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.