If you know your being, there is no question of becoming. All that you could have ever imagined to become you already are. You are gods who have forgotten who they are. You are emperors who have fallen asleep and are dreaming that they have become beggars. Now beggars are trying to become emperors, in dreams they are making great efforts to become emperors, and all that is needed is to wake up!" Osho
Rivers and mountains are beautiful and made heroes bow and compete to catch the girl- lovely earth. Yet the emperors Shih Huang and Wu Ti were barely able to write. The first emperors of the Tang and Sung dynasties were crude. Genghis Khan, man of his epoch and favored by heaven, knew only how to hunt the great eagle. They are all gone. Only today are we men of feeling.
Someone is going to figure out how to make this work and when they do, all the anti-gambling, over-regulating authoritarian governments will be exposed as emperors without clothes. It might not be obvious that this is even happening at first, since these systems are by definition stealthy affairs.
Ideology must be our foundation as it was for the Bolsheviks, but the new archives show that the personalities and patronage of a minuscule oligarchy were the essence of politics under Lenin and Stalin, as they were under the Romanov emperors-and just as they are today under the 'managed democracy' of twenty-first-century Russia.
Simon Sebag Montefiore
I am provoked at the contempt which most historians show for humanity in general; one would think by them, that the whole human species consisted but of about a hundred and fifty people, called and dignified (commonly very undeservedly too) by the titles of Emperors, Kings, Popes, Generals, and Ministers.
If they [Plato and Aristotle] wrote about politics it was as if to lay down rules for a madhouse. And if they pretended to treat it as something really important it was because they knew that the madmen they were talking to believed themselves to be kings and emperors. They humored these beliefs in order to calm down their madness with as little harm as possible.
Such was the unhappy condition of the Roman emperors, that, whatever might be their conduct, their fate was commonly the same. A life of pleasure or virtue, of severity or mildness, of indolence or glory, alike led to an untimely grave; and almost every reign is closed by the same disgusting repetition of treason and murder.
The distinctions of personal merit and influence, so conspicuous in a republic, so feeble and obscure under a monarchy, were abolished by the despotism of the emperors; who substituted in their room a severe subordination of rank and office, from the titled slaves who were seated on the steps of the throne, to the meanest instruments of arbitrary power.
Decades of futile effort have not dampened my bold aspirations to save the nation. Born in a late age, I have not been able to witness the golden rule of Yao and Shun and other sage emperors of ancient China. Instead, my heart grieves at the suffering of the Chinese people under the cruel exploitation of the Tartar Slaves.
Tacitus appears to have been as great an enthusiast as Petrarch for the revival of the republic and universal empire. He has exerted the vengeance of history upon the emperors, but has veiled the conspiracies against them, and the incorrigible corruption of the people which probably provoked their most atrocious cruelties. Tyranny can scarcely be practised upon a virtuous and wise people.
The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period (A.D. 98-180) of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines.
Golf acts as a corrective against sinful pride. I attribute the insane arrogance of the later Roman Emperors almost entirely to the fact that, never having played golf, they never knew that strange chastening humility which is engendered by a topped chip shot. If Cleopatra had been ousted in the first round of the Ladies' Singles, we should have heard a lot less of her proud imperiousness.
P. G. Wodehouse
Once upon a time humans faced each other and pulled thoughts from minds, advanced rapidly, revolutionised industry and evolved explosively. Then one day they stopped, and stared at a box. They grew fat and awkward in public, stopped expressing emotions and couldn't figure out how to reverse it: they reinvented themselves from Emperors back into prawns, because someone turned the TV on.
The free market exists to promote prosperity and human life, and that is what it has accomplished, splendidly, with breathtaking brilliance. In the industrialized world, the average person today enjoys a standard of living superior to that of kings and emperors of the past. The whole world's population is capable of enjoying the same marvelous results, if it adopts economic freedom.
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage. They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them. Their authors are a natural and irresistible aristocracy in every society, and, more than kings or emperors, exert an influence on mankind.
Henry David Thoreau
The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects. The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord.
We have scholars galore, and kings and emperors, and statesmen and military leaders, and artists in profusion, and inventors, discoverers, explorers - but where are the great lovers? After a moment's reflection one is back to Abelard and Heloise, or Anthony and Cleopatra, or the story of the Taj Mahal. So much of it is fictive, expanded and glorified by the poverty-stricken lovers whose prayers are answered only by myth and legend.
Thousands of experts study overbought indicators, oversold indicators,head-and-shoulder patterns, put-call ratios, the Fed's policy on money supply, foreign investment, the movement of the constellations through the heavens, and the moss on oak trees, and they can't predict markets with any useful consistency, any more than the gizzard squeezers could tell the Roman emperors when the Huns would attack.
In February 1912, ancient China came to an end when the last of three millennia of Chinese emperors abdicated. Imagine twentieth-century Italy coming to terms with the fall of the Roman empire or Egypt with the last pharaoh abdicating in 1912. For China, the last century has been a period of transition - dramatic change and perpetual revolution.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
We humans are prone to err, and to err systematically, outrageously, and with utter confidence. We are also prone to hold our mistaken notions dear, protecting and nourishing them like our own children. We defend them at great cost. We surround ourselves with safe people, people who will appreciate our cherished views. We avoid those who suggest that our exalted ideas, our little emperors, have no clothes.
Separating fact and fiction in Inca history is impossible, because virtually all the sources available are Spanish accounts of stories that had already been vetted by the Inca emperors to highlight their own heroic roles. Imagine a history of modern Iraq written by Dick Cheney and based on authorized biographies of Sadam Hussein published in Arabic, and you'll get some idea of what historians face.
We live in a very special time right now. At no other time in history has there been such mass disillusionment in terms of reliance on governing functions. Most people don't want to come to terms with that. It's been proven over and over again that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes, but most people don't like to look at naked emperors. In the process of turning around to avert their eyes, they saw the discotheques and a few other things and latched onto them
Evil turned out not to be a grand thing. Not sneering Emperors with their world-conquering designs. Not cackling demons plotting in the darkness beyond the world. It was small men with their small acts and their small reasons. It was selfishness and carelessness and waste. It was bad luck, incompetence, and stupidity. It was violence divorced from conscience or consequence. It was high ideals, even, and low methods.
Filial obedience is the first and greatest requisite of a state; by this we become good subjects to our emperors, capable of behaving with just subordination to our superiors, and grateful dependents on heaven; by this we become fonder of marriage, in order to be capable of exacting obedience from others in our turn; by this we become good magistrates, for early submission is the truest lesson to those who would learn to rule. By this the whole state may be said to resemble one family.
The Romans called the Christians atheists. Why? Well, the Christians had a god of sorts, but it wasn't a real god. They didn't believe in the divinity of apotheosized emperors or Olympian gods. They had a peculiar, different kind of god. So it was very easy to call people who believed in a different kind of god atheists. And that general sense that an atheist is anybody who doesn't believe exactly as I do prevails in our own time.
Judged by every standard which history has applied to Governments, the Soviet Government of Russia is one of the worst tyrannies that has ever existed in the world. It accords no political rights. It rules by terror. It punishes political opinions. It suppresses free speech. It tolerates no newspapers but its own. It persecutes Christianity with a zeal and a cunning never equalled since the times of the Roman Emperors. It is engaged at this moment in trampling down the peoples of Georgia and executing their leaders by hundreds.
Theater of Cruelty means a theater difficult and cruel for myself first of all. And, on the level of performance, it is not the cruelty we can exercise upon each other by hacking at each other's bodies, carving up our personal anatomies, or, like Assyrian emperors, sending parcels of human ears, noses, or neatly detached nostrils through the mail, but the much more terrible and necessary cruelty which things can exercise against us. We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all.
Saying Good-bye to the God of Disease (2) Thousands of willow branches in a spring wind. Six hundred million of China, land of the gods, and exemplary like the emperors Shun and Yao. A scarlet rain of peach blossoms turned into waves and emerald mountains into bridges. Summits touch the sky. We dig with silver shovels and iron arms shake the earth and the Three Rivers. God of plagues, where are you going? We burn paper boats and bright candles to light his way to heaven.
Altogether forty-five Emperors had claimed the Spear of Destiny as their possession between the coronation in Rome of Charlemagne and the fall of the old German Empire exactly a thousand years later. And what a pagentry it was! THe Spear had passed like the very finger of destiny through the millenium forever creating new patterns of fate which had again and again changed the entire history of Europe... According to the legend associated with the Spear of Longinus, the claimant to this talisman of power has a choice between the service of two opposing Spirits in the fulfilment of his world historic aims - a Good and an Evil Spirit.
In the 300 years of the crucifixion of Christ to the conversion of Emperor Constantine, polytheistic Roman emperors initiated no more than four general persecutions of Christians. Local administrators and governors incited some anti-Christian violence of their own. Still, if we combine all the victims of all these persecutions, it turns out that in these three centuries the polytheistic Romans killed no more than a few thousand Christians. In contrast, over the course, of the next 1,500 years, Christians slaughtered Christians by the millions, to defend slightly different interpretations of the religion of love and compassion.
Yuval Noah Harari
When one of the emperors of China asked Bodhidharma (the Zen master who brought Zen from India to China) what enlightenment was, his answer was, 'Lots of space, nothing holy.' Meditation is nothing holy. Therefore there's nothing that you think or feel that somehow gets put in the category of 'sin.' There's nothing that you can think or feel that gets put in the category of 'bad.' There's nothing that you can think or feel that gets put in the category of 'wrong.' It's all good juicy stuff-the manure of waking up, the manure of achieving enlightenment, the art of living in the present moment.
Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion. "I am dying of thirst, " said Jill. "Then drink, " said the Lion. "May I - could I - would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill. The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. "Will you promise not to - do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill. "I make no promise, " said the Lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer. "Do you eat girls?" she said. "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms, " said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it. "I daren't come and drink, " said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst, " said the Lion. "Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then." "There is no other stream, " said the Lion.
The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by deathwatch beetles, and thrive the centuries. They were the men with the leather-ribbon whips who sweated up the Pyramids seasoning it with other people's salt and other people's cracked hearts. They coursed Europe on the White Horses of the Plague. They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale. Some must have been lazing clowns, foot props for emperors, princes, and epileptic popes. Then out on the road, Gypsies in time, their populations grew as the world grew, spread, and there was more delicious variety of pain to thrive on. The train put wheels under them and here they run down the log road out of the Gothic and baroque; look at their wagons and coaches, the carving like medieval shrines, all of it stuff once drawn by horses, mules, or, maybe, men.
If there was magic in this world, it happened within sight of the three bases and home plate. All the gems in my world that decorated the walls and floors of dragons' lairs, the sword hilts of privileged princes, and crowns worn by emperors and kings, were nothing compared to the beauty and splendor of the diamond in Wrigley Stadium. It wasn't just a yard with dirt, chalk lines, bases, and a small hill in its center. Wrigley was a field of dreams. Dreams of eternal glory for the men who ran to the outfield, who took their respective bases, and prepared for battle against those who would dare enter their hallowed realm. Dreams for the kids in the stands, all wanting to don a uniform, kiss their moms goodbye, and wield their bats as enchanted weapons destined to knock the cover off the ball. And for the adults who had already selected their lot in life, Wrigley made the dreams of past innocence, lost wonder, and the promise that there was something inherently good still left in the world, come true. Yeah, corny as hell. But all true.
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.