for poets, at least, experiencing something inexpressible does not mean silence. It's precisely the inexpressible something that poetry is meant to help us see or feel. If it were merely expressible - if there were nothing ineffable about it - there would be no need for a poem. But everywhere in the Bible we meet reality that exceeds our expectations.
There is an inimitable grace in Virgil's words, and in them principally consists that beauty which gives so inexpressible a pleasure to him who best understands their force. This diction of his, I must once again say, is never to be copied; and since it cannot, he will appear but lame in the best translation.
The mystic cannot wholly do without symbol and image, inadequate to his vision though they must always be: for his experience must be expressed if it is to be communicated, and its actuality is inexpressible except in some hint or parallel which will stimulate the dormant intuition of the reader.
Everything is gestation and bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain... Music expresses only the quintessence of life and its events, never these themselves.
Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.
Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Let no one hope to find in contemplation an escape from conflict, from anguish or from doubt. On the contrary, the deep inexpressible certitude of the contemplative experience awakens a tragic anguish and opens many questions in the depths of the heart like wounds that cannot stop bleeding.
Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.
Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to "go out" in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus. You must learn to "go out" through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God.
Art is expression; what is expressed is often the vision of a subtle and powerful soul, and also his experience with his vision; and however vivid and skilful he may be in the means of expression, yet it is frequently found that the master-spell in his work is something felt to be indefinable and inexpressible.
George Edward Woodberry
That nameless and infinitely delicate aroma of inexpressible tenderness and attentiveness which, in every refined and honorable attachment, is contemporary with the courtship, and precedes the final banns and the rite; but which, like the bouquet of the costliest German wines, too often evaporates upon pouring love out to drink, in the disenchanting glasses of the matrimonial days and nights.
A Light of utmost splendor glows on the eyes of my soul. Therein have I seen the inexpressible ordering of all things, and recognized God's unspeakable glory -- that incomprehensible wonder -- the tender caress between God and the soul...the unmingled joy of union, the living love of eternity as it now is and evermore shall be.
Mechthild of Magdeburg
Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched across the pages of history the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, we were here. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.
Martin Luther King
What we see at the cross is the white-hot revelation of the character of God, of his love providing the price that holiness requires. The cross was his means of redeeming lost sinners and reconciling them to himself, but it was also a profound disclosure of his mercy. It is, in Paul's words, an 'inexpressible gift' that leads us to wonder and worship, to praise and adore the God who has given himself to us in this way.
David F. Wells
The sun shines, snow falls, mountains rise and valleys sink, night deepens and pales into day, but it is only very seldom that we attend to such things. . . . When we are grasping the inexpressible meaning of these things, this is life, this is living. To do this twenty-four hours a day is the Way of Haiku. It is having life more abundantly.
Reginald Horace Blyth
The sun shines, snow falls, mountains rise and valleys sink, night deepens and pales into day, but it is only very seldom that we attend to such things... When we are grasping the inexpressible meaning of these things, this is life, this is living. To do this twenty-four hours a day is the Way of Haiku. It is having life more abundantly.
Made up of the glories of the most precious gems, to describe them is a matter of inexpressible difficulty. For there is amongst them the gentler fire of the ruby, there is the rich purple of the amethyst, there is the sea-green of the emerald, and all shining together in an indescribable union. Others, by an excessive heightening of their hues equal all the colours of the painter, others the flame of burning brimstone, or of a fire quickened by oil.
Pliny the Elder
The faith of those who live their faith is a serene faith. What you long for will be given you; what you love will be yours for ever. Since it is by giving alms that everything is pure for you, you will also receive that blessing which is promised next by the Lord: the Godhead that no man has been able to see. In the inexpressible joy of this eternal vision, human nature will possess what eye has not seen or ear heard, what man's heart has never conceived.
Pope Leo I
Theology is just not important in Judaism, or in any other religion, really. There's no orthodoxy, as you have it in the Catholic Church. No complicated creeds to which everybody must subscribe. No infallible pronouncements by a pope. Nobody can tell Jews what to believe. Within reason, you can believe what you like... We have orthopraxy instead of orthodoxy. Right practice rather then right belief. That's all. You Christians make such a fuss about theology, but it's not important in the way you think. It's just poetry, really, ways of talking about the inexpressible.
But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
What a wonder is it, that two natures infinitely distant, should be more intimately united than anything in the world; and yet without any confusion! That the same person should have both a glory and a grief; an infinite joy in the Deity, and an inexpressible sorrow in the humanity! That a God upon a throne should be an infant in a cradle; the thundering Creator be a weeping babe and a suffering man, are such expressions of mighty power, as well as condescending love, that they astonish men upon earth, and angels in heaven.
In the midst of the awesomeness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. You know it is not the hand of restraint, correction, nor chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it gives inexpressible peace and comfort, and the sense that "underneath are the everlasting arms," (Deuteronomy 33:27) full of support, provision, comfort and strength.
I was keenly conscious of the comrades-in-arms who had fallen with me. A bond surpassing by a hundredfold that which I had known in life bound me to them. I felt a sense of inexpressible relief and realized that I had feared, more than death, separation from them. I apprehended that excruciating war survivor's torment, the sense of isolation and self-betrayal experienced by those who had elected to cling yet to breath when their comrades had let loose their grip.
That which rises and sinks is made up of what it rises from. The finality of the universe is the God Arunachala. Meditating on Him or on the seer, the Self, there is a mental vibration 'I' to which all are reduced. Tracing the source of 'I', the primal 'I-I' alone remains over, and it is inexpressible. The seat of Realisation is within and the seeker cannot find it as an object outside him. That seat is bliss and is the core of all beings. Hence it is called the Heart. The only useful purpose of the present birth is to turn within and realise it. There is nothing else to do.
To be awake and harmonious creates the possibility for ecstasy to happen. Ecstasy means the ultimate joy, inexpressible; no words are adequate to say anything about it. And when one has attained to ecstasy, when one has known the ultimate peak of joy, compassion comes as a consequence. When you have that joy, you like to share it; you cannot avoid sharing, sharing is inevitable...
The Christians who engaged in infamous persecutions and shameful inquisitions were not evil men but misguided men. The churchmen who felt they had an edict from God to withstand the progress of science, whether in the form of a Copernican revolution or a Darwinian theory of natural selection, were not mischievous men but misinformed men. And so Christ's words from the cross are written in sharp-edged terms across some of the most inexpressible tragedies of history: 'They know not what they do'.
Martin Luther King
The pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive the wicked: the flames do now rage and glow. The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much in the same way as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect, abhors you and is dreadfully provoked...He will trample them beneath His feet with inexpressible fierceness; He will crush their blood out, and will make it fly, so that it will sprinkle His garment and stain all His raiment.
Suicide is a particularly awful way to die: the mental suffering leading up to it is usually prolonged, intense and unpalliated. There is no morphine equivalent to ease the acute pain, and death, not uncommonly, is violent and grisly. The suffering of a suicidal is private and inexpressible, leaving family members, friends and colleagues to deal with an almost unfathomable kind of loss, as well as guilt. Suicide carries in its aftermath a level of confusion and devastation that is, for the most part, beyond description.
Kay Redfield Jamison
However modest one may be in one's demand for intellectual cleanliness, one cannot help feeling, when coming into contact with the New Testament, a kind of inexpressible discomfiture: for the unchecked impudence with which the least qualified want to raise their voice on the greatest problems, and even claim to be judges of things, surpasses all measure. The shameless levity with which the most intractable problems (life, world, God, purpose of life) are spoken of, as if they were not problems at all but simply things that these little bigots KNEW!
I have already transmitted to Congress the report of the naval court of inquiry on the destruction of the battleship Maine in the harbor of Havana during the night of the fifteenth of February. The destruction of that noble vessel has filled the national heart with inexpressible horror. Two hundred and fifty-eight brave sailors and marines and two officers of our Navy, reposing in the fancied security of a friendly harbor, have been hurled to death, grief and want brought to their homes and sorrow to the nation.
Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life, in understanding and in creating. There is no measuring in time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confidence in the storms of spring without fear that after them may come no summer.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The concept of 'Momism' is male nonsense. It is the refuge of a man seeking excuses for his own lack of virility. I have listened to many women in various countries, and I have never found a woman who willingly 'mothers' her husband. The very idea is repulsive to her. She wants to mother the children while they are young, but never their fathers. True, she may be forced into the role of mother by a man's weaknesses and childishness, and then she accepts the role with dignity and patience, or with anger and impatience, but always with a secret, profound sadness unexpressed and inexpressible.
Pearl S. Buck
The days were brief and attenuated and the season appeared to be fixed - neither summer nor winter, spring nor fall. A thermal haze of inexpressible sweetness, though bearing tiny bits of grit or mica, had eased into the Valley from the industrial region to the north and there were nights when the sun set at the western horizon as if it were sinking through a porous red mass, and there were days when a hard-glaring moon like bone remained fixed in a single position, prominent in the sky. ("Family")
Joyce Carol Oates
We were fond together because of the sweep of open places, the taste of wide winds, the sunlight, and the hopes in which we worked. The morning freshness of the world-to-be intoxicated us. We were wrought up with ideas inexpressible and vaporous, but to be fought for. We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns, never sparing ourselves: yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep, and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.
The Bible is the Word of God: supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in valor, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on. Truly it is the Word of God. It brings into man the personality of God; it changes the man until he becomes the epistle of God. It transforms his mind, changes his character, takes him on from grace to grace, and gives him an inheritance in the Spirit. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him.
if we seek the permanence of an object as something existing from its own side, we discover something inexpressible. If we take three sticks and place them together in a certain way, they will all stand up. If each of the sticks could stand under its own power, it would remain standing even if the others were removed, but they cannot. In this way we must understand dependent arising precisely. Another way of thinking about it is to consider clothing. Only when cloth is of the correct color, shape, and so forth is it labeled "clothing." Or think of a clock. Whenever we see a clock, we label it a clock, but if we were to separate the component pieces, then the "clock" would cease to exist, because no basis of imputation would remain. In actuality there was no truly existent clock in the first place-only the causes and conditions fit to be labeled a "clock.
Zongtrul Losang Tse¶ndru
What can we make of the inexpressible joy of children? It is a kind of gratitude, I think-the gratitude of the ten-year-old who wakes to her own energy and the brisk challenge of the world. You thought you knew the place and all its routines, but you see you hadn't known. Whole stacks at the library held books devoted to things you knew nothing about. The boundary of knowledge receded, as you poked about in books, like Lake Erie's rim as you climbed its cliffs. And each area of knowledge disclosed another, and another. Knowledge wasn't a body, or a tree, but instead air, or space, or being-whatever pervaded, whatever never ended and fitted into the smallest cracks and the widest space between stars.
Aeneas' mother is a star?" "No; a goddess." I said cautiously, "Venus is the power that we invoke in spring, in the garden, when things begin growing. And we call the evening star Venus." He thought it over. Perhaps having grown up in the country, among pagans like me, helped him understand my bewilderment. "So do we, he said. "But Venus also became more... With the help of the Greeks. They call her Aphrodite... There was a great poet who praised her in Latin. Delight of men and gods, he called her, dear nurturer. Under the sliding star signs she fills the ship-laden sea and the fruitful earth with her being; through her the generations are conceived and rise up to see the sun; from her the storm clouds flee; to her the earth, the skillful maker, offers flowers. The wide levels of the sea smile at her, and all the quiet sky shines and streams with light... " It was the Venus I had prayed to, it was my prayer, though I had no such words. They filled my eyes with tears and my heart with inexpressible joy.
Ursula K. Le Guin
In the tenth century BC, the priests of India devised the Brahmodya competition, which would become a model of authentic theological discourse. The object was to find a verbal formula to define the Brahman, the ultimate and inexpressible reality beyond human understanding. The idea was to push language as far as it would go, until participants became aware of the ineffable. The challenger, drawing on his immense erudition, began the process by asking an enigmatic question and his opponents had to reply in a way that was apt but equally inscrutable. The winner was the contestant who reduced the others to silence. In that moment of silence, the Brahman was present - not in the ingenious verbal declarations but in the stunning realisation of the impotence of speech. Nearly all religious traditions have devised their own versions of this exercise. It was not a frustrating experience; the finale can, perhaps, be compared to the moment at the end of the symphony, when there is a full and pregnant beat of silence in the concert hall before the applause begins. The aim of good theology is to help the audience to live for a while in that silence.