Words May Lie Quotes

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The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
Stephen King
You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Rosemarie Urquico
You teach me now how cruel you've been - cruel and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: they'll blight you - they'll damn you. You loved me - what right had you to leave me? What right - answer me - for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will did it. I have no broken your heart - you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you - Oh, God! would you like to lie with your soul in the grave?
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
May she wander but always return home, may all her words be written true, may every door lie open before her.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill--he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
A rumor is a social cancer: it is difficult to contain and it rots the brains of the masses. However, the real danger is that so many people find rumors enjoyable. That part causes the infection. And in such cases when a rumor is only partially made of truth, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the information may have gone wrong. It is passed on and on until some brave soul questions its validity; that brave soul refuses to bite the apple and let the apple eat him. Forced to start from scratch for the sake of purity and truth, that brave soul, figuratively speaking, fully amputates the information in order to protect his personal judgment. In other words, his ignorance is to be valued more than the lie believed to be true.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
There was a girl, and her uncle sold her. Put like that it seems so simple. No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived and then by some means or other, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes- forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'll mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection) but still unique. Without individuals we see only numbers, a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, "casualties may rise to a million." With individual stories, the statistics become people- but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child's swollen, swollen belly and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, this skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies' own myriad squirming children? We draw our lines around these moments of pain, remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain. Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives. A life that is, like any other, unlike any other. And the simple truth is this: There was a girl, and her uncle sold her.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then--how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
You who live safe In your warm houses, You who find warm food And friendly faces when you return home. Consider if this is a man Who works in mud, Who knows no peace, Who fights for a crust of bread, Who dies by a yes or no. Consider if this is a woman Without hair, without name, Without the strength to remember, Empty are her eyes, cold her womb, Like a frog in winter. Never forget that this has happened. Remember these words. Engrave them in your hearts, When at home or in the street, When lying down, when getting up. Repeat them to your children. Or may your houses be destroyed, May illness strike you down, May your offspring turn their faces from you.
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found.
Edgar Allan Poe
Although at times you might want to detract from the path, realize that how you treat yourself becomes the foundation as to how you treat others; although we may want to resort to violence in words during conflict, understand that how you speak to others becomes the basis of how you speak to yourself; although we may want to give up; do not be fooled in the idea that ease and comfort is where your true path lies.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. “The key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. “The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” “Yeah but Maestra—” “Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser—a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician—can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me— you and I: excuse me—may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” “But what about self-esteem?” “Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace—and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.” Voicemail #2: The first minute and thirty seconds of “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees. Voicemail #3: “I’m bored. I need to be entertained. Sam is moping. I may kill him with his own guitar. It would give me something to do and also make him say something. Two birds with one stone! I find all these old expressions unnecessarily violent. Like, ring around the rosy. That’s about the plague, did you know? Of course you did. The plague is, like, your older cousin. Hey, does Sam talk to you? He says jack shit to me. God, I’m bored. Call me.” Voicemail #4: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, in its entirety, with every instance of the word California replaced with Minnesota. Voicemail #5: “Hi, this is Cole St. Clair. Want to know two true things? One, you’re never picking up this phone. Two, I’m never going to stop leaving long messages. It’s like therapy. Gotta talk to someone. Hey, you know what I figured out today? Victor’s dead. I figured it out yesterday, too. Every day I figure it out again. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I feel like there’s no one I can —” Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.” Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Variation on the Word Sleep I would like to watch you sleeping, which may not happen. I would like to watch you, sleeping. I would like to sleep with you, to enter your sleep as its smooth dark wave slides over my head. and walk with you through that lucent wavering forest of bluegreen leaves with its watery sun & three moons towards the cave where you must descend, towards your worst fear I would like to give you the silver branch, the small white flower, the one word that will protect you from the grief at the center of your dream, from the grief at the center. I would like to follow you up the long stairway again & become the boat that would row you back carefully, a flame in two cupped hands to where your body lies beside me, and you enter it as easily as breathing in I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed & that necessary.
Margaret Atwood (Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986)
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
From the moment I start a new novel, life’s just one endless torture. The first few chapters may go fairly well and I may feel there’s still a chance to prove my worth, but that feeling soon disappears and every day I feel less and less satisfied. I begin to say the book’s no good, far inferior to my earlier ones, until I’ve wrung torture out of every page, every sentence, every word, and the very commas begin to look excruciatingly ugly. Then, when it’s finished, what a relief! Not the blissful delight of the gentleman who goes into ecstasies over his own production, but the resentful relief of a porter dropping a burden that’s nearly broken his back . . . Then it starts all over again, and it’ll go on starting all over again till it grinds the life out of me, and I shall end my days furious with myself for lacking talent, for not leaving behind a more finished work, a bigger pile of books, and lie on my death-bed filled with awful doubts about the task I’ve done, wondering whether it was as it ought to have been, whether I ought not to have done this or that, expressing my last dying breath the wish that I might do it all over again!
Émile Zola (The Masterpiece)
Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words. Just because it is peaceful, it doesn’t mean it is still and void, as a few may think. It is insightful, powerful and full of meaning. It is when one can’t lie to oneself. You have to learn to listen to what she is not saying. Listen to her silence. And listen to yours, too.
Cristiane Serruya (Trust: Betrayed (Trust Trilogy, #2))
Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.” This is a lie. What we say matters. The unkind things we communicate can soil the best of relationships; even with the deepest of regrets…what lingers is a stain of hurt that may fade but will never truly go away. The wounding words we say are like feathers released in a harsh wind, once said; we will never get them back. ~Jason Versey
Jason Versey (A Walk with Prudence)
I am a broken person. And I know exactly where my cracks are and how deep they run. I don't pretend to not be a broken person and therein lies the big difference. Because the truth is, we are all broken in places, but it is those who know exactly where and how they are broken, who also know exactly where and how they are whole! And we may not be whole in all places and in all ways, but we take whatever wholeness that we do have, and we make good of it. And we try hard to work on the broken parts, and we ask for help when we need it.
C. JoyBell C.
I don't know what it is about you that makes me want you so fucking bad.' They may not be the words a girl longs to hear, but I cherish them. Because they're real and real is better than a pretty lie.
Nyrae Dawn (Façade (Games, #2))
To sing, to laugh, to dream, to walk in my own way and be alone, free, with an eye to see things as they are, a voice that means manhood—to cock my hat where I choose— At a word, a Yes, a No, to fight—or write. To travel any road under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt if fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne— Never to make a line I have not heard in my own heart; yet, with all modesty to say: "My soul, be satisfied with flowers, with fruit, with weeds even; but gather them in the one garden you may call your own.
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also. You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly. Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.
James Joyce (Selected Letters of James Joyce)
In the space between stimulus (what happens) and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose. Ultimately, this power to choose is what defines us as human beings. We may have limited choices but we can always choose. We can choose our thoughts, emotions, moods, our words, our actions; we can choose our values and live by principles. It is the choice of acting or being acted upon.
Stephen R. Covey
– But here is a question that is troubling me: if there is no God, then, one may ask, who governs human life and, in general, the whole order of things on earth? – Man governs it himself, – Homeless angrily hastened to reply to this admittedly none-too-clear question. – Pardon me, – the stranger responded gently, – but in order to govern, one needs, after all, to have a precise plan for a certain, at least somewhat decent, length of time. Allow me to ask you, then, how can man govern, if he is not only deprived of the opportunity of making a plan for at least some ridiculously short period, well, say, a thousand years , but cannot even vouch for his own tomorrow? And in fact, – here the stranger turned to Berlioz, – imagine that you, for instance, start governing, giving orders to others and yourself, generally, so to speak, acquire a taste for it, and suddenly you get ...hem ... hem ... lung cancer ... – here the foreigner smiled sweetly, and if the thought of lung cancer gave him pleasure — yes, cancer — narrowing his eyes like a cat, he repeated the sonorous word —and so your governing is over! You are no longer interested in anyone’s fate but your own. Your family starts lying to you. Feeling that something is wrong, you rush to learned doctors, then to quacks, and sometimes to fortune-tellers as well. Like the first, so the second and third are completely senseless, as you understand. And it all ends tragically: a man who still recently thought he was governing something, suddenly winds up lying motionless in a wooden box, and the people around him, seeing that the man lying there is no longer good for anything, burn him in an oven. And sometimes it’s worse still: the man has just decided to go to Kislovodsk – here the foreigner squinted at Berlioz – a trifling matter, it seems, but even this he cannot accomplish, because suddenly, no one knows why, he slips and falls under a tram-car! Are you going to say it was he who governed himself that way? Would it not be more correct to think that he was governed by someone else entirely?
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
I have lived nearly fifty years, and I have seen life as it is. Pain, misery, hunger ... cruelty beyond belief. I have heard the singing from taverns and the moans from bundles of filth on the streets. I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle ... or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I have held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no gallant last words ... only their eyes filled with confusion, whimpering the question, "Why?" I do not think they asked why they were dying, but why they had lived. When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!
Dale Wasserman (Man of La Mancha)
Everything unsaid can be guessed Truth may not always be confessed
Munia Khan
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them--words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were In your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
Stephen King (The Body)
I am convinced that poets are toddlers in a cathedral, slobbering on wooden blocks and piling them up in the light of the stained glass. We can hardly make anything beautiful that wasn’t beautiful in the first place. We aren’t writers, but gleeful rearrangers of words whose meanings we can’t begin to know. When we manage to make something pretty, it’s only so because we are ourselves a flourish on a greater canvas. That means there’s no end to the discovery. We may crawl around the cathedral floor for ages before we grow up enough to reach the doorknob and walk outside into a garden of delights. Beyond that, the city, then the rolling hills, then the sea. And when the world of every cell has been limned and painted and sung, we lie back on the grass, satisfied that our work is done. Then, of course, the sun sets and we see above us the dark dome of glittering stars. On and on it goes, all the way to the lightless borderlands of time and space, which we come to discover in some future age are but the beginnings or endings of a single word spoken from the mouth of God. Some nights, while I traipse down the hill, I imagine that word isn’t a word at all, but a burst of laughter.
Andrew Peterson
You may have fallen down, but you can get back up again. You may have doors shut, but new doors will open for you. You may have been lied on, but the truth will come to the light. You may have been hurt, but the pain will pass. You are a survivor. You have a history of surviving.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Heart Crush)
Colin thought about the dork mantra: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What a dirty lie.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
There are some griefs so loud They could bring down the sky, And there are griefs so still None knows how deep they lie, Endured, never expended. There are old griefs so proud They never speak a word; They never can be mended. And these nourish the will And keep it iron-hard.
May Sarton (Selected Poems)
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. . . . You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
In other words, stop judging yourself against shiny people. Avoid the shiny people. The shiny people are a lie. Or get to know them enough to realize they aren’t so shiny after all. Shiny people aren’t the enemy. Sometimes we’re the enemy when we listen to our malfunctioning brains that try to tell us that we’re alone in our self-doubt, or that it’s obvious to everyone that we don’t know what the shit we’re doing. Hell, there are probably people out there right now who consider us to be shiny people (bless their stupid, stupid hearts) and that’s pretty much proof that none of our brains can be trusted to accurately measure the value of anyone, much less ourselves. How can we be expected to properly judge ourselves? We know all of our worst secrets. We are biased, and overly critical, and occasionally filled with shame. So you’ll have to just trust me when I say that you are worthy, important, and necessary. And smart. You may ask how I know and I’ll tell you how. It’s because right now? YOU’RE READING. That’s what the sexy people do. Other, less awesome people might currently be in their front yards chasing down and punching squirrels, but not you. You’re quietly curled up with a book designed to make you a better, happier, more introspective person. You win.1 You are amazing.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Othalas: Words. What are they but shadows on a page or howling on the wind? They are as ever-changing as the mists below us and it is just as easy to lose sense of yourself among them. I am older than most sorcerers so what I know may, indeed, be close to the truth. Magic, wyrd, words, dreams, they all come from the spirit. Within them lie both power and peril. For to misuse any is to warp your sense of self. To lie in words, or in magic, or in dreams -- that is how you become lost. The lights you see, they were lost long before they came to the Vale.
Robert Fanney
You may use a thousand words for a single lie, but the  truth has no twin.
Michael Bassey Johnson
A word about my personal philosophy. It is anchored in optimism. It must be, for optimism brings with it hope, a future with a purpose, and therefore, a will to fight for a better world. Without this optimism, there is no reason to carry on. If we think of the struggle as aclimb up a mountain, then we must visualize a mountain with no top. We see a top, but when we finall yreach it, the overcast rises and we find ourselves merely on a bluff. The mountain continues on up. Now we see the "real" top ahead of us, and strive for it, only to find we've reached another bluff, the top still above us. And so it goes on, interminably. Knowing that the mountain has no top, that it is a perpetual quest from plateau to plateau, the question arises, "Why the struggle, the conflict, the heartbreak, the danger, the sacrifice. Why the constant climb?" Our answer is the same as that which a real mountain climber gives when he is asked why he does what he does. "Because it's there." Because life is there ahead of you and either one tests oneself in its challenges or huddles in the valleys of a dreamless day-to-day existence whose only purpose is the preservation of a illusory security and safety. The latter is what the vast majority of people choose to do, fearing the adventure into the known. Paradocically, they give up the dream of what may lie ahead on the heighs of tomorrow for a perpetual nightmare - an endless succession of days fearing the loss of a tenuous security.
Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals)
A person is strong only when he stands upon his own truth, when he speaks and acts with his deepest convictions. Then, whatever the situation he may be in, he always knows what he must say and do. He may fall, but he cannot bring shame upon himself or his cause. If we seek the liberation of the people by means of a lie, we will surely grow confused, go astray, and loose sight of our objective, and if we have any influence at all on the people we will lead them astray as well—in other words, we will be acting in the spirit of reaction and to its benefit.
Mikhail Bakunin (Statism and Anarchy)
The reality is, no matter what you were told, whatever happened to you as a child was not legally or morally your fault. Abused children are instilled with guilt regarding their "participation." It's an especially complex issue if the abuser is a family member. The child is told and believes that by his word his family will disintegrate, or harm may descend upon other loved ones. He fears he will lose more by telling than not.
Sarah E. Olson (Becoming One: A Story of Triumph Over Dissociative Identity Disorder)
My dearest friend Abigail, These probably could be the last words I write to you and I may not live long enough to see your response but I truly have lived long enough to live forever in the hearts of my friends. I thought a lot about what I should write to you. I thought of giving you blessings and wishes for things of great value to happen to you in future; I thought of appreciating you for being the way you are; I thought to give sweet and lovely compliments for everything about you; I thought to write something in praise of your poems and prose; and I thought of extending my gratitude for being one of the very few sincerest friends I have ever had. But that is what all friends do and they only qualify to remain as a part of the bunch of our loosely connected memories and that's not what I can choose to be, I cannot choose to be lost somewhere in your memories. So I thought of something through which I hope you will remember me for a very long time. I decided to share some part of my story, of what led me here, the part we both have had in common. A past, which changed us and our perception of the world. A past, which shaped our future into an unknown yet exciting opportunity to revisit the lost thoughts and to break free from the libido of our lost dreams. A past, which questioned our whole past. My dear, when the moment of my past struck me, in its highest demonised form, I felt dead, like a dead-man walking in flesh without a soul, who had no reason to live any more. I no longer saw any meaning of life but then I saw no reason to die as well. I travelled to far away lands, running away from friends, family and everyone else and I confined myself to my thoughts, to my feelings and to myself. Hours, days, weeks and months passed and I waited for a moment of magic to happen, a turn of destiny, but nothing happened, nothing ever happens. I waited and I counted each moment of it, thinking about every moment of my life, the good and the bad ones. I then saw how powerful yet weak, bright yet dark, beautiful yet ugly, joyous yet grievous; is a one single moment. One moment makes the difference. Just a one moment. Such appears to be the extreme and undisputed power of a single moment. We live in a world of appearance, Abigail, where the reality lies beyond the appearances, and this is also only what appears to be such powerful when in actuality it is not. I realised that the power of the moment is not in the moment itself. The power, actually, is in us. Every single one of us has the power to make and shape our own moments. It is us who by feeling joyful, celebrate for a moment of success; and it is also us who by feeling saddened, cry and mourn over our losses. I, with all my heart and mind, now embrace this power which lies within us. I wish life offers you more time to make use of this power. Remember, we are our own griefs, my dear, we are our own happinesses and we are our own remedies. Take care! Love, Francis. Title: Letter to Abigail Scene: "Death-bed" Chapter: The Road To Awe
Huseyn Raza
It isn’t that to have an honorable relationship with you, I have to understand everything, or tell you everything at once, or that I can know, beforehand, everything I need to tell you. It means that most of the time I am eager, longing for the possibility of telling you. That these possibilities may seem frightening, but not destructive, to me. That I feel strong enough to hear your tentative and groping words. That we both know we are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us. The possibility of life between us.
Adrienne Rich (On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. Selected Prose 1966-1978)
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
After all, truth is not always a virtue when it is pursued for its own sake or, worse, simply to make its teller feel morally superior. That's the problem with those who let the rules of religion overshadow its spirit -- which is, of course, love. And grace. In other words, there are times when telling an outright lie may be the most loving thing a person can do.
Josh Sundquist (Just Don't Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain)
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them—words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
When I was a young man and very well thought of, I couldn't ask aught that the ladies denied. I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins, And I never spoke love but I knew that I lied. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them know The secret I shelter and savor and save I wait for the one who will see through my seeming, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' The years drifted over like clouds in the heavens; The ladies went by me like snow on the wind. I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled, And I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them see There's part of me pure as the whisk of a wave. My lady is late but she'll find I've been faithful, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' At last came a lady both knowing and tender, Saying, 'you're not at all what they take you to be.' I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking, And she swallowed cold poison and jumped in the sea. And I say to myself when there's time for a word, As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved, 'Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou (And Still I Rise)
We believe in the wrong things. That's what frustrates me the most. Not the lack of belief, but the belief in the wrong things. You want meaning? Well, the meanings are out there. We're just so damn good at reading them wrong. I don't think meaning is something that can be explained. You have to understand it on your own. It's like when you're starting to read. First, you learn the letters. Then, once you know what sounds the letters make, you use them to sound out words. You know that c-a-t leads to cat and d-o-g leads to dog. But then you have to make that extra leap, to understand that the word, the sound, the "cat" is connected to an actual cat , and that "dog" is connected to an actual dog. It's that leap, that understanding, that leads to meaning. And a lot of the time in life, we're still just sounding things out. We know the sentences and how to say them. We know the ideas and how to present them. We know the prayers and which words to say in what order. But that's only spelling" It's much harder to lie to someone's face. But. It is also much harder to tell the truth to someone's face. The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection, even though it consist in nothing more than in the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star. (Logan Pearsall Smith) Being alone has nothing to do with how many people are around. (J.R. Moehringer) You could be standing a few feet away...I could have sat next to you on the subway, or brushed beside you as we went through the turnstiles. But whether or not you are here, you are here- because these words are for you, and they wouldn't exist is you weren't here in some way. At last I had it--the Christmas present I'd wanted all along, but hadn't realized. His words. The dream was obviously a sign: he was too enticing to resist. Wow. You must have a lot of faith in me. Which I appreciate. Even if I'm not sure I share it. I could do this on my own, and not freak out that I had no idea what waited for me on the other side of this night. Hope and belief. I'd always wanted hope, but never believed that I could have such an adventure on my own. That I could own it. And love it. But it happened. Because I'm So uncool and so afraid. If there was a clue, that meant the mystery was still intact I fear you may have outmatched me, because not I find these words have nowhere to go. It's hard to answer a question you haven't been asked. It's hard to show that you tried unless you end up succeeding. This was not a haystack. We were people, and people had ways of finding eachother. It was one of those moments when you feel the future so much that is humbles the present. Don't worry. It's your embarrassment at not having the thought that counts. You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's ahint- ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy- all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know--this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtship. They want to know immediately. Be careful what you;re doing, because no one is ever who you want them to be. And the less you really know them, the more likely you are to confuse them with the girl or boy in your head You should never wish for wishful thinking
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind — that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking. I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious. I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect. I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech — alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society. I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress. I —But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.
H.L. Mencken (The Artist: A Drama Without Words)
No one, by swearing, makes themselves an ounce more honest; any more than a man makes himself wealthy by counting his gold. Oaths may make a liar a liar yet again, having lied about the oath as well. But it cannot alter the worth of an honest man's word.
Jake Yaniak (The Punishment of the Gods (The Hidden Name, #1))
Colin thought about the dork mantra: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What a dirty lie. This, right here, was the true abdominal snowman: it felt like something freezing in his stomach. "I love you so much and I just want you to love me like I love you," he said as softly as he could. "You don't need a girlfriend, Colin. You need a robot who says nothing but 'I love you.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
Oh, such promises we make in the heat of our passion, when the breath catches in the throat and the belly trembles. Lured by the warmth of another - the scent of her, the strength of him - our tongues betray us and the words come tumbling from our mouths. The act becomes indistinguishable from the intent, and the truth is confused with lies, even to ourselves. Do we say these things because we truly believe them, or do we believe that, by saying them aloud, they may become true? And, when tested, how many of us can say that we fulfilled our vows, that we did not turn away, that we did not renege on the promises we made? When our partners grow old and slow, when the light in their eyes dims and our ardor cools, how many of us are not tempted to turn away and seek our pleasures elsewhere? Not I. I was faithful always. I kept my vows to her, and she her vows to me, in her way.
John Connolly (Nocturnes (Nocturnes, #1))
(Have you never thought as you read that months may lie between any pair of words?)
Gene Wolfe (Peace)
Have you not realised how fragile and brutal the ego is? It will always choose what it perceives as in its best interest for the cheapest price. It may be as blatant as short skirts and lies. It may be more sophisticated and hidden behind ‘kind’ words. But it all comes from the same place of either using people to get what we want or trying to eliminate people who get in our way.
Donna Goddard (Together (Waldmeer, #2))
Heartache may be bad for the soul, but it's great for bookshops. It's when we are at our lowest romantic ebb that we are likely to do the bulk of our life's reading. Adolescents who can't get a date are in a uniquely privileged position: they will have the perfect chance to get grounding in world literature. There is perhaps an important connection between love and reading, there is perhaps a comparable pleasure offered by both. A feeling of connection may be at the root of it. There are books that speak to us, no less eloquently—but more reliably—than our lovers. They prevent the morose suspicion that we do not fully belong to the human species, that we lie beyond comprehension. Our embarrassments, our sulks, our feelings of guilt, these phenomena may be conveyed on a page in a way that affords us with a sense of self-recognition. The author has located words to depict a situation we thought ourselves alone in feeling, and for a few moments, we are like two lovers on an early dinner date thrilled to discover how much they share (and unable to touch much of the seafood linguine in front of them, so busy are they fathoming the eyes opposite), we may place the book down for a second and stare at its spine with a wry smile, as if to say, "How lucky I ran into you.
Alain de Botton
Unkindness is a serial killer. Death in the flesh sometimes seems like a less excruciating way to succumb than the slow and steady venom unleashed by mean-spirited, cruel words and actions that poison you over time. I guess that’s why I can’t stand the old children’s rhyme: sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Every time I hear it, I think to myself: that’s a lie. You can dodge a rock, but you can’t unhear a word. You can’t undo the intentional damage that some words have on your mind, body, and spirit. Especially a word like ugly.
Tarana Burke (Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement)
What great gravity is this that drew my soul towards yours? What great force, that though I went falsely, went kicking, went disguising myself to earn your love, also disguised, to earn your keeping, your resting, your staying, your will fleshed into mine, rasped by a slowly revealed truth, the barter of my soul, the soul that I fear, the soul that I loathe, the soul that: if you will love, I will love. I will redeem you, if you will redeem me? Is this our purpose, you and I together to pacify each other, to lead each other toward the lie that we are good, that we are noble, that we need not redemption, save the one that you and I invented of our own clay? I am not scared of you, my love, I am scared of me. I went looking, I wrote out a list, I drew an image, I bled a poem of you. You were pretty and my friends believed I was worthy of you. You were clever, but I was smarter, perhaps the only one smarter, the only one able to lead you. You see, love, I did not love you, I loved me. And you were only a tool that I used to fix myself, to fool myself, to redeem myself. And though I have taught you to lay your lily hand in mine, I walk alone, for I cannot talk to you, lest you talk it back to me, lest I believe that I am not worthy, not deserving, not redeemed. I want desperately for you to be my friend. But you are not my friend; you have slid up warmly to the man I wanted to be, the man I pretended to be, and I was your Jesus and, you were mine. Should I show you who I am, we may crumble. I am not scared of you my love, I am scared of me. I want to be known and loved anyway. Can you do this? I trust by your easy breathing that your are human like me, that you are fallen like me, that you are lonely, like me. My love, do I know you? What is this great gravity that pulls us so painfully toward each other? Why do we not connect? Will we be forever in fleshing this out? And how will we with words, narrow words, come into the knowing of each other?
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
After all, she may have thought, do words say everything? Can words say anything? Do not words destroy the symbol that lies beyond the reach of words?
Virginia Woolf
sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What a dirty lie.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
Ray please I never lied to her. When need arose I may have used words that lied.
Anne Carson (The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos)
There is beauty in every incident of life; the true and the false, the wise and the foolish, are all one in the eye that beholds all without passion or prejudice: and the secret appears to lie not in the retirement from the world, but in keeping a part of oneself Vestal, sacred, intact, aloof from that self which makes contact with the external universe. In other words, in a separation of that which is and perceives from that which acts and suffers. And the art of doing this is really the art of being an artist. As a rule, it is a birthright; it may perhaps be attained by prayer and fasting; most surely, it can never be bought.
Aleister Crowley (Absinthe The Green Goddess)
For great changes in the human mind are terrible. As we realize them we realize the limitless possibilities of sinister deeds that lie hidden in every human being. A little child that loves a doll can become an old, crafty, secret murderer. How horrible! And perhaps it is still more horrible to think that, while the human envelope remains totally unchanged, every word of the letter within may become altered, and a message of peace fade into a sentence of death.
Robert Smythe Hichens (The Return of the Soul and Other Stories)
Prince Humperdinck: First things first, to the death. Westley: No. To the pain. Prince Humperdinck: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase. Westley: I'll explain and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon. Prince Humperdinck: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me. Westley: It won't be the last. To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose. Prince Humperdinck: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don't mean to duplicate tonight. Westley: I wasn't finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right. Prince Humperdinck: And then my ears, I understand let's get on with it. Westley: WRONG. Your ears you keep and I'll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, "Dear God! What is that thing," will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever. Prince Humperdinck: I think you're bluffing. Westley: It's possible, Pig, I might be bluffing. It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again... perhaps I have the strength after all. [slowly rises and points sword directly at the prince] Westley: DROP... YOUR... SWORD!
-Princess Bride
Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is forever gone. But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know. Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
For Sleep O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.   In the Morning This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
The Episcopal Church (The Book of Common Prayer)
Maman had been a gifted writer. Pari has read every word Maman had written in French and every poem she had translated from Farsi as well. The power and beauty of her writing was undeniable. But if the account Maman had given of her life in the interview was a lie, then where did the images of her work come from? Where was the wellspring for words that were honest and lovely and brutal and sad? Was she merely a gifted trickster? A magician, with a pen for a wand, able to move an audience by conjuring emotions she had never known herself? Was that even possible? Pari does not know—she does not know. And that, perhaps, may have been Maman’s true intent, to shift the ground beneath Pari’s feet. To intentionally unsteady and upend her, to turn her into a stranger to herself, to heave the weight of doubt on her mind, on all Pari thought she knew of her life, to make her feel as lost as if she were wandering through a desert at night, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, the truth elusive, like a single tiny glint of light in the distance flickering on and off, forever moving, receding.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
The many ... whom one chooses to call the people, are indeed a collection, but only as a multitude, a formless mass, whose movement and action would be elemental, irrational, savage, and terrible." "Public opinion deserves ... to be esteemed as much as to be despised; to be despised for its concrete consciousness and expression, to be esteemed for its essential fundamental principle, which only shines, more or less dimly, through its concrete expression." "The definition of the freedom of the press as freedom to say and write what one pleases, is parallel to the one of freedom in general, viz., as freedom to do what one pleases. Such a view belongs to the uneducated crudity and superficiality of naïve thinking." "In public opinion all is false and true, but to discover the truth in it is the business of the great man. The great man of his time is he who expresses the will and the meaning of that time, and then brings it to completion; he acts according to the inner spirit and essence of his time, which he realizes. And he who does not understand how to despise public opinion, as it makes itself heard here and there, will never accomplish anything great." "The laws of morality are not accidental, but are essentially Rational. It is the very object of the State that what is essential in the practical activity of men, and in their dispositions, should be duly recognized; that it should have a manifest existence, and maintain its position. It is the absolute interest of Reason that this moral Whole should exist; and herein lies the justification and merit of heroes who have founded states - however rude these may have been." "Such are all great historical men, whose own particular aims involve those large issues which are the will of the World Spirit. ... World historical men - the Heroes of an epoch - must be recognized as its clear-sighted ones; their deeds, their words are the best of that time. Great men have formed purposes to satisfy themselves, not others." "A World-Historical individual is devoted to the One Aim, regardless of all else. It is even possible that such men may treat other great, even sacred interests inconsiderately; conduct which is indeed obnoxious to moral reprehension. But so mighty a form must trample down many an innocent flower or crush to pieces many an object in its path.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
But may the truth be told. May the true self may be found. May the truth rule the world more than ever. How easy life will be if everyone is just true to themselves, true to their words, true to their actions and true to life?
Diana Rose Morcilla
Life presents itself as a continual deception, in small matters as well as in great. If it has promised, it does not keep its word, unless to show how little desirable the desired object was; hence we are deluded now by hope, now by what was hoped for. If it has given, it did so in order to take. The enchantment of distance shows us paradises that vanish like optical illusions, when we have allowed ourselves to be fooled by them. Accordingly, happiness lies always in the future, or else in the past, and the present may be compared to a small dark cloud driven by the wind over the sunny plain; in front of and behind the cloud everything is bright, only it itself always casts a shadow. Consequently, the present is always inadequate, but the future is uncertain, and the past irrecoverable.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Books are frozen voices, in the same way that musical scores are frozen music. The score is a way of transmitting the music to someone who can play it, releasing it into the air where it can once more be heard. And the black alphabet marks on the page represent words that were once spoken, if only in the writer’s head. They lie there inert until a reader comes along and transforms the letters into living sounds. The reader is the musician of the book: each reader may read the same text, just as each violinist plays the same piece, but each interpretation is different.
Margaret Atwood
In lying to others we end up lying to ourselves. We deny the importance of an event, or a person, and thus deprive ourselves of a part of our lives. Or we use one piece of the past or present to screen out another. Thus we lose faith even in our own lives. An honourable human relationship—that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love”—is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other. It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation. It is important to do this because in so doing we do justice to our own complexity. It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us. […] It isn’t that to have an honourable relationship with you, I have to understand everything, or tell you everything at once, or that I can know, beforehand, everything I need to tell you. It means that most of the time I am eager, longing for the possibility of telling you. That these possibilities may seem frightening, but not destructive, to me. That I feel strong enough to hear your tentative and groping words. That we both know we are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us. The possibility of life between us.
Adrienne Rich (Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying)
We are afraid of what we will do to others, afraid of the rage that lies in wait somewhere deep in our souls. How many human beings go through the world frozen with rage against life! This deeply hidden inner anger may be the product of hurt pride or of real frustration in office, factory, clinic, or home. Whatever may be the cause of our frozen rage (which is the inevitable mother of depression), the great word of hope today is that this rage can be conquered and drained off into creative channels … …What should we do? We should all learn that a certain amount of aggressive energy is normal and certainly manageable in maturity. Most of us can drain off the excess of our angry feelings and destructive impulses in exercise, in competitive games, or in the vigorous battles against the evils of nature and society. We also must realize that no one will punish us for the legitimate expression of self-assertiveness and creative pugnacity as our parents once punished us for our undisciplined temper tantrums. Furthermore, let us remember that we need not totally repress the angry part of our nature. We can always give it an outlet in the safe realm of fantasy. A classic example of such fantasy is given by Max Beerborn, who made a practice of concocting imaginary letters to people he hated. Sometimes he went so far as to actually write the letters and in the very process of releasing his anger it evaporated. As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of ideas and emotions should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberties to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the majority within our minds? Do I mean that we should hit out at our enemy whenever the mood strikes us? No, I repeat that I am suggesting quite the reverse—self-control in action based upon (positive coping mechanisms such as) self expression in fantasy.
Joshua Loth Liebman (Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature That Can Change Your Life)
I was cursing and swearing at you because of that address, I hated you already because of the lies I had told you. Because I only like playing with words, only dreaming, but, do you know, what I really want is that you should all go to hell. That is what I want. I want peace; yes, I'd sell the whole world for a farthing, straight off, so long as I was left in peace. Is the world to go to pot, or am I to go without my tea? I say that the world may go to pot for me so long as I always get my tea.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
‘You are your” “Past, Present,” “& Future,’ he said” ” ‘You divide into” “those components” “in this room’ ” ” ‘But I do not have” “components!’ ” “our three voices said,” ” ‘My secret name—” “Time’s secret name” “is Oneness,” “is One Thing’ ” “As I—the one” “in the middle—spoke,” “the one of us in front—” “who was the Past—” “had already” “finished speaking” “& was awaiting” “his reply” “He said,” ” ‘Don’t we seem” “to experience” “things somewhat this way?” “There is past, present” :& future’ ” “The Future then cried out,” ” ‘Where is my life?” ‘Where is my life?” “You have stolen” “my life!’ ” “There was a silence” “The man” “reached out &” “pressed a button” “on the cave wall—” “we three united” “into one again” “while he wrote words on” “a clipboard” “Then he looked up & said,” ” ‘Going forward?” “Going on?” “Death lies ahead, you know’ ” “Any woman” “may already” “be dead,’ ” “I said
Alice Notley (The Descent of Alette)
I don't have the slightest doubt that to tell a story like this, you couldn't do it with words. There are only 46 minutes of dialogue scenes in the film, and 113 of non-dialogue. There are certain areas of feeling and reality—or unreality or innermost yearning, whatever you want to call it—which are notably inaccessible to words. Music can get into these areas. Painting can get into them. Non-verbal forms of expression can. But words are a terrible straitjacket. It's interesting how many prisoners of that straitjacket resent its being loosened or taken off. There's a side to the human personality that somehow senses that wherever the cosmic truth may lie, it doesn't lie in A, B, C, D. It lies somewhere in the mysterious, unknowable aspects of thought and life and experience. Man has always responded to it. Religion, mythology, allegories—it's always been one of the most responsive chords in man. With rationalism, modern man has tried to eliminate it, and successfully dealt some pretty jarring blows to religion. In a sense, what's happening now in films and in popular music is a reaction to the stifling limitations of rationalism. One wants to break out of the clearly arguable, demonstrable things which really are not very meaningful, or very useful or inspiring, nor does one even sense any enormous truth in them.
Stanley Kubrick
If I tell some one that I love him – as I may have told a hundred others – my words will convey nothing to him; but the silence which will ensue, if I do indeed love him, will make clear in what depths lie the roots of my love, and will in its turn give birth to a conviction, that shall itself be silent; and in the course of a lifetime, this silence and this conviction will never again be the same. …
Maurice Maeterlinck (The Treasure of the Humble)
In other words, there are times when telling an outright lie may be the most loving thing a person can do. So I smile. As if I’ve just realized for the first time, thanks to your insight, Dad, that my race today was fantastic. As if I am proud of my thirty-fourth-place
Josh Sundquist (Just Don't Fall)
Prayer before Birth I am not yet born; O hear me. Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the club-footed ghoul come near me. I am not yet born, console me. I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me, with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me, on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me. I am not yet born; provide me With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light in the back of my mind to guide me. I am not yet born; forgive me For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me, my treason engendered by traitors beyond me, my life when they murder by means of my hands, my death when they live me. I am not yet born; rehearse me In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white waves call me to folly and the desert calls me to doom and the beggar refuses my gift and my children curse me. I am not yet born; O hear me, Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God come near me. I am not yet born; O fill me With strength against those who would freeze my humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton, would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with one face, a thing, and against all those who would dissipate my entirety, would blow me like thistledown hither and thither or hither and thither like water held in the hands would spill me. Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me. Otherwise kill me.
Louis MacNeice
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
But all I could make use of was all that was valuable. I had enough to eat and to supply my wants, and what was all the rest to me? If I killed more flesh than I could eat, the dog must eat it, or the vermin. If I sowed more corn than I could eat, it must be spoiled. The trees that I cut down were lying to rot on the ground. I could make no more use of them than for fewel; and that I had no occasion for, but to dress my food. In a word, the nature and experience of things dictated to me, upon just reflection, that all the good things of this world are no farther good to us than they are for our use; and that whatever we may heap up indeed to give others, we enjoy just as much as we can use and no more.
Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe, #1))
Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’—that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?” “Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?” “Ah!” said Lee. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But “Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph. Adam said, “Do you believe that, Lee?” “Yes, I do. Yes, I do. It is easy out of laziness, out of weakness, to throw oneself into the lap of deity, saying, ‘I couldn’t help it; the way was set.’ But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There’s no godliness there. And do you know, those old gentlemen who were sliding gently down to death are too interested to die now?” Adam said, “Do you mean these Chinese men believe the Old Testament?” Lee said, “These old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. They are critics of truth. They know that these sixteen verses are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. They do not believe a man writes fifteen and three-quarter verses of truth and tells a lie with one verb. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and successful lives. But this—this is a ladder to climb to the stars.” Lee’s eyes shone. “You can never lose that. It cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.” Adam said, “I don’t see how you could cook and raise the boys and take care of me and still do all this.” “Neither do I,” said Lee. “But I take my two pipes in the afternoon, no more and no less, like the elders. And I feel that I am a man. And I feel that a man is a very important thing—maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed—because ‘Thou mayest.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
I will persist until I succeed. I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny. I will persist until I succeed. The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal. Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. Never will I know how close it lies unless I turn the corner. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I will persist until I succeed. Henceforth, I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow, of itself, may be trifling, and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble. So it will be with my efforts of today. I will be liken to the rain drop which washes away the mountain; the ant who devours a tiger; the star which brightens the earth; the slave who builds a pyramid. I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking. I will persist until I succeed. I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me then I will work on in despair. I will toil and I will endure. I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head, for I know that where dry desert ends, green grass grows. I will persist until I succeed. The Greatest Salesman in the World Og Mandino
Og Mandino
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding that you've said it all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried when you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an uderstanding ear.
Stephen King (The Body)
PRAYER BEFORE BIRTH I am not yet born; O hear me. Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the club-footed ghoul come near me. I am not yet born; console me. I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me, with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me, on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me. I am not yet born; provide me With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light in the back of my mind to guide me. I am not yet born; forgive me For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me, my treason engendered by traitors beyond me, my life when they murder by means of my hands, my death when they live me. I am not yet born; rehearse me In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white waves call me to folly and the desert calls me to doom and the beggar refuses my gift and my children curse me. I am not yet born; O hear me, Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God come near me. I am not yet born; O fill me With strength against those who would freeze my humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton, would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with one face, a thing, and against all those who would dissipate my entirety, would blow me like thistledown hither and thither or hither and thither like water held in the hands would spill me. Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me. Otherwise kill me.
Louis Macniece (Oracion Antes De Nacer/ Prayers Before to Born (Poesia))
Buddha used to say to his disciples: Take each step watchfully. He used to say: Watch your breath. And that is one of the most significant practices for watching because the breath is there, continuously available for twenty-four hours a day wherever you are. The birds may be singing one day, they may not be singing some other day, but breathing is always there. Sitting, walking, lying down, it is always there. Go on watching the breath coming in, the breath going out. Not that watching the breath is the point, the point is learning how to watch. Go to the river and watch the river. Sit in the marketplace and watch people passing by. Watch anything, just remember that you are a watcher. Don’t become judgmental, don’t be a judge. Once you start judging you have forgotten that you are a watcher, you have become involved, you have taken sides, you have chosen: “I am in favor of this thought and I am against that thought.” Once you choose, you become identified. Watchfulness is the method of destroying all identification. Hence Gurdjieff called his process the process of nonidentification. It is the same, his word is different. Don’t identify yourself with anything, and slowly one learns the ultimate art of watchfulness. That’s what meditation is all about. Through meditation one discovers one’s own light. That light you can call your soul, your self, your God, whatever word you choose—or you can remain just silent, because it has no name. It is a nameless experience, tremendously beautiful, ecstatic, utterly silent, but it gives you the taste of eternity, of timelessness, of something beyond death.
Osho (Living on Your Own Terms: What Is Real Rebellion?)
NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back — For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep. The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown, Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own. Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear. And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair. When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail, Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail. When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar, Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home, Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain, The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again. If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay, Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away. Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can; But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man! If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride; Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide. The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies; And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies. The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will; But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill. Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same. Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same. Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own: He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone. Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law. Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they; But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!
Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book)
There are sins or (let us call them as the world calls them) evil memories which are hidden away by man in the darkest places of the heart but they abide there and wait. He may suffer their memory to grow dim, let them be as though they had not been and all but persuade himself that they were not or at least were otherwise. Yet a chance word will call them forth suddenly and they will rise up to confront him in the most various circumstances, a vision or a dream, or while timbrel and harp soothe his senses or amid the cool silver tranquility of the evening or at the feast, at midnight, when he is now filled with wine. Not to insult over him will the vision come as over one that lies under her wrath, not for vengeance to cut him off from the living but shrouded in the piteous vesture of the past, silent, remote, reproachful.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
To know the truth of one's heart, trusting their words is not always the wisest thing because words can be used to deceive you. To truly know the truth which lies deep in one's heart, you only have to look into their eyes. For even though the mouth may speak lies to hide the truth, the eyes will always reveal what the mouth tries to hide.
Imania Margria
And so they would go on talking or rather, understanding, which has become the main art of speech in an age when words are growing daily so scanty in comparison with ideas that ‘the biscuits ran out’ has to stand for kissing a negress in the dark when one has just read Bishop Berkeley’s philosophy for the tenth time. (And from this it follows that only the most profound masters of style can tell the truth, and when one meets a simple one–syllable writer, one may conclude, without any doubt at all, that the poor man is lying.)
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
Narcissistic Parents often enlist other family members on their side, causing rifts and building alliances against a “bad” child. In other words, they may bully their own children. The victims of such behavior often describe themselves as a “scapegoat,” held accountable for all the family troubles. Their mothers often compare them unfavorably to a sibling viewed as “golden,” one child a loser and the other a winner. Narcissistic Parents tell blatant lies, too, painting themselves as victims and their children as heartless ingrates.
Joseph Burgo (The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age)
He was perfectly astonished with the historical account gave him of our affairs during the last century; protesting “it was only a heap of conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, revolutions, banishments, the very worst effects that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidiousness, cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice, and ambition, could produce.” His majesty, in another audience, was at the pains to recapitulate the sum of all I had spoken; compared the questions he made with the answers I had given; then taking me into his hands, and stroking me gently, delivered himself in these words, which I shall never forget, nor the manner he spoke them in: “My little friend Grildrig, you have made a most admirable panegyric upon your country; you have clearly proved, that ignorance, idleness, and vice, are the proper ingredients for qualifying a legislator; that laws are best explained, interpreted, and applied, by those whose interest and abilities lie in perverting, confounding, and eluding them. I observe among you some lines of an institution, which, in its original, might have been tolerable, but these half erased, and the rest wholly blurred and blotted by corruptions. It does not appear, from all you have said, how any one perfection is required toward the procurement of any one station among you; much less, that men are ennobled on account of their virtue; that priests are advanced for their piety or learning; soldiers, for their conduct or valour; judges, for their integrity; senators, for the love of their country; or counsellors for their wisdom. As for yourself,” continued the king, “who have spent the greatest part of your life in travelling, I am well disposed to hope you may hitherto have escaped many vices of your country. But by what I have gathered from your own relation, and the answers I have with much pains wrung and extorted from you, I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World.)
Hours may have passed before I heard a throat clear behind us, saw Dad appear. His frame blocked out the sun, casting a cool shadow over where we lay. I registered only once he was there that I had slowly shifted so I was lying with my head on Elliot’s stomach, in our secluded stretch of sand. I pushed to sit up, awkwardly. “What are you guys doing?” “Nothing,” we said in unison. I could hear immediately how guilty our joined answer made us sound. “Really?” Dad asked. “Really,” I answered, but he wasn’t looking at me anymore. He and Elliot were having some kind of male Windtalker exchange that included prolonged eye contact, throat clearing, and probably some mysterious form of direct communication between their Y chromosomes. “We were just reading,” Elliot said finally, his voice shifting deeper midway through the sentence. I’m not sure if this sign of his impending manliness was reassuring or damning as far as my dad was concerned. “Seriously, Dad,” I said. His eyes flickered to mine. “Okay.” Finally he seemed to relax and squatted down next to me. “What are you reading?” “A Wrinkle in Time.” “Again?” “It’s so good.
Christina Lauren (Love and Other Words)
I've been sexually assaulted, physically attacked, felt unsafe in my own house, and nearly killed myself because I'm transgender. Now I'm not saying that its the same struggle as racism. But what I will say is that if people are intentionally ignorant you can't fight them with words. Sometims you have to fight back. Or scream. And you know what. That's life. Despite the lies you may have been told no one won their rights by asking for them nicely. People fought for them. So ya I'm sorry if what I said may "offend" a few white people, but I'm going to fuking say it anyways.
Adam Snowflake
Like all great things which then become fashions, science, as now the universal stamp of approval, probably receives more abuse than any other field of study. Glaze the word itself over whatever vague ideology one may presume ratified, no matter the degree of pseudo-science or lack of scholarly credibility packaged within, and the many will consume it like gravy on a feast. My thought for the time is that as the promise of true science increases, so shall rise its many more superficial counterparts as provided by the agenda-bound trendies and hyper-ambitious laypersons to boot.
Criss Jami (Healology)
ROMEO: A torch for me: let wantons light of heart Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels, For I am proverb’d with a grandsire phrase; I’ll be a candle-holder, and look on. The game was ne’er so fair, and I am done. MERCUTIO: Tut, dun’s the mouse, the constable’s own word: If thou art dun, we’ll draw thee from the mire Of this sir-reverence love, wherein thou stick’st Up to the ears. Come, we burn daylight, ho! ROMEO: Nay, that’s not so. MERCUTIO: I mean, sir, in delay We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day. Take our good meaning, for our judgement sits Five times in that ere once in our five wits. ROMEO: And we mean well in going to this mask; But ’tis no wit to go. MERCUTIO: Why, may one ask? ROMEO: I dream’d a dream to-night. MERCUTIO: And so did I. ROMEO: Well, what was yours? MERCUTIO: That dreamers often lie. ROMEO: In bed asleep, while they do dream things true. MERCUTIO: O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you. She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them—words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear. I was twelve going on thirteen when I first saw a dead human being. It happened in 1960, a long time ago . . . although sometimes it doesn’t seem that long to me. Especially on the nights I wake up from dreams where the hail falls into his open eyes.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
Then breaking the silence Thingol said: 'Go your way therefore! Bring to me in your hand a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown; and then, if she will, Lúthien may set her hand in yours. Then you shall have my jewel; and though the fate of Arda lie within the Silmarils, yet you shall hold me generous.' And those that heard these words perceived that Thingol would save his oath, and yet send Beren to his death; for they knew that not all the power of the Noldor had availed even to see from afar the shining Silmarils of Feanor. For they were set in the Iron Crown, and treasured in Angband above all wealth; and Balrogs were about them, and countless swords, and strong bars, and unassailable walls, and the dark majesty of Morgoth. But Beren laughed. 'For little price,' he said, 'do Elven-kings sell their daughters: for gems, and things made by craft. But if this be your will, Thingol, I will perform it. And when we meet again my hand shall hold a Silmaril from the Iron Crown; for you have not looked the last upon Beren son of Barahir.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
Joffrey called out, “Dog!” Sandor Clegane seemed to take form out of the night, so quickly did he appear. He had exchanged his armor for a red woolen tunic with a leather dog’s head sewn on the front. The light of the torches made his burned face shine a dull red. “Yes, Your Grace?” he said. “Take my betrothed back to the castle, and see that no harm befalls her,” the prince told him brusquely. And without even a word of farewell, Joffrey strode off, leaving her there. Sansa could feel the Hound watching her. “Did you think Joff was going to take you himself?” He laughed. He had a laugh like the snarling of dogs in a pit. “Small chance of that.” He pulled her unresisting to her feet. “Come, you’re not the only one needs sleep. I’ve drunk too much, and I may need to kill my brother tomorrow.” He laughed again. He was mocking her, she realized. “No one could withstand him,” she managed at last, proud of herself. It was no lie. Sandor Clegane stopped suddenly in the middle of a dark and empty field. She had no choice but to stop beside him. “Some septa trained you well. You’re like one of those birds from the Summer Isles, aren’t you? A pretty little talking -bird, repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite.” “ Take your look.” His fingers held her jaw as hard as an iron trap. His eyes watched hers. Drunken eyes, sullen with anger. She had to look. The right side of his face was gaunt, with sharp cheekbones and a grey eye beneath a heavy brow. His nose was large and hooked, his hair thin, dark. He wore it long and brushed it sideways, because no hair grew on the other side of that face. The left side of his face was a ruin. His ear had been burned away; there was nothing left but a hole. His eye was still good, but all around it was a twisted mass of scar, slick black flesh hard as leather, pocked with craters and fissured by deep cracks.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Still I rise" You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
Still I Rise - 1928-2014 You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
At this point, a few words on this term 'horror' are perhaps called for. Some amateurs of this kind of literature engage in endless hairsplitting disputes, centered around this word and its close companion 'terror', as to which' stories may so be categorized and which may not, and whether or not descriptions such as weird or fantasy or macabre are preferable. The designation 'horror', with its connotations of revulsion, satisfies me no more than it does the purists but I believe that it is the only term which embraces all the stories in this collection and which succinctly suggests to the majority of readers what is in store for them. Horror then, in this instance, covers tales of the Supernatural and of physical terror, of ghosts and necromancy and of inhuman violence and all the dark corners and crevices of human belief and behavior that lie in between. ("An Age In Horror" - introduction)
Michel Parry (Reign of Terror)
The tourists had money and we needed it; they only asked in return to be lied to and deceived and told that single most important thing, that they were safe, that their sense of security—national, individual, spiritual—wasn’t a bad joke being played on them by a bored and capricious destiny. To be told that there was no connection between then and now, that they didn't need to wear a black armband or have a bad conscience about their power and their wealth and everybody else’s lack of it; to feel rotten that no-one could or would explain why the wealth of a few seemed so curiously dependent on the misery of the many. We kindly pretended that it was about buying and selling chairs, about them asking questions about price and heritage, and us replying in like manner. But it wasn’t about price and heritage, it wasn’t about that at all. The tourists had insistent, unspoken questions and we just had to answer as best we could, with forged furniture. They were really asking, 'Are we safe?' and we were really replying, 'No, but a barricade of useless goods may help block the view.' And because hubris is not just an ancient Greek word but a human sense so deep-seated we might better regard it as an unerring instinct, they were also wanting to know, 'If it is our fault, then will we suffer?' and we were really replying, 'Yes, and slowly, but a fake chair may make us both feel better about it.
Richard Flanagan (Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish)
Conversation is an exchange of gifts. Native American tribal wisdom teaches that when you encounter a person on your life path, you must seek to find out what gifts you have for one another so that you may exchange them before going your separate ways. This seems true even of daily encounters with those we know well. We come into one another's presence bearing whatever harvest of experience the day has offered, and we foster relationship by making a gift of what we have received.
Marilyn Chandler McEntyre (Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies)
The answer to that question is…I won’t. You belong with me. Which leads me to the discussion I wanted to have with you.” “Where I belong is for me to decide, and though I may listen to what you have to say, that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.” “Fair enough.” Ren pushed his empty plate to the side. “We have some unfinished business to take care of.” “If you mean the other tasks we have to do, I’m already aware of that.” “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about us.” “What about us?” I put my hands under the table and wiped my clammy palms on my napkin. “I think there are a few things we’ve left unsaid, and I think it’s time we said them.” “I’m not withholding anything from you, if that’s what you mean.” “You are.” “No. I’m not.” “Are you refusing to acknowledge what has happened between us?” “I’m not refusing anything. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.” “I’m not. I’m simply trying to convince a stubborn woman to admit that she has feelings for me.” “If I did have feelings for you, you’d be the first one to know.” “Are you saying that you don’t feel anything for me?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying…nothing!” I spluttered. Ren smiled and narrowed his eyes at me. If he kept up this line of questioning, he was bound to catch me in a lie. I’m not a very good liar. He sat back in his chair. “Fine. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but we will talk about this later. Tigers are relentless once they set their minds to something. You don’t be able to evade me forever.” Casually, I replied, “Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Wonderful. Every hero has his Kryptonite, and you don’t intimidate me.” I twisted my napkin in my lap while he tracked my every move with his probing eyes. I felt stripped down, as if he could see into the very heart of me. When the waitress came back, Ren smiled at her as she offered a smaller menu, probably featuring desserts. She leaned over him while I tapped my strappy shoe in frustration. He listened attentively to her. Then, the two of them laughed again. He spoke quietly, gesturing to me, and she looked my way, giggled, and then cleared all the plates quickly. He pulled out a wallet and handed her a credit card. She put her hand on his arm to ask him another question, and I couldn’t help myself. I kicked him under the table. He didn’t even blink or look at me. He just reached his arm across the table, took my hand in his, and rubbed the back of it absentmindedly with his thumb as he answered her question. It was like my kick was a love tap to him. It only made him happier. When she left, I narrowed my eyes at him and asked, “How did you get that card, and what were you saying to her about me?” “Mr. Kadam gave me the card, and I told her that we would be having our dessert…later.” I laughed facetiously. “You mean you will be having dessert later by yourself this evening because I am done eating with you.” He leaned across the candlelit table and said, “Who said anything about eating, Kelsey?” He must be joking! But he looked completely serious. Great! There go the nervous butterflies again. “Stop looking at me like that.” “Like what?” “Like you’re hunting me. I’m not an antelope.” He laughed. “Ah, but the chase would be exquisite, and you would be a most succulent catch.” “Stop it.” “Am I making you nervous?” “You could say that.” I stood up abruptly as he was signing the receipt and made my way toward the door. He was next to me in an instant. He leaned over. “I’m not letting you escape, remember? Now, behave like a good date and let me walk you home. It’s the least you could do since you wouldn’t talk with me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Q. Would you repeat, Dr. Seldon, your thoughts concerning the future of Trantor? A. I have said, and I say again, that Trantor will lie in ruins within the next three centuries. Q. You do not consider your statement a disloyal one? A. No, sir. Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty." Q. You are sure that your statement represents scientific truth? A. I am. Q. On what basis? A. On the basis of the mathematics of psychohistory. Q. Can you prove that this mathematics is valid? A. Only to another mathematician. Q. ( with a smile) Your claim then is that your truth is of so esoteric a nature that it is beyond the understanding of a plain man. It seems to me that truth should be clearer than that, less mysterious, more open to the mind. A. It presents no difficulties to some minds. The physics of energy transfer, which we know as thermodynamics, has been clear and true through all the history of man since the mythical ages, yet there may be people present who would find it impossible to design a power engine. People of high intelligence, too. I doubt if the learned Commissioners— At this point, one of the Commissioners leaned toward the Advocate. His words were not heard but the hissing of the voice carried a certain asperity. The Advocate flushed and interrupted Seldon. Q. We are not here to listen to speeches, Dr. Seldon. Let us assume that you have made your point. Let me suggest to you that your predictions of disaster might be intended to destroy public confidence in the Imperial Government for purposes of your own! A. That is not so. Q. Let me suggest that you intend to claim that a period of time preceding the so-called ruin of Trantor will be filled with unrest of various types. A. That is correct. Q. And that by the mere prediction thereof, you hope to bring it about, and to have then an army of a hundred thousand available. A. In the first place, that is not so. And if it were, investigation will show you that barely ten thousand are men of military age, and none of these has training in arms. Q. Are you acting as an agent for another? A. I am not in the pay of any man, Mr. Advocate. Q. You are entirely disinterested? You are serving science? A. I am.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
There's folly in her stride that's the rumor justified by lies I've seen her up close beneath the sheets and sometime during the summer she was mine for a few sweet months in the fall and parts of December ((( To get to the heart of this unsolvable equation, one must first become familiar with the physical, emotional, and immaterial makeup as to what constitutes both war and peace. ))) I found her looking through a window the same window I'd been looking through She smiled and her eyes never faltered this folly was a crime ((( The very essence of war is destructive, though throughout the years utilized as a means of creating peace, such an equation might seem paradoxical to the untrained eye. Some might say using evil to defeat evil is counterproductive, and gives more meaning to the word “futile”. Others, like Edmund Burke, would argue that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.” ))) She had an identity I could identify with something my fingertips could caress in the night ((( There is such a limitless landscape within the mind, no two minds are alike. And this is why as a race we will forever be at war with each other. What constitutes peace is in the mind of the beholder. ))) Have you heard the argument? This displacement of men and women and women and men the minds we all have the beliefs we all share Slipping inside of us thoughts and religions and bodies all bare ((( “Without darkness, there can be no light,” he once said. To demonstrate this theory, during one of his seminars he held a piece of white chalk and drew a line down the center of a blackboard. Explaining that without the blackness of the board, the white line would be invisible. ))) When she left she kissed with eyes open I knew this because I'd done the same Sometimes we saw eye to eye like that Very briefly, she considered an apotheosis a synthesis a rendering of her folly into solidarity ((( To believe that a world-wide lay down of arms is possible, however, is the delusion of the pacifist; the dream of the optimist; and the joke of the realist. Diplomacy only goes so far, and in spite of our efforts to fight with words- there are times when drawing swords of a very different nature are surely called for. ))) Experiencing the subsequent sunrise inhaling and drinking breaking mirrors and regurgitating just to start again all in all I was just another gash in the bark ((( Plato once said: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Perhaps the death of us all is called for in this time of emotional desperation. War is a product of the mind; only with the death of such will come the end of the bloodshed. Though this may be a fairly realistic view of such an issue, perhaps there is an optimistic outlook on the horizon. Not every sword is double edged, but every coin is double sided. ))) Leaving town and throwing shit out the window drinking boroughs and borrowing spare change I glimpsed the rear view mirror stole a glimpse really I've believed in looking back for a while it helps to have one last view a reminder in case one ever decides to rebel in the event the self regresses and makes the declaration of devastation once more ((( Thus, if we wish to eliminate the threat of war today- complete human annihilation may be called for. )))
Dave Matthes (Wanderlust and the Whiskey Bottle Parallel: Poems and Stories)
You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill—he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness. But get up, sit down, I beg you. All this, too, is deceitful posturing....
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
His mouth stroked over her face, his breath rushing across her skin in hot drifts that made her quiver. “Evie…during the past few days I’ve had nothing to do but lie in this bed and think about things that I’ve spent my entire life trying to avoid. I once told you that I wasn’t meant for a wife and family. That I wouldn’t have any interest in a child, if you…” He hesitated for a long moment. “But…the truth is…I want you to have my baby. I didn’t know how much, until I thought that I would never have the opportunity. I thought—” He broke off, a self-mocking smile touching his lips. “Damn it. I don’t know how to be a husband, or a father. But since your standards in both areas seem to be relatively low, I may have half a chance at pleasing you.” He grinned at her mock frown, then sobered. “There are many ways I can prevent you from conceiving. But if or when you ever decide that you’re ready, I want you to tell me—” Evie stopped him with her mouth. In the blazing minutes that followed, no further words were possible.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. Today, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then --how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
...there is no question that precision is difficult to achieve. Imprecision is easier. Imprecision is available in a wide variety of attractice and user-friendly forms: cliches, abstractions and generalizations, jargon, passive constructions, hyperbole, sentimentality, and reassuring absolutes. Imprecision minimizes discomfort and creates a big, soft, hospitable place for all opinions; even the completely vacuous can find a welcome there. So the practice of precision not only requires attentiveness and effort; it may also require the courage to afflict the comfortable and, consequently, tolerate their resentment.
Marilyn Chandler McEntyre (Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies)
Bishop: No verifying! If people tell lies, that's as may be. If they've come up with some credo or other, so much the better! Don't forget that few people are likely to tell more than a small part of the truth: no one tells much of the truth, let alone the whole truth. Spoken words are facts in themselves, whether true or false. When people talk they reveal themselves, whether they're lying or telling the truth. Embi: And if I find them out in a lie? Bishop: Never speak ill of anyone in a report. Remember, any lie you are told, even deliberately, is often a more significant fact than a truth told in all sincerity.
Halldór Laxness (Under the Glacier)
Listen to my last words anywhere. Listen to my last words any world. Listen all you boards syndicates and governments of the earth. And you powers behind what filth consummated in what lavatory to take what is not yours. To sell the ground from unborn feet forever - "Don't let them see us. Don't tell them what we are doing -" Are these the words of the all-powerful boards and syndicates of the earth? "For God's sake don't let that Coca-Cola thing out - " "Not The Cancer Deal with The Venusians - " "Not The Green Deal - Don't show them that - " "Not The Orgasm Death - " "Not the ovens - " Listen: I call you all. Show your cards all players. Pay it all pay it all pay it all back. Play it all pay it all play it all back. For all to see. In Times Square. In Picadilly. "Premature. Premature. Give us a little more time." Time for what? More lies? Premature? Premature for who? I say to all these words are not premature. These words may be too late. Minutes to go. Minutes to foe goal - "Top Secret - Classified - For The Board - The Elite - The Initiates - Are these the words of the all-powerful boards and syndicates of the earth? These are the words of liars cowards collaborators traitors. Liars who want time for more lies. Cowards who can not face your "dogs" your "gooks" your "errand boys" your "human animals" with the truth. Collaborators with Insect People with Vegetable People. With any people anywhere who offer you a body forever. To shit forever. For this you have sold out your sons. Sold the ground from unborn feet forever. Traitors to all souls everywhere. You want the name of Hassan i Sabbah on your filth deeds to sell out the unborn? What scared you all into time? Into body? Into shit? I will tell you; "the word." Alien Word "the." "The" word of Alien Enemy imprisons "thee" in Time, In Body. In Shit. Prisoner, come out. The great skies are open.
William S. Burroughs (Nova Express (The Nova Trilogy, #2))
the effects the denial of our true and strong emotions have on our bodies. Such denial is demanded of us not least by morality and religion. On the basis of what I know about psychotherapy, both from personal experience and from accounts I have been given by very many people, I have come to the conclusion that individuals abused in childhood can attempt to obey the Fourth Commandment* only by recourse to a massive repression and detachment of their true emotions. They cannot love and honor their parents because unconsciously they still fear them. However much they may want to, they cannot build up a relaxed and trusting relationship. Instead, what usually materializes is a pathological attachment, a mixture of fear and dutiful obedience that hardly deserves the name of love in the genuine sense of the word. I call this a sham, a façade. In addition, people abused in childhood frequently hope all their lives that someday they will experience the love they have been denied. These expectations reinforce their attachment to their parents, an attachment that religious creeds refer to as love and praise as a virtue. Unfortunately, the same thing happens in most therapies, as most people are still dominated by traditional morality. There is a price to be paid for this morality, a price paid by the body. Individuals who believe that they feel what they ought to feel and constantly do their best not to feel what they forbid themselves to feel will ultimately fall ill—unless, that is, they leave it to their children to pick up the check by projecting onto them the emotions they cannot admit to themselves. This
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting)
It was early autumn, then, before the snow began to fly. –(There’s an expression for you, born in the country, born from the imaginations of men and their feeling for the right word, the only word, to mirror clearly what they see! Those with few words must know how to use them.) Men who have seen it, who have watched it day by day outside their cabin window coming down from the sky, like the visible remorse of an ageing year; who have watched it bead upon the ears of the horses they rode, muffle the sound of hoofs on the trail, lie upon spruce boughs and over grass – cover, as if forever, the landscape in which they moved, round off the mountains, blanket the ice in the rivers – for them the snow flies. The snow doesn’t fall. It may ride the wind. It may descend slowly, in utter quiet, from the grey and laden clouds, so that you can hear the flakes touching lightly on the wide white waste, as they come to rest at the end of their flight. Flight – that’s the word. They beat in the air like wings, as if reluctant ever to touch the ground. I have observed them coming down, on a very cold day, near its end when the sky above me was still blue, in flakes great and wide as the palm of my hand. They were like immense moths winging down in the twilight, making the silence about me visible.
Howard O'Hagan (Tay John)
Readers are a dying species,” I said. “Like whales, partridges, wild animals in general. Borges calls them black swans, and maintains that good readers are now scarcer than good writers. He says reading is an activity subsequent to writing, more resigned, more civil, more intellectual. No,” I went on, “that’s not where the danger lies. Books make different impressions according to the state of mind you read them in. A book that struck you as banal on a first reading may dazzle you on a second simply because in the meantime you suffered some kind of heartbreak, or you took a journey, or you fell in love. In other words, something happened to you.
Gianfranco Calligarich (Last Summer in the City)
Ibn al-Qayyim has a profound statement in his book Al-Fawaid. Referring to the effect of negative and sinful thoughts, he said: “You should repulse a thought. If you do not do so, it will develop into a desire. You should therefore wage war against it. If you do not do so, it will become a resolution and firm intention. If you do not repulse this, it will develop into a deed. If you do not make up for it by doing the opposite [the opposite of that evil deed], it will become a habit. It will then be very difficult for you to give it up”. Another similar quote: “You should know the initial stage of every knowledge that is within your choice is your thoughts and notions. These thoughts and notions lead you into fantasies. These fantasies lead towards the will and desire to carry out [those fantasies]. These wills and desires demand the act should be committed. Repeatedly committing these acts causes them to become a habit. So the goodness of these stages lies in the goodness of thoughts and notions, and the wickedness of these thoughts lies in the wickedness of thoughts and notions”. May Allah be pleased with him! He offers a deep insight into something so subtle. We should all memorise these words and use it whenever we feel unable to control the tsunami of negative thoughts that overtake our minds.
Mohammed Faris (The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity)
He turns around, and when he sees me standing there, he looks scared. That’s something useful. Because I’m not going to let him go. He may think he was lying when he said all those nice things to lure me home. But I know different. I know Nick can’t lie like that. I know that as he recited those words, he realized the truth. Ping! Because you can’t be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Our kind of love can go into remission, but it’s always waiting to return. Like the world’s sweetest cancer... "We’re a sick, fucking toxic Möbius strip, Amy. We weren’t ourselves when we fell in love, and when we became ourselves – surprise! – we were poison. We complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way. You don’t really love me, Amy. You don’t even like me. Divorce me. Divorce me, and let’s try to be happy.’ ‘I won’t divorce you, Nick. I won’t. And I swear to you, if you try to leave, I will devote my life to making your life as awful as I can. And you know I can make it awful.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
During his illness he had spent every minute of consciousness calling upon God, every second of every minute. Ya Allah whose servant lies bleeding do not abandon me now after watching oven me so long. Ya Allah show me some sign, some small mark of your favour, that I may find in myself the strength to cure my ills. O God most beneficent most merciful, be with me in this my time of need, my most grievous need. Then it occurred to him that he was being punished, and for a time that made it possible to suffer the pain, but after a time he got angry. Enough, God, his unspoken words demanded, why must I die when I have not killed, are you vengeance or are you love? The anger with God carried him through another day, but then it faded, and in its place there came a terrible emptiness, an isolation, as he realized he was talking to _thin air_, that there was nobody there at all, and then he felt more foolish than ever in his life, and he began to plead into the emptiness, ya Allah, just be there, damn it, just be. But he felt nothing, nothing nothing, and then one day he found that he no longer needed there to be anything to feel. On that day of metamorphosis the illness changed and his recovery began. And to prove to himself the non-existence of God, he now stood in the dining-hall of the city's most famous hotel, with pigs falling out of his face.
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
DEAR MAMA, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child. I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant. I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief—rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes. No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends—all kinds of friends—who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.” But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me too. I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way? I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life. I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind. Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it. There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will. Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value the truth. Mary Ann sends her love. Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane. Your loving son, MICHAEL
Armistead Maupin (More Tales of the City (Tales of the City #2))
The Silmarils are Eorclanstánas (also treated as an Old English noun with plural Silmarillas). There are several different forms of this Old English word: eorclan-, eorcnan-, and eorcan- from which is derived the 'Arkenstone' of the Lonely Mountain. The first element may be related to Gothic airkns, 'holy'. With middangeard line 37 cf. my father's note in Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings, in A Tolkien Compass, p. 189: 'The sense is ''the inhabited lands of (Elves and) Men'', envisaged as lying between the Western Sea and that of the Far East (only known in the West by rumour). Middle-Earth is a modern alteration of medieval middel-erde from Old English middan-geard'.
Christopher Tolkien (The Shaping of Middle-Earth (The History of Middle-Earth, #4))
When summer and winter in autumn divide The sun will uncover a secret inside. Should winter from summer irrevocably part The whole of the book will fall quickly apart. Yet if the seasons join hands together The order of things will last forever. These are the words of Endymion spring. Bring only the insight the Inside brings. The child may see what the man does not A future time which time forgot: Books yet to be and books already written Within these pages lie dormant and hidden. Yet darkness seeks what light reveals A shadow grows: these truths conceal. These are my words, Endymion spring. Bring only the insight the Inside brings. The silence will end-the sum approaches Mark my word-the shadow encroaches. The present had passed-the past has gone The future will come-once Two become One. The sun must look the shadow in the eye Then forfeit the book lest one half die. The lesion of darkness cannot be healed Until, with Child's Blood, the whole is sealed. These are the words of Endymion spring. Bring only the insight the Inside brings.
Matthew Skelton (Endymion Spring)
PROPAGANDA-A ONE-SIDED WEAPON The asymmetrical situation has important effects on propaganda. The insurgent, having no responsibility, is free to use every trick; if necessary, he can lie, cheat, exaggerate. He is not obliged to prove; he is judged by what he promises, not by what he does. Consequently, propaganda is a powerful weapon for him. With no positive policy but with good propaganda, the insurgent may still win. The counterinsurgent is tied to his responsibilities and to his past, and for him, facts speak louder than words. He is judged on what he does, not on what he says. If he lies, cheats, exaggerates, and does not prove, he may achieve some temporary successes, but at the price of being discredited for good. And he cannot cheat much unless his political structures are monolithic, for the legitimate opposition in his own camp would soon disclose his every psychological maneuver. For him, propaganda can be no more than a secondary weapon, valuable only if intended to inform and not to fool. A counterinsurgent can seldom cover bad or nonexistent policy with propaganda.
David Galula (Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice)
The novel, then, provides a reduction of the world different from that of the treatise. It has to lie. Words, thoughts, patterns of word and thought, are enemies of truth, if you identify that with what may be had by phenomenological reductions. Sartre was always, as he explains in his autobiography, aware of their being at variance with reality. One remembers the comic account of this antipathy in Iris Murdoch Under the Net, one of the few truly philosophical novels in English; truth would be found only in a silent poem or a silent novel. As soon as it speaks, begins to be a novel, it imposes causality and concordance, development, character, a past which matters and a future within certain broad limits determined by the project of the author rather than that of the characters. They have their choices, but the novel has its end. * ____________________ * There is a remarkable passage in Ortega y Gasset London essay ' History as a System' (in Philosophy and History, ed. Klibansky and Paton, 1936) which very clearly states the issues more notoriously formulated by Sartre. Ortega is discussing man's duty to make himself. 'I invent projects of being and doing in the light of circumstance. This alone I come upon, this alone is given me: circumstance. It is too often forgotten that man is impossible without imagination, without the capacity to invent for himself a conception of life, to "ideate" the character he is going to be. Whether he be original or a plagiarist, man is the novelist of himself... Among... possibilities I must choose. Hence, I am free. But, be it well understood, I am free by compulsion, whether I wish to be or not... To be free means to be lacking in constitutive identity, not to have subscribed to a determined being, to be able to be other than what one was...' This 'constitutive instability' is the human property lacking in the novels condemned by Sartre and Murdoch. Ortega differs from Sartre on the use of the past; but when he says that his free man is, willy-nilly, 'a second-hand God,' creating his own entity, he is very close to Sartre, who says that to be is to be like the hero in a novel. In one instance the eidetic image is of God, in the other of the Hero.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
And I thought how many satisfied, happy people really do exist in this world! And what a powerful force they are! Just take a look at this life of ours and you will see the arrogance and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and bestiality of the weak. Everywhere there's unspeakable poverty, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy and stupid lies... And yet peace and quiet reign in every house and street. Out of fifty thousand people you won't find one who is prepared to shout out loud and make a strong protest. We see people buying food in the market, eating during the day, sleeping at night-time, talking nonsense, marrying, growing old and then contentedly carting their dead off to the cemetery. But we don't hear or see those who suffer: the real tragedies of life are enacted somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is calm and peaceful and the only protest comes from statistics - and they can't talk. Figures show that so many went mad, so many bottles of vodka were emptied, so many children died from malnutrition. And clearly this kind of system is what people need. It,s obvious that the happy man feels contented only because the unhappy ones bear their burden without saying a word: if it weren't for their silence, happiness would be quite impossible. It's a kind of mass hypnosis. Someone ought to stand with a hammer at the door of every contented man, continually banging on it to remind him that there are unhappy people around and that however happy he may be at that time, sooner or later life will show him its claws and disaster will overtake him in the form of illness, poverty, bereavement and there will be no one to hear or see him. But there isn't anyone holding a hammer, so our happy man goes his own sweet way and is only gently ruffled by life's trivial cares, as an aspen is ruffled by the breeze. All's well as far as he's concerned
Anton Chekhov (Gooseberries)
Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: 'But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)'; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders. ...All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in 'Al- Mughni,' Imam al-Kisa'i in 'Al-Bada'i,' al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: 'As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life.' On that basis, and in compliance with Allah's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, 'and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.' ...We -- with Allah's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson. ...Almighty Allah also says: 'O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.' Almighty Allah also says: 'So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith.' [World Islamic Front Statement, 23 February 1998]
Osama bin Laden
The Struggle is when you wonder why you started the company in the first place. The Struggle is when people ask you why you don’t quit and you don’t know the answer. The Struggle is when your employees think you are lying and you think they may be right. The Struggle is when food loses its taste. The Struggle is when you don’t believe you should be CEO of your company. The Struggle is when you know that you are in over your head and you know that you cannot be replaced. The Struggle is when everybody thinks you are an idiot, but nobody will fire you. The Struggle is where self-doubt becomes self-hatred. The Struggle is when you are having a conversation with someone and you can’t hear a word that they are saying because all you can hear is the Struggle.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt. Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. Ultimately it is by means of doublethink that the Party has been able—and may, for all we know, continue to be able for thousands of years—to arrest the course of history.
George Orwell (1984)
Father,” he said. The word tasted strange in his mouth; he had never had cause to say it to anyone before. Then Eragon shifted his gaze to the runes he had set into the spire at the head of the tomb, which read: HERE LIES BROM Who was a Dragon Rider And like a father To me. May his name live on in glory. He smiled painfully at how close he had come to the truth. Then he spoke in the ancient language, and he watched the diamond shimmer and flow as a new pattern of runes formed upon its surface. When he finished, the inscription had changed to: HERE LIES BROM Who was A Rider bonded to the dragon Saphira Son of Holcomb and Nelda Beloved of Selena Father of Eragon Shadeslayer Founder of the Varden And Bane of the Forsworn. May his name live on in glory. Stydja unin mor’ranr.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
Hearken unto me, fellow creatures. I who have dwelt in a form unmatched with my desire. I whose flesh has become an assemblage of incongruous anatomical parts. I who achieve the similitude of a natural body only through an unnatrual process, I offer you this warning: the Nature you bedevil me with is a lie. Do not trust it to protect you from what I represent, for it is a fabrication that cloaks the groundlessness of the privilege you seek to maintain for yourself at my expense. You are as constructed as me; the same anarchic Womb has birthed us both. I call upon you to investigate your nature as I have been compelled to confront mine. I challenge you to risk abjection and flourish as well as have I. Heed my words, and you may well discover the seams and sutures in yourself.
Susan Stryker (My Words to Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage)
I will say this as bluntly as I know how: I am a transsexual, and therefore I am a monster. Just as the words “dyke”, “fag”, “queer”, “slut”, and “whore” have been reclaimed, respectively, by lesbians and gay men, by anti assimilationist sexual minorities, by women who pursue erotic pleasure, and by sex industry workers, words like “creature”, “monster”, and “unnaturaI” need to be reclaimed by the transgendered. [...] Hearken unto me, fellow creatures. I who have dwelt in a form unmatched with my desire, I whose flesh has become an assemblage of incongruous anatomical parts, I who achieve the similitude of a natural body only through an unnatural process, I offer you this warning: the Nature you bedevil me with is a lie. Do not trust it to protect you from what I represent, for it is a fabrication that cloaks the groundlessness of the privilege you seek to maintain for yourself at my expense. You are as constructed as me; the same anarchic womb has birthed us both. I call upon you to investigate your nature as I have been compelled to confront mine. I challenge you to risk abjection and flourish as well as have I. Heed my words, and you may well discover the seams and sutures in yourself.
Susan Stryker (My Words to Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage)
Every action is a losing, a letting go, a passing away from oneself of some bit of one’s own reality into the existence of others and of the world. In Jesus Christ, this character of action is not resisted, by trying to use our action to assert ourselves, extend ourselves, to impose our will and being upon situations. In Jesus Christ, this self-expending character of action is joyfully affirmed. I receive myself constantly from God’s Parenting love. But so far as some aspects of myself are at my disposal, these I receive to give away. Those who would live as Jesus did—who would act and purpose themselves as Jesus did—mean to love, i.e., they mean to expend themselves for others unto death. Their being is meant to pass away from them to others, and they make that meaning the conscious direction of their existence. Too often the love which is proclaimed in the churches suppresses this element of loss and need and death in activity. As a Christian, I often speak of love as helping others, but I ignore what this does to the person who loves. I ignore the fact that love is self-expenditure, a real expending and losing and deterioration of the self. I speak of love as if the person loving had no problems, no needs, no limits. In other words, I speak of love as if the affluent dream were true. This kind of proclamation is heard everywhere. We hear it said: 'Since you have no unanswered needs, why don’t you go out and help those other people who are in need?' But we never hear people go on and add: 'If you do this, you too will be driven into need.' And by not stating this conclusion, people give the childish impression that Christian love is some kind of cornucopia, where we can reach to everybody’s needs and problems and still have everything we need for ourselves. Believe me, there are grown-up persons who speak this kind of nonsense. And when people try to live out this illusory love, they become terrified when the self-expending begins to take its toll. Terror of relationship is [that] we eat each other. But note this very carefully: like Jesus, we too can only live to give our received selves away freely because we know our being is not thereby ended, but still and always lies in the Parenting of our God.... Those who love in the name of Jesus Christ... serve the needs of others willingly, even to the point of being exposed in their own neediness.... They do not cope with their own needs. They do not anguish over how their own needs may be met by the twists and turns of their circumstances, by the whims of their society, or by the strategies of their own egos. At the center of their life—the very innermost center—they are grateful to God, because... they do not fear neediness. That is what frees them to serve the needy, to companion the needy, to become and be one of the needy.
Arthur C. McGill (Dying Unto Life)
Our industries, our trade, and our way of life generally have been based first on the exploitation of the earth's surface and then on the oppression of one another--on banditry pure and simple. The inevitable result is now upon us. The unsuccessful bandits are trying to despoil their more successful competitors. The world is divided into two hostile camps: at the root of this vast conflict lies the evil of spoliation which has destroyed the moral integrity of our generation. While this contest marches to its inevitable conclusion, it will not be amiss to draw attention to a forgotten factor which may perhaps help to restore peace and harmony to a tortured world. We must in our future planning pay great attention to food--the product of sun, soil, plant, and livestock--in other words, to farming and gardening.
Albert Howard (The Soil and Health: A Study of Organic Agriculture)
Be men to be proud of. Actions speak louder than words, boys. When you do wrong, and believe me, you will do more wrong than right some days, you own up to it. Completely. You can’t take back the stone once it’s thrown. The reality is, you can never really right the wrong once it’s done. It will live on forever in one’s memory. You can atone for it. You can work hard to assure you never make the same mistake twice. But there is a time for freedoms and a time for life responsibilities. Be the man to handle his responsibilities. Be the man to take responsibility for his shortcomings and failures. Take pride in being humble enough to admit when you are wrong and when you have failed....“People will think many things of you. Some true, some complete lies. Their opinions don’t matter. The half-truths, the lies, the many things people will think of you throughout this life should never hold weight. It is what you see in the mirror looking back at you that should tell you the character and the man in which you are. Look in the mirror, boys, and be men to be proud of.” Excerpt From: Camaron, Chelsea. “Merciless Ride: A Hellions Novel.” Whiskey Girls Publishing, 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
Chelsea Camaron (Merciless Ride (Hellions Ride, #3))
The word power typically signifies a capacity for action. The Oxford English Dictionary tells us power lies in an 'ability to do or effect something or anything, or to act upon a person or thing'. The person who has power may influence the material or social environment, generally on the basis of possessing high-tech weapons, money, oil, superior intelligence or large muscles. In war, I am powerful because I can blow up your city walls or drop bombs on your airfields. In the financial world, I am powerful because I can buy up your shares and invade your markets. In boxing, I am ,ore powerful because my punches outwit and exhaust yours. But in love, this issue appears to depend on a far more passive, negative definition; instead of looking at power as a capacity to do something, one may come to think of it as the capacity to do nothing.
Alain de Botton (The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping, and the Novel)
You thirst for life, yet you yourself resolve life’s questions with a logical tangle. And how importunate, how impudent your escapades, yet at the same time how frightened you are! You talk nonsense, and are pleased with it; you say impudent things, yet you keep being afraid and asking forgiveness for them. You insist that you are not afraid of anything, and at the same time you court our opinion. You insist that you are gnashing your teeth, and at the same time you exert your wit to make us laugh. You know that your witticisms are not witty, but you are apparently quite pleased with their literary merits. You may indeed have happened to suffer, but you do not have the least respect for your suffering. There is truth in you, too, but no integrity; out of the pettiest vanity you take your truth and display it, disgrace it, in the marketplace . . . You do indeed want to say something, but you conceal your final word out of fear, because you lack the resolve to speak it out, you have only cowardly insolence. You boast about consciousness, yet all you do is vacillate, because, though your mind works, your heart is darkened by depravity, and without a pure heart there can be no full, right consciousness. And how importunate you are, how you foist yourself, how you mug! Lies, lies, lies!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
As a result of the Clinton team’s tenacious pushback, the Times appended two separate corrections to its original article—first claiming that Mrs. Clinton herself was not the focus of any investigation and then, a day later, changing the description of the inspector general’s transmission to the FBI from “criminal referral” to “security referral.” Though the Times may have thought those clarifications were necessary, their original story was much closer to the mark. It was true that the transmission to the FBI from the inspector general did not use the word “criminal,” but by the time of the news story we had a full criminal investigation open, focused on the secretary’s conduct. We didn’t correct the Times and contradict the Clinton campaign because—consistent with our practice—we were not yet to a point where it was appropriate to confirm an investigation.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
You have fought for and claimed your names, and though you may be struck, you will never fall. And that…” His eyes moisten, fear tingeing his voice, no, it’s apprehension. He takes a breath, steels himself. “And that is why I love you.” Seconds pass as his words settle in. I know what he wants to hear, what he aches to hear, what his eyes plead me for. But I can’t tell him that because he wants to hear it back. I can’t tell him that because it might be what he’s pinning his hopes on, a bulwark he’ll set against madness. I can’t tell him that because Heath could never get a guy like him. I can’t tell him that because I don’t want him to be alone, or because I don’t want to be alone. I can’t tell him that because of a million stupid reasons that he would eventually see through, and resent me for. I can’t lie to him. “I love you, Cale.” I tell him because I mean it.
Vaughn R. Demont (Lightning Rod (Broken Mirrors, #2))
In mystical literature such self-contradictory phrases as "dazzling obscurity," "whispering silence," "teeming desert," are continually met with. They prove that not conceptual speech, but music rather, is the element through which we are best spoken to by mystical truth. Many mystical scriptures are indeed little more than musical compositions. "He who would hear the voice of Nada, 'the Soundless Sound,' and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana…. When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams, when he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE—the inner sound which kills the outer…. For then the soul will hear, and will remember. And then to the inner ear will speak THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE…. And now thy SELF is lost in SELF, THYSELF unto THYSELF, merged in that SELF from which thou first didst radiate.. . . Behold! thou hast become the Light, thou hast become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search: the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the seven sounds in one, the VOICE OF THE SILENCE. Om tat Sat."[277] [277] H. P. Blavatsky: The voice of the Silence. These words, if they do not awaken laughter as you receive them, probably stir chords within you which music and language touch in common. Music gives us ontological messages which non-musical criticism is unable to contradict, though it may laugh at our foolishness in minding them. There is a verge of the mind which these things haunt; and whispers therefrom mingle with the operations of our understanding, even as the waters of the infinite ocean send their waves to break among the pebbles that lie upon our shores.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundations, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then—how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
I believe the reasons we hang on to seemingly insignificant snippets of conversation, the smell of a particular pizza delivered by a particular guy, the shape of certain shadows on a particular wall, is that there may come a day when we are sitting in a hospital room visiting our mother as she lies on an uncomfortable bed, still recovering. And we are asking her questions and feeling nervous about what the doctor has said could be permanent damage caused by a blood clot the size of a pinpoint and we don't know if the way she is struggling to find the right words is a temporary exhaustion or the new reality and all we want to do is tell her we love her in a language no one has used before because we mean it in a way that no one has meant it before. And this will be a difficult time for us. But then, in a break between the words, a commercial may come on the small television hung up in the corner of the room that we did not even know was playing. It may advertise some new drug, some insurance plan, and our mother will smile at the voice of the handsome actor standing in front of a green screen. She will then close her eyes and squeeze our hand, the one that she has been holding since we walked in, and say, "Oh, I used to have such a crush on him." When she does this, our memory will be waiting. Yes, yes, yes. It is love that we feel here. This is the purpose of memory.
M.O. Walsh (My Sunshine Away)
The fascist appeal to ‘human nature’ is to our passions, to our collectivist mystical needs, to ‘man the unknown’. Adopting Hegel’s words just quoted, this appeal may be called the cunning of the revolt against reason. But the height of this cunning is reached by Hegel in this boldest dialectical twist of his. While paying lip-service to rationalism, while talking more loudly about ‘reason’ than any man before or after him, he ends up in irrationalism; in an apotheosis not only of passion, but of brutal force: ‘It is’, Hegel writes, ‘the absolute interest of Reason that this Moral Whole’ (i.e. the State) ‘should exist; and herein lies the justification and merit of heroes, the founders of States—however cruel they may have been … Such men may treat other great and even sacred interests inconsiderately … But so mighty a form must trample down many an innocent flower; it must crush to pieces many an object on its path.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies)
I am glad that it is old and big. I myself am of an old family, and to live in a new house would kill me. A house cannot be made habitable in a day; and, after all, how few days go to make up a century. I rejoice also that there is a chapel of old times. We Transylvanian nobles love not to think that our bones may lie amongst the common dead. I seek not gaiety nor mirth, not the bright voluptuousness of much sunshine and sparkling waters which please the young and gay. I am no longer young; and my heart, through weary years of mourning over the dead, is not attuned to mirth. Moreover, the walls of my castle are broken; the shadows are many, and the wind breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements. I love the shade and the shadow, and would be alone with my thoughts when I may.” Somehow his words and his look did not seem to accord, or else it was that his cast of face made his smile look malignant and saturnine.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
Senor sempere and I were friends for almost forty years, and in all that time we spoke about God and the mysteries of life on only one occasion. Almost nobody knows this, but Sempere had not set foot in a church since the funeral of his wife Diana, to whose side we bring him today so that they might lie next to one another forever. Perhaps for that reason people assumed he was an atheist, but he was truly a man of faith. He believed in his friends, in the truth of things and in something to which he didn't dare put a name or a face because he said as priests that was our job. Senor Sempere believed we are all a part of something, and that when we leave this world our memories and our desires are not lost, but go on to become the memories and desires of those who take our place. He didn't know whether we created God in our own image or whether God created us without quite knowing what he was doing. He believed that God, or whatever brought us here, lives in each of our deeds, in each of our words, and manifests himself in all those things that show us to be more than mere figures of clay. Senor Sempere believed that God lives, to a smaller or greater extent, in books, and that is why he devoted his life to sharing them, to protecting them and to making sure their pages, like our memories and our desires are never lost. He believed, and made me believe it too, that as long as there is one person left in the world who is capable of reading them and experiencing them, a small piece of God, or of life, will remain. I know that my friend would not have liked us to say our farewells to him with prayer and hymns. I know that it would have been enough for him to realsie that his friends, many of whom have come here today to say goodbye, will never forget him. I have no doubt that the Lord, even though old Sempere was not expecting it, will recieve our dear friend at his side, and I know that he will live forever in the hearts of all those who are here today, all those who have discovered the magic of books thanks to him, and all those who, without even knowing him, will one day go through the door of his little bookshop where, as he liked to say, the story has only just begun. May you rest in peace, Sempere, dear friend, and may God give us all the opportunity to honour your memory and feel grateful for the priviledge of having known you.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
There are many places a spirit may rest when life's long march has ended. Every creature returns to its home exactly as nature intended. The cowards and traitors, the liars and cheats, each in their turn is awarded, someplace that they deserved to go, as their actions in life accorded. Those who proved untrue to their friends lie thick in the dust of the earth, trodden on forever by all to show what treachery's worth. In the mud of swamps, in rotting weeds, they lie imprisoned by evil misdeeds. But the warriors true, the brave of heart, who valiantly upheld the right, they are raised on high, to the velvet sky, bringing light to the darkness of night. They'll stand there as long as the sky will, their honor in brightness will glow, a lesson to see, for eternity, of where the real warriors go! So ere my eyelids close in sleep, these are the words I will say, May I have the courage and faithfulness that my spirit should join them one day.
Brian Jacques (High Rhulain (Redwall, #18))
Laughter may not be nearly as expressive as language, but it has two properties that make it ideal for navigating sensitive topics. First, it’s relatively honest. With words, it’s too easy to pay lip service to rules we don’t really care about, or values that we don’t genuinely feel in our gut. But laughter, because it’s involuntary, doesn’t lie—at least not as much. “In risu veritas,” said James Joyce; “In laughter, there is truth.”51 Second, laughter is deniable. In this way, it gives us safe harbor, an easy out. When someone accuses us of laughing inappropriately, it’s easy to brush off. “Oh, I didn’t really understand what she meant,” we might demur. Or, “Come on, lighten up! It was only a joke!” And we can deliver these denials with great conviction because we really don’t have a clear understanding of what our laughter means or why we find funny things funny. Our brains just figure it out, without burdening “us” with too many damning details.
Kevin Simler (The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life)
What I want you to understand is that when I heard your words, it was as if every single second we had spent together up to that point was a lie. Every word, every touch, every kiss. You were looking at me, but you wanted him. I was this…thing to be endured to keep your family safe. You would allow me to touch you, to make love to you all the while wishing for Colin. I thought all that passion we had between us was a complete figment of my imagination and it was a bitter pill to swallow. I hated you. Worse than I’d ever hated anyone in my life. I was determined to make you pay. I’d keep you shackled to me forever as punishment. Keep you away from your true love.” Bree stared at him, unable to fathom such cruelty. Who was this man she loved that was capable of such a thing? “And then?” He took a deep shaky breath and leaned against the edge of the desk, crossing his arms over his chest. “Then I spent all my energy trying to prove to myself by looking at you that you were lying to me, to justify what I was doing by picking up little gestures or flickers in your eyes that would prove to me that you felt nothing for me.” Bree rolled her eyes and gave a tearful snort. “And did you, after how hard I fought for you, did you get what you wanted? Did you prove to yourself what a lying bitch I am?” “No. Of course not. So I started to doubt what I heard.” “After living with Bernardo for all your life it had just occurred to you that he just may have tampered with the fucking thing?” Bree bit out, furiously.
E. Jamie (The Betrayal (Blood Vows, #2))
The Woman Poet // Die Dichterin You hold me now completely in your hands. My heart beats like a frightened little bird's Against your palm. Take heed! You do not think A person lives within the page you thumb. To you this book is paper, cloth, and ink, Some binding thread and glue, and thus is dumb, And cannot touch you (though the gaze be great That seeks you from the printed marks inside), And is an object with an object's fate. And yet it has been veiled like a bride, Adorned with gems, made ready to be loved, Who asks you bashfully to change your mind, To wake yourself, and feel, and to be moved. But still she trembles, whispering to the wind: "This shall not be." And smiles as if she knew. Yet she must hope. A woman always tries, Her very life is but a single "You . . ." With her black flowers and her painted eyes, With silver chains and silks of spangled blue. She knew more beauty when a child and free, But now forgets the better words she knew. A man is so much cleverer than we, Conversing with himself of truth and lie, Of death and spring and iron-work and time. But I say "you" and always "you and I." This book is but a girl's dress in rhyme, Which can be rich and red, or poor and pale, Which may be wrinkled, but with gentle hands, And only may be torn by loving nails. So then, to tell my story, here I stand. The dress's tint, though bleached in bitter lye, Has not all washed away. It still is real. I call then with a thin, ethereal cry. You hear me speak. But do you hear me feel?
Gertrud Kolmar
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)
Here, again, you find the unsoundness of many professors who consider themselves good Christians; they are partial in the law, and take up with the cheap and easy duties of religion, but go not through with the work. It may be you find them exact in their words, punctual in their dealings, but then they do not exercise themselves unto godliness; and as for examining themselves and governing their hearts, to this they are strangers. You may see them duly at the church; but follow them to their families, and there you shall see little but the world minded; or if they have family duties, follow them to their closets, and there you shall find their souls are little looked after. It may be they seem otherwise religious, but bridle not their tongues, and so “all their religion is vain.” It may be they come up to closet and family prayer; but follow them to their shops, and there you find them in the habit of lying, or some covert and fashionable way of deceit. Thus the hypocrite goes not throughout in the course of his obedience.
Joseph Alleine (An Alarm to the Unconverted: A Serious Treatise on Conversion)
Duroy, who felt light hearted that evening, said with a smile: "You are gloomy to-day, dear master." The poet replied: "I am always so, young man, so will you be in a few years. Life is a hill. As long as one is climbing up one looks towards the summit and is happy, but when one reaches the top one suddenly perceives the descent before one, and its bottom, which is death. One climbs up slowly, but one goes down quickly. At your age a man is happy. He hopes for many things, which, by the way, never come to pass. At mine, one no longer expects anything - but death." Duroy began to laugh: "You make me shudder all over." Norbert de Varenne went on: "No, you do not understand me now, but later on you will remember what I am saying to you at this moment. A day comes, and it comes early for many, when there is an end to mirth, for behind everything one looks at one sees death. You do not even understand the word. At your age it means nothing; at mine it is terrible. Yes, one understands it all at once, one does not know how or why, and then everything in life changes its aspect. For fifteen years I have felt death assail me as if I bore within me some gnawing beast. I have felt myself decaying little by little, month by month, hour by hour, like a house crumbling to ruin. Death has disfigured me so completely that I do not recognize myself. I have no longer anything about me of myself - of the fresh, strong man I was at thirty. I have seen death whiten my black hairs, and with what skillful and spiteful slowness. Death has taken my firm skin, my muscles, my teeth, my whole body of old, only leaving me a despairing soul, soon to be taken too. Every step brings me nearer to death, every movemebt, every breath hastens his odious work. To breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work, dream, everything we do is to die. To live, in short, is to die. Oh, you will realize this. If you stop and think for a moment you will understand. What do you expect? Love? A few more kisses and you will be impotent. Then money? For what? Women? Much fun that will be! In order to eat a lot and grow fat and lie awake at night suffering from gout? And after that? Glory? What use is that when it does not take the form of love? And after that? Death is always the end. I now see death so near that I often want to stretch my arms to push it back. It covers the earth and fills the universe. I see it everywhere. The insects crushed on the path, the falling leaves, the white hair in a friend's head, rend my heart and cry to me, 'Behold it!' It spoils for me all I do, all I see, all that I eat and drink, all that I love; the bright moonlight, the sunrise, the broad ocean, the noble rivers, and the soft summer evening air so sweet to breath." He walked on slowly, dreaming aloud, almost forgetting that he had a listener: "And no one ever returns - never. The model of a statue may be preserved, but my body, my face, my thoughts, my desires will never reappear again. And yet millions of beings will be born with a nose, eyes, forehead, cheeks, and mouth like me, and also a soul like me, without my ever returning, without even anything recognizable of me appearing in these countless different beings. What can we cling to? What can we believe in? All religions are stupid, with their puerile morality and their egotistical promises, monstrously absurd. Death alone is certain." "Think of that, young man. Think of it for days, and months and years, and life will seem different to you. Try to get away from all the things that shut you in. Make a superhuman effort to emerge alive from your own body, from your own interests, from your thoughts, from humanity in general, so that your eyes may be turned in the opposite direction. Then you understand how unimportant is the quarrel between Romanticism and Realism, or the Budget debates.
Guy de Maupassant
If man is but a biological organism and biology itself may be reduced to a set of physical and chemical laws, it should be possible to build up a biological science, a kind of biological mechanics, whose laws would rule the working and repair of the several pieces of the human machine. In such a case, there would be a 'medicine' or 'medical science'; and the doctor's task would consist in acquiring and maintaining an adequate knowledge of the laws of such a science and applying them so to speak in a uniform and automatic way, with hardly any meddling from his own personal criterion. If, on the contrary, man is above all an eminently living being, every specimen of which is ever new and original, a being strongly influenced by ultra-physical faculties -- spirit, intellect, emotions -- if, in one word, man is a whole that can only be ruled from its own centre, medicine, then, will be but an art or a craft to be applied in each case to a concrete individual. And then, rather than 'medicine', there will be medicine-men. Truth lies between these two poles, but gravitates definitely towards the second.
Salvador de Madariaga (Essays with a Purpose)
The Dawning Ah! what time wilt Thou come? when shall that cry, The Bridegroom’s coming! fill the sky; Shall it in the evening run When our words and works are done? Or will Thy all-surprising light Break at midnight, When either sleep or some dark pleasure Possesseth mad man without measure? Or shall these early, fragrant hours Unlock Thy bow’rs, And with their blush of light descry Thy locks crown’d with eternity? Indeed, it is the only time That with Thy glory doth best chime; All now are stirring, ev’ry field Full hymns doth yield; The whole Creation shakes off night, And for Thy shadow looks the light; Stars now vanish without number, Sleepy Planets set and slumber, The pursy Clouds disband and scatter, All expect some sudden matter; Not one beam triumphs but from far That morning-star; O at what time soever thou (Unknown to us,) the heavens wilt bow, And, with Thy angels in the van, Descend to judge poor careless man, Grant, I may not like puddle lie In a corrupt security, Where if a traveller water crave, He finds it dead, and in a grave. But as this restless, vocal spring All day and night doth run, and sing, And though here born, yet is acquainted Elsewhere, and flowing keeps untainted; So let me all my busy age In Thy free services engage; And though (while here) of force I must Have commerce sometimes with poor dust, And in my flesh, though vile and low, As this doth in her channel flow, Yet let my course, my aim, my love, And chief acquaintance be above; So when that day and hour shall come, In which Thyself will be the sun, Thou’lt find me drest and on my way, Watching the break of Thy great day.
Henry Vaughan
The essence of cool, after all, is not giving a fuck. And let’s face it: I most definitely give a fuck now. I give a huge fuck. The hugest. Everything else—everything—pales. To pretend otherwise, by word or deed, would be a monstrous lie. There will be no more Dead Boys T-shirts. Whom would I be kidding? Their charmingly nihilistic worldview in no way mirrors my own. If Stiv Bators were still alive and put his filthy hands anywhere near my baby, I’d snap his neck—then thoroughly cleanse the area with baby wipes. There is no hope of hipness. As my friend A. A. Gill points out, after your daughter reaches a certain age—like five—the most excruciating and embarrassing thing she could possibly imagine is seeing her dad in any way threatening to rock. Your record collection may indeed be cooler than your daughter’s will ever be, but this is a meaningless distinction now. She doesn’t care. And nobody else will. If you’re lucky, long after you’re gone, a grandchild will rediscover your old copy of Fun House. But it will be way too late for you to bask in the glory of past coolness. There is nothing cool about “used to be cool.” All of this, I think, is only right and appropriate.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
The ten commandments according to Leó Szilárd 1. Recognize the connections of things and laws of conduct of men, so that you may know what you are doing. 2. Let your acts be directed toward a worthy goal, but do not ask if they will reach it; they are to be models and examples, not means to an end. 3. Speak to all men as you do to yourself, with no concern for the effect you make, so that you do not shut them out from your world; lest in isolation the meaning of life slips out of sight and you lose the belief in the perfection of creation. 4. Do not destroy what you cannot create. 5. Touch no dish, except that you are hungry. 6. Do not covet what you cannot have. 7. Do not lie without need. 8. Honor children. Listen reverently to their words and speak to them with infinite love. 9.Do your work for six years; but in the seventh, go into solitude or among strangers, so that the memory of your friends does not hinder you from being what you have become. 10. Lead your life with a gentle hand and be ready to leave whenever you are called. Leo Szilard 'Die Stimme der Delphine.' Utopische Erzählungen. Rowohit Taschenbuch Verlag. 1963. Translated by Dr. Jacob Bronowski.
Leo Szilard
It’s a lie that these people exist, that this story is real, or even possible. The happily ever after carries on after you’ve read those words: The End. You, the reader, come to me begging for that lie. You relish it. That lie provides you with comfort, with entertainment, with emotions your real life may lack. You know exactly what I’m doing, but like any accomplished magician, you don’t know how I do it. Even the above explanation doesn’t show you how I tell my lies, or how I perform the magic, the sleight of hand, the prestidigitation which turns ideas in my brain into real people on the page.
Jasinda Wilder (The Cabin)
When an independent company undertakes to travel across the plains, they are generally too independent for their own safety and good. There never was and never will be a people in heaven nor on earth, in time nor in eternity, that can be considered truly and entirely independent of counsel and direction. Our independent companies entertain the same mistaken views of independence as people generally do of the independence of a Republican Government. Man in his ignorance is impatient of control, and when he finds himself from under its influence he supposes that he is then independent, or, in other words, that he is a free man. Independence so viewed and so employed, either individually or collectively, religiously or politically, must open a wide arena of action for all the evil, selfish and malignant qualities of depraved men, introducing distraction into every ramification of society, destroying confidence, checking the onward progress of industry and universal prosperity, and bringing in famine, pestilence and destruction everywhere. . . . Individual self-government lies at the root of all true and effective government, whether in heaven or on earth. Those who govern should be wiser and better than the governed, that the lesser may be blessed of the greater. Were this so, then the people would willingly repose their dearest interests to the trusts of their rulers or leaders, and with a feeling of pleasure bow to and carry out to the letter their instructions and conclusions on all matters that pertained to the general good. This will apply to great kingdoms and mighty nations, to small companies of immigrants crossing the plains, or to the home circle. A Republican Government in the hands of a wicked people must terminate in woe to that people, but in the hands of the righteous it is everlasting, while its power reaches to heaven.
Brigham Young
Still I Rise You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
When a place gets crowded enough to require ID’s, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere. A woman is not property, and husbands who think otherwise are living in a dreamworld. The second best thing about space travel is that the distances involved make war very difficult, usually impractical, and almost always unnecessary. This is probably a loss for most people, since war is our race’s most popular diversion, one which gives purpose and color to dull and stupid lives. But it is a great boon to the intelligent man who fights only when he must—never for sport. A zygote is a gamete’s way of producing more gametes. This may be the purpose of the universe. There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who “love Nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.’ ” The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature”—but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the “Naturist” reveals his hatred for his own race—i.e., his own self-hatred. In the case of “Naturists” such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate. As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women—it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly “natural.” Believe it or not, there were “Naturists” who opposed the first flight to old Earth’s Moon as being “unnatural” and a “despoiling of Nature.
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
At the time, about to graduate from college, I was operating mainly on impulse, like a salmon swimming blindly upstream toward the site of his own conception. In class and seminars I would dress up these impulses in the slogans and theories that I'd discovered in books., thinking - falsely - that the slogans meant something, that they somehow made what I felt more amenable to proof. But at night, lying in bed, I would let the slogans drift away, to be replaced with a series of images, romantic images, of a past I'd never known. ... Such images became a form of prayer for me, bolstering my spirits, channeling my emotions in a way that words never could. They told me (although even this much understanding may have come later, is also a construct, containing its own falsehoods) that I wasn't alone in my particular struggles, and that communities had never been a given in this country, at least not for blacks. Communities had to be created, fought for, tended like gardens. They expanded or contracted with the dreams of men... Through organising, through shared sacrifice, membership had been earned. And because membership was earned... I believed that it might, over time, admit the uniqueness of my life. That was my idea of organising. It was a promise of redemption.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
Швея Уж третий день ни с кем не говорю... А мысли — жадные и злые. Болит спина; куда ни посмотрю — Повсюду пятна голубые. Церковный колокол гудел; умолк; Я всё наедине с собою. Скрипит и гнется жарко-алый шелк Под неумелою иглою. На всех явлениях лежит печать. Одно с другим как будто слито. Приняв одно — стараюсь угадать За ним другое, — то, что скрыто. И этот шелк мне кажется — Огнем. И вот уж не огнем — а Кровью. А кровь — лишь знак того, что мы зовем На бедном языке — Любовью. Любовь — лишь звук... Но в этот поздний час Того, что дальше, — не открою. Нет, не огонь, не кровь... а лишь атлас Скрипит под робкою иглою. The Seamstress For two days I have not said a word... Spiteful thoughts gnaw me. My back hurts; wherever I look blue spots are floating. The church bell booms out for a while, then stops. I am left to myself. The scarlet silk squeaks and slips as it suffers my hesitant stitches. All things flow into each other, but each has a mark of its own; I fasten on objects, and wonder What may lie hidden beyond. The silk flares up in flames, then turns to a pool of blood; 'love' is our paltry word for the blood language cannot name. 'Love' is a meaningless sound... But I shall see no more now, it is late: Not fire or blood, but silk suffers my hesitant stitches
Zinaida Gippius
One feels, in this possessive relationship, enriched, creative, and active; one feels one’s own little flame of being is increased by another and so in order not to lose this source of completeness one fears the loss of the other, and so possessive fears come into being with all their resulting problems. Thus in this relationship of psychological dependence, there must always be conscious or unconscious fear, suspicion, which often lies hidden in pleasant-sounding words.. Though one is dependent on another, there is yet the desire to be inviolate, to be whole. The complex problem in relationship is how to love without dependence, without friction and conflict; how to conquer the desire to isolate oneself, to withdraw from the cause of conflict. If we depend for our happiness on another, on society, or on environment, they become essential to us; we cling to them and any alteration of these we violently oppose because we depend upon them for our psychological security and comfort. Though, intellectually, we may perceive that life is a continual process of flux, mutation, necessitating constant change, yet emotionally or sentimentally we cling to the established and comforting values; hence there is a constant battle between change and the desire for permanency. Is it possible to put an end to this conflict?
J. Krishnamurti (Relationships to Oneself, to Others, to the World)
About his madmen Mr. Lecky was no more certain. He knew less than the little to be learned of the causes or even of the results of madness. Yet for practical purposes one can imagine all that is necessary. As long as maniacs walk like men, you must come close to them to penetrate so excellent a disguise. Once close, you have joined the true werewolf. Pick for your companion a manic-depressive, afflicted by any of the various degrees of mania - chronic, acute, delirious. Usually more man than wolf, he will be instructive. His disorder lies in the very process of his thinking, rather than in the content of his thought. He cannot wait a minute for the satisfaction of his fleeting desires or the fulfillment of his innumerable schemes. Nor can he, for two minutes, be certain of his intention or constant in any plan or agreement. Presently you may hear his failing made manifest in the crazy concatenation of his thinking aloud, which psychiatrists call "flight of ideas." Exhausted suddenly by this riotous expense of speech and spirit, he may subside in an apathy dangerous and morose, which you will be well advised not to disturb. Let the man you meet be, instead, a paretic. He has taken a secret departure from your world. He dwells amidst choicest, most dispendious superlatives. In his arm he has the strength to lift ten elephants. He is already two hundred years old. He is more than nine feet high; his chest is of iron, his right leg is silver, his incomparable head is one whole ruby. Husband of a thousand wives, he has begotten on them ten thousand children. Nothing is mean about him; his urine is white wine; his faeces are always soft gold. However, despite his splendor and his extraordinary attainments, he cannot successfully pronounce the words: electricity, Methodist Episcopal, organization, third cavalry brigade. Avoid them. Infuriated by your demonstration of any accomplishment not his, he may suddenly kill you. Now choose for your friend a paranoiac, and beware of the wolf! His back is to the wall, his implacable enemies are crowding on him. He gets no rest. He finds no starting hole to hide him. Ten times oftener than the Apostle, he has been, through the violence of the unswerving malice which pursues him, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Now that, face to face with him, you simulate innocence and come within his reach, what pity can you expect? You showed him none; he will certainly not show you any. Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, 0 Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen. Mr. Lecky's maniacs lay in wait to slash a man's head half off, to perform some erotic atrocity of disembowelment on a woman. Here, they fed thoughtlessly on human flesh; there, wishing to play with him, they plucked the mangled Tybalt from his shroud. The beastly cunning of their approach, the fantastic capriciousness of their intention could not be very well met or provided for. In his makeshift fort everywhere encircled by darkness, Mr. Lecky did not care to meditate further on the subject.
James Gould Cozzens (Castaway)
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist . . .” Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies I’m not even aware that I’m believing. “. . . with the breastplate of righteousness in place . . .” And yes, Lord, I wear your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with your holiness and purity—defend me from all assaults against my heart. “. . . and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace . . .” I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where the larger story is unfolding and keep me from being so lax that I think the most important thing today is the soap operas of this world. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one . . .” Jesus, I lift against every lie and every assault the confidence that you are good, and that you have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because you are with me. “. . . Take the helmet of salvation . . .” Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from you and I declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in your kingdom. “. . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God . . .” Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the assaults and the snares of the Enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day. “. . . And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with you in everything—in all prayer as my spirit communes with you throughout the day. (6:13-18)
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
The souvenir hunters were prowling among them, carefully ripping insignia off tunics, slipping rings off fingers, or pistols off belts. There was Souvenirs himself, stepping gingerly from corpse to corpse, armed with his plyers and a dentist flashlight that he had had the forethought to purchase in Melbourne. I stood among the heaps of dead, they lay crumpled, useless, defunct. The vital force was fled. A bullet or a mortar fragment had torn a hole in these frail vessels, and the substance had leapt out. The mysteries of the universe had once inhabited these lulling lumps, had given each an identity, a way of walking, perhaps a special habit of address or a way with words or a knack of putting color on canvas. They had been so different then, now they were nothing, heaps of nothing. Can a bullet or a mortar fragment do this? Does this force, this mystery, I mean this soul, does this spill out on the ground along with the blood? No. It is somewhere, I know it. For this red and yellow lump I look down upon this instant was once a man. And the thing that energized him, the word that gave to airy nothing a local habitation and a name, the word from a higher word this cannot have been obliterated by a quarter inch of heated metal. The mystery of the universe has departed him and it is no good to say that the riddle is solved. The mystery is over because it has changed residences. The thing that shaped the flare of that nostril, that broadened that arm now bleeding, that wrought so fine that limply lying hand, that thing exists still and has still the power to flare that nostril, to bend that arm to clench that fist exactly as it did before. Because it is gone you cannot say it will not return; even though you may say it has never yet returned-you cannot say that it will not. It is blasphemy to say a bit of metal has destroyed life, just as it is presumptuous to say that because life has disappeared it has been destroyed. I stood among the heaps of the dead and I knew-no, I felt that death is only a sound we make to signify the Thing we do not know.
Robert Leckie (Helmet for My Pillow)
Or could one seriously introduce the idea of a bad God, as it were by the back door, through a sort of extreme Calvinism? You could say we are fallen and depraved. We are so depraved that our ideas of goodness count for nothing; or worse than nothing—the very fact that we think something good is presumptive evidence that it is really bad. Now God has in fact—our worse fears are true—all the characteristics we regard as bad: unreasonableness, vanity, vindictiveness, injustice, cruelty. But all these blacks (as they seem to us) are really whites. It’s only our depravity that makes them look black to us. And so what? This, for all practical (and speculative) purposes, sponges God off the slate. The word good, applied to him, becomes meaningless: like abracadabra. We have no motive for obeying him. Not even fear. It is true we have his threats and promises. But why should we believe them? If cruelty is from his point of view “good,” telling lies may be “good” too. Even if they are true, what then? If his ideas of good are so very different from ours, what he calls Heaven might well be what we should call Hell, and vice-versa. Finally, if reality at its root is so meaningless to us—or, putting it the other way round, if we are such total imbeciles—what is the point of trying to think either about God or about anything else? This knot comes undone when you try to pull it tight.41
Austin Fischer (Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed: Black Holes, Love, and a Journey In and Out of Calvinism)
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for a want of a new understanding ear.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
I stick to the road out of habit, but it’s a bad choice, because it’s full of the remains of those who tried to flee. Some were incinerated entirely. But others, probably overcome with smoke, escaped the worst of the flames and now lie reeking in various states of decomposition, carrion for scavengers, blanketed by flies. I killed you, I think as I pass a pile. And you. And you. Because I did. It was my arrow, aimed at the chink in the force field surrounding the arena, that brought on this firestorm of retribution. That sent the whole country of Panem into chaos. In my head I hear President Snow’s words, spoken the morning I was to begin the Victory Tour. “Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire, you have provided a spark that, left unattended, may grow to an inferno that destroys Panem.” It turns out he wasn’t exaggerating or simply trying to scare me. He was, perhaps, genuinely attempting to enlist my help. But I had already set something in motion that I had no ability to control. Burning. Still burning, I think numbly. The fires at the coal mines belch black smoke in the distance. There’s no one left to care, though. More than ninety percent of the district’s population is dead. The remaining eight hundred or so are refugees in District 13 — which, as far as I’m concerned, is the same thing as being homeless forever. I know I shouldn’t think that; I know I should be grateful for the way we have been welcomed. Sick, wounded, starving, and empty-handed. Still, I can never get around the fact that District 13 was instrumental in 12’s destruction. This doesn’t absolve me of blame — there’s plenty of blame to go around. But without them, I would not have been part of a larger plot to overthrow the Capitol or had the wherewithal to do it. The citizens of District 12 had no organized resistance movement of their own. No say in any of this. They only had the misfortune to have me. Some survivors think it’s good luck, though, to be free of District 12 at last. To have escaped the endless hunger and oppression, the perilous mines, the lash of our final Head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread. To have a new home at all is seen as a wonder since, up until a short time ago, we hadn’t even known that District 13 still existed.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Human nature inclines us to have recourse to petition for the purpose of obtaining from another, especially from a person of higher rank, what we hope to receive from him. So prayer is recommended to men, that by it they may obtain from God what they hope to secure from Him. But the reason why prayer is necessary for obtaining something from a man is not the same as the reason for its necessity when there is question of obtaining a favor from God. Prayer is addressed to man, first, to lay bare the desire and the need of the petitioner, and secondly, to incline the mind of him to whom the prayer is addressed to grant the petition. These purposes have no place in the prayer that is sent up to God. When we pray we do not intend to manifest our needs or desires to God, for He knows all things. The Psalmist says to God: "Lord, all my desire is before Thee" and in the Gospel we are told: "Your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things." Again, the will of God is not influenced by human words to will what He had previously not willed. For, as we read in Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor as the son of man, that He should be changed"; nor is God moved to repentance, as we are assured in 1 Kings 15:29. Prayer, then, for obtaining something from God, is necessary for man on account of the very one who prays, that he may reflect on his shortcomings and may turn his mind to desiring fervently and piously what he hopes to gain by his petition. In this way he is rendered fit to receive the favor.
Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas's Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica)
The toleration of those that differ from others in matters of religion is so agreeable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to the genuine reason of mankind, that it seems monstrous for men to be so blind as not to perceive the necessity and advantage of it in so clear a light. I will not here tax the pride and ambition of some, the passion and uncharitable zeal of others. These are faults from which human affairs can perhaps scarce ever be perfectly freed; but yet such as nobody will bear the plain imputation of, without covering them with some specious colour; and so pretend to commendation, whilst they are carried away by their own irregular passions. But, however, that some may not colour their spirit of persecution and unchristian cruelty with a pretence of care of the public weal and observation of the laws; and that others, under pretence of religion, may not seek impunity for their libertinism and licentiousness; in a word, that none may impose either upon himself or others, by the pretences of loyalty and obedience to the prince, or of tenderness and sincerity in the worship of God; I esteem it above all things necessary to distinguish exactly the business of civil government from that of religion and to settle the just bounds that lie between the one and the other. If this be not done, there can be no end put to the controversies that will be always arising between those that have, or at least pretend to have, on the one side, a concernment for the interest of men's souls, and, on the other side, a care of the commonwealth.
John Locke (A Letter Concerning Toleration)
God created man out of dust from the ground. At a basic level, the Creator picked up some dirt and threw Adam together. The Hebrew word for God forming man is yatsar,[11] which means “to form, as a potter.” A pot usually has but one function. Yet when God made a woman, He “made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man” (Genesis 2:22). He created her with His own hands. He took His time crafting and molding her into multifaceted brilliance. The Hebrew word used for making woman is banah, meaning to “build, as a house, a temple, a city, an altar.”[12] The complexity implied by the term banah is worth noting. God has given women a diverse makeup that enables them to carry out multiple functions well. Adam may be considered Human Prototype 1.0, while Eve was Human Prototype 2.0. Of high importance, though, is that Eve was fashioned laterally with Adam’s rib. It was not a top-down formation of dominance or a bottom-up formation of subservience. Rather, Eve was an equally esteemed member of the human race. After all, God spoke of the decision for their creation as one decision before we were ever even introduced to the process of their creation. The very first time we read about both Eve and Adam is when we read of the mandate of rulership given to both of them equally. We are introduced to both genders together, simultaneously. This comes in the first chapter of the Bible: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26–27) Both men and women have been created equally in the image of God. While within that equality lie distinct and different roles (we will look at that in chapter 10), there is no difference in equality of being, value, or dignity between the genders. Both bear the responsibility of honoring the image in which they have been made. A woman made in the image of God should never settle for being treated as anything less than an image-bearer of the one true King. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent in the world to be trodden on.”[13] Just as men, women were created to rule.
Tony Evans (Kingdom Woman: Embracing Your Purpose, Power, and Possibilities)
Perhaps the first thing we can do is to acknowledge that there is, in reality, no such thing as living in the past. If there were, many brokenhearted people would be hopping the first train there. We are always living in the present moment; that’s all we have. But the present is not empty. Our internal sanctuaries cannot be robbed of what has already been or the treasure trove of memories we bring to everything we do and all that we see. Yesterday may be a time to which we can never go back, but it is also the guardian of what can never be taken from us—each moment shared and every tender word exchanged. We will always have these. When we are grieving, however, reaching for things in the past can be like stuffing our pockets with make-believe gold. We think the real gold lies behind us when, in reality, it lies within.
Andrea Raynor (The Alphabet of Grief: Words to Help in Times of Sorrow: Affirmations and Meditations)
Let me start with this: I am an apostate. I have lied. I have cheated. I have done things in my life that I am not proud of, including but not limited to: • falling in love with a married man nineteen years ago • being selfish and self-centered • fighting with virtually everyone I have ever known (via hateful emails, texts, and spoken words) • physically threatening people (from parking ticket meter maids to parents who hit their kids in public) • not showing up at funerals of people I loved (because I don’t deal well with death) • being, on occasion, a horrible daughter, mother, sister, aunt, stepmother, wife (this list goes on and on). The same goes for every single person in my family: • My husband, also a serial cheater, sold drugs when he was young. • My mother was a self-admitted slut in her younger days (we’re talking the 1960s, before she got married). • My dad sold cocaine (and committed various other crimes), and then served time at Rikers Island. Why am I revealing all this? Because after the Church of Scientology gets hold of this book, it may well spend an obscene amount of money running ads, creating websites, and trotting out celebrities to make public statements that their religious beliefs are being attacked—all in an attempt to discredit me by disparaging my reputation and that of anyone close to me. So let me save them some money. There is no shortage of people who would be willing to say “Leah can be an asshole”—my own mother can attest to that. And if I am all these things the church may claim, then isn’t it also accurate to say that in the end, thirty-plus years of dedication, millions of dollars spent, and countless hours of study and
Leah Remini (Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology)
I Am Not in Here I have a disciple in Vietnam who wants to build a stupa for my ashes when I die. He and others want to include a plaque with the words “Here lies my beloved teacher.” I told them not to waste the temple land. “Do not put me in a small pot and put me in there!” I said. “I don’t want to continue like that. It would be better to scatter the ashes outside to help the trees to grow.” I suggested that, if they still insist on building a stupa, they have the plaque say, “I am not in here.” But in case people don’t get it, they could add a second plaque, “I am not out there either.” If people still don’t understand, then you can write on the third and last plaque, “I may be found in your way of breathing and walking.” This body of mine will disintegrate, but my actions will continue me. In my daily life, I always practice to see my continuation all around me. We don’t need to wait until the total dissolution of this body to continue—we continue in every moment. If you think that I am only this body, then you have not truly seen me. When you look at my friends, you see my continuation. When you see someone walking with mindfulness and compassion, you know he is my continuation. I don’t see why we have to say “I will die,” because I can already see myself in you, in other people, and in future generations. Even when the cloud is not there, it continues as snow or rain. It is impossible for a cloud to die. It can become rain or ice, but it cannot become nothing. The cloud does not need to have a soul in order to continue. There’s no beginning and no end. I will never die. There will be a dissolution of this body, but that does not mean my death. I will continue, always.
Thich Nhat Hanh (At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk's Life)
I stood among the heaps of dead. They lay crumpled, useless, defunct. The vital force was fled. A bullet or a mortar fragment had torn a hole in these frail vessels and the substance had leaked out. The mystery of the universe had once inhabited these lolling lumps, had given each an identity, a way of walking, perhaps a special habit of address or a way with words or a knack of putting color on canvas. They had been so different, then. Now they were nothing, heaps of nothing. Can a bullet or a mortar fragment do this? Does this force, this mystery, I mean this soul — does this spill out on the ground along with the blood? No. It is somewhere, I know it. For this red-and-yellow lump I look down upon this instant was once a man, and the thing that energized him, the Word that gave “to airy nothing a local habitation and a name,” the Word from a higher Word — this cannot have been obliterated by a quarter-inch of heated metal. The mystery of the universe has departed him, and it is no good to say that the riddle is solved, the mystery is over — because it has changed residences. The thing that shaped the flare of that nostril, that broadened that arm now bleeding, that wrought so fine that limply lying hand — that thing exists still, and has still the power to flare that nostril, to bend that arm, to clench that fist exactly as it did before. Because it is gone you cannot say it will not return; even though you may say it has never yet returned — you cannot say that it will not. It is blasphemy to say a bit of metal has destroyed life, just as it is presumptuous to say that because life has disappeared it has been destroyed. I stood among the heaps of the dead and I knew — no, I felt that death is only a sound we make to signify the Thing we do not know.
Robert Leckie (Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific)
The whole power, beauty, and (for want of a better word) piety of the sciences lie in that fruitful narrowness of focus that I mentioned above, that austere abdication of metaphysical pretensions that permits them their potentially interminable inductive and theoretical odyssey through the physical order. It is the purity of this vocation to the particular that is the special glory of science. This means that the sciences are, by their very nature, commendably fragmentary and, in regard to many real and important questions about existence, utterly inconsequential. Not only can they not provide knowledge of everything; they cannot provide complete knowledge of anything. They can yield only knowledge of certain aspects of things as seen from one very powerful but inflexibly constricted perspective. If they attempt to go beyond their methodological commissions, they cease to be sciences and immediately become fatuous occultisms. The glory of human reason, however, is its power to exceed any particular frame of reference or any single perspective, to employ an incalculable range of intellectual faculties, and to remain open to the whole horizon of being’s potentially infinite intelligibility. A wise and reflective person will not forget this. A microscope may conduct the eye into the mysteries of a single cell, but it will not alert one to a collapsing roof overhead; happily we have more senses than one. We may even possess spiritual senses, however much we are discouraged from trusting in them at present. A scientist, as a reasoning person, has as much call as anyone else to ponder the deepest questions of existence, but should also recognize the threshold at which science itself falls silent—for the simple reason that its silence at that point is the only assurance of its intellectual and moral integrity.
David Bentley Hart (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss)
I speak of people at the end of a brutal road, having seen their children and kin mutilated and ravished. They’ve reached this, their sanctuary, only after long torment, death chasing at their heels. And now comes an invading army of overwhelming size. The fort may hold several days, perhaps even a week or two. But they know in the end they will face their own slaughter. They know the infants they circle in their arms will before long be bloodied toys kicked about these cobbles. They know because they’ve seen it already, from whence they fled. They’ve seen the enemy burn and cut, take turns to rape young girls even as they lie dying of their wounds. They know this is to come, and so must cherish the earlier days of the siege, when the enemy first pay the price for what they will later do. In other words, Master Axl, it’s vengeance to be relished in advance by those not able to take it in its proper place.
Kazuo Ishiguro
Since we’ve ruled out another man as the explanation for all this, I can only assume something has gone wrong at Havenhurst. Is that it?” Elizabeth seized on that excuse as if it were manna from heaven. “Yes,” she whispered, nodding vigorously. Leaning down, he pressed a kiss on her forehead and said teasingly, “Let me guess-you discovered the mill overcharged you?” Elizabeth thought she would die of the sweet torment when he continued tenderly teasing her about being thrifty. “Not the mill? Then it was the baker, and he refused to give you a better price for buying two loaves instead of one.” Tears swelled behind her eyes, treacherously close to the surface, and Ian saw them. “That bad?” he joked, looking at the suspicious sheen in her eyes. “Then it must be that you’ve overspent your allowance.” When she didn’t respond to his light probing, Ian smiled reassuringly and said, “Whatever it is, we’ll work it out together tomorrow.” It sounded as though he planned to stay, and that shook Elizabeth out of her mute misery enough to say chokingly, “No-it’s the-the masons. They’re costing much more than I-I expected. I’ve spent part of my personal allowance on them besides the loan you made me for Havenhurst.” “Oh, so it’s the masons,” he grinned, chuckling. “You have to keep your eye on them, to be sure. They’ll put you in the poorhouse if you don’t keep an eye on the mortar they charge you for. I’ll have to talk with them in the morning.” “No!” she burst out, fabricating wildly. “That’s just what has me so upset. I didn’t want you to have to intercede. I wanted to do it all myself. I have it all settled now, but it’s been exhausting. And so I went to the doctor to see why I felt so tired. He-he said there’s nothing in the world wrong with me. I’ll come home to Montmayne the day after tomorrow. Don’t wait here for me. I know how busy you are right now. Please,” she implored desperately, “let me do this, I beg you!” Ian straightened and shook his head in baffled disbelief, “I’d give you my life for the price of your smile, Elizabeth. You don’t have to beg me for anything. I do not want you spending your personal allowance on this place, however. If you do,” he lied teasingly, “I may be forced to cut it off.” Then, more seriously, he said, “If you need more money for Havenhurst, just tell me, but your allowance is to be spent exclusively on yourself. Finish your brandy,” he ordered gently, and when she had, he pressed another kiss on her forehead. “Stay here as long as you must. I have business in Devon that I’ve been putting off because I didn’t want to leave you. I’ll go there and return to London on Tuesday. Would you like to join me there instead of at Montmayne?” Elizabeth nodded. “There’s just one thing more,” he finished, studying her pale face and strained features. “Will you give me your word the doctor didn’t find anything at all to be alarmed about?” “Yes,” Elizabeth said. “I give you my word.” She watched him walk back into his own bed chamber. The moment his door clicked into its latch Elizabeth turned over and buried her face in the pillows. She wept until she thought there couldn’t possibly be any more tears left in her, and then she wept harder. Across the room the door leading out into the hall was opened a crack, and Berta peeked in, then quickly closed it. Turning to Bentner-who’d sought her counsel when Ian slammed the door in his face and ripped into Elizabeth-Berta said miserably, “She’s crying like her heart will break, but he’s not in there anymore.” “He ought to be shot!” Bentner said with blazing contempt. Berta nodded timidly and clutched her dressing robe closer about her. “He’s a frightening man, to be sure, Mr. Bentner.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
No man, proclaimed Donne, is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other’s tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes—forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There’s not a chance you’d mistake one for another, after a minute’s close inspection), but still unique. Without individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, “casualties may rise to a million.” With individual stories, the statistics become people—but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child’s swollen, swollen belly, and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, his skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted, distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies’ own myriad squirming children? We draw our lines around these moments of pain, and remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
He raised an eyebrow. "Where did you get this? Is our Anne Boleyn suddenly from Mars?" He chuckled. "I always thought she hailed from Wiltshire." Luce's mind raced to catch up. She was playing Anne Boleyn? She'd never read this play, but Daniel's costume suggested he was playing the king, Henry VIII. "Mr. Shakespeare-ah,Will-thought it would look good-" "Oh,Will did?" Daniel smirked, bot believing her at all but seeming not to care. It was strange to feel that she could do or say almost anything and Daniel would still find it charming. "You're a little bit mad, aren't you, Lucinda?" "I-well-" He brushed her cheek with the back of his finger. "I adore you." "I adore you,too." The words tumbled from her mouth,feeling so real and so true after the last few stammering lies. It was like letting out a long-held breath. "I've been thinking, thinking a lot,and I wanted to tell you that-that-" "Yes?" "The truth is that what I feel for you is...deeper than adoration." She pressed her hands over his heart. "I trust you. I trust your love. I know how strong it is,and how beautiful." Luce knew that she couldn't come right out and say what she really meant-she was supposed to be a different version of herself,and the other times,when Daniel had figured out who she was, where she'd come from,he'd clammed up immediately and told her to leave. But maybe if she chose her words carefully, Daniel would understand. "It may seem like sometimes I-I forgot what you mean to me and what I mean to you,but deep down...I know.I know because we are meant to be together.I love you, Daniel." Daniel looked shocked. "You-you love me?" "Of course." Luce almost laughed at how obvious it was-but then she remembered: She had no idea which moment from her past she'd walked into.Maybe in this lifetime they'd only exchanged coy glances. Daniel's chest rose and fell violently and his lower lip began to quiver. "I want you to come away with me," he said quickly.There was a desperate edge to his voice. Luce wanted to cry out Yes!, but something held her back.It was so easy to get lost in Daniel when his body was pressed so close to hers and she could feel the heat coming off his skin and the beating of his heart through his shirt.She felt she could tell him anything now-from how glorious it had felt to die in his arms in Versailles to how devastated she was now that she knew the scope of his suffering. But she held back: The girl he thought she was in this lifetime wouldn't talk about those things, wouldn't know them. Neither would Daniel. So when she finally opened her mouth,her voice faltered. Daniel put a finger over her lips. "Wait. Don't protest yet. Let me ask you properly.By and by, my love." He peeked out the cracked wardrobe door, toward the curtain.A cheer came from the stage.The audience roared with laughter and applause. Luce hadn't even realized the play had begun. "That's my entrance.I'll see you soon." He kissed her forehead,then dashed out and onto the stage.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
Beside him Mr. Harris folded his morning newspaper and held it out to Claude. "Seen this yet?" "No." "Don't read it," Mr. Harris said, folding the paper once more and sliding it under his rear. "It will only upset you, son." "It's a wicked paper... " Claude agreed, but Mr. Harris was overspeaking him. "It's the big black words that do it. The little grey ones don't matter very much, they're just fill-ins they take everyday from the wires. They concentrate their poison in the big black words, where it will radiate. Of course if you read the little stories too you've got sure proof that every word they wrote above, themselves, was a fat black lie, but by then you've absorbed a thousand greyer ones, and where and how to check on those? This way the mind deteriorates. The best way you can save yourself is not to read it, son." "No, I... " "That's right, if you're not careful," Mr. Harris went on, blue-eyed, red-faced, "you find yourself pretty soon hating everyone but God, the Babe, and a few dead senators. That's no fun. Men aren't so bad as that." "No." "That's right, you begin to worry about anyone who opens his mouth except to say ho it looks like rain, let's bowl. Otherwise you wonder what the hell he's trying to prove, or undermine. If he asks what time it is, you wonder what terrible thing is scheduled to happen, where it will happen, when. You can't even stand to be asked how you feel today - he's probably looking at the bumps on you, they may have grown more noticeable overnight. Soon you feel you should apologize for standing there where he can watch you dying in front of him, he'd rather for you to carry your head around in a little plaid bag, like your bowling ball. There's no joy in that. Men aren't so very bad." Mr. Harris paused to remove his Panama hat. Water seeped from his knobby forehead, which he mopped with a damp handkerchief. "I've offended you, son," he said. "Not at all, I entirely agree with you." Mr. Harris replaced his hat, folded his handkerchief. "I shouldn't shoot off this way," he said. "I read too much." "No, no. You're right...
Douglas Woolf (Wall to Wall)
CORE MEDITATION: Breathing This classic meditation can deepen concentration by teaching us to focus on the “in breath” and the “out breath.” Sit comfortably on a cushion or chair and keep your back upright, without straining or overarching. If you can’t sit, then lie on your back on a yoga mat or folded blanket with your arms at your sides. Just be at ease and close your eyes, or gaze gently a few feet in front of you and aim for a state of alert relaxation. Take three or four deep breaths, feeling the air as it enters your nostrils, fills your chest and abdomen, and flows out again. Then let your breathing settle into a natural rhythm, and just feel the breath as it happens, without trying to change it or improve it—all you have to do is feel it. Notice where you sense your breath most intensely. Perhaps it’s at the nostrils, or at the chest or abdomen. Then rest your attention as lightly as a butterfly rests on a flower—only on that area—and become aware of the sensations there. For example, if you’re focusing on the breath at the nostrils, you may experience tingling, vibration, or pulsing, or you may observe that the breath is cooler when it comes in and warmer when it goes out. If you’re focusing on the breath at the abdomen, you may feel movement, pressure, stretching, or release. You don’t need to name these feelings—simply let your attention rest on them, one breath at a time. (Notice how often the word rest comes up in this instruction. This is a very restful practice). You don’t need to make the inhalation deeper or longer or different from the way it is. Just be aware of it, one breath at a time. Whenever you notice your attention has wandered and your mind has jumped to the past or the future, to judgment or speculation, don’t worry about it. Seeing your attention has wandered is the signal to gently let go of whatever has distracted you and return your attention to the feeling of the breath. If you have to let go over and over again, that’s fine—being able to more gracefully start over when we’ve become distracted or disconnected is one of the biggest benefits of meditation practice.
Sharon Salzberg (Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace)
[Chang Yu relates the following anecdote of Kao Tsu, the first Han Emperor: “Wishing to crush the Hsiung-nu, he sent out spies to report on their condition. But the Hsiung-nu, forewarned, carefully concealed all their able-bodied men and well-fed horses, and only allowed infirm soldiers and emaciated cattle to be seen. The result was that spies one and all recommended the Emperor to deliver his attack. Lou Ching alone opposed them, saying: “When two countries go to war, they are naturally inclined to make an ostentatious display of their strength. Yet our spies have seen nothing but old age and infirmity. This is surely some ruse on the part of the enemy, and it would be unwise for us to attack.” The Emperor, however, disregarding this advice, fell into the trap and found himself surrounded at Po-teng.”] 19.  Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. [Ts’ao Kung’s note is “Make a display of weakness and want.” Tu Mu says: “If our force happens to be superior to the enemy’s, weakness may be simulated in order to lure him on; but if inferior, he must be led to believe that we are strong, in order that he may keep off. In fact, all the enemy’s movements should be determined by the signs that we choose to give him.” Note the following anecdote of Sun Pin, a descendent of Sun Wu: In 341 B.C., the Ch’i State being at war with Wei, sent T’ien Chi and Sun Pin against the general P’ang Chuan, who happened to be a deadly personal enemy of the later. Sun Pin said: “The Ch’i State has a reputation for cowardice, and therefore our adversary despises us. Let us turn this circumstance to account.” Accordingly, when the army had crossed the border into Wei territory, he gave orders to show 100,000 fires on the first night, 50,000 on the next, and the night after only 20,000. P’ang Chuan pursued them hotly, saying to himself: “I knew these men of Ch’i were cowards: their numbers have already fallen away by more than half.” In his retreat, Sun Pin came to a narrow defile, with he calculated that his pursuers would reach after dark. Here he had a tree stripped of its bark, and inscribed upon it the words: “Under this tree shall P’ang Chuan die.” Then, as night began to fall, he placed a strong body of archers in ambush near by, with orders to shoot directly they saw a light. Later on, P’ang Chuan arrived at the spot, and noticing the tree, struck a light in order to read what was written on it. His body was immediately riddled by a volley of arrows, and his whole army thrown into confusion. [The above is Tu Mu’s version of the story; the SHIH CHI, less dramatically but probably with more historical truth, makes P’ang Chuan cut his own throat with an exclamation of despair, after the rout of his army.] ] He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it. 20.  By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him. [With an emendation suggested by Li Ching, this then reads, “He lies in wait with the main body of his troops.”] 21.  The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
May I inquire what is the point?” he snapped impatiently. “Indeed you may,” Lucinda said, thinking madly for some way to prod him into remembering his long-ago desire for Elizabeth and to prick his conscience. “The point is that I am well apprised of all that transpired between Elizabeth and yourself when you were last together. I, however,” she decreed grandly, “am inclined to place the blame for your behavior not on a lack of character, but rather a lack of judgment.” He raised his brows but said nothing. Taking his silence as assent, she reiterated meaningfully, “A lack of judgment on both your parts.” “Really?” he drawled. “Of course,” she said, reaching out and brushing the dust from the back of a chair, then rubbing her fingers together and grimacing with disapproval. “What else except lack of judgment could have caused a seventeen-year-old girl to rush to the defense of a notorious gambler and bring down censure upon herself for doing it?” “What indeed?” he asked with growing impatience. Lucinda dusted off her hands, avoiding his gaze. “Who can possibly know except you and she? No doubt it was the same thing that prompted her to remain in the woodcutter’s cottage rather than leaving it the instant she discovered your presence.” Satisfied that she’d done the best she was able to on that score, she became brusque again-an attitude that was more normal and, therefore, far more convincing. “In any case, that is all water under the bridge. She has paid dearly for her lack of judgment, which is only right, and even though she is now in the most dire straits because of it, that, too, is justice.” She smiled to herself when his eyes narrowed with what she hoped was guilt, or at least concern. His next words disabused her of that hope: “Madam, I do not have all day to waste in aimless conversation. If you have something to say, say it and be done!” “Very well,” Lucinda said, gritting her teeth to stop herself from losing control of her temper. “My point is that it is my duty, my obligation to see to Lady Cameron’s physical well-being as well as to chaperon her. In this case, given the condition of your dwelling, the former obligation seems more pressing than the latter, particularly since it is obvious to me that the two of you are not in the least need of a chaperon to keep you from behaving with impropriety. You may need a referee to keep you from murdering each other, but a chaperon is entirely superfluous. Therefore, I feel duty-bound to now ensure that adequate servants are brought here at once. In keeping with that, I would like your word as a gentleman not to abuse her verbally or physically while I am gone. She has already been ill-used by her uncle. I will not permit anyone else to make this terrible time in her life more difficult than it already is.” “Exactly what,” Ian asked in spite of himself, “do you mean by a ‘terrible time’?” “I am not at liberty to discuss that, of course,” she said, fighting to keep her triumph from her voice. “I am merely concerned that you behave as a gentleman. Will you give me your word?” Since Ian had no intention of laying a finger on her, or even spending time with her, he didn’t hesitate to nod. “She’s perfectly safe from me.” “That is exactly what I hoped to hear,” Lucinda lied ruthlessly.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
At noontime in midsummer, when the sun is at its highest and everything is in a state of embroiled repose, flashes may be seen in the southern sky. Into the radiance of daylight come bursts of light even more radiant. Exactly half a year later, when the fjord is frozen over and the land buried in snow, the very same spirit taunts creation. At night cracks in the ice race from one end of the fjord to the other, resounding like gunshots or like the roaring of a mad demon. The peasants dig tunnels from their door through the drifts over to the cow shed. Where are the trolls and the elves now, and where are the sounds of nature? Even the Beast may well be dead and forgotten. Life itself hangs in suspension - existence has shrunk to nothingness. Now it is only a question of survival. The fox thrashes around in a blizzard in the oak thicket and fights his way out, mortally terrified. It is a time of stillness. Hoarfrost lies in a timeless shroud over the fjord. All day long a strange, sighing sound is heard from out on the ice. It is a fisherman, standing alone at his hole and spearing eel. One night it snows again. The air is sheer snow and the wind a frigid blast. No living creature is stirring. Then a rider comes to the crossing at Hvalpsund. There is no difficulty in getting over­ - he does not even slacken his speed, but rides at a brisk trot from the shore out onto the ice. The hoofbeats thunder beneath him and the ice roars for miles around. He reaches the other side and rides up onto the land. The horse — a mighty steed not afraid to shake its shanks - cleaves the storm with neck outstretched. The blizzard blows the rider's ashen cape back and he sits naked, with his bare bones sticking out and the snow whistling about his ribs. It is Death that is out riding. His crown sits on three hairs and his scythe points triumphantly backward. Death has his whims. He takes it into his head to dis­mount when he sees a light in the winter night. He gives his horse a slap on the haunch and it leaps into the air and is gone. For the rest of the way Death walks like a carefree man, sauntering absentmindedly along. In the snow-streaked night a crow is sitting on a wayside branch. Its head is much too large for its body. Its beady eyes sparkle when it sees the wanderer's familiar face, and its cawing turns into silent laughter as it throws its beak wide open, with its spear-like tongue sticking far out. It seems almost ready to fall off the branch with its laughter, but it keeps on looking at Death with consuming merriment. Death moves on. Suddenly he finds himself beside a man. He raps the man on the back with his fingers and leaves him lying there. There is a light. Death keeps his eye on the light and walks toward it. He moves into the shaft of light and labors his way over a frozen field. But when he comes close enough to make out the house a strange fervor grips him. He has finally come home - yes, this has been his true home from the beginning. Thank goodness he has now found it again after so much difficulty. He goes in, and a solitary old couple make him welcome. They cannot know that he is anything more than a traveling tradesman, spent and sick. He lies down quickly on the bed without a word. They can see that he is really far gone. He lies on his back while they move about the room with the candle and chat. He forgets them. For a long time he lies there, quiet but awake. Finally there are a few low moans, faltering and tentative. He begins to cry, and then quickly stops. But now the moans continue, becoming louder, and then going over to tearless sobs. His body arches up, resting only on head and heels. He stares in anguish at the ceiling and screams, screams like a woman in labor. Finally he collapses, and his cries begin to subside. Little by little he falls silent and lies quiet.
Johannes V. Jensen (Kongens fald)
Keep a clear conscience. Contentment is the manna that is laid up in the ark of a good conscience: O take heed of indulging any sin! it is as natural for guilt to breed disquiet, as for putrid matter to breed vermin. Sin lies as Jonah in the ship, it raiseth a tempest. If dust or motes be gotten into the eye, they make the eye water, and cause a soreness in it; if the eye be clear, then it is free from that soreness; if sin be gotten into the conscience, which is as the eye of the soul, then grief and disquiet breed there; but keep the eye of conscience clear, and all is well. What Solomon saith of a good stomach, I may say of a good conscience, "to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet:"Pr. 27. 7 so to a good conscience every bitter thing is sweet; it can pick contentment out of the cross. A good conscience turns the waters of Marah into wine. Would you have a quiet heart? Get a smiling conscience. I wonder not to hear Paul say he was in every state content, when he could make that triumph, "I have lived in all good conscience to this day." When once a man's reckonings are clear, it must needs let in abundance of contentment into the heart. Good conscience can suck contentment out of the bitterest drug, under slanders; "our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience."2 Cor. 1. 12 In case of imprisonment, Paul had his prison songs, and could play the sweet lessons of contentment, when his feet were in the stocks.Ac. 16. 25 Augustine calls it "the paradise of a good conscience;" and if it be so, then in prison we may be in paradise. When the times are troublesome, a good conscience makes a calm. If conscience be clear, what though the days be cloudy? is it not a contentment to have a friend always by to speak a good word for us? Such a friend is conscience. A good conscience, as David's harp, drives away the evil spirit of discontent. When thoughts begin to arise, and the heart is disquieted, conscience saith to a man, as the king did to Nehemiah, "why is thy countenance sad?" so saith conscience, hast not thou the seed of God in thee? art not thou an heir of the promise? hast not thou a treasure that thou canst never be plundered of? why is thy countenance sad? O keep conscience clear, and you shall never want contentment! For a man to keep the pipes of his body, the veins and arteries, free from colds and obstructions, is the best way to maintain health: so, to keep conscience clear, and to preserve it from the obstructions of guilt, is the best way to maintain contentment. First, conscience is pure, and then peaceable.
Thomas Watson (The Art of Divine Contentment)
In the land of Uz, there lived a man, righteous and God-fearing, and he had great wealth, so many camels, so many sheep and asses, and his children feasted, and he loved them very much and prayed for them. 'It may be that my sons have sinned in their feasting.' Now the devil came before the Lord together with the sons of God, and said to the Lord that he had gone up and down the earth and under the earth. 'And hast thou considered my servant Job?' God asked of him. And God boasted to the devil, pointing to his great and holy servant. And the devil laughed at God's words. 'Give him over to me and Thou wilt see that Thy servant will murmur against Thee and curse Thy name.' And God gave up the just man He loved so, to the devil. And the devil smote his children and his cattle and scattered his wealth, all of a sudden like a thunderbolt from heaven. And Job rent his mantel and fell down upon the ground and cried aloud, 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return into the earth; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever.' Fathers and teachers, forgive my tears now, for all my childhood rises up again before me, and I breathe now as I breathed then, with the breast of a little child of eight, and I feel as I did then, awe and wonder and gladness. The camels at that time caught my imagination, and Satan, who talked like that with God, and God who gave His servant up to destruction, and His servant crying out: 'Blessed be Thy name although Thou dost punish me,' and then the soft and sweet singing in the church: 'Let my prayer rise up before Thee,' and again incense from the priest's censer and the kneeling and the prayer. Ever since then - only yesterday I took it up - I've never been able to read that sacred tale without tears. And how much that is great, mysterious and unfathomable there is in it! Afterwards I heard the words of mockery and blame, proud words, 'How could God give up the most loved of His saints for the diversion of the devil, take from him his children, smite him with sore boils so that he cleansed the corruption from his sores with a pot-sherd - and for no object except to board to the devil! 'See what My saint can suffer for My Sake.' ' But the greatness of it lies just in the fact that it is a mystery - that the passing earthly show and the eternal verity are brought together in it. In the face of the earthly truth, the eternal truth is accomplished. The Creator, just as on the first days of creation He ended each day with praise: 'That is good that I have created,' looks upon Job and again praises His creation. And Job, praising the Lord, serves not only Him but all His creation for generations and generations, and for ever and ever, since for that he was ordained. Good heavens, what a book it is, and what lessons there are in it! What a book the Bible is, what a miracle, what strength is given with it to man! It is like a mold cast of the world and man and human nature, everything is there, and a law for everything for all the ages. And what mysteries are solved and revealed! God raises Job again, gives him wealth again. Many years pass by, and he has other children and loves them. But how could he love those new ones when those first children are no more, when he has lost them? Remembering them, how could he be fully happy with those new ones, however dear the new ones might be? But he could, he could. It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy. The mild serenity of age takes the place of the riotous blood of youth. I bless the rising such each day, and, as before, my heart sings to meet it, but now I love even more its setting, its long slanting rays and the soft, tender, gentle memories that come with them, the dear images from the whole of my long, happy life - and over all the Divine Truth, softening, reconciling, forgiving!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
It's taken me no time to see, just how much you really mean to me. [Name], it's taken less than a week to realize i want you in my life, And not just as a friend, I don't want to watch as another guys wanders into your life and sweeps you off your feet,Call me selfish, but I'm the only boy I want to see you with, I don't want another boy to hold you in his arms, and push your hair behind your ear, and call you beautiful, I don't want another boy to kiss you gently on the forhead and tell you his feelings about you are indescribable through words. I don't want another boy to hold your hand. I want to be the boy who gets to do all of those things. I want to be the boy who gets to call you his, more than anything. I'm not perfect, I'm far from it. but i know that im going to treat you as perfect as possible, and i knowi'm never once going to let you down. I'm going to give you everything you deserve, and im going to make you the happiest girl in the world, Because, to me you're so much more than just every other girl. You're perfect. There's many girls in the world but none of them are you, And you're the only one I've fallen for so fast, and you're the only one i know for a fact i want to call mine. There's just so much about you that has pushed me off the edge, and made me fall harder than I have before. Your eyes for example those beautiful eys of yours, I have never seen anthing as beautiful in my life as your eyes. That gorgeous,color that just makes illuminates beauty, and makes my heart stop, And youre smile, I have no idea why you dont show it off to everyone. You told me you don't like your smile, but i have no idea how you couldn't, It's pefect. I could look at that smile all day long, and i mean it. I never want to see your face without it, because that smile is absolutely beautiful. There's so much about you, that's unique to you, that makes you who you are, and makes you so perfect. There's no other girl on this entire planet that has the same eyes, and smile, you do, And that's reason enough for me to want you, and no toher girl, And that's why defines you from every other girl, how beautiful you really are.I understand, any guy could tell you you're beautiful, but I'm not any guy. I'm me, and im not just telling you you're beautiful, [Name], I'm telling you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, and I want you to believe me when i tell you that, I want you to see youself as beautiful as I see you, I want to look you in the eyes, face to face, and tell you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, then hold you close to me, and never let you go, I don't want you to think I'm another guy who's going to lie to you, and break your heart. I want you to believe I really do mean all of this, because I do, with all of my heart, I want to spend nights with you in my arms, i want to kiss you on the forhead every night before bed, I want to try and put my feelings for you into words, just to see that beautiful smile of yours, I want to call you mine, and no one else's, I want you, and no one else, and I can't stress how much i really mean that. Imagine laying in the snow, on a calm winter night, looking up at a clear, starry, full moon night, holding hands, not speaking a word, just laying beside one another, listening, to a gentle breeze, taking in how beautiful stars, and the moon are, Feeling completely at peace with everything, like we're in a land far away from everything, and nothing could possibly take that away that feeling of safety , and complete inner happiness. That's howw I'd describe my feelings for you are. Absolutely perfect in every way. If I am lucky enough to see you tomorrow, I'm going to take your breath away, and prove to you I really am the boy who you deserve. I'm going to make you the happiest girl in the entire world. I feel like I may be falling for you way to fast, and way to soon, but I don't care. not one bit, I've never been so sure of anything.
Jessi (Poetry: The Inner Mind)
Psalm 5 Song of the Clouded Dawn For the Pure and Shining One, for her who receives the inheritance.11 By King David. 1Listen to my passionate prayer! Can’t You hear my groaning? 2Don’t You hear how I’m crying out to You? My King and my God, consider my every word, For I am calling out to You. 3At each and every sunrise You will hear my voice As I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to You. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar And wait for Your fire to fall upon my heart.12 4I know that You, God, Are never pleased with lawlessness, And evil ones will never be invited As guests in Your house. 5Boasters collapse, unable to survive Your scrutiny, For Your hatred of evildoers is clear. 6You will make an end of all those who lie. How You hate their hypocrisy And despise all who love violence! 7But I know the way back home, And I know that You will welcome me Into Your house, For I am covered by Your covenant of mercy and love. So I come to Your sanctuary with deepest awe, To bow in worship and adore You. 8Lord, lead me in the pathways of Your pleasure, Just like You promised me You would, Or else my enemies will conquer me. Smooth out Your road in front of me, Straight and level so that I will know where to walk. 9For you can’t trust anything they say. Their hearts are nothing but deep pits of destruction, Drawing people into their darkness with their speeches. They are smooth-tongued deceivers Who flatter with their words! 10Declare them guilty, O God! Let their own schemes be their downfall! Let the guilt of their sins collapse on top of them, For they rebel against You. 11But let them all be glad, Those who turn aside to hide themselves in You, May they keep shouting for joy forever! Overshadow them in Your presence As they sing and rejoice, Then every lover of Your name Will burst forth with endless joy. 12Lord, how wonderfully You bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and Covers them Under Your canopy of kindness and joy. 11. 5:Title The Hebrew word used here is Neliloth, or “flutes.” It can also be translated “inheritances.” The early church father, Augustine, translated this: “For her who receives the inheritance,” meaning the church of Jesus Christ. God the Father told the Son in Psalm 2 to ask for His inheritance; here we see it is the church that receives what Jesus asks for. We receive our inheritance of eternal life through the cross and resurrection of the Son of God. The Septuagint reads “For the end,” also found in numerous inscriptions of the Psalms. 12. 5:3 Implied in the concept of preparing the morning sacrifice. The Aramaic text states, “At dawn I shall be ready and shall appear before You.
Brian Simmons (The Psalms, Poetry on Fire (The Passion Translation))
The Law of the Jungle NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back — For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep. The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown, Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own. Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear. And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair. When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail, Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail. When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar, Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home, Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain, The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again. If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay, Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away. Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can; But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man! If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride; Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide. The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies; And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies. The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will; But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill. Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same. Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same. Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own: He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone. Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law. Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they; But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!
Rudyard Kipling
A week is a long time to go without bedding someone?” Marcus interrupted, one brow arching. “Are you going to claim that it’s not?” “St. Vincent, if a man has time to bed a woman more than once a week, he clearly doesn’t have enough to do. There are any number of responsibilities that should keep you sufficiently occupied in lieu of…” Marcus paused, considering the exact phrase he wanted. “Sexual congress.” A pronounced silence greeted his words. Glancing at Shaw, Marcus noticed his brother-in-law’s sudden preoccupation with knocking just the right amount of ash from his cigar into a crystal dish, and he frowned. “You’re a busy man, Shaw, with business concerns on two continents. Obviously you agree with my statement.” Shaw smiled slightly. “My lord, since my ‘sexual congress’ is limited exclusively to my wife, who happens to be your sister, I believe I’ll have the good sense to keep my mouth shut.” St. Vincent smiled lazily. “It’s a shame for a thing like good sense to get in the way of an interesting conversation.” His gaze switched to Simon Hunt, who wore a slight frown. “Hunt, you may as well render your opinion. How often should a man make love to a woman? Is more than once a week a case for unpardonable gluttony?” Hunt threw Marcus a vaguely apologetic glance. “Much as I hesitate to agree with St. Vincent…” Marcus scowled as he insisted, “It is a well-known fact that sexual over-indulgence is bad for the health, just as with excessive eating and drinking—” “You’ve just described my perfect evening, Westcliff,” St. Vincent murmured with a grin, and returned his attention to Hunt. “How often do you and your wife—” “The goings-on in my bedroom are not open for discussion,” Hunt said firmly. “But you lie with her more than once a week?” St. Vincent pressed. “Hell, yes,” Hunt muttered. “And well you should, with a woman as beautiful as Mrs. Hunt,” St. Vincent said smoothly, and laughed at the warning glance that Hunt flashed him. “Oh, don’t glower—your wife is the last woman on earth whom I would have any designs on. I have no desire to be pummeled to a fare-thee-well beneath the weight of your ham-sized fists. And happily married women have never held any appeal for me—not when unhappily married ones are so much easier.” He looked back at Marcus. “It seems that you are alone in your opinion, Westcliff. The values of hard work and self-discipline are no match for a warm female body in one’s bed.” Marcus frowned. “There are more important things.” “Such as?” St. Vincent inquired with the exaggerated patience of a rebellious lad being subjected to an unwanted lecture from his decrepit grandfather. “I suppose you’ll say something like ‘social progress’? Tell me, Westcliff…” His gaze turned sly. “If the devil proposed a bargain to you that all the starving orphans in England would be well-fed from now on, but in return you would never be able to lie with a woman again, which would you choose? The orphans, or your own gratification?” “I never answer hypothetical questions.” St. Vincent laughed. “As I thought. Bad luck for the orphans, it seems.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Ione I. AH, yes, 't is sweet still to remember, Though 't were less painful to forget; For while my heart glows like an ember, Mine eyes with sorrow's drops are wet, And, oh, my heart is aching yet. It is a law of mortal pain That old wounds, long accounted well, Beneath the memory's potent spell, Will wake to life and bleed again. So 't is with me; it might be better If I should turn no look behind, — If I could curb my heart, and fetter From reminiscent gaze my mind, Or let my soul go blind — go blind! But would I do it if I could? Nay! ease at such a price were spurned; For, since my love was once returned, All that I suffer seemeth good. I know, I know it is the fashion, When love has left some heart distressed, To weight the air with wordful passion; But I am glad that in my breast I ever held so dear a guest. Love does not come at every nod, Or every voice that calleth 'hasten;' He seeketh out some heart to chasten, And whips it, wailing, up to God! Love is no random road wayfarer Who Where he may must sip his glass. Love is the King, the Purple-Wearer, Whose guard recks not of tree or grass To blaze the way that he may pass. What if my heart be in the blast That heralds his triumphant way; Shall I repine, shall I not say: 'Rejoice, my heart, the King has passed!' In life, each heart holds some sad story — The saddest ones are never told. I, too, have dreamed of fame and glory, And viewed the future bright with gold; But that is as a tale long told. Mine eyes have lost their youthful flash, My cunning hand has lost its art; I am not old, but in my heart The ember lies beneath the ash. I loved! Why not? My heart was youthful, My mind was filled with healthy thought. He doubts not whose own self is truthful, Doubt by dishonesty is taught; So loved! boldly, fearing naught. I did not walk this lowly earth; Mine was a newer, higher sphere, Where youth was long and life was dear, And all save love was little worth. Her likeness! Would that I might limn it, As Love did, with enduring art; Nor dust of days nor death may dim it, Where it lies graven on my heart, Of this sad fabric of my life a part. I would that I might paint her now As I beheld her in that day, Ere her first bloom had passed away, And left the lines upon her brow. A face serene that, beaming brightly, Disarmed the hot sun's glances bold. A foot that kissed the ground so lightly, He frowned in wrath and deemed her cold, But loved her still though he was old. A form where every maiden grace Bloomed to perfection's richest flower, — The statued pose of conscious power, Like lithe-limbed Dian's of the chase. Beneath a brow too fair for frowning, Like moon-lit deeps that glass the skies Till all the hosts above seem drowning, Looked forth her steadfast hazel eyes, With gaze serene and purely wise. And over all, her tresses rare, Which, when, with his desire grown weak, The Night bent down to kiss her cheek, Entrapped and held him captive there. This was Ione; a spirit finer Ne'er burned to ash its house of clay; A soul instinct with fire diviner Ne'er fled athwart the face of day, And tempted Time with earthly stay. Her loveliness was not alone Of face and form and tresses' hue; For aye a pure, high soul shone through Her every act: this was Ione.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect in the future, but future and past are entwined. On the terrace of the Bundesterrasse is a striking view: the river Aare below and the Bernese Alps above. A man stands there just now, absently emptying his pockets and weeping. Without reason, his friends have abandoned him. No one calls any more, no one meets him for supper or beer at the tavern, no one invites him to their home. For twenty years he has been the ideal friend to his friends, generous, interested, soft-spoken, affectionate. What could have happened? A week from this moment on the terrace, the same man begins acting the goat, insulting everyone, wearing smelly clothes, stingy with money, allowing no one to come to his apartment on Laupenstrasse. Which was cause and which effect, which future and which past? In Zürich, strict laws have recently been approved by the Council. Pistols may not be sold to the public. Banks and trading houses must be audited. All visitors, whether entering Zürich by boat on the river Limmat or by rail on the Selnau line, must be searched for contraband. The civil military is doubled. One month after the crackdown, Zürich is ripped by the worst crimes in its history. In daylight, people are murdered in the Weinplatz, paintings are stolen from the Kunsthaus, liquor is drunk in the pews of the Münsterhof. Are these criminal acts not misplaced in time? Or perhaps the new laws were action rather than reaction? A young woman sits near a fountain in the Botanischer Garten. She comes here every Sunday to smell the white double violets, the musk rose, the matted pink gillyflowers. Suddenly, her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic? In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions. Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world? In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective. Most people have learned how to live in the moment. The argument goes that if the past has uncertain effect on the present, there is no need to dwell on the past. And if the present has little effect on the future, present actions need not be weighed for their consequence. Rather, each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. Families comfort a dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance, but because he is loved at that moment. Employees are hired not because of their résumés, but because of their good sense in interviews. Clerks trampled by their bosses fight back at each insult, with no fear for their future. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.
Alan Lightman (Einstein's Dreams)
Lady Thornton,” Sutherland said in an awful, silky voice that made Elizabeth shake inside, “does the word ‘perjury’ have any meaning to you?” “I believe,” Elizabeth said, “it means to tell a lie in a place like this.” “Do you know how the Crown punishes perjurers? They are sentenced to gaol, and they live their lives in a dark, dank cell. Would you want that to happen to you?” “It certainly doesn’t sound very agreeable,” Elizabeth said. “Would I be able to take my jewels and gowns?” Shouts of laughter shook the chandeliers that hung from the vaulted ceilings. “No, you would not!” “Then I’m certainly happy I haven’t lied.” Sutherland was no longer certain whether he’d been duped, but he sensed that he’d lost his effort to make Elizabeth sound like a clever, scheming adulteress or a terrified, intimidated wife. The bizarre story of her flight with her brother had now taken on a certain absurd credibility, and he realized it with a sinking heart and a furious glower. “Madam, would you perjure yourself to protect that man?” His arm swung toward Ian, and Elizabeth’s gaze followed helplessly. Her heart froze with terror when she saw that, if anything, Ian looked more bored, more coldly remote and unmoved than he had before. “I asked you,” Sutherland boomed, “if you would perjure yourself to save that man from going to the gallows next month.” Elizabeth would have died to save him. Tearing her gaze from Ian’s terrifying face, she pinned a blank smile on her face. “Next month? What a disagreeable thing to suggest! Why, next month is-is Lady Northam’s ball, and Kensington very specifically promised that we would go”-thunderous guffaws exploded, rocking the rafters, drowning out Elizabeth’s last words-“and that I could have a new fur!!” Elizabeth waited, sensing that she had succeeded, not because her performance had been so convincing, but because many of the lords and wives who never thought beyond the next gown or ball or fur, and so she seemed entirely believable to them. “No further questions!” Sutherland rapped out, casting a contemptuous glance over her. Peterson Delham slowly arose, and though his expression was carefully blank, even bemused, Elizabeth sensed rather than saw that he was silently applauding her. “Lady Thornton,” he said in formal tones, “is there anything else you have to say to this court?” She realized that he wanted her to say something else, and in her state of relieved exhaustion Elizabeth couldn’t think what it was. She said the only thing she could think of, and she knew soon after she began speaking that he was pleased. “Yes, my lord. I wish to say how very sorry I am for the bother Bobby and I have caused everyone. I was wrong to believe him and to dash off without a word to anyone. And it was wrong of him to remain so angry with my husband all this time over what was, after all, rather an act of kindness on his part.” She sensed that she was going too far, sounding too sensible, and she hastily added, “If Kensington had had Bobby tossed into gaol for trying to shoot him, I daresay Bobby would have found it nearly as disagreeable a place as I. He is,” she confided, “a very fastidious person!” “Lady Thornton!” the Lord Chancellor said when the fresh waves of laughter had diminished to ripples. “You may step down.” At the scathing tone in his voice, Elizabeth dared a look in his direction, and then she almost missed her step when she saw the furious scorn on his face. The other lords might think her an incorrigible henwit, but the Lord Chancellor looked as if he would personally have enjoyed throttling her.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
CUCHULAIN’S FIGHT WITH THE SEA A MAN came slowly from the setting sun, To Emer, raddling raiment in her dun, And said, ‘I am that swineherd whom you bid Go watch the road between the wood and tide, But now I have no need to watch it more.’ Then Emer cast the web upon the floor, And raising arms all raddled with the dye, Parted her lips with a loud sudden cry. That swineherd stared upon her face and said, ‘No man alive, no man among the dead, Has won the gold his cars of battle bring.’ ‘But if your master comes home triumphing Why must you blench and shake from foot to crown?’ Thereon he shook the more and cast him down Upon the web-heaped floor, and cried his word: ‘With him is one sweet-throated like a bird.’ ‘You dare me to my face,’ and thereupon She smote with raddled fist, and where her son Herded the cattle came with stumbling feet, And cried with angry voice, ’It is not meet To idle life away, a common herd.’ ‘I have long waited, mother, for that word: But wherefore now?’ ‘There is a man to die; You have the heaviest arm under the sky.’ ‘Whether under its daylight or its stars My father stands amid his battle-cars.’ ‘But you have grown to be the taller man.’ ‘Yet somewhere under starlight or the sun My father stands.’ ‘Aged, worn out with wars On foot, on horseback or in battle-cars.’ ‘I only ask what way my journey lies, For He who made you bitter made you wise.’ ‘The Red Branch camp in a great company Between wood’s rim and the horses of the sea. Go there, and light a camp-fire at wood’s rim; But tell your name and lineage to him Whose blade compels, and wait till they have found Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’ Among those feasting men Cuchulain dwelt, And his young sweetheart close beside him knelt, Stared on the mournful wonder of his eyes, Even as Spring upon the ancient skies, And pondered on the glory of his days; And all around the harp-string told his praise, And Conchubar, the Red Branch king of kings, With his own fingers touched the brazen strings. At last Cuchulain spake, ‘Some man has made His evening fire amid the leafy shade. I have often heard him singing to and fro, I have often heard the sweet sound of his bow. Seek out what man he is.’ One went and came. ‘He bade me let all know he gives his name At the sword-point, and waits till we have found Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’ Cuchulain cried, ‘I am the only man Of all this host so bound from childhood on. After short fighting in the leafy shade, He spake to the young man, ’Is there no maid Who loves you, no white arms to wrap you round, Or do you long for the dim sleepy ground, That you have come and dared me to my face?’ ‘The dooms of men are in God’s hidden place,’ ‘Your head a while seemed like a woman’s head That I loved once.’ Again the fighting sped, But now the war-rage in Cuchulain woke, And through that new blade’s guard the old blade broke, And pierced him. ‘Speak before your breath is done.’ ‘Cuchulain I, mighty Cuchulain’s son.’ ‘I put you from your pain. I can no more.’ While day its burden on to evening bore, With head bowed on his knees Cuchulain stayed; Then Conchubar sent that sweet-throated maid, And she, to win him, his grey hair caressed; In vain her arms, in vain her soft white breast. Then Conchubar, the subtlest of all men, Ranking his Druids round him ten by ten, Spake thus: ‘Cuchulain will dwell there and brood For three days more in dreadful quietude, And then arise, and raving slay us all. Chaunt in his ear delusions magical, That he may fight the horses of the sea.’ The Druids took them to their mystery, And chaunted for three days. Cuchulain stirred, Stared on the horses of the sea, and heard The cars of battle and his own name cried; And fought with the invulnerable tide.
W.B. Yeats
In this simple observation about the nature of human consciousness lies a challenge that was taken up sometime in the course of Hinduism’s long development: focus the mind so that the tumble of extraneous thoughts is slowed, then stilled altogether. The practice that developed, which we know as meditation, is of unknown antiquity. It was certainly already in use when the Upanishads were put into writing circa –6C. An archaic form may be inferred from the Rig Veda, which takes the practice back at least to –1200. If recent arguments that the Rig Veda dates to the Indus-Sarasvati civilization hold up, then we must think in terms of an additional millennium or two during which some form of meditation was practiced. I have dated the culmination of the development of meditation to –2C because that is the most popular dating for the life of Patanjali, the Hindu sage who is seen as the progenitor of classical Yoga, an advanced system of meditation. Since its initial development in India, forms of meditation have become part of most religions and of a wide range of secular schools as well. In the West, despite the importance of forms of meditation in Catholicism and some Protestant Christian churches, the word meditation has become identified with some of the flamboyant sects that attracted publicity in the 1960s and 1970s. In some circles, meditation is seen as part of Asian mysticism, not a cognitive tool. This is one instance in which Eurocentrism is a genuine problem. The nature of meditation is coordinate with ways of perceiving the world that are distinctively Asian. But to say that the cognitive tool called meditation is peculiarly useful to Asians is like saying that logic—my next meta-invention—is useful only to Europeans. Meditation and logic found homes in different parts of the world, but meditation, like logic, is a flexible, powerful extension of human cognitive capacity.
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
CUSTOM AND MORALITY. To be moral, correct, and virtuous is to be obedient to an old established law and custom. Whether we submit with difficulty or willingly is immaterial, enough that we do so. He is called "good" who, as if naturally, after long precedent, easily and willingly, therefore, does what is right, according to whatever this may be (as, for instance, taking revenge, if to take revenge be considered as right, as amongst the ancient Greeks). He is called good because he is good "for something"; but as goodwill, pity, consideration, moderation, and such like, have come, with the change in manners, to be looked upon as "good for something”, as useful, the good natured and helpful have, later on, come to be distinguished specially as "good". (In the beginning other and more important kinds of usefulness stood in the foreground.) To be evil is to be "not moral" (immoral), to be immoral is to be in opposition to tradition, however sensible or stupid it may be; injury to the community (the "neighbour" being understood thereby) has, however, been looked upon by the social laws of all different ages as being eminently the actual "immorality” so that now at the word "evil" we immediately think of voluntary injury to one's neighbour. The fundamental antithesis which has taught man the distinction between moral and immoral, between good and evil, is not the "egoistic" and "unegoistic” but the being bound to the tradition, law, and solution thereof. How the tradition has arisen is immaterial, at all events without regard to good and evil or any immanent categorical imperative, but above all for the purpose of preserving a community, a generation, an association, a people; every superstitious custom that has arisen on account of some falsely explained accident, creates a tradition, which it is moral to follow; to separate one's self from it is dangerous, but more dangerous for the community than for the individual (because the Godhead punishes the community for every outrage and every violation of its rights, and the individual only in proportion). Now every tradition grows continually more venerable, the farther off lies its origin, the more this is lost sight of; the generation paid it accumulates from generation to generation, the tradition at last becomes holy and excites awe; and thus in any case the morality of piety is a much older morality than that which requires un egoistic actions.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
The so much boasted constitution of England. That it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was over run with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise, is easily demonstrated. Absolute governments (tho’ the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, that they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs, know likewise the remedy, and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies, some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine. I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new republican materials. First.—The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king. Secondly.—The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the peers. Thirdly.—The new republican materials, in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England. The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people; wherefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state. To say that the constitution of England is a union of three powers reciprocally checking each other, is farcical, either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions. To say that the commons is a check upon the king, presupposes two things: First.—That the king is not to be trusted without being looked after, or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy. Secondly.—That the commons, by being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of confidence than the crown. But as the same constitution which gives the commons a power to check the king by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the king a power to check the commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills; it again supposes that the king is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him. A mere absurdity!
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
• No matter how open we as a society are about formerly private matters, the stigma around our emotional struggles remains formidable. We will talk about almost anyone about our physical health, even our sex lives, but bring depression, anxiety or grief , and the expression on the other person would probably be "get me out of this conversation" • We can distract our feelings with too much wine, food or surfing the internet, • Therapy is far from one-sided; it happens in a parallel process. Everyday patients are opening up questions that we have to think about for ourselves, • "The only way out is through" the only way to get out of the tunnel is to go through, not around it • Study after study shows that the most important factor in the success of your treatment is your relationship with the therapist, your experience of "feeling felt" • Attachment styles are formed early in childhood based on our interactions with our caregivers. Attachment styles are significant because they play out in peoples relationships too, influencing the kind of partners they pick, (stable or less stable), how they behave in a relationship (needy, distant, or volatile) and how the relationship tend to end (wistfully, amiably, or with an explosion) • The presenting problem, the issue somebody comes with, is often just one aspect of a larger problem, if not a red herring entirely. • "Help me understand more about the relationship" Here, here's trying to establish what’s known as a therapeutic alliance, trust that has to develop before any work can get done. • In early sessions is always more important for patients to feel understood than it is for them to gain any insight or make changes. • We can complain for free with a friend or family member, People make faulty narratives to make themselves feel better or look better in the moment, even thought it makes them feel worse over time, and that sometimes they need somebody else to read between the lines. • Here-and-now, it is when we work on what’s happening in the room, rather than focusing on patient's stories. • She didn't call him on his bullshit, which this makes patients feel unsafe, like children's whose parent's don’t hold them accountable • What is this going to feel like to the person I’m speaking to? • Neuroscientists discovered that humans have brain cells called mirror neurons, that cause them to mimic others, and when people are in a heightened state of emotion, a soothing voice can calm their nervous system and help them stay present • Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth. • The things we protest against the most are often the very things we need to look at • How easy it is, I thought, to break someone’s heart, even when you take great care not to. • The purpose on inquiring about people's parent s is not to join them in blaming, judging or criticizing their parents. In fact it is not about their parents at all. It is solely about understanding how their early experiences informed who they are as adults so that they can separate the past from the present (and not wear psychological clothing that no longer fits) • But personality disorders lie on a spectrum. People with borderline personality disorder are terrified of abandonment, but for some that might mean feeling anxious when their partners don’t respond to texts right away; for others that may mean choosing to stay in volatile, dysfunctional relationships rather than being alone. • In therapy we aim for self compassion (am I a human?) versus self esteem (Am I good or bad: a judgment) • The techniques we use are a bit like the type of brain surgery in which the patient remains awake throughout the procedure, as the surgeons operate, they keep checking in with the patient: can you feel this? can you say this words? They are constantly calibrating how close they are to sensitive regions of the brain, and if they hit one, they back up so as not to damage it.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone)