In other words, I have tried to learn in my writing a monastic lesson I could probably not have learned otherwise: to let go of my idea of myself, to take myself with more than one grain of salt... In religious terms, this is simply a matter of accepting life, and everything in life as a gift, and clinging to none of it, as far as you are able. You give some of it to others, if you can. Yet one should be able to share things with others without bothering too much about how they like it, either, or how they accept it. Assume they will accept it, if they need it. And if they don’t need it, why should they accept it? That is their business. Let me accept what is mine and give them all their share, and go my way.
Do you like Rhiannon more than me?" ... They're two completely different concepts. When a girl asks you a question like that, there's no way you can be honest. They say they want you to be honest, but then they get all upset when you are. You can't win. There's no way to win. There are questions you just can't answer without manipulating the truth.
There’s all this pressure in our society to be beautiful, to be strong, to be sexy. So we spend our time and money on trying to become these things. We put on the high heels, the suits, the makeup, the mask. Then, we feel more awkward than confident, so we drink away our anxieties. That doesn’t make us look any sexier – it just makes us stop caring about how we look.Everyone is beautiful. Everyone is sexy. Everyone is strong. It’s lunacy. We’re all running around trying to become something that we already are.You know what’s really sexy? A person who’s 100% comfortable with themselves. And you know what’s really funny? It is just as time consuming and difficult to learn to accept yourself as it is to pretend to be someone else. The only difference is – with self acceptance, one day, it’s not hard anymore. One day, you feel like your sexiest, strongest self just rolling out of bed in the morning.You’re either going to spend the little time you have in your life on trying to know yourself or trying to hide yourself. The choice is yours. You can’t do both.And you know what’s really amazing about choosing self-love? You’ll be setting an example for all the people around you and all the kids of the coming generation. You’ll be part of a revolution to take back the precious moments of our lives out of the hands of shame-inducing advertisers and back into the hands and hearts of real people like you, like me, like all of us.I know you’ve dreamt about changing the world. So this is your chance. Learn to love yourself, accept yourself, and unleash your strongest, sexiest self. It’s in there. You just have to believe it.
I couldn't believe I let him see me like this, unable to fend for myself. I fumed in disgust at my vulnerability. I didn't want Evan to think I needed protecting. I pulled back my torment and let the numb blanket envelop me, pushing away the stirred memories, the noise of the crowd, and the trembling that still lay beneath the surface. I stared at the flames licking at the darkness and everything was lost as I sank deeper into nothingness.
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might.When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology.The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim.I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study....Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now.[Columbian Magazine interview]
I wrote that certain things were leaving me nauseated. I said that judges made me feel that way. Not most of them but all of them. I said that you for example, the judge I'm writing this to, made me feel nauseated. The nausea came from understanding that people produced by every conceivable advantage got to decide whether someone like Jalen lived or died and what was worse was they never fucking seemed to decide that the person should live, that a person's life, any person, was more important than whether some fat fuck at a country club thought you were hard enough on crime or whether you continue to get sufficient reelection campaign contributions you worthless retarded piece of shit. Why should you be allowed to decide anything beyond what you have for lunch you mental infant?
I think no more than a week after I started writing I ran into the first block. It's hard to describe it in a way that will be understandable to anyone who is not a neurotic. I will try. All my life I have been haunted by the obsession that to desire a thing or to love a thing intensely is to place yourself in a vulnerable position, to be a possible, if not a probable, loser of what you most want. Let's leave it like that. That block has always been there and always will be, and my chance of getting, or achieving, anything that I long for will always be gravely reduced by the interminable existence of that block.
You're a Dark One," said Anton. "All you see in everything is evil, treachery, trickery.""All I do is not close my eyes to them," Edgar retorted. "And that's why I don't trust Zabulon. I distrust him almost as much as I do Gesar. I can even trust you more—you're just another unfortunate chess piece who happens by chance to be painted a different color from me. Does a white pawn hate a black one? No. Especially if the two pawns have their heads down together over a quiet beer or two.""You know," Anton said in a slightly surprised voice, "I just don't understand how you can carry on living if you see the world like that. I'd just go and hang myself.""So you don't have any counterarguments to offer?"Anton took a gulp of beer too. The wonderful thing about this natural Czech beer was that even if you drank lots of it, it still didn't make your head or your body feel heavy... Or was that an illusion?"Not a single one," Anton admitted. "Right now, this very moment, not a single one. But I'm sure you're wrong. It's just difficult to argue about the colors of the rainbow with a blind man. There's something missing in you... I don't know what exactly. But it's something very important, and without it you're more helpless than a blind man.
We want words to do more than they can. We try to do with them what comes to very much like trying to mend a watch with a pickaxe or to paint a miniature with a mop; we expect them to help us to grip and dissect that which in ultimate essence is as ungrippable as shadow. Nevertheless there they are; we have got to live with them, and the wise course is to treat them as we do our neighbours, and make the best and not the worst of them.
The seriousness of throwing over hell whilst still clinging to the Atonement is obvious. If there is no punishment for sin there can be no self-forgiveness for it. If Christ paid our score, and if there is no hell and therefore no chance of our getting into trouble by forgetting the obligation, then we can be as wicked as we like with impunity inside the secular law, even from self-reproach, which becomes mere ingratitude to the Savior. On the other hand, if Christ did not pay our score, it still stands against us; and such debts make us extremely uncomfortable. The drive of evolution, which we call conscience and honor, seizes on such slips, and shames us to the dust for being so low in the scale as to be capable of them. The 'saved' thief experiences an ecstatic happiness which can never come to the honest atheist: he is tempted to steal again to repeat the glorious sensation. But if the atheist steals he has no such happiness. He is a thief and knows that he is a thief. Nothing can rub that off him. He may try to sooth his shame by some sort of restitution or equivalent act of benevolence; but that does not alter the fact that he did steal; and his conscience will not be easy until he has conquered his will to steal and changed himself into an honest man...Now though the state of the believers in the atonement may thus be the happier, it is most certainly not more desirable from the point of view of the community. The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life. Whether Socrates got as much happiness out of life as Wesley is an unanswerable question; but a nation of Socrateses would be much safer and happier than a nation of Wesleys; and its individuals would be higher in the evolutionary scale. At all events it is in the Socratic man and not in the Wesleyan that our hope lies now.Consequently, even if it were mentally possible for all of us to believe in the Atonement, we should have to cry off it, as we evidently have a right to do. Every man to whom salvation is offered has an inalienable natural right to say 'No, thank you: I prefer to retain my full moral responsibility: it is not good for me to be able to load a scapegoat with my sins: I should be less careful how I committed them if I knew they would cost me nothing.'
These days, I've been trying to classify my thoughts into two categories: "Things I can change," and "Things I can't." It seems to help me sort through what to really stress about. But there I go again, over-planning and over-organizing my over-thinking! I write songs about my adventures and misadventures, most of which concern love. Love is a tricky business. But if it wasn't, I wouldn't be so enthralled with it. Lately I've come to a wonderful realization that makes me even more fascinated by it: I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to love. No one does! There's no pattern to it, except that it happens to all of us, of course. I can't plan for it. I can't predict how it'll end up. Because love is unpredictable and it's frustrating and it's tragic and it's beautiful. And even though there's no way to feel like I'm an expert at it, it's worth writing songs about -- more than anything else I've ever experienced in my life.
It's important not just for me, but the whole team. A lot of us have had a lot of sleepless nights. Everybody's been flat-out to get back on track again. We deserve more than this after what started in Japan last year. We're all trying everything to get a very good result. The win is the main thing, but points and the top three is the goal.
Now I have more freedom than I have ever had at any time in my life, and I do only the things I always have. They were empty before, but Selina has given a meaning to them, I do them for her. I am waiting, for her - but, waiting, I think, is too poor a word for it. I am engaged with the substance of the minutes as they pass. I feel the surface of my flesh stir - it is like the surface of the sea that knows the moon is drawing near it. If I take up a book, I might as well never have seen a line of print before - books are filled, now, with messages aimed only at me. An hour ago, I found this:The blood is listening in my frame,And thronging shadows, fast and thick,Fall on my overflowing eyes...It is as if every poet who ever wrote a line to his own love wrote secretly for me, and for Selina. My blood - even as I write this - my blood, my muscle and every fibre of me, is listening, for her. When I sleep, it is to dream of her. When shadows move across my eye, I know them now for shadows of her. My room is still, but never silent - I hear her heart, beating across the night in time to my own. My room is dark, but darkness is different for me now. I know all its depths and textures - darkness like velvet, darkness like felt, darkness bristling as coir or prison wool.