World Is A Stage Quotes

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All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.
Oscar Wilde
There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.
Anaïs Nin
All the world's a stage we're going through.
Lorrie Moore (Anagrams)
All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
Seán O'Casey
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.
L.R. Knost (Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages)
Everything's about my personal entertainment. The world is my stage. Keep it up- you're becoming a star performer in the show.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
It's like when someone dies, the initial stages of grief seem to be the worst. But in some ways, it's sadder as time goes by and you consider how much they've missed in your life. In the world.
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
All the world's a stage.
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
Actors are so fortunate. They can choose whether they will appear in tragedy or in comedy, whether they will suffer or make merry, laugh or shed tears. But in real life it is different. Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualifications. Our Guildensterns play Hamlet for us, and our Hamlets have to jest like Prince Hal. The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
Oscar Wilde (Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories)
I kick him in the face point blank with my high heel. He wasn't expecting that. The Angel flies back off the stage. "It really is you,"says Raffe.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
According to most philosophers, God in making the world enslaved it. According to Christianity, in making it, He set it free. God had written, not so much a poem, but rather a play; a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left to human actors and stage-managers, who had since made a great mess of it.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
George Carlin
emotions really exist at the bottom of the personality or at the top. in the middle they are acted. this is why all the world is a stage.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
A warm arm enfolds me like a shield around my shoulder and turns me toward the side of the stage. “Stay with me,” says a familiar masculine whisper from above my head. Even over the yelling of the mob and the roaring of the waves, something unfurls in my chest at the sound of that voice.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano, A stage where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one.
William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice)
The world's a stage, & everything else is Vaudeville.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
For a moment everything was clear, and when that happens you see that the world is barely there at all. Don't we all secretly know this? It's a perfectly balanced mechanism of shouts and echoes pretending to be wheels and cogs, a dreamclock chiming beneath a mystery-glass we call life. Behind it? Below it and around it? Chaos, storms. Men with hammers, men with knives, men with guns. Women who twist what they cannot dominate and belittle what they cannot understand. A universe of horror and loss surrounding a single lighted stage where mortals dance in defiance of the dark.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
They say the world is a stage. But obviously the play is unrehearsed and everybody is ad-libbing his lines." "Maybe that’s why it’s hard to tell if we’re living in a tragedy or a farce." "We need more special effects and dance numbers.
Bill Watterson
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan
It's you and me against the world.
Kylie Scott (Lick (Stage Dive, #1))
Maybe the Merlin was right. Maybe its better to look stupid but strong, than it is to look smart but weak, I don't know. I'm not sure I want to believe that the world stage bears that strong a resemblance to high school.
Jim Butcher (Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11))
I wrote the song 'Down to Earth' a few years ago, and i was really excited to record it for My World album. It's a huge fan favourite. So many people feel where i'm coming from. It doesn't need any spectacular stage effects in the touring show; the best thing i can do is just sing it straight from my heart. I'm not afraid to show my emotions; if you love someone, you should tell them. If you think a girl is beautiful, you should say that. Usher says some songs work best when there's a sob in the singer's voice. You gotta let that deep feeling come through. And that's how i felt about this song. Sometimes the emotion of it is enough to bring tears to my eyes.
Justin Bieber
When questioning ourselves, we must identify, where we are heading to. Do we prefer our life to remain untitled. Will we stand bare and naked without dressing any expectations or do we decide to interact with the world around. Will we play a part on the stage of life or do we choose to remain simply a chapter without heading, an episode without caption, an untitled interval. ("Life untitled" )
Erik Pevernagie
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
The world is a drama, staged in a dream
Guru Nanak (Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
illusions, so many masks and facades. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.
William Ritter (Jackaby (Jackaby, #1))
Ben, I don’t want to take your freedom. I just want a place in your world. An important one.” He craned his neck, tipping my chin up to make me look at him at the same time. “Sweetheart, you’ve been important since day one.
Kylie Scott (Deep (Stage Dive, #4))
If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door.
Paul Beatty
Regardless of what comes and goes on the stage, the stage is always just there. The people of the world are all actors, but if they own the stage, they become the masters. As masters, they will always be able to act on the stage.
Woo Myung (Heaven's Formula For Saving The World)
No two persons can learn something and experience it in the same way.
Shannon L. Alder
The world is a stage we walk upon. We are all in a way fictional characters who write ourselves with our beliefs.
Louis Theroux (The Call of the Weird: Travels in American Subcultures)
As a society, you were unwilling to reflect upon the shared pain that united you with those who attacked you. You retreated into myths of your own difference, assumptions of your own superiority. And you acted out these beliefs on the stage of the world, so that the entire planet was rocked by the repercussions of your tantrums, not least my family, now facing war thousands of miles away.
Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
On the other hand, when you grow up you will discover that some of the people in this world never passed beyond the stage of the cave-man.
Hendrik Willem van Loon (The Story of Mankind)
And what makes you so certain I won't enlighten the world about your romantic indiscretions?" "Because it won't save you from prison. And if you ruin Rose, you'll destroy whatever weak chance you had of Lissa helping you with your warped fantasy." Victor flinched just a little; Dimitri was right. Dimitri stepped forward, pressing close to the bars as I had earlier. I'd though I had a scary voice, but when he spoke his next words, I realized I wasn't even close. "And it'll be pointless anyway, because you won't stay alive long enough in prison to stage your grand plans. You aren't the only one with connections." My breath caught a little. Dimitri brought so many things to my life: love, comfort, and instruction. I got so used to him sometimes I forgot how dangerous he could be. As he stood there, tall and threatening while he glared down at Victor, I felt a chill run down my spine. I remembered how when I had first come to the Academy, people said Dimitri was a god. In this moment, he looked like it.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
The world is a stage, but the play is badly written.
Oscar Wilde (Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories)
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present. A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.
Nikola Tesla
And still I urge you to struggle. Struggle for the memory of your ancestors. Struggle for wisdom. Struggle for the warmth of The Mecca. Struggle for your grandmother and grandfather, for your name. But do not struggle for the Dreamers. Hope for them. Pray for them, if you are so moved. But do not pin your struggle on their conversion. The Dreamers will have to learn to struggle themselves, to understand that the field for their Dream, the stage where they have painted themselves white, is the deathbed of us all.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Everyone there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes. But this is near the stage where the road passes over the rim of our world. No one's eyes can see very far beyond that: lots of people's eyes can see further than mine.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
Life's a show and we all play a part And when the music starts We open up our hearts
Joss Whedon
For the message of television as metaphor is not only that all the world is a stage but that the stage is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else - something it never entered your head to conceive - comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.
C.S. Lewis
My sisters were the coolest people I knew, and still are. I have always aspired to be like them and know what they know. My sisters were the color and noise in my black-and-white boy world-how I pitied my friends who had brothers. Boys seemed incredibly tedious and dim compared to my sisters, who were always a rush of energy and excitement, buzzing over all the books, records, jokes, rumors and ideas we were discovering together. I grew up thriving on the commotion of their girl noise, whether they were laughing or singing or staging an intervention because somebody was wearing stirrup pants. I always loved being lost in that girl noise.
Rob Sheffield (Talking to Girls about Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut)
Totus mundus agit histrionem. (All the World's a Stage.)" [Motto of William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (f. 1599) and its acting company, The King's Men; taken from the first play to be performed on the new stage.]
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
From time to time it's fun to close our eyes, and in that dark say to ourselves, 'I am the sorcerer, and when I open my eyes I shall see a world that I have created, and for which I and only I am completely responsible.' Slowly then, eyelids open like curtains lifting stage-center. And sure enough, there's our world, just the way we've built it.
Richard Bach (The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story)
He saw clearly how plain and simple - how narrow, even - it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one's existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
They want to believe, but there are too many villains in the world and not enough heroes for anyone to truly buy into the scam that is hope.
Shaun David Hutchinson (The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley)
Shakespeare would have it wrong these days. It's not the world that's the stage - it's social media, where you're trying to put on a show. The rest of your life is rehearsals, prepping in the wings to be fabulous online.
Lauren Beukes (Broken Monsters)
Maybe Shakespeare was right. Maybe all the world was a stage. Maybe without the act everything would fall apart. The key to happiness wasn't being yourself, because what did that even mean? Everyone had many selves. No. The key to happiness is finding the lie that suits you best.
Matt Haig (How to Stop Time)
My turn now. The story of one of my insanities. For a long time I boasted that I was master of all possible landscapes-- and I thought the great figures of modern painting and poetry were laughable. What I liked were: absurd paintings, pictures over doorways, stage sets, carnival backdrops, billboards, bright-colored prints, old-fashioned literature, church Latin, erotic books full of misspellings, the kind of novels our grandmothers read, fairy tales, little children's books, old operas, silly old songs, the naive rhythms of country rimes. I dreamed of Crusades, voyages of discovery that nobody had heard of, republics without histories, religious wars stamped out, revolutions in morals, movements of races and continents; I used to believe in every kind of magic. I invented colors for the vowels! A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green. I made rules for the form and movement of every consonant, and I boasted of inventing, with rhythms from within me, a kind of poetry that all the senses, sooner or later, would recognize. And I alone would be its translator. I began it as an investigation. I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.
Arthur Rimbaud
She looked at him, watched the lights from the stage flicker over his expression, in the dark depths of his eyes. There was a whole other world in there, she thought and it was hers to explore forever if she would stop being so afraid.
Cherrie Lynn (Rock Me (Ross Siblings, #2))
How comes when a man likes an attractive female, is he helping to exploit women around the world, yet the moment he doesn't fancy the female in question, he only hates on her because she's empowering women? Seriously, I don't get it - Rihanna and Nicki do exactly the same thing as far as I can see. They both sing, dance and gyrate their sexy stuff on stage, yet one empowers women, the other is being exploited, depending on which one I fancy the most at the point of being asked the sodding question. How the fuck does any of this make sense?
Jimmy Tudeski (Comedian Gone Wrong)
Let me recommend the best medicine in the world a long journey at a mild season through a pleasant country in easy stages.
James Madison
As readers, we remain in the nursery stage so long as we cannot distinguish between taste and judgment, so long, that is, as the only possible verdicts we can pass on a book are two: this I like; this I don't like. For an adult reader, the possible verdicts are five: I can see this is good and I like it; I can see this is good but I don't like it; I can see this is good and, though at present I don't like it, I believe that with perseverance I shall come to like it; I can see that this is trash but I like it; I can see that this is trash and I don't like it.
W.H. Auden (A Certain World: A Commonplace Book)
The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance.
Václav Havel
It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.
L.R. Knost (Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood (A Little Hearts Handbook))
You know...it's a hard age. Kids are in that stage where they're beginning to understand the world of adults, without having the maturity of adults to deal with everything going on around them.
Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One)
A third...candidate for Shakespearean authorship was Christopher Marlowe. He was the right age (just two months older than Shakespeare), had the requisite talent, and would certainly have had ample leisure after 1593, assuming he wasn't too dead to work.
Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: The World as Stage)
Television is our culture's principal mode of knowing about itself. Therefore -- and this is the critical point -- how television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be staged. It is not merely that on the television screen entertainment is the metaphor for all discourse. It is that off the screen the same metaphor prevails. (92)
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
The two main criminals are France and the United States. They owe Haiti enormous reparations because of actions going back hundreds of years. If we could ever get to the stage where somebody could say, 'We're sorry we did it,' that would be nice. But if that just assuages guilt, it's just another crime. To become minimally civilized, we would have to say, 'We carried out and benefited from vicious crimes. A large part of the wealth of France comes from the crimes we committed against Haiti, and the United States gained as well. Therefore we are going to pay reparations to the Haitian people.' Then you will see the beginnings of civilization.
Noam Chomsky (Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World)
Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation. Now, it's long been understood very well that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it's possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited: that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage-can. At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community-interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or, alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole and, by now, that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.
Noam Chomsky
You have entered an abnormal, lonely, and unwelcome new world where you are nothing but an island of sadness.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss)
There is no doubt that the princess did become a queen---not only on the screen. One of the most loved, one of the most skillful, one of the most intelligent, one of the most sensitive, charming actresses---and friends, in my life---but also in the later stages of her life, the UNICEF ambassador to the children of the world. The generosity, sensitivity, the nobility of her service to the children of the world and the mothers of the world will never be forgotten.
Gregory Peck
You desire to LIVE "according to Nature"? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as a power—how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live—is not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, "living according to Nature," means actually the same as "living according to life"—how could you do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature "according to the Stoa," and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise—and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over yourselves—Stoicism is self-tyranny—Nature will also allow herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a PART of Nature?... But this is an old and everlasting story: what happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to "creation of the world," the will to the causa prima.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
How do you turn catastrophe into art? Nowadays the process is automatic. A nuclear plant explodes? We'll have a play on the London stage within a year. A President is assissinated? You can have the book or the film or the filmed book or booked film. War? Send in the novelists. A series of gruesome murders? Listen for the tramp of the poets. We have to understand it, of course, this catastrophe; to understand it, we have to imagine it, so we need the imaginative arts. But we also need to justify it and forgive it, this catastrophe, however minimally. Why did it happen, this mad act of Nature, this crazed human moment? Well, at least it produced art. Perhaps, in the end, that's what catastrophe is for.
Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10½ Chapters)
For a child, it is in the simplicity of play that the complexity of life is sorted like puzzle pieces joined together to make sense of the world.
L.R. Knost (Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages)
When life attains a crisis, man’s focus narrows. […] The world becomes a stage of immediate concern, swept free of illusion.
Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me)
Truth is, we all project a false front to the world, peppering our social media pages with witty words and silly emoticons. Life narrowed down to 140 characters, staged selfies, and tirades over opinion posts. Life lived for the approval of the masses, all while tearing strangers down for the slightest misstep.
Kristen Callihan (The Game Plan (Game On, #3))
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Most parents try really hard to give their kids the best possible life. They give them the best food and clothes they can afford, take their own kind of take on training kids to be honest and polite. But what they don't realize is no matter how much they try, their kids will get out there. Out to this complicated little world. If they are lucky they will survive, through backstabbers, broken hearts, failures and all the kinds of invisible insane pressures out there. But most kids get lost in them. They will get caught up in all kinds of bubbles. Trouble bubbles. Bubbles that continuously tell them that they are not good enough. Bubbles that get them carried away with what they think is love, give them broken hearts. Bubbles that will blur the rest of the world to them, make them feel like that is it, that they've reached the end. Sometimes, even the really smart kids, make stupid decisions. They lose control. Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second of every day. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
World events do not occur by accident. They are made to happen, whether it is to do with national issues or commerce; and most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings.
Denis Healey
I don’t want to take your freedom. I just want a place in your world. An important one.
Kylie Scott (Deep (Stage Dive, #4))
So long as western people imagine that there only exists a single type of humanity, that there is only one 'civilization', at different stages of development, no mutual understanding will be possible.
René Guénon (The Crisis of the Modern World)
In fact, public speaking anxiety may be primal and quintessentially human, not limited to those of us born with a high-reactive nervous system. One theory, based on the writings of the sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, holds that when our ancestors lived on the savannah, being watched intently meant only one thing: a wild animal was stalking us. And when we think we're about to be eaten, do we stand tall and hold forth confidently? No. We run. In other words, hundreds of thousands of years of evolution urge us to get the hell off the stage, where we can mistake the gaze of the spectators for the glint in a predator's eye.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
The whole world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
Seán O'Casey
I set up and staged hundreds of ends-of-the-world and watched, enthralled, as they played themselves out.
Annie Dillard (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)
Dreams are stages where lies and truths intertwine in and endless dance. It is in the waking world that you must decide what is real and what it not.
L. Filloon (The Binding (The Velesi Trilogy, #1))
A brilliant idea is like a baby in a mothers womb. You need to bring it out in the world, nurture it, feed it, grow it, till it becomes big enough to take care of itself. If you leave it at the stage of an idea itself, it is as good as non existent.
Manoj Arora (From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom)
I'd proven to the world that maturity, experience, dedication, and ingenuity can make up for a little senescence. Muscle tightening is not the only thing that happens to our bodies over time. We gain knowledge, focus, and understanding, and those things can help us win.
Dara Torres (Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life)
...Every ego so far from being a unity is in the highest degree a manifold world, a constellated heaven, a chaos of forms, of states and stages, of inheritances and potentialities. It appears to be a necessity as imperative as eating and breathing for everyone to be forced to regard this chaos as a unity and to speak of his ego as though is was a one-fold and clearly detached and fixed phenomenon. Even the best of us shares this delusion.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless.
Bertrand Russell
Personally, I always wondered about authors and celebrities who loudly declared there was no God. It was usually when they were healthy and popular and being listened to by crowds. What happens, I wondered, in the quiet moments before death? By then, they have lost the stage, the world has moved on. If suddenly, in their last gasping moments, through fear, a vision, a late enlightenment, they change their minds about God, who would know?
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
We are all actors, set on the stage of the world, as the curtains open we put on our best performance to this audience of life.
Anthony Liccione
Maybe certain kinds of pain, at certain formative stages in life, just impress themselves into a person's sense of self permanently.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
At the different stages of recognition, reflection, and redress, practicing compassion provides potentially world-saving opportunities which otherwise likely would not exist.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
Irene closed her book and stared at the older Van Holtz. “I don’t dislike him. But that was recent. I used to not like him but he’s been very kind since I’ve been here. So now I like him. I’d almost say we are friendly…but perhaps that’s too big a leap at this stage.” He gave a soft laugh. “I see. Are you always this…uh…” “Brutally honest?” “I was going to say direct, but brutally honest works as well.” “Yes. I am. And I know—it’s a character flaw.” “Not at all. I love honest people.” “Everyone says that…until I say something they don’t like. Then I’m a bitch.
Shelly Laurenston (When He Was Bad (Magnus Pack, #3.5; Pride, #0.75; Smith's Shifter World, #3.5))
What do angels look like? I saw one today wering gaudy jewelry, spoke with a thick Spanish accent, quoted 'Chakespeare.' She said, 'All the world's a stage and sometimes you just gotta roll with los punches.
Monique Duval (The Persistence of Yellow: A Book of Recipes for Life)
In the universe we have not to do with repetitions, each time that a cycle is passed, something new is added to the world's evolution and to at its human stage of development
Rudolf Steiner (Anthroposophy in Everyday Life: Practical Training in Thought - Overcoming Nervousness - Facing Karma - The Four Temperaments)
I'm still a broken girl struggling through the stages of my grief, trying to reenter the real world without the man who is still part of me.
Kim Karr (Connected (Connections, #1))
This stage in the life of the buzz is truly fabulous. It's not even a buzz anymore. It's a roar. The world opens up and everything's yours right here, right now. You've probably heard the expression -- All good things must come to an end. Well, this stage in the life of the buzz never heard anything close to that. This stage says, 'I will never end, I am indestructible. I will last fabulously forever.' And, of course, you believe it. To hell with tomorrow. To hell with all problems and barriers. Nothing matters but the Spectacular Now.
Tim Tharp (The Spectacular Now)
Perhaps nothing speaks more eloquently of the variability of spelling in the age than the fact that a dictionary published in 1604, A Table Alphabeticall of Hard Words, spelled “words” two ways on the title page.
Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: The World as Stage)
Normal people don't know how hard it is to fangirl over celebrities who don't know you exist and fictional characters who die and try to not act like you are insane in public, trying to read all the 130 million books that exist in this world while also staying on top of classes and getting good grades while also socializing with actual people and completing all the tasks on time and battle anxiety while also being a perfect student who gives great speeches and doesn't have stage fear with impeccable grammar and is articulate like GEEZ! I would rather stay crazy!
Aashi Rath
Although some graduating classes will have a “handful of celebrities” who move on to the national stage, he pointed out that most would find themselves “building or strengthening your communities. Please love that destiny, if it turns out to be yours—for communities are all that’s substantial about the world.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young)
She could, at this stage of things, recognize signals like that, as the epileptic is said to—an odor, color, pure piercing grace note announcing his seizure. Afterward it is only this signal, really dross, this secular announcement, and never what is revealed during the attack, that he remembers. Oedipa wondered whether, at the end of this (if it were supposed to end), she too might not be left with only compiled memories of clues, announcements, intimations, but never the central truth itself, which must somehow each time be too bright for her memory to hold; which must always blaze out, destroying its own message irreversibly, leaving an overexposed blank when the ordinary world came back.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
In Mencken’s view, “religion belongs to a very early stage of human development, and... its rapid decay in the world since the Reformation is evidence of genuine progress” (“The Ascent of Man”).
H.L. Mencken (H.L. Mencken on Religion)
I have now reached the stage that I don't care much whether I live or die. The world will still keep on turning without me; what is going to happen, will happen, and anyway it's no good to resist.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
Pretend" often confuses the adult, but it is the child's real and serious world, the stage upon which any identity is possible and secret thoughts can be safely revealed.
Vivian Gussin Paley (The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter)
If all the world's a stage, I suggest you start performing at your best.
Rob Liano
Only one man had the circumstances and gifts to give us such incomparable works, and William Shakespeare of Stratfrod was unquestionably that man -- whoever he was.
Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: The World as Stage)
I am possibly the world's greatest magician, because I don't just vanish off stage, I vanish from your memory. I'll bet you're probably thinking, "I don't remember seeing you," or "I've never seen you." And that just goes to show you how good I am.
Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
The LSD phenomenon, on the other hand, is—to me at least—more interesting. It is an intentionally achieved schizophrenia, with the expectation of a spontaneous remission—which, however, does not always follow. Yoga, too, is intentional schizophrenia: one breaks away from the world, plunging inward, and the ranges of vision experienced are in fact the same as those of a psychosis. But what, then, is the difference? What is the difference between a psychotic or LSD experience and a yogic, or a mystical? The plunges are all into the same deep inward sea; of that there can be no doubt. The symbolic figures encountered are in many instances identical (and I shall have something more to say about those in a moment). But there is an important difference. The difference—to put it sharply—is equivalent simply to that between a diver who can swim and one who cannot. The mystic, endowed with native talents for this sort of thing and following, stage by stage, the instruction of a master, enters the waters and finds he can swim; whereas the schizophrenic, unprepared, unguided, and ungifted, has fallen or has intentionally plunged, and is drowning.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
Her experience had been of a kind to teach her, rightly or wrongly, that the doubtful honor of a brief transit through a sorry world hardly called for effusiveness, even when the path was suddenly irradiated at some half-way point by daybeams rich as hers. But her strong sense that neither she nor any human being deserved less than was given, did not blind her to the fact that there were others receiving less who had deserved much more. And in being forced to class herself among the fortunate she did not cease to wonder at the persistence of the unforeseen, when the one to whom such unbroken tranquility had been accorded in the adult stage was she whose youth had seemed to teach that happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.
Thomas Hardy (The Mayor of Casterbridge)
I favour humans over ideology, but right now the ideologues are winning, and they're creating a stage for constant artificial high dramas, where everyone is either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain. We can lead good, ethical lives, but some bad phraseology in a Tweet can overwhelm it all - even though we know that's not how we should define our fellow humans. What's true about our fellow humans is that we are clever and stupid. We are grey areas. And so ... when you see an unfair or an ambiguous shaming unfold, speak up on behalf of the shamed person. A babble of opposing voices - that's democracy. The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people. Let's not turn it into a world where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless.
Jon Ronson (So You've Been Publicly Shamed)
And here are trees and I know their gnarled surface, water and I feel its taste. These scents of grass and stars at night, certain evenings when the heart relaxes-how shall I negate this world whose power and strength I feel? Yet all the knowledge on earth will give me nothing to assure me that this world is mine. You describe it to me and you teach me to classify it. You enumerate its laws and in my thirst for knowledge I admit that they are true. You take apart its mechanism and my hope increases. At the final stage you teach me that this wondrous and multicolored universe can be reduced to the atom and that the atom itself can be reduced to the electron. All this is good and I wait for you to continue. But you tell me of an invisible planetary system in which electrons gravitate around a nucleus. You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus)
One of the newest figures to emerge on the world stage in recent years is the social entrepreneur. This is usually someone who burns with desire to make a positive social impact on the world, but believes that the best way of doing it is, as the saying goes, not by giving poor people a fish and feeding them for a day, but by teaching them to fish, in hopes of feeding them for a lifetime. I have come to know several social entrepreneurs in recent years, and most combine a business school brain with a social worker's heart. The triple convergence and the flattening of the world have been a godsend for them. Those who get it and are adapting to it have begun launching some very innovative projects.
Thomas L. Friedman (The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century)
Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.
Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
Free Will First stage is the stage of the Father - Law and fear of God Second stage is that of the Son - of the Church and of Faith in the World Third stage is the one of the Holy Ghost - of Freedom and Intuitive Knowledge We live in the time when all the stages are known and we have the freedom to chose.
Nataša Pantović (Art of 4 Elements (AoL Mindfulness, #2))
Present global culture is a kind of arrogant newcomer. It arrives on the planetary stage following four and a half billion years of other acts, and after looking about for a few thousand years declares itself in possession of eternal truths. But in a world that is changing as fast as ours, this is a prescription for disaster. No nation, no religion, no economic system, no body of knowledge, is likely to have all the answers for our survival. There must be many social systems that would work far better than any now in existence. In the scientific tradition, our task is to find them.
Carl Sagan
The important thing is to polish wisdom and the mind in great detail. If you sharpen wisdom, you will understand what is just and unjust in society and also the good and the evil of this world; then you will come to know all kinds of arts and you will tread different ways. In this manner, no one in this world will succeed in deceiving you. It is after this stage that you will arrive at the wisdom of strategy. The wisdom of strategy is entirely distinct. Even right in the middle of a battle where everything is in rapid movement, it is necessary to attain the most profound principle of strategy, which assures you an immovable mind. You must examine this well.
Miyamoto Musashi (The Complete Book of Five Rings)
Throughout the entire history of philosophy, philosophers have sought to discover what man is - or what human nature is. But Sartre believed that man has no such eternal nature to fall back on. It is therefore useless to search for the meaning of life in general. We are condemned to improvise. We are like actors dragged onto the stage without having learned our lines, with no script and no prompter to whisper stage directions to us. We must decide for ourselves how to live.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World)
It's not Americans I find annoying; it's Americanism: a social disease of the postindustrial world that must inevitably infect each of the mercantile nations in turn, and is called 'American' only because your nation is the most advanced case of the malady, much as one speaks of Spanish flu, or Japanese Type-B encephalitis. It's symptoms are a loss of work ethic, a shrinking of inner resources, and a constant need for external stimulation, followed by spiritual decay and moral narcosis. You can recognize the victim by his constant efforts to get in touch with himself, to believe his spiritual feebleness is an interesting psychological warp, to construe his fleeing from responsibility as evidence that he and his life are uniquely open to new experiences. In the later stages, the sufferer is reduced to seeking that most trivial of human activities: fun.
Trevanian (Shibumi)
Except for the small revolutionary groups which exist in all countries, the whole world was determined upon preventing revolution in Spain. In particular the Communist Party, with Soviet Russia behind it, had thrown its whole weight against the revolution. It was the Communist thesis that revolution at this stage would be fatal and that what was to be aimed at in Spain was not workers' control, but bourgeois democracy. It hardly needs pointing out why 'liberal' capitalist opinion took the same line.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
Upon common theaters, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own aprobation. But upon the stage of life, while concience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if concience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value.
John Adams
We are all the heroes of our own stories, and on of the arts of perspective is to see yourself small on the stage of another's story, to see the vast expanse of the world that is not about you, and to see your power, to make your life, to make others, or break them, to tell stories rather that be told by them.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
In our every cell, furled at the nucleus, there is a ribbon two yards long and just ten atoms wide. Over a hundred million miles of DNA in very human individual, enough to wrap five million times around our world and make the Midgard serpent blush for shame, make even the Ourobouros worm swallow hard in disbelief. This snake-god, nucleotide, twice twisted, scaled in adenine and cytosine, in thymine and in guanine, is a one-man show, will be the actors, props and setting, be the apple and the garden both. The player bides his time, awaits his entrance to a drum-roll of igniting binaries. This is the only dance in town, this anaconda tango, this slow spiral up through time from witless dirt to paramecium, from blind mechanic organism to awareness. There, below the birthing stars, Life sways and improvises. Every poignant gesture drips with slapstick; pathos; an unbearably affecting bravery. To dare this stage, this huge and overwhelming venue. Squinting through the stellar footlights, hoping there's an audience, that there's someone out there, but dancing anyway. But dancing anyway.
Alan Moore (Snakes and Ladders)
What modern day burlesquer hasn't been influenced by Sally Rand? My own pink ostrich fans -designed by Catherine, naturally- were the largest fans on any stage in the world (even I must up the ante). They are absolutely stunning! Made with four graduated shades of pink and hundreds of rose-colored crystals, they measure seven feet across and weigh 2.3 pounds each.
Dita Von Teese (Burlesque and the Art of the Teese / Fetish and the Art of the Teese)
I don’t want to say it, I truly don’t, but if you’ve gone this far I suppose it’s obvious that what was ignited when I loved you continues to burn. But that’s of small importance to you now, and that’s how it should be. Everything is in its place. The past rests, breathing faintly in the darkness. It no longer holds me as it used to; now I must reach back to touch it. It is night and I am alone and there is still time, a moment more. I am standing on a long black stage, with a circle of light on me, which is my love for you, enduring. I have escaped—or have been expelled—from eternity and am back in time. But I step out once more to sing this aria, this confession, this testament without end. My arms open wide, not to embrace you but to embrace the world, the mystery we are caught in. There is no orchestra, no audience; it is an empty theater in the middle of the night and all the clocks in the world are ticking. And now for this last time, Jade, I don’t mind, or even ask if it is madness: I see your face, I see you, you; I see you in every seat.
Scott Spencer (Endless Love)
For a moment everything was clear, and when that happens, you see that the world is barley there at all. Don’t we all secretly know this? It’s a perfectly balanced mechanism of shouts and echoes, pretending to be wheels and cogs. A dream clock chiming beneath a mystery-glass we call life. Behind it? Below it and around it? Chaos, storms. Men with hammers, men with knives, men with guns. Women who twist what they cannot dominate, and belittle what they cannot understand. A universe of horror and loss surrounding a single lighted stage where mortals dance in defiance of the dark.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
Flowers On the third of June, at a minute past two, where once was a person, a flower now grew. Five daisies arranged on a large outdoor stage in front of a ten-acre pasture of sage. In a changing room, a lily poses. At the DMV, rows of roses. The world was much crueler an hour ago. I’m glad someone decided to give flowers a go.
Bo Burnham (Egghead; or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone)
(T)his is precisely the importance of the world-view described in the Book of Changes: there is no situation without a way out. All situations are stages of change. Therefore, even when things are most difficult we can plant the seed for a new situation that will preserve within itself the present situation, though we must be capable of adapting and finding the proper attitude.
Hellmut Wilhelm
A high school student wrote to ask, "What was the greatest event in American history?" I can't say. However, I suspect that like so many "great" events, it was something very simple and very quiet with little or no fanfare (such as someone forgiving someone else for a deep hurt that eventually changed the course of history). The really important "great" things are never center stage of life's dramas; they're always "in the wings". That's why it's so essential for us to be mindful of the humble and the deep rather than the flashy and the superficial.
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery.If there’s the hundredth part of a false note in speaking the truth, it leads to a discord, and that leads to trouble.But if all, to the last note, is false in flattery, it is just as agreeable, and is heard not without satisfaction. It may be a coarse satisfaction, but still a satisfaction. And however coarse the flattery, at least half will be sure to seem true. That’s so for all stages of development and classes of society. -Svidrigailov (Crime and Punishment)
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
That girls should not marry for money we are all agreed. A lady who can sell herself for a title or an estate, for an income or a set of family diamonds, treats herself as a farmer treats his sheep and oxen — makes hardly more of herself, of her own inner self, in which are comprised a mind and soul, than the poor wretch of her own sex who earns her bread in the lowest stage of degradation. But a title, and an estate, and an income, are matters which will weigh in the balance with all Eve’s daughters — as they do with all Adam’s sons. Pride of place, and the power of living well in front of the world’s eye, are dear to us all; — are, doubtless, intended to be dear. Only in acknowledging so much, let us remember that there are prices at which these good things may be too costly.
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
The Priestess Her skin was pale, and her eyes were dark, and her hair was dyed black. She went on a daytime talk show and proclaimed herself a vampire queen. She showed the cameras her dentally crafted fangs, and brought on ex-lovers who, in various stages of embarrassment, admitted that she had drawn their blood, and that she drank it. "You can be seen in a mirror, though?" asked the talk show hostess. She was the richest woman in America, and had got that way by bringing the freaks and the hurt and the lost out in front of her cameras and showing their pain to the world. The studio audience laughed. The woman seemed slightly affronted. "Yes. Contrary to what people may think, vampires can be seen in mirrors and on television cameras." "Well, that's one thing you finally got right, honey," said the hostess of the daytime talk show. But she put her hand over her microphone as she said it, and it was never broadcast.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
And there was never a better time to delve for pleasure in language than the sixteenth century, when novelty blew through English like a spring breeze. Some twelve thousand words, a phenomenal number, entered the language between 1500 and 1650, about half of them still in use today, and old words were employed in ways not tried before. Nouns became verbs and adverbs; adverbs became adjectives. Expressions that could not have grammatically existed before - such as 'breathing one's last' and 'backing a horse', both coined by Shakespeare - were suddenly popping up everywhere.
Bill Bryson (Shakespeare: The World as Stage)
The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power, and influence. Our sole weapon is public outrage. Outrage blocked the Yuccan Dam, ousted Nixon, and in part, terminated the monstrosities in Vietnam. But outrage is unwieldy to manufacture and handle. First, you need scrutiny; second, widespread awareness; only when this reaches a critical mass does public outrage explode into being. Any stage may be sabotaged. The world’s Alberto Grimaldis can fight scrutiny by burying truth in committees, dullness, and misinformation, or by intimidating the scrutinizers. They can extinguish awareness by dumbing down education, owning TV stations, paying ‘guest fees’ to leader writers, or just buying the media up. The media—and not just The Washington Post—is where democracies conduct their civil wars.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
And doesn't a writer do the same thing? Isn't she knitting together scraps of dreams? She hunts down the most vivid details and links them in sequences that will let a reader see, smell, and hear a world that seems complete in itself; she builds a stage set and painstakingly hides all the struts and wires and nail holes, then stands back and hopes whoever might come to see it will believe.
Anthony Doerr (Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World)
He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something -sub-human -something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something - ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I've seen in - anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is - Stanley Kowalski - survivor of the Stone Age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle! And you - you here - waiting for him! Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you! That is, if kisses have been discovered yet! Night falls and the other apes gather! There in the front of the cave, all grunting like him, and swilling and gnawing and hulking! His poker night! - you call it - this party of apes! Somebody growls - some creature snatches at something - the fight is on! God! Maybe we are a long way from beng made in God's image, but Stella - my sister - there has been some progress since then! Such things as art - as poetry and music - such kinds of new light have come into the world since then! In some kinds of people some tendered feelings have had some little beginning! That we have got to make grow! And cling to, and hold as our flag! In this dark march towards what-ever it is we're approaching . . . Don't - don't hang back with the brutes!
Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire)
So you are tired of your life, young man! All the more reason have you to live. Anyone can die. A murderer has moral force enough to jeer at his hangman. It is very easy to draw the last breath. It can be accomplished successfully by a child or a warrior. One pang of far less anguish than the toothache, and all is over. There is nothing heroic about it, I assure you! It is as common as going to bed; it is almost prosy. Life is heroism, if you like; but death is a mere cessation of business. And to make a rapid and rude exit off the stage before the prompter gives the sign is always, to say the least of it, ungraceful. Act the part out, no matter how bad the play. What say you?
Marie Corelli (A Romance of Two Worlds)
Before enlightenment I believed my ego was me, then enlightenment comes along and no more ego, only the underlying reality. Now it’s after enlightenment and this ego might be slightly uncomfortable or ill-fitting at times, but it’s all I’ve got. The idea that your ego is destroyed in the process of becoming enlightened is roughly correct, but it’s not complete. Before enlightenment, you’re a human being in the world, just like everyone you see. During enlightenment you realize the human being you thought you were is just a character in a play, and that the world you thought you were in is just a stage, so you go through a process of radical deconstruction of your character to see what’s left when it’s gone. The result isn’t enlightened-self or true-self, it’s no-self. When it’s all over it’s time to be a human being in the world again, and that means slipping back into costume and getting back on stage.
Jed McKenna (Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing)
I wish I'd been accepted sooner and better. When I was younger, not being accepted made me enraged, but now, I am not inclined to dismantle my history. If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes--and we become attached to the heroic strain in our personal history. We choose our own lives. It is not simply that we decide on the behaviors that construct our experience; when given our druthers, we elect to be ourselves. Most of us would like to be more successful or more beautiful or wealthier, and most people endure episodes of low self-esteem or even self-hatred. We despair a hundred times a day. But we retain the startling evolutionary imperative for the fact of ourselves, and with that splinter of grandiosity we redeem our flaws. These parents have, by and large, chosen to love their children, and many of them have chosen to value their own lives, even though they carry what much of the world considers an intolerable burden. Children with horizontal identities alter your self painfully; they also illuminate it. They are receptacles for rage and joy-even for salvation. When we love them, we achieve above all else the rapture of privileging what exists over what we have merely imagined. A follower of the Dalai Lama who had been imprisoned by the Chinese for decades was asked if he had ever been afraid in jail, and he said his fear was that he would lose compassion for his captors. Parents often think that they've captured something small and vulnerable, but the parents I've profiled here have been captured, locked up with their children's madness or genius or deformity, and the quest is never to lose compassion. A Buddhist scholar once explained to me that most Westerners mistakenly think that nirvana is what you arrive at when your suffering is over and only an eternity of happiness stretches ahead. But such bliss would always be shadowed by the sorrow of the past and would therefore be imperfect. Nirvana occurs when you not only look forward to rapture, but also gaze back into the times of anguish and find in them the seeds of your joy. You may not have felt that happiness at the time, but in retrospect it is incontrovertible. For some parents of children with horizontal identities, acceptance reaches its apogee when parents conclude that while they supposed that they were pinioned by a great and catastrophic loss of hope, they were in fact falling in love with someone they didn't yet know enough to want. As such parents look back, they see how every stage of loving their child has enriched them in ways they never would have conceived, ways that ar incalculably precious. Rumi said that light enters you at the bandaged place. This book's conundrum is that most of the families described here have ended up grateful for experiences they would have done anything to avoid.
Andrew Solomon (Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity)
It begins when he’s still a man in a suit, doing the kinds of boring things that men in suits do. The things that no one writes about because they know that boys don’t really have nightmares about clowns or three-eyed tentacled beasts that rise from deep within volcanoes. When boys wake up screaming in the night, it’s because they know that, one day, they’ll have to grow into men who wear suits and spend their days doing boring things that cause them to rot from within, so their skin withers and blackens and cracks, leaking out their juices until they finally lie decaying and putrid, forgotten by a world that deemed them unworthy of remembering. It begins there because it’s important to know that a superhero with no past began as a man with no future.
Shaun David Hutchinson (The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley)
You both love Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Hawthorne and Melville, Flaubert and Stendahl, but at that stage of your life you cannot stomach Henry James, while Gwyn argues that he is the giant of giants, the colossus who makes all other novelists look like pygmies. You are in complete harmony about the greatness of Kafka and Beckett, but when you tell her that Celine belongs in their company, she laughs at you and calls him a fascist maniac. Wallace Stevens yes, but next in line for you is William Carlos Williams, not T.S. Eliot, whose work Gwyn can recite from memory. You defend Keaton, she defends Chaplin, and while you both howl at the sight of the Marx Brothers, your much-adored W.C. Fields cannot coax a single smile from her. Truffaut at his best touches you both, but Gwyn finds Godard pretentious and you don't, and while she lauds Bergman and Antonioni as twin masters of the universe, you reluctantly tell her that you are bored by their films. No conflicts about classical music, with J.S. Bach at the top of the list, but you are becoming increasingly interested in jazz, while Gwyn still clings to the frenzy of rock and roll, which has stopped saying much of anything to you. She likes to dance, and you don't. She laughs more than you do and smokes less. She is a freer, happier person than you are, and whenever you are with her, the world seems brighter and more welcoming, a place where your sullen, introverted self can almost begin to feel at home.
Paul Auster (Invisible)
The American university has become the final stage of the most all encompassing initiation rite the world has ever known. No society in history has been able to survive without ritual or myth, but ours is the first which has needed such a dull, protracted, destructive, and expensive initiation into its myth. The contemporary world civilization is also the first one which has found it necessary to rationalize its fundamental initiation ritual in the name of education. We cannot begin a reform of education unless we first understand that neither individual learning nor social equality can be enhanced by the ritual of schooling. We cannot go beyond the consumer society unless we first understand that obligatory public schools inevitably reproduce such a society, no matter what is taught in them.
Ivan Illich
Life is arduous without any breaks, like a long journey without any inns. Learned variety makes it pleasant. Spend the first part of a fine life in communication with the dead. We are born to know and to know ourselves, and books reliably turn us into people. Spend the second part with the living: see and examine all that's good in the world. Not everything can be found in one country; the universal Father has shared out his gifts and sometimes endows the ugliest with the most. Let the third stage be spent entirely with yourself: the ultimate happiness, to philosophize.
Baltasar Gracián (How to Use Your Enemies)
The process occurs in two stages. The first step is to grant law enforcement officials extraordinary discretion regarding whom to stop, search, arrest, and charge for drug offenses, thus ensuring that conscious and unconscious racial beliefs and stereotypes will be given free rein. Unbridled discretion inevitably creates huge racial disparities. Then, the damning step: Close the courthouse doors to all claims by defendants and private litigants that the criminal justice system operates in racially discriminatory fashion. Demand that anyone who wants to challenge racial bias in the system offer, in advance, clear proof that the racial disparities are the product of intentional racial discrimination—i.e., the work of a bigot. This evidence will almost never be available in the era of colorblindness, because everyone knows—but does not say—that the enemy in the War on Drugs can be identified by race. This simple design has helped to produce one of the most extraordinary systems of racialized social control the world has ever seen.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Miss Rook, I am not an occultist.” Jackaby turned on the landing and faced me. “I am a man of reason and science. I believe what I can see or prove, and what I can see is often difficult for others to grasp. I have a gift that is, as far as I have found, unique to me. It allows me to see truth where others see the illusion—and there are many illusions, so many masks and facades. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.
William Ritter (Jackaby (Jackaby, #1))
If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I would stage a full blown blitz on its women. I would keep them so distraught and distracted that they would never find the calming strength and serenity for which their sex has always been known. He has effectively done that, catching us in the crunch of trying to be superhuman instead of realistically striving to reach our indiviual purpose and unique God-given potential within such diversity. He tauntingly teases us that if we don't have it all- fame, fortune, families, and fun- and have it every minute all the time, we have been short changed; we are second class citizens in the race of life. You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to get these messages in today's world, and as a sex we are struggling, and our society struggles. Drugs, teenage pregnancies, divorce, family violence, and suicide are some of the every-increasing side effecs of our collective life in the express lane.
Patricia T. Holland (A Quiet Heart)
Language as putative science. - The significance of language for the evolution of culture lies in this, that mankind set up in language a separate world beside the other world, a place it took to be so firmly set that, standing upon it, it could lift the rest of the world off its hinges and make itself master of it. To the extent that man has for long ages believed in the concepts and names of things as in aeternae veritates he has appropriated to himself that pride by which he raised himself above the animal: he really thought that in language he possessed knowledge of the world. The sculptor of language was not so modest as to believe that he was only giving things designations, he conceived rather that with words he was expressing supreame knowledge of things; language is, in fact, the first stage of occupation with science. Here, too, it is the belief that the truth has been found out of which the mightiest sources of energy have flowed. A great deal later - only now - it dawns on men that in their belief in language they have propagated a tremendous error. Happily, it is too late for the evolution of reason, which depends on this belief, to be put back. - Logic too depends on presuppositions with which nothing in the real world corresponds, for example on the presupposition that there are identical things, that the same thing is identical at different points of time: but this science came into existence through the opposite belief (that such conditions do obtain in the real world). It is the same with mathematics, which would certainly not have come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no real circle, no absolute magnitude.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
When I was a little girl and my teachers sent notes home complaining that I was as loud as the boys, that it wasn't lady like for a girl to be this outspoken, this raucous, instead of forcing me to tone it down to the timber of a stage whisper, just a few notes above a whimper you took me by the hand to the hilltop by our house, told me to use my voice by shouting to my heart's content, told me never to forget that I was a girl not a mouse and if I believed I had to change myself to suit anyone else I shouldn't that no matter what they said my voice was so important. You then visited my school, called a meeting with my teachers sat them all down and said that you were raising a rebel girl to be a warrior woman, and if she could not speak, the same way boys are allowed to, if she had to turn her voice into sighs then how will she utter the battle cries that were needed when her warrior sisters called upon her to help them defend the daughters of this world.
Nikita Gill
Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The most unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
I am a Dancer; rehearsing the steps of our unheard song with utmost perfection. Never will you tap your feet consciously. I am a Singer; singing the tune of the song I always wanted you to hear. Never will the melody bring back our memories to you. I am an Orator; emphasizing and emoting what I feel for you. Never will you hear your name throughout. I am a Writer; penning all the unsaid intentions with sincerity. Never will you see your name at the top. Because at the end of it all I am Actor; Nevertheless you taught me how well to pretend!
Ranjani Ramachandran
Years and years ago, there was a production of The Tempest, out of doors, at an Oxford college on a lawn, which was the stage, and the lawn went back towards the lake in the grounds of the college, and the play began in natural light. But as it developed, and as it became time for Ariel to say his farewell to the world of The Tempest, the evening had started to close in and there was some artificial lighting coming on. And as Ariel uttered his last speech, he turned and he ran across the grass, and he got to the edge of the lake and he just kept running across the top of the water — the producer having thoughtfully provided a kind of walkway an inch beneath the water. And you could see and you could hear the plish, plash as he ran away from you across the top of the lake, until the gloom enveloped him and he disappeared from your view. And as he did so, from the further shore, a firework rocket was ignited, and it went whoosh into the air, and high up there it burst into lots of sparks, and all the sparks went out, and he had gone. When you look up the stage directions, it says, ‘Exit Ariel.
Tom Stoppard
At this stage of the game, I don’t have the time for patience and tolerance. Ten years ago, even five years ago, I would have listened to people ask their questions, explained to them, mollified them. No more. That time is past. Now, as Norman Mailer said in Naked and the Dead, ‘I hate everything which is not in myself.’ If it doesn’t have a direct bearing on what I’m advocating, if it doesn’t augment or stimulate my life and thinking, I don’t want to hear it. It has to add something to my life. There’s no more time for explaining and being ecumenical anymore. No more time. That’s a characteristic I share with the new generation of Satanists, which might best be termed, and has labeled itself in many ways, an ‘Apocalypse culture.’ Not that they believe in the biblical Apocalypse—the ultimate war between good and evil. Quite the contrary. But that there is an urgency, a need to get on with things and stop wailing and if it ends tomorrow, at least we’ll know we’ve lived today. It’s a ‘fiddle while Rome burns’ philosophy. It’s the Satanic philosophy. If the generation born in the 50’s grew up in the shadow of The Bomb and had to assimilate the possibility of imminent self destruction of the entire planet at any time, those born in the 60’s have had to reconcile the inevitability of our own destruction, not through the bomb but through mindless, uncontrolled overpopulation. And somehow resolve in themselves, looking at what history has taught us, that no amount of yelling, protesting, placard waving, marching, wailing—or even more constructive avenues like running for government office or trying to write books to wake people up—is going to do a damn bit of good. The majority of humans have an inborn death wish—they want to destroy themselves and everything beautiful. To finally realize that we’re living in a world after the zenith of creativity, and that we can see so clearly the mechanics of our own destruction, is a terrible realization. Most people can’t face it. They’d rather retreat to the comfort of New Age mysticism. That’s all right. All we want, those few of us who have the strength to realize what’s going on, is the freedom to create and entertain and share with each other, to preserve and cherish what we can while we can, and to build our own little citadels away from the insensitivity of the rest of the world.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would his Word still be enough for his people to come together? At Brook Hills we decided to try to answer this question. We actually stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come together simply to study God’s Word for hours at a time. We called it Secret Church. We set a date—one Friday night—when we would gather from six o’clock in the evening until midnight, and for six hours we would do nothing but study the Word and pray. We would interrupt the six-hour Bible study periodically to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are forced to gather secretly. We would also pray for ourselves, that we would learn to love the Word as they do.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
So successfully have we disguised from ourselves the intensity of our own feelings, the sensibility of our own hearts, that plays in the tragic tradition have begun to seem untrue. For a couple of hours we may surrender ourselves to a world of fiercely illuminated values in conflict, but when the stage is covered and the auditorium lighted, almost immediately there is a recoil of disbelief. "Well, well!" we say as we shuffle back up the aisle, while the play dwindles behind us with the sudden perspective of an early Chirico painting. By the time we have arrived at Sardi's, if not as soon as we pass beneath the marquee, we have convinced ourselves once more that life has as little resemblance to the curiously stirring and meaningful occurrences on the stage as a jingle has to an elegy of Rilke.
Tennessee Williams (Where I Live: Selected Essays)
If J. K. Rowling had written Harry Potter in Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word, she would have granted Google the worldwide rights to her work, the right to adapt or dramatize all the Muggles as Google saw fit, to say nothing of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Google would have retained the rights to sell her stories to Hollywood studios and to have them performed on stages around the world, as well as own all the translation rights. Had Rowling written her epic novel in Google Docs, she would have granted Google the rights to her $15 billion Harry Potter empire—all because the ToS say so.
Marc Goodman (Future Crimes: How Our Radical Dependence on Technology Threatens Us All)
The film festival measured a mile in length, from the Martinez to the Vieux Port, where sales executives tucked into their platters of fruits de mer, but was only fifty yards deep. For a fortnight the Croisette and its grand hotels willingly became a facade, the largest stage set in the world. Without realizing it, the crowds under the palm trees were extras recruited to play their traditional roles. As they cheered and hooted, they were far more confident than the film actors on display, who seemed ill at ease when they stepped from their limos, like celebrity criminals ferried to a mass trial by jury at the Palais, a full-scale cultural Nuremberg furnished with film clips of the atrocities they had helped to commit.
J.G. Ballard (Super-Cannes)
Folding her arms and closing her eyes, Hatsumi sank back into the corner of the seat. Her small gold earrings caught the light as the taxi swayed. Her midnight blue dress seemed to have been made to match the darkness of the cab. Every now and then her thinly daubed, beautifully formed lips would quiver slightly as if she had caught herself on the verge of talking to herself. Watching her, I could see why Nagasawa had chosen her as his special companion. There were any number of women more beautiful than Hatsumi, and Nagasawa could have made any of them his. But Hatsumi had some quality that could send a tremor through your heart. It was nothing forceful. The power she exerted was a subtle thing, but it called forth deep resonances. I watched her all the way to Shibuya, and wondered, without ever finding an answer, what this emotional reverberation that I was feeling could be. It finally hit me some dozen or so years later. I had come to Santa Fe to interview a painter and was sitting in a local pizza parlor, drinking beer and eating pizza and watching a miraculously beautiful sunset. Everything was soaked in brilliant red—my hand, the plate, the table, the world—as if some special kind of fruit juice had splashed down on everything. In the midst of this overwhelming sunset, the image of Hatsumi flashed into my mind, and in that moment I understood what that tremor of the heart had been. It was a kind of childhood longing that had always remained—and would forever remain—unfulfilled. I had forgotten the existence of such innocent, all-but-seared-in longing: forgotten for years to remember what such feelings had ever existed inside of me. What Hatsumi had stirred in me was a part of my very self that had long lain dormant. And when the realization struck me, it aroused such sorrow I almost burst into tears. She had been an absolutely special woman. Someone should have done something—anything—to save her. But neither Nagasawa nor I could have managed that. As so many of those I knew had done, Hatsumi reached a certain stage in her life and decided—almost on the spur of the moment—to end it. Two years after Nagasawa left for Germany, she married, and two years after that she slashed her wrists with a razor blade. It was Nagasawa, of course, who told me what had happened. His letter from Bonn said this: “Hatsumi’s death has extinguished something. This is unbearably sad and painful, even to me.” I ripped his letter to shreds and threw it away. I never wrote to him again.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Then there’s the issue of cognitive capacity. Deep work is exhausting because it pushes you toward the limit of your abilities. Performance psychologists have extensively studied how much such efforts can be sustained by an individual in a given day.* In their seminal paper on deliberate practice, Anders Ericsson and his collaborators survey these studies. They note that for someone new to such practice (citing, in particular, a child in the early stages of developing an expert-level skill), an hour a day is a reasonable limit. For those familiar with the rigors of such activities, the limit expands to something like four hours, but rarely more.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
All the world’s a stage, but actors aren’t the only ones who play roles. Even when you’re not following a script, you might as well be. You don’t behave the same way in front of everyone. You know what makes your friends laugh, and what makes your parents proud, and what makes your teachers respect you - and you have a different persona for each of them. Given all these performances … how do you ever know who you really are? Well, you have to find that rare someone for whom you’re not putting on a show. Someone who shines a spotlight in your direction - not because you’re who they need you to be, or who they want you to be … just because you’re you.
Jodi Picoult
He can hum the music in his old man's quivering voice, but he prefers it in his head, where it lives on in violins and reedy winds. If he imagines it in rehearsal he can remember every step of his three-minute solo as if he had danced it only yesterday, but he knows, too, that one time, onstage in Berlin, he had not danced it as he had learned it; this much he knows but cannot recreate, could no recreate it even a moment after he had finished dancing it. While dancing he had felt blind to the stage and audience, deaf to the music. He had let his body do what it needed to do, free to expand and contract in space, to soar and spin. So, accordingly, when he tries to remember the way he danced it on stage, he cannot hear the music or feel his feet or get a sense of the audience. He is embryonic, momentarily cut off from the world around him. The three most important minutes of his life, the ones that determined his fate and future, are the three to which he cannot gain access, ever.
Evan Fallenberg (When We Danced on Water)
In this image-driven age, wildlife filmmakers carry a heavy responsibility. They can influence how we think and behave when we’re in nature. They can even influence how we raise our kids, how we vote and volunteer in our communities, as well as the future of our wildlands and wildlife. If the stories they create are misleading or false in some way, viewers will misunderstand the issues and react in inappropriate ways. People who consume a heavy diet of wildlife films filled with staged violence and aggression, for example, are likely to think about nature as a circus or a freak show. They certainly won’t form the same positive connections to the natural world as people who watch more thoughtful, authentic, and conservation-oriented films.
Chris Palmer (Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom)
I read of a Buddhist teacher who developed Alzheimer's. He had retired from teaching because his memory was unreliable, but he made one exception for a reunion of his former students. When he walked onto the stage, he forgot everything, even where he was and why. However, he was a skilled Buddhist and he simply began sharing his feelings with the crowd. He said, "I am anxious. I feel stupid. I feel scared and dumb. I am worried that I am wasting everyone's time. I am fearful. I am embarrassing myself." After a few minutes of this, he remembered his talk and proceeded without apology. The students were deeply moved, not only by his wise teachings, but also by how he handled his failings. There is a Buddhist saying, "No resistance, no demons.
Mary Pipher (Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World)
In earlier times, one had an easier conscience about being a person than one does today. People were like cornstalks in a field, probably more violently tossed back and forth by God, hail, fire, pestilence, and war than they are today, but as a whole, as a city, a region, a field, and as to what personal movement was left to the individual stalk – all this was clearly defined and could be answered for. But today responsibility’s center of gravity is not in people but in circumstances. Have we not noticed that experiences have made themselves independent of people? They have gone on the stage, into books, into the reports of research institutes and explorers, into ideological or religious communities, which foster certain kinds of experience at the expense of others as if they are conducting a kind of social experiment, and insofar as experiences are not actually being developed, they are simply left dangling in the air. Who can say nowadays that his anger is really his own anger when so many people talk about it and claim to know more about it than he does? A world of qualities without a man has arisen, of experiences without the person who experiences them, and it almost looks as though ideally private experience is a thing of the past, and that the friendly burden of personal responsibility is to dissolve into a system of formulas of possible meanings. Probably the dissolution of the anthropocentric point of view, which for such a long time considered man to be at the center of the universe but which has been fading away for centuries, has finally arrived at the “I” itself, for the belief that the most important thing about experience is the experiencing, or of action the doing, is beginning to strike most people as naïve. There are probably people who still lead personal lives, who say “We saw the So-and-sos yesterday” or “We’ll do this or that today” and enjoy it without its needing to have any content of significance. They like everything that comes in contact with their fingers, and are purely private persons insofar as this is at all possible. In contact with such people, the world becomes a private world and shines like a rainbow. They may be very happy, but this kind of people usually seems absurd to the others, although it is still not at all clear why. And suddenly, in view of these reflections, Ulrich had to smile and admit to himself that he was, after all, a character, even without having one.
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities: Volume I)
When Seymour and I were five and three, Les and Bessie played on the same bill for a couple of weeks with Joe Jackson -- the redoubtable Joe Jackson of the nickel-plated trick bicycle that shone like something better than platinum to the very last row of the theater. A good many years later, not long after the outbreak of the Second World War, when Seymour and I had just recently moved into a small New York apartment of our own, our father -- Les, as he'll be called hereafter -- dropped in on us one evening on his way home from a pinochle game. He quite apparently had held very bad cards all afternoon. He came in, at any rate, rigidly predisposed to keep his overcoat on. He sat. He scowled at the furnishings. He turned my hand over to check for cigarette-tar stains on my fingers, then asked Seymour how many cigarettes he smoked a day. He thought he found a fly in his highball. At length, when the conversation -- in my view, at least -- was going straight to hell, he got up abruptly and went over to look at a photograph of himself and Bessie that had been newly tacked up on the wall. He glowered at it for a full minute, or more, then turned around, with a brusqueness no one in the family would have found unusual, and asked Seymour if he remembered the time Joe Jackson had given him, Seymour, a ride on the handle bars of his bicycle, all over the stage, around and around. Seymour, sitting in an old corduroy armchair across the room, a cigarette going, wearing a blue shirt, gray slacks, moccasins with the counters broken down, a shaving cut on the side of his face that I could see, replied gravely and at once, and in the special way he always answered questions from Les -- as if they were the questions, above all others, he preferred to be asked in his life. He said he wasn't sure he had ever got off Joe Jackson's beautiful bicycle.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
There are seven incarnations (and six correlates) necessary to becoming an Artist: 1. Explorer (Courage) 2. Surveyor (Vision) 3. Miner (Strength) 4. Refiner (Patience) 5. Designer (Intelligence) 6. Maker (Experience) 7. Artist. First, you must leave the safety of your home and go into the dangers of the world, whether to an actual territory or some unexamined aspect of the psyche. This is what is meant by 'Explorer.' Next, you must have the vision to recognize your destination once you arrive there. Note that a destination may sometimes also be the journey. This is what is meant by 'Surveyor.' Third, you must be strong enough to dig up the facts, follow veins of history, unearth telling details. This is what is meant by 'Miner.' Fourth, you must have the patience to winnow and process your material into something rare. This may take months or even years. And this is what is meant by 'Refiner.' Fifth, you must use your intellect to conceive of your material as something meaning more than its origins. This is what is meant by 'Designer.' Six, you must fashion a work independent of everything that has gone before it including yourself. This is accomplished though experience and is what is meant by 'Maker.' At this stage, the work is acceptable. You will be fortunate to have progressed so far. It is unlikely, however, that you will go any farther. Most do not. But let us assume you are exceptional. Let us assume you are rare. What then does it mean to reach the final incarnation? Only this: at every stage, from 1 thru 6, you will risk more, see more, gather more, process more, fashion more, consider more, love more, suffer more, imagine more and in the end know why less means more and leave what doesn't and keep what implies and create what matters. This is what is meant by 'Artist.
Mark Z. Danielewski
There are two powerful fuels, two forces; motivation and inspiration. To be motivated you need to know what your motives are. Over time - and to sustain you through it - your motivation must become an inner energy; a 'motor' driving you forward, passionately, purposefully, wisely and compassionately... come what may, every day. Inspiration is an outer - worldly - energy that you breathe and draw in. It may come from many places, faces, spaces and stages - right across the ages. It is where nature, spirit, science, mind and time meet, dance, play and speak. It keeps you outward facing and life embracing. But you must be open-minded and open-hearted to first let it in and then let it out again. Together - blended, combined and re-entwined - motivation and inspiration bring connectivity, productivity, creativity and boundless possibilities that is not just 'self' serving but enriching to all humanity and societies...just as it should be.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
Humanity's "progress of knowledge" and the "evolution of consciousness" have too often been characterized as if our task were simply to ascend a very tall cognitive ladder with graded hierarchical steps that represent successive developmental stages in which we solve increasingly challenging mental riddles, like advanced problems in a graduate exam in biochemistry or logic. But to understand life and the cosmos better, perhaps we are required to transform not only our minds but our hearts. For the whole being, body and soul, mind and spirit, is implicated. Perhaps we must go not only high and far but down and deep. Our world view and cosmology, which defines the context for everything else, is profoundly affected by the degree to which all out faculties–intellectual, imaginative, aesthetic, moral, emotional, somatic, spiritual, relational–enter the process of knowing. How we approach "the other," and how we approach each other, will shape everything, including out own evolving self and the cosmos in which we participate.
Richard Tarnas (Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View)
Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have though much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else -something it never entered your head to conceive- comes crasing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.
C.S. Lewis (The Case for Christianity)
Yet all the knowledge on earth will give me nothing to assure me that this world is mine. You describe it to me and you teach me to classify it. You enumerate its laws and in my thirst for knowledge I admit that they are true. You take apart its mechanism and my hope increases. At the final stage you teach me that this wondrous and multi-colored universe can be reduced to the atom and that the atom itself can be reduced to the electron. All this is good and I wait for you to continue. But you tell me of an invisible planetary system in which electrons gravitate around a nucleus. You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted…secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology…by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more…The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms—it was only staged to look that way—but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite… Yes but Technology only responds (how often this argument has been iterated, dogged, humorless as a Gaussian reduction, among the younger Schwarzkommando especially), “All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we’d’ve had the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilians? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it’ll make you feel less responsible—but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are—” We have to look for power sources here, and distribution networks we were never taught, routes of power our teachers never imagined, or were encouraged to avoid…we have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world, draw our own schematics, getting feedback, making connections, reducing the error, trying to learn the real function…zeroing in on what incalculable plot? Up here, on the surface, coal-tars, hydrogenation, synthesis were always phony, dummy functions to hide the real, the planetary mission yes perhaps centuries in the unrolling…this ruinous plant, waiting for its Kabbalists and new alchemists to discover the Key, teach the mysteries to others…
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Nor are introverts necessarily shy. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not. One reason that people confuse the two concepts is that they sometimes overlap (though psychologists debate to what degree). Some psychologists map the two tendencies on vertical and horizontal axes, with the introvert-extrovert spectrum on the horizontal axis, and the anxious-stable spectrum on the vertical. With this model, you end up with four quadrants of personality types: calm extroverts, anxious (or impulsive) extroverts, calm introverts, and anxious introverts. In other words, you can be a shy extrovert, like Barbra Streisand, who has a larger-than-life personality and paralyzing stage fright; or a non-shy introvert, like Bill Gates, who by all accounts keeps to himself but is unfazed by the opinions of others.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Emily: Oh, Mama, look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I'm dead. You're a grandmother, Mama! Wally's dead, too. His appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway. We felt just terrible about it - don't you remember? But, just for a moment now we're all together. Mama, just for a moment we're happy. Let's really look at one another!...I can't. I can't go on.It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back -- up the hill -- to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners....Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking....and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths....and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every,every minute? Stage Manager: No. (pause) The saints and poets, maybe they do some. Emily: I'm ready to go back.
Thornton Wilder (Our Town)
I can hear myself whining again 'Why does God torture me?' - But anybody who's never had a delirium tremens even in their early stages may not understand that it's not so much a physical pain but a mental anguish indescribable to those ignorant people who don't drink and accuse drinkers of irresponsibility - The mental anguish is so intense that you feel you have betrayed your very birth, the efforts nay the birth pangs of your mother when she bore you and delivered you to the world, you've betrayed every effort your father ever made to feed you and raise you and make you strong and my God even 'educate' you for life, you feel a guilt so deep you identify yourself with the devil and God seems far away abandoning you to your sick silliness - You feel sick in the greatest sense of the world, breathing without believing it, sicksicksick, your soul groans, you look at your helpless hands as tho they were on fire and you can't move to help, you look at the world with dead eyes, there's on your face an expression of incalculable repining like a constipated angel on a cloud - In fact it's actually a cancerous look you throw on the world, through browngray wool fuds over your eyes - Your tongue is white and disgusting, your teeth are stained, your hair seems to have dried out overnight, there are huge mucks in the corners of your eyes, greases on your nose, froth at the sides of your moth: in short that very disgusting and well-known hideousness everybody knows who's walked past a city street drunk in the Boweries of the world
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
I feel to that the gap between my new life in New York and the situation at home in Africa is stretching into a gulf, as Zimbabwe spirals downwards into a violent dictatorship. My head bulges with the effort to contain both worlds. When I am back in New York, Africa immediately seems fantastical – a wildly plumaged bird, as exotic as it is unlikely. Most of us struggle in life to maintain the illusion of control, but in Africa that illusion is almost impossible to maintain. I always have the sense there that there is no equilibrium, that everything perpetually teeters on the brink of some dramatic change, that society constantly stands poised for some spasm, some tsunami in which you can do nothing but hope to bob up to the surface and not be sucked out into a dark and hungry sea. The origin of my permanent sense of unease, my general foreboding, is probably the fact that I have lived through just such change, such a sudden and violent upending of value systems. In my part of Africa, death is never far away. With more Zimbabweans dying in their early thirties now, mortality has a seat at every table. The urgent, tugging winds themselves seem to whisper the message, memento mori, you too shall die. In Africa, you do not view death from the auditorium of life, as a spectator, but from the edge of the stage, waiting only for your cue. You feel perishable, temporary, transient. You feel mortal. Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. For me, the illusion of control is much easier to maintain in England or America. In this temperate world, I feel more secure, as if change will only happen incrementally, in manageable, finely calibrated, bite-sized portions. There is a sense of continuity threaded through it all: the anchor of history, the tangible presence of antiquity, of buildings, of institutions. You live in the expectation of reaching old age. At least you used to. But on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those two states of mind converge. Suddenly it feels like I am back in Africa, where things can be taken away from you at random, in a single violent stroke, as quick as the whip of a snake’s head. Where tumult is raised with an abruptness that is as breathtaking as the violence itself.
Peter Godwin (When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa)
So far as we know, the tiny fragments of the universe embodied in man are the only centers of thought and responsibility in the visible world. If that be so, the appearance of the human mind has been so far the ultimate stage in the awakening of the world; and all that has gone before, the striving of myriad centers that have taken the risks of living and believing, seem to have all been pursuing, along rival lines, the aim now achieved by us up to this point. They are all akin to us, for all these centers - those which led up to our own existence and the far more numerous others which produced different lines of which many are extinct - may be seen engaged in the same endeavor towards ultimate liberation. We may envisage then a cosmic field which called forth all these centers by offering them a short-lived, limited, hazardous opportunity for making some progress of their own towards an unthinkable consummation. And that is also, I believe, how a Christian is placed when worshiping God.
Michael Polanyi (Personal Knowledge)
I want to introduce the world to my princess.’ In a state of disbelief, Izzy took his hand and they walked back towards the stage. Happiness bubbled up inside her as it slowly dawned on her that this was real. She lifted her face to look at him. ‘I think I’m going to look cute in a tiara. I’ve never worn anything sparkly on my head before.’ He laughed and tightened his grip on her hand. ‘First thing tomorrow I’m going to buy you one.’ ‘Slow down.’ She winced and stooped to fiddle with her feet. ‘My shoes are hurting.’ ‘This is not news. Your shoes are always hurting, tesoro.’ ‘Do princesses absolutely have to wear shoes at all times?’ A slow smile spread across his face and he scooped her into his arms and carried her the last few steps onto the stage. ‘Of course not. Didn’t you read Cinderella?
Sarah Morgan (Defying the Prince)
To what end the ‘world’ exists, to what end ‘man­kind’ exists, ought not to concern us at all for the moment except as objects of humour: for the presumptuousness of the little human worm is the funniest thing at present on the world’s stage; on the other hand, do ask yourself why you, the individual, exist, and if you can get no other answer try for once to justify the meaning of your existence as it were a posteriori by setting before yourself an aim, a goal, a ‘to this end’, an exalted and noble ‘to this end’ . Perish in pursuit of this and only this - I know of no better aim of life than that of perishing, animae magnae prodigus, in pursuit of the great and the impossible. If, on the other hand, the doctrines of sovereign becoming, of the fluidity of all concepts, types and species, of the lack of any cardinal distinction between man and animal - doctrines which I consider true but deadly - are thrust upon the people for another generation with the rage for instruction that has by now become normal, no one should be surprised if the people perishes of petty egoism, ossification and greed, falls apart and ceases to be a people; in its place sys­tems of individualist egoism, brotherhoods for the rapacious exploitation of the non-brothers, and similar creations of utilitarian vulgarity may perhaps appear in the arena of the future. To prepare the way for these creations all one has to do is to go on writing history from the standpoint of the masses and seeking to derive the laws which govern it from the needs of these masses, that is to say from the laws which move the lowest mud- and clay-strata of society. The masses seem to me to deserve notice in three respects only: first as faded copies of great men produced on poor paper with worn-out plates, then as a force of resistance to great men, finally as instruments in the hands of great men; for the rest, let the Devil and statistics take them!
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of these trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we had clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise. The primitive hostility of the world rises up to face us across millennia. For a second we cease to understand it because for centuries we have understood in it solely the images and designs that we had attributed to it beforehand, because henceforth we lack the power to make use of that artifice. The world evades us because it becomes itself again. That stage scenery masked by habit becomes again what it is. It withdraws at a distance from us. Just as there are days when under the familiar face of a woman, we see as a stranger her we had loved months or years ago, perhaps we shall come even to desire what suddenly leaves us so alone. But the time has not yet come. Just one thing: that denseness and that strangeness of the world is the absurd.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
She looked down at him, smiling with exasperated amusement. *Stubborn, snarly male.* *Stubbornness is a much-maligned quality,* he panted as he climbed toward her. Her silvery, velvet-coated laugh filled the land. Then he finally got a good look at her. He sank to his knees. *I owe you a debt, Lady.* She shook her head. *The debt is mine, not yours.* *I failed you,* he said bitterly, looking at her wasted body. *No, Daemon,* Jaenelle replied softly. *I failed you. You asked me to heal the crystal chalice and return to the living world. And I did. But I don’t think I ever forgave my body for being the instrument that was used to try to destroy me, and I became its cruelest torturer. For that I’m sorry because you treasured that part of me.* *No, I treasured all of you. I love you, Witch. I always will. You’re everything I’d dreamed you would be.* She smiled at him. *And I—* She shuddered, pressed her hand against her chest. *Come. There’s little time left.* She fled through the rocks, out of sight before he could move. He hurried after her, following the glittering trail, gasping as he felt a crushing weight descend on him. *Daemon.* Her voice came back to him, faint and pain-filled. *If the body is going to survive, I can’t stay any longer.* He fought against the weight. *Jaenelle!* *You have to take this in slow stages. Rest there now. Rest, Daemon. I’ll mark the trail for you. Please follow it. I’ll be waiting for you at the end.* *JAENELLE!* A wordless whisper. His name spoken like a caress. Then silence.
Anne Bishop (Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels, #2))
Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art. The artist is the only one who knows the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements. It is a materialization, an incarnation of his inner world. Then he hopes to attract others into it, he hopes to impose this particular vision and share it with others. When the second stage is not reached, the brave artist continues nevertheless. The few moments of communion with the world are worth the pain, for it is a world for others, an inheritance for others, a gift to others, in the end. When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others. We also write to heighten our own awareness of life, we write to lure and enchant and console others, we write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth, we write to expand our world, when we feel strangled, constricted, lonely. We write as the birds sing. As the primitive dance their rituals. If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write. Because our culture has no use for any of that. When I don't write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire, my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave. I call it breathing.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955)
The basic recurring theme in Hindu mythology is the creation of the world by the self-sacrifice of God—"sacrifice" in the original sense of "making sacred"—whereby God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God. This creative activity of the Divine is called lila, the play of God, and the world is seen as the stage of the divine play. Like most of Hindu mythology, the myth of lila has a strong magical flavour. Brahman is the great magician who transforms himself into the world and then performs this feat with his "magic creative power", which is the original meaning of maya in the Rig Veda. The word maya—one of the most important terms in Indian philosophy—has changed its meaning over the centuries. From the might, or power, of the divine actor and magician, it came to signify the psychological state of anybody under the spell of the magic play. As long as we confuse the myriad forms of the divine lila with reality, without perceiving the unity of Brahman underlying all these forms, we are under the spell of maya. (...) In the Hindu view of nature, then, all forms are relative, fluid and ever-changing maya, conjured up by the great magician of the divine play. The world of maya changes continuously, because the divine lila is a rhythmic, dynamic play. The dynamic force of the play is karma, important concept of Indian thought. Karma means "action". It is the active principle of the play, the total universe in action, where everything is dynamically connected with everything else. In the words of the Gita Karma is the force of creation, wherefrom all things have their life.
Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism)
Perhaps we are not following Christ all the way or in the right spirit. We are likely, for example, to be a little sparing of the palms and hosannas. We are chary of wielding the scourge of small cords, lest we should offend somebody or interfere with trade. We do not furnish up our wits to disentangle knotty questions about Sunday observance and tribute money, nor hasten to sit at the feet of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. We pass hastily over disquieting jests about making friends with the mammon of unrighteousness and alarming observations about bringing not peace but a sword; nor do we distinguish ourselves by the graciousness by which we sit at meat with publicans and sinners. Somehow or other, and with the best intentions, we have shown the world the typical Christian in the likeness of a crashing and rather ill-natured bore---and this in the name of the one who assuredly never bored a soul in those thirty-three years during which he passed through the world like a flame. Let us, in heaven's name, drag out the divine drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction. If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much worse for the pious---others will pass into the kingdom of heaven before them. If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like him? We do him singularly little honor by watering down his personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Letters to a Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian Doctrine)
A word that rose to honor at the time of the Renaissance, and that summarized in advance the whole program of modern civilization is 'humanism'. Men were indeed concerned to reduce everything to purely human proportions, to eliminate every principle of a higher order, and, one might say, symbolically to turn away from the heavens under pretext of conquering the earth; the Greeks, whose example they claimed to follow, had never gone as far in this direction, even at the time of their greatest intellectual decadence, and with them utilitarian considerations had at least never claimed the first place, as they were very soon to do with the moderns. Humanism was form of what has subsequently become contemporary secularism; and, owing to its desire to reduce everything to the measure of man as an end in himself, modern civilization has sunk stage by stage until it has reached the level of the lowest elements in man and aims at little more than satisfying the needs inherent in the material side of his nature, an aim that is in any case quite illusory since it constantly creates more artificial needs than it can satisfy.
René Guénon (The Crisis of the Modern World)
It was as easy as breathing to go and have tea near the place where Jane Austen had so wittily scribbled and so painfully died. One of the things that causes some critics to marvel at Miss Austen is the laconic way in which, as a daughter of the epoch that saw the Napoleonic Wars, she contrives like a Greek dramatist to keep it off the stage while she concentrates on the human factor. I think this comes close to affectation on the part of some of her admirers. Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion, for example, is partly of interest to the female sex because of the 'prize' loot he has extracted from his encounters with Bonaparte's navy. Still, as one born after Hiroshima I can testify that a small Hampshire township, however large the number of names of the fallen on its village-green war memorial, is more than a world away from any unpleasantness on the European mainland or the high or narrow seas that lie between. (I used to love the detail that Hampshire's 'New Forest' is so called because it was only planted for the hunt in the late eleventh century.) I remember watching with my father and brother through the fence of Stanstead House, the Sussex mansion of the Earl of Bessborough, one evening in the early 1960s, and seeing an immense golden meadow carpeted entirely by grazing rabbits. I'll never keep that quiet, or be that still, again. This was around the time of countrywide protest against the introduction of a horrible laboratory-confected disease, named 'myxomatosis,' into the warrens of old England to keep down the number of nibbling rodents. Richard Adams's lapine masterpiece Watership Down is the remarkable work that it is, not merely because it evokes the world of hedgerows and chalk-downs and streams and spinneys better than anything since The Wind in the Willows, but because it is only really possible to imagine gassing and massacre and organized cruelty on this ancient and green and gently rounded landscape if it is organized and carried out against herbivores.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
All men, at one time or another, have fallen in love with the veiled Isis whom they call Truth. With most, this has been a passing passion: they have early seen its hopelessness and turned to more practical things. But others remain all their lives the devout lovers of reality: though the manner of their love, the vision which they make to themselves of the beloved object varies enormously. Some see Truth as Dante saw Beatrice: an adorable yet intangible figure, found in this world yet revealing the next. To others she seems rather an evil but an irresistible enchantress: enticing, demanding payment and betraying her lover at the last. Some have seen her in a test tube, and some in a poet’s dream: some before the altar, others in the slime. The extreme pragmatists have even sought her in the kitchen; declaring that she may best be recognized by her utility. Last stage of all, the philosophic sceptic has comforted an unsuccessful courtship by assuring himself that his mistress is not really there.
Evelyn Underhill (Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness)
We succeeded in taking that picture from [deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideaologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitands of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity--in all this vastness-- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us... To my mind, there is perhaps no better demostration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Europe, it is true, is a geographical and, within certain limits, an historical cultural conception. But the idea of Europe as an economic unit contradicts capitalist development in two ways. First of all there exist within Europe among the capitalist States – and will so long as these exist – the most violent struggles of competition and antagonisms, and secondly the European States can no longer get along economically without the non-European countries. ... At the present stage of development of the world market and of world economy, the conception of Europe as an isolated economic unit is a sterile concoction of the brain. ... And if the idea of a European union in the economic sense has long been outstripped, this is no less the case in the political sense. .... Only were one suddenly to lose sight of all these happenings and manoeuvres, and to transfer oneself back to the blissful times of the European concert of powers, could one say, for instance, that for forty years we have had uninterrupted peace. This conception, which considers only events on the European continent, does not notice that the very reason why we have had no war in Europe for decades is the fact that international antagonisms have grown infinitely beyond the narrow confines of the European continent, and that European problems and interests are now fought out on the world seas and in the by-corners of Europe.
Rosa Luxemburg (Rosa Luxemburg Speaks)
Our world is suffering from metastatic cancer. Stage 4. Racism has spread to nearly every part of the body politic, intersecting with bigotry of all kinds, justifying all kinds of inequities by victim blaming; heightening exploitation and misplaced hate; spurring mass shootings, arms races, and demagogues who polarize nations, shutting down essential organs of democracy; and threatening the life of human society with nuclear war and climate change. In the United States, the metastatic cancer has been spreading, contracting, and threatening to kill the American body as it nearly did before its birth, as it nearly did during its Civil War. But how many people stare inside the body of their nations' racial inequities, their neighborhoods' racial inequities, their occupations' racial inequities, their institutions' racial inequities, and flatly deny that their policies are racist? They flatly deny that racial inequity is a signpost of racist policy. They flatly deny the racist policy as they use racist ideas to justify the racial inequity. They flatly deny the cancer of racism as the cancer cells spread and literally threaten their own lives and the lives of the people and spaces and places they hold dear. The popular conception of denial--like the popular strategy of suasion--is suicidal.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
I think he overlook a phase: that empathy stage in our lives when we may begin to see even the commonest animals on their own terms, fellow creatures with their own needs to meet and hardships to bear, joined with us in the mystery of life and death--and frankly, for all of our more exalted endowments, not all that much less enlightened than the sagest of naked apes about the meaning of it all. That kinship is to me reason enough to go about my own way in the world showing each one as much courtesy as I can, refraining from things that bring animals needless harm. They all seem to have enough dangers coming at them as it is. Whenever human beings with our loftier gifts and grander calling in the world can stop to think on their well-being, if only by withdrawing to let them be, it need not be a recognition of 'rights.' It is just a gracious thing, an act of clemency only more to our credit because the animals themselves cannot ask for it, or rebuke us when we transgress against them, or even repay our kindness.
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
There's a characteristically brilliant Peanuts strip which opens with Linus sitting on the living-room floor, anxiously clutching his mouth. Lucy enters and asks what's wrong. "I'm aware of my tongue," he explains. "It's an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up... I cant's help it... I can't put it out of my mind... I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren't thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth." Loudly declaring this the dumbest thing she's ever heard, Lucy scowls away. But a few steps down the corridor, she stops dead in her tracks. She clutches her own mouth. Suddenly she's aware of her tongue too. She runs back and chases him round the room, shouting, "You blockhead!" with her gigantic booming gob. Occasionally, late at night, while I'm trying to sleep and failing, I experience someting similar - except instead of being aware of my tongue, I'm aware of my entire body, the entire world, and the whole of reality itself. It's like waking from a dream, or a light going on, or a giant "YOU ARE HERE" sign appearing in the sky. The mere fact that I'm actually real and actually breathing suddenly hits me in the head with a thwack. It leaves me giddy. It causes a brief surge of clammy, bubbling anxiety, like the opening stages of a panic attack. The moment soon passes, but while it lasts it's strangely terrifying.
Charlie Brooker (The Hell of It All)
I had a pupil who turned in a couple of well-crafted essays on Descartes, subjecting "cogito ergo sum" to effective and damaging criticism...This was the sort of thing the best students did, and it was thought to be Oxford intellectual training at its most sophistocated. But I said to him, "If all the criticisms you've made of Descartes are valid-- and on the whole I think they are-- why are we spending our time here now discussing him? Why have you just devoted a fortnight of your life to reading his main works and writing two essays about them? ...More to the point: if all these things are wrong with his ideas--and I think they are-- why is his name known to every educated person in the Western world today, three and a half centuries after his death? ...[text].. The pupil saw my point straight away but was at a loss to answer...[text].. Along such lines as these I made it a conscious principle of my teaching, whatever the subject, to get the pupil first of all to do the necessary learning, and the detailed work of analysis and criticism, and then to raise "Yes, but what is the point of all this-- why are we doing it?" questions. And students almost invariably found that it was only when that stage was reached that the really exciting interest and importantance of what it was they were doing opened up before their eyes.
Bryan Magee
He felt the full warmth of that pleasure from which the proud shut themselves out; the pleasure which not only goes with humiliation, but which almost is humiliation. Men who have escaped death by a hair have it, and men whose love is returned by a woman unexpectedly, and men whose sins are forgiven them. Everything his eye fell on it feasted on, not aesthetically, but with a plain, jolly appetite as of a boy eating buns. He relished the squareness of the houses; he liked their clean angles as if he had just cut them with a knife. The lit squares of the shop windows excited him as the young are excited by the lit stage of some promising pantomime. He happened to see in one shop which projected with a bulging bravery on to the pavement some square tins of potted meat, and it seemed like a hint of a hundred hilarious high teas in a hundred streets of the world. He was, perhaps, the happiest of all the children of men. For in that unendurable instant when he hung, half slipping, to the ball of St. Paul's, the whole universe had been destroyed and re-created.
G.K. Chesterton (The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton Volume 07: The Ball and the Cross; Manalive; the Flying Inn)
Fear, hydra-headed fear, which is rampant in all of us, is a hang-over from lower forms of life. We are straddling two worlds, the one from which we have emerged and the one towards which we are heading. This is the deepest meaning of the word human, that we are a link, a bridge, a promise. It is in us that the life process is being carried to fulfillment. We have a tremendous responsibility, and it is the gravity of that which awakens our fears. We know that if we do not move forward, if we do not realize our potential being, we shall relapse, sputter out, and drag the world down with us. We carry Heaven and Hell within us; we are the cosmogonic builders. We have choice—and all creation is our range. For some it a terrifying prospect. It would be better, think they, if Heaven were above and Hell below—anywhere outside, but not within. But that comfort has been knocked from under us. There are no places to go to, either for reward or punishment. The place is always here and now, in your own person and according to your own fancy. The world is exactly what you picture it to be, always, every instant. It is impossible to shift the scenery about and pretend that you will enjoy another, a different act. The setting is permanent, changing with the mind and heart, not according to the dictates of an invisible stage director. You are the author, director and actor all in one: the drama is always going to be your own life, not some one else’s. A beautiful, terrible, ineluctable drama, like a suit made of your own skin. Would you want it otherwise? Could you invent a better drama?
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
NOTHING should more deeply shame the modern student than the recency and inadequacy of his acquaintance with India. Here is a vast peninsula of nearly two million square miles; two-thirds as large as the United States, and twenty times the size of its master, Great Britain; 320,000,000 souls, more than in all North and South America combined, or one-fifth of the population of the earth; an impressive continuity of development and civilization from Mohenjo-daro, 2900 B.C. or earlier, to Gandhi, Raman and Tagore; faiths compassing every stage from barbarous idolatry to the most subtle and spiritual pantheism; philosophers playing a thousand variations on one monistic theme from the Upanishads eight centuries before Christ to Shankara eight centuries after him; scientists developing astronomy three thousand years ago, and winning Nobel prizes in our own time; a democratic constitution of untraceable antiquity in the villages, and wise and beneficent rulers like Ashoka and Akbar in the capitals; minstrels singing great epics almost as old as Homer, and poets holding world audiences today; artists raising gigantic temples for Hindu gods from Tibet to Ceylon and from Cambodia to Java, or carving perfect palaces by the score for Mogul kings and queens—this is the India that patient scholarship is now opening up, like a new intellectual continent, to that Western mind which only yesterday thought civilization an exclusively European thing.I
Will Durant (Our Oriental Heritage (Story of Civilization 1))
Life is a great big beautiful three-ring circus. There are those on the floor making their lives among the heads of lions and hoops of fire, and those in the stands, complacent and wowed, their mouths stuffed with popcorn. I know less now than ever about life, but I do know its size. Life is enormous. Much grander than what we’ve taken for ourselves, so far. When the show is over and the tent is packed, the elephants, lions and dancing poodles are caged and mounted on trucks to caravan to the next town. The clown’s makeup has worn, and his bright, red smile has been washed down a sink. All that is left is another performance, another tent and set of lights. We rest in the knowledge: the show must go on. Somewhere, behind our stage curtain, a still, small voice asks why we haven’t yet taken up juggling. My seminars were like this. Only, instead of flipping shiny, black bowling balls or roaring chainsaws through the air, I juggled concepts. The world is intrinsically tied together. All things march through time at different intervals but move ahead in one fashion or another. Though we may never understand it, we are all part of something much larger than ourselves—something anchoring us to the spot we have mentally chosen. We sniff out the rules, through spiritual quests and the sciences. And with every new discovery, we grow more confused. Our inability to connect what seems illogical to unite and to defy logic in our understanding keeps us from enlightenment. The artists and insane tiptoe around such insights, but lack the compassion to hand-feed these concepts to a blind world. The interconnectedness of all things is not simply a pet phrase. It is a big “T” truth that the wise spend their lives attempting to grasp.
Christopher Hawke (Unnatural Truth)
In 90% of cases, you can start with one of the two most effective ways to open a speech: ask a question or start with a story. Our brain doesn’t remember what we hear. It remembers only what we “see” or imagine while we listen. You can remember stories. Everything else is quickly forgotten. Smell is the most powerful sense out of 4 to immerse audience members into a scene. Every sentence either helps to drive your point home, or it detracts from clarity. There is no middle point. If you don’t have a foundational phrase in your speech, it means that your message is not clear enough to you, and if it’s not clear to you, there is no way it will be clear to your audience. Share your failures first. Show your audience members that you are not any better, smarter or more talented than they are. You are not an actor, you are a speaker. The main skill of an actor is to play a role; to be someone else. Your main skill as a speaker is to be yourself. People will forgive you for anything except for being boring. Speaking without passion is boring. If you are not excited about what you are talking about, how can you expect your audience to be excited? Never hide behind a lectern or a table. Your audience needs to see 100% of your body. Speak slowly and people will consider you to be a thoughtful and clever person. Leaders don’t talk much, but each word holds a lot of meaning and value. You always speak to only one person. Have a conversation directly with one person, look him or her in the eye. After you have logically completed one idea, which usually is 10-20 seconds, scan the audience and then stop your eyes on another person. Repeat this process again. Cover the entire room with eye contact. When you scan the audience and pick people for eye contact, pick positive people more often. When you pause, your audience thinks about your message and reflects. Pausing builds an audiences’ confidence. If you don’t pause, your audience doesn’t have time to digest what you've told them and hence, they will not remember a word of what you've said. Pause before and after you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. After you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. Speakers use filler words when they don’t know what to say, but they feel uncomfortable with silence. Have you ever seen a speaker who went on stage with a piece of paper and notes? Have you ever been one of these speakers? When people see you with paper in your hands, they instantly think, “This speaker is not sincere. He has a script and will talk according to the script.” The best speeches are not written, they are rewritten. Bad speakers create a 10 minutes speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Great speakers create a 5 minute speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Explain your ideas in a simple manner, so that the average 12-year-old child can understand the concept. Good speakers and experts can always explain the most complex ideas with very simple words. Stories evoke emotions. Factual information conveys logic. Emotions are far more important in a speech than logic. If you're considering whether to use statistics or a story, use a story. PowerPoint is for pictures not for words. Use as few words on the slide as possible. Never learn your speech word for word. Just rehearse it enough times to internalize the flow. If you watch a video of your speech, you can triple the pace of your development as a speaker. Make videos a habit. Meaningless words and clichés neither convey value nor information. Avoid them. Never apologize on stage. If people need to put in a lot of effort to understand you they simply won’t listen. On the other hand if you use very simple language you will connect with the audience and your speech will be remembered.
Andrii Sedniev (Magic of Public Speaking: A Complete System to Become a World Class Speaker)
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me. Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone’s had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I’m what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker—a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either. I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne—to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why. I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “lighthearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared. So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am … on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why—no, I’m sure that’s the reason why—I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether. As I’ve told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I’m always up against a more powerful enemy. A voice within me is sobbing, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank ANNE’S DIARY ENDS HERE.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Darkness seems to have prevailed and has taken the forefront. This country as in the 'cooperation' of The United States of America has never been about the true higher-good of the people. Know and remember this. Cling to your faith. Roll your spiritual sleeves up and get to work. Use your energy wisely. Transmute all anger, panic and fear into light and empowerment. Don't use what fuels them; all lower-energy. Mourn as you need to. Console who you need to—and then go get into the spiritual and energetic arena. There's plenty work for us to do; within and without. Let's each focus on becoming 'The President of Our Own Life. Cultivate your mind. Pursue your purpose. Shine your light. Elevate past—and reject—any culture of low vibrational energy and ratchetness. Don't take fear, defeat or anger—on or in. The system is doing what they've been created to do. Are you? Am I? Are we—collectively? Let's get to work. No more drifting through life without your higher-self in complete control of your mind. Awaken—fully. Activate—now. Put your frustrations or concerns into your work. Don't lose sight. There is still—a higher plan. Let's ride this 4 year energetic-wave like the spiritual gangsters that we are. This will all be the past soon. Let's get to work and stay dedicated, consistent and diligent. Again, this will all be the past soon. We have preparing and work to do. Toxic energy is so not a game. Toxic energy and low vibrations are being collectively acted out on the world stage. Covertly operating through the unconscious weak spots and blind spots in the human psyche; making people oblivious to their own madness, causing and influencing them to act against–their–own–best–interests and higher-good, as if under a spell and unconsciously possessed. This means that they are actually nourishing the lower vibrational energy with their lifestyle, choices, energy and habits, which is unconsciously giving the lower-energy the very power and fuel it needs—for repeating and recreating endless drama, suffering and destruction, in more and more amplified forms on a national and world stage. So what do we do? We take away its autonomy and power over us while at the same time empowering ourselves. By recognizing how this energetic/spiritual virus or parasite of the mind—operates through our unawareness is the beginning of the cure. Knowledge is power. Applied knowledge is—freedom. Our shared future will be decided primarily by the changes that take place in the psyche of humanity, starting with each of us— vibrationally. In closing and most importantly, the greatest protection against becoming affected or possessed by this lower-energy is to be in touch with our higher vibrational-self. We have to call our energy and power back. Being in touch with our higher-self and true nature acts as a sacred amulet, shielding and protecting us from the attempted effects. We defeat evil not by fighting against it (in which case, by playing its game, we’ve already lost) but by getting in touch with the part of us that is invulnerable to its effects— our higher vibrational-self. Will this defeat and destroy us? Or will it awaken us more and more? Everything depends upon our recognizing what is being revealed to us and our stepping out of the unconscious influence of low vibrational/negative/toxic/evil/distraction energy (or whatever name you relate to it as) that is and has been seeking power over each of our lives energetically and/or spiritually, and step into our wholeness, our personal power, our higher self and vibrate higher and higher daily. Stay woke my friends—let's get to work.
Lalah Delia
The Future is an illusion because, at the most fundamental level, Choice is an illusion. I am a believer in the theory, popular among physicists, that every time there is a Choice, the universe splits: both choices come to pass, but in now-separate universes. And so on, and on, with every choice of every particle, every atom, every molecule, every cell, every being, coming into being. In this universe of universes, everything happens, and every combination of things happens. Our universe is a mote of dust in an ever-growing dust-storm of possibilities, but each mote of dust in that storm is generating its own dust-storm of possibilities every instant, the motes of which in turn... But you get the general impression. Indeed to think of ourselves as single selves, and our universe as a single universe, is to be blinded, by the limitations of our senses and our consciousness, to the infinite-faceted truth: that we are infinite in a universe of universes that are each infinitely infinite..." "An intriguingly intricate view of the world," I said (...) Pat Sheeran nodded. "And it is astonishing how little practical difference it makes," he said. "All my other lives are as inaccessible to me as if they did not exist at all. No doubt in other universes I am a beggar, a revolutionary thinker, an academic, an accountant; a drinker, a thinker, a writer of books; I lose a freckle, gain a mole, shade off into men nothing like me at all; I have sons, fire guns, live forever, die too young. Whenever any particle in this universe changes state, I am split and travel in both directions, multiplied. But here I am, suffering the illusion of unity in this endlessly bifurcating moment. Yet sometimes, I wave my arms for the joy of creating a spray of universes." I said startled at the implications, “Though it may make no practical difference, the implications are nonetheless startling." "Indeed," said Pat Sheeran. "I had immediately to file all the fiction on my shelves under Non-Fiction. For it is an unavoidable corollary of this theory, that Fiction is impossible. For all novels are true histories of worlds as real as ours, but which we cannot see. All stories are possible, all histories have happened. I, billion-bodied, live a trillion lives every quantum instant. Those trillion lives branch out, a quintillion times a second, as every particle in every atom in each mote of dust on land, in sea, and sky, and space, and star, flickering in and out of being in the void, hesitates and decides its next stage. All tragedies, all triumphs, are mine, are yours." "It is a curious and difficult thing, to think that all is possible. No, probable. No, certain," I said, attempting to grasp the largeness of the thought."That nothing is improbable." "It is a comforting thought, some nights, to this version of me, now," said Pat Sheeran, and we roared on.
Julian Gough (Jude: Level 1)