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American Gods – There was a girl, and her uncle sold her – Excerpt

There was a girl, and her uncle sold her. Put like that it seems so simple.

No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other’s tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived and then by some means or other, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes- forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There’s not a chance you’ll mistake one for another, after a minute’s close inspection) but still unique.

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OSHO – Quotes on life and love

download-2Osho or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was born in 1931 in Central India. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement. It is said that at the age of 21 he attained enlightenment or Samadhi. At the time he was studying philosophy at the University of Saugar. On receiving a masters degree he taught philosophy at the University of Jabalpur for nine years.

OSHO – Talks on Sufi Stories

As well as teaching philosophy he also began to attract disciples to follow his own eclectic mix of philosophy and religion. In 1966 he decided to leave his teaching post and give full attention to his role as spiritual Master. In 1974 he moved with his disciples to Pune, India. Here he established a new ashram in a comfortable setting of 6 acres. In 1980 he was attacked by a Hindu fundamentalist who disagreed with Osho’s unconventional stance on religion and spirituality. It is said that due to police incompetence the assailant was never convicted.

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Music Quotes

Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. The word derives from Greek μ (mousike; “art of the Muses”).

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Mother Theresa Quotes

autoreMother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910.

Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt strongly the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.

After a few months’ training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on Divine Providence, and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and financial support was also forthcoming. This made it possible for her to extend the scope of her work.

If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.

images-5On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity”, whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.

The Society of Missionaries has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. They provide effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they undertake relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, and famine, and for refugees. The order also has houses in North America, Europe and Australia, where they take care of the shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless, and AIDS sufferers. 14The Missionaries of Charity throughout the world are aided and assisted by Co-Workers who became an official International Association on March 29, 1969. By the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries. Along with the Co-Workers, the lay Missionaries of Charity try to follow Mother Teresa’s spirit and charism in their families.
Mother Teresa’s work has been recognised and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971) and the Nehru Prize for her promotion of international peace and understanding (1972). She also received the Balzan Prize (1979) and the Templeton and Magsaysay awards. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997.

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Leo Tolstoy Quotes

Lev Nikolaevich (Leo) Tolstoy (1828–1910). A Russian novelist, reformer, and moral thinker.
download-1Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, the Tolstoy family estate a hundred miles south of Moscow, on August 28. He died on November 20 at a nearby railroad station, having fled in the night from an increasingly contentious marriage and a set of familial relationships that had been hardened in large part by Tolstoy’s attempts to apply his radical moral beliefs to his own life. In the intervening eighty-two years Tolstoy became perhaps the most prominent novelist in an age and place of great authors as well as a vociferous critic of science and modernization.

Tolstoy’s international fame rests primarily on two novels, War and Peace (1865–1869) and Anna Karenina (1875–1877). His fictional works also include short masterpieces such as “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” (1886), “The Kreutzer Sonata” (1889), and “Master and Man” (1895). In addition he wrote autobiographical accounts of his childhood (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth[1852–1857]) and his experiences as a soldier in the Crimean War (Sevastopol Sketches [1855]).

With regard to issues of science, technology, and ethics Tolstoy’s most relevant writings include a variety of short, passionate non-fiction works, particularly “What I Believe” (1884), “What Then Must We Do?” (1887), “On the Significance of Science and Art” (1887), “What Is Art?” (1898), and “I Cannot Be Silent” (1908), all of which address a confluence of moral and intellectual errors he perceived in modern life and thought at the turn of the twentieth century.

The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.

images-3Like his contemporary Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881), whom he never met, Tolstoy was broadly concerned with the spiritual future of the human race. He attempted to confront the gradual movement away from traditional values with an almost Aristotelian emphasis on the permanent relationships of things, promoting the universality of natural and religious values of love and labor to which he believed the human heart responds.

Although the West now knows him as the writer of large and perhaps infrequently read novels, his influence on writers and political dissidents such as Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918) has been enormous, and his thought provides resources for ethical assessments of science and technology that have not yet been explored fully.

All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

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1984 * George Orwell’s vision on a Big Brother state

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

So goes the motto of the Party in Oceania, governed by only four ministries:
The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv,and Miniplenty.

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Inspirational Quotes

Inspiration (from the Latin inspirare, meaning “To breathe into”) refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. The concept has origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration came from the muses, as well as the gods Apollo and Dionysus. Similarly, in the Ancient Norse religions, inspiration derives from the gods, such as Odin. Inspiration is also a divine matter in Hebrew poetics. In the Book of Amos the prophet speaks of being overwhelmed by God’s voice and compelled to speak. In Christianity, inspiration is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Mahatma Ghandi

To lose patience is to lose the battle. — Mahatma Gandhi 

In the 18th century philosopher John Locke proposed a model of the human mind in which ideas associate or resonate with one another in the mind. In the 19th century, Romantic poets such as Coleridge and Shelley believed that inspiration came to a poet because the poet was attuned to the (divine or mystical) “winds” and because the soul of the poet was able to receive such visions. In the early 20th century, Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud located inspiration in the inner psyche of the artist. Psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung’s theory of inspiration suggests that an artist is one who was attuned to racial memory, which encoded the archetypes of the human mind.

The Marxist theory of art sees it as the expression of the friction between economic base and economics uperstructural positions, or as an unaware dialog of competing ideologies, or as an exploitation of a “fissure” in the ruling class’s ideology. In modern psychology inspiration is not frequently studied, but it is generally seen as an entirely internal process.

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Awe is TNT for the soul.

WONDER IS A blasting cap. It is an emotion that goes off with a bang, shattering settled beliefs, rattling the architecture of the mind, and clearing space for new ideas, new possibilities. Wonder is often thought of as a peaceful emotion, a sense of  resounding inner quiet. Of course we would associate it with silence. The world always assumes an eerie hush after an explosion.

 Awe is TNT for the soul.

Whatever your sexual orientation, whatever your ethnicity, whatever your age or personal experiences, it is my hope you will find a hero somewhere here you can relate to, that speaks to the world as you see it.

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Psychology

The sadness of impermanence – Mono no aware

Mono no aware (物の哀れ), literally “the pathos of things”, and also translated as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (無常, mujō), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) (Wiki).  The beauty of impermanence is in allowing some optimism over the passage of time. It is in extending and enjoying the embrace with our beloveds while it still exists, before entropy takes over.

Here are a few examples:

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Excerpts

Zurvan’s teachings * Excerpt from Anne Rice’s Servant of the bones

Illustration of Aristotle
Illustration of Aristotle

Excerpt from Servant of the Bones, 1996

” ‘All right. Now this is what I know. Don’t ever forget it.

As long you hate, and you roast in a hell of anger, there will be a limit to what you can do. You will be at the mercy of other spirits now and men and magicians. Anger is a confusing force, and hatred is blinding. So. You cripple yourself with this, you see, and that is why I would like to discipline it out of you, but that can’t be done. ”

‘But here are the lessons. Accept what your hatred and anger will allow you to accept. First and foremost, there is one God, and his name does not matter. Yahweh, Ahuramazda, Zeus, Aten, it does not matter at all. How he is worshipped, how he is served, by what ritual, it doesn’t matter at all. ”