What we have loved, others will love, and we will teach them how; instruct them how the mind of man becomes a thousand times more beautiful than the earth on which he dwells…
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians.When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer.Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Humanity is its own worst enemy. What chance do any other species have?Survival is the parchment upon which the Law of Nature is inscribed.And what I'll find was always mine.And what I'll say, I've said before.Your kisses taste like blood and wineAnd leave me spent upon the floor.I have endured torments you cannot yet imagine. I have climbed mountains to attain greatness in body and spirit. I have dug to the depths of the Earth to learn the secrets of Creation. I have flourished on the Blood of my people and the blood of legends. I have slept in the arms of the infernal and walked a path of hopelessness. I dwell in Nothing and Nothing dwells within me. My god is castigation and I am the hand of God.For the more Blood one drinks, the more Blood one must have… Nightmares are the ineluctable lessons of the illuminated psyche.A Vampire's love is like quicksand: it surrounds you and engulfs you but ultimately, it kills you.There is no good, beloved. This is no evil. There is only instinct.Own your darkness. It is the only way to be truly free.Do you know what I find most gratifying about being able to see into the depths of the cosmos? The myriad colours. The multitudinous hues. Humanity can never behold what wonder surrounds them. And you previously human Vampires can only grasp hints of the incredulous kaleidescope that makes up Creation. My Elven eyes can see colours that are beyond your comprehension, so the symphony of the universe is laid bare before my sight. It stirs both elation. and humility. I see a priest of these dread arcana, the mark of Tuthalidon carved and secreted away deep within a heart that exists only to devour. I behold a moon drenched in the blood of martyrs…the Blood of monsters. Blood spilt upon the altars of the Wise. The devastation of oblivion shall encompass all lands and twist all language. In the night shall the lost ones wander, pulling into their fold the immortal and doomed. I see the depth of his endless eyes, searching searching forever searching, seeking out the damned, cleansing Eterah and dressing her in the raiment of abominations.
But what we have here is not a nice girl, as generally understood. For one thing, she’s not beautiful. There’s a certain set to the jaw and arch to the nose that might, with a following wind and in the right light, be called handsome by a good-natured liar. Also, there’s a certain glint in her eye generally possessed by those people who have found that they are more intelligent than most people around them but who haven’t yet learned that one of the most intelligent things they can do is prevent said people ever finding this out.
We all think we understand each other,' Kin heard Silver say. 'We eat together, we trade, many of us pride ourselves on having alien friends - but all this is only possible, only possible, Kin, because we do not fully comprehend the other. You've studied Earth history. Do you think you could understand the workings of of the mind of a Japanese warrior a thousand years ago? But he is as a twin to you compared with Marco, or with myself. When we use the word "cosmopolitan" we use it too lightly - it's flippant, it means we're galactic tourists who communicate in superficialities. We don't comprehend. Different worlds, Kin. Different anvils of gravity and radiation and evolution.
In the woodblock prints of the Genroku period one often finds the features of a pair of lovers to be surprisingly similar, with little to distinguish the man from the woman. The universal ideal of beauty in Greek sculpture likewise approaches a close resemblance between the male and female. Might this not be one of the secrets of love? Might it not be that through the innermost recesses of love there courses an unattainable longing in which both the man and the woman desire to become the exact image of the other? Might not this longing drive them on, leading at last to a tragic reaction in which they seek to attain the impossible by going to the opposite extreme? In short, since their mutual love cannot achieve a perfection of mutual identity, is there not a mental process whereby each of them tries instead to emphasize their points of dissimilarity—the man his manliness and the woman her womanliness—and uses this very revolt as a form of coquetry toward the other? Or if they do achieve a similarity, it unfortunately lasts for only a fleeting moment of illusion. Because, as the girl becomes more bold and the boy more shy, there comes an instant at which they pass each other going in opposite directions, overshooting their mark and passing on beyond to some point where the mark no longer exists.
We have to start from the ground up and reconsider what education is. In my language, I'd like to see us educate the soul, and not just the mind. The result would be a person who could be in the world creatively, make good friendships, live in a place he loved, do work that is rewarding, and make a contribution to the community. People say that the word "educate" means to "draw out" a person's potential. But I like the "duc" - part in the middle of it. To be educated is to become a duke, a leader, a person of stature and color, a presence and a character.
We are obliged to love one another. We are not strictly bound to 'like' one another. Love governs the will: 'liking' is a matter of sense and sensibility. Nevertheless, if we really love others it will not be too hard to like them also.If we wait for some people to become agreeable or attractive before we begin to love them, we will never begin. If we are content to give them a cold impersonal 'charity' that is merely a matter of obligation, we will not trouble to understand them or to sympathize with them at all. And in that case we will not really love them, because love implies an efficacious will not only to do good to others exteriorly but also to find some good in them to which we can respond.
We are what we love. If we love God, in whose image we were created, we discover ourselves in him and we cannot help being happy: we have already achieved something of the fullness of being for which we were destined in our creation. If we love everything else but God, we contradict the image born in our very essence, and we cannot help being unhappy, because we are living a caricature of what we are meant to be.
It is by the Holy Spirit that we love those who are united to us in Christ. The more plentifully we have received of the Spirit of Christ, the more perfectly we are able to love them: and the more we love them the more we receive the Spirit. It is clear, however, that since we love them by the Spirit Who is given to us by Jesus, it is Jesus Himself Who loves them in us.
From other stories that have been handed down to me I know that my people, like many others in the slave states, went to church with their slaves, were baptized with them, and presumably expected to associate with them in heaven. Again, I have been years realizing what this means, and what it has cost. First, consider the moral predicament of the master who sat in church with his slaves, thus attesting his belief in the immortality of the souls of people whose bodies he owned and used. He thus placed his body, if not his mind, at the very crux of the deepest contradiction of his life. How could he presume to own the body of a man whose soul he considered as worthy of salvation as his own? To keep this question from articulating itself in his thoughts and demanding an answer, he had to perfect an empty space in his mind, a silence, between heavenly concerns and earthly concerns, between body and spirit. If there had ever opened a conscious connection between the two claims, if the two sides of his mind had ever touched, it would have been like building a fire in a house full of gunpowder: somewhere down deep in his mind he always knew of the danger, and his nerves were always alert to it.
God told us to love everyone. However, when you don’t like someone then you need to walk away and focus not on him or her, but the hatred you’re harboring. Otherwise, you will allow your piety to take over. Before you know it, you’re using the gospel as a sword to slice other religious people apart, which have offended you. From your point of helplessness, it will be is easy to recruit people that will mistake your kindness as righteousness, when in reality it is a hidden agenda to humiliate through the words of Christ. This game is so often used by women in the Christian faith, that it is the number one reason why many people become inactive. It is a silent, unspoken hypocrisy that is inconsistent with the teachings of the gospel. If you choose not to like someone, then avoid them. If you wish to love them, the only way to overcome your frustrations is through empathy, prayer, forgiveness and allowing yourself time to heal through distance. Try focusing on what you share as sisters in the gospel, rather than the negative aspects you dislike about that person.
Never to my mind had she looked more beautiful. Inevitably so. A woman reaches the height of her beauty – and only at this time can she inspire that intoxication of the soul which is so often talked of and so rarely experienced – when we are sure of her love, but not of her favours.
What marriage offers - and what fidelity is meant to protect - is the possibility of moments when what we have chosen and what we desire are the same. Such a convergence obviously cannot be continuous. No relationship can continue very long at its highest emotional pitch. But fidelity prepares us for the return of these moments, which give us the highest joy we can know; that of union, communion, atonement (in the root sense of at-one-ment)...To forsake all others does not mean - because it cannot mean - to ignore or neglect all others, to hide or be hidden from all others, or to desire or love no others. To live in marriage is a responsible way to live in sexuality, as to live in a household is a responsible way to live in the world. One cannot enact or fulfill one's love for womankind or mankind, or even for all the women or men to whom one is attracted. If one is to have the power and delight of one's sexuality, then the generality of instinct must be resolved in a responsible relationship to a particular person. Similarly, one cannot live in the world; that is, one cannot become, in the easy, generalizing sense with which the phrase is commonly used, a "world citizen." There can be no such think as a "global village." No matter how much one may love the world as a whole, one can live fully in it only by living responsibly in some small part of it. Where we live and who we live there with define the terms of our relationship to the world and to humanity. We thus come again to the paradox that one can become whole only by the responsible acceptance of one's partiality.(pg.117-118, "The Body and the Earth")
The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skits, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for?The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
Wedding HymnFather, within Thy House todayWe wait Thy kindly love to see;Since thou hast said in truth that theyWho dwell in love are one with Thee,Bless those who for Thy blessing wait,Their love accept and consecrate.Dear Lord of love, whose Heart of Fire,So full of pity for our sin,Was once in that Divine DesireBroken, Thy Bride to woo and win:Look down and bless them from aboveAnd keep their hearts alight with love.Blest Spirit, who with life and lightDidst quicken chaos to Thy praise,Whose energy, in sin's despite,Still lifts our nature up to grace;Bless those who here in troth consent.Creator, crown Thy Sacrament.Great One in Three, of Whom are namedAll families in earth and heaven,Hear us, who have Thy promise claimed,And let a wealth of grace be given;Grant them in life and death to beEach knit to each, and both to Thee.
What the dead don't know piles up, though we don't notice it at first. They don't know how we're getting along without them, of course, dealing with the hours and days that now accrue so quickly, and, unless they divined this somehow in advance, they don't know that we don't want this inexorable onslaught of breakfasts and phone calls and going to the bank, all this stepping along, because we don't want anything extraneous to get in the way of what we feel about them or the ways we want to hold them in mind.
I found that we must build our consciousness or faith step by step. When we make certain impressions on our subconscious mind and live for years by those impressions we cannot expect to destroy them in a few days. We must patiently substitute constructive, loving, harmonious thoughts for destructive, critical ones. The more you realize your freedom, the happier you become. Faith, joy, health, contentment, you just bubble over with these wonderful attributes and they attract the best people and environment.
...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.
I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. [...] Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.
I've always loved strong women, which is lucky for me because once you're over about twenty-five there is no other kind. Women blow my mind. The stuff that routinely gets done to them would make most men curl up and die, but women turn to steel and keep on coming. Any man who claims he's not into strong women is fooling himself mindless; he's into strong women who know how to pout prettily and put on baby voices, and who will end up keeping his balls in her makeup bags.
We have been cut off from our souls in the West, and because romantic love has become our religion, we think we can find fulfillment through this extraordinary and powerful force that draws us into an illusion of permanence. Passion makes us feel alive, makes us sing, makes us feel in touch with something powerful and wonderful, just as it would if we followed this meaning in life in a more spiritual practice. In the West it is often through such relationships, through another human being, that we search desperately for something, not knowing it is to be found within ourselves.
do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. That phrase, unfortunately, falls short of our true ability to love and be loved. I think the best thing I can expect of any society is for its citizens to examine the most precious individual of their lot, one who they would protect with their lives and gladly die if needs be, and ask themselves, ‘how do we want others to treat this precious individual?’, the answer to which is how we would behave towards others. … This, for all practical intent, is my new golden rule. From Fillossofee: Messages from a Grandfather, by Robert Gately
How often do we think "I am but one person, what can I do to make a difference", but we are all in this journey together. Each act of kindness, compassion, courtesy and Love is but a stone dropped into the lake of life causing a ripple; yet when we combine them all, they meet and create a Tsunami of Love that makes lasting changes in the world...changes that touch lives, give light to the darkness and healing to those in distress.
We are born, we suffer, we die. However, love is a possibility for us all and, for some few, there is also a big house."Daniel could not resist asking, because he really wanted to know. "Need they be mutually exclusive? Can't we have both love and house?"Joe smiled. "Certainly. But one must consider carefully how one goes about getting the house.
Brahma made up his mind to make the world and a man and woman. He made the world, and he made the man and then the woman, and put them on the island of Ceylon. According to the account it was the most beautiful island of which man can conceive. Such birds, such songs, such flowers and such verdure! And the branches of the trees were so arranged that when the wind swept through them every tree was a thousand Æolian harps.Brahma, when he put them there, said: 'Let them have a period of courtship, for it is my desire and will that true love should forever precede marriage.' When I read that, it was so much more beautiful and lofty than the other, that I said to myself, If either one of these stories ever turns out to be true, I hope it will be this one.'Then they had their courtship, with the nightingale singing, and the stars shining, and the flowers blooming, and they fell in love. They were married by the Supreme Brahma, and he said to them: 'Remain here; you must never leave this island.' Well, after a little while the man—and his name was Adami, and the woman's name was Heva—said to Heva: 'I believe I'll look about a little.' He went to the northern extremity of the island where there was a little narrow neck of land connecting it with the mainland, and the devil, who is always playing pranks with us, produced a mirage, and when he looked over to the mainland, such hills and vales, such dells and dales, such mountains crowned with snow, such cataracts clad in bows of glory did he see there, that he went back and told Heva: 'The country over there is a thousand times better than this; let us migrate.' She, like every other woman that ever lived, said: 'Let well enough alone; we have all we want; let us stay here.' But he said 'No, let us go;' so she followed him, and when they came to this narrow neck of land, he took her on his back like a gentleman, and carried her over. But the moment they got over they heard a crash, and looking back, discovered that this narrow neck of land had fallen into the sea. The mirage had disappeared, and there were naught but rocks and sand; and then the Supreme Brahma cursed them both to the lowest hell.Then it was that the man spoke,—and I have liked him ever since for it—'Curse me, but curse not her, it was not her fault, it was mine.'That's the kind of man to start a world with.The Supreme Brahma said: 'I will save her, but not thee.' And then she spoke out of her fullness of love, out of a heart in which there was love enough to make all her daughters rich in holy affection, and said: 'If thou wilt not spare him, spare neither me; I do not wish to live without him; I love him.' Then the Supreme Brahma said—and I have liked him ever since I read it—'I will spare you both and watch over you and your children forever.'Honor bright, is not that the better and grander story?