And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. One fails forward toward success. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness. Le Guin. It reminds him that failure is not the ultimate disaster.
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And this reminder liberates him from the mean fussing of perfectionism. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of life getting his living. So was man created, to hunger for the ideal that is above himself, until one day there is magic in the air, and the eyes of a girl rest upon him. He does not know that it is he himself who crowned her, and if the girl is as pure as he, their love is the one form of idolatry that is not quite ignoble. It is the joining of two souls on their way to God.
But if the woman be bad, the test of the man is when he wakens from his dream. The nobler his ideal, the further will he have been hurried down the wrong way, for those who only run after little things will not go far. His love may now sink into passion, perhaps only to stain its wings and rise again, perhaps to drown. We should be slower to think that the man at his worst is the real man, and certain that the better we are ourselves the less likely is he to be at his worst in our company.
Every time he talks away his own character before us he is signifying contempt for ours. I shall be told that she thought far more of him than he deserved, forgetting the mean in the worthy: but who that has had a glimpse of heaven will care to let his mind dwell henceforth on earth? Love, it is said, is blind, but love is not blind. It is an extra eye, which shows us what is most worthy of regard. Great opportunities are worth the risk. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? Everything you want also wants you.
But you have to take action to get it. It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.
Betty Oliger Fox
For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true. If you want happiness for a day - go fishing. If you want happiness for a month - get married. If you want happiness for a year - inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime - help someone else. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.
It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions.
That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first. When you learn to live for others, they will live for you. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value. It is a constant state of awareness of oneness with God. If you are not willing to make the sacrifice, then keep searching. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined.
No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. But you have already borne the pain.
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What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
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A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. Overcome it and you take charge of your life and your world. Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.
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But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong.
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All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures. Then they begin to hope it can be done.
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Then they see it can be done. Then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.
I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me. Somerset Maugham. A life without contradiction is only half a life; or else a life in the Beyond, which is destined only for angels. But God loves human beings more than the angels. Who looks outside, dreams.