The child in each of us Knows paradise. Paradise is home. Home as it was Or home as it should have been. Paradise is one's own place, One's own people, One's own world, Knowing and known, Perhaps even Loving and loved. Yet every child Is cast from paradise- Into growth and new community, Into vast, ongoing Change.
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The possibility of paradise hovers on the cusp of coming into being, so much so that it takes powerful forces to keep such a paradise at bay. If paradise now arises in hell, it's because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way.
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Vividly imagined, beautifully written, at times almost unbearably suspenseful-the stories in Kristiana Kahakauwila's debut collection, This Is Paradise, are boldly inventive in their exploration of the tenuous nature of human relations. These are poignant stories of 'paradise'-Hawai'i-with all that 'paradise' entails of the transience of sensuous beauty.
Joyce Carol Oates
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The earth is not a lair, neither is it a prison. The earth is a Paradise, the only one we'll ever know. We will realize it the moment we open our eyes. We don't have to make it a Paradise-it is one. We have only to make ourselves fit to inhabit it. The man with the gun, the man with murder in his heart, cannot possibly recognize Paradise even when he is shown it.
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When those deserving of Paradise would enter Paradise, the Blessed and the Exalted would ask: Do you wish Me to give you anything more? They would say: Hast Thou not brightened our faces? Hast Thou not made us enter Paradise and saved us from Fire? He would lift the veil, and of things given to them nothing would be dearer to them than the sight of their Lord, the Mighty and the Glorious.
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Expulsion from Paradise is in its main aspect eternal: that is to say, although expulsion from Paradise is final, and life in theworld unavoidable, the eternity of the process (or, expressed in temporal terms, the eternal repetition of the process) nevertheless makes it possible not only that we might remain in Paradise permanently, but that we may in fact be there permanently, no matter whether we know it here or not.
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A woman who has found her match with respect to depth of soul and who has quenched her thirst with her children is no different than the women of Paradise, and the home structured around such a person is no different than the gardens of Paradise. And it is no wonder that her children, who grow up savoring affection in the shelter of this paradise, will be no different than heavenly beings. Indeed those who are fortunate enough to be raised in such an atmosphere of affection will live in state of otherworldy joy as if they have been exalted to the heavens, inspiring high spirits all around through their smiles.
M. Fethullah Gulen
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The Expulsion from Paradise is eternal in its principal aspect: this makes it irrevocable, and our living in this world inevitable, but the eternal nature of the process has the effect that not only could we remain forever in Paradise, but that we are currently there, whether we know it or not.
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Be sweet to one another. Stay in this beauty and brawl against the world's power of pulling apart. Recall Old Testament terminology: covenant, sacred, sacrifice. And mind always that Adam wasn't a schlep fruitily duped by Eve. He turned his back on God because he knew that a paradise without her was no paradise at all.
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In particular, we must take account of the well-known and striking saying of Jesus to the dying brigand beside him, recorded by Luke (23.43). 'Today, ' he said, 'you will be with me in paradise.' 'Paradise' is not the final destination; it is a beautiful resting place on the way there. But notice. If there is anyone in the New Testament to whom we might have expected the classic doctrine of purgatory to apply, it would be this brigand. He had no time for amendment of life; no doubt he had all kinds of sinful thoughts and desires in what was left of his body. All the standard arguments in favour of purgatory apply to him. And yet Jesus assures him of his place in paradise, not in a few days or weeks, not if his friends say a lot of prayers and masses for him, but 'today.
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The most miserable man in the world of those meant for Paradise will be dipped once in Paradise. Then he will be asked, "Son of Adam, did you ever face any misery? Did you ever experience any hardship?" So he will say, "No, by God, O Lord! I never faced any misery, and I never experienced any hardship."
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All play aspires to the condition of paradise...through play in all its forms...we hope to achieve a state that our larger Greco-Roman, Judeo- Christian culture has always known was lost. Where it exists, we do not know, although we always have envisioned it as a garden...always as removed, as an enclosed green place...Paradise is an ancient dream...It is a dream of ourselves as better than we are, back to what we were.
A. Bartlett Giamatti
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I could've enjoyed a cigarette if I smoked back before everyone knew it was bad - say, like, 1923. Everybody smoked back then. There was no medical information against it; they had no idea - it was a paradise. It was a smoker's paradise: 'They're taking my lung out next week. I don't know why. Doctor thinks maybe I'm brushing my teeth too often, but I can't help it because, for some reason, my breath smells like I licked a monkey's ass.
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We danced our youth in a dreamed of city, Venice, paradise, proud and pretty, We lived for love and lust and beauty, Pleasure then our only duty. Floating them twixt heaven and Earth And drank on plenties blessed mirth We thought ourselves eternal then, Our glory sealed by God's own pen. But paradise, we found is always frail, Against man's fear will always fail.
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And so in the heart of such a believer is a sort of paradise. That is the paradise that Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on his soul, spoke of when he said: 'Truly, there is a Heaven in this world, [and] whoever does not enter it, will not enter the Heaven of the next world.' And in that heaven, complete peace is not something of a moment. It is a state, eternal.
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In this life there is no purgatory; it is either hell or paradise; for to him who serves God truly, every trouble and infirmity turns into consolations, and through all kinds of trouble he has a paradise within himself even in this world: and he who does not serve God truly, and gives himself up to sensuality, has one hell in this world, and another in the next.
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Women are exciting for this one reason - it is the secret of women's allure - women enjoy submission, being bound. This I bring out in the Paradise Island sequences where the girls beg for chains and enjoy wearing them. Because all of this is a universal truth, a fundamental subconscious feeling of normal humans, the children love it. That is why they like Wonder Woman on Paradise Island better than anywhere else.
William Moulton Marston
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If all stories are fiction, fiction can be true -- not in detail or fact, but in some transformed version of feeling. If there is a memory of paradise, paradise can exist, in some other place or country dimensionally reminiscent of our own. The sad stories live there too, but in that country, we know what they mean and why they happened. We make our way back from them, finding the way through a bountiful wilderness we begin to understand. Years are nothing: Story conquers all distance.
Jayne Anne Phillips
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Anyone who thinks that the Communist regimes of Central Europe are exclusively the work of criminals is overlooking a basic truth: The criminal regimes were made not by criminals but by enthusiasts convinced they had discovered the only road to paradise. They defended that road so valiantly that they were forced to execute many people. Later it became clear that there was no paradise, that the enthusiasts were therefore murderers.
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My work has to do with a defense against fervor. People are always in a rush. To do what? To do nothing! There is a kind of fervor that is completely meaningless. This drawing is a call for meditation.... I am an insomniac, so for me the state of being asleep is paradise. It is a paradise I can never reach. But I still try to conquer the insomnia, and to a large extent I have done it; it is conquerable. My drawings are a kind of rocking or stroking and an attempt at finding peace. Peaceful rhythm. Like rocking a baby to sleep.
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A dying man asked a dying man for eternal life; a man without possessions asked a poor man for a Kingdom; a thief at the door of death asked to die like a thief and steal Paradise. One would have thought a saint would have been the first soul purchased over the counter of Calvary by the red coins of Redemption, but in the Divine plan it was a thief who was the escort of the King of kings into Paradise. If Our Lord had come merely as a teacher, the thief would never have asked for forgiveness. But since the thief's request touched the reason of His coming to earth, namely, to save souls, the thief heard the immediate answer: 'I promise thee, this day thou shalt be With Me in Paradise' (Luke 23:43) It was the thief's last prayer, perhaps even his first. He knocked once, sought once, asked once, dared everything, and found everything. When even the disciples were doubting and only one was present at the Cross, the thief owned and acknowledged Him as Saviour.
Fulton J. Sheen
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DON'T WANNA HANG AROUND ANYONE TODAY I'M SICK OF PLAYING THE SAME OLD GAMES CAUSE I KNOW I CAN'T WIN THEM ANYWAY AND I WILL DREAM A DIFFERENT LIE STUCK IN BETWEEN HER THIGHS AND WONDER JUST WHEN I WILL MEET HER ALL I REALLY NEED IS SOMEONE LIKE PHOEBE SOMEONE TO EXCITE MY FANTASY AND EVERY NIGHT I'LL DREAM THAT SHE IS HERE WITH ME AND I WILL BE THE ONLY ONE FOR HER AND I'M WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE TONIGHT WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE I'VE BEEN IN LOVE SINCE THE DAY I SAW FAST TIMES IT'S ON A PERMANENT REWIND AND CAN YOU GUESS MY FAVORITE PART I USED TO LIKE TOSSING OFF TO HER POOL SCENE NOW I'M KISSING TV SCREENS SHE'S THE ONLY STAR WHO'S TOUCHED MY HEART ON ALL I REALLY NEED IS SOMEONE LIKE PHOEBE SOMEONE TO EXCITE MY FANTASY AND EVERY NIGHT I'LL DREAM THAT SHE IS HERE WITH ME AND I WILL BE THE ONLY ONE FOR HER AND I'M LOOKING FOR A FAST TIME WATCHING OUT FOR BRIGHT LIGHTS SEND ME OFF TO PRIVATE SCHOOL WHEN I'M WITH YOU IT'S PARADISE LOOKING FOR A FAST TIME WATCHING OUT FOR BRIGHT LIGHTS SEND ME OFF TO PRIVATE SCHOOL WHEN I'M WITH YOU IT'S PARADISE WHEN I'M WITH YOU IT'S PARADISE WHEN I'M WITH YOU IT'S PARADISE WHEN I'M WITH YOU IT'S PARADISE ALL I REALLY NEED IS SOMEONE LIKE PHOEBE SOMEONE TO EXCITE MY FANTASY AND EVERY NIGHT I'LL DREAM THAT SHE IS HERE WITH ME AND I WILL BE THE ONLY ONE FOR HER AND I'M WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE TONIGHT WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE TONIGHT WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE TONIGHT WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE TONIGHT WASTING TIME GOING BLIND THINKING SHE'LL BE MINE TONIGHT
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Kessler depicts his developing intimacy with a handful of dairy goats and offers an enviable glimpse of the pastoral good life. Yet he also cautions, "Wherever the notion of paradise exists, so does the idea that it was lost. Paradise is always in the past." The title Goat Song is a literal rendering of the Greek word traghoudhia, tragedy. Reading it, I was reminded of Leo Marx's analysis of Thoreau's Walden. In The Machine in the Garden, Marx names Thoreau a tragic, if complex pastoralist. After failing to make an agrarian living raising beans for commercial trade (although his intent was always more allegorical than pecuniary), Thoreau ends Walden by replacing the pastoral idea where it originated: in literature. Paradise, Marx concludes, is not ultimately to be found at Walden Pond; it is to be found in the pages of Walden.
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I'd wrestled against the inner voice of my mother, the voice of caution, of duty, of fear of the unknown, the voice that said the world was dangerous and safety was always the first measure and that often confused pleasure with danger, the mother who had, when I'd moved to the city, sent me clippings about young women who were raped and murdered there, who elaborated on obscure perils and injuries that had never happened to her all her life, and who feared mistakes even when the consequences were minor. Why go to Paradise when the dishes aren't done? What if the dirty dishes clamor more loudly than Paradise?
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According to my religious belief, I'm sorry if you feel like I'm pushing this on you - my religious belief is that you behave the way God wants us to behave. And that's simply love God and love one another. If we did that, there would be no need for any of the other commandments. It would be great. But in the same vein, we would have obtained paradise by that point. And it's tougher to get to paradise by that point.
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God isn't the son of Memory; He's the son of Immediate Experience. You can't worship a spirit in spirit, unless you do it now. Wallowing in the past may be good literature. As wisdom, it's hopeless. Time Regained is Paradise Lost, and Time Lost is Paradise Regained. Let the dead bury their dead. If you want to live at every moment as it presents itself, you've got to die to every other moment.
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You listen to the mind, you become miserable - otherwise, this today is paradise! And there is no other paradise, this today is nirvana. If you had not listened to the mind... just don't listen to the mind, then you are not in misery; because misery cannot exist without expectations and without hopes. And when misery exists you need more hopes for it, to hide it, to live somehow. Live hopelessly - then you are a righteous man, then you are retired.
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I perceive we postpone all our joys of Christ, till He and we be in our own house above, thinking that there is nothing of it here to be sought or found, but only hope and fair promises; and that Christ will give us nothing here but tears, sadness, crosses; and that we shall never feel the smell of the flowers of that high garden of paradise above, till we come there. Nay, but I find it possible to find young glory, and a young green paradise of joy even here. We dream of hunger in Christ's house, while we are here, although He alloweth feasts to all the bairns within God's household.
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The technologists claim that if everything works [in a nuclear fission reactor] according to their blueprints, fission energy will be a safe and very attractive solution to the energy needs of the world. ... The real issue is whether their blueprints will work in the real world and not only in a "technological paradise."... Opponents of fission energy point out a number of differences between the real world and the "technological paradise." ... No acts of God can be permitted.
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Islam and Christianity promise eternal paradise to the faithful. And that is a powerful opiate, certainly, the hope of a better life to come. But there's a Sufi story that challenges the notion that people believe only because they need an opiate. Rabe'a al-Adiwiyah, a great woman saint of Sufism, was seem running through the streets of her hometown, Basra, carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When someone asked her what she was doing, she answered, 'I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven of fear of hell, but because He is God.
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This having learnt, thou hast attained the sum Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all th'ethereal powers, All secrets of the deep, all nature's works, Or works of God in heav'n, air, earth, or sea, And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst, And all the rule, one empire; onlyadd Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, By name to come called charity, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far.
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Here we are told that Christ really lives in me, if I have accepted Christ as my Savior. In other words, we have the words of Jesus to the thief of the cross, 'Today thou wilt be with me in paradise.' Christ can say, 'Today thou wilt be with me in paradise,' and mean it. To die is to be with the Lord. It is not just an idea, it is a reality. But at the same time, Christ, the same Christ who gives the promise just as definitely, that when I have accepted Christ as my savior, he lives in me.
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The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is 'Invest!' The supreme commandment of the rest of us is 'Buy!' The capitalist-consumerist ethic is revolutionary in another respect. Most previous ethical systems presented people with a pretty tough deal. They were promised paradise, but only if they cultivated compassion and tolerance, overcame craving and anger, and restrained their selfish interests. This was too tough for most. The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist-consumerist ideal. The new ethic promises paradise on condition that the rich remain greedy and spend their time making more money and that the masses give free reign to their cravings and passions and buy more and more. This is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do. How though do we know that we'll really get paradise in return? We've seen it on television.
Yuval Noah Harari
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You see, none of these conflicts are about things that people only sort of like. It is always about love. You may think me blasphemous to use the Passion of the Christ as an example of drama, but not so: this is the one true story, the greatest story ever told, the tale of tales even as Christ is the King of Kings, and all truly inspired fairy tales and fiction have to contain some echo or reflection of the One True Tale, or else it is no tale of any power at all, merely a pastime. The most powerful and potent tales, even when they are told awkwardly and without grace or poetry or craft, are stories of paradise lost and paradise regained; sacrifice, selfless love, forgiveness and salvation; stories of a man who learns better.
John C. Wright
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A soldier came to Hakuin and asked "Is there really a paradise and a hell?" "Who are you?" inquired Hakuin. "I am a samurai, " the warrior replied. "You, a samurai!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar!" The soldier became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued. "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably as dull as your head!" As the soldier drew his sword Hakuin remarked "Here open the gates of hell!" At these words, the samurai, perceiving the discipline of the master, sheathed his sword and bowed. "Here open the gates of paradise, " said Hakuin
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