“My brother asked the birds to forgive him; that sounds senseless, but it is right; for all is like an ocean, all is flowing and blending; a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end of the earth. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but birds would be happier at your side — a little happier, anyway — and children and all animals, if you were nobler than you are now. It’s all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds too, consumed by an all-embracing love, in a sort of transport, and pray that they too will forgive you your sin. Treasure this ecstasy, however senseless it may seem to men.”—The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
[Book VI “The Russian Monk”, Chapter 3, Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima, (f) Of Masters and Servants, and of whether it is possible for them to be Brothers in the Spirit.]
“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good, it is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance, it means to suffer.”—Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (via water-veiled)
This is a great piece and I think everyone should read it. I’ve had it open in my tabs for a couple days trying to find a single quote to pull, which was difficult because they’re all so good.
I get so irritated when men talk about how they only like women who don’t wear makeup — no, you like women who don’t need makeup in order to live up to your ridiculous standards, but the vast majority of us are not Miranda Kerr and we don’t get out of bed looking naturally flawless. I get even more irritated when women, particularly in feminist circles, talk about how glad they are that they “never bother” with makeup with a tone of superiority. Yes, aren’t you special? Aren’t you just the special-est snowflake?
I don’t care what other people put on their faces, but I care a lot about other people trying to attribute some sort of moral, ethical, or logical value to the act of wearing makeup, whether it’s men calling women liars and saying we’re the cause of trust issues (because seeing that a girl actually has acne scars or hyperpigmentation is THE END OF THE WORLD for those dues), or women calling other women vain, shallow, or boring.
Whatevs, happy Easter, I am making a whole pan of bacon.
“Yes, there are many things that are wrong with the world. So many things to be against — but you can’t be against everything. At some point you have to begin to stand for something. Maybe the most important question is not what am I against, but what do I stand for? On my best days, I want to stand for love conquering a multitude of wrongs. I want to stand for forgiveness, for mercy, for beauty, for grace.”—Jon Foreman (via hellohurricane)
I always feel like I should apologize for my personal posts, but then I realize that I have Ultimate Blog Power. I can write an essay about how sad I am and then post ten pictures of dogs rollerblading. You can’t stop me.
Super incredibly maddening thing about mental illness:
Fighting your ass off to live a normal life and function as well as you can, and instead of getting credit and having people be proud of you for all the efforts you’re making, having people use your apparently normal behavior as a reason to invalidate you and think you weren’t that sick to begin with.
It takes a lot of badassery to act this normal, but the effort is all invisible
“There are dangers for an artist in any academic environment. Academia rewards people who know their own minds and have developed an ironclad confidence in speaking them. That kind of assurance is death for an artist.”—Christian Wiman (via millionsmillions)
I’m told the finnish epithet for prescriptivists is “pilkunnussija” ie “comma-fucker” which is 100x better than the lazy “grammar nazi” that gets thrown around in english imho and i propose translating and adopting this term immediately
The real enemy of our age is apathy, nothingness, and abstraction. It is not ignorance. There is an over-abundance of knowledge in our world and that is perhaps what stunts us from achieving a true knowing. The bible itself has bled a false knowing because we are now unprepared for it. There has been only a downgrade in the quality of life since the day of revelation. Never before have we had dimmer eyes or duller hearts… or more complicated minds. This is a trend of history that the Christian is able to reverse on the strength of faith. But this requires the right understanding.
There can be no talk of a theology that does not address these three evils— apathy, nothingness, and abstraction. Christianity, as it has been preached traditionally, makes the conditions of life appear smaller and more generic than they are. God must be thought of in new categories and concepts, ones that match the ways in which we are thinking about ourselves.
We must think of God in personal terms; that is, in a literary fashion. In every age death and redemption have a different earthly expression, even if the ontological experience is the same. This means that there are also different vices and virtues. The vices are the three evils, and the virtues of our age are literariness and passion.
The three evils come from a humanity that is tending toward degradation because of a lack of moral standard. The masses feel complacency toward that degradation, for it operates under the guise of freedom which they desire. The Christian, who has no view of the heights that man can rise to, is led to view God in a degraded manner since self and God are intimately related. The only understanding of God we can pursue with confidence is one that seeks the root of the modern vice and make present and visible the revolutionary virtue.
The new theology must bring about not only an awareness of said despair in its many forms but allow all homeless passions to resurface and hold social significance. The release of subjective eccentricities, for example, and visions of true self and heaven should be the goal of the church. The church should be the house of the highest form of moral intelligence. It should condemn both abstract thought and thoughtlessness—- a delicate balance it has to be willing to fight for. The best thoughts are the original, the subjective, the confessional, the fire-side ones.
We are working against a unfeeling monster of the modern brain-machine. If we don’t face that titanic monster for who he is, our victories are merely the result of our imagination. Our religious experience is a form of escapism. Our hope draws us away from realities. In order for our feelings to be real and become real, we must understand what darkness can come over the human being, and the subtleties of that darkness. We must understand what it means to live ahistorically with an attunement to becoming. We must remember that man is a fallen God. He is the lowest of the gods. He is bound to a miracle and a mystery, the meaning of which we he is created to explore.
All Christian thought must start with the freely expressed desire of the individual to find wisdom, to organize inner chaos. Truth is not original, but our methods must be if they are to protect the depths of subjectivity where truth is truly planted. The only way to re-inject God into the culture and politics is to dive as deeply as possible into it the subjects of which both are comprised.
The reign of the Kingdom of God on earth is romantic, not ascetic. Intellectualism and erudition are the most sly form of asceticism. The Kingdom is not dialogical but cathartic; it happens by God’s grace, when a real soul breaks from the principalities and powers of this world, and the promethean task of comprehending it, into the real spiritual world where they are simple. This spiritual world is not located in the mind nor in the heavens. It is in the open air. Perhaps its closeness is why losing it is so painful.
A theology that adequately saves us brings us back to greatness— to the literary, the mythical, the metaphorical. A religious revival is just as much a political, social, and existential decision as it is metaphysical. Metaphysics cannot exist without its correlative— the visible world.
“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed.”—Kierkegaard (via sisyphean-revolt)