Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind! Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art, For there thy habitation is the heart-- The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd-- To fetters and damp vault's dayless gloom, Their country conquers with their martyrdom.
There are some who complain most energetically and inconsolably of any, because they are, as they say, doing their duty. I also have in my mind that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.
Henry David Thoreau
Precedents are treated by powerful minds as fetters with which to bind down the weak, as reasons with which to mistify the moderately informed, and as reeds which they themselves fearlessly break through whenever new combinations and difficult emergencies demand their highest efforts.
I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.
Culture, far from giving us freedom, only develops, as it advances, new necessities; the fetters of the physical close more tightly around us, so that the fear of loss quenches even the ardent impulse toward improvement, and the maxims of passive obedience are held to be the highest wisdom of life.
Fortunately we have learnt to combine these ideas, not in the mutual toleration of sub-contraries, but in the affirmation of contraries, that transcending of the laws of intellect which is madness in the ordinary man, genius in the Overman who hath arrived to strike off more fetters from our understanding.
Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Civilization, man feels once more happy.
Richard Francis Burton
By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.
Repose, leisure, peace, belong among the elements of happiness. If we have not escaped from harried rush, from mad pursuit, from unrest, from the necessity of care, we are not happy. And what of contemplation? Its very premise is freedom from the fetters of workaday busyness. Moreover, it itself actualizes this freedom by virtue of being intuition.
We all stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. We're in a relay race, relying on the financial and human capital of our parents and grandparents. Blacks were shackled for the early part of that relay race, and although many of the fetters have come off, whites have developed a huge lead.
one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science isescape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopelessdreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. Afinely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into theworld of objective perception and thought.
As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters"; "[the barbarians'] poverty secured their freedom, since our desires and our possessions are the strongest fetters of despotism"; "the power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous
One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.
There is a Restlessness springing from the consciousness of power not fully utilized, which must be present wherever there is unused power of whatever kind. This is the restlessness of the germ within the seed, struggling upward and downward towards its proper life.it is a striving full of pain, the cutting of tender flesh by the fetters of the captive as he struggles against their pitilessness.
... there are no chains so galling as the chains of ignorance--no fetters so binding as those that bind the soul, and exclude it from the vast field of useful and scientific knowledge. O, had I received the advantages of early education, my ideas would, ere now, have expanded far and wide; but, alas! I possess nothing but moral capability--no teachings but the teachings of the Holy Spirit.
Maria W. Stewart
Ye youths and virgins, when your generous blood Has drunk the warmth of fifteen summers, now The loves invite; now to new rapture wakes The finish'd sense: while stung with keen desire The madd'ning boy his bashful fetters bursts; And, urg'd with secret flames, the riper maid, Conscious and shy, betrays her smarting breast.
No one has ever explained why it is that parents and guardians consider dull people such safe matrimonial investments for their young charges. Even granting the unsound assumption that dull people are more apt to be content with their own matrimonial fetters, they are certainly more apt to be the cause of discontent in others.
Alice Duer Miller
Man is born violent but is kept in check by the people around him. If he nevertheless manages to throw off his fetters, he can count on applause, for everyone recognizes himself in him. Deeply ingrained, nay, buried dreams come true. The unlimited radiates its magic even upon crime, which, not coincidentally, is the main source of entertainment in Eumeswil. I, as an anarch, not uninterested but disinterested, can understand that. Freedom has a wide range and more facets than a diamond.
The only chains God wants us to wear are the chains of righteousness--not the chains of hopeless subjectivism, not the shackles of risk-free living, not the fetters of horoscope decision making--just the chains befitting a bond servant of Christ Jesus. Die to self. Live for Christ. And then do what you want, and go where you want, for God's glory.
We make no apology then for raising our voices loud to a world that is ripening in sin the lord has said," Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; The adversary is subtle, cunning, he knows that he cannot induce good men and women immediately to do major evils so he moves slyly, whispering half truths until he has his intended victims following him finally he clamps his chains upon them and fetters them tight, and then he laughs at their discomfiture and their misery.
Spencer W. Kimball
Through it [Science] we believe that man will be saved from misery and degradation, not merely acquiring new material powers, but learning to use and to guide his life with understanding. Through Science he will be freed from the fetters of superstition; through faith in Science he will acquire a new and enduring delight in the exercise of his capacities; he will gain a zest and interest in life such as the present phase of culture fails to supply.
Jesus lives! the same comforting, helping, instructing, loving Elder Brother, as when John leaned on His bosom, as when He lifted Peter up from the waves, as when He dried Mary's tears with His, "Thy sins are forgiven thee." Jesus lives! the same almighty Saviour, Guide, Intercessor, as when He ascended to glory with the broken fetters of sin and death in His pierced hands.
Abbott Eliot Kittredge
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites... in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Let it stand, therefore, as an indubitable truth, which no engines can shake, that the mind of man is so entirely alienated from the righteousness of God that he cannot conceive, desire, or design any thing but what is wicked, distorted, foul, impure, and iniquitous; that his heart is so thoroughly envenomed by sin that it can breathe out nothing but corruption and rottenness; that if some men occasionally make a show of goodness, their mind is ever interwoven with hypocrisy and deceit, their soul inwardly bound with the fetters of wickedness.
Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape. These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling. And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light. And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.
When the man, by means if 'ibadat, succeeded in curbing his animal and canal passions and has thereby rendered submissive his animal soul, making it subject to the rational soul, the man thus described has attained to freedom and existence;he has achieved supreme peace and his soul is pacified, being set at liberty, as it were, free from fetters of inexorable fate and the noisy strife and hell of human vices.
Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas
What does Christianity mean today? National Socialism is a religion. All we lack is a religious genius capable of uprooting outmoded religious practices and putting new ones in their place. We lack traditions and ritual. One day soon National Socialism will be the religion of all Germans. My Party is my church, and I believe I serve the Lord best if I do his will, and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of slavery. That is my gospel.
... the people who, in spite of the bonds of sin which fetter them and hinder them (by constraint and by inciting them to new sins), come to Him, our Savior, with perfect repentance for tormenting Him, who despise all the strength of the fetters of sin and force themselves to break their bonds ? such people at last actually appear before the face of God made whiter than snow by His grace. 'Come, says the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them whiter than snow' (Isa. 1:18).
Seraphim of Sarov
Oh the Broom, the yellow Broom, The ancient poet sung it, And dear it is on summer days To lie at rest among it. I know the realms where people say The flowers have not their fellow; I know where they shine out like suns, The crimson and the yellow. I know where ladies live enchained In luxury's silken fetters, And flowers as bright as glittering gems Are used for written letters. But ne'er was flower so fair as this, In modern days or olden; It groweth on its nodding stem Like to a garland golden.
The philosophy of Atheism has its root in the earth, in this life; its aim is the emancipation of the human race from all God-heads, be they Judaic, Christian, Mohammedan, Buddhistic, Brahmanistic, or what not. Mankind has been punished long and heavily for having created its gods, nothing but pain and persecution, have been man's lot since gods began. There is but one way out of this blunder. Man must break his fetters which have chained him to the gates of heaven and hell, so that he can begin to fashion out of his reawakened and illumined consciousness a new world upon the earth.
Let only that little be left of me whereby I may name thee my all. Let only that little be left of my will whereby I may feel thee on every side, and come to thee in everything, and offer to thee my love every moment. Let only that little be left of me whereby I may never hide thee. Let only that little of my fetters be left whereby I am bound with thy will, and thy purpose is carried out in my life--and that is the fetter of thy love.
I wanted to get to the most essential aspect of my being, and look around for a while. I wanted to explore what I am in my most basic self. I wanted to chip away at all of the nonsense I have acquired through my twenty-nine years on this earth. I wanted to find truth. Thoreau went to the woods. I went to the mats. Jiu Jitsu has peeled the veil of daily life, and has shown me what lies beyond the curtain. We willingly accept the chains that circumstance forces upon us, and we grow to find comfort in them. We attach various fetters of day-to-day living to our being, and we do so with a smile. We accept these constraints for they come in the way of comfort. We accept conformity for it appears the path of least resistance. We strive toward the middle, and we run from ourselves.
Therefore it is to a practical mysticism that the practical man is here invited: to a training of his latent faculties, a bracing and brightening of his languid consciousness, an emancipation from the fetters of appearance, a turning of his attention to new levels of the world. Thus he may become aware of the universe which the spiritual artist is always trying to disclose to the race. This amount of mystical perception-this 'ordinary contemplation, ' as the specialists call it-is possible to all men: without it, they are not wholly conscious, nor wholly alive. It is a natural human activity, no more involving the great powers and sublime experiences of the mystical saints and philosophers than the ordinary enjoyment of music involves the special creative powers of the great musician.
But, for all that, there is a Beyond, and he who has once caught a glance of it, is like a man who has gazed at the sun -wherever he looks, everywhere he sees the image of the sun. Speak to him of finite things, and he will tell you that the Finite is impossible and meaningless without the Infinite. Speak to him of death, and he will call it birth ; speak to him of time, and he will call it the mere shadow of eternity. To us the senses seem to be the organs, the tools, the most powerful engines of knowledge ; to him they are, if not actually deceivers, at all events heavy fetters, checking the flight of the spirit. To us this earth, this life, all that we see, and hear, and touch is certain. Here, we feel, is our home, here lie our duties, here our pleasures. To him this earth is a thing that once was not, and that again will cease to be ; this life is a short dream from which we shall soon awake. Of nothing he professes greater ignorance than of what to others seems to be most certain, namely what we see, and hear, and touch ; and as to our home, wherever that may be, he knows that certainly it is not here.
Friedrich Max Me¼ller
My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering. Joseph's dungeon is the road to Joseph's throne. Thou canst not lift the iron load of thy brother if the iron hath not entered into thee. It is thy limit that is thine enlargement. It is the shadows of thy life that are the real fulfillment of thy dreams of glory. Murmur not at the shadows; they are better revelations than thy dreams. Say not that the shades of the prison-house have fettered thee; thy fetters are wings - wings of flight into the bosom of humanity. The door of thy prison-house is a door into the heart of the universe. God has enlarged thee by the binding of sorrow's chain
Your god, sir, is the World. In my eyes, you, too, if not an infidel, are an idolater. I conceive that you ignorantly worship: in all things you appear to me too superstitious. Sir, your god, your great Bel, your fish-tailed Dagon, rises before me as a demon. You, and such as you, have raised him to a throne, put on him a crown, given him a sceptre. Behold how hideously he governs! See him busied at the work he likes best - making marriages. He binds the young to the old, the strong to the imbecile. He stretches out the arm of Mezentius and fetters the dead to the living. In his realm there is hatred - secret hatred: there is disgust - unspoken disgust: there is treachery - family treachery: there is vice - deep, deadly, domestic vice. In his dominions, children grow unloving between parents who have never loved: infants are nursed on deception from their very birth: they are reared in an atmosphere corrupt with lies... All that surrounds him hastens to decay: all declines and degenerates under his sceptre. Your god is a masked Death.
Yes, a poem, a painting, can draw the sting of troubles from a troubled world and lay in its place a blessed realm before our grateful eyes. Music and sculpture will do likewise. Yet strictly speaking, in fact, there is no need to present this world in art. You have only to conjure the world up before you, and there you will find a living poem, a fount of song. No need to commit your thoughts to paper-the heart will already sing with a sweet inner euphony. No need to stand before your easel and limn with brush and paint-the world's vast array of forms and colors already sparkles within the inner eye. It is enough simply to be able thus to view the place we live, and to garner with the camera of the sentient heart these pure, limpid images from the midst of our sullied world. And so even if no verse ever emerges from the mute poet, even if the painter never sets brush to canvas, he is happier than the wealthiest of men, happier than any strong-armed emperor or pampered child of this vulgar world of ours-for he can view human life with an artist's eye; he is released from the world's illusory sufferings; he is able to come and go at ease in a realm of transcendent purity, to construct a unique universe of art, and thereby to destroy the binding fetters of self-interest and desire.
In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or - this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms - with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.
It is the custom on the stage: in all good, murderous melodramas: to present the tragic and the comic scenes, in as regular alternation, as the layers of red and white in a side of streaky, well-cured bacon. The hero sinks upon his straw bed, weighed down by fetters and misfortunes; and, in the next scene, his faithful but unconscious squire regales the audience with a comic song. We behold, with throbbing bosoms, the heroine in the grasp of a proud and ruthless baron: her virtue and her life alike in danger; drawing forth a dagger to preserve the one at the cost of the other; and, just as our expectations are wrought up to the highest pitch, a whistle is heard: and we are straightway transported to the great hall of the castle: where a grey-headed seneschal sings a funny chorus with a funnier body of vassals, who are free of all sorts of places from church vaults to palaces, and roam about in company, carolling perpetually. Such changes appear absurd; but they are not so unnatural as they would seem at first sight. The transitions in real life from well-spread boards to death-beds, and from mourning weeds to holiday garments, are not a whit less startling; only, there, we are busy actors, instead of passive lookers-on; which makes a vast difference. The actors in the mimic life of the theatre, are blind to violent transitions and abrupt impulses of passion or feeling, which, presented before the eyes of mere spectators, are at once condemned as outrageous and preposterous.
The history of man is simply the history of slavery, of injustice and brutality, together with the means by which he has, through the dead and desolate years, slowly and painfully advanced. He has been the sport and prey of priest and king, the food of superstition and cruel might. Crowned force has governed ignorance through fear. Hypocrisy and tyranny-two vultures-have fed upon the liberties of man. From all these there has been, and is, but one means of escape-intellectual development. Upon the back of industry has been the whip. Upon the brain have been the fetters of superstition. Nothing has been left undone by the enemies of freedom. Every art and artifice, every cruelty and outrage has been practiced and perpetrated to destroy the rights of man. In this great struggle every crime has been rewarded and every virtue has been punished. Reading, writing, thinking and investigating have all been crimes. Every science has been an outcast. All the altars and all the thrones united to arrest the forward march of the human race. The king said that mankind must not work for themselves. The priest said that mankind must not think for themselves. One forged chains for the hands, the other for the soul. Under this infamous regime the eagle of the human intellect was for ages a slimy serpent of hypocrisy. The human race was imprisoned. Through some of the prison bars came a few struggling rays of light. Against these bars Science pressed its pale and thoughtful face, wooed by the holy dawn of human advancement. Bar after bar was broken away. A few grand men escaped and devoted their lives to the liberation of their fellows.
Robert G. Ingersoll
I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land... I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of 'stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.' I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus... The slave auctioneer's bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other-devils dressed in angels' robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.