The first thing I would like to tell you about death is that there is no bigger lie than death. And yet, death appears to be true. It not only appears to be true but also seems like the cardinal truth of life - it appears as if the whole of life is surrounded by death. Whether we forget about it, or become oblivious to it, everywhere death remains close to us. Death is even closer to us than our own shadow.
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What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it is really a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things.
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Whilst no people appears in history without the sign and palladium of a positive faith, without temple, altar, priesthood--that is to say, without a constituted religion--unbelief appears only under an individual form, sometimes proscribed, sometimes tolerated, seldom powerful, and never becoming established as the public and social expression of a nation.
Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire
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True virtue never appears so lovely as when it is most oppressed; and the divine excellency of real Christianity is never exhibited with such advantage as when under the greatest trials; then it is that true faith appears much more precious than gold, and upon this account is "found to praise and honour and glory.
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Everything seemed to change on that one day, but really, I think, things had been changing and changing over the course of many previous days, and perhaps what eventually appears to be information always appears at first to be just flotsam, meaningless fragments, until enough flotsam accretes to manifest, when one notices it, a construction.
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Some say that sudden knowledge of mystical matters is accomplished only in complete quietude, or that Creator, in one of God's many forms, appears only in orderly ways that are beauteous and picturesque, or that the mystical appears only in completely silent ways. All are true. Except for the 'only' part.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
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What is more, sir, " his lordship went on, "I believe I have a good idea of what you mean by 'professionalism.' It appears to mean getting one's way by cheating and manipulating. It appears to mean serving the dictates of greed and advantage rather than those of goodness and the desire to see justice prevail in the world. If that is the 'professionalism' you refer to, sir, I don't care much for it and have no wish to acquire it.
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Most men do not feel in themselves the competence required for leading their group to victory, and therefore seek out a captain who appears to possess the courage and sagacity necessary for the achievement of supremacy. Even in religion this impulse appears. Nietzsche accused Christianity of inculcating a slave-morality, but ultimate triumph was always the goal. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
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The deceitfulness of the heart of man appears in no one thing so much as this of spiritual pride and self-righteousness. The subtlety of Satan appears in its height, in his managing persons with respect to this sin. And perhaps one reason may be that here he has most experience; he knows the way of its coming in; he is acquainted with the secret springs of it: it was his own sin. Experience gives vast advantage in leading souls, either in good or evil.
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Have faith in man, whether he appears to you to be a very learned one or a most ignorant one. Have faith in man, whether he appears to be an angel or the very devil himself. Have faith in man first, and then having faith in him, believe that if there are defects in him, if he makes mistakes, if he embraces the crudest and the vilest doctrines, believe that it is not from his real nature that they come, but from the want of higher ideals.
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According to Chekhov," Tamaru said, rising from his chair, "once a gun appears in a story, it has to be fired." "Meaning what?" "Meaning, don't bring unnecessary props into a story. If a pistol appears, it has to be fired at some point. Chekhov liked to write stories that did away with all useless ornamentation.
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Do not trouble about those who practice philosophy, whether they are good or bad; but examine the thing itself well and carefully. And if philosophy appears a bad thing to you, turn every man from it, not only your sons; but if it appears to you such as I think it to be, take courage, pursue it, and practice it, as the saying is, 'both you and your house.
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That is why he appears to us who are deeply life-hypnotized, obsessed about being alive in any way, as life-negating. To us, just to be alive seems to be the end. We are so much afraid of death that Buddha appears in love with death, and that looks abnormal. He seems to be suicidal. This is what many have criticized Buddha for.
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However, the natural symbol, without our being sufficiently conscious of the fact, is identical with the reality of the world that appears to us, for every object in the natural world is at the same time a symbolic reality to us. The psyche certainly does not use an "object" of nature as a "symbol, " but rather the experience of an "object" itself is always already symbolic experience. The star or tree in us is no less real and no less symbolic than it is in outward experience. For each possibility of experience either presupposes a spiritually forming, that is to say a symbolic activity, or is identical with this. That is, everything spiritual appears to us first not just in nature but as nature; or we could formulate this just as well the other way around: everything natural, whether outward or inward, appears to us as an image, that is to say as formed spirit. We are surrounded by images, inwardly and outwardly, but at the same time formed and determined in all our experiences by the natural symbol as though by a unitary natural-spiritual reality, for our psychic system only grasps that which appears to us as the real world through the world of natural symbolism.
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Mathematics has two faces: it is the rigorous science of Euclid, but it is also something else. Mathematics presented in the Euclidean way appears as a systematic, deductive science; but mathematics in the making appears as an experimental, inductive science. Both aspects are as old as the science of mathematics itself.
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Democritus sometimes does away with what appears to the senses, and says that none of these appears according to truth but only according to opinion: the truth in real things is that there are atoms and void. 'By convention sweet', he says, 'by convention bitter, by convention hot, by convention cold, by convention colour: but in reality atoms and void.'
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True Christian fortitude consists in strength of mind, through grace, exerted in two things; in ruling and suppressing the evil and unruly passions and affections of the mind; and in steadfastly and freely exerting and following good affections and dispositions, without being hindered by sinful fear or the opposition of enemies... Though Christian fortitude appears in withstanding and counteracting the enemies that are without us; yet it much more appears in resisting and suppressing the enemies that are within us; because they are our worst and strongest enemies and have greatest advantage against us. The strength of the good soldier of Jesus Christ appears in nothing more than in steadfastly maintaining the holy calm, meekness, sweetness, and benevolence of his mind, amidst all the storms, injuries, strange behaviour, and surprising acts and events of this evil and unreasonable world.
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In the religious myths, the creative will appears personified in God, and man already feels himself guilty when he assumes himself to be like God, that is, to ascribe this will to himself. In the heroic myths on the contrary, man appears as himself, creative and guilt for his suffering and fall is ascribed to God, that is, to his own will. Both are only extreme reaction phenomena of man wavering between his Godlikeness and his nothingness, whose will is awakened to the knowledge of its power and whose consciousness is aroused to terror before it.
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When any person harms you, or speaks badly of you, remember that he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. Now, it is not possible that he should follow what appears right to you, but what appears so to himself. Therefore, if he judges from a wrong appearance, he is the person hurt, since he too is the person deceived. For if anyone should suppose a true proposition to be false, the proposition is not hurt, but he who is deceived about it. Setting out, then, from these principles, you will meekly bear a person who reviles you, for you will say upon every occasion, "It seemed so to him."...
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Because of its concrete content, sense-certainty immediately appears as the richest kind of knowledge, indeed a knowledge of infinite wealth for which no bounds can be found, either when we reach out into space and time in which it is dispersed, or when we take a bit of this wealth, and by division enter into it. Moreover, sense-certainty appears to be the truest knowledge ... but, in the event, this very certainty proves itself to be the most abstract and poorest truth. All that it says about what it knows is just that it is; and its truth contains nothing but the sheer being of the thing.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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The basic fact is that Christianity as it was born in the mind of this Jewish thinker and teacher appears as a technique of survival for the oppressed. That it became, through the intervening years, a religion of the powerful and the dominant, used sometimes as an instrument of oppression, must not tempt us into believing that it was thus in the mind and life of Jesus. 'In him was life; and the life was the light of men.' Wherever his spirit appears, the oppressed gather fresh courage; for he announced the good news that fear, hypocrisy, and hatred, the three hounds of hell that track the trail of the disinherited, need have no dominion over them.
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The point is that (little-t) truth is a matter of definition relative to the grid one is using at the moment, and that (capital-T) Truth, metaphysical reality, is irrelevant to grids entirely. Pick a grid, and through it some chaos appears ordered and some appears disordered. Pick another grid, and the same chaos will appear differently ordered and disordered. Reality is the original Rorschach. Verily! So much for all that.
Malaclypse the Younger
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It often appears that those who talk the most about going to heaven when you die talk the least about bringing heaven to earth right now, as Jesus taught us to pray: 'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' At the same time, it often appears that those who talk the most about relieving suffering now talk the least about heaven when we die.
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You've got to live right, too. It's the way you live that predisposes you to avoid the traps and see the right facts. You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It's easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally. That's the way all the experts do it. The making of a painting or the fixing of a motorcycle isn't separate from the rest of your existence. If you're a sloppy thinker the six days of the week you aren't working on your machine, what trap avoidance, what gimmicks, can make you all of a sudden sharp on the seventh? It all goes together... The real cycle you're working in is a cycle called yourself. The machine that appears to be "out there" and the person that appears to be "in here" are not two separate things. They grow toward Qaulity or fall away from Qaulity together.
Robert M. Pirsig
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The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that's why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.
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In neo-classical economic theory, it is claimed without evidence that people are basically self-seeking, that they want above all the satisfaction of their material desires: what economists call "maximising utility". The ultimate objective of mankind is economic growth, and that is maximized only through raw, and lightly regulated, competition. If the rewards of this system are spread unevenly, that is a necessary price. Others on the planet are to be regarded as either customers, competitors or factors of production. Effects upon the planet itself are mere "externalities" to the model, with no reckoning of the cost - at least for now. Nowhere in this analysis appears factors such as human cooperation, love, trust, compassion or hatred, curiosity or beauty. Nowhere appears the concept of meaning. What cannot be measured is ignored. But the trouble is that once our basic needs for shelter and food have been met, these factors may be the most important of all.
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