Passages
 

Billy Graham


I don't want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.


Either communism must die or Christianity must die because it's actually a battle between Christ and Anti-Christ.


I feel sorry for the man who has never known the bracing thrill of taking a stand and sticking to it fearlessly. Moral courage has rewards that timidity can never imagine. Like a shot of adrenaline, it floods the spirit with vitality.


“What is the greatest surprise you have found about life?” a university student asked me several years ago. “The brevity of it,” I replied without hesitation. … Time moves so quickly, and no matter who we are or what we have done, the time will come when our lives will be over. As Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).


No, I don’t know the future, but I do know this: the best is yet to be! Heaven awaits us, and that will be far, far more glorious than anything we can ever imagine. I know that soon my life will be over. I thank God for it, and for all He has given me in this life. But I look forward to Heaven. I look forward to the reunion with friends and loved ones who have gone on before. I look forward to Heaven’s freedom from sorrow and pain. I also look forward to serving God in ways we can’t begin to imagine, for the Bible makes it clear that Heaven is not a place of idleness. And most of all, I look forward to seeing Christ and bowing before Him in praise and gratitude for all He has done for us, and for using me on this earth by His grace—just as I am.


Simone Weil


Our patriotism comes straight from the Romans. This is why French children are encouraged to seek inspiration for it in Corneille. It is a pagan virtue, if these two words are compatible. The word pagan, when applied to Rome, early possesses the significance charged with horror which the early Christian controversialists gave it. The Romans really were an atheistic and idolatrous people; not idolatrous with regard to images made of stone or bronze, but idolatrous with regard to themselves. It is this idolatry of self which they have bequeathed to us in the form of patriotism.


All sins are attempts to fill voids.


Concern for the symbol has completely disappeared from our science. And yet, if one were to give oneself the trouble, one could easily find, in certain parts at least of contemporary mathematics... symbols as clear, as beautiful, and as full of spiritual meaning as that of the circle and mediation. From modern thought to ancient wisdom the path would be short and direct, if one cared to take it.


To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.


Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.


For when two beings who are not friends are near each other there is no meeting, and when friends are far apart there is no separation.


Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.


Beauty always promises, but never gives anything.


The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.


Humility is attentive patience.


A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation which we bear in ourselves.


A mind enclosed in language is in prison.


King Solomon


If you see oppression of the poor, and justice and righteousness trampled in a country, do not be astounded.


A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.


[A note on the image: Russian icon of King Solomon. He is depicted holding a model of the Temple (18th century, iconostasis of Kizhi monastery, Russia).]


A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.


As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.


Happy is the man that has found wisdom, and the man that gets discernment, for having it as gain is better than having silver as gain and having it as produce than gold itself. It is more precious than corals, and all other delights of yours cannot be made equal to it. Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand there are riches and glory. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its roadways are peace. It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.


All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full.


Do not rebuke mockers, or they will hate you; rebuke the wise, and they will love you.


Who is the wise man? He who sees what's going to be born.


Kindness and faithfulness keep a king safe, through kindness his throne is made secure.




Adam Nicolson


Eric Schlosser's book on the economy and strategies of the fast-food business should be read by anyone who likes to take their children to fast-food restaurants. I shall certainly never do that again. He employs a long, cold burn, a quiet and impassioned accumulation of detail, with calm, wit and clarity. (...) Fast Food Nation is witness to the rigour and seriousness of the best American journalism, readable, reliable and extremely carefully done.


The field is a halfway house, halfway between the detail of those intimately known places and the ignorance of a landscape view ... The essence of a field is that the cultural accommodates the natural there. The human being makes room for and makes use of those organisms that are not him. In that way the field is a poem to symbiosis, and a human contract with the natural.


A puritan is such a one as loves God with all his soul, but hates his neighbor with all his heart.


Iliad’s subject is not war or its wickedness but a crisis in how to be.


We are wanderers, place shifters, the cosmic homeless. This is not a modern truth, and Achilles is not some new kind of existentialist hero. It is the oldest truth of all, surviving uncomfortably into the modern world of cities and overkings, diplomacy and accommodation, the power structures and the proliferation of stuff which the Mediterranean world provides.



Anthony Hopkins


I came here in 1974 to do a play, and then I went to L.A. I really like living in America. I feel more at home here than anywhere else.


For me, time is the greatest mystery of all. The fact is that we're dreaming all the time. That's what really gets me. We have a fathomless lake of unconsciousness just beneath our skulls.


Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore; only the life I have lived. The pain now is part of the happiness then.


Years ago I met Richard Burton in Port Talbot, my home town, and afterwards he passed in his car with his wife, and I thought, 'I want to get out and become like him'. Not because of Wales, because I love Wales, but because I was so limited as a child at school and so bereft and lonely, and I thought becoming an actor would do that.


My father was grounded, a very meat-and-potatoes man. He was a baker.


I have no interest in Shakespeare and all that British nonsense... I just wanted to get famous and all the rest is hogwash.


We're all caught up in circumstances, and we're all good and evil. When you're really hungry, for instance, you'll do anything to survive. I think the most evil thing - well, maybe that's too strong - but certainly a very evil thing is judgment, the sin of ignorance.


I'm a pretty tough guy, you know. I'm a pretty hard man. I've got a lot of compassion, but I don't waste time with people.




Katherine Mansfield


The world to me is a dream and the people in it are sleepers. I have known a few instances of intensity but that is all. I want to find a world in which these instances are united. Shall I succeed? I scarcely care. What is important is to try & learn to live, and in relation to everything – not isolated. This isolation is death to me.


Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.


Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in.


I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.


I want, by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming.


It's an infernal nuisance to love Life as I do. I seem to love it more as time goes on rather than less. It never becomes a habit to me. It's always a marvel. I do hope I'll be able to keep in it long enough to do some really good work. I'm sick of people dying who promise well.


The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.


Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change.


If only one could tell true love from false love as one can tell mushrooms from toadstools.


It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.


Whenever I prepare for a journey I prepare as though for death. Should I never return, all is in order.


Alfred Adler


The striving for significance, this sense of yearning, always points out to us that all psychological phenomena contain a movement that starts from a feeling of inferiority and reach upward. The theory of Individual Psychology of psychological compensation states that the stronger the feeling of inferiority, the higher the goal for personal power.


It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.


Trust only movement.  Life happens at the level of events, not of words.  Trust movement.


The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well.


The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.


A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt as dangerous.


Exaggerated sensitiveness is an expression of the feeling of inferiority.


The greater the feeling of inferiority that has been experienced, the more powerful is the urge to conquest and the more violent the emotional agitation.


The truth is often a terrible weapon of aggression. It is possible to lie, and even to murder, with the truth.


The test of one's behavior pattern is their relationship to society, relationship to work and relationship to sex.


Man knows much more than he understands.


Henri Matisse


Expression for me does not reside in passions glowing in a human face or manifested by violent movement. The entire arrangement of my picture is expressive; the place occupied by my figures, the empty space around them, the proportions, everything has its share. Composition is the art of arranging in a decorative manner the diverse elements at the painter's command to express his feelings. In a picture every part will be visible and will play its appointed role, whether it be principal or secondary. Everything that is not useful in the picture is, it follows, harmful. A work of art must be harmonious in its entirety: any superfluous detail would replace some other essential detail in the mind of the spectator.


If upon a white canvas I jot down some sensations of blue, of green, of red – every new brush stroke diminishes the importance of the preceding ones. Suppose I set out to paint an interior.. .If I paint a green near the red, if I paint in a yellow floor, there must still be between this green, this yellow, and the white of the canvas a relation that will be satisfactory to me. But these several tones mutually weaken one another. It is necessary, therefore, that the various elements that I use be so balanced that they do not destroy one another.


I am forced to transpose until finally my picture may seem completely changed when, after successive modifications, the red has succeeded the green as the dominant color. I cannot copy nature in a servile way, I must interpret nature and submit it to the spirit of the picture – when I have found the relationship of all the tones the result must be a living harmony of tones, a harmony not unlike that of a musical composition.


Slowly I discovered the secret of my art. It consists of a meditation on nature, on the expression of a dream which is always inspired by reality. With more involvement and regularity, I learned to push each study in a certain direction. Little by little the notion that painting is a means of expression asserted itself, and that one can express the same thing in several ways. Exactitude is not truth, Delacroix liked to say.


Michael Palin


Contrary to what the politicians and religious leaders would like us to believe, the world won’t be made safer by creating barriers between people. Cries of “They’re evil, let’s get ‘em” or “The infidels must die” sound frightening, but they’re desperately empty of argument and understanding. They’re the rallying cries of prejudice, the call to arms of those who find it easier to hate than admit they might be not be right about everything.


Armageddon is not around the corner. This is only what the people of violence want us to believe. The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future.


The human race should just slow down and think about what it is doing.


I don't see why it should be remarkable that you can acquire a reputation for fairness and decency. Those are qualities shared by so many people. And the great majority of people I meet are decent people, just trying to navigate their way through the world without causing too much trouble.


Hollywood was possible for a while! Why didn't I go along with it? Well, the other things that were pulling me back were more important. Being at home, being in the same marriage, these things enabled me to go off and travel in the first place.


Richard Gere


When His Holiness won the Nobel Peace Prize, there was a quantum leap. He is not seen as solely a Tibetan anymore; he belongs to the world.


The secret of my success is my hairspray.


My first encounter with Buddhist dharma would be in my early 20s. Like most young men, I was not particularly happy.


Well I think on a simple ecological level that the diversity of this planet is important for our survival, that all of our different cultures, people are important to the health of the whole the same way that a species of animal should be saved and at a simple ecology level.


I don't think that bravery is about skin. Bravery is about a willingness to show emotional need.


I would say that the West is very young, it's very corrupt. We're not very wise. And I think we're hopeful that there is a place that is ancient and wise and open and filled with light.


I don't know any of us who are in relationships that are totally honest - it doesn't exist.


Billions of people don't practice a religion at all.


Henry Moore


I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years'.


The Negroes.. ..their unique claim for admiration is their power to produce form completely in the round.. .Negro sculpture is completely in the round, fully-conceived air-surrounded form.


A sculptor is a person who is interested in the shape of things, a poet in words, a musician by sounds.


Since the Gothic, European sculpture had become overgrown with moss, weeds – all sorts of surface excrescences which completely concealed shape. It has been Brancusi’s special mission to get rid of this overgrowth, and make us once more shape-conscious. To do this he has had to concentrate on very simple direct shapes, to keep his sculpture, as it were, one-cylindered, to refine and polish a single shape to a degree almost too precious... it may now be no longer necessary to close down and restrict sculpture to the single form unit. We can now begin to open out. To relate and combine together several forms of varied sizes, sections, and directions into one organic whole.


It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work.


The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.


One room after another in the British museum took my enthusiasm. The Royal College of Art meant nothing in comparison. Every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday I would go to the British Museum. But not till after three months did things begin to settle into any pattern of reality for me. Till then everything was wonderful – a new world at every turn. That is the value of the British Museum: you have everything behind you; you are free to try to find out your own way and, after a while, to find what appeals to you most. And after the first excitement it was the art of ancient Mexico that spoke to me most – except perhaps Romanesque, or early Norman. And I admit clearly and frankly that early Mexican art formed my views of carving as much as everything I could do.




Nicole Kidman


You don't have to be naked to be sexy.


When you relinquish the desire to control your future, you can have more happiness.


I would describe myself as emotional and highly strung. If something upsets me, it really upsets me. If something makes me angry, I get really angry. But it's all very upfront. I can't hide it. I'm also loyal and I hope I'm fun.


Even from a very early age, I knew I didn't want to miss out on anything life had to offer just because it might be considered dangerous.


I believe that as much as you take, you have to give back. It's important not to focus on yourself too much.


What's the point of doing something good if nobody's watching.


They've said I'm gay, they've said everyone is gay. I personally don't believe in doing huge lawsuits about that stuff. Tom does. That's what he wants to do, that's what he's going to do. You do not tell Tom what to do. He is a force to be reckoned with.


I never knew I'd be in a musical, let alone win an award for one.


I think I would be very sad if I wasn't able to have a baby.


Stay out of the sun, because it is the worst thing in terms of aging. I'm very medical. I come from a medical family.



Mark Knopfler


I canceled the Russian shows because, from the days of the first Dire Straits album, I've supported Amnesty International. It's not a good thing to read about people being jailed for no reason, so I raised my hand and made a small objection. It was good to do - but where do you stop?


Whenever a political regime or religious establishment refuses to tolerate criticism, it advertises itself as repressive, backward, and insecure.


I still enjoy playing some of those early Straits songs, and I'm proud of what we did, and certainly we had some great times. It's what we all wanted when we were kids. But you've got to have the resilience to ride that thing, to pick up that ball and run with it. Because you will keep picking it up and keep running.


For me, songwriting is really where it's at. I turn to use the guitar just to help me write the songs. That's it. As a result, my guitar playing suffers pretty horribly.


We used to play in a theater club in London called The King's Head. When the theater let out, around 10:00 P.M., we'd be ready to go and really get it on for about an hour or so.


Each song has its own secret that's different from another song, and each has its own life. Sometimes it has to be teased out, whereas other times it might come fast. There are no laws about songwriting or producing. It depends on what you're doing, not just who you're doing.


My idea of heaven is a place where the Tyne meets the Delta, where folk music meets the blues.



Bob Geldof


It's really very simple, Governor. When people are hungry they die. So spare me your politics and tell me what you need and how you're going to get it to these people.


Irish Americans are no more Irish than Black Americans are Africans.


I don't think anyone sets out to malign poor people but certainly that's what we do through organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.


Music is something I must do, business is something I need to do, and Africa is something I have to do. That's the way it breaks down in my life.


When I hit 11 so did the careers of Dylan and the Stones. A year later it was the Who and the Kinks.


Those songs are about getting out; they're not about getting out of family. It wasn't about how family life was curtailing because I didn't know family life.


So when I got to 50 I just thought, Hold on: I'm thin. I've got my hair. I'm well off. I survived, you know.


But I think Prozac is a lethal drug, I've several friends just haven't made it by taking Prozac.


90% of the divorces are initiated by women. That is really odd. Why? What's going on? What's the great discontent at the heart of it?


You can't trust politicians. It doesn't matter who makes a political speech. It's all lies - and it applies to any rock star who wants to make a political speech as well.



Helen Clark MacInnes


[A note on the Author: MacInnes wrote 21 espionage thrillers, four of which were later made into films. A scot, MacInnes became a U.S. citizen in 1952.


MacInnes's second novel, Assignment in Brittany (1942), was required reading for Allied intelligence agents who were being sent to work with the French resistance against the Nazis. It also featured on the first New York Times fiction bestseller list, in 1942.[7] Her 1944 book, The Unconquerable, carries such an accurate portrayal of the Polish resistance that some thought she was using classified information given to her by her husband]


Men who use terrorism as a means to power, rule by terror once they are in power.


And it's the educated barbarian who is the worst: he knows what to destroy.


The mind is more vulnerable than the stomach, because it can be poisoned without feeling immediate pain.


Nihilists expend everything and everyone except themselves. They are the indispensable men, without whom the world might try to live almost happily.


The sad discovery of the adult world was the permanent truth: you don't always do what you want to do; you do what you must.


Just remember enough never to be vulnerable again: total forgetting could be as self-destructive as complete remembering.


Life to most Greeks may be either tragic or comic or a mixture of both; but one thing it never is - and that is, meaningless.


Civilization is a perishable commodity.



Alexandre Dumas


"You must teach me a small part of what you know," said Dantes, "if only to prevent your growing weary of me. I can well believe that so learned a person as yourself would prefer absolute solitude to being tormented with the company of one as ignorant and uninformed as myself. If you will only agree to my request, I promise you never to mention another word about escaping." The abbe smiled. "Alas, my boy," said he, "human knowledge is confined within very narrow limits; and when I have taught you mathematics, physics, history, and the three or four modern languages with which I am acquainted, you will know as much as I do myself. Now, it will scarcely require two years for me to communicate to you the stock of learning I possess."

"Two years!" exclaimed Dantes; "do you really believe I can acquire all these things in so short a time?"

"Not their application, certainly, but their principles you may; to learn is not to know; there are the learners and the learned. Memory makes the one, philosophy the other."


Cherchez la femme, pardieu! cherchez la femme!


"Eh, gentlemen, let us reckon upon accidents! Life is a chaplet of little miseries which the philosopher counts with a smile. Be philosophers, as I am, gentlemen; sit down at the table and let us drink. Nothing makes the future look so bright as surveying it through a glass of chambertin."


Tell the angel who will watch over your future destiny, Morrel, to pray sometimes for a man who, like Satan, thought himself, for an instant, equal to God; but who now acknowledges, with Christian humility, that God alone possesses supreme power and infinite wisdom... There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.


Charlotte Brontë


I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.


The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.


Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.


The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter - often an unconscious, but still a truthful interpreter - in the eye.


I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.


It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.


A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.


If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.


Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.


Better to be without logic than without feeling.



Ben Johnson


He was not of an age, but for all time! And all the Muses still were in their prime, When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm!


True happiness Consists not in the multitude of friends, But in the worth and choice.


Drink to me only with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kiss but in the cup, And I'll not look for wine.


And though thou hadst small Latin, and less Greek.


In small proportions we just beauties see; And in short measures, life may perfect be.


He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.


To speak and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.


In the hope to meet Shortly again, and make our absence sweet.


Language most shows a man, speak that I may see thee.


Apes are apes, though clothed in scarlet.





Martha Graham


Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.


There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.


Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.


Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it.


The body is a sacred garment: it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honour, and with joy and with fear as well. But always, though, with blessing.


Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.


No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time; it is just that others are behind the times.


Dancers are the messengers of the gods.


The body is a sacred garment.


Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery — what it all means…


You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.








 
Passages

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