Compared with the person who is conscious of his despair, the despairing individual who is ignorant of his despair is simply a negativity further away from the truth and deliverance. . . . Yet ignorance is so far from breaking the despair or changing despair to nondespairing that it can in fact be the most dangerous form of despair. . . . An individual is furthest from being conscious of himself as spirit when he is ignorant of being in despair. But precisely this-not to be conscious of oneself as spirit-is despair, which is spiritlessness. . . .
It's despair at the lack of feeling, of love, of reason in the world. It's despair that anyone can even contemplate the idea of dropping a bomb or ordering that it should be dropped. It's despair that so few of us care. It's despair that there's so much brutality and callousness in the world. It's despair that perfectly normal young men can be made vicious and evil because they've won a lot of money. And then do what you've done to me.
The ever increasing intensity of despair depends upon the degree of consciousness or is proportionate to this increase: the greater the degree of consciousness, the more intensive the despair. This is everywhere apparent, most clearly in despair at its maximum and minimum. The devil's despair is the most intensive despair, for the devil is sheer spirit and hence unqualified consciousness and transparency; there is no obscurity in the devil that could serve as a mitigating excuse. Therefore, his despair is the most absolute defiance. . . .
It's despair at the lack of (I'm cheating, I didn't say all these things - but I'm going to write what I want to say as well as what I did) feeling, of love, of reason in the world. It's despair that anyone can even contemplate the idea of dropping a bomb or ordering that it should be dropped. It's despair that so few of us care. It's despair that there's so much brutality and callousness in the world.
If there's more that you can do, then do it. If there's not more that you can do, then be content with what you're doing. But if there is despair, the despair can only be that you can do more. Because when you're doing as much as you can do, you will not feel despair. Because despair is the gap between what you could be doing and what you are doing.
Just as doubt, despair, and desensitization go together, so do faith, hope, and charity. The latter, however, must be carefully and constantly nurtured, whereas despair, like dandelions, needs so little encouragement to sprout and spread. Despair comes so naturally to the natural man!
Neal A. Maxwell
Despair was strength. Despair was the scab and the scar. The walled city in a time of plague. A closed fortification. A sure thing, because it was always safer, less painful to stop trying than it was to repeatedly try and fail. Failure-disappointment-was a poison in my blood. Despair was the antidote.
Optimism is a matter optics, of seeing what you want to see and not seeing what you don't want to see. Hope, on the other hand, is a Christian virtue. It is the unblinking acknowledgment of all that militates against hope, and the unrelenting refusal to despair. We have not the right to despair, and, finally, we have not the reason to despair
Richard John Neuhaus
Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair.
Despair is not for the living but for those unable to rise and continue; they are the only souls with a right to it. It is an end where breath and strength and will have vanished, leaving no way to persevere. To sink into the abyss that is despair is to suffer an existence far worse than death; therefore, cling to its enemy, our ally-hope. For life goes on, and we must not live in despair. We must not.
Richelle E. Goodrich
I despair at the rise of modern violence. I truly give in to despair at times, that deep, futureless pit of despair.... I watch the American slaughterhouse, the casual attacks on popes, presidents, and uncounted others, and I wonder if there are many more out there with the Ability or if butchery has simply become the modern way of life.
It is said that scattered through Despair's domain are a multitude of tiny windows, hanging in the void. Each window looks out onto a different scene, being, in our world, a mirror. Sometimes you will look into a mirror and feel the eyes of Despair upon you, feel her hook catch and snag on your heart. Despair says little, and is patient.
The discrepancy is that the ethical self should be found immanently in the despair, that the individual won himself by persisting in the despair. True, he has used something within the category of freedom, choosing himself, which seem to remove the difficulty, one that presumably has not struck many, since philosophically doubting everything and then finding the true beginning goes one, two, three. But that does not help. In despairing, I use myself to despair, and therefore I can indeed despair of everything by myself. But if I do this, I cannot come back by myself. It is in this moment of decision that the individual needs divine assistance, whereas it is quite correct that in order to be at this point one must first have understood the existence-relation between the aesthetic and the ethical; that is to say, by being there in passion and inwardness, one surely becomes aware of the religious - and of the leap.
Whether you are man or woman, rich or poor, dependent or free, happy or unhappy; whether you bore in your elevation the splendour of the crown or in humble obscurity only the toil and heat of the day; whether your name will be remembered for as long as the world lasts, and so will have been remembered as long as it lasted, or you are without a name and run namelessly with the numberless multitude; whether the glory that surrounded you surpassed all human description, or the severest and most ignominious human judgment was passed on you - eternity asks you and every one of these millions of millions, just one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not, whether so in despair that you did not know that you were in despair, or in such a way that you bore this sickness concealed deep inside you as your gnawing secret, under your heart like the fruit of a sinful love, or in such a way that, a terror to others, you raged in despair. If then, if you have lived in despair, then whatever else you won or lost, for you everything is lost, eternity does not acknowledge you, it never knew you, or, still more dreadful, it knows you as you are known, it manacles you to yourself in despair!
I would say to my soul, O my soul, this is not the place of despair; this is not the time to despair in. As long as mine eyes can find a promise in the Bible, as long as there is a moment left me of breath or life in this world, so long will I wait or look for mercy, so long will I fight against unbelief and despair.
But the truth, he knows, is otherwise. His pleasure in living has been snuffed out. Like a leaf on a stream, like a puffball on a breeze, he has begun to float towards his end. He sees it quite clearly, and it fills him with (the word will not go away) despair. The blood of life is leaving his body and despair is taking its place, despair that is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat.
J. M. Coetzee
Sin is: before God, or with the conception of God, in despair not to will to be oneself, or in despair to will to be oneself. Thus sin is intensified weakness or intensified defiance: sin is the intensification of despair. The emphasis is on before God, or with a conception of God; it is the conception of God that makes sin dialectically, ethically, and religiously what lawyers call 'aggravated' despair.
I believe that through awareness and empowerment of children... one day we can end bullying. The problem with bullying is that is has been here since the beginning of time (Cain and Abel was a story of bullying that went bad.) Bullying has been part of humanity for so long that it won't go away without extreme changes. But until the day it's gone, we must do our best to teach and inspire our children to rise above not only the despair of bullying but any other despair that might come their way in life. Sadly... only the strong survive. We have lost to many children to despair. Humanity can not afford to lose any more precious lives of it's children to the hands of despair. Losing one is too many. We must do all we can to help them survive and onward to their roads of destiny! www.bullyingben.com
Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair. If one truly responds to man and his future, ie , concernedly and "responsibly." one can respond only by faith or by despair. Rational faith as well as rational despair are based on the most thorough, critical knowledge of all the factors that are relevant for the survival of man.
We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not, or die of despair...death will sweep through all the worlds; it will be the triumph of despair, forever. The universes will all become nothing more than interlocking machines, blind and empty of thought, feeling, life...
Between the natural way and the path of grace there is a deep abyss. It is in that gap that we live our lives as a giant struggle between good and evil, Satan and God, despair and love. Whenever despair wins, it is the natural way. Whenever love wins, it is a moment of grace. When love is victorious and defeats despair completely, you've reached the path of grace.
I believe that that foolish man of Galilee, Jesus Christ, had something to tell us, to tell me. Not considering his existence here, I would immediately go into despair. Immediately. And forgetting him, I would first despair of the institutional church and its hierarchy, and only later, of the Jews.
There's something about whatever despair and whatever negativity there is in your life, once you expel it, well, it's like praying, saying whatever's troubling you through your mouth, and hearing it through your ears, participating in your own despair makes it better. So we're not making it for you like a birthday cake, we're making it for ourselves.
I need not to be afraid of the void. The void is part of my person. I need to enter consciously into it. To try to escape from it is to try to live a lie. It is also to cease to be. My acceptance of despair and emptiness constitutes my being; to have the courage to accept despair is to be.
Hope is a terrible thing, she said. Is it? Yes, it keep you living in another place, a place which doesn't exist. For some people it's better than where they are. For many it's a relief. From life, she said. A relief from life? Is that living? Some people don't have a choice. No and that's awful for them. Hope is better than misery, he said. Or despair. Hope belongs in the same box as despair. Hope is not so bad, he said. At least despair has truth to it.
What moments of despair that life would ever be made precious to me by the consciousness that I lived to some good purpose! It was that sort of despair that sucked away the sap of half the hours which might have been filled by energetic youthful activity: and the same demon tries to get hold of me again whenever an old work is dismissed and a new one is being meditated.
I would say that our patients never really despair because of any suffering in itself! Instead, their despair stems in each instance from a doubt as to whether suffering is meaningful. Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it.
Viktor E. Frankl
Despair makes a despicable figure, and descends from a mean original. 'Tis the offspring of fear, of laziness and impatience; it argues a defect of spirit and resolution, and oftentimes of honesty, too. I would not despair unless I saw misfortune recorded in the book of fate, and signed and sealed by necessity.
Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person's whole life from one moment to the next. But there's the other side of the coin, the second thing that could make a human being take a totally different course from one he or she had planned; and that was called despair. Yes, perhaps love really could transform someone, but despair did the job more quickly.
My greatest urge in life is to do nothing. It's not even an absence of motivation, a lack, for I do have a strong urge: to do nothing. To down tools, to stop. Except I know that if I do that I will fall into despair, and I know that it is worth doing anything in one's power to avoid depression because from there, from being depressed, it is only an imperceptible step to despair: the last refuge of the ego.
To him whom contemplates a trait of natural beauty, no harm nor despair can come. The doctrines of despair, spiritual or political servitude, were never taught by those who shared the serenity of Nature. For each phase of Nature, though not invisible, is yet not too distinct or obtrusive. It is there to be found when we look for it, but not too demanding of our attention.
Henry David Thoreau
There are moments of despair that come sometimes, when night sets in and a white fog presses against the windows. Then our house changes its shape, rears up and becomes a place of despair. Then fear and rage run simply-and the thought of Death as a friend. This is the simplest of thoughts, that Death must come when we call, although he is a god.
There are moments of despair that come sometimes, when night sets in and a white fog presses against the windows. Then our house changes its shape, rears up and becomes a place of despair. Then fear and rage run simply--and the thought of Death as a friend. This is the simplest of thoughts, that Death must come when we call, although he is a god.
To face the realities of our lives is not a reason for despair-despair is a tool of your enemies. Facing the realities of our lives gives us motivation for action. For you are not powerless... You know why the hard questions must be asked. It is not altruism, it is self-preservation-survival.
For example, I'm terribly proud. I'm as mistrustful and as sensitive as a hunchback or a dwarf; but, in truth, I've experienced some moments when if someone had slapped my face, I might even have been grateful for it. I'm being serious. I probably would have been able to derive a peculiar sort of pleasure from it-the pleasure of despair, naturally, but the most intense pleasures occur in despair, especially when you're very acutely aware of the hopelessness of your own predicament.
Now there is naught but a vast black triangle having the apex downwards, and in the centre of the black triangle is the face of Typhon, the Lord of the Tempest, and he crieth aloud: Despair! Despair! For thou mayest deceive the Virgin, and thou mayest cajole the Mother; but what wilt thou say unto the ancient Whore that is throned in Eternity? For if she will not, there is neither force nor cunning, nor any wit, that may prevail upon her. Thou canst not woo her with love, for she is love. And she hath all, and hath no need of thee. And thou canst not woo her with gold, for all the Kings and captains of the earth, and all the gods of heaven, have showered their gold upon her. Thus hath she all, and hath no need of thee. And thou canst not woo her with knowledge, for knowledge is the thing that she hath spurned. She hath it all, and hath no need of thee. And thou canst not woo her with wit, for her Lord is Wit. She hath it all, and hath no need of thee. Despair! Despair! Nor canst thou cling to her knees and ask for pity; nor canst thou cling to her heart and ask for love; nor canst thou put thine arms about her neck, and ask for understanding; for thou hast all these, and they avail thee not. Despair! Despair! Then I took the Flaming Sword, and I let it loose against Typhon, so that his head was cloven asunder, and the black triangle dissolved in lightnings.
Jas in the Arab language is despair, And Min the darkest meaning of a lie. Thus cried the Jessamine among the flowers, How justly doth a lie Draw on its head despair! Among the fragrant spirits of the bowers The boldest and the strongest still was I. Although so fair, Therefore from Heaven A stronger perfume unto me was given Than any blossom of the summer hours.
Charles Godfrey Leland
We human beings glimpse lofty ideals, catch ourselves betraying them, and sink to suicidal despair-despair from which only the love of our friends can save us, since friends see in us those nobler qualities we ourselves, out of long familiarity, have forgotten we possess. That, of course, is why the suicidal person is difficult around his friends.
When writing goes painfully, when it's hideously difficult, and one feels real despair (ah, the despair, silly as it is, is real!)""then naturally one ought to continue with the work; it would be cowardly to retreat. But when writing goes smoothly""why then one certainly should keep on working, since it would be stupid to stop. Consequently one is always writing or should be writing.
Joyce Carol Oates
When writing goes painfully, when it's hideously difficult, and one feels real despair (ah, the despair, silly as it is, is real!)-then naturally one ought to continue with the work; it would be cowardly to retreat. But when writing goes smoothly-why then one certainly should keep on working, since it would be stupid to stop. Consequently one is always writing or should be writing.
Joyce Carol Oates
A man cannot despair if he can imagine a better life, and if he can enact something of its possibility. It is only when I am ensnarled in the meaningless ordeals and the ordeals of meaninglessness, of which our public and political life is now so productive, that I lose the awareness of something better, and feel the despair of having come to the dead end of possibility.
There are peaks, there are valleys. But they're all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in. Where you're not getting any answers, but you're living OK. And you can smile at the office. You know? But it's a low level of despair. I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything's just OK.
...we should all fortify ourselves against the dark hours of depression by cultivating a deep distrust of the certainties of despair. Despair is relentless in the certainties of its pessimism. But we have seen again and again, from our own experience and others', that absolute statements of hopelessness that we make in the dark are notoriously unreliable. Our dark certainties are not sureties.
we should all fortify ourselves against the dark hours of depression by cultivating a deep distrust of the certainties of despair. Despair is relentless in the certainties of its pessimism. But we have seen again and again, from our own experience and others', that absolute statements of hopelessness that we make in the dark are notoriously unreliable. Our dark certainties are not sureties.
Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.
Yet in another and still more definite sense despair is the sickness unto death. It is indeed very far from being true that, literally understood, one dies of this sickness, or that this sickness ends with bodily death. On the contrary, the torment of despair is precisely this, not to be able to die So it has much in common with the situation of the moribund when he lies and struggles with death, and cannot die. So to be sick unto death is, not to be able to die - yet not as though there were hope of life; no the hopelessness in this case is that even the last hope, death, is not available. When death is the greatest danger, one hopes for life; but when one becomes acquainted with an even more dreadful danger, one hopes for death. So when the danger is so great that death has become one's hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die.
The country is in deep trouble. We've forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that's the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.
The death anxiety of many people is fueled ... by disappointment at never having fulfilled their potential. Many people are in despair because their dreams didn't come true, and they despair even more that they did not make them come true. A focus on this deep dissatisfaction is often the starting point in overcoming death anxiety.
Irvin D. Yalom
For after all, why do we go on fighting? If we die for democracy then we must be one of the democracies. Let the rest fight with us, if that is the case. But the most powerful of them, the only one that could save us, chooses to bide its time. Very good. That is its right. But by so doing, that democracy signifies that we are fighting for ourselves alone. And we go on fighting despite the assurance that we have lost the war. Why, then, do we go on dying? Out of despair? But there is no despair. You know nothing about defeat if you think there is room in it for despair. There is a verity that is higher than the pronouncements of the intelligence. There is a thing which pierces and governs us and which cannot be grasped by the intelligence. A tree has no language. We are a tree. There are truths which are evident, though not to be put into words. I do not die in order to obstruct the path of the invasion, for there is no shelter upon which I can fall back with those I love. I do not die to preserve my honor, since I deny that my honor is at stake, and I challenge the jurisdiction of my judge. Nor do I die out of desperation.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
If Gissing is less compassionately observant than Mrs Gaskell, less overtly polemical than Kingsley, still The Nether World and Demos would be sympathetically endorsed by either of them, or by their typical readers. Yet Gissing does introduce an important new element, and one that remains significant. He has often been called 'the spokesman of despair, ' and this is true in both meanings of the phrase. Like Kingsley and Mrs Gaskell, he writes to describe the true conditions of the poor, and to protest against those brute forces of society which fill with wreck the abysses of the nether world. Yet he is also the spokesman of another kind of despair: the despair born of social and political disillusion. In this he is a figure exactly like Orwell in our own day, and for much the same reason. Whether one calls this honesty or not will depend on experience.