You have had many sadnesses, large ones, which passed. ... But please, ask yourself whether these large sadnesses haven't rather gone right through you [that is, passed through you]. Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad. The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of. If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadnesses with greater trust than we have in our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, everything in us withdraws, a silence arises, and the new experience, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it all and says nothing.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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Depression can kill you. It can also be a spiritually enriching experience. It's really an important part of my theology now and my spirituality that life is not perfect, and I grew up wanting it to be and thinking that if it wasn't, I could make it that way, and I had to acknowledge that I had all kinds of flaws and sadnesses and problems.
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Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divinings, perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own...
Rainer Maria Rilke
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The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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Brod discovered 613 sadnesses, each perfectly unique, each a singular emotion, no more similar to any other sadness than to anger, ecstasy, guilt, or frustration. Mirror Sadness. Sadness of Domesticated Birds. Sadness of Being Sad in front of One's Parent. Humor Sadness. Sadness of Love Without Release.
Jonathan Safran Foer
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We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadnesses of life and the often overwhelming forces within our minds. In whatever way we do this-through love, work, family, faith, friends, denial, alcohol, drugs, or medication, we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime.
Kay Redfield Jamison
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One of the great sadnesses of modern life, because of our disenfranchisement and disillusionment with religion, is that we don't have access to these ideas. Yoga and meditation, for me, is a way of, in this secular world, accessing very very beautiful principles that would perhaps make us happier, at a time when people feel disillusioned with the economy, concerned about the ecology, worried with politicians, and don't trust what they're being told on television.
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You see, when you're middle class, you have to live with the fact that history will ignore you. You have to live with the fact that history can never champion your causes and that history will never feel sorry for you. It is the price that is paid for day-to-day comfort and silence. And because of this price, all happinesses are sterile; all sadnesses go unpitied.
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I believe that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension that we find paralyzing because we no longer hear our surprised feelings living. Because we are alone with the alien thing that has entered into our self; because everything intimate and accustomed is for an instant taken away; because we stand in the middle of a transition where we cannot remain standing. For this reason the sadness too passes: the new thing in us, the added thing, has entered into our heart, has gone into its inmost chamber and is not even there any more, - is already in our blood. And we do not learn what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing has happened, and yet we have changed, as a house changes into which a guest has entered.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadnesses of life and the often overwhelming forces within our minds. In whatever way we do this""through love, work, family, faith, friends, denial, alcohol, drugs, or medication""we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime. One of the most difficult problems is to construct these barriers of such a height and strength that one has a true harbor, a sanctuary away from crippling turmoil and pain, but yet low enough, and permeable enough, to let in fresh seawater that will fend off the inevitable inclination toward brackishness.
Kay Redfield Jamison
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Appalling things can happen to children. And even a happy childhood is filled with sadnesses. Is there any other period in your life when you hate your best friend on Monday and love them again on Tuesday? But at eight, 10, 12, you don't realise you're going to die. There is always the possibility of escape. There is always somewhere else and far away, a fact I had never really appreciated until I read Gitta Sereny's profoundly unsettling Cries Unheard about child-killer Mary Bell. At 20, 25, 30, we begin to realise that the possibilities of escape are getting fewer. We begin to picture a time when there will no longer be somewhere else and far away. We have jobs, children, partners, debts, responsibilities. And if many of these things enrich our lives immeasurably, those shrinking limits are something we all have to come to terms with. This, I think, is the part of us to which literary fiction speaks.
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Until then, my teenage soul-suspicious of cheerfulness, though still reflexively respectful of authority-would feel increasingly uncomfortable in the presence of the official soul. The official soul, as transmitted through church and Christian paraphernalia, was upbeat, incurious, happy with its lot. It did not have any heroes other than the ones who appeared in the Bible, and it was content to hear the same stories about these people over and over again. It described pain and suffering in such a way that a person might think alcoholism or the loss of a child were no more inconvenient than a tussle with the flu: after it passed, you could stand in front of the congregation on Sunday and testify that it was all better, and God was good. As far as I could tell, that was the only story told by the official soul, and the real and true sadnesses had be excised for a more mellifluous account. Which made it seem as if there were things you couldn't talk about in church, or with people from church-what made you laugh, why you cried at a movie, what made you angry, or what books you read that hadn't been written by C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer, or D.L. Moody. Church was supposed to be the most important thing in life, but so much of life was left out, because so much of its trouble was assumed to be conquered. My pastor mentioned Kierkegaard in a sermon only once, and it would be a long time before I discovered that there was a storied Christian who suffered from, and so in some way sanctioned, depression, rage, sarcasm, and despair-the diseases that took hold in adolescence, for which church offered no cure.
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