We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature.
Why do I ask you to think of God and chant His name in solitude? Living in the world day and night, one suffers from worries. Haven't you noticed brother killing brother for a foot of land? The Sikhs said to me, 'The cause of all worry and confusion is these three: land, woman, and money.'
I believe natural selection represents a truly hideous sum total of misery. When you look at something like a bounding lion, a sprinting cheetah, and the antelopes they are bounding and sprinting after, you're seeing the end product of a long, vicious arms race. All along the route of that arms race lie the corpses of the antelopes that didn't make it, and the lions and cheetahs that starved to death. So it is a process of vicious misery that has given rise to the immense beauty, elegance, and diversity that we see in the world today. Nature is beautiful. Even a cheetah as a killing machine is beautiful. But the process that gave rise to it is, indeed, nature red in tooth and claw. If nature were kind, she would at least make the minor concession of anaesthetising caterpillars before they are eaten alive from within.
I want to say that killing for God is not only hideous murder
Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful!
Living in the past with regret is like killing yourself on the inside and throwing them to darkness.
I think we're living in an age which despises humanity and despises bravery and doesn't need bravery because modern warfare has rather gone beyond bravery. It is a kind of warfare where people are fighting enemies they never see, killing people of whom they know nothing.
After the Dinner Party -
You two sit at the table late, each, now and then,
Twirling a near-empty wine glass to watch the last red
Liquid blimb up the crystalline spin to the last moment when
Centrifugality fails: with nothing now said.
What is left to say when the last logs sag and wink?
The dark outside is streaked with the casual snowflake
Of winter’s demise, all guests long gone home, and you think
Of others who never again can come to partake
Of food, wine, laughter, and philosophy—
Though tonight one guest has quoted a killing phrase we owe
To a lost one whose grin, in eternal atrophy,
Now in dark celebrates some last unworded jest none can know.
Now a chair scrapes, sudden, on tiles, and one of you
Moves soundless, as in hypnotic certainty,
The length of table. Stands there a moment or two,
Then sits, reaches out a hand, open and empty.
How long it seems till a hand finds that hand there laid,
While ash, still glowing, crumbles, and silence is such
That the crumbling of ash is audible. Now naught’s left unsaid
Of the old heart-concerns, the last, tonight, which
Had been of the absent children, whose bright gaze
Over-arches the future’s horizon, in the mist of your prayers,
The last log is black, while ash beneath displays
No last glow. You snuff candles. Soon the old stairs
Will creak with your grave and synchronized tread as each mounts
To a briefness of light, then true weight of darkness, and then
That heart-dimness in which neither joy nor sorrow counts.
Even so, one hand gropes out for another, again.
There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, / And - every - single - one - of- them - is - right!
Who are neither children nor gods, but men in a world of men!
The Japanese were masters at using classical conditioning with their soldiers. Early in World War II, Chinese prisoners were placed in a ditch on their knees with their hands bound behind them. And one by one, a select few Japanese soldiers would go into the ditch and bayonet "their" prisoner to death. This is a horrific way to kill another human being. Up on the bank, countless other young soldiers would cheer them on in their violence. Comparatively few soldiers actually killed in these situations, but by making the others watch and cheer, the Japanese were able to use these kinds of atrocities to classically condition a very large audience to associate pleasure with human death and suffering. Immediately afterwards, the soldiers who had been spectators were treated to sake, the best meal they had had in months, and to so-called comfort girls. The result? They learned to associate committing violent acts with pleasure.
We are trapped in this spiral of self-dependence and lack of trust. Real progress will never be made until we reduce this level of fear. As a historian, I tell you it will take decades--maybe even a century--before we wean Americans off their guns. And until we reduce the level of fear and of violent crime, Americans would sooner die than give up their guns
The will is content with nothing less than His presence and the sight of Him.
Modern capitalism has in many instances run mad, so that even to-day in some of our southern states we see the government declaring to those who possess wealth: Come to our state. We offer you . . . our children no matter how young they may be, take them; do with them what you will; place your octopus upon them; drag them into the factory, into the mill or into the mine; grind their bones into dollars; we give you full privilege, only come.
Some men, in truth, live that they may eat, as the irrational creatures, “whose life is their belly, and nothing else.” But the Instructor enjoins us to eat that we may live. For neither is food our business, nor is pleasure our aim; but both are on account of our life here, which the Word is training up to immortality. Wherefore also there is discrimination to be employed in reference to food. And it is to be simple, truly plain, suiting precisely simple and artless children—as ministering to life, not to luxury. And the life to which it conduces consists of two things—health and strength; to which plainness of fare is most suitable, being conducive both to digestion and lightness of body, from which come growth, and health, and right strength, not strength that is wrong or dangerous and wretched, as is that of athletes produced by compulsory feeding. We must therefore reject different varieties, which engender various mischiefs, such as a depraved habit of body and disorders of the stomach, the taste being vitiated by an unhappy art—that of cookery, and the useless art of making pastry. For people dare to call by the name of food their dabbling in luxuries, which glides into mischievous pleasures. Antiphanes, the Delian physician, said that this variety of viands was the one cause of disease; there being people who dislike the truth, and through various absurd notions abjure moderation of diet, and put themselves to a world of trouble to procure dainties from beyond seas.
No rational order of divine intelligence unites species. The natural ties are genealogical along contingent pathways of history.
Around us, life bursts with miracles--a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.
We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love.
We have indeed been out in space, but some are under the illusion that we have been off Earth. In reality humans have never been off Earth. We have always been on a piece of Earth in space. We survive only as long as we can breathe the air of Earth, drink its waters, and be nourished by its foods. There is no indication that as humans we will ever live anywhere else in the universe. Place, too, is continuously being transformed but only within its own possibilities.
And yet without labor there were no ease, no rest, so much as conceivable.