Make then your forecasts, my lords Astrologers, with your slavish physicians, by means of those astrolabes with which you seek to discern the fantastic nine moving spheres; in these you finally imprison your own minds, so that you appear to me but as parrots in a cage, while I watch you dancing up and down, turning and hopping within those circles.
In this sense, Byzantine culture embodies the French historian Fernand Braudel's notion of the longue duree, the long term: that which survives the vicissitudes of changing governments, newfangled fashions or technological improvements, an ongoing inheritance that can both imprison and inspire.
Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.
A horse is freedom so indominable that it becomes useless to imprison it to serve man: it lets itself be domesticated, but with a simple, rebellious toss of the head-shaking its mane like an abundance of free-flowing hair-it shows that its inner nature is always wild, translucent and free.
If we internalize every disappointing setback with contempt and self-loathing, a life of solitary confinement and discontentment awaits us. It's a verdict indicted by a prosecution, deliberated by a jury and condemned by a judge... all three being you. We imprison ourselves when we allow outside negative circumstances and people dictate who we are. You can dwell in that cell... but only you can exonerate you. ~Jason Versey
The comparative view of the powers of the magistrates, in two remarkable instances, is alone sufficient to represent the whole system of German manners. The disposal of the landed property within their district was absolutely vested in their hands, and they distributed it every year according to a new division. At the same time, they were not authorised to punish with death, to imprison, or even to strike, a private citizen.
There are dreams of love, life, and adventure in all of us. But we are also sadly filled with reasons why we shouldn't try. These reasons seem to protect us, but in truth they imprison us. They hold life at a distance. Life will be over sooner than we think. If we have bikes to ride and people to love, now is the time.
. . . in America, we have achieved the Orwellian prediction - enslaved, the people have been programmed to love their bondage and are left to clutch only mirage-like images of freedom, its fables and fictions. The new slaves are linked together by vast electronic chains of television that imprison not their bodies but their minds. Their desires are programmed, their tastes manipulated, their values set for them.
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. The way to win an atomic war is to make certain it never starts. And the way to make sure it never starts is to abolish the dangerous costly nuclear stockpiles which imprison mankind.
Omar N. Bradley
Can you see air you breathe? Can you see the force that moves the tides or changes the seasons or sends the birds to a winter haven?" Her eyes welled. "Can Rome with all its knowledge be so foolish? Oh Marcus, you can't carve God in stone. You can't limit him to a temple. You can't imprison him on a mountaintop. Heaven is his throne; earth, his footstool. Everything you see is his. Empires will rise and empires will fall. Only God prevails.
A summer breeze can be very refreshing; but if we try to put it in a tin can so we can have it entirely to ourselves, the breeze will die. Our beloved is the same. He is like a breeze, a cloud, a flower. If you imprison him in a tin can, he will die. Yet many people do just that. They rob their loved one of his liberty, until he can no longer be himself. They live to satisfy themselves and use their loved one to help them fulfill that. That is not loving; it is destroying.
When you lose sight of your morals, your standards, your true beliefs you lose the fire that drives people to break limits. There is so much we can all accomplish yet so many fail to do so because when its time to step up and face your dreams they cower and turn away and seconds later make excuses for doing so.We all know that life is challenging us to meet our fears that imprison our potential. Breaching that prison is the difference between the losers and the winners of this life and the next.
Citizens as conceived by governments are persons who admire the status quo and are prepared to exert themselves for its preservation. Oddly enough, while all governments aim at producing men of this type to the exclusion of all other types, their heroes in the past are of exactly the sort that they aim at preventing in the present. Americans admire George Washington and Jefferson, but imprison those who share their political opinions.
One of the great unresolved psychological enigmas of the modern western world is the question of what or who has persuaded us to accept as virtually axiomatic a self-view and a world-view that demand we reject out of hand the wisdom and vision of our major philosophers and poets in order to imprison our thought and our very selves in the materialist, mechanical and dogmatic torture-chamber devised by purely quantitative and third-rate scientific minds.
Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death--ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life.
James A. Baldwin
Because one species is more clever than another, does it give it the right to imprison or torture the less clever species? Does one exceptionally clever individual have a right to exploit the less clever individuals of his own species? To say that he does is to say with the Fascists that the strong have a right to abuse and exploit the weak - might is right, and the strong and ruthless shall inherit the earth.
Richard D. Ryder
Pape called Basil his sanctuary. In truth we all exist in our own sanctuaries-but I don't mean cathedrals or prisons. I'm talking about our hearts and minds, which imprison us in anxiety, dear, insecurity, anger and other forms of misery. The walls and bars that keep most in a constant state of suffering are thoughts and emotions, not concrete and steel. It's a disease. Insanity. Most are afflicted by it, regardless of which side of the law they find themselves on or where they lay their heads at night. To be free of this, Renee, is to be free indeed.
Acceptance is the most beautiful word in any language; this beautiful concept can only exist when you allow other people to be who they are and do not imprison them with your definition of what is right, proper, correct, or other limiting criteria. Decreasing the black and white in your thinking allows for an expansive area of gray, allowing you to live your life and others to live there life. Acceptance sets us all free! This simple change of thought creates a wonderful space for happiness to thrive.
David W. Earle
If you put fleas in a shallow container they jump out. But if you put a lid on the container for just a short time, they hit the lid trying to escape and learn quickly not to jump so high. They give up their quest for freedom. After the lid is removed, the fleas remain imprisond by their own self policing. So it is with life. Most of us let our own fears or the impositions of others imprison us in a world of low expectations.
John Taylor Gatto
The world will brin its condemnation. They may even put their sword behind it. But we know that the highest courst has already ruled in our favor. 'If God is for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31) No one successfully If they reject us, he accepts us. If they hate us, he loves us. If they imprison us, he sets our spirits free. If they afflict us, he refines us by the fire. If they kill us, he makes it a passage to paradise. They cannot defeat us. Christ has died. Christ has risen. We are alive in him. And in him there is no condemnation. We are forgiven, and we are righteous. 'And the righteous are bold as a lion.' (Proverbs 28:1)
The gift of love is in the simplest and utter joy of just being with the other. In coming alive to the present moment, together. In recognizing and being overwhelmingly grateful that among countless other possibilities that the vastness of life throws, the moment was possible. The impatience of love, is to desire a million such moments stretching forever. Small. Beautiful. Profound. Fragile. Floating away like flowers on the flowing brook. How foolish we are sometimes to miss the gift of the present, in our desire to imprison the future?
I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper-The Revolution ... the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your man-made, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison, and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government.... I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim that 'Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.'
Susan B. Anthony
Everyone has always said I look like Bailey, but I don't. I have grey eyes to her green, an oval face to her heart-shaped one, I'm shorter, scrawnier, paler, flatter, plainer, tamer. All we shared is a madhouse of curls that I imprison in a ponytail while she let hers rave like madness around her head. I don't sing in my sleep or eat the petals off flowers or run into the rain instead of out of it. I'm the unplugged-in one, the side-kick sister, tucked into a corner of her shadow. Boys followed her everywhere; they filled the booths at the restaurant where she waitressed, herded around her at the river. One day, I saw a boy come up behind her and pull a strand of her long hair I understood this- I felt the same way. In photographs of us together, she is always looking at the camera, and I am always looking at her.
Know that it is your birthright to awaken. Seeking Truth is the ultimate quest of every moral citizen. Truth is felt first in the heart, and then the mind. The voice of your conscience comes from your heart, not your mind. The voice of reason comes from your mind, not your heart. Your mind is simply there to reason with your heart. Always listen to your heart first. Those who look for Truth through the mind before the heart will never find Truth. When you come close to Truth, the first sign will be an inner sense of liberation. Truth will NEVER imprison you. Only the repression of your conscience will. This is what is meant by 'THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE'.
I say that creeds, dogmas, and theologies are inventions of the mind. It is the nature of the mind to make sense out of experience, to reduce the conglomerates of experience to units of comprehension which we call principles, or ideologies, or concepts. Religious experience is dynamic, fluid, effervescent, yeasty. But the mind can't handle these so it has to imprison religious experience in some way, get it bottled up. Then, when the experience quiets down, the mind draws a bead on it and extracts concepts, notions, dogmas, so that religious experience can make sense to the mind.
Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death-ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.
Let us look at wealth and poverty. The affluent society and the deprived society inter-are. The wealth of one society is made of the poverty of the other. "This is like this, because that is like that." Wealth is made of non-wealth elements, and poverty is made by non-poverty elements. [...] so we must be careful not to imprison ourselves in concepts. The truth is that everything contains everything else. We cannot just be, we can only inter-be. We are responsible fo everything that happens around us.
I shook my head, smiling in spite of myself, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Adrian. My husband. If anyone had told me a year ago that I'd be married, I would've said they were joking. If they'd told me I'd be married to a vampire, I would've said they were delusional. Looking at Adrian now, I felt a surge of love well up within me, despite our earlier tension. I could no longer imagine a life without him in it. It was impossible. Could I imagine a life with him that didn't involve us being trapped in a suite of rooms with his mother while both our people reviled us and made plans against us? Definitely. There were any number of futures I'd love to have for us, but his was our current path until something spectacular happened. Outside, the Court's gates, my people wanted to imprison me. Inside them, his people wanted to assault him. At least in this suite, we were safe. Most importantly, we were together.
Some say freedom is a gift placed in our hands by our forefathers. Some say freedom is a human right that none should be denied. Some say freedom is a privilege that can and will be seized if taken for granted. Some say freedom is the key that opens doors otherwise meant to imprison. Some say freedom is power to do, to be, to say, and to accomplish what the oppressed cannot. Some say freedom is a responsibility-a weight to be carried and shared by those willing to protect it. Perhaps freedom is all these things. But in my eyes, I see freedom as a treasure. It is a gem so rare and precious the fiercest battles rage over it. The blood of thousands is spilled for it-past, present, and future. Where true and unblemished freedom exists, it shines with perfect clarity, drawing the greedy masses, both those who desire a portion of the spoils and those who would rob the possessor of the treasure, hoping to bury it away. Without freedom I am a slave in shackles on a ship lost at sea. With freedom I am a captain; I am a pirate; I am an admiral; I am a scout; I am the eagle souring overhead; I am the north star guiding a crew; I am the ship itself; I am whatever I choose to be.
Richelle E. Goodrich
The morning after the 9/11 attacks... we began talking about the Twin Towers attack. Ruud shook his head sadly about it all. He said, "It's so weird, isn't it, all these people saying this has to do with Islam?" I couldn't help myself... I blurted out, "But it is about Islam. This is based in belief. This is Islam." Ruud said, "Ayaan, of course these people may have been Muslims, but they are a lunatic fringe. We have extremist Christians, too, who interpret the bible literally. Most Muslims do not believe these things. To say so is to disparage a faith which is the second largest religion in the world, and which is civilized, and peaceful." I walked into the office thinking, "I have to wake these people up."... The Dutch had forgotten that it was possible for people to stand up and wage war, destroy property, imprison, kill, impose laws of virtue because of the call of God. That kind of religion hadn't been present in Holland for centuries. It was not a lunatic fringe who felt this way about America and the West. I knew that a vast mass of Muslims would see the attacks as justified retaliation against the infidel enemies of Islam.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other's hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us? Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask is-not that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness. We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.
Robert G. Ingersoll
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans-saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned-that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason's holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women's breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: 'You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.' Why did he not plainly say: 'I am the Son of God, ' or, 'I am God'? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll