When A Man Becomes A Father Quotes

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I didn't want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn't wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Experience has taught me that I connect best with others when I connect with the core of myself. When I allow God to liberate me from unhealthy dependence on people, I listen more attentively, love more unselfishly, and am more compassionate and playful. I take myself less seriously, become aware that the breath of the Father is on my face.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; Let pry through the portage of the head Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it As fearfully as doth a galled rock O'erhang and jutty his confounded base, Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest English. Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof! Fathers that, like so many Alexanders, Have in these parts from morn till even fought And sheathed their swords for lack of argument: Dishonour not your mothers; now attest That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you. Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not; For there is none of you so mean and base, That hath not noble lustre in your eyes. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. The game's afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
people used to tell me that i had beautiful hands told me so often, in fact, that one day i started to believe them until i asked my photographer father, “hey daddy could i be a hand model” to which he said no way, i dont remember the reason he gave me and i wouldve been upset, but there were far too many stuffed animals to hold too many homework assignment to write, too many boys to wave at too many years to grow, we used to have a game, my dad and i about holding hands cus we held hands everywhere, and every time either he or i would whisper a great big number to the other, pretending that we were keeping track of how many times we had held hands that we were sure, this one had to be 8 million 2 thousand 7 hundred and fifty three. hands learn more than minds do, hands learn how to hold other hands, how to grip pencils and mold poetry, how to tickle pianos and dribble a basketball, and grip the handles of a bicycle how to hold old people, and touch babies , i love hands like i love people, they're the maps and compasses in which we navigate our way through life, some people read palms to tell your future, but i read hands to tell your past, each scar marks the story worth telling, each calloused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory, now ive seen middle eastern hands clenched in middle eastern fists pounding against each other like war drums, each country sees theyre fists as warriors and others as enemies. even if fists alone are only hands. but this is not about politics, no hands arent about politics, this is a poem about love, and fingers. fingers interlock like a beautiful zipper of prayer. one time i grabbed my dads hands so that our fingers interlocked perfectly but he changed positions, saying no that hand hold is for your mom. kids high five, but grown ups, we learn how to shake hands, you need a firm hand shake,but dont hold on too tight, but dont let go too soon, but dont hold down for too long, but hands are not about politics, when did it become so complicated. i always thought its simple. the other day my dad looked at my hands, as if seeing them for the first time, and with laughter behind his eye lids, with all the seriousness a man of his humor could muster, he said you know you got nice hands, you could’ve been a hand model, and before the laughter can escape me, i shake my head at him, and squeeze his hand, 8 million 2 thousand 7hundred and fifty four.
Sarah Kay
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to international money transfer. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on.
Ijeoma Umebinyuo (Questions for Ada)
Where is the graveyard of dead gods? What lingering mourner waters their mounds? There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter today? And who of Huitzilopochtli? In one year - and it is no more than five hundred years ago - 50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is only by some vagrant savage in the depths of the Mexican forest. Huitzilopochtli, like many other gods, had no human father; his mother was a virtuous widow; he was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that she carried out with the sun. When he frowned, his father, the sun, stood still. When he roared with rage, earthquakes engulfed whole cities. When he thirsted he was watered with 10,000 gallons of human blood. But today Huitzilopochtli is as magnificently forgotten as Allen G. Thurman. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha and Wotan, he is now the peer of Richmond P. Hobson, Alton B. Parker, Adelina Patti, General Weyler and Tom Sharkey. Speaking of Huitzilopochtli recalls his brother Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca was almost as powerful; he consumed 25,000 virgins a year. Lead me to his tomb: I would weep, and hang a couronne des perles. But who knows where it is? Or where the grave of Quetzalcoatl is? Or Xiuhtecuhtli? Or Centeotl, that sweet one? Or Tlazolteotl, the goddess of love? Of Mictlan? Or Xipe? Or all the host of Tzitzimitl? Where are their bones? Where is the willow on which they hung their harps? In what forlorn and unheard-of Hell do they await their resurrection morn? Who enjoys their residuary estates? Or that of Dis, whom Caesar found to be the chief god of the Celts? Of that of Tarves, the bull? Or that of Moccos, the pig? Or that of Epona, the mare? Or that of Mullo, the celestial jackass? There was a time when the Irish revered all these gods, but today even the drunkest Irishman laughs at them. But they have company in oblivion: the Hell of dead gods is as crowded as the Presbyterian Hell for babies. Damona is there, and Esus, and Drunemeton, and Silvana, and Dervones, and Adsullata, and Deva, and Bellisima, and Uxellimus, and Borvo, and Grannos, and Mogons. All mighty gods in their day, worshipped by millions, full of demands and impositions, able to bind and loose - all gods of the first class. Men labored for generations to build vast temples to them - temples with stones as large as hay-wagons. The business of interpreting their whims occupied thousands of priests, bishops, archbishops. To doubt them was to die, usually at the stake. Armies took to the field to defend them against infidels; villages were burned, women and children butchered, cattle were driven off. Yet in the end they all withered and died, and today there is none so poor to do them reverence. What has become of Sutekh, once the high god of the whole Nile Valley? What has become of: Resheph Anath Ashtoreth El Nergal Nebo Ninib Melek Ahijah Isis Ptah Anubis Baal Astarte Hadad Addu Shalem Dagon Sharaab Yau Amon-Re Osiris Sebek Molech? All there were gods of the highest eminence. Many of them are mentioned with fear and trembling in the Old Testament. They ranked, five or six thousand years ago, with Yahweh Himself; the worst of them stood far higher than Thor. Yet they have all gone down the chute, and with them the following: Bilé Ler Arianrhod Morrigu Govannon Gunfled Sokk-mimi Nemetona Dagda Robigus Pluto Ops Meditrina Vesta You may think I spoof. That I invent the names. I do not. Ask the rector to lend you any good treatise on comparative religion: You will find them all listed. They were gods of the highest standing and dignity-gods of civilized peoples-worshiped and believed in by millions. All were omnipotent, omniscient and immortal. And all are dead.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
And what happens when he grows up?” Charles asked. “What happens when he becomes a man? What if he decides this world isn’t what he wants it to be? You know who his father is.” “I do,” Linus said. “His father is Arthur Parnassus. And he’s the best damn father Lucy has, and as far as I’m concerned, the only one.
T.J. Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea (Cerulean Chronicles, #1))
High School: Oh, man. This is where boys and girls go from tweens to teens and become complicated and cruel. Girls play sick mind games; boys try to pull each other's penises off and throw them in the bushes. If you can, buy the most expensive jeans in a two-hundred-mile radius of your town and wear them on your first day. If anyone asks how you could afford them say that your father is the president of Ashton Kutcher. When they are like, 'Ashton Kutcher has a president?' answer, 'Yes.' Everyone will be in awe of you and you won't have to go through a lot of pain and cat fights.
Eugene Mirman (The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life)
Ogbuef Ezedudu,who was the oldest man in the village, was telling two other men when they came to visit him that the punishment for breaking the Peace of Ani had become very mild in their clan. "It has not always been so," he said. "My father told me that he had been told that in the past a man who broke the peace was dragged on the ground through the village until he died. but after a while this custom was stopped because it spoiled the peace which it was meant to preserve.
Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1))
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. “Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide. “Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.” “She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?” “Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.” “And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?” “Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.” “And who are all these young men and women on each side?” “They are her sons and daughters.” “She must have had a very large family, Sir.” “Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.” “Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?” “No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” “And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.” “They are her beasts.” “Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.” “Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.” I looked at my Teacher in amazement. “Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
We drove on in silence, Dad shaking his head in disgust every few minutes. I stared at him, wondering how it was we got to this place. How the same man who held his infant daughter and kissed her tiny face could one day be so determined to shut her out of his life, out of his heart. How, even when she reached out to him in distress - Please, Dad, come get me, come save me - all he could do was accuse her. How that same daughter could look at him and feel nothing but contempt and blame and resentment, because that's all that radiated off of him for so many years and it had become contagious.
Jennifer Brown (Hate List)
When God becomes man in Jesus of Nazareth, he not only enters into the finitude of man, but in his death on the cross also enters into the situation of man's godforsakenness. In Jesus he does not die the natural death of a finite being, but the violent death of the criminal on the cross, the death of complete abandonment by God. The suffering in the passion of Jesus is abandonment, rejection by God, his Father. God does not become a religion, so that man participates in him by corresponding religious thoughts and feelings. God does not become a law, so that man participates in him through obedience to a law. God does not become an ideal, so that man achieves community with him through constant striving. He humbles himself and takes upon himself the eternal death of the godless and the godforsaken, so that all the godless and the godforsaken can experience communion with him.
Jürgen Moltmann (The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ As the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology)
The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size. The child, who is most at home with wonder, says: Daddy, what is above the sky? And the father says: The darkness of space. The child: What is beyond space? The father: The galaxy. The child: Beyond the galaxy? The father: Another galaxy. The child: Beyond the other galaxies? The father: No one knows. You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box and cover it with wet weeds to die? Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity. If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through the shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?
Stephen King (The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1))
When Jesus died on the cross the mercy of God did not become any greater. It could not become any greater, for it was already infinite. We get the odd notion that God is showing mercy because Jesus died. No--Jesus died because God is showing mercy. It was the mercy of God that gave us Calvary, not Calvary that gave us mercy. If God had not been merciful there would have been no incarnation, no babe in the manger, no man on a cross and no open tomb.
A.W. Tozer (The Attributes of God: A Journey Into the Father's Heart (The Attributes of God, #1))
You didn't get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to take care of her sick father... Rabazzo didn't die for nothing, you know. He sacrificed for his country, and his family knew it, and his kid brother went on to become a good soldier and a great man because he was inspired by it. I didn't die for nothing, either. That night, we might have all driven over that land mine. Then the four of use would have been gone.' Eddie shook his head. 'But you...' He lowered his voice. 'You lost your life.' The Captain smacked his tongue on his teeth. 'That's the thing. Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it onto someone else... I shot you, all right... and you lost something, but you gained something as well. You just don't know that yet. I gained something, too... I got to keep my promise. I didn't leave you behind.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
And second, once we are caught in the pattern of creating ourselves from cultural blueprints, it becomes a primary way of receiving validation. We become unknowingly bound up in a need to please the cultural father--the man holding the brush--and live up to his images of what a woman should be and do. We're rewarded when we do; life gets difficult when we don't.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine)
When a hideous man becomes a father And a son is born to him In the middle of the night He trembles and lights a lamp And runs to look in anguish On that child's face To see who he resembles.
Zhuangzi
When I looked up at my father as a boy, I thought being a man was having control. Being the master and commander of your own destiny. How could any boy know that freedom is lost the moment you become a man. Things start to count. To press in. Constricting slowly, inevitably, creating a cage of inconveniences and duties and deadlines and failed plans and lost friends. I’m tired of people doubting. Of people choosing to believe they know what is possible because of what has happened before.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
I want to banish fear from your life. I want you to feel loved and surrounded by My presence as Father—a presence that supports you, that will not hold you back from becoming the man that I have always wanted you to be; a presence that will allow you, in turn, to become a father,
Anonymous (In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart--The Journal of a Priest at Prayer)
There are parts of a woman’s heart that are reserved for certain types of love. Experiencing the love of a father figure in an appropriate way is essential in paving the way for the love of a man to be experienced in the right way. The love of a father is vital in ensuring that a woman’s heart is kept open in this area. If this area is not kept open, it produces problems later on in a woman’s life, for that area is also reserved for the romantic love that comes in the form of a marriage relationship. This is an extremely sensitive area of the heart for a woman, and has plenty of opportunity to be easily bruised. When that does occur, she will put up a protective barrier to try and avoid any such pain occurring again. If this barrier isn’t dismantled fairly soon, a woman’s heart becomes accustomed to its protective barrier, and the heart shielded inside gradually becomes hardened. As women, we may be able to function like this for awhile. But there will come a time in your life where God will begin to peel away those hard layers surrounding your heart, and you probably won’t like that sensation. But you have to fight your natural instinct to run away. This is where many Christian women may get stuck. They view every man through the lens of what their father was to them, or what he was not. Their perception of men is shaded, and often damaged, by the very people who should have been modeling the world of adult relationships to their daughters. As a result, their judgement is often clouded, and women find themselves settling for less than what they truly deserve. Many marriages, even Christian marriages, have been damaged and even terminated because one or both partners refused to sit down and deal with their past issues.
Corallie Buchanan (Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose)
Can I tell my daughter that I loved her father? This was the man who rubbed my feet at night. He praised the food that I cooked. He cried honestly when I brought out trinkets I had saved for the right day, the day he gave me my daughter, a tiger girl. How could I not love this man? But it was a love of a ghost. Arms that encircled but did not touch. A bowl full of rice but without my appetite to eat it. No hunger. No fullness. Now Saint is a ghost. He and I can now love equally. He knows the things I have been hiding all these years. Now I must tell my daughter everything. That she is a daughter of a ghost. She has no chi . This is my greatest shame. How can I leave this world without leaving her my spirit? So this is what I will do. I will gather together my past and look. I will see a thing that has already happened. The pain that cut my spirit loose. I will hold that pain in my hand until it becomes hard and shiny, more clear. And then my fierceness can come back, my golden side, my black side. I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter's tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose. She will fight me, because this is the nature of two tigers. But I will win and give her my spirit, because this is a way a mother loves her daughter. I hear my daughter speaking to her husband downstairs. They say words that mean nothing. They sit in a room with no life in it. I know a thing before it happens. She will hear the table and vase crashing on the floor. She will come upstairs and into my room. Her eyes will see nothing in the darkness, where I am waiting between the trees.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
This kindness, this stupid kindness, is what is most truly human in a human being. It is what sets man apart, the highest achievement of his soul. No, it says, life is not evil! This kindness is both senseless and wordless. It is instinctive, blind. When Christianity clothed it in the teachings of the Church Fathers, it began to fade; its kernel became a husk. It remains potent only while it is dumb and senseless, hidden in the living darkness of the human heart – before it becomes a tool or commodity in the hands of preachers, before its crude ore is forged into the gilt coins of holiness. It is as simple as life itself. Even the teachings of Jesus deprived it of its strength. But, as I lost faith in good, I began to lose faith even in kindness. It seemed as beautiful and powerless as dew. What use was it if it was not contagious? How can one make a power of it without losing it, without turning it into a husk as the Church did? Kindness is powerful only while it is powerless. If Man tries to give it power, it dims, fades away, loses itself, vanishes.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
But the vicar of St. Botolph's had certainly escaped the slightest tincture of the Pharisee, and by dint of admitting to himself that he was too much as other men were, he had become remarkably unlike them in this - that he could excuse others for thinking slightly of him, and could judge impartially of their conduct even when it told against him. [from Middlemarch, a quote my mother thinks describes the kind of man my father was]
George Eliot
memories were tricky things…they weren’t stable. they changed with perception over time. …they shifted, and [she] understood how the passage of time affected them. the hard working striver might recall his childhood as one filled with misery and hardship marred by the cat calls and mae calling of playground bullies, but later, have a much more forgiving understanding of past injustices. the handmade clothes he had been forced to wear, became a testament to his mother’s love. each patch and stitch a sign of her diligence, instead of a brand of poverty. he would remember father staying up late to help him with his homework – the old old man’s patience and dedication, instead of the sharpness of his temper when he returned home – late- from the factory. it went the other way as well. [she] had scanned thousands of memories of spurned women, whose handsome lovers turned ugly and rude. roman noses, perhaps too pointed. eyes growing small and mean. while the oridnary looking boys who had become their husbands, grew in attractiveness as the years passed, so that when asked if it was love at first site, the women cheerfully answered yes. memories were moving pictures in which meaning was constantly in flux. they were stories people told themselves.
Melissa de la Cruz (The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4))
We don't use the words begetting or begotten much in modern English, but everyone still knows what they mean. To beget is to become the father of: to create is to make. And the difference is this. When you beget, you beget something o the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds. But when you make, you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a wireless set – or he may make something more like himself than a wireless set: say, a statue. If he is clever enough carver he may make a statue which is very like man indeed. But, of course, it is not a ream man; it only looks like one. It cannot breathe or think. It is not alive. Now that is the first thing to get clear. What God begets is God; just as what man begets is man. What God creates is not God; just as what man makes is not man. That is why men are not Son's of God in the sense that Christ is. They may be like God in certain ways, but they are not things of the same kind. They are more like statues or pictures of God.
C.S. Lewis
Part-time fathers of the fatherless sons and daughters, Man up and take care of your children. As they become wiser and older you will not have anyone to blame but yourself when they are filled with resentment.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
We set limits for ourselves all the time. This imaginary line that you're positive you won't ever cross. An action that you are positive you would never do, no matter what. But what we don't consider when we draw our line is a change in our situation. An action that you were sure last week you wouldn't do suddenly becomes a viable option this week because the situation has drive you to it. Then you move your limit line and talk yourself into believing this new line will never be crossed. A man will take a stand and proclaim "I would never lie to my wife." But what if he maxes out their credit card because of his internet porn addiction? The line gets moved. I'm sure if you ask any mother or father they would not hesitate in harming or even killing someone who was about to do the same to their child. The line gets moved. A girl who is so consumed by the pain and empty ache of loneliness will be drive to do anything, no matter how degrading she thinks it is, because she wants to numb the chronic pain. The line gets moved. The line keeps moving and moving until one day you realize you're limitless. If you are being completely honest with yourself, there is absolutely nothing you wouldn't do if the situation required you to cross another line.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
Even when in the deepest distress, the actor ultimately cannot cease to think of the impression he and the whole scenic effect is making, even for example at the burial of his own child; he will weep over his own distress and the ways in which it expresses itself, as his own audience. The hypocrite who always plays one and the same role finally ceases to be a hypocrite; for example priests, who as young men are usually conscious or unconscious hypocrites, finally become natural and then really are priests without any affectation; or if the father fails to get that far then perhaps the son does so, employing his father's start and inheriting his habits. If someone obstinately and for a long time wants to appear something it is int he end hard for him to be anything else. The profession of almost every man, even that of the artist, begins with hypocrisy, with an imitation from without, with a copying of what is most effective. He who is always wearing a mask of a friendly countenance must finally acquire a power over benevolent moods without which the impression of friendliness cannot be obtained - and finally these acquire power over him, he is benevolent.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human)
The reverse can also happen: as a man becomes more and more attached to his family, levels of testosterone can decline. In fact, at the birth of a child, expectant fathers experience a significant decline in levels of testosterone.66 Even when a man holds a baby, levels of testosterone decrease. This
Helen Fisher (Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love)
The psychological absence of fathers can be nearly as devastating as physical absence. When fathers are alive but not a predictable presence actively participating in their daughter's lives the relationship becomes a permanent "maybe.
Victoria Secunda (Women and Their Fathers: The Sexual and Romantic Impact of the First Man in Your Life)
When a man gets to middle age shouldn’t he look for a peaceful and stable existence, find a not-too-demanding sort of a job, stay in a mediocre position, become a husband and a father, set up a comfortable home, put money in the bank and add to it every month so there’ll be something for old age and a little left over for the next generation?
Gao Xingjian (Soul Mountain)
All love tends to become like that which it loves. God loved man; therefore He became man. For nine months her own body was the natural Eucharist, in which God shared communion with human life, thus preparing for that greater Eucharist when human life would commune with the Divine. Mary’s joy was to form Christ in her own body; her joy now is to form Christ in our souls. In this Mystery, we pray to become pregnant with the Christ spirit, giving Him new lips with which He may speak of His Father, new hands with which He may feed the poor, and a new heart with which He may love everyone, even enemies.
Fulton J. Sheen
Part-time fathers of the fatherless sons and daughters, it is pathetic that you all do not see that your revolving doors are a problem. The continuous cycle has to stop! It destroys your son’s and daughter’s identity. Man up, and take care of your children. As they become wiser and older you will not have anyone to blame but yourself when they are filled with resentment.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
Just as I never wondered what it was like for my mother to be a full-time, at-home mother, I never wondered then what it meant to be married. I took my parents’ union for granted. It was the simple solid fact upon which all four of our lives were built. Much later, my mother would tell me that every year when spring came and the air warmed up in Chicago, she entertained thoughts about leaving my father. I don’t know if these thoughts were actually serious or not. I don’t know if she considered the idea for an hour, or for a day, or for most of the season, but for her it was an active fantasy, something that felt healthy and maybe even energizing to ponder, almost as ritual. I understand now that even a happy marriage can be a vexation, that it’s a contract best renewed and renewed again, even quietly and privately—even alone. I don’t think my mother announced whatever her doubts and discontents were to my father directly, and I don’t think she let him in on whatever alternative life she might have been dreaming about during those times. Was she picturing herself on a tropical island somewhere? With a different kind of man, or in a different kind of house, or with a corner office instead of kids? I don’t know, and I suppose I could ask my mother, who is now in her eighties, but I don’t think it matters.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Dickens has not seen it all. The wretched of the earth do not decide to become extinct, they resolve, on the contrary, to multiply: life is their only weapon against life, life is all that they have. This is why the dispossessed and starving will never be convinced (though some may be coerced) by the population-control programs of the civilized. I have watched the dispossessed and starving laboring in the fields which others own, with their transistor radios at their ear, all day long: so they learn, for example, along with equally weighty matters, that the pope, one of the heads of the civilized world, forbids to the civilized that abortion which is being, literally, forced on them, the wretched. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their ‘vital interests’ are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the ‘sanctity’ of human life, or the ‘conscience’ of the civilized world. There is a ‘sanctity’ involved with bringing a child into this world: it is better than bombing one out of it. Dreadful indeed it is to see a starving child, but the answer to that is not to prevent the child’s arrival but to restructure the world so that the child can live in it: so that the ‘vital interest’ of the world becomes nothing less than the life of the child. However—I could not have said any of this then, nor is so absurd a notion about to engulf the world now. But we were all starving children, after all, and none of our fathers, even at their most embittered and enraged, had ever suggested that we ‘die out.’ It was not we who were supposed to die out: this was, of all notions, the most forbidden, and we learned this from the cradle. Every trial, every beating, every drop of blood, every tear, were meant to be used by us for a day that was coming—for a day that was certainly coming, absolutely certainly, certainly coming: not for us, perhaps, but for our children. The children of the despised and rejected are menaced from the moment they stir in the womb, and are therefore sacred in a way that the children of the saved are not. And the children know it, which is how they manage to raise their children, and why they will not be persuaded—by their children’s murderers, after all—to cease having children.
James Baldwin (The Devil Finds Work: Essays)
It helps enormously to have had a loving mother. Mothers can give their daughters permission to love their fathers. Mothers can help their daughters feel good about becoming mothers. Mothers can help daughters learn the value of openness and female friendship, especially when times are bad,
Victoria Secunda (Women and Their Fathers: The Sexual and Romantic Impact of the First Man in Your Life)
When I look at you, I still see the son I love more than my own life. But I also see a man who has become so far removed from what matters that his perception is skewed. Family is real, son. A home to settle into—that’s real. People who love you and care about you. You’ve had a phenomenal career, and I’m proud of you. But it’s time to stop basing your worth on championships and endorsement deals. You can’t buy happiness. You can’t earn it. God isn’t counting all the deals you’re racking up—and neither is your family.” He lifted his brow. “And neither is Lucy. For the first time someone’s looking at the person inside—and you have to decide if you’re going to let her in and be the man she needs you to be.” His father turned his head toward a family picture on the mantel. “It’s a risk. But one I’ve never regretted.
Jenny B. Jones (Save the Date)
As he grew older, which was mostly in my absence, my firstborn son, Alexander, became ever more humorous and courageous. There came a time, as the confrontation with the enemies of our civilization became more acute, when he sent off various applications to enlist in the armed forces. I didn't want to be involved in this decision either way, especially since I was being regularly taunted for not having 'sent' any of my children to fight in the wars of resistance that I supported. (As if I could 'send' anybody, let alone a grown-up and tough and smart young man: what moral imbeciles the 'anti-war' people have become.)
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
In the world of the Bible, one’s identity and one’s vocation are all bound up in who one’s father is. Men are called “son of” all of their lives (for instance, “the sons of Zebedee” or “Joshua, the son of Nun”). There are no guidance counselors in ancient Canaan or first-century Capernaum, helping “teenagers” decide what they want “to be” when they “grow up.” A young man watches his father, learns from him, and follows in his vocational steps. This is why “the sons of Zebedee” are right there with their father when Jesus finds them, “in their boat mending the nets” (Mark 1:19-20). The inheritance was the engine of survival, passed from father to son, an economic pact between generations. To lose one’s inheritance was to pilfer for survival, to become someone’s slave.
Russell D. Moore (Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches)
Hermes bowed his head in thankfulness to the Great Dragon who had taught him so much, and begged to hear more concerning the ultimate of the human soul. So Poimandres resumed: "At death the material body of man is returned to the elements from which it came, and the invisible divine man ascends to the source from whence he came, namely the Eighth Sphere... "Then, being naked of all the accumulations of the seven Rings, the soul comes to the Eighth Sphere, namely, the ring of the fixed stars. Here, freed of all illusion, it dwells in the Light and sings praises to the Father in a voice which only the pure of spirit may understand. Behold, O Hermes, there is a great mystery in the Eighth Sphere, for the Milky Way is the seed-ground of souls, and from it they drop into the Rings, and to the Milky Way they return again from the wheels of Saturn. But some cannot climb the seven-runged ladder of the Rings. So they wander in darkness below and are swept into eternity with the illusion of sense and earthiness. "The path to immortality is hard, and only a few find it. The rest await the Great Day when the wheels of the universe shall be stopped and the immortal sparks shall escape from the sheaths of substance. Woe unto those who wait, for they must return again, unconscious and unknowing, to the seed-ground of stars, and await a new beginning. Those who are saved by the light of the mystery which I have revealed unto you, O Hermes, and which I now bid you to establish among men, shall return again to the Father who dwelleth in the White Light, and shall deliver themselves up to the Light and shall be absorbed into the Light, and in the Light they shall become Powers in God. This is the Way of Good and is revealed only to them that have wisdom.
Thoth Hermes Trismegistus
While I was at the funeral home, seeing my father for the final time, one of Darby’s daughters gave me a box my dad left for me. When I opened it, it contained a silver bracelet, presumably a gift he’d gotten me for the wedding. Inscribed on the front were my initials, and as I looked at the back of the bracelet, I started crying even harder. My dad had inscribed, “To the man that you’ve become, and the son you’ll always be.
Daniel Bryan (Yes: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania)
As regards the origin of God, my own idea is that having realized the limitations of man, his weaknesses and shortcoming having been taken into consideration, God was brought into imaginary existence to encourage man to face boldly all the trying circumstances, to meet all dangers manfully and to check and restrain his outbursts in prosperity and affluence. God both with his private laws and parental generosity was imagined and painted in greater details. He was to serve as a deterrent factor when his fury and private laws were discussed so that man may not become a danger to society. He was to serve as a father, mother, sister and brother, friend and helpers when his parental qualifications were to be explained. So that when man be in great distress having been betrayed and deserted by all friends he may find consolation in the idea that an ever true friend was still there to help him, to support him and that He was almighty and could do anything. Really that was useful to the society in the primitive age. The idea of God is helpful to man in distress.
Bhagat Singh (Why I am an Atheist)
Have you ever thought about it? If somebody asks, “Who are you?” what do you answer? You say your name. The name is not yours, because you came into the world without a name. You came nameless; it is not your property, it has been given to you. And any name, A-B-C-D, would have been useful. It is arbitrary. It is not essential in any way. If you are called “Susan” good; if you are called “Harry” good, it makes no difference. Any name would have been as applicable to you as any other. It is just a label. A name is needed to call you by, but it has nothing to do with your being. Or you say, “I am a doctor” or you say, “I am an engineer”—or a businessman, or a painter, or this and that—but nothing says anything about you. When you say, “I am a doctor,” you say something about your profession, not about you. You say how you earn your living. You don’t say anything about life, you say something about your living. You may be earning your living as an engineer, or as a doctor, or as a businessman—it is irrelevant. It does not say anything about you. Or you say your father’s name, your mother’s name, you give your family tree—that too is irrelevant because that doesn’t define you. Your being born in a particular family is accidental; you could as well have been born in another family and you would not even have noticed the difference. These are just utilitarian tricks—and man becomes a “self.” This self is a pseudoself, a created, manufactured self, homemade. And your own real self remains deep down hidden in mist and mystery. I was reading:
Osho (Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within)
When our natural inheritance has been dissipated, then the spirit too, as Heraclitus says, has descended from its fiery heights. But when spirit becomes heavy it turns to water, and with Luciferian presumption the intellect usurps the seat where once the spirit was enthroned. The spirit may legitimately claim the patria potestas over the soul; not so the earth-born intellect, which is man's sword or hammer, and not a creator of spiritual worlds, a father of the soul.
C.G. Jung (The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Collected Works 9i))
[Robert's eulogy at his brother, Ebon C. Ingersoll's grave. Even the great orator Robert Ingersoll was choked up with tears at the memory of his beloved brother] The record of a generous life runs like a vine around the memory of our dead, and every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower. Dear Friends: I am going to do that which the dead oft promised he would do for me. The loved and loving brother, husband, father, friend, died where manhood's morning almost touches noon, and while the shadows still were falling toward the west. He had not passed on life's highway the stone that marks the highest point; but, being weary for a moment, he lay down by the wayside, and, using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down his eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust. Yet, after all, it may be best, just in the happiest, sunniest hour of all the voyage, while eager winds are kissing every sail, to dash against the unseen rock, and in an instant hear the billows roar above a sunken ship. For whether in mid sea or 'mong the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck at last must mark the end of each and all. And every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and every moment jeweled with a joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death. This brave and tender man in every storm of life was oak and rock; but in the sunshine he was vine and flower. He was the friend of all heroic souls. He climbed the heights, and left all superstitions far below, while on his forehead fell the golden dawning, of the grander day. He loved the beautiful, and was with color, form, and music touched to tears. He sided with the weak, the poor, and wronged, and lovingly gave alms. With loyal heart and with the purest hands he faithfully discharged all public trusts. He was a worshipper of liberty, a friend of the oppressed. A thousand times I have heard him quote these words: 'For Justice all place a temple, and all season, summer!' He believed that happiness was the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep to-night beneath a wilderness of flowers. Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. He who sleeps here, when dying, mistaking the approach of death for the return of health, whispered with his latest breath, 'I am better now.' Let us believe, in spite of doubts and dogmas, of fears and tears, that these dear words are true of all the countless dead. And now, to you, who have been chosen, from among the many men he loved, to do the last sad office for the dead, we give his sacred dust. Speech cannot contain our love. There was, there is, no gentler, stronger, manlier man.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
When I looked up at my father as a boy, I thought being a man was having control. Being the master and commander of your own destiny. How could any boy know that freedom is lost the moment you become a man. Things start to count. To press in. Constricting slowly, inevitably, creating a cage of inconveniences and duties and deadlines and failed plans and lost friends.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
Devaluation of the Earth, hostility towards the Earth, fear of the Earth: these are all from the psychological point of view the expression of a weak patriarchal consciousness that knows no other way to help itself than to withdraw violently from the fascinating and overwhelming domain of the Earthly. For we know that the archetypal projection of the Masculine experiences, not without justice, the Earth as the unconscious-making, instinct-entangling, and therefore dangerous Feminine. At the same time the projection of the masculine anima is mingled with the living image of the Earth archetype in the unconscious of man; and the more one-sidedly masculine man's conscious mind is the more primitive, unreliable, and therefore dangerous his anima will be. However, the Earth archetype, in compensation to the divinity of the archetype of Heaven and the Father, that determined the consciousness of medieval man, is fused together with the archaic image of the Mother Goddess. Yet in its struggle against this Mother Goddess, the conscious mind, in its historical development, has had great difficulty in asserting itself so as to reach its – patriarchal - independence. The insecurity of this conscious mind-and we have profound experience of how insecure the position of the conscious mind still is in modern man-is always bound up with fear of the unconscious, and no well-meaning theory "against fear" will be able to rid the world of this deeply rooted anxiety, which at different times has been projected on different objects. Whether this anxiety expresses itself in a religious form as the medieval fear of demons or witches, or politically as the modern fear of war with the State beyond the Iron Curtain, in every case we are dealing with a projection, though at the same time the anxiety is justified. In reality, our small ego-consciousness is justifiably afraid of the superior power of the collective forces, both without and within. In the history of the development of the conscious mind, for reasons which we cannot pursue here, the archetype of the Masculine Heaven is connected positively with the conscious mind, and the collective powers that threaten and devour the conscious mind both from without and within, are regarded as Feminine. A negative evaluation of the Earth archetype is therefore necessary and inevitable for a masculine, patriarchal conscious mind that is still weak. But this validity only applies in relation to a specific type of conscious mind; it alters as the integration of the human personality advances, and the conscious mind is strengthened and extended. A one-sided conscious mind, such as prevailed in the medieval patriarchal order, is certainly radical, even fanatical, but in a psychological sense it is by no means strong. As a result of the one-sidedness of the conscious mind, the human personality becomes involved in an equally one-sided opposition to its own unconscious, so that actually a split occurs. Even if, for example, the Masculine principle identifies itself with the world of Heaven, and projects the evil world of Earth outwards on the alien Feminine principle, both worlds are still parts of the personality, and the repressing masculine spiritual world of Heaven and of the values of the conscious mind is continually undermined and threatened by the repressed but constantly attacking opposite side. That is why the religious fanaticism of the representatives of the patriarchal World of Heaven reached its climax in the Inquisition and the witch trials, at the very moment when the influence of the archetype of Heaven, which had ruled the Middle Ages and the previous period, began to wane, and the opposite image of the Feminine Earth archetype began to emerge.
Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine and Other Essays on Feminine Psychology)
The creative life! Ascension. Passing beyond oneself. Rocketing out into the blue, grasping at flying ladders, mounting, soaring, lifting the world up by the scalp, rousing the angels from their ethereal lairs, drowning in stellar depths, clinging to the tails of comets. Nietzsche had written of it ecstatically —and then swooned forward into the mirror to die in root and flower. «Stairs and contradictory stairs,» he wrote, and then suddenly there was no longer any bottom; the mind, like a splintered diamond, was pulverized by the hammer−blows of truth. There was a time when I acted as my father's keeper. I was left alone for long hours, cooped up in the little booth which we used as an office. While he was drinking with his cronies I was feeding from the bottle of creative life. My companions were the free spirits, the overlords of the soul. The young man sitting there in the mingy yellow light became completely unhinged; he lived in the crevices of great thoughts, crouched like a hermit in the barren folds of a lofty mountain range. From truth he passed to imagination and from imagination to invention. At this last portal, through which there is no return, fear beset him. To venture farther was to wander alone, to rely wholly upon oneself. The purpose of discipline is to promote freedom. But freedom leads to infinity and infinity is terrifying. Then arose the comforting thought of stopping at the brink, of setting down in words the mysteries of impulsion, compulsion, propulsion, of bathing the senses in human odors. To become utterly human, the compassionate fiend incarnate, the locksmith of the great door leading beyond and away and forever isolate. Men founder like ships. Children also. There are children who settle to the bottom at the age of nine, carrying with them the secret of their betrayal. There are perfidious monsters who look at you with the bland, innocent eyes of youth; their crimes are unregistered, because we have no names for them.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
You dare laugh at the fall of Suyodhana and all the noble men like Bhishma, my father, Karna, and the others who fought for him? Read Jaya to know how Karna rejected the temptation to become Emperor and instead chose to stand by the man who had given him everything when he had nothing. Read how Karna was trapped by own nobility, how impossible promises were extracted from him; know how he was shot while extracting the wheel of his chariot that was stuck in the mud. Know that Arjuna did not keep his word, as any honourable warrior would have done, when he failed to kill Jayadratha before sunset, hiding behind the lame excuse that the sunset had been maya, an illusion created by an avatar. Sleep in your beds peacefully by all means, if your conscience still allows you to do so, you lucky devils.
Anand Neelakantan (AJAYA - RISE OF KALI (Book 2))
At my age, one realizes that time is a cruel and fickle master, for the more you want it, the faster it appears to vanish, and vice versa: the more you want to escape it, the more stagnant it becomes. We are its slaves—or its puppets, if you prefer—and it moves or paralyzes us at its whim. Today, for instance, I would like to reach the end of this story, so I wish I could have more time—that time would slow down. You, on other hand, might want this old man you’ve just met to be quiet so that you can put on your music or think about something else, so perhaps your journey is taking forever. But let me tell you what I know, what I’ve concluded: it doesn’t matter whether time passes slowly or quickly. What you can be sure of is that, in the end, all you want is to have more. More of those lazy afternoons when nothing happens, despite your best efforts to the contrary. More of those annoying arms that picked you up to stop you doing something crazy. More tellings-off from the mother who you thought was a nag. More glimpses, even, of your father hurrying somewhere, always busy. More soft embraces from the wife who loved you all your life, and more trusting looks from your children’s young eyes.
Sofía Segovia (The Murmur of Bees)
We must insist that free oratory is only the beginning of free speech; it is not the end, but a means to an end. The end is to find the truth. The practical justification of civil liberties is not that self-expression is one of the rights of man. It is that the examination of opinion is one of the necessities of man. For experience tells us that it is only when freedom of opinion becomes the compulsion to debate that the seed which our fathers planted has produced its fruit. When that is understood, freedom will be cherished not because it is a vent for our opinions but because it is the surest method of correcting them.
Walter Lippmann
My Seryozha. My holy little fool. You've spent these last few years working so hard to become an asshole. Despite your best efforts, you're becoming a man instead. And I know you want to become so great an asshole that centuries from now people will speak of wiping their Sergeis. But you're not an asshole. You're my son. So when you want to disgrace yourself, remember, little one, that you are all of your father's pride.
Anthony Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno)
Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where they strung up a man they say murdered three. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The mockingjays begin to alter their songs as they become aware of my new offering. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out for his love to flee. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” I have the birds’ attention now. In one more verse, surely they will have captured the melody, as it’s simple and repeats four times with little variation. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” A hush in the trees. Just the rustle of leaves in the breeze. But no birds, mockingjay or other. Peeta’s right. They do fall silent when I sing. Just as they did for my father. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
NEGROES IN THE NORTH ARE right when they refer to the South as the Old Country. A Negro born in the North who finds himself in the South is in a position similar to that of the son of the Italian emigrant who finds himself in Italy, near the village where his father first saw the light of day. Both are in countries they have never seen, but which they cannot fail to recognize. The landscape has always been familiar; the speech is archaic, but it rings a bell; and so do the ways of the people, though their ways are not his ways. Everywhere he turns, the revenant finds himself reflected. He sees himself as he was before he was born, perhaps; or as the man he would have become, had he actually been born in this place.
James Baldwin (Nobody Knows My Name)
Principles of Liberty 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law. 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally strong people is to elect virtuous leaders. 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible. 6. All men are created equal. 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. 9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law. 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. 12. The United States of America shall be a republic. 13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. 14. Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the Igor of property is secure. 15. The highest level of securitiy occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations. 16. The government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. 17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power. 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. 19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to the government, all others being retained by the people. 20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. 21. Strong human government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. 22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. 23. A free society cannot survive a republic without a broad program of general education. 24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. 25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." 26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. 27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. 28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.
Founding Fathers
When a society is industrialized, a peasant becomes a worker, a feudal lord is liquidated or becomes a businessman. When classes rise or fall a man is employed or unemployed; when the rate of investment goes up or down, a man takes new heart of goes broke. When wars happen, an insurance salesman becomes a rocket launcher; a store clerk, a radar ma; a wife lives alone; a child grows up without a father. Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding other. - pg 3
C. Wright Mills (The Sociological Imagination)
He was having one of those lucid moments that make you, as a loved one of an Alzheimer's victim, forget for a minute or two that this is all really happening. You can forget about the disease and its toll and confusion and suddenly engage with the same person with whom you conversed profoundly for so many years, until it all started to go haywire. In that moment I wanted to know what I think so many Alzheimer's caregivers crave to understand: Do you know what has become of you? Can you, so lucid now, see how you act when you are not like you are now? Does it make you sad? Does it make you ashamed? The reprieve right there at the red light was momentary, even illusory. But there for the taking, right in front of me--so obvious that I almost panicked over what to talk about. Do we discuss his beloved baseball? His beloved grandchildren? Me--how I'm doing, how much I miss him? No. As much out of curiosity as concern, I wanted to talk about him. "Dad," I said, "you are losing your mind. You know that. How does that make you feel? How are you doing with that?" "I'm doing the best I can with what God has given me," he said.
Mark Shriver (A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver)
It was a relief to see his father, who'd always been an unfailing source of reassurance and comfort. They clasped hands in a firm shake, and used their free arms to pull close for a moment. Such demonstrations of affection weren't common among fathers and sons of their rank, but then, they'd never been a conventional family. After a few hearty thumps on the back, Sebastian drew back and glanced over him with the attentive concern that hearkened to Gabriel's earliest memories. Not missing the traces of weariness on his face, his father lightly tousled his hair the way he had when he was a boy. "You haven't been sleeping." "I went carousing with friends for most of last night," Gabriel admitted. "It ended when we were all too drunk to see a hole through a ladder." Sebastian grinned and removed his coat, tossing the exquisitely tailored garment to a nearby chair. "Reveling in the waning days of bachelorhood, are we?" "It would be more accurate to say I'm thrashing like a drowning rat." "Same thing." Sebastian unfastened his cuffs and began to roll up his shirtsleeves. An active life at Heron's Point, the family estate in Sussex, had kept him as fit and limber as a man half his age. Frequent exposure to the sunlight had gilded his hair and darkened his complexion, making his pale blue eyes startling in their brightness. While other men of his generation had become staid and settled, the duke was more vigorous than ever, in part because his youngest son was still only eleven. The duchess, Evie, had conceived unexpectedly long after she had assumed her childbearing years were past. As a result there were eight years between the baby's birth and that of the next oldest sibling, Seraphina. Evie had been more than a little embarrassed to find herself with child at her age, especially in the face of her husband's teasing claims that she was a walking advertisement of his potency. And indeed, there have been a hint of extra swagger in Sebastian's step all through his wife's last pregnancy. Their fifth child was a handsome boy with hair the deep auburn red of an Irish setter. He'd been christened Michael Ivo, but somehow the pugnacious middle name suited him more than his given name. Now a lively, cheerful lad, Ivo accompanied his father nearly everywhere.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
CHAPTER XXVI.—A new Prince in a City or Province of which he has taken Possession, ought to make Everything new. Whosoever becomes prince of a city or State, more especially if his position be so insecure that he cannot resort to constitutional government either in the form of a republic or a monarchy, will find that the best way to preserve his princedom is to renew the whole institutions of that State; that is to say, to create new magistracies with new names, confer new powers, and employ new men, and like David when he became king, exalt the humble and depress the great, "filling the hungry with good things, and sending the rich empty away." Moreover, he must pull down existing towns and rebuild them, removing their inhabitants from one place to another; and, in short, leave nothing in the country as he found it; so that there shall be neither rank, nor condition, nor honour, nor wealth which its possessor can refer to any but to him. And he must take example from Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander, who by means such as these, from being a petty prince became monarch of all Greece; and of whom it was written that he shifted men from province to province as a shepherd moves his flocks from one pasture to another. These indeed are most cruel expedients, contrary not merely to every Christian, but to every civilized rule of conduct, and such as every man should shun, choosing rather to lead a private life than to be a king on terms so hurtful to mankind. But he who will not keep to the fair path of virtue, must to maintain himself enter this path of evil. Men, however, not knowing how to be wholly good or wholly bad, choose for themselves certain middle ways, which of all others are the most pernicious, as shall be shown by an instance in the following Chapter.
Niccolò Machiavelli (Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius)
I think every one who has some vague belief in God, until he becomes a Christian, has the idea of an exam, or of a bargain in his mind. The first result of real Christianity is to blow that idea into bits. When they find it blown into bits, some people think this means that Christianity is a failure and give up. They seem to imagine that God is very simple-minded! In fact, of course, He knows all about this. One of the very things Christianity was designed to do was to blow this idea to bits. God has been waiting for the moment at which you discover that there is no question of earning a pass mark in this exam, or putting Him in your debt. Then comes another discovery. Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to its father and saying, "Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present." Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Jesus Christ is not a cosmic errand boy. I mean no disrespect or irreverence in so saying, but I do intend to convey the idea that while he loves us deeply and dearly, Christ the Lord is not perched on the edge of heaven, anxiously anticipating our next wish. When we speak of God being good to us, we generally mean that he is kind to us. In the words of the inimitable C. S. Lewis, "What would really satisfy us would be a god who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter so long as they are contented?' We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves,' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, 'a good time was had by all.'" You know and I know that our Lord is much, much more than that. One writer observed: "When we so emphasize Christ's benefits that he becomes nothing more than what his significance is 'for me' we are in danger. . . . Evangelism that says 'come on, it's good for you'; discipleship that concentrates on the benefits package; sermons that 'use' Jesus as the means to a better life or marriage or job or attitude--these all turn Jesus into an expression of that nice god who always meets my spiritual needs. And this is why I am increasingly hesitant to speak of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. As Ken Woodward put it in a 1994 essay, 'Now I think we all need to be converted--over and over again, but having a personal Savior has always struck me as, well, elitist, like having a personal tailor. I'm satisfied to have the same Lord and Savior as everyone else.' Jesus is not a personal Savior who only seeks to meet my needs. He is the risen, crucified Lord of all creation who seeks to guide me back into the truth." . . . His infinity does not preclude either his immediacy or his intimacy. One man stated that "I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone." . . . Christ is not "my buddy." There is a natural tendency, and it is a dangerous one, to seek to bring Jesus down to our level in an effort to draw closer to him. This is a problem among people both in and outside the LDS faith. Of course we should seek with all our hearts to draw near to him. Of course we should strive to set aside all barriers that would prevent us from closer fellowship with him. And of course we should pray and labor and serve in an effort to close the gap between what we are and what we should be. But drawing close to the Lord is serious business; we nudge our way into intimacy at the peril of our souls. . . . Another gospel irony is that the way to get close to the Lord is not by attempting in any way to shrink the distance between us, to emphasize more of his humanity than his divinity, or to speak to him or of him in casual, colloquial language. . . . Those who have come to know the Lord best--the prophets or covenant spokesmen--are also those who speak of him in reverent tones, who, like Isaiah, find themselves crying out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). Coming into the presence of the Almighty is no light thing; we feel to respond soberly to God's command to Moses: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained, "Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.
Robert L. Millet
Have you ever thought about it? If somebody asks, “Who are you?” what do you answer? You say your name. The name is not yours, because you came into the world without a name. You came nameless; it is not your property, it has been given to you. And any name, A-B-C-D, would have been useful. It is arbitrary. It is not essential in any way. If you are called “Susan” good; if you are called “Harry” good, it makes no difference. Any name would have been as applicable to you as any other. It is just a label. A name is needed to call you by, but it has nothing to do with your being. Or you say, “I am a doctor” or you say, “I am an engineer”—or a businessman, or a painter, or this and that—but nothing says anything about you. When you say, “I am a doctor,” you say something about your profession, not about you. You say how you earn your living. You don’t say anything about life, you say something about your living. You may be earning your living as an engineer, or as a doctor, or as a businessman—it is irrelevant. It does not say anything about you. Or you say your father’s name, your mother’s name, you give your family tree—that too is irrelevant because that doesn’t define you. Your being born in a particular family is accidental; you could as well have been born in another family and you would not even have noticed the difference. These are just utilitarian tricks—and man becomes a “self.” This self is a pseudoself, a created, manufactured self, homemade. And your own real self remains deep down hidden in mist and
Osho (Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within)
THE OLD MAN AND HIS GRANDSON   There was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son and his son's wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. Then they brought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat. They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. 'What are you doing there?' asked the father. 'I am making a little trough,' answered the child, 'for father and mother to eat out of when I am big.' The man and his wife looked at each other for a while, and presently began to cry. Then they took the old grandfather to the table, and henceforth always let him eat with them, and likewise said nothing if he did spill a little of anything.
Jacob Grimm (Grimm's Fairy Tales (Illustrated))
—Father says! ...her voice cut him through. —Lucifer was the archangel who refused to serve Our Lord. To sin is to falsify something in the Divine Order, and that is what Lucifer did. His name means Bringer of Light but he was not satisfied to bring the light of Our Lord to man, he tried to steal the power of Our Lord and to bring his own light to man. He tried to become original, she pronounced malignantly, shaping that word round the whole structure of damnation, repeating it, crumpling the drawing of the robin in her hand, —original, to steal Our Lord’s authority, to command his own destiny, to bear his own light! That is why Satan is the Fallen Angel, for he rebelled when he tried to emulate Our Lord Jesus. And he won his own domain, didn’t he. Didn’t he! And his own light is the light of the fires of Hell! Is that what you want? Is that what you want? Is that what you wanted? There may have been, by now, many things that Wyatt wanted to do to Jesus: emulate was not one of them.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
No, he would never know his father, who would continue to sleep over there, his face for ever lost in the ashes. There was a mystery about that man, a mystery he had wanted to penetrate. But after all there was only the mystery of poverty that creates beings without names and without a past, that sends them into the vast throng of the nameless dead who made the world while they themselves were destroyed for ever. For it was just that that his father had in common with the men of the Labrador. The Mahon people of the Sahel, the Alsatians on the high plateaus, with this immense island between sand and sea, which the enormous silence was now beginning to envelop: the silence of anonymity; it enveloped blood and courage and work and instinct, it was at once cruel and compassionate. And he who had wanted to escape from the country without name, from the crowd and from a family without a name, but in whom something had gone on craving darkness and anonymity - he too was a member of the tribe, marching blindly into the night near the old doctor who was panting at his right, listening to the gusts of music coming from the square, seeing once more the hard inscrutable faces of the Arabs around the bandstands, Veillard's laughter and his stubborn face - also seeing with a sweetness and a sorrow that wrung his heart the deathly look on his mother's face at the time of the bombing - wandering though the night of the years in the land of oblivion where each one is the first man, where he had to bring himself up, without a father, having never known those moments when a father would call his son, after waiting for him to reach the age of listening, to tell him the family's secret, or a sorrow of long ago, or the experience of his life, those moments when even the ridiculous and hateful Polonius all of a sudden becomes great when he is speaking to Laertes; and he was sixteen, then he was twenty, and no one had spoken to him, and he had to learn by himself, to grow alone, in fortitude, in strength, find his own morality and truth, at last to be born as a man and then to be born in a harder childbirth, which consists of being born in relation to others, to women, like all the men born in this country who, one by one, try to learn without roots and without faith, and today all of them are threatened with eternal anonymity and the loss of the only consecrated traces of their passage on this earth, the illegible slabs in the cemetery that the night has now covered over; they had to learn how to live in relation to others, to the immense host of the conquerors, now dispossessed, who had preceded them on this land and in whom they now had to recognise the brotherhood of race and destiny.
Albert Camus (The First Man)
There is no man,’ he began, ‘however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grand sons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups—assuming that one is a painter—extracted something that goes beyond them.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
But, when the cult of the male god was established, there must have been difficulty in explaining how he could be the giver of life to all creation—since the man, unlike the woman, cannot produce from his body either the child or the food for the child. The whole attitude of humans towards the God had to be altered—violently altered. There could not be that same vital biological and magical link (the I-Thou) between the child and the father, as there is between the child and its mother: two beings evolving in and from the same body, the same rhythms, the same dreams. From the religious point of view, this means the loss between the human and the divine of direct, continuous physical-emotional-spiritual relationship. Oneness is dualized, the “self” is isolated within, and the rest of the universe, including God, is displaced and objectified without. The evolutionary, protoplasmic connection between the experienced self and the All is broken, and the new relation becomes: I-the Other; or worse: I-It. The father is not of the same all-containing, all-infusing, shaping and nourishing substance, and so the relation between humans and the Father God becomes abstract and alienated, distant and moralistic. The
Monica Sjöö (The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth)
It was the Age of Anything-Can-Happen, he reminded himself. He had heard many people say that on TV and on the outré video clips floating in cyberspace, which added a further, new-technology depth to his addiction. There were no rules any more. And in the Age of Anything-Can-Happen, well, anything could happen. Old friends could become new enemies and traditional enemies could be your new besties or even lovers. It was no longer possible to predict the weather, or the likelihood of war, or the outcome of elections. A woman might fall in love with a piglet, or a man start living with an owl. A beauty might fall asleep and, when kissed, wake up speaking a different language and in that new language reveal a completely altered character. A flood might drown your city. A tornado might carry your house to a faraway land where, upon landing, it would squash a witch. Criminals could become kings and kings be unmasked as criminals. A man might discover that the woman he lived with was his father’s illegitimate child. A whole nation might jump off a cliff like swarming lemmings. Men who played presidents on TV could become presidents. The water might run out. A woman might bear a baby who was found to be a revenant god. Words could lose their meanings and acquire new ones. The world might end, as at least one prominent scientist- entrepreneur had begun repeatedly to predict. An evil scent would hang over the ending. And a TV star might miraculously return the love of a foolish old coot, giving him an unlikely romantic triumph which would redeem a long, small life, bestowing upon it, at the last, the radiance of majesty.
Salman Rushdie (Quichotte)
The hours I spent in this anachronistic, bibliophile, Anglophile retreat were in surreal contrast to the shrieking horror show that was being enacted in the rest of the city. I never felt this more acutely than when, having maneuvered the old boy down the spiral staircase for a rare out-of-doors lunch the next day—terrified of letting him slip and tumble—I got him back upstairs again. He invited me back for even more readings the following morning but I had to decline. I pleaded truthfully that I was booked on a plane for Chile. 'I am so sorry,' said this courteous old genius. 'But may I then offer you a gift in return for your company?' I naturally protested with all the energy of an English middle-class upbringing: couldn't hear of such a thing; pleasure and privilege all mine; no question of accepting any present. He stilled my burblings with an upraised finger. 'You will remember,' he said, 'the lines I will now speak. You will always remember them.' And he then recited the following: What man has bent o'er his son's sleep, to brood How that face shall watch his when cold it lies? Or thought, as his own mother kissed his eyes, Of what her kiss was when his father wooed? The title (Sonnet XXIX of Dante Gabriel Rossetti)—'Inclusiveness'—may sound a trifle sickly but the enfolded thought recurred to me more than once after I became a father and Borges was quite right: I have never had to remind myself of the words. I was mumbling my thanks when he said, again with utter composure: 'While you are in Chile do you plan a call on General Pinochet?' I replied with what I hoped was equivalent aplomb that I had no such intention. 'A pity,' came the response. 'He is a true gentleman. He was recently kind enough to award me a literary prize.' It wasn't the ideal note on which to bid Borges farewell, but it was an excellent illustration of something else I was becoming used to noticing—that in contrast or corollary to what Colin MacCabe had said to me in Lisbon, sometimes it was also the right people who took the wrong line.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Both men had talked of their intentions to commit suicide. Both used the typical argument —they had nothing more to expect from life. In both cases it was a question of getting them to realize that life was still expecting something from them; something in the future was expected of them. We found, in fact, that for the one it was his child whom he adored and who was waiting for him in a foreign country. For the other it was a thing, not a person. This man was a scientist and had written a series of books which still needed to be finished. His work could not be done by anyone else, any more than another person could ever take the place of the father in his child’s affections. This uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives a meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love. When the impossibility of replacing a person is realized, it allows the responsibility which a man has for his existence and its continuance to appear in all its magnitude. A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.” The
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
He got into the tub and ran a little cold water. Then he lowered his thin, hairy body into the just-right warmth and stared at the interstices between the tiles. Sadness--he had experienced that emotion ten thousand times. As exhalation is to inhalation, he thought of it as the return from each thrust of happiness. Lazily soaping himself, he gave examples. When he was five and Irwin eight, their father had breezed into town with a snowstorm and come to see them where they lived with their grandparents in the small Connecticut city. Their father had been a vagabond salesman and was considered a bum by people who should know. But he had come into the closed, heated house with all the gimcrack and untouchable junk behind glass and he had smelled of cold air and had had snow in his curly black hair. He had raved about the world he lived in, while the old people, his father and mother, had clucked sadly in the shadows. And then he had wakened the boys in the night and forced them out into the yard to worship the swirling wet flakes, to dance around with their hands joined, shrieking at the snow-laden branches. Later, they had gone in to sleep with hearts slowly returning to bearable beatings. Great flowering things had opened and closed in Norman's head, and the resonance of the wild man's voice had squeezed a sweet, tart juice through his heart. But then he had wakened to a gray day with his father gone and the world walking gingerly over the somber crust of dead-looking snow. It had taken him some time to get back to his usual equanimity. He slid down in the warm, foamy water until just his face and his knobby white knees were exposed. Once he had read Wuthering Heights over a weekend and gone to school susceptible to any heroine, only to have the girl who sat in front of him, whom he had admired for some months, emit a loud fart which had murdered him in a small way and kept him from speaking a word to anyone the whole week following. He had laughed at a very funny joke about a Negro when Irwin told it at a party, and then the following day had seen some white men lightly kicking a Negro man in the pants, and temporarily he had questioned laughter altogether. He had gone to several universities with the vague exaltation of Old Man Axelrod and had found only curves and credits. He had become drunk on the idea of God and found only theology. He had risen several times on the subtle and powerful wings of lust, expectant of magnificence, achieving only discharge. A few times he had extended friendship with palpitating hope, only to find that no one quite knew what he had in mind. His solitude now was the result of his metabolism, that constant breathing in of joy and exhalation of sadness. He had come to take shallower breaths, and the two had become mercifully mixed into melancholy contentment. He wondered how pain would breach that low-level strength. "I'm a small man of definite limitations," he declared to himself, and relaxed in the admission.
Edward Lewis Wallant (The Tenants of Moonbloom)
I love you,” I tell her. “I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and are transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth. “I love you like a river that creates the right conditions for trees and bushes and flowers to flourish along its banks. I love you like a river that gives water to the thirsty and takes people where they want to go. “I love you like a river that understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows. I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, and the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy. “I love you like a river that begins as a solitary trickle in the mountains and gradually grows and joins other rivers until, after a certain point, it can flow around any obstacle in order to get where it wants. “I receive your love, and I give you mine. Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father for a child, not the love of God for his creatures, but a love with no name and no explanation, like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course but simply flows onward. A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return; it is simply there. I will never be yours, and you will never be mine; nevertheless, I can honestly say: I love you, I love you, I love you.
Paulo Coelho (Aleph)
Discreet as you are, Rohan, one can’t help but notice how ardently you are pursued. It seems you hold quite an appeal for the ladies of London. And from all appearances, you’ve taken full advantage of what’s been offered.” Cam stared at him without expression. “Pardon, but are you leading to an actual point, my lord?” Leaning back in his chair, St. Vincent made a temple of his elegant hands and regarded Cam steadily. “Since you’ve had no problem with lack of desire in the past, I can only assume that, as happens with other appetites, yours has been sated with an overabundance of sameness. A bit of novelty may be just the thing.” Considering the statement, which actually made sense, Cam wondered if the notorious former rake had ever been tempted to stray. Having known Evie since childhood, when she had come to visit her widowed father at the club from time to time, Cam felt as protective of her as if she’d been his younger sister. No one would have paired the gentle-natured Evie with such a libertine. And perhaps no one had been as surprised as St. Vincent himself to discover their marriage of convenience had turned into a passionate love match. “What of married life?” Cam asked softly. “Does it eventually become an overabundance of sameness?” St. Vincent’s expression changed, the light blue eyes warming at the thought of his wife. “It has become clear to me that with the right woman, one can never have enough. I would welcome an overabundance of such bliss—but I doubt such a thing is mortally possible.” Closing the account book with a decisive thud, he stood from the desk. “If you’ll excuse me, Rohan, I’ll bid you good night.” “What about finishing the accounting?” “I’ll leave the rest in your capable hands.” At Cam’s scowl, St. Vincent shrugged innocently. “Rohan, one of us is an unmarried man with superior mathematical abilities and no prospects for the evening. The other is a confirmed lecher in an amorous mood, with a willing and nubile young wife waiting at home. Who do you think should do the damned account books?” And, with a nonchalant wave, St. Vincent had left the office.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
Take David, the man after God’s own heart. For decades, he held on to God’s promise that he would become king. But then he gave up and moved to Goliath’s native country, where he worked for the Philistine king and fought the wrong battles (1 Samuel 27). Abraham, the father of faith, had bad days. He once ran away from the promised land and lied about his wife being his sister to protect himself (Genesis 20). Why? He was afraid. The apostle Paul begged God three times to take away a painful trial that was far too heavy for him to carry (2 Corinthians 12:7–8). Elijah, the mightiest of the miracle-working prophets, had a total emotional breakdown when a woman cussed him out. He ended up running away from home, hiding under a tree, and wishing for death (1 Kings 19:4). The prophet Jeremiah got so stressed out that he told God he was never going to preach again (Jeremiah 20:9). And then there’s John the Baptist. Jesus said that he is the best person ever to be born of a woman. He had such a big crisis of faith in prison that he doubted whether he had made the right choice in baptizing Jesus as the Messiah (Luke 7:20).
Levi Lusko (Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power)
Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where they strung up a man they say murdered three. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The mockingjays begin to alter their songs as they become aware of my new offering. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out for his love to flee. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” I have the birds’ attention now. In one more verse, surely they will have captured the melody, as it’s simple and repeats four times with little variation. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” A hush in the trees. Just the rustle of leaves in the breeze. But no birds, mockingjay or other. Peeta’s right. They do fall silent when I sing. Just as they did for my father. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Introductory paragraph incorporating the thesis: After a challenging childhood marked by adversity, Adam Parrish has become a successful freshman at Harvard University. In the past, he had spent his time doubting himself, fearing he would become like his father, obsessing that others could see his trailer-park roots, and idealizing wealth, but now he has built a new future where no one has to know where he's come from. Before becoming a self-actualized young man at Harvard, Adam had been deeply fascinated by the concept of the ley lines and also supernaturally entangled with one of the uncanny forests located along one, but he has now focused on the real world, using only the ghost of magic to fleece other students with parlor trick tarot card readings. He hasn't felt like himself for months, but he is going to be just fine. Followed by three paragraphs with information that supports the thesis. First: Adam understands that suffering is often transient, even when it feels permanent. This too shall pass, etc. Although college seems like a lifetime, it is only four years. Four years is only a lifetime if one is a guinea pig. Second paragraph, building on the first point: Magic has not always been good for Adam. During high school, he frequently immersed himself in it as a form of avoidance. Deep down, he fears that he is prone to it as his father is prone to abuse, and that it will eventually make him unsuitable for society. By depriving himself of magic, he forces himself to become someone valuable to the unmagic world, i.e. the Crying Club. Third paragraph, with the most persuasive point: Harvard is a place Ronan Lynch cannot be, because he cannot survive there, either physically or socially. Without such hard barriers, Adam will surely continue to return to Ronan Lynch again and again, and thus fall back in with bad habits. He will never achieve the life of financial security and recognition he planned. Thesis restated, bringing together all the information to prove it: Although life is unbearable now, and Adam Parrish seems to have lost everything important to him in the present by pursuing the things important to him in the past, he will be fine. Concluding paragraph describing what the reader just learned and why it is important for them to have learned it: He will be fine. He will be fine. He will be fine. He will be fine.
Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren (Dreamer Trilogy, #3))
... You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. ----- I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that has not much improved my opinion of them. ---- I am who I am and I have the need to be. ---- It is far more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself correctly, then you are truly a man of wisdom. ----- Straight ahead you can not go very far. ----- Grown-ups love figures... When you tell them you've made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? " Instead they demand "How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? " Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. If you say to the grown-ups: 'I've seen a lovely house made of pink brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the rood', they are unable to picture such a house. You must say: I saw a house that come a hundred thousand francs.' Then they cry out: 'How pretty!' ---- One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed.
Richard Howard (The Little Prince)
It's through the cross that we reach the resurrection. We should be absolutely sure of this truth, and we should keep this cross hidden and not place it on the shoulders of others. It is our cross we have to carry. It is the one God has given us to go through into His resurrection. This is the one we should keep hidden. But there are crosses and crosses, some of our own making. These we should immediately discard. Some permitted by God for our sanctification. These we can share for they are also for the sanctification of others. True, we can help to carry other people's crosses and they can help to carry our crosses, but the operative word is "hidden." The Lord said, "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men," and "When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Mt 6:16-18) Our very hiddenness becomes a light if we do not complain, if we carry our cross manfully, ready to help in the carrying of other people's crosses. Then we become a light to our neighbour's feet because we become an icon of Christ—shining!
Catherine de Hueck Doherty (Sobornost: Experiencing Unity of Mind, Heart and Soul)
Has he invited you to dinner, dear? Gifts, flowers, the usual?” I had to put my cup down, because my hand was shaking too much. When I stopped laughing, I said, “Curran? He isn’t exactly Mr. Smooth. He handed me a bowl of soup, that’s as far as we got.” “He fed you?” Raphael stopped rubbing Andrea. “How did this happen?” Aunt B stared at me. “Be very specific, this is important.” “He didn’t actually feed me. I was injured and he handed me a bowl of chicken soup. Actually I think he handed me two or three. And he called me an idiot.” “Did you accept?” Aunt B asked. “Yes, I was starving. Why are the three of you looking at me like that?” “For crying out loud.” Andrea set her cup down, spilling some tea. “The Beast Lord’s feeding you soup. Think about that for a second.” Raphael coughed. Aunt B leaned forward. “Was there anybody else in the room?” “No. He chased everyone out.” Raphael nodded. “At least he hasn’t gone public yet.” “He might never,” Andrea said. “It would jeopardize her position with the Order.” Aunt B’s face was grave. “It doesn’t go past this room. You hear me, Raphael? No gossip, no pillow talk, not a word. We don’t want any trouble with Curran.” “If you don’t explain it all to me, I will strangle somebody.” Of course, Raphael might like that . . . “Food has a special significance,” Aunt D said. I nodded. “Food indicates hierarchy. Nobody eats before the alpha, unless permission is given, and no alpha eats in Curran’s presence until Curran takes a bite.” “There is more,” Aunt B said. “Animals express love through food. When a cat loves you, he’ll leave dead mice on your porch, because you’re a lousy hunter and he wants to take care of you. When a shapeshifter boy likes a girl, he’ll bring her food and if she likes him back, she might make him lunch. When Curran wants to show interest in a woman, he buys her dinner.” “In public,” Raphael added, “the shapeshifter fathers always put the first bite on the plates of their wives and children. It signals that if someone wants to challenge the wife or the child, they would have to challenge the male first.” “If you put all of Curran’s girls together, you could have a parade,” Aunt B said. “But I’ve never seen him physically put food into a woman’s hands. He’s a very private man, so he might have done it in an intimate moment, but I would’ve found out eventually. Something like that doesn’t stay hidden in the Keep. Do you understand now? That’s a sign of a very serious interest, dear.” “But I didn’t know what it meant!” Aunt B frowned. “Doesn’t matter. You need to be very careful right now. When Curran wants something, he doesn’t become distracted. He goes after it and he doesn’t stop until he obtains his goal no matter what it takes. That tenacity is what makes him an alpha.” “You’re scaring me.” “Scared might be too strong a word, but in your place, I would definitely be concerned.” I wished I were back home, where I could get to my bottle of sangria. This clearly counted as a dire emergency. As if reading my thoughts, Aunt B rose, took a small bottle from a cabinet, and poured me a shot. I took it, and drained it in one gulp, letting tequila slide down my throat like liquid fire. “Feel better?” “It helped.” Curran had driven me to drinking. At least I wasn’t contemplating suicide.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
I have not sung “The Hanging Tree” out loud for ten years, because it’s forbidden, but I remember every word. I begin softly, sweetly, as my father did. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where they strung up a man they say murdered three. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” The mockingjays begin to alter their songs as they become aware of my new offering. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out for his love to flee. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” I have the birds’ attention now. In one more verse, surely they will have captured the melody, as it’s simple and repeats four times with little variation. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.” A hush in the trees. Just the rustle of leaves in the breeze. But no birds, mockingjay or other. Peeta’s right. They do fall silent when I sing. Just as they did for my father. “Are you, are you Coming to the tree Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me. Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
She wondered if her father had awakened yet, if he had missed her, if Jeweltongue would tell him she was only out in the garden, if Tea-cosy's wretchedness would give them all away immediately. She wondered if she had been right to guess that her father would not mend till she left--and that he would mend when she did. Had the Beast sent his illness? Did he watch them from his palace? What a sorcerer could and could not do could never quite be relied on--not even always by the sorcerer. She could hate him--easily she could hate him--for the misery of it if he had sent it. If he kept his promises like a man, did he suppose that they mere humans as they were, would keep theirs any less? The price was high for one stolen rose, but they would pay it. If he had sent her father's illness to beat them into acquiescence, she would hate him for it. The bitterness of her thoughts weighted her down till she had to stop walking. She looked again at the beech trees and, not waiting for a gap this time, fought her way through to the nearest and leant against it, turning her head so that her cheek was against the bark. The Beast is a Beast, even if he keeps his promises; how could she guess how a Beast thinkds, especially one who is so great a sorcere? It was foolish to talk of hating him--foolish and wasteful. What had happened had happened, like anything else might happen, like a bit of paper giving you a new home when you had none finding its way into your hand, like a company of the ugliest, worst-tempered plants you'd ever seen opening their flowers and becoming rose-bushes, the most beautiful, lovable plants you've ever seen. Perhaps it was the Beast's near presence that made her own roses grow. Did she not owe him something for that if that were the case? It was a curious thing, she thought sadly, how one is no longer satisfied with what one was or had if one has discovered something better. She could not now happily live without roses, although she had never seen a rose before three years ago.
Robin McKinley (Rose Daughter)
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)
I was the boy who killed his first man at eleven. I was the teenager who crushed his cousin’s throat at seventeen. I was the man who bathed in his enemies’ blood without a flicker of remorse, who relished in their screams as if it was a fucking Mozart sonata. Monsters are created, not born. Bullshit. I was born a monster. Cruelty ran in my veins like poison. It ran in the veins of every Vitiello man, passed on from father to son, an endless spiral of monstrosity. I was a born monster shaped into an even worse monster by my father’s blade and fists and harsh words. I was raised to become Capo, to rule without mercy, to dish out brutality without a second thought. I was raised to break others. When Aria was given to me in marriage, everyone waited with baited breath to see how fast I’d break her like my father broke his women. How I’d crush her innocence and kindness with the force of my cruelty, with relentless brutality. Breaking her would have taken little effort. It came naturally to me. A man born a monster, raised to be a monster, bound to be a monster to become Capo. I was gladly the monster everyone feared. Until her. Until Aria. With her, I didn’t have to cover up my darkness. Her light shone brighter than my darkness ever could. With her, I didn’t want to be the monster. I wanted to shield her from that part of my nature. But I was born a monster. Raised to break others. Not breaking her would come with a price. A price a monster like myself shouldn’t risk paying.
Cora Reilly (Luca Vitiello (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles, #0))
The theme of tonight’s dinner is apotheosis. What does it mean to become God? If Father Francis has no problem with lesser mortals like ourselves bursting into kaleidoscopic rainbows after decades of intense meditation, then why not simply drink the sacred potion and cut to the chase? At the end of the day, aren’t we both talking about that cryptic promise from Eleusis: overcoming the limitations of the physical body and cheating death? That “moment of intense rapture” sought by the maenads of Dionysus, until they “became identified with the god himself.” And aren’t he and Ruck both committing the same arch-heresy by suggesting that the original, obscured truth of Christianity has nothing to do with worshipping Jesus, and everything to do with becoming Jesus? Aren’t we all just gods and goddesses in the making? Maybe the concept of apotheosis doesn’t sound particularly heretical today. But a few hundred years ago, it got the likes of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola into a load of trouble. In 1484 the upstart Italian was only twenty-one years old when he met Lorenzo de’ Medici, who promptly invited him into the Florentine Academy that was about to punch the Renaissance into high gear. Already a student of Greek, as well as Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic, the newest Florentine got to work writing Oratio de hominis dignitate (Oration on the Dignity of Man): the so-called Manifesto of the Renaissance. He wanted to publicly debut the Oratio, together with his 900 Theses, in Rome on the Epiphany of 1487, the God’s Gift Day. But Pope Innocent VIII was not impressed. He put a halt to the spectacle and condemned every one of Pico della Mirandola’s theses for “renovating the errors of pagan philosophers.
Brian C. Muraresku (The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name)
All of us have a right to our lives. But what if, for lack of guidance, we take the wrong paths? Take Wintrow for instance. What if he was meant to lead a different life? What if, because of something I failed to do or say, he became King of the Pirate Isles when he was meant to be a man leading a life of scholarly contemplation? A man whose destiny was to experience a cloistered, contemplative life becomes a king instead. His deep spiritual meditations never occur and are never shared with the world.” Paragon shook his head. “You worry too much.” His eyes tracked a moth. It fluttered earnestly by, intent on battering itself to death against the lantern. “Humans live such short lives. I believe they have little impact on the world. So Wintrow will not be a priest. It is probably no more significant than if a man who was meant to be a king became a philosophical recluse instead.” He felt a shiver run over her body. “Oh, ship,” she rebuked him softly. “Was that meant to be comforting?” Carefully, he patted her as a father might soothe an infant. “Take comfort in this Amber. You are only one small, short-lived creature. You’d have to be a fool to think you could change the course of the whole world.” She was silent until she broke out in a shaky laugh. Oh, Paragon, in that you are more right than you know, my friend.” “Be content with your own life, my friend, and live it well. Let others decide for themselves what path they will follow.” She frowned up at him. “Even when you see, with absolute clarity, that it is wrong for them? That they hurt themselves?” “Perhaps people have a right to their own pain,” he hazarded. Reluctantly he added, “Perhaps they even need it.” “Perhaps,” she concluded unhappily." p. 781: Amber and Paragon:
Robin Hobb (Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders, #3))
You have something to say to me, Cassidy, say it. Or shut the fuck up.” “All right,” Jules said. “I will.” He took a deep breath. Exhaled. “Okay, see, I, well, I love you. Very, very much, and . . .” Where to go from here . . .? Except, his plain-spoken words earned him not just a glance but Max’s sudden full and complete attention. Which was a little alarming. But it was the genuine concern in Max’s eyes that truly caught Jules off-guard. Max actually thought . . . Jules laughed his surprise. “Oh! No, not like that. I meant it, you know, in a totally platonic, non-gay way.” Jules saw comprehension and relief on Max’s face. The man was tired if he was letting such basic emotions show. “Sorry.” Max even smiled. “I just . . .” He let out a burst of air. “I mean, talk about making things even more complicated . . .” It was amazing. Max hadn’t recoiled in horror at the idea. His concern had been for Jules, about potentially hurting his tender feelings. And even now, he wasn’t trying to turn it all into a bad joke. And he claimed they weren’t friends. Jules felt his throat tighten. “You can’t know,” he told his friend quietly, “how much I appreciate your acceptance and respect.” “My father was born in India,” Max told him, “in 1930. His mother was white—American. His father was not just Indian, but lower caste. The intolerance he experienced both there and later, even in America, made him a . . . very bitter, very hard, very, very unhappy man.” He glanced at Jules again. “I know personality plays into it, and maybe you’re just stronger than he was, but . . . People get knocked down all the time. They can either stay there, wallow in it, or . . . Do what you’ve done—what you do. So yeah. I respect you more than you know.” Holy shit. Weeping was probably a bad idea, so Jules grabbed onto the alternative. He made a joke. “I wasn’t aware that you even had a father. I mean, rumors going around the office have you arriving via flying saucer—” “I would prefer not to listen to aimless chatter all night long,” Max interrupted him. “So if you’ve made your point . . .?” Ouch. “Okay,” Jules said. “I’m so not going to wallow in that. Because I do have a point. See, I said what I said because I thought I’d take the talk-to-an-eight-year-old approach with you. You know, tell you how much I love you and how great you are in part one of the speech—” “Speech.” Max echoed. “Because part two is heavily loaded with the silent-but-implied ‘you are such a freaking idiot.’” “Ah, Christ,” Max muttered. “So, I love you,” Jules said again, “in a totally buddy-movie way, and I just want to say that I also really love working for you, and I hope to God you’ll come back so I can work for you again. See, I love the fact that you’re my leader not because you were appointed by some suit, but because you earned very square inch of that gorgeous corner office. I love you because you’re not just smart, you’re open-minded—you’re willing to talk to people who have a different point of view, and when they speak, you’re willing to listen. Like right now, for instance. You’re listening, right?” “No.” “Liar.” Jules kept going. “You know, the fact that so many people would sell their grandmother to become a part of your team is not an accident. Sir, you’re beyond special—and your little speech to me before just clinched it. You scare us to death because we’re afraid we won’t be able to live up to your high standards. But your back is strong, you always somehow manage to carry us with you even when we falter. “Some people don’t see that; they don’t really get you—all they know is they would charge into hell without hesitation if you gave the order to go. But see, what I know is that you’d be right there, out in front—they’d have to run to keep up with you. You never flinch. You never hesitate. You never rest.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh—but that's no marvel; he drinks no wine. There's never none of these demure boys come to any proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness; and then, when they marry, they get wenches. They are generally fools and cowards-which some of us should be too, but for inflammation. A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris is the warming of the blood; which before, cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice; but the sherris warms it, and makes it course from the inwards to the parts extremes. It illumineth the face, which, as a beacon, gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the heart, who, great and puff'd up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage—and this valour comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learning, a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil till sack commences it and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father, he hath, like lean, sterile, and bare land, manured, husbanded, and till'd, with excellent endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be to forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.
William Shakespeare (Henry IV, Part Two)
They were brought up that way by their parents. When they came to England, they were further mesmerised. They were impressed by English language, literature and English way of life. They considered the English as divine. Let us consider a specific case. The person is not a modern Hindu but a Muslim. His name is Sayyad Ahmad. He founded the Aligad Movement and asked Muslims to be slaves of the English forever. When he lived in England in late nineteenth century he wrote a letter to his friends describing life in England at that time. In a letter of 1869 he wrote – “The English have reasons to believe that we in India are imbecile brutes. What I have seen and daily seeing is utterly beyond imagination of a native in India. All good things, spiritual and worldly which should be found in man have been bestowed by the Almighty on Europe and especially on the English.” (Ref -Nehru’s Autobiography page 461). Above letter of Sayyad Ahmad would suffice to show how mentally degenerated and devoid of any self-respect, Indians had become. I have already illustrated this point by quoting experiences of Indians from the early days of Dadabhai Naoroji till I reached London in 1906. Gandhi came to London to study Law in 1888. His behaviour was no different to that described above. He too tried to use Top Hat, Tail Coat and expensive ties. Many other Indians have described their experiences in a similar manner. Motilal Nehru, like father of Arvind Ghosh too, was impressed by the British Raj. He sent his son Jawaharlal to England in his young age, who stayed in English hostels and so anglicised he had become that after studying in Cambridge University and becoming a Barrister in 1912 he paid no attention to Indian Politics which was taking shape in Europe. Anyone can verify my statements by referring to autobiographies of Gandhi, Nehru, Charudatta, and others. When the British called Indians as Brutes, instead of becoming furious, Indians would react – “Oh yes sir. We are indeed so and that is why, by divine dispensation, the British Raj has been established over us.“ I was trying to sow seeds of armed revolution to overthrow the British rule in India. The readers can imagine how difficult, well nigh impossible was my task. I was determined .
Anonymous
Torin, I didn’t know it was possible to find someone like you. You love me for who I am, not what I am. You’ve taught me that it’s okay to walk on my own, yet you’re always there to carry me when I can’t. You’ve taught me it’s okay to run, stumble, and fall, and pick myself up because a fall is nothing to be ashamed of. You’ve taught me it’s okay to fly because the sky is the limit and you’ll catch me if I fall. You inspire me, challenge me, and celebrate me. You are the first man I’ve ever loved and you will be the last man I’ll ever love. You are my one and only true love, and I promise I will love you for eternity.” Hawk draped the silk rope around our wrists and picked up the second one. Torin looked into my eyes as he started to speak, his voice sure, his words sincere. “Raine Cooper, from the moment you opened your door and our eyes met for the first time, I knew I had reached the end of my quest, yet I didn’t even know what I was searching for. I just knew you were the one, my omega. Where there was cold, you’ve brought warmth. Where there was sadness, you’ve brought happiness. Where there was pain, you’ve brought relief. Where there was darkness, you’ve brought light. You know me better than anyone, my fears, my shortcomings, my habits, yet you still love me. My vows to you are a privilege because I get to laugh with you, cry with you, walk with you, run with you, and fight with you for the rest of our lives. I promise to be patient. Most of the time,” he added, smiling. “I promise to be faithful, respectful, attentive, and to become even a better man for you. I promise to celebrate your triumphs and step back so you can shine like the star you are, but I’ll always be there when you need me. My shoulders are yours to cry on and to carry your burdens. My body is the shield that blocks the blows that might harm you and yours to do with as you wish. My hopes and dreams will always start and end with you. Yours will be the name I cry when I’m in need. Your eyes are the balm I seek when I’m in pain. And your soul is the beacon that my soul searches for when I’m lost. I will love you fiercely, tenderly, and passionately. And when we have children, I promise to be the best father a child could ever want. For you, Raine Cooper, deserve the best and I plan to give it you. You are my one and only true love, and I promise I will love you for eternity.
Ednah Walters (Witches (Runes, #6))
The bonds of family can be wonderful but there is a time to know when to stand apart." She held out a hand to Rycca on the nearby bench. "Besides, we are your family now, all of us, and we know your worth." Deeply touched, Rycca had to blink several times before she could respond. She knew both women spoke pure truth and loved them for it.After a lifetime of emotional solitude unbroken but for Thurlow, it was still difficult for her to comprehend that she was no longer alone. Yet was she beginning to understand it. Softly,she said, "I worry over Dragon. He refuses to talk of my father or of what will happen now that we are here, but I fear he is planning to take matters into his own hands." Cymbra and Krysta exchanged a glance. Quietly,Cymbra said, "Your instinct is not wrong. Dragon simmers with rage at the harm attempted to you. In Landsende I caught a mere glimpse of it,and it was like peering into one of those mountains that belch fire." Despite the heat of the sauna, Rycca shivered. "He came close to losing his life once because of me.I cannot bear for it to happen again." There was silence for a moment,broken only by the crackling of the fire and the hiss of steam.Finally, Cymbra said, "We are each of us married to an extraordinary man. There is something about them...even now I don't really know how to explain it." She looked at Krysta. "Have you told Rycca about Thorgold and Raven?" Krysta shook her head. "There was no time before." She turned on her side on the bench,facing the other two. "Thorgold and Raven are my...friends. They are somewhat unusual." Cymbra laughed at that,prompting a chiding look from Krysta,who went on to say, "I'm not sure how but I think somehow I called them to me when I was a child and needed them very much." "Krysta has the gift of calling," Cymbra said, "as I do of feeling and you do of truthsaying. Doesn't it strike you as odd that three very unusual women, all bearing special gifts, ccame to be married to three extraordinary men who are united by a common purpose,to bring peace to their peoples?" "I had not really thought about it," said Rycca, who also had not known of Krysta's gift and was looking at her with some surprise. All three of them? That was odd. "I believe," said Cymbra, who clearly had been thinking about it, "that there is a reason for it beyond mere coincidence. I think we are meant to be at their sides, to help them as best we can, the better to transform peace from dream to reality." "It is a good thought," Krysta said. Rycca nodded. Very quietly, she said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Cymbra grinned. "And poor things, we appear to be their blessings. So worry not for Dragon, Rycca. He will prevail. We will all see to it." They laughed then,the trio of them, ancient and feminine laughter hidden in a chamber held in the palm of the earth. The steam rose around them, half obscuringm half revealing them. In time,when the heat had become too intense,they rose, wrapped themselves in billowing cloths,and ran through the gathering darkness to the river, where they frolicked in cool water and laughed again beneath the stars. The torches had been lit by the time they returned to the stronghold high on the hill. They dressed and hastened to the hall,where they greeted their husbands, who stood as one when they entered,silent and watchful men before beauty and strength, and took their seats at table. Wine was poured, food brought,music played. They lingered over the evening,taking it into night. The moon was high when they found the sweet,languid sanctuary of their beds. Day came too swiftly.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Prayer and Meditation Matthew 14 AND HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY This was always the practice of Jesus when he would move into the masses, the crowd, afterwards he would go alone into deep prayer and meditation. Why did he do this? If you have been meditating, you will understand. You will understand that once you start meditating, a very fragile and delicate quality of consciousness is born in you. A flower of the unknown, of the beyond, starts opening, which is delicate. And whenever you move into the crowd, you lose something. Whenever you come back from the crowd, you come back lesser than you had gone. Something has been lost, some contact has been lost. The crowd pulls you down, it has a gravitation of it's own. You may not feel it if you live on the same plane of consciousness. Then there is no problem, then you have nothing to lose. In fact, when you live in the crowd, on the same plane, alone you feel very uneasy. When you are with people, you feel good and happy. But alone, you feel sad, your aloneness is not aloneness. It is loneliness, you miss the other. You do not find yourself in the aloneness, you simply miss the other. When you are alone, you are not alone, beacuse you are not there. Only the desire to be with others is there - that is what loneliness is. Always remember the distinction between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is a peak experience - loneliness is a valley. Aloneness has light in it, loneliness is dark. Loneliness is when you desire others; aloneness is when you enjoy yourself. When Jesus would move into the masses, into the crowd, he would tell his disciples to got to the other shore of the lake, and he would move into total aloneness. Not even the disciples were allowed to be with him. This was a constant practice with him. Whenever you go into the crowd, you are infected by it. You need a higher altitude to purify yourself, you need to be alone so that you can become fresh again. You need to be alone with yourself, so that you become together again. You need to be alone, so that you become centered and rooted in yourself again. Whenever you move with others, they push you off centre. AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE Nothing is said about his prayer in the Bible, just the word "prayer". Before God or before existence, you simply need to be vulnerable - that is prayer. You are no to say something. So when you go into prayer, don't start saying something. It will all be desires, demands and deep complaints to God. And prayer with complaints is no prayer, a prayer with deep gratitude is prayer. There is no need to say something, you can just be silent. Hence nothing is said about what Jesus did in his aloneness. It simply says "apart to pray". He went apart, he became alone. That is what prayer is, to be alone, where the other is not felt, where the other is not standing between you and existence. When God's breeze can pass througn you, unhindered. It is a cleansing experience. It revejunates your spirit. To be with God simply means to be alone. You can miss the point, if you start thinking about God, then you are not alone. If you start talking to God, then in imagination you have created the other. And then you God is a projection, it will be a projection of your father. A prayer is not to say something. It is to be silent, open, available. And there is no need to believe in God, because that too is a projection. The only need is to be alone, to be capable of being alone - and immediately you are with God. Whenever you are alone, you are with God.
Swami Dhyan Giten (The Way, the Truth and the Life: On Jesus Christ, the Man, the Mystic and the Rebel)
By the way," he said, so casually that Lauren was instantly on guard, "a magazine reporter called me this morning. They know who you are and they know we're getting married. When the story breaks, I'm afraid the press will start hounding you." "How did they find out?" Lauren gasped. He shot her a glinting smile. "I told them." Everything was happening so quickly that Lauren felt dazed. "Did you happen to tell them when and where we're getting married?" she chided. "I told them soon." He closed his briefcase and drew her out of the chair in which she had just sat down. "Do you want a big church wedding with a cast of hundreds-or could you settle for me in a little chapel somewhere, with just your family and a few friends? When we come back from our honeymoon we could throw a huge party,and that would satisfy our social obligations to everyone else we know." Lauren quickly considered the burden a big church wedding would place on her father's health and nonexistent finances, and the highly desirable alternative of becoming Nick's wife right away. "You and a chapel," she said. "Good." He grinned. "Because I would go quietly insane waiting to make you mine. I'm not a patient man." "Really?" She straightened the knot in his tie so that she'd have an excuse to touch him. "I never noticed that." "Brat," he said affectionately.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
The traditional Roman wedding was a splendid affair designed to dramatize the bride’s transfer from the protection of her father’s household gods to those of her husband. Originally, this literally meant that she passed from the authority of her father to her husband, but at the end of the Republic women achieved a greater degree of independence, and the bride remained formally in the care of a guardian from her blood family. In the event of financial and other disagreements, this meant that her interests were more easily protected. Divorce was easy, frequent and often consensual, although husbands were obliged to repay their wives’ dowries. The bride was dressed at home in a white tunic, gathered by a special belt which her husband would later have to untie. Over this she wore a flame-colored veil. Her hair was carefully dressed with pads of artificial hair into six tufts and held together by ribbons. The groom went to her father’s house and, taking her right hand in his, confirmed his vow of fidelity. An animal (usually a ewe or a pig) was sacrificed in the atrium or a nearby shrine and an Augur was appointed to examine the entrails and declare the auspices favorable. The couple exchanged vows after this and the marriage was complete. A wedding banquet, attended by the two families, concluded with a ritual attempt to drag the bride from her mother’s arms in a pretended abduction. A procession was then formed which led the bride to her husband’s house, holding the symbols of housewifely duty, a spindle and distaff. She took the hand of a child whose parents were living, while another child, waving a hawthorn torch, walked in front to clear the way. All those in the procession laughed and made obscene jokes at the happy couple’s expense. When the bride arrived at her new home, she smeared the front door with oil and lard and decorated it with strands of wool. Her husband, who had already arrived, was waiting inside and asked for her praenomen or first name. Because Roman women did not have one and were called only by their family name, she replied in a set phrase: “Wherever you are Caius, I will be Caia.” She was then lifted over the threshold. The husband undid the girdle of his wife’s tunic, at which point the guests discreetly withdrew. On the following morning she dressed in the traditional costume of married women and made a sacrifice to her new household gods. By the late Republic this complicated ritual had lost its appeal for sophisticated Romans and could be replaced by a much simpler ceremony, much as today many people marry in a registry office. The man asked the woman if she wished to become the mistress of a household (materfamilias), to which she answered yes. In turn, she asked him if he wished to become paterfamilias, and on his saying he did the couple became husband and wife.
Anthony Everitt (Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician)
It is one of the great beauties of our system, that a working-man may raise himself into the power and position of a master by his own exertions and behaviour; that, in fact, every one who rules himself to decency and sobriety of conduct, and attention to his duties, comes over to our ranks; it may not be always as a master, but as an over-looker, a cashier, a book-keeper, a clerk, one on the side of authority and order.' 'You consider all who are unsuccessful in raising themselves in the world, from whatever cause, as your enemies, then, if I under-stand you rightly,' said Margaret' in a clear, cold voice. 'As their own enemies, certainly,' said he, quickly, not a little piqued by the haughty disapproval her form of expression and tone of speaking implied. But, in a moment, his straightforward honesty made him feel that his words were but a poor and quibbling answer to what she had said; and, be she as scornful as she liked, it was a duty he owed to himself to explain, as truly as he could, what he did mean. Yet it was very difficult to separate her interpretation, and keep it distinct from his meaning. He could best have illustrated what he wanted to say by telling them something of his own life; but was it not too personal a subject to speak about to strangers? Still, it was the simple straightforward way of explaining his meaning; so, putting aside the touch of shyness that brought a momentary flush of colour into his dark cheek, he said: 'I am not speaking without book. Sixteen years ago, my father died under very miserable circumstances. I was taken from school, and had to become a man (as well as I could) in a few days. I had such a mother as few are blest with; a woman of strong power, and firm resolve. We went into a small country town, where living was cheaper than in Milton, and where I got employment in a draper's shop (a capital place, by the way, for obtaining a knowledge of goods). Week by week our income came to fifteen shillings, out of which three people had to be kept. My mother managed so that I put by three out of these fifteen shillings regularly. This made the beginning; this taught me self-denial. Now that I am able to afford my mother such comforts as her age, rather than her own wish, requires, I thank her silently on each occasion for the early training she gave me. Now when I feel that in my own case it is no good luck, nor merit, nor talent,—but simply the habits of life which taught me to despise indulgences not thoroughly earned,—indeed, never to think twice about them,—I believe that this suffering, which Miss Hale says is impressed on the countenances of the people of Milton, is but the natural punishment of dishonestly-enjoyed pleasure, at some former period of their lives. I do not look on self-indulgent, sensual people as worthy of my hatred; I simply look upon them with contempt for their poorness of character.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you. Amen. . When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. I saw this happen today as the sun went down. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! No herons, no distant music, not even the taste of his lips. How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? . Life moves very fast. It rushes us from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds. . I smile and say nothing, . If I must be faithful to someone or something, then I have, first of all, to be faithful to myself. . Everything is an illusion - and that applies to material as well as spiritual things. . She had spent a lot of her life saying 'no' to things to which she would have liked to say 'yes', . My dear, it's better to be unhappy with a rich man than happy with a poor man, and over there you'll have far more chance of becoming an unhappy rich woman. . Love isn't that important. I didn't love your father at first, but money buys everything, even true love. . Hail Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you. Amen. . She would never find what she was looking for if she couldn't express herself. . At the moment, I'm far too lonely to think about love, but I have to believe that it will happen, that I will find a job and that I am here because I chose this fate. . Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant. . A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. What nonsense! The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin. Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person's whole life, from one moment to the next. . Again, she seemed like a stranger to herself. . I let fate choose which route I should take. . Some people were born to face life alone, and this is neither good nor bad, it is simply life. . I'm not a body with a soul, I'm a soul that has a visible part called the body. . She was doing it because she had nothing to lose, because her life was one of constant, day-to-day frustration. . Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings. . We are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel. . No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. . However tempted she was to continue, however prepared she was for the challenges she had met on her path, all these months living alone with herself had taught her that there is always a right moment to stop something. . He knew everything about her, although she knew nothing about him. . She had opened a door which she didn't know how to close. . Our experiences have been entirely different, but we are both desperate people. . Free yourself from something that cost your heart even more. . One moment, you have nothing, the next, you have more than you can cope with. . Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy? No, he goes in order to die for his country. . What the eyes don't see, the heart doesn't grieve over. . Because we don't want to forget who we are - nor can we. . This was simply a place where people gathered to worship something they could not understand.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
I do not know the substance of the considerations and recommendations which Dr. Szilárd proposes to submit to you,” Einstein wrote. “The terms of secrecy under which Dr. Szilárd is working at present do not permit him to give me information about his work; however, I understand that he now is greatly concerned about the lack of adequate contact between scientists who are doing this work and those members of your Cabinet who are responsible for formulating policy.”34 Roosevelt never read the letter. It was found in his office after he died on April 12 and was passed on to Harry Truman, who in turn gave it to his designated secretary of state, James Byrnes. The result was a meeting between Szilárd and Byrnes in South Carolina, but Byrnes was neither moved nor impressed. The atom bomb was dropped, with little high-level debate, on August 6, 1945, on the city of Hiroshima. Einstein was at the cottage he rented that summer on Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, taking an afternoon nap. Helen Dukas informed him when he came down for tea. “Oh, my God,” is all he said.35 Three days later, the bomb was used again, this time on Nagasaki. The following day, officials in Washington released a long history, compiled by Princeton physics professor Henry DeWolf Smyth, of the secret endeavor to build the weapon. The Smyth report, much to Einstein’s lasting discomfort, assigned great historic weight for the launch of the project to the 1939 letter he had written to Roosevelt. Between the influence imputed to that letter and the underlying relationship between energy and mass that he had formulated forty years earlier, Einstein became associated in the popular imagination with the making of the atom bomb, even though his involvement was marginal. Time put him on its cover, with a portrait showing a mushroom cloud erupting behind him with E=mc2 emblazoned on it. In a story that was overseen by an editor named Whittaker Chambers, the magazine noted with its typical prose flair from the period: Through the incomparable blast and flame that will follow, there will be dimly discernible, to those who are interested in cause & effect in history, the features of a shy, almost saintly, childlike little man with the soft brown eyes, the drooping facial lines of a world-weary hound, and hair like an aurora borealis… Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible.36 It was a perception that plagued him. When Newsweek did a cover on him, with the headline “The Man Who Started It All,” Einstein offered a memorable lament. “Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb,” he said, “I never would have lifted a finger.”37 Of course, neither he nor Szilárd nor any of their friends involved with the bomb-building effort, many of them refugees from Hitler’s horrors, could know that the brilliant scientists they had left behind in Berlin, such as Heisenberg, would fail to unlock the secrets. “Perhaps I can be forgiven,” Einstein said a few months before his death in a conversation with Linus Pauling, “because we all felt that there was a high probability that the Germans were working on this problem and they might succeed and use the atomic bomb and become the master race.”38
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
THE INSTRUCTION OF PTAHHOTEP Part II If you are one among guests At the table of one greater than you, Take what he gives as it is set before you; Look at what is before you, Don’t shoot many glances at him, Molesting him offends the ka. Don’t speak to him until he summons, One does not know what may displease; Speak when he has addressed you, Then your words will please the heart. The nobleman, when he is behind food, Behaves as his ka commands him; He will give to him whom he favors, It is the custom when night has come. It is the ka that makes his hands reach out, The great man gives to the chosen man; Thus eating is under the counsel of god, A fool is who complains of it. If you are a man of trust, Sent by one great man to another, Adhere to the nature of him who sent you. Give his message as he said it. Guard against reviling speech, Which embroils one great with another; Keep to the truth, don't exceed it, But an outburst should not be repeated. Do not malign anyone, Great or small, the ka abhors it. If you plow and there’s growth in the field, And god lets it prosper in your hand, Do not boast at your neighbors’ side, One has great respect for the silent man: Man of character is man of wealth. If he robs he is like a crocodile in court. Don’t impose on one who is childless, Neither decry nor boast of it; There is many a father who has grief, And a mother of children less content than another; It is the lonely whom god fosters, While the family man prays for a follower. If you are poor, serve a man of worth, That all your conduct may be well with the god. Do not recall if he once was poor, Don’t be arrogant toward him For knowing his former state; Respect him for what has accrued to him. For wealth does not come by itself. It is their law for him whom they love, His gain, he gathered it himself ; It is the god who makes him worthy And protects him while he sleeps. Follow your heart as long as you live, Do no more than is required, Do not shorten the time of “follow-the-heart,” Trimming its moment offends the ka Don’t waste time on daily cares Beyond providing for your household; When wealth has come, follow your heart, Wealth does no good if one is glum! If you are a man of worth And produce a son by the grace of god, If he is straight, takes after you, Takes good care of your possessions. Do for him all that is good, He is your son, your ka begot him, Don’t withdraw your heart from him. But an offspring can make trouble: If he strays, neglects your counsel, Disobeys all that is said, His mouth spouting evil speech, Punish him for all his talk They hate him who crosses you, His guilt was fated in the womb; He whom they guide can not go wrong, Whom they make boatless can not cross. If you are in the antechamber, Stand and sit as fits your rank Which was assigned you the first day. Do not trespass — you will be turned back, Keen is the face to him who enters announced, Spacious the seat of him who has been called. The antechamber has a rule, All behavior is by measure; It is the god who gives advancement, He who uses elbows is not helped. If you are among the people, Gain supporters through being trusted The trusted man who does not vent his belly’s speech, He will himself become a leader, A man of means — what is he like ? Your name is good, you are not maligned, Your body is sleek, your face benign, One praises you without your knowing. He whose heart obeys his belly Puts contempt of himself in place of love, His heart is bald, his body unanointed; The great-hearted is god-given, He who obeys his belly belongs to the enemy.
Miriam Lichtheim (Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms)