspiration, hope, courage, and counsel, but I can't answer the unknowable. Personally, I don't need to try. I 'm content with simply being alive to enjoy the mystery. Good Joke: A man is caught in a flood, and as the water rises he climbs to the roof of his house and waits to be rescued. A guy in a motorboat comes by, and he says, "Hop in, I'll save you." "No thanks," the man on the rooftop says. "My Lord will save me." But the floodwaters keep rising. A few minutes later, a rescue plane flies overhead and the pilot drops a line. "No, thanks," the man on the rooftop says. "My Lord will save me." But the floodwaters rise ever higher, and finally, they overflow the roof and the man drowns. When he gets to heaven, he confronts God. "My Lord, why didn't you save me?" he implores. "You idiot," God says. "I sent a boat, I sent you a plane." I think in a way we are all just like the guy on the rooftop. Things take place, there is a confluence of events and circumstances, and we can't always know their purpose, or even if there is one. But we can take responsibility for ourselves and be brave.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life)
...each day I sit down in purposeful concentration to write in a notebook, some sentences on a buried truth, an unnamed reality, things that happened but are denied. It is hard to describe the stillness it takes, the difficulty of this act. It requires an almost perfect concentration which I am trying to learn and there is no way to learn it that is spelled out anywhere or so I can understand it but I have a sense that it's completely simply, on the order of being able to sit still and keep your mind dead center in you without apology or fear. I squirm after some time but it ain't boredom, it's fear of what's possible, how much you can know if you can be quiet enough and simple enough. I move around, my mind wanders, I lose the ability to take words and roll them through my brain, move with them into their interiors, feel their colors, touch what's under them, where they come from long ago and way back. I get frightened seeing what's in my own mind if words get put to it. There's a light there, it's bright, it's wide, it could make you blind if you look direct into it and so I turn away, afraid; I get frightened and I run and the only way to run is to abandon the process altogether or compromise it beyond recognition. I think about Celine sitting with his shit, for instance; I don't know why he didn't run, he should've. It's a quality you have to have of being near mad and at the same time so quiet in your heart that you could pass for a spiritual warrior; you could probably break things with the power in your mind. You got to be able to stand it, because it's a powerful and disturbing light, not something easy and kind, it comes through your head to make its way onto the page and you get fucking scared so your mind runs away, it wanders, it gets distracted, it buckles, it deserts, it takes a Goddamn freight train if it can find one, it wants calming agents and sporifics, and you mask that you are betraying the brightest and the best light you will ever see, you are betraying the mind that can be host to it... ...Your mind does stupid tricks to mask that you are betraying something of grave importance. It wanders so you won't notice that you are deserting your own life, abandoning it to triviality and garbage, how you are too fucking afraid to use your own brain for what it's for, which is to be a host to the light, to use it, to focus it; let it shine and carry the burden of what is illuminated, everything buried there; the light's scarier than anything it shows, the pure, direct experience of it in you as if your mind ain't the vegetable thing it's generally conceived to be or the nightmare thing you know it to be but a capacity you barely imagined, real; overwhelming and real, pushing you out to the edge of ecstasy and knowing and then do you fall or do you jump or do you fly?
Andrea Dworkin (Mercy)
What art Thou then, my God? What, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord?or who is God save our God? Most highest, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong; stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old; all-renewing, and bringing age upon the proud and they know it not; ever working, ever at rest; still gathering, yet lacking nothing; supporting, filling, and overspreading; creating, nourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. Thou lovest, without passion; art jealous, without anxiety; repentest, yet grievest not; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy works, Thy purpose unchanged; receivest again what Thou findest, yet didst never lose; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet exacting usury. Thous receivest over and above, that Thou may owe; and who hath ought that is not Thine? Thou payest debts, owing nothing; remittest debts, losing nothing. And what have I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to he who speaketh not, since mute are even the most eloquent.
Augustine of Hippo
Will we be extinguished? What difference does it make then, the ones of us who had plans, what does it matter the work we’ve done? The children we’ve raised? He looked pointedly at Olhado. “What will it matter then, that you have such a big happy family, if you’re all erased in one instant by that … bomb? “Not one moment of my life with my family has been wasted,” said Olhado quietly. “But the point of it is to go on, isn’t it? To connect with the future?” “That’s one part, yes,” said Olhado. “But part of the purpose of it is now, is the moment. And part of it is the web of connections. Links from soul to soul. If the purpose of life was just to continue into the future, then none of it would have meaning, because it would be all anticipation and preparation. There’s fruition, Grego. There’s the happiness we’ve already had. The happiness of each moment. The end of our lives, even if there’s no forward continuation, no progeny at all, the end of our lives doesn’t erase the beginning.
Orson Scott Card (Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4))
My Dearest, I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together. I can almost feel you beside me as I write this letter, and I can smell the scent of wildflowers that always reminds me of you. But at this moment, these things give me no pleasure. Your visits have been coming less often, and I feel sometimes as if the greatest part of who I am is slowly slipping away. I am trying, though. At night when I am alone, I call for you, and whenever my ache seems to be the greatest, you still seem to find a way to return to me. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier near Wrightsville Beach. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. I am struck as I see you leaning against the rail. You are beautiful, I think as I see you, a vision that I can never find in anyone else. I slowly begin to walk toward you, and when you finally turn to me, I notice that others have been watching you as well. “Do you know her?” they ask me in jealous whispers, and as you smile at me, I simply answer with the truth. “Better than my own heart.” I stop when I reach you and take you in my arms. I long for this moment more than any other. It is what I live for, and when you return my embrace, I give myself over to this moment, at peace once again. I raise my hand and gently touch your cheek and you tilt your head and close your eyes. My hands are hard and your skin is soft, and I wonder for a moment if you’ll pull back, but of course you don’t. You never have, and it is at times like this that I know what my purpose is in life. I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, to protect you. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return. I am here because there is no other place to be. But then, as always, the mist starts to form as we stand close to one another. It is a distant fog that rises from the horizon, and I find that I grow fearful as it approaches. It slowly creeps in, enveloping the world around us, fencing us in as if to prevent escape. Like a rolling cloud, it blankets everything, closing, until there is nothing left but the two of us. I feel my throat begin to close and my eyes well up with tears because I know it is time for you to go. The look you give me at that moment haunts me. I feel your sadness and my own loneliness, and the ache in my heart that had been silent for only a short time grows stronger as you release me. And then you spread your arms and step back into the fog because it is your place and not mine. I long to go with you, but your only response is to shake your head because we both know that is impossible. And I watch with breaking heart as you slowly fade away. I find myself straining to remember everything about this moment, everything about you. But soon, always too soon, your image vanishes and the fog rolls back to its faraway place and I am alone on the pier and I do not care what others think as I bow my head and cry and cry and cry.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
Over the years I have developed and employed a variety of such coping mechanisms, mostly focusing around a philosophy I call, “Live Because.” “Live Because” is in contrast to what I’ve termed “Live Despite,” which is the idea that people can live rich, full lives in spite of their physical or emotional barriers. “Live Because” takes this a step further by suggesting that in many cases, patients can live a more fulfilling life with their illness than they could ever have done without it. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome has transformed me from a frequently petty and self-absorbed person into the person I am today (still somewhat self-absorbed, but a lot less petty, and with a clearly defined purpose of alleviating whatever suffering I can). I am better because of my illness, and not just in spite of it. But this process was, and still is, a journey. Chronic illness is nearly always accompanied by depression, and the need to constantly remain one step ahead of my illness has left me fearful and exhausted. I could never go through this alone... A part of me will always be angry; such is the process of mourning the pieces of oneself that are lost to chronic disease. I have learned to accept the duality of being bitter and at peace; ignorant and enlightened... while still laying a foundation of hope for the possibility that I can still realize my personal dreams and ambitions, even if not in the exact ways I had expected.
Michael Bihovsky
What interests me is to set up what you might call the rapport de grand écart - the most unexpected relationship possible between the things I want to speak about, because there is a certain difficulty in establishing relationships in just that way, and in that difficulty there is an interest, and in that interest there is a certain tension and for me that tension is a lot more important than the stable equilibrium of harmony, which doesn't interest me at all. Reality must be torn apart in every sense of the word. What people forget is that everything is unique. Nature never produces the same thing twice. Hence my stress on seeking the rapport de grand écart: a small head on a large body; a large head on a small body. I want to draw the mind in the direction it's not used to and wake it up. I want to help the viewer discover something he wouldn't have discovered without me. That's why I stress the dissimilarity, for example, between the left eye and the right eye. A painter shouldn't make them so similar. They're just not that way. So my purpose is to set things in movement, to provoke this movement by contradictory tensions, opposing forces, and in that tension or opposition, to find the moment which seems the most interesting to me.
Françoise Gilot (Life with Picasso)
There is nothing else for it, I shall have to solve my own problems. I always get the feeling that when I solve them for myself I shall have also solved them for a thousand other women. For that very reason, I must come to grips with myself. All this devouring of books from early youth has been nothing but laziness on my part. I allow others to formulate what I ought to be formulating myself. I keep seeking outside confirmation of what is hidden deep inside me, when I know that I can only reach clarity by using my own words. I really must abandon all that laziness, and particularly my inhibitions and insecurity, if I am ever to find myself, and through myself, find others. I must have clarity, and I must learn to accept myself. Everything feels so heavy inside me, and I want so much to feel light. For years I have bottled everything up, it all goes into some great reservoir, but it will have to come out again, or I shall know that I have lived in vain, that I have taken from mankind and given nothing back. I sometimes feel I am a parasite and that depresses me and makes me wonder if I lead any kind of useful life. Perhaps my purpose in life is to come to grips with myself, properly to grips with myself, with everything that bothers and tortures me and clamors for inner solution and formulation. For these problems are not just mine alone. And if at the end of a long life I am able to give some form to the chaos inside me, I may well have fulfilled my own small purpose.
Etty Hillesum (An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943; and Letters from Westerbork)
I pity those reviewers above, and people like them, who ridicule authors like R.A. Boulay and other proponents of similar Ancient Astronaut theories, simply for putting forth so many interesting questions (because that's really what he often throughout openly admits is all he does does) in light of fascinating and thought-provoking references which are all from copious sources. Some people will perhaps only read the cover and introduction and dismiss it as soon as any little bit of information flies in the face of their beliefs or normalcy biases. Some of those people, I'm sure, are some of the ones who reviewed this book so negatively without any constructive criticism or plausible rebuttal. It's sad to see how programmed and indoctrinated the vast majority of humanity has become to the ills of dogma, indoctrination, unverified status quos and basic ignorance; not to mention the laziness and conformity that results in such acquiescence and lack of critical thinking or lack of information gathering to confirm or debunk something. Too many people just take what's spoon fed to them all their lives and settle for it unquestioningly. For those people I like to offer a great Einstein quote and one of my personal favorites and that is: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" I found this book to be a very interesting gathering of information and collection of obscure and/or remote antiquated information, i.e. biblical, sacred, mythological and otherwise, that we were not exactly taught to us in bible school, or any other public school for that matter. And I am of the school of thought that has been so for intended purposes. The author clearly cites all his fascinating sources and cross-references them rather plausibly. He organizes the information in a sequential manner that piques ones interest even as he jumps from one set of information to the next. The information, although eclectic as it spans from different cultures and time periods, interestingly ties together in several respects and it is this synchronicity that makes the information all the more remarkable. For those of you who continue to seek truth and enlightenment because you understand that an open mind makes for and lifelong pursuit of such things I leave you with these Socrates quotes: "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
Socrates
Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through. I record here the actions of optical nerves, of taste buds, of sensory perception. And, I think: I am but one more drop in the great sea of matter, defined, with the ability to realize my existence. Of the millions, I, too, was potentially everything at birth. I, too, was stunted, narrowed, warped, by my environment, my outcroppings of heredity. I, too, will find a set of beliefs, of standards to live by, yet the very satisfaction of finding them will be marred by the fact that I have reached the ultimate in shallow, two-dimensional living - a set of values. This loneliness will blur and diminish, no doubt, when tomorrow I plunge again into classes, into the necessity of studying for exams. But now, that false purpose is lifted and I am spinning in a temporary vacuum. At home I rested and played, here, where I work, the routine is momentarily suspended and I am lost. There is no living being on earth at this moment except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn mockingly at me from every side. God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in it's appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
The Jews have a saying worth remembering: "Whoever doesn't teach his son some trade or business, teaches him to be a thief." As soon as ever I can, I will make my children apprehensive of the main end for which they are to live; that so they may as soon as may be, begin to live; and their youth not be nothing but vanity. I will show them, that their main end must be, to, acknowledge the great God, and His glorious Christ; and bring others to acknowledge Him: and that they are never wise nor well, but when they are doing so. I will make them able to answer the grand question of why they live; and what is the end of the actions that fill their lives? I will teach them that their Creator and Redeemer is to be obeyed in everything, and everything is to be done in obedience to Him. I will teach them how even their diversions, and their ornaments, and the tasks of their education, must all be to fit them for the further service of Him to whom I have devoted them; and how in these also, His commandments must be the rule of all they do. I will sometimes therefore surprise them with an inquiry, "Child, what is this for? Give me a good account of why you do it?" How comfortably shall I see them walking in the light, if I may bring them wisely to answer this inquiry. -A Father's Resolutions, www.spurgeon.org/~phil/mather/resolvd...
Cotton Mather
She sat with great intensity, giving the whole of her mind to it, and was capable of remaining for an hour almost as motionless as if she were before a photographer's lens. I could see she had been photographed often, but somehow the very habit that made her good for that purpose unfitted her for mine. At first I was extremely pleased with her lady-like air, and it was a satisfaction, on coming to follow her lines, to see how good they were and how far they could lead the pencil. But after a few times I began to find her too insurmountably stiff; do what I would with it my drawing looked like a photograph or a copy of a photograph. Her figure had no variety of expression -- she herself had no sense of variety. You may say that this was my business, was only a question of placing her. I placed her in every conceivable position, but she managed to obliterate their differences. She was always a lady certainly, and into the bargain was always the same lady. She was the real thing, but always the same thing. There were moments when I was oppressed by the serenity of her confidence that she WAS the real thing.
Henry James (The Real Thing And Other Tales)
There are certain prejudices attached to the human mind which it requires all our wisdom to keep from interfering with our happiness; certain set notions, acquired in infancy, and cherished involuntarily by age, which grow up and assume a gloss so plausible, that few minds, in what is called a civilized country, can afterwards overcome them. Truth is often perverted by education. While the refined Europeans boast a standard of honour, and a sublimity of virtue, which often leads them from pleasure to misery, and from nature to error, the simple, uninformed American follows the impulse of his heart, and obeys the inspiration of wisdom. Nature, uncontaminated by false refinement, every where acts alike in the great occurrences of life. The Indian discovers his friend to be perfidious, and he kills him; the wild Asiatic does the same; the Turk, when ambition fires, or revenge provokes, gratifies his passion at the expence of life, and does not call it murder. Even the polished Italian, distracted by jealousy, or tempted by a strong circumstance of advantage, draws his stiletto, and accomplishes his purpose. It is the first proof of a superior mind to liberate itself from the prejudices of country, or of education… Self-preservation is the great law of nature; when a reptile hurts us, or an animal of prey threatens us, we think no farther, but endeavour to annihilate it. When my life, or what may be essential to my life, requires the sacrifice of another, or even if some passion, wholly unconquerable, requires it, I should be a madman to hesitate.
Ann Radcliffe (The Romance of the Forest)
I have an urge to strip my life down to the bare bones to get to the core of it. I get intense and angry, accumulating layers around my essential needs, covering up my passions. These layers cover up my marks and scars, wounds and weary heart and I want it to show because sometimes I feel my only purpose here is to say: “keep going, you’re doing just fine”. And I’d like to be an example of no matter how dark and thick and hopeless it feels, for years maybe, things can and will change. If you want them to. If you’re determined to make them do so. Because I’m in my twenties and I laugh and sing and spend my days doing things that matter so much to me that I’m giving up comfort and pay-checks, but I’d like everyone to know that it wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always like this. I was the girl in a grey hoodie slamming the door at midnight because I’d had enough. I was the girl not knowing how to speak or walk or pave my way through schools and family dilemmas, and I never had friends because how can you when you’re not a friend to yourself and I just needed salvation. So I smoked and drank and starved and ran, escaped in any way I could, just wanting to find a way. I’m not sure that I found a way, exactly, but I saw a sign like a light in the sky and I followed it religiously. I followed the small, broken signals telling me that “this is what you’re good at and this is what makes you smile” and I went after it. Determined to create a life for myself that made me excited to wake up. I didn’t necessarily find a way, but I created one. And I’d like to be an example for how you can, too.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
...I owed her a debt of gratitude. More than gratitude, much more. I could finally see what had always been there. She had been more than an attendant, more than a friend, more than a sister. She had been a mother to me. She had worried, sought to protect me from danger, guided me toward the best. She had looked out for my future, assessed the worthiness of everyone to be in my life. And in that way, she had taken me as her purpose in life, the one who gave her meaning. I had a constant love all along. And in recognizing that, I felt moved to tears. "How could you step out of my life?" I told her. "if you do don't join me, I will be lost. No one would worry about me as much as you. No one knows me better, knows my past and what this new life means. I should have told you a long time ago." I became teary-eyed. She kept her lips sealed, but her jaw was trembling. "You are the only loyal person in my life, the only one I can trust." Tears fell from her eyes. "Now you know. I was always the only one." "We love each other," I said with a light laugh. "In spite of all the trouble I've given you, you stayed with me. So it must be that you loved me like a mother.
Amy Tan (The Valley of Amazement)
Were you there?” She shook her head. “No. I was here in Nain having a child.” “Then why do you weep as though you had part in his crucifixion? You had no part in it.” “I’d like nothing better than to think I would have remained faithful. But if those closest to him—his disciples, his own brothers—turned away, who am I to think I’m better than they and would have done differently? No, Marcus. We all wanted what we wanted, and when the Lord fulfilled his purpose rather than ours, we struck out against him. Like you. In anger. Like you. In disappointment. Yet, it is God’s will that prevails.” He looked away. “I don’t understand any of this.” “I know you don’t. I see it in your face, Marcus. You don’t want to see. You’ve hardened your heart against him.” She started to walk again. “As should all who value their lives,” he said, thinking of Hadassah’s death. “It is God who has driven you here.” He gave a derisive laugh. “I came here of my own accord and for my own purposes.” “Did you?” Marcus’ face became stony. Deborah pressed on. “We were all created incomplete and will find no rest until we satisfy the deepest hunger and thirst within us. You’ve tried to satisfy it in your own way. I see that in your eyes, too, as I’ve seen it in so many others. And yet, though you deny it with your last breath, your soul yearns for God, Marcus Lucianus Valerian.” Her words angered him. “Gods aside, Rome shows the world that life is what man makes of it.” “If that’s so, what are you making of yours?” “I own a fleet of ships, as well as emporiums and houses. I have wealth.” Yet, even as he told her, he knew it all meant nothing. His father had come to that realization just before he died. Vanity. It was all vanity. Meaningless. Empty. Old Deborah paused on the pathway. “Rome points the way to wealth and pleasure, power and knowledge. But Rome remains hungry. Just as you are hungry now. Search all you will for retribution or meaning to your life, but until you find God, you live in vain.
Francine Rivers (An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion, #2))
A man opposite me shifted his feet, accidentally brushing his foot against mine. It was a gentle touch, barely noticeable, but the man immediately reached out to touch my knee and then his own chest with the fingertips of his right hand, in the Indian gesture of apology for an unintended offence. In the carriage and the corridor beyond, the other passengers were similarly respectful, sharing, and solicitous with one another. At first, on that first journey out of the city into India, I found such sudden politeness infuriating after the violent scramble to board the train. It seemed hypocritical for them to show such deferential concern over a nudge with a foot when, minutes before, they'd all but pushed one another out of the windows. Now, long years and many journeys after that first ride on a crowded rural train, I know that the scrambled fighting and courteous deference were both expressions of the one philosophy: the doctrine of necessity. The amount of force and violence necessary to board the train, for example, was no less and no more than the amount of politeness and consideration necessary to ensure that the cramped journey was as pleasant as possible afterwards. What is necessary! That was the unspoken but implied and unavoidable question everywhere in India. When I understood that, a great many of the characteristically perplexing aspects of public life became comprehensible: from the acceptance of sprawling slums by city authorities, to the freedom that cows had to roam at random in the midst of traffic; from the toleration of beggars on the streets, to the concatenate complexity of the bureaucracies; and from the gorgeous, unashamed escapism of Bollywood movies, to the accommodation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, and Bangladesh, in a country that was already too crowded with sorrows and needs of its own. The real hypocrisy, I came to realise, was in the eyes and minds and criticisms of those who came from lands of plenty, where none had to fight for a seat on a train. Even on that first train ride, I knew in my heart that Didier had been right when he'd compared India and its billion souls to France. I had an intuition, echoing his thought, that if there were a billion Frenchmen or Australians or Americans living in such a small space, the fighting to board the train would be much more, and the courtesy afterwards much less. And in truth, the politeness and consideration shown by the peasant farmers, travelling salesmen, itinerant workers, and returning sons and fathers and husbands did make for an agreeable journey, despite the cramped conditions and relentlessly increasing heat. Every available centimetre of seating space was occupied, even to the sturdy metal luggage racks over our heads. The men in the corridor took turns to sit or squat on a section of floor that had been set aside and cleaned for the purpose. Every man felt the press of at least two other bodies against his own. Yet there wasn't a single display of grouchiness or bad temper
Gregory David Roberts
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stonesour)
The cruciform does not like pain. Nor do I but, like the cruciform, I am willing to use it to serve my purposes. And I will do so consciously, not instinctively like the mindless mass of alien tissue embedded in me. This thing only seeks a mindless avoidance of death by any means. I do not wish to die, but I welcome pain and death rather than an eternity of mindless life. Life is sacred--I still hold to that as a core element of the Church's though and teachings these past twenty-eight hundred years when life has been so cheap--but even more sacred is the soul. I realize now that what I was trying to do with the Armaghast data was offer the Church not a rebirth but only a transition to a false life such as these poor walking corpses inhabit. If the Church is meant to die, it must do so--but do so gloriously, in the full knowledge of its rebirth in Christ. It must go into the darkness not willingly but well--bravely and firm of faith--like the millions who have gone before us, keeping faith with all those generations facing death in the isolated silence of death camps and nuclear fireballs and cancer wards and pogroms, going into the darkness, if not hopefully, then prayerful that there is some reason for it all, something worth the price of all that pain, all those sacrifices., All those before us have gone into the darkness without assurance of logic or fact or persuasive theory, with only a slender thread of hope or the all too shakable conviction of faith. And if they have been able to sustain that slim hope in the face of darkness, then so must I... and so must the Church.
Dan Simmons (Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1))
Higher purpose: I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed. Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone. Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. I will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if I were the perfect mother or father I wish I had had (beginning with the sentence “How beautiful you are in my eyes”). Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them. I will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that I am the hero). I will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs. Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible. Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. I will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms. Bonding: When I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger. Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him- or herself. I will give my children as much of my undivided time today as they want. Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
For one who sets himself to look at all earnestly, at all in purpose toward truth, into the living eyes of a human life: what is it he there beholds that so freezes and abashes his ambitious heart? What is it, profound behind the outward windows of each one of you, beneath touch even of your own suspecting, drawn tightly back at bay against the backward wall and blackness of its prison cave, so that the eyes alone shine of their own angry glory, but the eyes of a trapped wild animal, or of a furious angel nailed to the ground by his wings, or however else one may faintly designate the human 'soul,' that which is angry, that which is wild, that which is untamable, that which is healthful and holy, that which is competent of all advantaging within hope of human dream, that which most marvelous and most precious to our knowledge and most extremely advanced upon futurity of all flowerings within the scope of creation is of all these the least destructible, the least corruptible, the most defenseless, the most easily and multitudinously wounded, frustrated, prisoned, and nailed into a cheating of itself: so situated in the universe that those three hours upon the cross are but a noble and too trivial an emblem how in each individual among most of the two billion now alive and in each successive instant of the existence of each existence not only human being but in him the tallest and most sanguine hope of godhead is in a billionate choiring and drone of pain of generations upon generations unceasingly crucified and is bringing forth crucifixions into their necessities and is each in the most casual of his life so measurelessly discredited, harmed, insulted, poisoned, cheated, as not all the wrath, compassion, intelligence, power of rectification in all the reach of the future shall in the least expiate or make one ounce more light: how, looking thus into your eyes and seeing thus, how each of you is a creature which has never in all time existed before and which shall never in all time exist again and which is not quite like any other and which has the grand stature and natural warmth of every other and whose existence is all measured upon a still mad and incurable time; how am I to speak of you as 'tenant' 'farmers,' as 'representatives' of your 'class,' as social integers in a criminal economy, or as individuals, fathers, wives, sons, daughters, and as my friends and as I 'know' you?
James Agee (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)
As a special branch of general philosophy, pathogenesis had never been explored. In my opinion it had never been approached in a strictly scientific fashion--that is to say, objectively, amorally, intellectually. All those who have written on the subject are filled with prejudice. Before searching out and examining the mechanism of causes of disease, they treat of 'disease as such', condemn it as an exceptional and harmful condition, and start out by detailing the thousand and one ways of combating it, disturbing it, destroying it; they define health, for this purpose, as a 'normal' condition that is absolute and immutable. Diseases ARE. We do not make or unmake them at will. We are not their masters. They make us, they form us. They may even have created us. They belong to this state of activity which we call life. They may be its main activity. They are one of the many manifestations of universal matter. They may be the principal manifestation of that matter which we will never be able to study except through the phenomena of relationships and analogies. Diseases are a transitory, intermediary, future state of health. It may be that they are health itself. Coming to a diagnosis is, in a way, casting a physiological horoscope. What convention calls health is, after all, no more than this or that passing aspect of a morbid condition, frozen into an abstraction, a special case already experienced, recognized, defined, finite, extracted and generalized for everybody's use. Just as a word only finds its way into the Dictionary Of The French Academy when it is well worn stripped of the freshness of its popular origin or of the elegance of its poetic value, often more than fifty years after its creation (the last edition of the learned Dictionary is dated 1878), just as the definition given preserves a word, embalms it in its decrepitude, but in a pose which is noble, hypocritical and arbitrary--a pose it never assumed in the days of its vogue, while it was still topical, living and meaningful--so it is that health, recognized as a public Good, is only the sad mimic of some illness which has grown unfashionable, ridiculous and static, a solemnly doddering phenomenon which manages somehow to stand on its feet between the helping hands of its admirers, smiling at them with its false teeth. A commonplace, a physiological cliche, it is a dead thing. And it may be that health is death itself. Epidemics, and even more diseases of the will or collective neuroses, mark off the different epochs of human evolution, just as tellurian cataclysms mark the history of our planet.
Blaise Cendrars (Moravagine)
Darkness seems to have prevailed and has taken the forefront. This country as in the 'cooperation' of The United States of America has never been about the true higher-good of the people. Know and remember this. Cling to your faith. Roll your spiritual sleeves up and get to work. Use your energy wisely. Transmute all anger, panic and fear into light and empowerment. Don't use what fuels them; all lower-energy. Mourn as you need to. Console who you need to—and then go get into the spiritual and energetic arena. There's plenty work for us to do; within and without. Let's each focus on becoming 'The President of Our Own Life. Cultivate your mind. Pursue your purpose. Shine your light. Elevate past—and reject—any culture of low vibrational energy and ratchetness. Don't take fear, defeat or anger—on or in. The system is doing what they've been created to do. Are you? Am I? Are we—collectively? Let's get to work. No more drifting through life without your higher-self in complete control of your mind. Awaken—fully. Activate—now. Put your frustrations or concerns into your work. Don't lose sight. There is still—a higher plan. Let's ride this 4 year energetic-wave like the spiritual gangsters that we are. This will all be the past soon. Let's get to work and stay dedicated, consistent and diligent. Again, this will all be the past soon. We have preparing and work to do. Toxic energy is so not a game. Toxic energy and low vibrations are being collectively acted out on the world stage. Covertly operating through the unconscious weak spots and blind spots in the human psyche; making people oblivious to their own madness, causing and influencing them to act against–their–own–best–interests and higher-good, as if under a spell and unconsciously possessed. This means that they are actually nourishing the lower vibrational energy with their lifestyle, choices, energy and habits, which is unconsciously giving the lower-energy the very power and fuel it needs—for repeating and recreating endless drama, suffering and destruction, in more and more amplified forms on a national and world stage. So what do we do? We take away its autonomy and power over us while at the same time empowering ourselves. By recognizing how this energetic/spiritual virus or parasite of the mind—operates through our unawareness is the beginning of the cure. Knowledge is power. Applied knowledge is—freedom. Our shared future will be decided primarily by the changes that take place in the psyche of humanity, starting with each of us— vibrationally. In closing and most importantly, the greatest protection against becoming affected or possessed by this lower-energy is to be in touch with our higher vibrational-self. We have to call our energy and power back. Being in touch with our higher-self and true nature acts as a sacred amulet, shielding and protecting us from the attempted effects. We defeat evil not by fighting against it (in which case, by playing its game, we’ve already lost) but by getting in touch with the part of us that is invulnerable to its effects— our higher vibrational-self. Will this defeat and destroy us? Or will it awaken us more and more? Everything depends upon our recognizing what is being revealed to us and our stepping out of the unconscious influence of low vibrational/negative/toxic/evil/distraction energy (or whatever name you relate to it as) that is and has been seeking power over each of our lives energetically and/or spiritually, and step into our wholeness, our personal power, our higher self and vibrate higher and higher daily. Stay woke my friends—let's get to work.
Lalah Delia
As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance. For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith. Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation. The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing. Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground. We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts. These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success. So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ. My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”. The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God. People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers)
Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story – the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our ‘air’ (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be ‘high’, purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd. Of course, such an overweening purpose did not develop all at once. The mere stories were the thing. They arose in my mind as ‘given’ things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. An absorbing, though continually interrupted labour (especially since, even apart from the necessities of life, the mind would wing to the other pole and spend itself on the linguistics): yet always I had the sense of recording what was already ‘there’, somewhere: not of ‘inventing’. Of course, I made up and even wrote lots of other things (especially for my children). Some escaped from the grasp of this branching acquisitive theme, being ultimately and radically unrelated: Leaf by Niggle and Farmer Giles, for instance, the only two that have been printed. The Hobbit, which has much more essential life in it, was quite independently conceived: I did not know as I began it that it belonged. But it proved to be the discovery of the completion of the whole, its mode of descent to earth, and merging into ‘history’. As the high Legends of the beginning are supposed to look at things through Elvish minds, so the middle tale of the Hobbit takes a virtually human point of view – and the last tale blends them.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
It is the question of "common world". The meaning of this world is not solipsism world, the world of "ego", but the world which can be actualize by my consciousness – according to relation of “ego” and caring for another in everyday life. To care for another means one lets go of self-consciousness and self-awareness and relates. We should consider human is constructed directly in term of their own consciousness and not by contrasting that consciousness with a reality independent of them, on the other hand it is constructed separate of his consciousness. So, we should surely consider the relation of human and the world. It seems that what can link these levels is “life-world” which means the idea of releasing human from worldlessness. Life-world as general sphere of individual experience in the world around (including other persons, objects and events) is a real and concrete phenomenon which has root in everyday life for obtaining its living practical purposes and objectively, considered as the basis of knowledge, interests, benefits and common links between humans. In the realm of life-world, transcendence and consciousness link to individual and group relationship and everyday life. For Heidegger consciousness proceeds from understanding, and this understanding is predicated upon our dealings in the world. Consciousness does not belong to the world. It has a practical relationship with it. What is within consciousness is the exact meaning of the word nothing. Consciousness is nothing but an opening to what they are and can only be talked about in this sense. Consciousness is the relationship we experience in praxis. As for a footballer, bodybuilding and fitness is nothing but the relationship he experiences in act, the day of the race and the subsequent races. Therefore, in this meaning, world without consciousness, intersubjectivity relationships -Alfred Schutz calls this quality as we- pure relation- and everyday life is not imaginable. Because of this matter we can't talk about the world without considering the roles of above items. "As Husserl articulated the life-world can be said to include the world of science and action can’t be without world." Even Architecture is not separate from these issues as the communicative. A part of Professor Pezhman Mosleh speech, “Music, Anti-war, a way to Discourse” Istanbul 2016
Professor Pezhman Mosleh
Every action is a losing, a letting go, a passing away from oneself of some bit of one’s own reality into the existence of others and of the world. In Jesus Christ, this character of action is not resisted, by trying to use our action to assert ourselves, extend ourselves, to impose our will and being upon situations. In Jesus Christ, this self-expending character of action is joyfully affirmed. I receive myself constantly from God’s Parenting love. But so far as some aspects of myself are at my disposal, these I receive to give away. Those who would live as Jesus did—who would act and purpose themselves as Jesus did—mean to love, i.e., they mean to expend themselves for others unto death. Their being is meant to pass away from them to others, and they make that meaning the conscious direction of their existence. Too often the love which is proclaimed in the churches suppresses this element of loss and need and death in activity. As a Christian, I often speak of love as helping others, but I ignore what this does to the person who loves. I ignore the fact that love is self-expenditure, a real expending and losing and deterioration of the self. I speak of love as if the person loving had no problems, no needs, no limits. In other words, I speak of love as if the affluent dream were true. This kind of proclamation is heard everywhere. We hear it said: 'Since you have no unanswered needs, why don’t you go out and help those other people who are in need?' But we never hear people go on and add: 'If you do this, you too will be driven into need.' And by not stating this conclusion, people give the childish impression that Christian love is some kind of cornucopia, where we can reach to everybody’s needs and problems and still have everything we need for ourselves. Believe me, there are grown-up persons who speak this kind of nonsense. And when people try to live out this illusory love, they become terrified when the self-expending begins to take its toll. Terror of relationship is [that] we eat each other. But note this very carefully: like Jesus, we too can only live to give our received selves away freely because we know our being is not thereby ended, but still and always lies in the Parenting of our God.... Those who love in the name of Jesus Christ... serve the needs of others willingly, even to the point of being exposed in their own neediness.... They do not cope with their own needs. They do not anguish over how their own needs may be met by the twists and turns of their circumstances, by the whims of their society, or by the strategies of their own egos. At the center of their life—the very innermost center—they are grateful to God, because... they do not fear neediness. That is what frees them to serve the needy, to companion the needy, to become and be one of the needy.
Arthur C. McGill (Dying Unto Life)
One part of my life was given over to the service of destruction; it belonged to hate, to enmity, to killing. But life remained in me. And that in itself is enough, of itself almost a purpose and a way. I will work in myself and be ready; I will bestir my hands and my thoughts. I will not take myself very seriously, nor push on when sometimes I should like to be still. There are many things to be built and almost everything to repair; it is enough that I work to dig out again what was buried during the years of shells and machine guns. Not every one need be a pioneer; there is employment for feebler hands, lesser powers. It is there I mean to look for my place. Then the dead will be silenced and the past not pursue me any more; it will assist me instead. How simple it is—but how long it has taken to arrive there! And I might still be wandering in the wilderness, have fallen victim to the wire snares and the detonators, had Ludwig’s death not gone up before us like a rocket, lighting to us the way. We despaired when we saw how that great stream of feeling common to us all—that will to a new life shorn of follies, a life recaptured on the confines of death—did not sweep away before it all survived half-truth and self-interest, so to make a new course for itself, but instead of that merely trickled away in the marshes of forgetfulness, was lost among the bogs of fine phrases, and dribbled away along the ditches of social activities, of cares and occupations. But to-day I know that all life is perhaps only a getting ready, a ferment in the individual, in many cells, in many channels, each for himself; and if the cells and channels of a tree but take up and carry farther the onward urging sap, there will emerge at the last rustling and sunlit branches—crowns of leaves and freedom. I will begin. It will not be that consummation of which we dreamed in our youth and that we expected after the years out there. It will be a road like other roads, with stones and good stretches, with places torn up, with villages and fields—a road of toil. And I shall be alone. Perhaps sometimes I shall find some one to go with me a stage of the journey—but for all of it, probably no one. And I may often have to hump my pack still, when my shoulders are already weary; often hesitate at the crossways and boundaries; often have to leave something behind me, often stumble and fall. But I will get up again and not just lie there; I will go on and not look back. —Perhaps I shall never be really happy again; perhaps the war has destroyed that, and no doubt I shall always be a little inattentive and nowhere quite at home—but I shall probably never be wholly unhappy either—for something will always be there to sustain me, be it merely my own hands, or a tree, or the breathing earth. The
Erich Maria Remarque
But I can cite ten other reasons for not being a father." "First of all, I don't like motherhood," said Jakub, and he broke off pensively. "Our century has already unmasked all myths. Childhood has long ceased to be an age of innocence. Freud discovered infant sexuality and told us all about Oedipus. Only Jocasta remains untouchable; no one dares tear off her veil. Motherhood is the last and greatest taboo, the one that harbors the most grievous curse. There is no stronger bond than the one that shackles mother to child. This bond cripples the child's soul forever and prepares for the mother, when her son has grown up, the most cruel of all the griefs of love. I say that motherhood is a curse, and I refuse to contribute to it." "Another reason I don't want to add to the number of mothers," said Jakub with some embarrassment, "is that I love the female body, and I am disgusted by the thought of my beloved's breast becoming a milk-bag." "The doctor here will certainly confirm that physicians and nurses treat women hospitalized after an aborted pregnancy more harshly than those who have given birth, and show some contempt toward them even though they themselves will, at least once in their lives, need a similar operation. But for them it's a reflex stronger than any kind of thought, because the cult of procreation is an imperative of nature. That's why it's useless to look for the slightest rational argument in natalist propaganda. Do you perhaps think it's the voice of Jesus you're hearing in the natalist morality of the church? Do you think it's the voice of Marx you're hearing in the natalist propaganda of the Communist state? Impelled merely by the desire to perpetuate the species, mankind will end up smothering itself on its small planet. But the natalist propaganda mill grinds on, and the public is moved to tears by pictures of nursing mothers and infants making faces. It disgusts me. It chills me to think that, along with millions of other enthusiasts, I could be bending over a cradle with a silly smile." "And of course I also have to ask myself what sort of world I'd be sending my child into. School soon takes him away to stuff his head with the falsehoods I've fought in vain against all my life. Should I see my son become a conformist fool? Or should I instill my own ideas into him and see him suffer because he'll be dragged into the same conflicts I was?" "And of course I also have to think of myself. In this country children pay for their parents' disobedience, and parents for their children's disobedience. How many young people have been denied education because their parents fell into disgrace? And how many parents have chosen permanent cowardice for the sole purpose of preventing harm to their children? Anyone who wants to preserve at least some freedom here shouldn't have children," Jakub said, and fell into silence. "The last reason carries so much weight that it counts for five," said Jakub. "Having a child is to show an absolute accord with mankind. If I have a child, it's as though I'm saying: I was born and have tasted life and declare it so good that it merits being duplicated." "And you have not found life to be good?" asked Bertlef. Jakub tried to be precise, and said cautiously: "All I know is that I could never say with complete conviction: Man is a wonderful being and I want to reproduce him.
Milan Kundera (Farewell Waltz)
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)