stories

Those who tell the stories rule society.

A man is known by the books he reads, by the company he keeps, by the praise he gives, by his dress, by his tastes, by his distastes, by the stories he tells, by his gait, by the motion of his eye, by the look of his house, of his chamber; for nothing on earth is solitary, but everything hath affinities infinite.

If we see the universe as not simply a bunch of dead matter and empty space but actually a living system, then our story may well be one of learning how to live together in a living universe. If we don't have a story to guide us into the future, we're going to pull back into our smaller life stories of the past--stories of nationalism, of ethnic groups, of tribal groups, of geographic groups--and instead of pulling together in cooperation we're going to pull apart in conflict. What I am suggesting is to step back and see the universe as our original, larger home. If we are going to pull together as a human family for a promising future, this is an inclusive project; no one is left out.

Some stories are true that never happened.

We make the oldest stories new when we succeed, and we are trapped by the old stories when we fail.

All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by. Religion, whatever else it has done, has provided one of the main ways of meeting this abiding need.

Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.

For stories teach us, that liberty sought out of season, in a corrupt and degenerate age, brought Rome itself to a farther slavery: for liberty hath a sharp and double edge, fit only to be handled by just and virtuous men; to bad and dissolute, it becomes a mischief unwieldy in their own hands: neither is it completely given, but by them who have the happy skill to know what is grievance and unjust to a people, and how to remove it wisely; what good laws are wanting, and how to frame them substantially, that good men may enjoy the freedom which they merit, and the bad the curb which they need.

Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good...

Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity - a total embrace of the entire Kosmos - a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature. It is at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?

The best stories don't come from "good vs. bad" but "good vs. good.

All the stories and descriptions of that time without exception peak only of the patriotism, self-sacrifice, despair, grief, and heroism of the Russians. But in reality it was not like that...The majority of the people paid no attention to the general course of events but were influenced only by their immediate personal interests.

The world's literature and folklore are full of stories that point out how futile it can be to seek happiness. Rather, happiness is a blessing that comes to you as you go along; a treasure that you incidentally find.

Telling stories never fails to produce good in the universe.

We tell the real truth of our life by the stories we repeatedly tell. Dare to dream of your great success. Become intimate with those things which deeply motivate you and regularly work toward the realization of that mission.

I always want to tell stories. But they must be stories that evolve, like our own lives. Perhaps what I seek is a new kind of story.

But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.

Each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.

Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them – a mother’s approval, a father’s nod –are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.

I have freed myself from each and every restraint of religion, ethics,
and social responsibility and the result is that I have made myself into a
question mark. I cannot accept the old order. I cannot make a new order
for myself. I wish I could be a plain and simple Socialist or Progressive.
People generally take me to be a Progressive, and I call myself one too.
But I am truly a decadent. The bitterness, despair, reclusiveness and
extreme individuation in my story “ƒar≥mj≥dµ” is an example of that. I
want to infuse my stories with a spirit that will create hope for a new
world and a new life for humanity. But my stories are severing even the
threads of hope that remain. I cannot grasp the spirit of unity. I am
bonded with the spirit of disunity. So aren’t my stories harmful and poisonous for the new life? Aren’t sick temperaments my examples? Is it justifiable that I write such stories at a time when there is a battle going on for
the fate of humanity? That I should write stories about the illusions and
imagined narcissistic fancies of an utterly personal nature? […] I too have
no “character.” My opinions and thoughts change with the wind. Only
despair is my constant feeling.