night

All that is required for a complete pacification of the spiritual house is the negation through pure faith of all the spiritual faculties and gratifications and appetites. This achieved, the soul will be joined with the Beloved in a union of simplicity and purity and love and likeness... In the night of sense there is yet some light, because the intellect and reason remain and suffer no blindness. But his spiritual night of faith removes everything, both in the intellect and in the senses. The less a soul works with its own abilities, the more securely it proceeds, because its progress in faith is greater.

I know of only one mystical poem that is satisfactorily successful, The Obscure Night of the Soul, by St. John of the Cross. In that amazing poem, what is said counts for almost nothing, but is sublimated into the purposed significance. The artist does not intend to go so far as that, but in seeking an incorruptible unity, he is always something of a mystic. Unlike the mystic, he clings to the world of things, though he transmutes it. He can never say the whole of what he means, but the mystic cannot say at all what he means; for his meaning is something singular and indivisible, something absolute in its inexpressibility. The simple lover in Cyrano can only say "I love you," but the poet Cyrano can say the same thing in a hundred elaborate ways.

No sight that human eyes can look upon is more provocative of awe than is the night sky scattered thick with stars.

A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

The worst part is wondering how you’ll find the strength tomorrow
to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much
too long, where you’ll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night will find you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows. And maybe it’s treacherous old age coming on, threatening the worst. Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn’t enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I’ve never been able to kill myself.

What is forever? It cannot be in time, because time can be measured, and forever cannot. Time is inextricably tangled up with place, and can be measured only against place (dark of night in New York; grey of morning in Beja). Time has meaning only in relation to its position in space, the movement of a planet about a sun, of a night through stars.

Do not imagine that these most difficult problems can be thoroughly understood by any one of us. This is not the case. At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. We are like those who, though beholding frequent flashes of lightning, still find themselves in the thickest darkness of the night. On some the lightning flashes in rapid succession, and they seem to be in continuous light, and their night is as clear as the day.

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.

Change always involves a dark night when everything falls apart. Yet if this period of dissolution is used to create new meaning, then chaos ends and new order emerges.

Even from a dark night songs of beauty can be born.

Courage is confidence. No matter how dark night may be, courage always finds the light and the promise of a distant star.

Ere you lie down to sleep in the night, sit still awhile, and nurse again to life your gentler self. Forget the restless, noisy spirit of the day, and encourage to speech the soft voices within you that timidly whisper of the peace of the quiet night; and occasionally look out at the quiet stars. The night will soothe you like a tender mother, folding you against her soft bosom, and hiding you from the harm of the world. Though denied and rejected by men in the light of day, the night will not reject you and in the still of her soft shadows you are free. After the day's struggle there is no freedom like unfettered thoughts, no sound like the music of silence. And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat and discouragement, and before you the challenge and uncertainty of untried paths, in this brief hour you are master of all highways, and the universe nestles in your soul.

Perhaps [transgression] is like a flash of lightning in the night which, from the beginning of time, gives a dense and black intensity to the night it denies, which lights up the night from the inside, from top to bottom, yet owes to the dark the stark clarity of its manifestation, its harrowing and poised singularity.

Chance does not speak essentially through words nor can it be seen in their convolution. It is the eruption of language, its sudden appearance. It's not a night twinkle with stars, an illuminated sleep, nor a drowsy vigil. It is the very edge of consciousness.

Tis said of love that it sometimes goes, sometimes flies runs with one, walks gravely with another turns a third into ice, and sets a fourth in a flame it wounds one, another it kills like lightning it begins and ends in the same moment it makes that fort yield at night which it besieged but in the morning for there is no force able to resist it.

Don't forget that your years are in pairs, as sisters, mother and daughter or sister and brother. And sometimes as stepfather and stepdaughter or lovers ... In order to meet the night all your nights as day, need to understand what a couple of years that are in your life.

Whereas "false stories" can be told anywhere and at any time, myths must not be recited except during a period of sacred time (usually in autumn or winter, and only at night).... This custom has survived even among peoples who have passed beyond the archaic stage of culture. Among the Turco-Mongols and the Tibetans the epic songs of the Gesar cycle can be recited only at night and in winter.

From morning until night and from night until morning
keep your heart free from malice towards anyone.

I never lie down at night without reflecting that, young as I am, I may not live to see another day.