Deep layers of context are missed when cursorily reading for quantity at the expense of comprehension - only the vapid are impressed by those who try to squeeze as many books as possible into each passing month as if shoving one more oiled hot dog down the gullet in a food eating contest to prove accumulation superiority.
Hope? Hope is not the absence of tragedy, my friend. It is the conviction that tragedy can be endured. Hope is the spark in you that is not subdued in the face of the vast and callous indifference of the universe. Hope is that which is not shattered by hardship. Hope is the urge to fight what is wrong even when you know it will destroy you. Hope is the decision to love and need someone knowing that they will one day die. For me to promise that there are no obstacles would be the cruelest lie I could possibly tell. That lie is not hope. Hope is the will which needs no lies.
Because life is a symphony it must have its C Minor. Days there be when we hear only a discord of sharps and flats, and we wonder whether harmony will ever be restored. On other days we hear only an ominous, deep strain which seems to say that hope is fled. But why this chill despair? Symphonies are a blending of many tones, high and low, over and under, major and minor. One day cannot make a life a whole any more than shadows can make a picture or minor notes a symphony. We need to hear life's song, not as the discord of a single day, but as the completed harmony of all the years. Then will today's sorrow and tomorrow's disappointment ring forth in major key as glorious melody.
[The goal is] "liberation from the bondage of rebirth. According to the Vedantists the self, which they call the atman and we call the soul, is distinct from the body and its senses, distinct from the mind and its intelligence; it is not part of the Absolute, for the Absolute, being infinite, can have no parts but the Absolute itself. It is uncreated; it has existed form eternity and when at least it has cast off the seven veils of ignorance will return to the infinitude from which it came. It is like a drop of water that has arisen from the sea, and in a shower has fallen into a puddle, then drifts into a brook, finds its way into a stream, after that into a river, passing through mountain gorges and wide plains, winding this way and that, obstructed by rocks and fallen trees, till at least it reaches the boundless seas from which it rose.""But that poor little drop of water, when it has once more become one with the sea, has surely lost its individuality."Larry grinned."You want to taste sugar, you don't want to become sugar. What is individuality but the expression of our egoism? Until the soul has shed the last trace of that it cannot become one with the Absolute.""You talk very familiarly of the Absolute, Larry, and it's an imposing word. What does it actually signify to you?" "Reality. You can't say what it is ; you can only say what it isn't. It's inexpressible. The Indians call it Brahman. It's not a person, it's not a thing, it's not a cause. It has no qualities. It transcends permanence and change; whole and part, finite and infinite. It is eternal because its completeness and perfection are unrelated to time. It is truth and freedom.""Golly," I said to myself, but to Larry: "But how can a purely intellectual conception be a solace to the suffering human race? Men have always wanted a personal God to whom they can turn in their distress for comfort and encouragement.""It may be that at some far distant day greater insight will show them that they must look for comfort and encouragement in their own souls. I myself think that the need to worship is no more than the survival of an old remembrance of cruel gods that had to be propitiated. I believe that God is within me or nowhere. If that's so, whom or what am I to worship—myself? Men are on different levels of spiritual development, and so the imagination of India has evolved the manifestations of the Absolute that are known as Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and by a hundred other names. The Absolute is in Isvara, the creator and ruler of the world, and it is in the humble fetish before which the peasant in his sun-baked field places the offering of a flower. The multitudinous gods of India are but expedients to lead to the realization that the self is one with the supreme self.
When he came back, I hid my face within my hands. He said: "Fear nothing. Who has seen our kiss? --Who saw us? The night and the moon.""And the stars and the first flush of dawn. The moon has seen its visage in the lake, and told it to the water 'neath the willows. The water told it to the rower's oar."And the oar has told it to the boat, and the boat has passed the secret to the fisher. Alas! alas! if that were only all! But the fisher told the secret to a woman."The fisher told the secret to a woman: my father and my mother and my sisters, and all of Hellas now shall know the tale.
But one look at Wildcard's face, and he knew there was trouble. Problem? he signaled.Wildcard responded with an obscene gesture that more than conveyed his opinion that not only was this a problem, but it was a big problem...."Okay". That was not anywhere near the complete reaming Muldoon imagined "We'll take a different route down.""We could", Wildcard agreed. "But they've got a prisoner.."Oh man, that hurt. Dream op to nightmare...Muldoon gritted his teeth and considered his options."Holy fuck", Wildcard said. "When I tell you that a stupid ass French photog is going to turn this perfect op into a total clusterfuck, what you say sir, is 'Oh, holy fuck'. If this isn't the time to use your full adult vocabulary, Lieutenant, I honestly don't know what is".
Finally when he climbed below deck after dark, wondering where his dinner was, perhaps with a storm come up and rough seas and blinding rains, I'd sulk and lure him into the warm and steamy darkness and from the hairs of his warm body I'd breed a myriad smiling, sparkle-eyed one-year-olds, my broods, my flocks. In the churning seas, below the waves, together inside our hammock woven in coarse sailcloth by Unguentine's deft hands, a spherical webbed sack which hung and swivelled between the two walls of our bedroom, we would spin round and round with lapping tongues and the soft suction of lips, whirling, our amorous centrifuge, all night long, zipped inside against the elements. Now, years and years later, those nights, the thought and touch of them is enough to make me throw myself down on the ground and roll in the dust like a hen nibbled by mites, generating clouds, stars and all the rest.
It was so cold. In the monastery. Sometimes the wind came from the sea with ice in it... It could freeze the skin off your face. Once the snow was so deep we couldn't get out of the doors to the woodshed. A monk jumped from a window. He sank into a drift and took a long time to get up. That night, they made me sleep next to the stove. I was small, thin, like a piece of birch bark. But then the Stove went out.Father Bernard took me into his cell... It was he who first gave me chalk and paper. He was so old his eyes his eyes looked as if he was crying. But he was never sad. In winter he had fewer blankets than the others. He said he didn't need them because God warmed him.(...)But even Father Bernard was cold that night. He laid me down on the bed next to him, wrapped me in an animal skin, then in his own arms. He told me stories about Jesus. How His love could wake the dead and how with Him in one's heart one could heat the world... When I woke it was light. The snow had stopped. I was warm. But he was cold. I gave him the skin but his body was stiff. I didn't know what to do. I got out a piece of paper from his chest under the bed and drew him, lying there. His face had a smile on it. I knew that God had been there when he died. That now He was in me, and because of Father Bernard I would be warm forever.
...love is always infidelity, isn’t it? Always a betrayal of someone or something. Even with your first girl, when you’re seventeen and living at home, you’re still cheating. Cheating on your parents. Pretending to be a child with them and a man with her. Having to hide the smile on your face and the scent of her on your body. And all that hiding making it so much more precious, so much more exciting. And you’re cheating on your friends too. Pretending you’re still one of the gang, when all you are is her lover and you could care less about any of them. And it doesn’t matter how old you are, or how free you are, you still cheat. A single man with a job in love with a single girl, he’s still unfaithful. He’s cheating every time he drives to work and pretends to go through the old routine, while in his mind he’s really with her, rushing to her, flowing all over her. Just walking down the street, pretending to be a regular human being, he’s betraying all the other human beings around him. Because he’s nothing like them. He’s not walking next to them at all. He’s not even there. He’s with her.
In all your life, only a few moments matter. Mostly you never get a good look at them except in hindsight, long after they've zipped past you: the moment when you decided whether to talk to that girl, slow down on that blind bend, stop and find that condom. I was lucky, I guess you could call it. I got to see one of mine face-to-face, and recognize it for what it was.
There's one other thing I'd like to remind you of, my dear. There've been many times when you've sworn to me that after all that life has dealt you, it was no longer possible for you to believe in anything. I replied that both life and my studies had led me to the same conclusion. I asked you, 'What is a person permitted, once he's realized that truth is unattainable and consequently doesn't exist for him?' Do you remember your answer?""I do, ibn Sabbah. I said something like this: 'If a person realized that everything people call happiness, love and joy was just a miscalculation based on a false premise, he'd feel a horrible emptiness inside. The only thing that could rouse him from his paralysis would be to gamble with his own face and the face of others. The person capable of that would be permitted anything.
Time seemed to stop; the world around them stilled. There was only her. His thumb caressed at her lips, the lips he wanted to kiss.Katianna rolled her face in his palm—a caressing nuzzle and he stilled, his breath froze in his chest.A response. A submissive one at that. His heart, stilled fractured by that single nuance, but his loins burst with a wave of warmth.A response—it had been a response. Oh fuck he had to kiss her. His whole body was screaming for her now.
There is only one thing to do when you meet the Living God; you must fall on your face and repent of your sins. Repentance is bittersweet business; Repentance is not just a conversion exercise -- it is the posture of the Christian, much like 'tree' or 'full lotus' is the posture of the Yogi. Repentance is our daily fruit, our hourly washing, our minute by minute wake-up call; our reminder of God's creation, Jesus' blood, and the Holy Spirit's comfort. Repentance is the only no shame solution to a renewed Christian conscience, because it only proves the obvious: God was right all along.
A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in. A minute to smile and an hour to weep in. A pint of joy to a peck of trouble, And never a laugh but the moans come double. And that is life. A crust and a corner that makes love precious, With a smile to warm and tears to refresh us, And joy seems sweeter when cares come after, And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter. And that is life.
When the love-led man had ceased from his labours Bathsheba came and looked him in the face.'Gabriel, will you you stay on with me?' she said, smiling winningly, and not troubling to bring her lips quite together again at the end, because there was going to be another smile soon.'I will,' said Gabriel.And she smiled on him again.