classes ::: book, Swami_Sivananda_Saraswati, Yoga,
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branches ::: God Exists
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object:God Exists
class:book
author class:Swami Sivananda Saraswati
subject class:Yoga

- TABLE OF CONTENTS -



1.00 - PUBLISHERS NOTE
1.00 - GOD EXISTS, SO WHAT?

1.01 - GOD EXISTS
1.02 - WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE IN GOD ?
1.03 - WHO IS GOD ?
1.04 - CAN GOD BE SEEN ?

1.05 - ARGUMENTS ON THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
  The I Principle
  Changeless Substance
  Not This, Not This
  Reality Behind Appearance
  Self Alone Is Dear
  Provisional Definitions
  Inner Ruler And Controller
  Have Faith In God
  Real Source Of Happiness
  Appearance Adumbrates Reality
  Continuity Of Existence
1.06 - MYSTERIOUS BODY AND LIFE PRINCIPLE
1.07 - NATURE OF REALITY
1.08 - HOW TO ATTAIN GOD-REALISATION?.
1.09 - MYSTERIOUS HELP FROM THE LORD TO BHAKTAS
1.10 - INCIDENTS FROM THE LIFE OF SWAMI SADASIVA BRAHMENDRA
1.11 - A QUESTION OF BELIEF
1.12 - GOD IS EXISTENCE, BLISS & PEACE
1.13 - A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A THEIST AND AN ATHEIST

SYMPOSIUM
2.01 - CAN EXISTENCE OF GOD BE PROVED
  Self-Disclosing Entity
  Knowledge Through Intuition
  Acme Of The Vedas
  Via Salutis
  Need Of A Guru

2.02 - PHILOSOPHICAL PROOFS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

2.03 - ISVARA OR THE UNIVERSAL SOUL
  The Existence Of God
  Arguments For The Existence Of God
  The Limitations Of Reason
  The Inner Ruler And Controller

2.04 - THE WORLD OF SCIENCE
2.05 - RELIGION AND SCIENCE (I)
2.06 - RELIGION AND SCIENCE (II)
  The Ease-Loving Nature Of Man
  What Has Science Done To Us?
  Science Is Defective
  Matter And Spirit
  Science And Religion

2.07 - THE STUDY OF THE SELF: FROM PHYSICS TO METAPHYSICS
  Gravitation Suggests An Organic Interconnectedness In The Universe
  Precise Working Of Material Bodies: An Indication Of Cosmic Intelligence
  Conclusions Of Science: Man Is Not Outside The Universe
  Study Of The Self Is Imperative To The Study Of The Universe

2.08 - ALICE IN WONDERLAND
2.09 - SEVEN REASONS WHY A SCIENTIST BELIEVES IN GOD
2.10 - IS MODERN SCIENCE A CHALLENGE TO RELIGION?







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--- OBJECT INSTANCES [0]




2.08_-_ALICE_IN_WONDERLAND
2.09_-_SEVEN_REASONS_WHY_A_SCIENTIST_BELIEVES_IN_GOD

--- PRIMARY CLASS


book

--- SEE ALSO


--- SIMILAR TITLES [0]


God Exists
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--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



--- QUOTES [1 / 1 - 330 / 330] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



KEYS (10k)

   1 Sri Aurobindo

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   8 William Lane Craig

   6 R C Sproul

   5 Richard Dawkins

   5 Paulo Coelho

   5 Fyodor Dostoyevsky

   5 Carl Sagan

   5 Blaise Pascal

   4 Deepak Chopra

   4 Cheryl Strayed

   3 Wally Lamb

   3 Steven Erikson

   3 Stephenie Meyer

   3 Stephen Batchelor

   3 Robert A Heinlein

   3 Miguel de Unamuno

   3 Leo Tolstoy

   3 Jonathan Safran Foer

   3 Jonathan Haidt

   3 John Irving

   3 Jeanette Winterson

   3 Jack Kerouac

   3 Elie Wiesel

   3 Anonymous

   3 Alan Lightman

   2 Woody Allen

   2 Various

   2 Timothy J Keller

   2 Thomas Paine

   2 Susan Juby

   2 Stephanie Kallos

   2 Sam Harris

   2 Saint Thomas Aquinas

   2 Robert Fulghum

   2 Michael Lewis

   2 Max Lucado

   2 Matt Haig

   2 Martin Amis

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   2 Ludwig Feuerbach

   2 Louis Menand

   2 Kate DiCamillo

   2 Karen Armstrong

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   2 Joseph Campbell

   2 Jordan Peterson

   2 Jordan B Peterson

   2 John D Zizioulas

   2 Graham Greene

   2 Gabriel Garc a M rquez

   2 Frederick Lenz

   2 E M Forster

   2 Donna Woolfolk Cross

   2 Dennis Prager

   2 Dan Barker

   2 Clive Barker

   2 Cassandra Clare

   2 Carl Jung

   2 Brennan Manning

   2 Boris Pasternak

   2 Bill Gaede

   2 Andrea Pirlo

   2 A J Ayer


1:God exists in Himself and not by virtue of the cosmos or of man. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine The Progress to Knowledge - God,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:If God existed, he would be a library. ~ Umberto Eco
2:If God exists, there's no way he's French ~ Andrea Pirlo
3:If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse. ~ Woody Allen
4:God exists wherever He is allowed to enter. ~ Paulo Coelho
5:If God exists, what is He but a mathematician? ~ Matt Haig
6:The more we need, the more God exists. ~ Clarice Lispector
7:Even if God exists, does He know that you do? ~ Dean Koontz
8:Does God exist? Well, I would say, 'not yet'. ~ Ray Kurzweil
9:If God exists, Id be the first to be told. ~ Anna de Noailles
10:If god exists, he is not to be believed in. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
11:The evidence of God exists in the roundness of things. ~ Wally Lamb
12:Define the word exist, and you'll know whether God exists. ~ Bill Gaede
13:As a theist I believe that God exists and that God creates. ~ Phillip E Johnson
14:I am used to hear bad men misuse the name of God, yet God exists. ~ Robert Bolt
15:Troubles, you see, is the generalization-word for what God exists in. ~ Jack Kerouac
16:Independence is not an option for us. Remember, God existed without us. ~ Henry Cloud
17:I am not sure the God exists; but I have no doubt of the Goddess existence. ~ M F Moonzajer
18:God exists necessarily and is the explanation why anything else exists. ~ William Lane Craig
19:Christians find it easier to believe that God exists than that God loves them. ~ Brennan Manning
20:I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't. ~ Jules Renard
21:What if God exists except it turns out he doesn't really like people very much? ~ Douglas Coupland
22:If you want to know whether God exists, all you have to do is define the word 'exist'. ~ Bill Gaede
23:If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? ~ Elie Wiesel
24:God existed before He made anything else, and He Himself was never made. God is eternal. ~ Greg Koukl
25:God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the Devil exists since we cannot prove it. ~ Andre Weil
26:God exists because arithmetic is consistent - the Devil exists because we can't prove it! ~ Hermann Weyl
27:God exists only if adored
Time is nothing if one has not dreamed

("Painting") ~ Pierre Reverdy
28:God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the Devil exists since we cannot prove it. ~ Simon Singh
29:I don't know if God exists, but it would certainly be better for his reputation if he didn't ~ Jules Renard
30:Most Zionists dont believe that God exists but they do believe that he promised them Palestine ~ Ilan Pappe
31:God exists or God does not exist. Leave it for us. Your task is to learn how to live peacefully. ~ Dalai Lama
32:Whatever happened to God's justice? I am convinced that God exist and God is one asshole. ~ William S Burroughs
33:If God existed, only in one way could he serve the cause of human liberty-by ceasing to exist. ~ Mikhail Bakunin
34:If God exists, He is there, in the small, cast-off pieces, rough and random and no two alike. ~ Stephanie Kallos
35:Regardless of whether or not God exists, God has no place in mathematics, at least in my book. ~ Doron Zeilberger
36:I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't. -Jules Renard   This ~ E E King
37:Even David Hume, one of history most famous skeptics, said it's just barely possible that God exists. ~ Peter Kreeft
38:I lifted my eyes to the heavens and asked for help because if God exists, there's no way he's French. ~ Andrea Pirlo
39:Whether God exists or does not exist, He has come to rank among the most sublime and useless truths. ~ Denis Diderot
40:—He really is the most arrogant person I’ve ever come across. ‘I am, therefore God exists’. ALICE ~ August Strindberg
41:The life of faith is not just about believing that God exists; it is about believing God or trusting God. ~ R C Sproul
42:Even if we don't know if God exists, we can be certain love exists, because its power transcends death. ~ Sandra Cisneros
43:I know I told you once that whether God exists or not, we're on our own. But when I'm with you, I'm not. ~ Cassandra Clare
44:Life is an endless experience of God's. God doesn't even exist in nirvana, yet God exists in all other realms. ~ Frederick Lenz
45:I rather live as if God exists to find out that He doesn't than live as if he doesn't exist to find out He does. ~ Blaise Pascal
46:God exists outside of time, and since we are within time, there is no way we will ever totally grasp that concept. ~ Francis Chan
47:man can banter with his friends and colleagues about whether God exists. But a father looks at his daughter and knows. ~ Meg Meeker
48:God does not exist. He is being-itself beyond essence and existence. Therefore to argue that God exists is to deny him. ~ Paul Tillich
49:An agnostic is a creature that is religiously skeptical whenever it is told that God exists … or that He doesn’t. ~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana
50:If God exists then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God's calling can matter forever. ~ Timothy Keller
51:Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults. ~ John Calvin
52:As a scientist, I don't believe science will ever discover whether God exists. Nor do I believe religion will ever prove it. ~ Alan Lightman
53:Marriage is slavery, I said. And when God made us human—if God exists—He didn’t intend for us to be slaves to each other. ~ Viet Thanh Nguyen
54:Love grows from the rich foam of forgiveness, mongrels make good dogs, and the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things. ~ Wally Lamb
55:No one knows the nature of God, or even if God exists. In a sense, all of our religions are literary works of the imagination. ~ Alan Lightman
56:God exists in eternity. The only point where eternity meets time is in the present. The present is the only time there is. ~ Marianne Williamson
57:I went to medical school because I wanted to ask the big questions. Do we have a soul? Does God exist? What happens after death? ~ Deepak Chopra
58:Yet even in such moments she didn’t doubt that God existed. She just sometimes wondered if He remembered that she did. ~ Tamera Alexander
59:Even if God exists, he's done such a terrible job, it's a wonder people don't get together and file a class action suit against him. ~ Woody Allen
60:Religious experiences are real and common, whether or not God exists, and these experiences often make people whole and at peace. ~ Jonathan Haidt
61:God exists in Himself and not by virtue of the cosmos or of man. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Progress to Knowledge - God, Man and Nature,
62:God is Truth. There is no incompatibility between science and religion. Both are seeking the same truth. Science shows that God exists. ~ Derek Barton
63:God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture. ~ Richard Dawkins
64:So much violence. If God existed, I'd have strangled him on the spot. Without batting an eyelid. And with all the fury of the damned. ~ Jean Claude Izzo
65:If the atheist believes that suffering is bad or ought not to be, then he’s making moral judgments that are possible only if God exists. ~ William Lane Craig
66:If God exists, either He can do nothing to stop the most egregious calamities, or He does not care to. God, therefore, is either impotent or evil. ~ Sam Harris
67:I always had a really natural faith as a kid. Where I knew God existed and it felt very free and pretty wild and natural, and it wasn't religious. ~ Bear Grylls
68:This verse is a call, not to a feeling, but to a decision and a deeply rooted confidence that God exists, that he is in control, and that he is good. ~ Max Lucado
69:it is difficult to see why the Resurrection Hypothesis is extraordinarily ad hoc. It seems to require only one new supposition: that God exists. ~ William Lane Craig
70:We have to believe in a God who is like the true God in everything except that he does not exist, since we have not reached the point where God exists. ~ Simone Weil
71:We got up and smiled at each other. His eyes were lovely, and I was reminded of a line in book I read once, that God exists in the spaces between people. ~ Susan Juby
72:They know God exists already that’s old. I think now they’re trying to figure what to do with It.” “What to do with God.” “Maybe worship. Maybe disinfect. ~ Peter Watts
73:We got up and smiled at each other. His eyes were lovely, and I was reminded of a line in a book I read once, that God exists in the spaces between people. ~ Susan Juby
74:At the beginning of the road into the swamp they put up a sign that said MACONDO and another larger one on the main street that said GOD EXISTS. ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez
75:Life in community is no less than a necessity for us, an inescapable ‘must’all life created by God exists in communal order and works toward community. ~ Eberhard Arnold
76:it could not be proven whether God existed, one might as well believe that he did, because there was everything to gain by believing and nothing to lose. ~ Kate DiCamillo
77:God’s work, then, and whether God existed or not, he would act as if He did, on faith, for he could deduce no other reason in the end for man’s existence. ~ Robin Oliveira
78:If God exists, he will be generous with those creatures who chose to leave this Earth early, and he might even apologize for having made us spend time here. ~ Paulo Coelho
79:And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. ~ Anonymous
80:It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion. ~ Martin Amis
81:6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. ~ Anonymous
82:If behaving as though we had free will or God exists gets us results we want, we will not only come to believe those things; they will be, pragmatically, true. ~ Louis Menand
83:Rather, my research on the moral emotions has led me to conclude that the human mind simply does perceive divinity and sacredness, whether or not God exists. ~ Jonathan Haidt
84:If behaving as thought we had free will or God exists gets us results we want, we will not only come to believe those things; they will be, pragmatically, true. ~ Louis Menand
85:It is straightforward — and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion. ~ Martin Amis
86:It's not man's job to think about whether God exists or not, especially when you know that right in front of your eyes one person is stepping on another's neck. ~ Eka Kurniawan
87:According to Christian belief, man exists for the sake of God; according to the liberal church, in practice if not in theory, God exists for the sake of man. ~ John Gresham Machen
88:To wail adamantly that a god exists is to kill that god or turn it into a plastic idol. To say that a god might exist is to vivify it with the meaning of mystery. ~ Thomas Ligotti
89:It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6 ~ Tony Dungy
90:If you hold there is a 100 percent probability that God exists, or a 0 percent probability, then under Bayes’s theorem, no amount of evidence could persuade you otherwise. ~ Nate Silver
91:Either God exists or He doesn't. Either I believe in God or I don't. Of the four possibilities, only one is to my disadvantage. To avoid that possibility, I believe in God. ~ Blaise Pascal
92:That's what I believe, God exists. God is there. But God doesn't decide what happens here on earth; we do. God gave us free will and we have to use it."
~ Carol MatasZvi ~ Carol Matas
93:To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. ~ Cheryl Strayed
94:God exists apart from our notions of what it means to exist, and there is a sense in which our most pressing existential question has to be outgrown before it can be answered. ~ Christian Wiman
95:Atheists say no one can prove the existence of God but I say no one can disprove that God exists I see God in everything I feel his presence everywhere to me I know that he exists. ~ Shane Harper
96:For centuries Eastern heart and intellect have been absorbed in the question Does God exist? I propose to raise a new question new, that is to say, for the East Does man exist? ~ Muhammad Iqbal
97:God, I felt certain, did not mind that I didn’t press my hands together to pray. I was casual, but I was sincere. I knew that God existed as the Correct Answer inside my chest. ~ Augusten Burroughs
98:Simply believing in the existence of God is not exactly what I would call a commitment. After all, even the devil believes that God exists. Believing has to change the way we live. ~ Mother Angelica
99:God is. Because God is, I live, I love, I am. Does that mean that God exists? I do not know what that question means. I experience God; I cannot explain God. I trust my experience. ~ John Shelby Spong
100:But never in the four hundred years now since I was born, have I ever seen anything to make me doubt whether God exists in some form or the other. Not even the reflection in the mirror. ~ Stephenie Meyer
101:When you seek God with your intellect and your actions, God exists in you, and as soon as you decide that you have found God, and stop and become satisfied, you have lost him. —FYODOR STRAKHOV ~ Leo Tolstoy
102:When I say I’m an agnostic, I only mean that the evidence isn’t in. There isn’t compelling evidence that God exists—at least your kind of god—and there isn’t compelling evidence that he doesn’t. ~ Carl Sagan
103:Alex the waiter was on my Spank Naughty list in third place, right after Henry Calvill the actor, then Henry Calvill as Superman. He was proof that God existed, and that God loved straight women. ~ Penny Reid
104:But never, in the nearly four hundred years now since I was born, have I ever seen anything to make me doubt whether God exists in some form or the other. Not even the reflection in the mirror. ~ Stephenie Meyer
105:I, Nikolai Ivanov, renounce my father, an ex-priest, because for many years he deceived the people by telling them that God exists, and that is the reason I am severing all my relations with him.77 ~ Orlando Figes
106:I do not know whether God exists, but I know that I have nothing to gain from being an atheist if he does not exist, whereas I have plenty to lose if he does. Hence, this justifies my belief in God. ~ Blaise Pascal
107:I know that God exists. I know that I have never invented anything. I have been a medium by which these things were given to the culture as fast as the culture could earn them. I give all the credit to God. ~ Philo
108:I’ve never seen any miracles,” Reagan said, “but I sure as hell have seen my share of darkness. Does God exist? I don’t know. But I kind of hope he does. Because if he doesn’t? We’re probably fucked. ~ Ania Ahlborn
109:The seventh way to be noble: always being disguised, for the higher the type, the more a man requires an incognito. If God existed, he would be obliged to show himself to the world only as a man. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
110:IF UNIVERSAL COUNTLESS GALAXIES STAR'S AND PLANETS ON SKY EXCOGITATED FOR HUNCH .COULD WE EXPEDITE SECRETS OF GOD EXISTENCE & PAST,PRESENT &FUTURE TIMES CREATIVE CRAFT OF COSMOS&SOULS NASCENCY LIMN. ~ Various
111:she told him she’d grown up in a household where music was the religion and composers were its saints. Cantatas were chapels. Pavanes were prayer. Fugues were the firmament and God existed in every note. ~ Bradford Morrow
112:Truth is objective because God exists outside ourselves; it is universal because God is above all; it is constant because God is eternal. Absolute truth is absolute because it originates from the original. ~ Josh McDowell
113:If God exists, He is resting comfortably on the ocean’s far shore, reclining in plump chairs beside our so-called Allies, who have perfected the art of watching us suffer and doing nothing about it.” The ~ Stephen P Kiernan
114:...If we believe that God wants us happy above all else, rather than acknowledging that our role is to serve God, we wrongly believe that God exists to serve us. God becomes a a means to our end: happiness. ~ Craig Groeschel
115:I don't believe in symbolic gods.I believe that god exists all around us.In the flow of the river,in the rustle of the trees,in the whisper of the winds. He speaks to us all the time.all we need to do is listen. ~ Amish Tripathi
116:Diabolical forces are formidable. These forces are eternal, and they exist today. The fairy tale is true. The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges upon which one we elect to follow. ~ Ed Warren
117:If we knew that god exists, such knowledge would make morality impossible. For, if we acted morally from fear or fright, or confident of a reward, then this would not be moral. It would be enlightened selfishness. ~ Immanuel Kant
118:If you burn yourself out in two years of intense selfless giving, what good is that if you could have given 20 years? Set yourself up well. Get the things you want - God exists in the material and in the spiritual. ~ Frederick Lenz
119:Let us weigh up the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that God exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing. Do not hesitate then; wager that he does exist. ~ Blaise Pascal
120:Belief and love,--a believing love will relieve us of a vast load of care. O my brothers, God exists. There is a soul at the centre of nature, and over the will of every man, so that none of us can wrong the universe. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
121:If belief in the existence of God is predicted to lead to a feeling of contentment, and the prediction is fulfilled, does it follow that God exists? Surely not. All that would follow would be the desireability of the belief. ~ Richard Posner
122:You know, the truth is that sometimes when people ask how you know that God exists, it's hard to come up with one compelling reason. It's often such a conglomeration of so many things that, put together, create the proof you need. ~ Kara Isaac
123:A rabbi challenged his followers one day: “Where does God exist?” Puzzled by what almost seemed to be a heretical question, they answered: “God exists everywhere.” “No,” the rabbi responded: “God exists wherever man lets Him in. ~ Dennis Prager
124:I was brought up in a Christian environment where, because God had to be given pre-eminence, nothing else was allowed to be important. I have broken through to the position that because God exists, everything has significance.”360 ~ Mark A Noll
125:Just because you're 40, you don't have to decide whether God exists...when you're already worrying that the National Security Agency is reading your emails, it's better not to know whether yet another entity is watching you. ~ Pamela Druckerman
126:A certain peace had come to me and I wondered if it was God’s doing after all. Not that God existed in any material way but as a shared cultural practice so widespread that it came to seem materially real, like language or gender. ~ Sally Rooney
127:If God exists, not seeking God must be the gravest error imaginable. If one decides to sincerely seek for God and doesn't find God, the lost effort is negligible in comparison to what is at risk in not seeking God in the first place. ~ Blaise Pascal
128:As long as God does not intervene in the contemporary universe in such a way as to violate physical laws, science has no way of knowing whether God exists or not. The belief or disbelief in such a Being is therefore a matter of faith. ~ Alan Lightman
129:William looked up... through his tears... past the catwalk and lights... past the sky... through the dark and clouds and stars and into the void where he once knew God existed, then turned himself outside-in, alone, and asked, 'Why? ~ Jake Vander Ark
130:I claim to believe my god exists, because I have experienced its presence many times. I have experienced god through other human beings who have helped me. While individuals have let me down, collectively I've always been able to help. ~ Melissa Broder
131:When I was born, God existed. But I never knew Him. I just never knew Him until Guru Maharaj Ji came into my life, till Guru Maharaj Ji came in my way, and showed me and revealed me that secret. And the day he did that, there it was, I knew God. ~ Prem Rawat
132:By then the question of whether God exists left me cold. But the question of why people believe God exists I found really fascinating. I was not interested in right and wrong. But I was very interested in indignation. Now that's a psychologist! ~ Michael Lewis
133:As we look at the evidence in the ensuing chapters, we’ll see that conclusions such as “God exists” and “the Bible is true” are certain beyond reasonable doubt.Therefore, it takes a lot more faith to be a non-Christian than it does to be a Christian. ~ Norman L Geisler
134:Deep within our souls we know that God exists and that He has given His law to us. We seek to suppress this knowledge in order to escape God’s commands. But no matter how hard we try, we cannot silence this inner voice. It can be muffled but not destroyed. ~ R C Sproul
135:I don't ask myself, "Well, does God exist or does God not exist?" I choose to believe that God exists, and therefore I can say, "God, I can't do this by myself. Help me not to take a drink today. Help me not to take a drug today." And that works fine for me. ~ Stephen King
136:As a matter of fact, no one knows that God exists and no one knows that God does not exist. To my mind there is no evidence that God exists - that this world is governed by a being of infinite goodness, wisdom and power, but I do not pretend to know. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll
137:But you can't prove God exists. And isn't that what all science is ultimately about? Proving theories about the universe?"

"Provability is not truth, Caro. Godel's incompleteness theorem tells us that, if we didn't already know it intuitively, which we do. ~ Anna Jarzab
138:His eyes softened. "But it doesn't change what we are to each other. It's like there's always been a piece of my soul missing, and it's inside you, Clary. I know I told you once that whether God exists or not, we're on our own. But when I'm with you, I'm not. ~ Cassandra Clare
139:I do not have to prove to you that God exists, because I think you already know it. Your problem is not that you do not know that God exists; your problem is that you despise the God whom you know exists. Your problem is not intellectual; it is moral—you hate God. ~ R C Sproul
140:The most indisputable beauty may be the one that people cannot ever touch. That God exists up there somehow, in the peaks and remote lakes and the sharp wind.

Who knows why that picture stirs joy. It speaks directly to our impermanence and our smallness. ~ Peter Heller
141:Some questions simply have no answers. It was meant to be that way. If we could prove empirically that God exists - what would be the point? That wouldn't be faith. That would be science class. True religion requires an act of faith - that's what defines it. ~ William Bernhardt
142:Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and him alone. If we really believe not only that God exists but also that he is actively present in our lives—healing, teaching, and guiding — we need to set aside a time and space to give him our undivided attention. ~ Henri Nouwen
143:Arguing whether or not God exists is like fleas arguing whether or not the dog exists. Arguing over the correct name of God is like fleas arguing over the name of the dog. And arguing over whose notion of God is correct is like fleas arguing over who owns the dog. ~ Robert Fulghum
144:Dean: God exists without qualms. As we roll along this way, I am positive beyond doubt that everything will be taken care of for us - that even you, as you drive, fearful of the wheel - the thing will go along of itself and you won't go off the road and I can sleep. ~ Jack Kerouac
145:Theism pushes the quest for intelligibility outside the world. If God exists, he is not part of the natural order but a free agent not governed by natural laws. He may act partly by creating a natural order, but whatever he does directly cannot be part of that order. ~ Thomas Nagel
146:When you ask a question like this, whether there is a God, “Does God exist?” you don’t know what you are asking. Is this a question to be answered? Then you are stupid. Can such vital questions be answered? Then you don’t know the depth of it; this is curiosity, not inquiry. ~ Osho
147:An enormously vast field lies between "God exists" and "there is no God." The truly wise man traverses it with great difficulty. A Russian knows one or the other of these two extremes, but is not interested in the middle ground. He usually knows nothing, or very little. ~ Anton Chekhov
148:Arguing whether or not a God exists is like fleas arguing whether or not the dog exists. Arguing over the correct name for God is like fleas arguing over the name of the dog. And arguing over whose notion of God is correct is like fleas arguing over who owns the dog. ~ Robert Fulghum
149:As Aquinas, the quintessential theologian, says: “The notion of form is most fully realized in existence itself. And in God existence is not acquired by anything, but God is existence itself subsistent. It is clear, then, that God himself is both limitless and perfect.”28 ~ Rudy Rucker
150:Now it seems that everything in the world stems from sources other than God, since the products of nature have their source in nature; deliberate effects can be traced back to human reason or will as their source. There is no need then to assume that God exists. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
151:People joke, in our field, about Pythagoras and his religious cult based on perfect geometry and other abstract mathematical forms, but if we are going to have religion at all then a religion of mathematics seems ideal, because if God exists then what is He but a mathematician? ~ Matt Haig
152:nowadays we often ask ourselves whether we still need the Church, whether we still need God. But this question, he said, is wrong. We are the ones who are questioned. The Church exists and God exists, and we are asked whether we are willing to be of service, for God needs us. ~ Eric Metaxas
153:solitude begins with a time and a place for God, and God alone. If we really believe not only that God exists but also that God is actively present in our lives-- healing, teaching and guiding-- we need to set aside a time and space to give God our undivided attention. (Matt 6:6) ~ Henri J M Nouwen
154:There are people who are convinced supernatural forces are at work, but I've no idea. I suspect 'possession' might be a psychological thing, like schizophrenia. We all think we know things, but we don't know a damn thing. Whether God exists, why we're here... Nobody really knows any of it. ~ Anthony Hopkins
155:But if evil is without gradation, and it does exist, this state of evil, then only one sin is needed. Isn’t that what you are saying? That God exists and.…’ “ ‘I don’t know if God exists,’ I said. ‘And for all I do know … He doesn’t exist.’ “ ‘Then no sin matters,’ he said. ‘No sin achieves evil. ~ Anne Rice
156:If Mill’s harm principle prevents us from outlawing their actions, then Mill’s harm principle seems inadequate as the basis for a moral community. Whether or not God exists, people feel that some things, actions, and people are noble, pure, and elevated; others are base, polluted, and degraded. ~ Jonathan Haidt
157:Professing to believe has, sadly, played a large role in the practice of religion. It has profoundly stained our understanding of what religion is. Some people seem to profess belief in God “just in case” there is a God. But they neither are committed to nor believe in the idea that God exists. ~ Dallas Willard
158:Religion is about integration, about successfully bringing the selfish ego into line with the centre of the personality where God exists, as a divine spark, in every human being. Religion is about helping man to live in harmony with his true self and to become the person God’s designed him to be. ~ Susan Howatch
159:What you don't understand is that it is possible to be an atheist, it is possible not to know if God exists or why He should, and yet to believe that man does not live in a state of nature but in history, and that history as we know it now began with Christ, it was founded by Him on the Gospels. ~ Boris Pasternak
160:Initially, when I first became a Christian and got into ministry, my thought was that God existed to make my life better and to take me to Heaven. Now I realize that it is not about me at all. It is all about God and that He did this to display His plan to restore the Earth to the Garden of Eden state. ~ Max Lucado
161:You should let yourself be carried away, like the clouds in the sky. You shouldn’t resist. God exists in your destiny just as much as he does in these mountains and in that lake. It is very difficult to understand this, because man is moving further and further away from Nature, and also from himself. ~ Hermann Hesse
162:Faith in the resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered... God exists: that is the real message of Easter. Anyone who even begins to grasp what this means also knows what it means to be redeemed. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
163:For me, in those days, the great question was: Does God exist? Or doesn't God exist? Can we, by an attitude of faith, attain to a sense of community and a better world? Or, if God doesn't exist, what do we do then? What does our world look like then? In none of this was there the least political colour. ~ Ingmar Bergman
164:For one cannot assume that God exists to help people who are too cowardly and too lazy to help themselves and think that God exists only to make up for the weakness of mankind. He does not exist for that purpose. He has always, at all times, blessed only those who were prepared to fight their own battles. ~ Adolf Hitler
165:I cannot prove to you that God exists, but my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every man and that this pattern in the individual has at its disposal the greatest transforming energies of which life is capable. Find this pattern in your own individual self and life is transformed. ~ Carl Jung
166:So I didn’t agree with my father’s particular brand of faith. But never, in the nearly four hundred years now since I was born, have I ever seen anything to make me doubt whether God exists in some form or the other. Not even the reflection in the mirror.”
Carlisle Cullen, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight ~ Stephenie Meyer
167:I shall never send for a priest or recite an Act of Contrition in my last moments. I do not mind if I lose my soul for all eternity. If the kind of God exists Who would damn me for not working out a deal with Him, then that is unfortunate. I should not care to spend eternity in the company of such a person. ~ Mary McCarthy
168:The revolutionary thinking that God loves me as I am and not as I should be requires radical rethinking and profound emotional readjustment. Small wonder that the late spiritual giant Basil Hume of London, England, claimed that Christians find it easier to believe that God exists than that God loves them. ~ Brennan Manning
169:It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word "God" means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
170:[D]oubt, the principle of theoretic freedom, appears to me a crime. … [T]he highest crime is doubt in God, or the doubt that God exists. … [T]hat which I do not trust myself to doubt, … without feeling disturbed in my soul, without incurring guilt; that is no matter of theory, but a matter of conscience[.] ~ Ludwig Feuerbach
171:Is it not lack of faith that leads men to fear the scrutiny of reason? If the destination is doubtful, than the path must be fraught with fear. A robust faith need not fear, for if God exists, then reason cannot help but lead us to Him. Cogito, ergo Deus est,'says St. Augustine, I think, therefore God is. ~ Donna Woolfolk Cross
172:I believe in God the way I believe in quarks. People whose business it is to know about quantum physics or religion tell me they have good reason to believe that quarks and God exist. And they tell me that if I wanted to devote my life to learning what they've learned, I'd find quarks and God just like they did. ~ Mary Doria Russell
173:I do have faith. I don't have faith that a God exists, nor do I have faith that one does not; I have absolute faith that I do not know, cannot know, am only human, am an infinitesimal creature packed onto a cramped planet crowded with seven billion bodies, and as many yearning hearts, and as many questioning minds. ~ Marya Hornbacher
174:Is it not lack of faith that leads men to fear the scrutiny of reason? If the destination is doubtful, then the path must be fraught with fear. A robust faith need not fear, for if God exists, then reason cannot help but lead us to Him. 'Cogito, ergo Deus est,' argues St. Augustine, 'I think, therefore God is.' ~ Donna Woolfolk Cross
175:If 'god' is a metaphysical term, then it cannot be even probable that a god exists. For to say that 'God exists' is to make a metaphysical utterance which cannot be either true or false. And by the same criterion, no sentence which purports to describe the nature of a transcendent god can possess any literal significance. ~ A J Ayer
176:Now the question is, what could conceivably transform an event that is naturally impossible into a real historical event? Clearly, the answer is the personal God of theism. For if a transcendent, personal God exists, then he could cause events in the universe that could not be produced by causes within the universe. ~ William Lane Craig
177:Belief in God means more than believing God exists; it also means believing God cares about us. After all, if God exists but doesn’t care about us, what difference does it make to us whether God exists? For all intents and purposes, there is no difference between atheism and the existence of a God who doesn’t care about us. ~ Dennis Prager
178:He took the cigar out of his mouth and said, "Those people had God in their hearts."
I said to him in a whisper, "God exists now too."
"But not within us," he said.
I said to him: "A certain hasidic master was asked where the Holy One, blessed be He, dwells. He told them: Wherever He is allowed to enter, there He dwells. ~ S Y Agnon
179:Thou believest in love as a divine attribute because thy thyself lovest; thou believest that God is a wise, benevolent being because thou knowest nothing better in thyself than benevolence and wisdom; and thou believest that God exists, that therefore he is a subject … because thou thyself existest, art thyself a subject[.] ~ Ludwig Feuerbach
180:I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don’t think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don’t even know if God exists, but I do know if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. ~ Jeanette Winterson
181:There are nightmares in which the Mother appears, her face hardened into a cold and severe expression. The fade-out of the loved object is the terrifying return of the Wicked Mother, the inexplicable retreat of love, the well-known abandonment of which the Mystics complain : God exists, the Mother is present, but they no longer love. ~ Roland Barthes
182:I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. ~ Jeanette Winterson
183:The faith I was finding was jagged and more difficult. It wasn't about abstract theological debates: Does God exist? Are sin and salvation predestined? Or even about political/ideological ones: Is capital punishment a sin? Is there a scriptural foundation for accepting homosexuality? It was about action. Taste and see, the Bible said, and I did. ~ Sara Miles
184:It has been estimated that 50 percent of all human conceptions end in spontaneous abortion, usually without a woman even realizing that she was pregnant. In fact, 20 percent of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. There is an obvious truth here that cries out for acknowledgment: if God exists, He is the most prolific abortionist of all. ~ Sam Harris
185:I've had experiences in my life that leave no doubt in my mind about the fact that God exists. I'm quite willing to debate people who don't think so because I want them to explain to me how did our solar system get so organized and how is the universe so complex and yet well-organized that we can predict 70 years hence when a comet is coming? ~ Benjamin Carson
186:Moses said to God, “Where can I find you?” God said, “If you are looking for me, you have already found me.”
They asked a wise man, “How do you know that God exists?” He replied, “Is it necessary to have a torch in order to see the sun?” We do not have enough words to explain what God is, but we know without words that He exists. —ARABIC WISDOM ~ Leo Tolstoy
187:It is an admission of conflict and separation; these God creates and destroys, by His presence as much by His absence. All is possible with Him; nothing is possible without Him. But the opposite is equally true. Never forget what the ancient taught us: God exists in contradictions, too. He is the limit of all things, and He is what extends the limit. ~ Elie Wiesel
188:This deep agnosticism is more than the refusal of conventional agnosticism to take a stand on whether God exists or whether the mind survives bodily death. It is the willingness to embrace the fundamental bewilderment of a finite, fallible creature as the basis for leading a life that no longer clings to the superficial consolations of certainty. ~ Stephen Batchelor
189:For if this God exists, I thought, and if even you – with your lusts and your adulteries and the timid lies you used to tell – can change like this, we could all be saints by leaping as you leapt, by shutting the eyes and leaping once and for all: if you are a saint, it’s not so difficult to be a saint. It’s something He can demand of any of us, leap. ~ Graham Greene
190:If God existed (concerning which Jubal maintained neutrality) and if He wanted to be worshipped (a proposition which Jubal found improbable but nevertheless possible in the light of his own ignorance), then it seemed wildly unlikely that a God potent to shape galaxies would be swayed by the whoop-te-do nonsense the Fosterites offered as “worship.” But ~ Robert A Heinlein
191:Could God exist if nobody else did? No. That’s why gods are very avid for worshipers. If there is nobody to worship them, there are no gods. There are as many gods as there are people thinking about God. In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of Gods. Choose yours. The god you worship is the god you deserve. ~ Joseph Campbell
192:Little by little, studying the infinite possibilities of a loss of memory, he realized that the day might come when things would be recognized by their inscriptions but that no one would remember their use.... At the beginning of the road into the swamp they put up a sign that said "Macondo" and another larger one on the main street that said "God exists". ~ Gabriel Garc a M rquez
193:Little by little, studying the infinite possibilities of a loss of memory, he realized that the day might come when things would be recognized by their inscriptions but that no one would remember their use.... At the beginning of the road into the swamp they put up a sign that said "Macondo" and another larger one on the main street that said "God exists". ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez
194:and in that case the “primitive” belief—found throughout the ancient and pagan world—that God exists in every blade of grass, every creature, and even the earth and sky, may contain the highest truth. Arriving at that truth is the purpose of spiritual life, and each stage of God takes us on a journey whose end point is total clarity, a sense of peace that nothing can disturb. ~ Deepak Chopra
195:God is not good, or wise, or intelligent anyway that we know. So, people like Maimonides in the Jewish tradition, Eboncina in the Muslim tradition, Thomas Aquinas in the Christian tradition, insisted that we couldn't even say that God existed because our concept of existence is far too limited and they would have been horrified by the ease with which we talk about God today. ~ Karen Armstrong
196:Kneel to one or many, but never—never, Kalyth—hold to a belief that but one god exists, that all that is resides within that god. Should you hold such a belief, then by every path of reasoning that follows, you cannot but conclude that your one god is cursed, a thing of impossible aspirations and deafening injustice, whimsical in its cruelty, blind to mercy and devoid of pity. ~ Steven Erikson
197:The question that preoccupied the Fathers was not to know if God existed or not - the existence of God was a "given" for nearly all men of this period, Christians or pagans. The question which tormented entire generations was rather: *how* he existed. And such a question had direct consequences as much for the Church as for man, since both were considered as 'images of God'. ~ John D Zizioulas
198:I am not a smart man, particularly, but one day, at long last, I stumbled from the dark woods of my own, and my family's, and my country's past, holding in my hands these truths: that love grows from the rich loam of forgiveness; that mongrels make good dogs; that the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things. This much, at least, I've figured out. I know this much is true. ~ Wally Lamb
199:It is possible to conceive, Anselm said, of a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. Even an atheist can conceive of such a superlative being, though he would deny its existence in the real world. But, goes the argument, a being that doesn't exist in the real world is, by that very fact, less than perfect. Therefore we have a contradiction and, hey presto, God exists! ~ Richard Dawkins
200:The important thing, I think, is not to be bitter... if it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he is evil. I think that the worst thing you could say is that he is, basically, an under-achiever. If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse. ~ Woody Allen, Love and Death (1975); also quoted in What Do Jews Believe? : The Customs and Culture of Modern Judaism (2007) by Edward Kessler, p. 66
201:[...] as Kurt Vonnegut pointed out [...] the literary novel has become extraordinarily privatistic of late. It's as if the big issues (Does God exist? from whence springs decency? what sort of species is Homo Sapiens?) were either settled or not worth discusssing, and serious writers should therefore confine themselves to their various ethnic heritages and interpersonal relationships. ~ James K Morrow
202:Those who say they believe in God and yet neither love nor fear Him, do not in fact believe in Him but in those who have taught them that God exists. Those who believe that they believe in God, but without any passion in their heart, any anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God-idea, not in God. ~ Miguel de Unamuno
203:Those who say they believe in God, and yet neither love nor fear him, do not in fact believe in Him but in those who have taught them that God exists. Those who believe that they believe in God but without any passion in their heart, any anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God-idea, not in God. ~ Miguel de Unamuno
204:Those who say they believe in God, and yet neither love nor fear him, do not in fact believe in Him but in those who have taught them that God exists. Those who believe that they believe inGod but without any passion in their heart, any anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair, even in their consolation, believe only in the God-idea, not in God. ~ Miguel de Unamuno
205:And of course now no one can tell us that there is no God. We’ve passed through all forms. You remember, Sal, when I first came to New York and I wanted Chad King to teach me about Nietzsche. You see how long ago? Everything is fine, God exists, we know time. Everything since the Greeks has been predicted wrong. You can’t make it with geometry and geometrical systems of thinking. It’s all this! ~ Jack Kerouac
206:On one hand, Kant thought science led to the conclusion that humans are elements in a vast machine operating by the laws of physics. On the other hand, he said, to salvage morality, we must act as if we were free. And to ratify our moral standards, we must act as if God existed. And because morality makes no sense unless justice prevails in the end, we must act as if there were an afterlife. ~ Nancy R Pearcey
207:To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason. It fails to acknowledge that the other half of rising--the very half that makes rising necessary--is having first been nailed to the cross. ~ Cheryl Strayed
208:If you find it difficult to love the human in someone, then love the divine in him. The divine in him is God. God exists in that person just as God exists in you. To love God is extremely easy because God is divine and perfect. Each time you look at an individual, if you can consciously become aware of God's existence in him, then you will not be disturbed by his or her imperfections or limitations. ~ Sri Chinmoy
209:As often as I feel certain that God exists, I feel as often at a loss to say what difference it makes—that He exists—or even: that to believe in God, which I do, raises more questions than it presents answers. Thus, when I am feeling my most faithful, I also feel full of a few hard questions that I would like to put to God—I mean, critical questions of the How-Can-He, How-Could-He, How-Dare-You variety. ~ John Irving
210:Finally, the Kingdom of God could never be one thing. It had to serve too many purposes and was entangled in too many aspects of traditional religion. I think the only way to solve the riddles posed by the Kingdom of God is to say that God exists in different places depending on your level of consciousness. This becomes critical on the spiritual path, because as your own awareness shifts, God does, too. ~ Deepak Chopra
211:Made in India is just a label coded in your genes. It is random chance that one is born within certain man-made boundaries, or is of a certain race, or of a certain religion, nothing more. So how does being born this side of a border or the other make any group of people better than another group? If God exists, then I doubt if He prefers people on the basis of their knowing Sanskrit or Urdu or English ~ Twinkle Khanna
212:My interest in psychology was as a way to do philosophy,” he said. “To understand the world by understanding why people, especially me, see it as they do. By then the question of whether God exists left me cold. But the question of why people believe God exists I found really fascinating. I was not really interested in right and wrong. But I was very interested in indignation. Now that’s a psychologist! ~ Michael Lewis
213:Fradique looked intensely at me. 'You are the proof that God exists,' he said, 'and that he is quite mad'. He leaned towards me and kissed me, and I kissed him. Later we went back to looking at the maps, and played a game of chess. I asked him what he had meant when he spoke about God's madness. Fradique laughed. 'Only a thoroughly insane God could conceive of an angel, and then place her in Hell. ~ Jos Eduardo Agualusa
214:Six forest trees — that is a fact — grow out of one of the graves in Tewin churchyard. The grave’s occupant — that is the legend — is an atheist, who declared that if God existed, six forest trees would grow out of her grave. These things in Hertfordshire; and farther afield lay the house of a hermit — Mrs. Wilcox had known him — who barred himself up, and wrote prophecies, and gave all he had to the poor. ~ E M Forster
215:I’ve lost my point. It was to the effect that you can assert the existence of something—Being—having not the slightest notion of what it is. Then God is at a greater remove altogether—if God is the Author of Existence, what can it mean to say God exists? There’s a problem in vocabulary. He would have to have had a character before existence which the poverty of our understanding can only call existence. ~ Marilynne Robinson
216:Wouldn't we all do better not trying to understand, accepting the fact that no human being will ever understand another, not a wife a husband, a lover a mistress, nor a parent a child? Perhaps that's why men have invented God -- a being capable of understanding. Perhaps if I wanted to be understood or to understand I would bam-boozle myself into belief, but I am a reporter; God exists only for leader-writers. ~ Graham Greene
217:I cannot define for you what God is. I can only say that my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every man and that this pattern has at its disposal the greatest of all his energies for transformation and transfiguration of his natural being. Not only the meaning of his life but his renewal and his institutions depend on his conscious relationship with this pattern of his collective unconscious. ~ Carl Jung
218:At the ascension Jesus did not become an absentee God. He, as God, simply came to his disciples as a different Person. The mystery of the Trinity is that only one God exists in three Persons. Each person is distinct from the other two, but in experiencing one, you experience the one God who is them all. (if your mind feels as if it just exploded, that's okay. Christian theologians have been wrestling that for centuries) ~ J D Greear
219:I don't know whether God exists or not. ... Some forms of atheism are arrogant and ignorant and should be rejected, but agnosticism—to admit that we don't know and to search—is all right. ... When I look at what I call the gift of life, I feel a gratitude which is in tune with some religious ideas of God. However, the moment I even speak of it, I am embarrassed that I may do something wrong to God in talking about God. ~ Karl Popper
220:There are a lot days where I don't know if God exists. There are a lot of days where I think the leadership of the Church is wacky, a lot of days where I really doubt why I am a part of this thing. But, down deep, I know it to be true. Down deep, I know how much I love it and that's what sort of gets me through. The churches are the pope, and its priests and its mystery and everything. I just sort of like the whole thing. ~ Lino Rulli
221:Where are they all going? What for? Do they never hear the rhythm of the wheels or see the bare plains outside the windows? They know everything there is to know about this life, but they still move on along the corridor, from the W.C. to their compartment, from the lobby to the restaurant, gradually transforming today into one more yesterday, and they think that a God exists who will reward them or punish them for it. ~ Victor Pelevin
222:Now, I don't believe that a god exists. I think that gods are creation of men, by men, and for men. What has happened over the many centuries now, the better part of two thousand in fact, is that God has been slowly and steadily accruing power. His church has been accruing power, and the men who run that church, and they are all men, are not about to give it up. If they give it up, they give up luxury, they give up comfort. ~ Clive Barker
223:Knowledge about God is of two kinds, direct and indirect. Indirectly we can read scriptures, listen to sermons, consult authorities, and from these sources build a reasonable case that God exists. But such a God transmits no love to Earth. Therefore nothing substitutes for gyana, which is direct knowledge of the divine. Instead of having thoughts about God, you share God's own thoughts. Her thoughts can only be about Herself. ~ Deepak Chopra
224:But canst thou only die, withered embryo, foetus steeped in gall and scalding tears? Miserable abortion, dost thou think thou canst taste death, thou who hast never known life? If only God exists, that he may damn me. I hope for it. I wish it. God, I hate Thee! dost Thou hear? Overwhelm me with Thy damnation. To compel Thee to, I spit in Thy face. I must find an eternal hell, to exhaust the eternity of rage which consumes me. ~ Anatole France
225:It happens every millennium. Now more than ever, man threatens to destroy himself with his own technology, and all the ideas contained within Big Brother exist within Little Brother. We're all watching ourselves. We are our own oppressors. This is a time when an idea like God is needed more than ever. For me, I've found that God exists within yourself and what you create. The only thing we've got to look forward to is saving ourselves ~ Marilyn Manson
226:If God exists, and I truly don't believe he does, he will know that there are limits to human understanding. He was the one who created the confusion in which there is poverty, injustice, greed, and loneliness. He doubtless had the best of intentions, but the results have proved disastrous; if God exists, he will be generous with those creatures who chose to leave this Earth early, and he might even apologize for having made us spend time here. ~ Paulo Coelho
227:If God exists, and I truly don’t believe he does, he will know that there are limits to human understanding. He was the one who created this confusion in which there is poverty, injustice, greed, and loneliness. He doubtless had the best of intentions, but the results have proved disastrous; if God exists, he will be generous with those creatures who chose to leave this Earth early, and he might even apologize for having made us spend time here. ~ Paulo Coelho
228:The continually progressive change to which the meaning of words is subject, the want of a universal language which renders translation necessary, the errors to which translations are again subject, the mistakes of copyists and printers, together with the possibility of willful alteration, are of themselves evidences that human language, whether in speech or in print, cannot be the vehicle of the Word of God.-The Word of God exists in something else. ~ Thomas Paine
229:The continually progressive change to which the meaning of words is subject, the want of a universal language which renders translation necessary, the errors to which translations are again subject, the mistakes of copyists and printers, together with the possibility of willful alteration, are of themselves evidences that the human language, whether in speech or in print, cannot be the vehicle of the word of God. The word of God exists in something else. ~ Thomas Paine
230:Pascal," said Dr. Meescham, "had it that since it could not be proven whether God existed, one might as well believe that he did, because there was everything to gain by believing and nothing to lose. This is how it is for me. What do I lose if I choose to believe? Nothing!"

"Take this squirrel, for instance. Ulysses. Do I believe he can type poetry? Sure, I do believe it. There is much more beauty in the world if I believe such a thing is possible. ~ Kate DiCamillo
231:In fact, it seems that present-day science, with one sweeping step back across millions of centuries, has succeeded in bearing witness to that primordial 'Fiat lux' Let there be light uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of the chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies ... Hence, creation took place in time, therefore, there is a Creator, God exists! ~ Pope Pius XII
232:Existentialism is not atheist in the sense that it would exhaust itself in demonstrations of the non-existence of God. It declares, rather, that even if God existed that would make no difference from its point of view. Not that we believe God does exist, but we think that the real problem is not that of His existence; what man needs is to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God. ~ Jean Paul Sartre
233:And suddenly there came a second, when somehow for the first time I saw (as if a door had opened from a dark room into the sunny street), and in the next second I already knew for sure that God exists and that God is the Jesus Christ of Orthodoxy, and not some other God. I call this moment the greatest miracle because this precise knowledge came to me not through reason (I know this for sure) but by some other way, and I am unable to explain this moment rationally .... ~ Seraphim Rose
234:Our group takes what I'll call a Post-Atheist stance. Our position is that god is a creation of human beings, who only exists because of the clap-hands-if-you-believe-in-fairies principle. If enough people were sensible enough not to clap hands, then this Tinker Bell god would die. However, unfortunately, billions of human beings are still prepared to defend their belief in some sort of god-fairy, and, as a result, god exists. What’s worse is that he is now running amok. ~ Salman Rushdie
235:No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not know by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to belief that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing. ~ Silouan the Athonite
236:Look, I don't know whether God exists. I don't know that. And I tell you one thing, I am not frightened of my beliefs. If there is a God who is threatening me with damnation because I don't believe in Him, so be it. I've lived my life in conscience, and I will suffer damnation willingly in conscience against a tyrannical God who would damn me because, on the basis of the intelligence He gave me, I have come to a conclusion doubting His existence, and I will continue to be a skeptic all of my life. ~ Alan Dershowitz
237:For what we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars but who in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here knee-deep in the fragrant muck and misery and marvel of the world. ~ Frederick Buechner
238:We might say that whatever our God is like, whether or not our God exists, our God is still powerful because our image of God transforms us. Like an image in a mirror, our God concept reflects back to us the image of what we aspire to become. Powerful and vengeful? Kind and merciful? Dominating and in control? Relational and respectful? Like God, like believer, we might say. Our image of God, our image of ourselves, and our processes of individual and cultural development move together as in a dance. ~ Brian D McLaren
239:Only on the surface, it seems to me. The only true atheists I’ve ever met were people in revolt. It wasn’t enough for them to coldly deny the existence of God—they had to refuse it, like Bakunin: ‘Even if God existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.’ They were atheists like Kirilov in The Possessed. They rejected God because they wanted to put man in his place. They were humanists, with lofty ideas about human liberty, human dignity. I don’t suppose you recognize yourself in this description. ~ Michel Houellebecq
240:Someone said to Shams-i-Tabriz, "I have established the existence of God by a categorical proof." The following morning our Master, Shams, said, "Last night the angels came down and blessed that man, saying, 'Praise be to God, he has established the existence of our God! God give him long life! He has done no harm to the honor of men and women!'"
Oh poet, God exists. It needs no proof. If you do anything at all, establish yourself in some rank and station before Him. Otherwise, how can you share in His grace? ~ Rumi
241:My immortality is necessary if only because God would not want to commit an injustice and utterly quench the flame of love for him once it has been kindled in my heart. And what is more precious than love? Love is higher than existence, love is the crown of being, and how is it possible that existence is not subordinate to it? If I have come to love him and have taken joy in my love, is it possible that he should extinguish both me and my joy and turn us into nothing? If God exists, then I am immortal too! ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
242:And yet, or just for this reason, it's so fascinating to be a woman. It's an adventure that takes such courage, a challenge that's never boring. You'll have so many things to engage you if you're born a woman. To begin with, you'll have to struggle to maintain that if God exists he might even be an old woman with white hair or a beautiful girl. Then you'll have to struggle to explain that it wasn't sin that was born on the day when Eve picked an apple, what was born that day was a splendid virtue called disobedience. ~ Oriana Fallaci
243:If God existed (a question concerning which Jubal maintained a meticulous intellectual neutrality) and if He desired to be worshiped (a proposition which Jubal found inherently improbable but conceivably possible in the dim light of his own ignorance), then (stipulating affirmatively both the above) it nevertheless seemed wildly unlikely to Jubal to the point of reductio ad absurdum that a God potent to shape galaxies would be titillated and swayed by the whoop-te-do nonsense the Fosterites offered Him as "worship. ~ Robert A Heinlein
244:If God existed (a question concerning which Jubal maintained a meticulous intellectual neutrality) and if He desired to be worshipped (a proposition which Jubal found inherently improbable but conceivably possible in the dim light of his own ignorance), then (stipulating affirmatively both the above) it nevertheless seemed wildly unlikely to Jubal to the point of reductio ad absurdum that a God potent to shape galaxies would be titillated and swayed by the whoop-te-do nonsense the Fosterites offered Him as “worship. ~ Robert A Heinlein
245:What would she know about God anyway? The personification of her God, Holmes figured, was surely the popular one: a wrinkled old man sitting omnisciently upon a throne of gold, reigning over creation from within puffy clouds, speaking both graciously and commandingly at the same instant. Her God, no doubt, wore a flowing beard. For Holmes, it was amusing to think that Mrs. Munro's Creator probably looked somewhat like himself- except her God existed as a figment of imagination, and he did not (at least not entirely, he reasoned). ~ Mitch Cullin
246:If there were a God, why would he let my little girl have to have possibly life-threatening surgery?—understandable as that question is—creates a false hierarchy of the blessed and the damned. To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason. It fails to acknowledge that the other half of rising—the very half that makes rising ~ Cheryl Strayed
247:General revelation provides us with the knowledge that God exists. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” says the psalmist. God’s glory is displayed in the works of His hands. This display is so clear and manifest that no creature can possibly miss it. It unveils God’s eternal power and deity (Romans 1:18-23). Revelation in nature does not give a full revelation of God. It does not give us the information about God the Redeemer that we find in the Bible. But the God who is revealed in nature is the same God who is revealed in Scripture. ~ R C Sproul
248:I wasn’t all that sure God existed because there was no explaining why He hated me so much. It wasn’t as though He’d learned not to like me; it was more like one of those insta-hates that only intensified without any reason. And He loved screwing me over. Like it was His favorite pastime or something. Like He really had nothing else better to do than fuck with my life. Just when I thought there wasn’t one more obstacle He could throw my way, He proved me wrong.
More than God loved screwing me over, He really loved proving me wrong. ~ Ashlan Thomas
249:His grandfather was scathing about "speculative faith," which is the kind you get from worrying about the possibility that God exists and may be cross with you. Daniel Spork observed that God, if there is one, is well aware of the interior dialogue, and most likely unimpressed by it. Much better, he said, to get on with being the man you are, and hope like buggery that God thinks you did as well as could be expected. Hence all the lessons and strictures concealed in everyday objects. Learn the shape of the world, know the mind of God. ~ Nick Harkaway
250:As often as I feel certain that God exists, I feel as often at a loss to say what difference it makes--that He exists--or even; that to believe in God, which I do, raises more questions than it presents answers. Thus, when I am feeling my most faithful, I also feel full of a few hard questions that I would like to put to God--I mean,critical questions of the How-Can-He, How-Could-He, How-Dare-You variety." But don't let this religious "stuff" turn you off. This is fiction, pure and simple. He just brings out some great thoughts on the way. ~ John Irving
251:The Truth that is to be Realized may be summarized simply as the Realization that no matter what is arising, no matter how many others are present, there is only One Being. This is precisely different from the childish but common religious notion that even when you are alone there is always Someone Else present, Who will look out for you if you do the right thing. True freedom is not a matter of striking a deal with an All-Powerful Parental Deity; no such God exists. True freedom is in the Realization that there is only God and You are That One. ~ Adi Da
252:(You do not have to be shamed in my closeness. Family are the people who must never make you feel ashamed.) (You are wrong. Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of shame.) (And you are deserving of shame?) (I am. I am trying to tell you.) 'We were stupid,' he said, 'because we believed in things.' 'Why is this stupid?' 'Because there are not things to believe in.' (Love?) (There is no love. Only the end of love.) (Goodness?) (Do not be a fool.) (God?) (If God exists, He is not to be believed in.) ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
253:I don't know if God exists and I don't care. God's will and design for this temporal and spatial vastness, if any, is so patently, deliberately impenetrable that I doubt any mortal has a grasp on it. The very inexplicability of sad events like the tsunami, like the AIDS crisis or even like the cancer death of the father of one of my daughter's 2nd-grade classmates last week are, to me, reminders to focus on our obligations to one another, not to the infinite; to honor the creator, if any, by honoring creation itself and hoping that's good enough. ~ Eric Zorn
254:People are invariably surprised to hear me say I am both an atheist and an agnostic, as if this somehow weakens my certainty. I usually reply with a question like, 'Well, are you a Republican or an American?' The two words serve different concepts and are not mutually exclusive. Agnosticism addresses knowledge; atheism addresses belief. The agnostic says, 'I don't have a knowledge that God exists.' The atheist says, 'I don't have a belief that God exists.' You can say both things at the same time. Some agnostics are atheistic and some are theistic. ~ Dan Barker
255:People are invariably surprised to hear me say I am both an atheist and an agnostic, as if this somehow weakens my certainty. I usually reply with a question like, “Well, are you a Republican or an American?” The two words serve different concepts and are not mutually exclusive. Agnosticism addresses knowledge; atheism addresses belief. The agnostic says, “I don't have a knowledge that God exists.” The atheist says, “I don't have a belief that God exists.” You can say both things at the same time. Some agnostics are atheistic and some are theistic. ~ Dan Barker
256:To say “I don’t know” is not an admission of weakness or ignorance, but an act of truthfulness: an honest acceptance of the limits of the human condition when faced with “the great matter of birth and death.” This deep agnosticism is more than the refusal of conventional agnosticism to take a stand on whether God exists or whether the mind survives bodily death. It is the willingness to embrace the fundamental bewilderment of a finite, fallible creature as the basis for leading a life that no longer clings to the superficial consolations of certainty. By ~ Stephen Batchelor
257:But the Bible says that the unreached will be judged on a quite different basis than those who have heard the gospel. God will judge the unreached on the basis of their response to His self-revelation in nature and conscience. The Bible says that from the created order alone, all persons can know that a Creator God exists and that God has implanted His moral law in the hearts of all persons so that they are held morally accountable to God (Rom. 1.20; 2.14-15). The Bible promises salvation to anyone who responds affirmatively to this self-revelation of God ~ William Lane Craig
258:An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to uptime causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the Universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and you be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed. ~ Carl Sagan
259:An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed. ~ Carl Sagan
260:How could it occur to anyone to demonstrate that God exists unless one has already allowed Himself to ignore Him? A king's existence is demonstrated by way of subjection and submissiveness. Do you want to try and demonstrate that the king exists? Will you do so by offering a string of proofs, a series of arguments? No. If you are serious, you will demonstrate the king's existence by your submission, by the way you live. And so it is with demonstrating God's existence. It is accomplished not by proofs but by worship. Any other way is but a thinker's pious bungling. ~ Soren Kierkegaard
261:If there is anything so precious that without it history and the world will be destroyed, where will you keep it? You will naturally want to keep it in the deepest part of your mind. If you desire to place it in the depths of your mind, it needs to be invisible. It is for this very reason that God exists as an invisible being. It is fortunate that He is invisible, for if He were visible how could a great contest to gain Him be avoided? It would be difficult for God to endure the pain of seeing it. ~ Sun Myung Moon, The Way of God's Will Chapter 1-1. The Will of God (1980 translation)
262:Before I can call upon Christ as my Savior, I have to understand that I need a savior. I have to understand that I am a sinner. I have to have some understanding of what sin is.I have to understand that God exists. I have to understand that I am estranged from that God, and that I am exposed to that God's judgment. I don't reach out for a savior unless I am first convinced that I need a savior. All of that is pre-evangelism. It is involved in the data or the information that a person has to process with his mind before he can either respond to it in faith or reject it in unbelief. ~ R C Sproul
263:Unlike idolatry, which claims to make manifest the very essence of God, or the humanistic approach, which claims that God, if God exists, is utterly irrelevant, the iconic approach offers a different way of understanding. To treat something as an icon is to view particular words, images or experiences as aids in contemplation of that which cannot be reduced to words, images or experience. Not only this, but the icon represents a place where God touches humanity. Consequently, icons are not only the place where we contemplate God; they also act as the place that God uses in order to communicate with us. ~ Peter Rollins
264:Evangelism is not persuading people to make a decision; it is not proving that God exists, or making out a good case for the truth of Christianity; it is not inviting someone to a meeting; it is not exposing the contemporary dilemma, or arousing interest in Christianity; it is not wearing a badge saying 'Jesus Saves'! Some of these things may be right and good in their place, but none of them should be confused with evangelism. To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what he has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.5 ~ Mark Dever
265:(You do not have to be shamed in my closeness. Family are the people who must never make you feel ashamed.)

(You are wrong. Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of shame.)

(And you are deserving of shame?)

(I am. I am trying to tell you.) 'We were stupid,' he said, 'because we believed in things.'

'Why is this stupid?'

'Because there are not things to believe in.'

(Love?)

(There is no love. Only the end of love.)

(Goodness?)

(Do not be a fool.)

(God?)

(If God exists, He is not to be believed in.) ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
266:Delete


HVSRC SHARMA
WHY DIVINISM IS EVAPORATING FROM ALL UNIVERSAL CREATURE SOULS INCLUDING HUMANS SINCE PAST FEW CENTURIES???????????? 1)ALMIGHTY UNIVERSAL ROYAL EXCELLENCY PUNISHING POWER VERY KIND ENOUGH ON SOULS TODAY. 2)EVERY CREATURE SOUL HAS FORGOTTEN GOD EXISTING BEFORE THEM 3600/24/7. 3)ALL CREATURES INTELLIGENCY HAS GROWN LOT TO UNDERS ESTIMATE GOD. 4)UNIVERSAL CREATION HAVOC FATAL HAS YET TO BE BEGIN NO ONE SAVE ANYBODY. 5)STILL UNIVERSE AND HUMAN GLOBE NOT SPOILED STILL TIME IS THERE TO RECTIFY EVERYTHING. 6)OH!!GOD GRANT&BLESS ALL CREATURES BROAD MIND SPIRIT TO ENACT AS PER YOUR TUNES TO SELF GUARD ~ Various
267:I believe only in those things that can be proven empirically. There has never been any proof that a god exists, and if such proof was found why the hell should we worship him? Organized religions are just elaborate con-tricks. Take the Christian religion from which yours is an offshoot: “Obey me throughout your life, give me the product of your labour, and you will go to Paradise when you die. Disobey me and you will go to Hell and burn forever. Of course I cannot prove that this is what will actually happen – you just have to have faith.” That was a good one, and it worked well enough in a society that still believed the Earth was flat. ~ Neal Asher
268:Evangelism is not a making of proselytes; it is not persuading people to make a decision; it is not proving that God exists, or making a good case for the truth of Christianity; it is not inviting someone to a meeting; it is not exposing the contemporary dilemma, or arousing interest in Christianity; it is not wearing a badge saying “Jesus Saves”! Some of these things are right and good in their place, but none of them should be confused with evangelism. To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what he has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Mark Dever
269:Clare is silent. Her pragmatism and her romantic feelings about Jesus and Mary are, at thirteen, almost equally balanced. A year ago she would have said God without hesitation. In ten years she will vote for determinism, and ten years after that Clare will believe that the universe is arbitrary, that if God exists he does not hear our prayers, that cause and effect are inescapable and brutal, but meaningless. And after that? I don't know. But right now Clare sits on the threshold of adolescence with her faith in one hand and her growing skepticism in the other, and all she can do is try to juggle them, or squeeze them together until they fuse. ~ Audrey Niffenegger
270:Our thinking goes like this: If there is a God at all, He is certainly not holy. If He is perchance holy, He is not just. Even if He is both holy and just, we need not fear because His love and mercy override His holy justice. If we can stomach His holy and just character, we can rest in one thing: He cannot possess wrath.
If we think soberly for five seconds, we must see our error. If God is holy at all, if God has an ounce of justice in His character, indeed if God exists as God, how could He possibly be anything else but angry with us? We violate His holiness; we insult His justice; we make light of His grace. These things can hardly please Him. ~ R C Sproul
271:A man actually has two Gods. The one, created him and the other, he created. Nature is not the first God but the first God exists in and as a part of the nature; a man with the help his reason creates a God against the forces of nature that are perceived to be as threat, hence the second God. The second God is the property of an individual mind that created it. A child has no reason and hence it has no second God; but it has the first God not yet known to it because the fear is not felt by the child! The first God is felt and known due to the fear ingrained in the instinct and the second God is the surrender and prayer brought out by the reason! ~ Thiruman Archunan
272:I believe there’s a strong possibility that God exists. But I also believe there’s an equally strong possibility that God is a concept humans created because we didn’t understand things like gravity and lightning and DNA, and that we perpetuate because the thought of being one tiny speck out of billions of tiny specks on a large spherical mass orbiting a huge ball of fire, which is just one of immeasurable balls of fire out there in a pitch-black sky, is scary as fuck. And quite frankly, I don’t understand how anyone who has given the topic considerable, rational thought can be 100 percent certain either way. But that’s not important right now. What ~ Clinton Kelly
273:The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God.

People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God. ~ William Lane Craig
274:Tolstoy’s most lasting influence was in India. He and M. K. Gandhi had begun a correspondence in the early years of the twentieth century, with Gandhi referring to himself as Tolstoy’s ‘humble follower’. Many of their beliefs have close affinities – the doctrine of non-violence, for example, and the belief that the kingdom of God exists within man. Gandhi’s campaign of civil disobedience and passive resistance, together with his abhorrence of Western ‘progress’, owe much to Tolstoy, although his engagements in the political arena do not. And it is in the East, particularly India, where the liberal democratic tradition continued longer, that Tolstoy’s ideas remained alive. ~ Leo Tolstoy
275:Does trying to understand the universe at all betray a lack of humility? I believe it is true that humility is the only just response in a confrontation with the universe, but not a humility that prevents us from seeking the nature of the universe we are admiring. If we seek that nature, then love can be informed by truth instead of being based on ignorance or self-deception. If a Creator God exists, would He or She or It or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing? Or would He prefer His votaries to admire the real universe in all its intricacy? I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship. ~ Carl Sagan
276:As often as I feel certain that God exists, I feel as often at a loss to say what difference it makes—that He exists—or even: that to believe in God, which I do, raises more questions than it presents answers. Thus, when I am feeling my most faithful, I also feel full of a few hard questions that I would like to put to God—I mean, critical questions of the How-Can-He, How-Could-He, How-Dare-You variety. “For example, I would like to ask God to give us back Owen Meany,” Mr. Merrill said; when he spread his arms wide, the fingers of his right hand were dancing again in the beam of light. “O God—give him back, give him back to us!” Pastor Merrill asked. It was so quiet in Hurd’s Church, ~ John Irving
277:In any case, the general assumption that those who brought a religious worldview with them would hold on to the old dogmatism turned out to be off the mark. Instead, they acquired, along with a more compelling grasp of the sheer size and subtlety of the universe, a belief that a creating deity had to be much more complex, and ultimately less judgmental of minor offenses, than the one in whom their parents had believed. What came to matter most was their conviction that God existed, that, as some said, He was an engineer with remarkable talent, and that they were expected to take notice of that creation. Faith acquired a new immediacy and became for many the link with everything that mattered. ~ Jack McDevitt
278:our concern with truth is an inevitable expression of our concern with God. If God exists, then he is the measure of all things, and what he thinks about all things is the measure of what we should think. Not to care about truth is not to care about God. To love God passionately is to love truth passionately. Being God-centered in life means being truth-driven in ministry. What is not true is not of God. What is false is anti-God. Indifference to the truth is indifference to the mind of God. Pretense is rebellion against reality, and what makes reality reality is God. Our concern with truth is simply an echo of our concern with God. And all this is rooted in God's concern with God, or God's passion for the glory of God. ~ John Piper
279:Satan says, offering the next temptation. “If God exists, He will surely save you. If you are in fact his Son, God will surely save you.” Why would God not make Himself manifest, to rescue His only begotten Child from hunger and isolation and the presence of great evil? But that establishes no pattern for life. It doesn’t even work as literature. The deus ex machina—the emergence of a divine force that magically rescues the hero from his predicament—is the cheapest trick in the hack writer’s playbook. It makes a mockery of independence, and courage, and destiny, and free will, and responsibility. Furthermore, God is in no wise a safety net for the blind. He’s not someone to be commanded to perform magic tricks, or forced into Self-revelation—not even by His own Son. ~ Jordan Peterson
280:Satan says, offering the next temptation. “If God exists, He will surely save you. If you are in fact his Son, God will surely save you.” Why would God not make Himself manifest, to rescue His only begotten Child from hunger and isolation and the presence of great evil? But that establishes no pattern for life. It doesn’t even work as literature. The deus ex machina—the emergence of a divine force that magically rescues the hero from his predicament—is the cheapest trick in the hack writer’s playbook. It makes a mockery of independence, and courage, and destiny, and free will, and responsibility. Furthermore, God is in no wise a safety net for the blind. He’s not someone to be commanded to perform magic tricks, or forced into Self-revelation—not even by His own Son. ~ Jordan B Peterson
281:But right here, right now, in the center of this wound—I’ve been abandoned and betrayed by who and what really matters and what I’ve got left is food—is where the link between food and God exists. It marks the moment when we gave up on ourselves, on change, on life. It marks the place where we are afraid. It marks the feelings we won’t allow ourselves to feel, and in so doing, keeps our lives constricted and dry and stale. In that isolated place, it is a short step to the conclusion that God—where goodness and healing and love exist—abandoned us, betrayed us or is a supernatural version of our parents. Our practice at the retreats of working through this despair is not one of exerting will or conjuring up faith, but being curious, gentle and engaged with the cynicism, the hopelessness, the anger. ~ Geneen Roth
282:To pose a question entails that you do not know something. To ask “Who is the abbot?” means that you do not know who the abbot is. To ask “What is this?” means that you do not know what this is. To cultivate doubt, therefore, is to value unknowing. To say “I don’t know” is not an admission of weakness or ignorance, but an act of truthfulness: an honest acceptance of the limits of the human condition when faced with “the great matter of birth and death.” This deep agnosticism is more than the refusal of conventional agnosticism to take a stand on whether God exists or whether the mind survives bodily death. It is the willingness to embrace the fundamental bewilderment of a finite, fallible creature as the basis for leading a life that no longer clings to the superficial consolations of certainty. ~ Stephen Batchelor
283:We cannot prove that life is meaningful and that God exists. But neither can we prove that love is better than hate, altruism than selfishness, forgiveness than the desire for revenge. We cannot prove that the hope is truer to experience than the tragic sense of life. Almost none of the truths by which we live are provable, and the desire to prove them is based on a monumental confusion between explanation and interpretation. Explanations can be proved, interpretations cannot. Science deals in explanation. Meaning is always a matter of interpretation. It belongs to the same territory as ethics, aesthetics and metaphysics. In none of these three disciplines can anything of consequence be proved, but that does not make them insignificant. To the contrary, they represent three of the greatest repositories of human wisdom. ~ Jonathan Sacks
284:There is no single god. There can never be a single god. For there to be one face, there must be another. The Nah’ruk did not see it in such terms, of course. They spoke of forces in opposition, of the necessity of tension. All that binds must be bound to two foci, at the minimum. Even should a god exist alone, isolated in its perfection, it will come to comprehend the need for a force outside itself, beyond its omniscience. If all remains within, Destriant—exclusively within, that is—then there is no reason for anything to exist, no reason for creation itself. If all is ordered, untouched by chaos, then the universe that was, is and will ever be, is without meaning. Without value. The god would quickly comprehend, then, that its own existence is also without meaning, and so it would cease. It would succumb to the logic of despair. ~ Steven Erikson
285:36. Argument from Incomplete Devastation: A plane crashed killing 143 passengers and crew. But one child survived with only third-degree burns. Therefore God exists.   37. Argument from Possible Worlds: If things had been different, then things would be different. That would be bad. Therefore God exists.   38. Argument from Sheer Will: I do believe in God! I do believe in God! I do I do I do. I do believe in God! Therefore God exists.   39. Argument from Non-belief: The majority of the world’s population are non-believers in Christianity. This is just what Satan intended. Therefore God exists.   40. Argument from Post-Death Experience: Person X died an atheist. He now realizes his mistake. Therefore God exists.   41. Argument from Emotional Blackmail: God loves you. How could you be so heartless as not to believe in him? Therefore God exists. THE ~ Richard Dawkins
286:Challenge a person's beliefs, and you challenge his dignity, standing, and power. And when those beliefs are based on nothing but faith, they are chronically fragile. No one gets upset about the belief that rocks fall down as opposed to up, because all sane people can see it with their own eyes. Not so for the belief that babies are born with original sin or that God exists in three persons or that Ali is the second-most divinely inspired man after Muhammad. When people organize their lives around these beliefs, and then learn of other people who seem to be doing just fine without them--or worse, who credibly rebut them--they are in danger of looking like fools. Since one cannot defend a belief based on faith by persuading skeptics it is true, the faithful are apt to react to unbelief with rage, and may try to eliminate that affront to everything that makes their lives meaningful. ~ Steven Pinker
287:To encounter divinity in all His fullness would be impossible for man, so he sees a light, a burning bush, an angel, an apparition on a cross, and he calls it God. But with the usual arrogance of man, he then starts believing that that small part he has taken is the All. The carved stone is a symbol. Anything you worship can become God because God exists in every living and dead thing you see. He is everywhere and in everything. If one believed enough in a piece of rock, that rock will one day open its eyes, and show the God that lives in it. It doesn’t matter if one decided to worship a stone, a man, a tree, or a snake. Believe and it will be. ‘God will manifest Himself to you in whatever form will fill your eyes with tenderness. What difference to God if it is a dying man on a cross or a serpent that is used to remind his devotee of Him? It is important only to love Him with all your heart. ~ Rani Manicka
288:That feeling stayed with me for months. In fact, I had grown so accustomed to that floating feeling that I started to panic at the prospect of losing it. So I began to ask friends, theologians, historians, pastors I knew, nuns I liked, *What am I going to do when it's gone?* And they knew exactly what I meant because they had either felt it themselves or read about it in great works of Christian theology. St. Augustine called it "the sweetness." Thomas Aquinas called it something mystical like "the prophetic light." But all said yes, it will go. The feelings will go. The sense of God's presence will go. There will be no lasting proof that God exists. There will be no formula for how to get it back.
But they offered me this small bit of certainty, and I clung to it. When the feelings recede like the tides, they said, they will leave an imprint. I would somehow be marked by the presence of an unbidden God. ~ Kate Bowler
289:The Church is not simply an institution. She is a 'mode of existence,' *a way of being*. The mystery of the Church is deeply bound to the being of man, to the being of the world and to the very being of God.
Ecclesial being is bound to the very being of God. From the fact that a human being is a member of the Church, he becomes [participates as/in] an 'image of God', he exists as God Himself exists, takes on God's *way of being*. This way of being is not a moral attainment, something that man *accomplishes*. It is a way of *relationship* with the world, with other people and with God, as an event of *communion*, and that is why it cannot be realized as the achievement of an *individual*, but only as an *ecclesial* fact.
However, for the Church to present this way of existence, she must herself be an image of the way in which God exists. Her entire structure, her ministries etc. must express this way of existence. ~ John D Zizioulas
290:It is only the infinite mercy and love of God that has prevented us from tearing ourselves to pieces and destroying His entire creation long ago. People seem to think that it is in some way a proof that no merciful God exists, if we have so many wars. On the contrary, consider how in spite of centuries of sin and greed and lust and cruelty and hatred and avarice and oppression and injustice, spawned and bred by the free wills of men, the human race can still recover, each time, and can still produce man and women who overcome evil with good, hatred with love, greed with charity, lust and cruelty with sanctity. How could all this be possible without the merciful love of God, pouring out His grace upon us? Can there be any doubt where wars come from and where peace comes from, when the children of this world, excluding God from their peace conferences, only manage to bring about greater and greater wars the more they talk about peace? ~ Thomas Merton
291:You don't understand that one can be an atheist, one can not know whether God exists or why, and at the same time know that man does not live in nature but in history, and that in present-day understanding it was founded by Christ, that its foundation is the Gospel. And what is history? It is the setting in motion of centuries of work at the gradual unriddling of death and its eventual overcoming. Hence the discovery of mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, hence the writing of symphonies. It is impossible to move on in that direction without a certain uplift. These discoveries call for spiritual equipment. The grounds for it are contained in the Gospel. They are these. First, love of one's neighbor, that highest form of living energy, overflowing man's heart and demanding to be let out and spent, and then the main component parts of modern man, without which he is unthinkable-- namely, the idea of the free person and the idea of life as sacrifice. ~ Boris Pasternak
292:Francis Schaeffer has pointed out that the Christian worldview can be divided into a major and a minor theme.38 The minor theme deals with the abnormality of a world in revolt, with the fact that humanity has rebelled, has become separated from God, and has come to see its own meaninglessness. The minor theme is the defeated and sinful side of human life. The major theme is the opposite of the minor. Metaphysically it uplifts the fact that God exists, all is not lost, and life is not absurd. People have significance due to the fact that they are made in God’s image. If art exclusively emphasizes the major theme, it is both unbiblical and unreal.39 It would be less than Christian art. It would be romanticism, and by its shallowness and lack of insight into “real-life problems” would have to be rejected rightfully as genuine art in the biblical sense. On the other hand, it is equally unbiblical for art to emphasize exclusively the minor theme of human lostness, degradation, and abnormality. ~ George R Knight
293:Nevertheless, it is the Christian theory that it is only a regard for this Being -- partly a trembling fear and partly a kind of conciliation represented to be love -- that keeps the human race from roaring downhill to villainy and disaster. Nor are theologians daunted by the obvious fact that many open and even ribald skeptics are not going that way, but, on the contrary, show a considerably higher degree of virtue than the Christian average. Their answer ... is that the moral sense of every such blameless candidate for Hell 'is a kind of parasitic growth upon the otherworldliness of the society in which he lives.' ... Even men who should know better indulge in this confusion between the religious impulse and common decency. ... But this is surely going beyond the plain facts. A man may be truly religious without imagining God as good at all, and he may be good without believing that there is any moral order in the universe or even that God exists. Religion does not necessarily make men better citizens, whether of their neighborhoods or of the world. ~ H L Mencken
294:In its knowledge, the god would understand the necessity for that which lies outside itself, beyond its direct control. In that tension meaning will be found. In that struggle value is born. If it suits you and your kind, Destriant, fill the ether with gods, goddesses, First Heroes, spirits and demons. Kneel to one or many, but never—never, Kalyth—hold to a belief that but one god exists, that all that is resides within that god. Should you hold such a belief, then by every path of reasoning that follows, you cannot but conclude that your one god is cursed, a thing of impossible aspirations and deafening injustice, whimsical in its cruelty, blind to mercy and devoid of pity. Do not misunderstand me. Choose to live within one god as you like, but in so doing be certain to acknowledge that there is an “other”, an existence beyond your god. And if your god has a face, then so too does that other. In such comprehension, Destriant, will you come to grasp the freedom that lies at the heart of all life; that choice is the singular moral act and all one chooses can only be considered in a moral context if that choice is free. ~ Steven Erikson
295:I think that God that we have created and allowed to shape our culture through, essentially Christian theology is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under it's, his church, his wing, all kinds of corruptions and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of that God terrible wars have been waged, in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread. There are children being born all across this world that don't have enough food to eat because that God, at least his church, tells the mothers and fathers that they must procreate at all costs, and to prevent procreation with a condom is in contravention with his laws. Now, I don't believe that God exists. I think that God is creation of men, by men, and for men. What has happened over the many centuries now, the better part of two thousand in fact, is that that God has been slowly and steadily accruing power. His church has been accruing power, and the men who run that church, and they are all men, are not about to give it up. If they give it up, they give up luxury, they give up comfort. ~ Clive Barker
296:Throw yourself off that cliff,” Satan says, offering the next temptation. “If God exists, He will surely save you. If you are in fact his Son, God will surely save you.” Why would God not make Himself manifest, to rescue His only begotten Child from hunger and isolation and the presence of great evil? But that establishes no pattern for life. It doesn’t even work as literature. The deus ex machina—the emergence of a divine force that magically rescues the hero from his predicament—is the cheapest trick in the hack writer’s playbook. It makes a mockery of independence, and courage, and destiny, and free will, and responsibility. Furthermore, God is in no wise a safety net for the blind. He’s not someone to be commanded to perform magic tricks, or forced into Self-revelation—not even by His own Son. “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:7)—this answer, though rather brief, dispenses with the second temptation. Christ does not casually order or even dare ask God to intervene on his behalf. He refuses to dispense with His responsibility for the events of His own life. He refuses to demand that God prove His presence ~ Jordan Peterson
297:Annie Dillard saw that all of nature is based on violence. Yet we inescapably believe it is wrong for stronger human individuals or groups to kill weaker ones. If violence is totally natural why would it be wrong for strong humans to trample weak ones? There is no basis for moral obligation unless we argue that nature is in some part unnatural. We can’t know that nature is broken in some way unless there is some supernatural standard of normalcy apart from nature by which we can judge right and wrong. That means there would have to be heaven or God or some kind of divine order outside of nature in order to make that judgment. There is only one way out of this conundrum. We can pick up the Biblical account of things and see if it explains our moral sense any better than a secular view. If the world was made by a God of peace, justice, and love, then that is why we know that violence, oppression, and hate are wrong. If the world is fallen, broken, and needs to be redeemed, that explains the violence and disorder we see. If you believe human rights are a reality, then it makes much more sense that God exists than that he does not. ~ Timothy J Keller
298:Throw yourself off that cliff,” Satan says, offering the next temptation. “If God exists, He will surely save you. If you are in fact his Son, God will surely save you.” Why would God not make Himself manifest, to rescue His only begotten Child from hunger and isolation and the presence of great evil? But that establishes no pattern for life. It doesn’t even work as literature. The deus ex machina—the emergence of a divine force that magically rescues the hero from his predicament—is the cheapest trick in the hack writer’s playbook. It makes a mockery of independence, and courage, and destiny, and free will, and responsibility. Furthermore, God is in no wise a safety net for the blind. He’s not someone to be commanded to perform magic tricks, or forced into Self-revelation—not even by His own Son. “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:7)—this answer, though rather brief, dispenses with the second temptation. Christ does not casually order or even dare ask God to intervene on his behalf. He refuses to dispense with His responsibility for the events of His own life. He refuses to demand that God prove His presence ~ Jordan B Peterson
299:But apart from examining the arguments for and against God, how can the atheist justifiably make such an accusation? How does he know that God does not exist? Shouldn’t we at least look at the evidence? That is surely correct. Some philosophers have even argued that if the evidence for these two options were absolutely equal, a rational person ought to choose to believe in God. That is, if the evidence is equal, it seems positively irrational to prefer death, futility, and destruction to life, meaningfulness, and happiness. As Pascal said, we have nothing to lose and infinity to gain. But my aim in this chapter is more modest than that. I only hope to have gotten you to think about these issues, to realize that the question of God’s existence has profound consequences for our lives and that therefore we cannot afford to be indifferent about it. What I’ve at least done is to clearly spell out the alternatives. If God does not exist, then life is futile. If God does exist, then life is meaningful. Only the second of these two alternatives enables us to live happily and consistently. Therefore, it makes a huge difference whether God exists, a difference we should care about. Who cares? You should. ~ William Lane Craig
300:And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are no more. That's what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That's it. ~ Elie Wiesel
301:take the idea of a spectrum of probabilities seriously, and place human judgements about the existence of God along it, between two extremes of opposite certainty. The spectrum is continuous, but it can be represented by the following seven milestones along the way.   Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know! Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’ Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’ Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’ Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I don’t know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be sceptical.’ Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’ Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung “knows” there is one. ~ Richard Dawkins
302:Genesis 22:14 “The LORD Will Provide” When Abraham names this place, he affirms that God is superintending the flow of events. This is to be read as complimentary to the name given to God in Ge 21:33 (see note there). Here the designation of the place recognizes Yahweh as God of the short term, caring for the needs of the moment. This is an important point to make in the context of the ancient Near East. In the polytheism of Abraham’s day, national and cosmic deities handled the long-term kinds of issues that concerned the stability of the world and national destiny. Other deities were more involved in the daily life of the people. These patron (city, ancestral) deities were believed to have the bulk of the impact in the life of the individual. We must remember that God has still not presented to Abraham the tenets of monotheism either on the practical level (the sole object of worship) or on the philosophical level (no other God exists). Nevertheless, in the names attributed to God, Abraham is moving in that direction. He has now recognized that this covenant God of his is not just a replacement for one of the standard categories of deity. He is filling all the roles of deity. We can hardly begin to understand how revolutionary this was. ◆ ~ Anonymous
303:As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not. ~ Fulton J Sheen
304:Let us, then, take the idea of a spectrum of probabilities seriously, and place human judgements about the existence of God along it, between two extremes of opposite certainty. The spectrum is continuous, but it can be represented by the following seven milestones along the way.   Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know! Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’ Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’ Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’ Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I don’t know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be sceptical.’ Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’ Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung “knows” there is one. ~ Richard Dawkins
305:During the 1950s, Logical Positivists such as A. J. Ayer (1910–91) asked whether it made sense to believe in God. The natural sciences provided the only reliable source of knowledge because it could be tested empirically. Ayer was not asking whether or not God existed but whether the idea of God had any meaning. He argued that a statement is meaningless if we cannot see how it can be verified or shown to be false. To say “There is intelligent life on Mars” is not meaningless since we can see how we could verify this once we had the necessary technology. Similarly a simple believer in the traditional Old Man in the Sky is not making a meaningless statement when he says: “I believe in God,” since after death we should be able to find out whether or not this is true. It is the more sophisticated believer who has problems, when he says: “God does not exist in any sense that we can understand” or “God is not good in the human sense of the word.” These statements are too vague; it is impossible to see how they can be tested; therefore, they are meaningless. As Ayer said: “Theism is so confused and the sentences in which ‘God’ appears so incoherent and so incapable of verifiability or falsifiability that to speak of belief or unbelief, faith or unfaith, is logically impossible.”2 ~ Karen Armstrong
306:Does trying to understand the universe at all betray a lack of humility ? I believe it is true that humility is the only just response in a confrontation with the universe, but not a humility that prevents us from seeking the nature of the universe we are admiring. If we seek that nature, then love can be informed by truth instead of being based on ignorance and self-deception. If a Creator God exists, would He or She or It or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing ? Or would He prefer His votaries to admire the real universe in all its intricacy ? I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship. My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, then our curiosity and intelligence are provided by such a god. We would be unappreciative of those gifts if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves. On the other hand, if such a traditional god does not exist, then our curiosity and our intelligence are the essential tools for managing our survival in an extremely dangerous time. In either case the enterprise of knowledge is consistent surely with science; it should be with religion, and it is essential for the welfare of the human species. ~ Carl Sagan
307:Look now. Look at what you value, what you hold dear. Objects, first. And not necessarily because of their innate value (although that might figure into it), but because they are endowed - by your mind and imagination, by your memories - with what is know as "sentimental value."

Sentiment has been defined as ascribing a value to something above and beyond what its value is to God. This presumes a belief in God, and furthermore a belief in a kind of God that passes judgment on the inexplicable fondness of the human heart; there is an expression, isn't there: "the object of my affections." But perhaps you do not believe in that kid of God, or any other, for that matter.

Look then at the faces and bodies of people you love. The explicit beauty that comes not from smoothness of skin or neutrality of expression, but from the web of experience that has left its mark. Each face, each body is its own lving fossilized record. A record of cats, combatants, difficult births; of accidents, cruelties, blessings. Reminders of folly, greed, indiscretion, impatience. A moment of time, of memory, preserved, internalized, and enshrined within and upon the body. You need not be told that these records are what render your beloved beautiful. If God exists, He is there, in the small, cast-off pieces, rough and random and no two alike. ~ Stephanie Kallos
308:I use the word “God” in an impersonal sense, like Einstein did, for the laws of nature, so knowing the mind of God is knowing the laws of nature. My prediction is that we will know the mind of God by the end of this century.
The one remaining area that religion can now lay claim to is the origin of the universe, but even here science is making progress and should soon provide a definitive answer to how the universe began. I published a book that asked if God created the universe, and that caused something of a stir. People got upset that a scientist should have anything to say on the matter of religion. I have no desire to tell anyone what to believe, but for me asking if God exists is a valid question for science. After all, it is hard to think of a more important, or fundamental, mystery than what, or who, created and controls the universe.
I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science. The basic assumption of science is scientific determinism. The laws of science determine the evolution of the universe, given its state at one time. These laws may, or may not, have been decreed by God, but he cannot intervene to break the laws, or they would not be laws. That leaves God with the freedom to choose the initial state of the universe, but even here it seems there may be laws. So God would have no freedom at all. ~ Stephen Hawking
309:You can be a rich person alone. You can be a smart person alone. But you cannot be a complete person alone. For that you must be part of, and rooted in, an olive grove. This truth was once beautifully conveyed by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner in his interpretation of a scene from Gabriel García Márquez’s classic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude: Márquez tells of a village where people were afflicted with a strange plague of forgetfulness, a kind of contagious amnesia. Starting with the oldest inhabitants and working its way through the population, the plague causes people to forget the names of even the most common everyday objects. One young man, still unaffected, tries to limit the damage by putting labels on everything. “This is a table,” “This is a window,” “This is a cow; it has to be milked every morning.” And at the entrance to the town, on the main road, he puts up two large signs. One reads “The name of our village is Macondo,” and the larger one reads “God exists.” The message I get from that story is that we can, and probably will, forget most of what we have learned in life—the math, the history, the chemical formulas, the address and phone number of the first house we lived in when we got married—and all that forgetting will do us no harm. But if we forget whom we belong to, and if we forget that there is a God, something profoundly human in us will be lost. ~ Thomas L Friedman
310:With the first jolt he was in daylight; they had left the gateways of King’s Cross, and were under blue sky. Tunnels followed, and after each the sky grew bluer, and from the embankment at Finsbury Park he had his first sight of the sun. It rolled along behind the eastern smokes — a wheel, whose fellow was the descending moon — and as yet it seemed the servant of the blue sky, not its lord. He dozed again. Over Tewin Water it was day. To the left fell the shadow of the embankment and its arches; to the right Leonard saw up into the Tewin Woods and towards the church, with its wild legend of immortality. Six forest trees — that is a fact — grow out of one of the graves in Tewin churchyard. The grave’s occupant — that is the legend — is an atheist, who declared that if God existed, six forest trees would grow out of her grave. These things in Hertfordshire; and farther afield lay the house of a hermit — Mrs. Wilcox had known him — who barred himself up, and wrote prophecies, and gave all he had to the poor. While, powdered in between, were the villas of business men, who saw life more steadily, though with the steadiness of the half-closed eye. Over all the sun was streaming, to all the birds were singing, to all the primroses were yellow, and the speedwell blue, and the country, however they interpreted her, was uttering her cry of “now. ” She did not free Leonard yet, and the knife plunged deeper into his heart as the train drew up at Hilton. But remorse had become beautiful. ~ E M Forster
311:Here in the labyrinth, I struggle to find words to describe what I feel. Up on the mountaintop, I knew the language to describe God: majestic, transcendent, all-powerful, heavenly Father, Lord, and King. In this vocabulary, God remains stubbornly located in a few select places, mostly in external realms above or beyond: heaven, the church, doctrine, or the sacraments. What happens in the labyrinth seems vague, perhaps even theologically elusive.

Like countless others, I have been schooled in vertical theology. Western culture, especially Western Christianity, has imprinted a certain theological template upon the spiritual imagination: God exists far off from the world and does humankind a favor when choosing to draw close. Sermons declared that God’s holiness was foreign to us and sin separated us from God. Yes, humanity was made in God’s image, but we had so messed things up in the Garden of Eden that any trace of God in us was obscured, if not destroyed. Whether conservative or liberal, most American churches teach some form of the idea that God exists in holy isolation, untouched by the messiness of creation, and that we, God’s children, are morally and spiritually filthy, bereft of all goodness, utterly unworthy to stand before the Divine Presence. In its crudest form, the role of religion (whether through revivals, priesthood, ritual, story, sacraments, personal conversion, or morality) is to act as a holy elevator between God above and those muddling around down below in the world. ~ Diana Butler Bass
312:But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn't rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup.

As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed. ~ Jeanette Winterson
313:It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligence and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith. ~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Young India (24 September 1931); also in Teachings Of Mahatma Gandhi (1945), edited by Jag Parvesh Chander, p. 458
314:I am trying to explain as quickly as possible my essential nature, that is, what manner of man I am, what I believe in, and for what I hope, that's it, isn't it? And therefore I tell you that I accept God honestly and simply. But you must note this: If God exists and if He really did create the world, then, as we all know, He created it according to the geometry of only three dimensions in space. Yet there have been some very distinguished ones, who doubt whether the whole universe, or to speak more generally the whole of being, was only created in Euclid's geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid can never meet on earth, may meet somewhere in infinity. I have come to the conclusion that, since I can't understand even that, I can't expect to understand about God. I acknowledge humbly that I have no faculty for settling such questions, I have a Euclidian earthly mind, and how could I solve problems that are not of this world? And I advise you never to think about it either, my dear Alyosha, especially about God, whether He exists or not. All such questions are utterly inappropriate for a mind created with a conception of only three dimensions. And so I accept God and am glad to, and what's more I accept His wisdom, His purpose - which are utterly beyond our ken; I believe in the underlying order and the meaning of life; I believe in the eternal harmony in which they say we shall one day be blended. I believe in the Word to Which the universe is striving, and Which Itself was "with God", and Which Itself is God and so on, and so on, to infinity. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
315:What is not so generally recognized is that there can be no way of proving that the existence of a god, such as the God of Christianity, is even probable. Yet this also is easily shown. For if the existence of such a god were probable, then the proposition that he existed would be an empirical hypothesis. And in that case it would be possible to deduce from it, and other empirical hypotheses, certain experiential propositions which were not deducible from those other hypotheses alone. But in fact this is not possible. It is sometimes claimed, indeed, that the existence of a certain sort of regularity in nature constitutes sufficient evidence for the existence of a god. But if the sentence "God exists" entails no more than that certain types of phenomena occur in certain sequences, then to assert the existence of a god will be simply equivalent to asserting that there is the requisite regularity in nature; and no religious man would admit that this was all he intended to assert in asserting the existence of a god. He would say that in talking about God, he was talking about a transcendent being who might be known through certain empirical manifestations, but certainly could not be defined in terms of those manifestations. But in that case the term "god" is a metaphysical term. And if "god" is a metaphysical term, then it cannot be even probable that a god exists. For to say that "God exists" is to make a metaphysical utterance which cannot be either true or false. And by the same criterion, no sentence which purports to describe the nature of a transcendent god can possess any literal significance. ~ A J Ayer
316:It is not easy for students to realize that to ask, as they often do, whether God exists and is merciful, just, good, or wrathful, is simply to project anthropomorphic concepts into a sphere to which they do not pertain. As the Upaniṣads declare: 'There, words do not reach.' Such queries fall short of the question. And yet—as the student must also understand—although that mystery is regarded in the Orient as transcendent of all thought and naming, it is also to be recognized as the reality of one’s own being and mystery. That which is transcendent is also immanent. And the ultimate function of Oriental myths, philosophies, and social forms, therefore, is to guide the individual to an actual experience of his identity with that; tat tvam asi ('Thou art that') is the ultimate word in this connection.

By contrast, in the Western sphere—in terms of the orthodox traditions, at any rate, in which our students have been raised—God is a person, the person who has created this world. God and his creation are not of the same substance. Ontologically, they are separate and apart. We, therefore, do not find in the religions of the West, as we do in those of the East, mythologies and cult disciplines devoted to the yielding of an experience of one’s identity with divinity. That, in fact, is heresy. Our myths and religions are concerned, rather, with establishing and maintaining an experience of relationship—and this is quite a different affair. Hence it is, that though the same mythological images can appear in a Western context and an Eastern, it will always be with a totally different sense. This point I regard as fundamental. ~ Joseph Campbell
317:We all live as if it is better to seek peace instead of war, to tell the truth instead of lying, to care and nurture rather than to destroy. We believe that these choices are not pointless, that it matters which way we choose to live. Yet if the Cosmic Bench is truly empty, then “who sez” that one choice is better than the others? We can argue about it, but it’s just pointless arguing, endless litigation. If the Bench is truly empty, then the whole span of human civilization, even if it lasts a few million years, will be just an infinitesimally brief spark in relation to the oceans of dead time that preceded it and will follow it. There will be no one around to remember any of it. Whether we are loving or cruel in the end would make no difference at all.

Once we realize this situation there are two options. One is that we can simply refuse to think out the implications of all this. We can hold on to our intellectual belief in an empty Bench and yet live as if our choices are meaningful and as if there is a difference between love and cruelty. Why would we do that? A cynic might say that this is a way of “having one’s cake and eating it, too.” That is, you can get the benefit of having a God without the cost of following him. But there is no integrity in that.

The other option is to recognize that you do know there is a God. You could accept the fact that you live as if beauty and love have meaning, as if there is meaning in life, as if human beings have inherent dignity—all because you know God exists. It is dishonest to live as if he is there and yet fail to acknowledge the one who has given you all these gifts. ~ Timothy J Keller
318:When I learned my mom was going to die of cancer at the age of forty-five, I felt the same way. I didn’t even believe in God, but I still felt that he owed me something. I had the gall to think How dare he? I couldn’t help myself. I’m a selfish brute. I wanted what I wanted and I expected it to be given to me by a God in whom I had no faith. Because mercy had always more or less been granted me, I assumed it always would be. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t granted to my friend whose eighteen-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver either. Nor was it granted to my other friend who learned her baby is going to die of a genetic disorder in the not-distant future. Nor was it granted to my former student whose mother was murdered by her father before he killed himself. It was not granted to all those people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they came up against the wrong virus or military operation or famine or carcinogenic or genetic mutation or natural disaster or maniac. Countless people have been devastated for reasons that cannot be explained or justified in spiritual terms. To do as you are doing in asking If there were a God, why would he let my little girl have to have possibly life-threatening surgery?— understandable as that question is—creates a false hierarchy of the blessed and the damned. To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason. It fails to acknowledge that the other half of rising—the very half that makes rising necessary— is having first been nailed to the cross. That ~ Cheryl Strayed
319:I, for example, quiet plainly and simply insist upon annihilation for myself. “No,” they say, “you must go on living, for without you there would be nothing. If everything on earth were reasonable, nothing would ever happen. Without you there would be no events, and it is necessary that there should be events.” Well, and so on I drudge with unwilling heart so that there be events, and bring about unreason by command. People think toute cette comedie is something serious, all there unquestionable intelligence notwithstanding. There lies there tragedy. Well, and they suffer, of course, but … al the same they live, they live in reality, not in fantasy; for suffering is also life. Without suffering what pleasure would there be in it? Everything would turn into one single, endless church service: much holy soaring, but rather boring. Well, and I? I suffer, but even so I do not live. I am the “x” in an indeterminate equation. I am one of life’s ghosts, who has lost all the ends and the beginnings, and even at last forgotten what to call myself. You are laughing . . . No, you are not laughing, you are angry again. You are eternally angry, you would like there to be nothing but intelligence, but I will tell you again that I would renounce all this empyrean existence, all these honours and ranks just in order to be able to take fleshy form in the person of a seven-pood merchant’s wife and set up candles to God in church.

‘So, you don’t believe in God either?’ Ivan said, smiling with hatred.

‘Well, how can I explain it to you, if you are serious, that is . . . ‘

‘Does God exist or not?’ Ivan barked, again with ferocious insistence.

‘Ah, so you are serious? My dear little dove, I swear to God I do not know, pour vous dire le grand mot. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
320:Philosophical discussions of God’s existence and nature typically fail to ask, “If God exists, has he done anything to address this profound problem?” Unlike other religions, the Christian story emphatically answers, Yes! God’s existence and his concern for humanity go hand in hand; he gets his feet dirty and hands bloody in Jesus, bringing creation and redemption together. His ministry and the salvation event signaled a new exodus and a new creation. His miraculous resurrection from the dead in particular guarantees hope and restoration, and this cornerstone event is accompanied by many publicly accessible reasons—historical, theological, and philosophical.4 Divine miracles don’t guarantee belief, though: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31). Miracles can be rationalized away (see, e.g., John 12:29) or even suppressed by people who don’t want to believe anyway—such as Jesus’ enemies seeking to kill miraculous evidence—the resuscitated Lazarus (John 12:1, 10)! Miracles don’t compel belief, but for those willing to receive them, they do serve as sufficient indications of God’s activity and revelation. John calls them signs that point beyond themselves to Jesus’ significance: Jesus miraculously feeds bread to a crowd of more than five thousand and then declares, “I am the bread of life” (John 6); he says, “I am the light of the world,” illustrating it by healing a man born blind (John 8–9); he affirms, “I am the resurrection and the life” and shows it by raising Lazarus (John 11). No wonder Jesus says, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (John 14:11). His miracles, revealing the in-breaking reality of God’s reign, are available for public scrutiny. ~ Paul Copan
321:And what do I care if I spend twenty years in the mines, breaking ore with a hammer? I am not a bit afraid of that -- it's something else I am afraid of now: that that new man may leave me. Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to blame for them. Why was it I dreamed of that 'babe' at such a moment? 'Why is the babe so poor?' That was a sign to me at that moment. It's for the babe I'm going. Because we are all responsible for all. For all the 'babes,' for there are big children as well as little children All are 'babes.' I go for all, because someone must go for all. I didn't kill father, but I've got to go. I accept it. It's all come to me here, here, within these peeling walls. There are numbers of them there, hundreds of them underground, with hammers in their hands. Oh, yes, we shall be in chains and there will be no freedom, but then, in our great sorrow, we shall rise again to joy, without which man cannot live nor God exist, for God gives joy: it's His privilege -- a grand one. Ah, man should be dissolved in prayer! What should I be underground there without God? Rakitin's laughing! If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground. One cannot exist in prison without God; it's even more impossible than out of prison. And then we men underground will sing from the bowels of the earth a glorious hymn to God, with Whom is joy. Hail to God and His joy! I love Him! ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
322:Does God exist?
Unlike many people, this had not been the great inner debate of her life. Under the old Communist regime, the official line in schools had been that life ended with death, and she had gotten used to the idea. On the other hand, her parents’ generation and her grandparents’ generation still went to church, said prayers, and went on pilgrimages, and were utterly convinced that God listened to what they said.
At twenty-four, having experienced everything she could experience—and that was no small achievement—Veronika was almost certain that everything ended with death. That is why she had chosen suicide: freedom at last. Eternal oblivion.
In her heart of hearts, though, there was still a doubt: What if God did exist? Thousands of years of civilization had made of suicide a taboo, an affront to all religious codes: Man struggles to survive, not to succumb. The human race must procreate. Society needs workers. A couple has to have a reason to stay together, even when love has ceased to exist, and a country needs soldiers, politicians and artists.
If God exists, and I truly don’t believe he does, he will know that there are limits to human understanding. He was the one who created this confusion in which there is poverty, injustice, greed, and loneliness. He doubtless had the best of intentions, but the results have proved disastrous; if God exists, he will be generous with those creatures who chose to leave this Earth early, and he might even apologize for having made us spend time here.
To hell with taboos and superstitions. Her devout mother would say: “God knows the past, the present, and the future.” In that case, he had placed her in this world in the full knowledge that she would end up killing herself, and he would not be shocked by her actions.
Veronika began to feel a slight nausea, which became rapidly more intense. ~ Paulo Coelho
323:2. The Ontological Argument Nothing greater than God can be conceived (this is stipulated as part of the definition of “God”). It is greater to exist than not to exist. If we conceive of God as not existing, then we can conceive of something greater than God (from 2). To conceive of God as not existing is not to conceive of God (from 1 and 3). It is inconceivable that God not exist (from 4). God exists. This argument, first articulated by Saint Anselm (1033–1109), the Archbishop of Canterbury, is unlike any other, proceeding purely on the conceptual level. Everyone agrees that the mere existence of a concept does not entail that there are examples of that concept; after all, we can know what a unicorn is and at the same time say, “Unicorns don’t exist.” The claim of The Ontological Argument is that the concept of God is the one exception to this generalization. The very concept of God, when defined correctly, entails that there is something that satisfies that concept. Although most people suspect that there is something wrong with this argument, it’s not so easy to figure out what it is. FLAW: It was Immanuel Kant who pinpointed the fallacy in The Ontological Argument—it is to treat “existence” as a property, like “being fat” or “having ten fingers.” The Ontological Argument relies on a bit of wordplay, assuming that “existence” is just another property, but logically it is completely different. If you really could treat “existence” as just part of the definition of the concept of God, then you could just as easily build it into the definition of any other concept. We could, with the wave of our verbal magic wand, define a trunicorn as “a horse that (a) has a single horn on its head, and (b) exists.” So, if you think about a trunicorn, you’re thinking about something that must, by definition, exist; therefore, trunicorns exist. This is clearly absurd: we could use this line of reasoning to prove that any figment of our imagination exists. ~ Rebecca Goldstein
324:The purpose of consciousness—any consciousness—was to achieve infinite comprehension. It was as simple as that. If a God existed, humanity must strive to discover this God and help this deity become omniscient, not just in one infinity, but in an infinity of infinities. This was one possible purpose for her species. But her alter ego, using symbolic logic, had arrived at a possibility she considered much more likely: that humanity’s purpose, together with all life across all universes, was not to discover God—it was to become God. If a single human egg could possess consciousness at the instant of fertilization, how would it view itself? It couldn’t possibly predict or comprehend the multi-trillion-celled being it would ultimately become. The entirety of humanity could well be that single, fertilized cell, unaware that it would grow a trillion-fold more complex and eventually become God, perhaps had already become God, in a universe in which all pasts, presents, and futures existed side by side. Humanity was composed of separate individuals now, but an embryo at early stages was also nothing more than a ball of separate cells. But these separate cells would ultimately become connected in wondrous ways to create something unimaginably greater than themselves. And seen in this light, altruism and sociopathy were far from straightforward concepts, beyond even the complexities that Abraham Lincoln had revealed. Absolute altruism on one level could be absolute selfishness in disguise on another, and vice-versa. The cells making up the human body were selfless; gladly sacrificing themselves when necessary for the good of the organism. On the microscopic level they were being foolishly altruistic, foolishly suicidal, but on the macroscopic level they were being purely selfish—ensuring the survival of the body. And what happened when an individual cell became selfish and exhibited Nietzsche’s will to power? It became a cancer. The cell would break free of the restraints on its own division and become immortal—for a while—until its very immortality choked the entire organism to death, killing the selfish cell in the process. ~ Douglas E Richards
325:the challenges of our day-to-day existence are sustained reminders that our life of faith simply must have its center somewhere other than in our ability to hold it together in our minds. Life is a pounding surf that wears away our rock-solid certainty. The surf always wins. Slowly but surely. Eventually. It may be best to ride the waves rather than resist them. What are your one or two biggest obstacles to staying Christian? What are those roadblocks you keep running into? What are those issues that won’t go away and make you wonder why you keep on believing at all? These are questions I asked on a survey I gave on my blog in the summer of 2013. Nothing fancy. I just asked some questions and waited to see what would happen. In the days to come, I was overwhelmed with comments and e-mails from readers, many anonymous, with bracingly honest answers often expressed through the tears of relentless and unnerving personal suffering. I didn’t do a statistical analysis (who has the time, plus I don’t know how), but the responses fell into five categories.         1.        The Bible portrays God as violent, reactive, vengeful, bloodthirsty, immoral, mean, and petty.         2.        The Bible and science collide on too many things to think that the Bible has anything to say to us today about the big questions of life.         3.        In the face of injustice and heinous suffering in the world, God seems disinterested or perhaps unable to do anything about it.         4.        In our ever-shrinking world, it is very difficult to hold on to any notion that Christianity is the only path to God.         5.        Christians treat each other so badly and in such harmful ways that it calls into question the validity of Christianity—or even whether God exists. These five categories struck me as exactly right—at least, they match up with my experience. And I’d bet good money they resonate with a lot of us. All five categories have one big thing in common: “Faith in God no longer makes sense to me.” Understanding, correct thinking, knowing what you believe—these were once true of their faith, but no longer are. Because life happened. A faith that promises to provide firm answers and relieve our doubt is a faith that will not hold up to the challenges and tragedies of life. Only deep trust can hold up. ~ Peter Enns
326:It is not the nobility of rebellion that illuminates the world today,
but nihilism. And it is the consequences of nihilism that we must retrace, without losing sight of the truth innate in
its origins. Even if God existed, Ivan would never surrender to Him in the face of the injustice done to man. But a
longer contemplation of this injustice, a more bitter approach, transformed the "even if you exist" into "you do not
deserve to exist," therefore "you do not exist." The victims have found in their own innocence the justification for
the final crime. Convinced of their condemnation and without hope of immortality, they decided to murder God. If it
is false to say that from that day began the tragedy of contemporary man, neither is it true to say that there was
where it ended. On the contrary, this attempt indicates the highest point in a drama that began with the end of the
ancient world and of which the final words have not yet been spoken. From this moment, man decides to exclude
himself from grace and to live by his own means. Progress, from the time of Sade up to the present day, has
consisted in gradually enlarging the stronghold where, according to his own rules, man without God brutally wields
power. In defiance of the divinity, the frontiers of this stronghold have been gradually extended, to the point of
making the entire universe into a fortress erected against the fallen and exiled deity. Man, at the culmination of his
rebellion, incarcerated himself; from Sade's lurid castle
to the concentration camps, man's greatest liberty consisted only in building the prison of his crimes. But the state of
siege gradually spreads, the demand for freedom wants to embrace all mankind. Then the only kingdom that is
opposed to the kingdom of grace must be founded —namely, the kingdom of justice—and the human community
must be reunited among the debris of the fallen City of God. To kill God and to build a Church are the constant and
contradictory purpose of rebellion. Absolute freedom finally becomes a prison of absolute duties, a collective
asceticism, a story to be brought to an end. The nineteenth century, which is the century of rebellion, thus merges
into the twentieth, the century of justice and ethics, in which everyone indulges in self-recrimination. ~ Albert Camus
327:My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
328:Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of God, the young prince believed his father.

But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace. He came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.

Are those real islands?' asked the young prince.

Of course they are real islands,' said the man in evening dress.

And those strange and troubling creatures?'

They are all genuine and authentic princesses.'

Then God must exist!' cried the prince.

I am God,' replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow.

The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.

So you are back,' said the father, the king.

I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully.

The king was unmoved.

Neither real islands, nor real princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully.

The king was unmoved.

Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God exist.'

I saw them!'

Tell me how God was dressed.'

God was in full evening dress.'

Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?'

The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.

That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.'

At this, the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.

My father the king has told me who you are,' said the young prince indignantly. 'You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.'

The man on the shore smiled.

It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them.'

The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eyes.

Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?'

The king smiled, and rolled back his sleeves.

Yes, my son, I am only a magician.'

Then the man on the shore was God.'

The man on the shore was another magician.'

I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.'

There is no truth beyond magic,' said the king.

The prince was full of sadness.

He said, 'I will kill myself.'

The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.

Very well,' he said. 'I can bear it.'

You see, my son,' said the king, 'you too now begin to be a magician. ~ John Fowles
329:As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task.

If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance.

For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence.

Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith.

Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you.

Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation.

The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing.

Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground.

We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts.

These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”.

And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success.

So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ.

My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”.

The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God.

People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God. ~ William Lane Craig
330:The Door Of Humility
ENGLAND
We lead the blind by voice and hand,
And not by light they cannot see;
We are not framed to understand
The How and Why of such as He;
But natured only to rejoice
At every sound or sign of hope,
And, guided by the still small voice,
In patience through the darkness grope;
Until our finer sense expands,
And we exchange for holier sight
The earthly help of voice and hands,
And in His light behold the Light.
Let there be Light! The self-same Power
That out of formless dark and void
Endued with life's mysterious dower
Planet, and star, and asteroid;
That moved upon the waters' face,
And, breathing on them His intent,
Divided, and assigned their place
To, ocean, air, and firmament;
That bade the land appear, and bring
Forth herb and leaf, both fruit and flower,
Cattle that graze, and birds that sing,
Ordained the sunshine and the shower;
That, moulding man and woman, breathed
In them an active soul at birth
In His own image, and bequeathed
To them dominion over Earth;
That, by whatever is, decreed
418
His Will and Word shall be obeyed,
From loftiest star to lowliest seed;The worm and me He also made.
And when, for nuptials of the Spring
With Summer, on the vestal thorn
The bridal veil hung flowering,
A cry was heard, and I was born.
II
To be by blood and long descent
A member of a mighty State,
Whose greatness, sea-girt, but unpent
By ocean, makes the world more great;
That, ranging limitless, hath won
A Rule more wide than that of Rome,
And, journeying onward with the sun,
In every zone hath found a home;
That, keeping old traditions fast,
Still hails the things that are to be,
And, firmly rooted in the Past,
On Law hath grafted Liberty;That is a birthright nobler far
Than princely claim or Right Divine
From far-off rapine, wanton war,
And I could feel this birthright mine.
And not the lowliest hand that drives
Or share or loom, if so it be
Of British strain, but thence derives
A patent of nobility.
III
The guiding of the infant years
Onward to good, away from guile,
A mother's humanising tears,
A father's philosophic smile;
419
Refining beauty, gentle ways,
The admonitions of the wise,
The love that watches, helps, and prays,
And pities, but doth ne'er despise;
An ancient Faith, abiding hope,
The charity that suffers long,
But flames with sacred zeal to cope
With man's injustice, nature's wrong;
Melodious leisure, learnëd shelf,
Discourse of earnest, temperate mind,
The playful wit that of itself
Flashes, but leaves no wound behind;
The knowledge gleaned from Greece and Rome,
From studious Teuton, sprightly Gaul,
The lettered page, the mellow tome,
And poets' wisdom more than all;These, when no lips severe upbraid,
But counsel rather than control,
In budding boyhood lend their aid
To sensibility of soul.
IV
But, more than mentor, mother, sire,
Can lend to shape the future man
With help of learning or of lyre,
Of ancient rule, or modern plan,
Is that which with our breath we bring
Into the world, we know not whence,
That needs nor care nor fostering,
Because an instinct and a sense.
And days and years are all forgot
When Nature's aspect, growth, and grace,
And veering moods, to me were not
The features of the Loved One's face.
420
The
The
The
The
cloud whose shadow skims the lake,
shimmering haze of summer noon,
voice of April in the brake,
silence of the mounting moon,
Swaying of bracken on the hill,
The murmur of the vagrant stream,
These motions of some unseen Will,
These babblings of some heavenly dream,
Seemed tokens of divine desire
To hold discourse with me, and so
To touch my lips with hallowed fire,
And tell me things I ought to know.
I gazed and listened, all intent,
As to the face and voice of Fate,
But what they said, or what they meant,
I could surmise not, nor translate.
They did but lure me to unrest,
Unanswered questioning, longings vain,
As when one scans some palimpsest
No erudition can explain;
But left me with a deep distaste
For common speech, that still did seem
More meaningless than mountain waste,
Less human than the far-off stream.
So that a stranger in the land
Wherein I moved, where'er I went,
I dwelt, whom none could understand,
Or exorcise my discontent.
And I to them, and they to me
Seemed from two different planets come,
And, save to flower and wild-bird's glee,
My heart was deaf, my soul was dumb.
421
But slowly dawned a happier time
When I began to apprehend,
And catch, as in some poet's rhyme,
The intimations of a friend;
When Nature spake no unknown tongue,
But language kindred to my thought,
Till everything She said, I sung,
In notes unforced, in words unsought.
And I to Her so closely drew,
The seasons round, in mind and mood,
I felt at length as if we knew
Self-same affection, self-same feud:
That both alike scorned worldly aim,
Profit, applause, parade, and pride,
Whereby the love of generous fame
And worthy deeds grows petrified.
I did as yet not understand
Nature is far more vast than I,
Deep as the ocean, wide as land,
And overarching as the sky;
And but responded to my call,
And only felt and fed my need,
Because She doth the same for all
Who to her pity turn and plead.
VI
Shall man have mind, and Nature none,
Shall I, not she, have soul and heart?
Nay, rather, if we be not one,
Each is of each the counterpart.
She too may have within her breast
A conscience, if not like to yours,
A sense of rightness ill at rest,
Long as her waywardness endures.
422
And hence her thunder, earthquakes, hail,
Her levin bolts, her clouds' discharge:
She sins upon a larger scale,
Because She is herself more large.
Hence, too, when She hath pierced with pain
The heart of man, and wrecked his years,
The pity of the April rain,
And late repentance of her tears.
She is no better, worse, than we;
We can but say she seems more great,
That half her will, like ours, is free,
And half of it is locked in Fate.
Nor need we fear that we should err
Beyond our scope in reasoning thus,That there must be a God for Her,
If that there be a God for us.
VII
The chiming of the Sabbath bell,
The silence of the Sabbath fields,
Over the hamlet cast a spell
To which the gracious spirit yields.
Sound is there none of wheel or wain,
Husht stands the anvil, husht the forge,
No shout is heard in rustic lane,
No axe resounds in timbered gorge.
No flail beats time on granary floor,
The windmill's rushing wings are stayed,
And children's glee rings out no more
From hedgerow bank or primrose glade.
The big-boned team that firm and slow
Draw yoked, are free to couch or stray;
The basking covey seem to know
None will invade their peace to-day.
423
And speckless swains, and maidens neat,
Through rustic porch, down cottage stair,
Demurely up the village street
Stream onward to the House of Prayer.
They kneel as they were taught to kneel
In childhood, and demand not why,
But, as they chant or answer, feel
A vague communion with the sky.
VIII
But when the impetuous mind is spurred
To range through epochs great but gone,
And, heedless of dogmatic word,
With fearless ardour presses on,
Confronting pulpit, sceptre, shrine,
With point by Logic beaten out,
And, questioning tenets deemed divine
With human challenge, human doubt,
Hoists Reason's sail, and for the haze
Of ocean quits Tradition's shore,
Awhile he comes, and kneels, and prays,
Then comes and kneels, but prays no more;
And only for the love he bears
To those who love him, and who reared
His frame to genuflexion, shares
In ritual, vain, if still revered.
His Gods are many or are none,
Saturn and Mithra, Christ and Jove,
Consorting, as the Ages run,
With Vestal choir or Pagan drove.
Abiding still by Northern shores,
He sees far off on Grecian coast
Veiled Aphrodite, but adores
Minerva and Apollo most.
424
Beauty of vision, voice, and mind,
Enthrall him so, that unto him
All Creeds seem true, if he but find
Siren, or saint, or seraphim.
And thus once more he dwells apart,
His inward self enswathed in mist,
Blending with poet's pious heart
The dreams of pagan Hedonist.
IX
If Beauty be the Spirit's quest,
Its adoration, creed, and shrine,
Wherein its restlessness finds rest,
And earthly type of the Divine,
Must there for such not somewhere be
A blending of all beauteous things
In some one form wherein we see
The sum of our imaginings?
The smile on mountain's musing brow,
Sunrise and sunset, moon and star,
Wavelets around the cygnet's prow,
Glamour anear and charm afar;
The silence of the silvery pool,
Autumn's reserve and Summer's fire,
Slow vanishings of Winter's rule
To free full voice of April's choir;The worshippers of Beauty find
In maiden form, and face, and tress;
Faint intimations of her mind
And undulating loveliness.
Bound, runnels, bound, bound on, and flow!
Sing, merle and mavis, pair and sing!
425
Gone is the Winter, fled the snow,
And all that lives is flushed with Spring.
Harry the woods, young truant folk,
For flowers to deck your cottage sills,
And, underneath my orchard oak,
Cluster, ye golden daffodils!
Unfettered by domestic vow,
Cuckoo, proclaim your vagrant loves,
And coo upon the self-same bough,
Inseparable turtle-doves.
Soar, laverock, soar on song to sky,
And with the choir of Heaven rejoice!
You cannot be more glad than I,
Who feel Her gaze, and hear Her voice:
Who see Her cheek more crimson glow,
And through Her veins love's current stream,
And feel a fear She doth but know
Is kin to joy and dawning dream.
Bound, rivulets, bound, bound on, and flow!
Sing, merle and mavis, pair and sing!
Gone from the world are want and woe,
And I myself am one with Spring.
XI
They err who say that Love is blind,
Or, if it be, 'tis but in part,
And that, if for fair face it find
No counterpart in mind and heart,
It dwells on that which it beholds,
Fair fleshly vision void of soul,
Deeming, illusioned, this enfolds,
Longing's fulfilment, end, and whole.
Were such my hapless carnal lot,
I too might evanescent bliss
426
Embrace, fierce-fancied, fast forgot,
Then leave for some fresh loveliness.
But April gaze, and Summer tress,
With something of Autumnal thought,
In Her seem blent to crown and bless
A bond I long in dreams have sought.
She looks as though She came to grace
The earth, from world less soiled than this,
Around her head and virgin face
Halo of heavenly holiness.
XII
He who hath roamed through various lands,
And, wheresoe'er his steps are set,
The kindred meaning understands
Of spire, and dome, and minaret;
By Roman river, Stamboul's sea,
In Peter's or Sophia's shrine,
Acknowledges with reverent knee
The presence of the One Divine;
Who, to the land he loves so well
Returning, towards the sunset hour
Wends homeward, feels yet stronger spell
In lichened roof and grey church-tower;
Round whose foundations, side by side,
Sleep hamlet wit and village sage,
While loud the blackbird cheers his bride
Deep in umbrageous Vicarage.
XIII
Was it that sense which some aver
Foreshadows Fate it doth not see,
That gave unwittingly to Her
The name, for ever dear to me,
427
Borne by that tearful Mother whom,
Nigh unto Ostia's shelving sand,
Augustine laid in lonely tomb,
Ere sailing for his Afric land?
But I at least should have foreseen,
When Monica to me had grown
Familiar word, that names may mean
More than by word and name is shown;
That nought can keep two lives apart
More than divorce 'twixt mind and mind,
Even though heart be one with heart;Alas! Alas! Yes, Love is blind.
XIV
How could I think of jarring Creeds,
And riddles that unread remain,
Or ask if Heaven's indulgence heeds
Broils born of man's polemic brain,
And pause because my venturous mind
Had roamed through tracks of polar thought,
Whence mightiest spirits turn back blind,
Since finding not the thing they sought,
When Love, with luring gifts in hand,
Beauty, refinement, smile, caress,
Heart to surmise and understand,
And crowning grace of holiness,
Stood there before me, and, with gaze
I had been purblind not to see,
Said, ``I to you will, all my days,
Give what you yearn to give to me''?
Must both then sorrow, while we live,
Because, rejoicing, I forgot
Something there was I could not give,
Because, alas! I had it not.
428
XV
She comes from Vicarage Garden, see!
Radiant as morning, lithe and tall,
Fresh lilies in her hand, but She
The loveliest lily of them all.
The thrushes in their fluting pause,
The bees float humming round her head,
Earth, air, and heaven shine out because
They hear her voice, and feel her tread.
Up in the fretted grey church-tower,
That rustic gaze for miles can see,
The belfry strikes the silvery hour,
Announcing her propinquity.
And I who, fearful to be late,
Passed long since through the deerpark pale,
And loitered by the churchyard gate,
Once more exclaim, ``Hail! loved one! hail!''
We pass within, and up the nave,
Husht, because Heaven seems always there,
Wend choirward, where, devoutly grave,
She kneels, to breathe a silent prayer.
She takes the flowers I too have brought,
Blending them deftly with her own,
And ranges them, as quick as thought,
Around the white-draped altar-throne.
How could she know my gaze was not
On things unseen, but fixed on Her,
That, as She prayed, I all forgot
The worship in the worshipper?While She beheld, as in a glass,
The Light Divine, that I but sought
Sight of her soul?-Alas! Alas!
Love is yet blinder than I thought.
429
XVI
Who hath not seen a little cloud
Up from the clear horizon steal,
And, mounting lurid, mutter loud
Premonitory thunder-peal?
Husht grows the grove, the summer leaf
Trembles and writhes, as if in pain,
And then the sky, o'ercharged with grief,
Bursts into drenching tears of rain.
I through the years had sought to hide
My darkening doubts from simple sight.
'Tis sacrilegious to deride
Faith of unquestioning neophyte.
And what, methought, is Doubt at best?
A sterile wind through seeded sedge
Blowing for nought, an empty nest
That lingers in a leafless hedge.
Pain, too, there is we should not share
With others lest it mar their joy;
There is a quiet bliss in prayer
None but the heartless would destroy.
But just as Love is quick divined
From heightened glow or visage pale,
The meditations of the Mind
Disclose themselves through densest veil.
And 'tis the unloving and least wise
Who through life's inmost precincts press,
And with unsympathetic eyes
Outrage our sacred loneliness.
Then, when their sacrilegious gaze
The mournful void hath half surmised,
To some more tender soul they raise
The veil of ignorance it prized.
430
XVII
`What though I write farewell I could
Not utter, lest your gaze should chide,
'Twill by your love be understood
My love is still, dear, at your side.
``Nor must we meet to speak goodbye,
Lest that my Will should lose its choice,
And conscience waver, for then I
Should see your face and hear your voice.
``But, when you find yourself once more,
Come back, come back and look for me,
Beside the little lowly door,
The Doorway of Humility.''
XVIII
There! Peace at last! The far-off roar
Of human passion dies away.
``Welcome to our broad shade once more,''
The waning woodlands seem to say:
The music of the vagrant wind,
That wandered aimlessly, is stilled;
The songless branches all remind
That Summer's glory is fulfilled.
The fluttering of the falling leaves
Dimples the leaden pool awhile;
So Age impassively receives
Youth's tale of troubles with a smile.
Thus, as the seasons steal away,
How much is schemed, how little done,
What splendid plans at break of day!
What void regrets at set of sun!
The world goes round, for you, for me,
For him who sleeps, for him who strives,
And the cold Fates indifferent see
431
Crowning or failure of our lives.
Then fall, ye leaves, fade, summer breeze!
Grow, sedges, sere on every pool!
Let each old glowing impulse freeze,
Let each old generous project cool!
It is not wisdom, wit, nor worth,
Self-sacrifice nor friendship true,
Makes venal devotees of earth
Prostrate themselves and worship you.
The consciousness of sovran powers,
The stubborn purpose, steadfast will,
Have ever, in this world of ours,
Achieved success, achieve it still.
Farewell, ye woods! No more I sit;
Great voices in the distance call.
If this be peace, enough of it!
I go. Fall, unseen foliage, fall!
XIX
Nay, but repress rebellious woe!
In grief 'tis not that febrile fool,
Passion, that can but overthrow,
But Resignation, that should rule.
In patient sadness lurks a gift
To purify the life it stings,
And, as the days move onward, lift
The lonely heart to loftier things;
Bringing within one's ripening reach
The sceptre of majestic Thought,
Wherefrom one slowly learns to teach
The Wisdom to oneself it taught.
And unto what can man aspire,
On earth, more worth the striving for,
Than to be Reason's loftier lyre,
432
And reconciling monitor;
To strike a more resounding string
And deeper notes of joy and pain,
Than such as but lamenting sing,
Or warble but a sensuous strain:
So, when my days are nearly sped,
And my last harvest labours done,
That I may have around my head
The halo of a setting sun.
Yet even if be heard above
Such selfish hope, presumptuous claim,
Better one hour of perfect love
Than an eternity of Fame!
XX
Where then for grief seek out the cure?
What scenes will bid my smart to cease?
High peaks should teach one to endure,
And lakes secluded bring one peace.
Farewell awhile, then, village bells,
Autumnal wood and harvest wain!
And welcome, as it sinks or swells,
The music of the mighty main,
That seems to say, now loud, now low,
Rising or falling, sweet or shrill,
``I pace, a sentry, to and fro,
To guard your Island fortress still.''
The roses falter on their stalk,
The late peach reddens on the wall,
The flowers along the garden walk
Unheeded fade, unheeded fall.
My gates unopened drip with rain,
The wolf-hound wends from floor to floor,
And, listening for my voice in vain,
433
Waileth along the corridor.
Within the old accustomed place
Where we so oft were wont to be,
Kneeling She prays, while down her face
The fruitless tears fall silently.
SWITZERLAND
XXI
Rain, wind, and rain. The writhing lake
Scuds to and fro to scape their stroke:
The mountains veil their heads, and make
Of cloud and mist a wintry cloak.
Through where the arching pinewoods make
Dusk cloisters down the mountain side,
The loosened avalanches take
Valeward their way, with death for guide,
And toss their shaggy manes and fling
To air their foam and tawny froth,
From ledge and precipice bound and spring,
With hungry roar and deepening wrath;
Till, hamlet homes and orchards crushed,
And, rage for further ravin stayed,
They slumber, satiated, husht,
Upon the ruins they have made.
I rise from larch-log hearth, and, lone,
Gaze on the spears of serried rain,
That faster, nigher, still are blown,
Then stream adown the window pane.
The peasant's goatskin garments drip,
As home he wends with lowered head,
Shakes off the drops from lid and lip,
Then slinks within his châlet shed.
434
The cattle bells sound dull and hoarse,
The boats rock idly by the shore;
Only the swollen torrents course
With faster feet and fuller roar.
Mournful, I shape a mournful song,
And ask the heavens, but ask in vain,
``How long, how long?'' Ah! not so long
As, in my heart, rain, wind, and rain.
XXII
I ask the dark, the dawn, the sun,
The domeward-pointing peaks of snow,
Lofty and low alike, but none
Will tell me what I crave to know.
My mind demands, ``Whence, Whither, Why?''
From mountain slope and green defile,
And wait the answer. The replyA far-off irresponsive smile.
I ask the stars, when mortals sleep,
The pensive moon, the lonely winds;
But, haply if they know, they keep
The secret of secluded minds.
Shall I in
Straining
Where in
Where in
vain, then, strive to find,
towards merely fancied goal?
the lily lurks the mind,
the rose discern the soul?
More mindless still, stream, pasture, lake,
The mountains yet more heartless seem,
And life's unceasing quest and ache
Only a dream within a dream.
We know no more, though racked with thought
Than he who, in yon châlet born,
Gives not the riddle, Life, a thought,
But lays him down and sleeps till morn.
435
Sometimes he kneels; I cannot kneel,
So suffer from a wider curse
Than Eden's outcasts, for I feel
An exile in the universe.
The rudeness of his birth enures
His limbs to every season's stings,
And, never probing, so endures
The sadness at the heart of things.
When lauwine growls, and thunder swells,
Their far-off clamour sounds to me
But as the noise of clanging bells
Above a silent sanctuary.
It is their silence that appals,
Their aspect motionless that awes,
When searching spirit vainly calls
On the effect to bare the Cause.
I get no answer, near or far;
The mountains, though they soar so high,
And scale the pathless ether, are
No nearer unto God than I.
There dwells nor mystery nor veil
Round the clear peaks no foot hath trod;
I, gazing on their frontage pale,
See but the waning ghost of God.
Is Faith then but a drug for sleep,
And Hope a fondly soothing friend
That bids us, when it sees us weep,
Wait for the End that hath no end?
Then do I hear voice unforgot
Wailing across the distance dim,
``Think, dear! If God existeth not,
Why are you always seeking Him?''
XXIII
436
Like glowing furnace of the forge,
How the winds rise and roar, as they
Up twisting valley, craggy gorge,
Seek, and still seek, to storm their way;
Then, baffled, up the open slope
With quickening pulses scale and pant,
Indomitably bent to cope
With bristling fronts of adamant.
All through the day resounds the strife,
Then doth at sunset hour subside:
So the fierce passions of our life
Slowly expire at eventide.
By Nature we are ne'er misled;
We see most truly when we dream.
A singer wise was he who said,
``Follow the gleam! Follow the gleam!''
XXIV
I dreamed, last night, again I stood,
Silent, without the village shrine,
While She in modest maidenhood
Left, fondly clasped, her hand in mine.
And, with a face as cerecloth white,
And tears like those that by the bier
Of loved one lost make dim the sight,
She poured her sorrows in mine ear.
``I love your voice, I love your gaze,
But there is something dearer still,
The faith that kneels, the hope that prays,
And bows before the Heavenly Will.
``Not where hills rise, or torrents roll,
Seek Him, nor yet alone, apart;
He dwells within the troubled soul,
His home is in the human heart.
437
``Withal, the peaceful mountains may
'Twixt doubt and yearning end the strife:
So ponder, though you cannot pray,
And think some meaning into life:
``Nor like to those that cross the main
To wander witless through strange land,
Hearing unmastered tongues, disdain
The speech they do not understand.
``Firm stands my faith that they who sound
The depths of doubt Faith yet will save:
They are like children playing round
A still remembered mother's grave;
``Not knowing, when they wax more old,
And somewhat can her vision share,
She will the winding-sheet unfold,
And beckon them to evening prayer.''
Then, with my hand betwixt her hands,
She laid her lips upon my brow,
And, as to one who understands,
Said, ``Take once more my vestal vow.
``No other gaze makes mine to glow,
No other footstep stirs my heart,
To me you only dearer grow,
Dearer and nearer, more apart.
``Whene'er you come with humble mind,
The little Door stands open wide,
And, bending low, you still will find
Me waiting on the other side.''
Her silence woke me. . . . To your breast
Fold me, O sleep! and seal mine ears;
That She may roam through my unrest
Till all my dreams are drenched with tears!
XXV
438
Why linger longer, subject, here,
Where Nature sits and reigns alone,
Inspiring love not, only fear,
Upon her autocratic throne?
Her edicts are the rigid snow,
The wayward winds, the swaying branch;
She hath no pity to bestow,
Her law the lawless avalanche.
Though soon cascades will bound and sing,
That now but drip with tears of ice,
And upland meadows touched by Spring
Blue gentian blend with edelweiss,
Hence to the Land of youthful dreams,
The Land that taught me all I know.
Farewell, lone mountain-peaks and streams;
Yet take my thanks before I go.
You gave me shelter when I fled,
But sternly bade me stem my tears,
Nor aimless roam with rustling tread
'Mong fallen leaves of fruitless years.
ITALY
XXVI
Upon the topmost wheel-track steep,
The parting of two nations' ways,
Athwart stone cross engraven deep,
The name ``Italia'' greets the gaze!
I trembled, when I saw it first,
With joy, my boyish longings fed,
The headspring of my constant thirst,
The altar of my pilgrim tread.
Now once again the magic word,
So faintly borne to Northern home,
Sounds like a silvery trumpet heard
439
Beneath some universal dome.
The forests soften to a smile,
A smile the very mountains wear,
Through mossy gorge and grassed defile
Torrents race glad and debonair.
From casement, balcony and door,
Hang golden gourds, droops tear-tipped vine,
And sun-bronzed faces bask before
Thin straw-swathed flasks of last year's wine.
Unyoked, the patient sleek-skinned steers
Take, like their lords, no heed of time.
Hark! now the evening star appears,
Ave Maria belfries chime.
The maidens knit, and glance, and sing,
With glowing gaze 'neath ebon tress,
And, like to copse-buds sunned by Spring,
Seem burgeoning into tenderness.
On waveless lake where willows weep,
The Borromean Islands rest
As motionless as babe asleep
Upon a slumbering Mother's breast.
O Land of sunshine, song, and Love!
Whether thy children reap or sow,
Of Love they chant on hills above,
Of Love they sing in vale below.
But what avail the love-linked hands,
And love-lit eyes, to them that roam
Passionless through impassioned lands,
Since they have left their heart at home!
XXVII
Among my dreams, now known as dreams
In this my reawakened life,
I thought that by historic streams,
440
Apart from stress, aloof from strife,
By rugged paths that twist and twine
Through olive slope and chesnut wood
Upward to mediaeval shrine,
Or high conventual brotherhood,
Along the mountain-curtained track
Round peaceful lake where wintry bands
Halt briefly but to bivouac
Ere blustering on to Northern lands;Through these, through all I first did see,
With me to share my raptures none,
That nuptialled Monica would be
My novice and companion:
That we should float from mere to mere,
And sleep within some windless cove,
With nightingales to lull the ear,
From ilex wood and orange grove;
Linger at hamlets lost to fame,
That still wise-wandering feet beguile,
To gaze on frescoed wall or frame
Lit by Luini's gracious smile.
Now, but companioned by my pain,
Among each well-remembered scene
I can but let my Fancy feign
The happiness that might have been;
Imagine that I hear her voice,
Imagine that I feel her hand,
And I, enamoured guide, rejoice
To see her swift to understand.
Alack! Imagination might
As lief with rustic Virgil roam,
Reverent, or, welcomed guest, alight
At Pliny's philosophic home;
441
Hear one majestically trace
Rome's world-wide sway from wattled wall,
And read upon the other's face
The omens of an Empire's fall.
XXVIII
Like moonlight seen through forest leaves,
She shines upon me from afar,
What time men reap the ripened sheaves,
And Heaven rains many a falling star.
I gaze up to her lofty height,
And feel how far we dwell apart:
O if I could, this night, this night,
Fold her full radiance to my heart!
But She in Heaven, and I on earth,
Still journey on, but each alone;
She, maiden Queen of sacred birth,
Who with no consort shares her throne.
XXIX
What if She ever thought She saw
The self within myself prefer
Communion with the silent awe
Of far-off mountains more than Her;
That Nature hath the mobile grace
To make life with our moods agree,
And so had grown the Loved One's face,
Since it nor checked nor chided me;
Or from the tasks that irk and tire
I sought for comfort from the Muse,
Because it grants the mind's desire
All that familiar things refuse.
How vain such thought! The face, the form,
Of mountain summits but express,
Clouded or clear, in sun or storm,
442
Feebly Her spirit's loftiness.
Did I explore from pole to pole,
In Nature's aspect I should find
But faint reflections of Her soul,
Dim adumbrations of Her mind.
O come and test with lake, with stream,
With mountain, which the stronger be,
Thou, my divinest dearest dream,
My Muse, and more than Muse, to me!
XXX
They tell me that Jehovah speaks
In silent grove, on lonely strand,
And summit of the mountain peaks;
Yet there I do not understand.
The stars, disdainful of my thought,
Majestic march toward their goal,
And to my nightly watch have brought
No explanation to my soul.
The truth I seek I cannot find,
In air or sky, on land or sea;
If the hills have their secret mind,
They will not yield it up to me:
Like one who lost mid lonely hills
Still seeks but cannot find his way,
Since guide is none save winding rills,
That seem themselves, too, gone astray.
And so from rise to set of sun,
At glimmering dawn, in twilight haze,
I but behold the face of One
Who veils her face, and weeps, and prays.
What know I that She doth not know?
What I know not, She understands:
With heavenly gifts She overflows,
443
While I have only empty hands.
O weary wanderer! Best forego
This questioning of wind and wave.
For you the sunshine and the snow,
The womb, the cradle, and the grave.
XXXI
How blest, when organ concords swell,
And anthems are intoned, are they
Who neither reason nor rebel,
But meekly bow their heads and pray.
And such the peasants mountain-bred,
Who hail to-day with blithe accord
Her Feast Who to the Angel said,
``Behold the Handmaid of the Lord!''
Downward they wind from pastoral height,
Or hamlet grouped round shattered towers,
To wend to shrine more richly dight,
And bring their gift of wilding flowers;
Their gifts, their griefs, their daily needs,
And lay these at Her statue's base,
Who never, deem they, intercedes
Vainly before the Throne of Grace.
Shall I, because I stand apart,
A stranger to their pious vows,
Scorn their humility of heart
That pleads before the Virgin Spouse,
Confiding that the Son will ne'er,
If in His justice wroth with them,
Refuse to harken to Her prayer
Who suckled Him in Bethlehem?
Of all the intercessors born
By man's celestial fancy, none
444
Hath helped the sorrowing, the forlorn,
Lowly and lone, as She hath done.
The maiden faithful to Her shrine
Bids demons of temptation flee,
And mothers fruitful as the vine
Retain their vestal purity.
Too trustful love, by lust betrayed,
And by cold worldlings unforgiven,
Unto Her having wept and prayed,
Faces its fate, consoled and shriven.
The restless, fiercely probing mind
No honey gleans, though still it stings.
What comfort doth the spirit find
In Reason's endless reasonings?
They have no solace for my grief,
Compassion none for all my pain:
They toss me like the fluttering leaf,
And leave me to the wind and rain.
XXXII
If Conscience be God's Law to Man,
Then Conscience must perforce arraign
Whatever falls beneath the ban
Of that allotted Suzerain.
And He, who bids us not to swerve,
Whither the wayward passions draw,
From its stern sanctions, must observe
The limits of the self-same Law.
Yet, if obedient Conscience scan
The sum of wrongs endured and done
Neither by act nor fault of Man,
They rouse it to rebellion.
Life seems of life by life bereft
445
Through some immitigable curse,
And Man sole moral being left
In a non-moral Universe.
My Conscience would my Will withstand,
Did Will project a world like this:
Better Eternal vacuum still,
Than murder, lust, and heartlessness!
If Man makes Conscience, then being good
Is only being worldly wise,
And universal brotherhood
A comfortable compromise.
O smoke of War! O blood-steeped sod!
O groans of fratricidal strife!
Who will explain the ways of God,
That I may be at peace with life!
The moral riddle 'tis that haunts,
Primeval and unending curse,
Racking the mind when pulpit vaunts
A Heaven-created Universe.
Yet whence came Life, and how begin?
Rolleth the globe by choice or chance?
Dear Lord! Why longer shut me in
This prison-house of ignorance!
FLORENCE
XXXIII
City acclaimed ere Dante's days
Fair, and baptized in field of flowers,
Once more I scan with tender gaze
Your glistening domes, your storied towers.
I feel as if long years had flown
Since first with eager heart I came,
446
And, girdled by your mountain zone,
Found you yet fairer than your fame.
It was the season purple-sweet
When figs are plump, and grapes are pressed,
And all your sons with following feet
Bore a dead Poet to final rest.
You seemed to fling your gates ajar,
And softly lead me by the hand,
Saying, ``Behold! henceforth you are
No stranger in the Tuscan land.''
And though no love my love can wean
From native crag and cradling sea,
Yet Florence from that hour hath been
More than a foster-nurse to me.
When mount I terraced slopes arrayed
In bridal bloom of peach and pear,
While under olive's phantom shade
Lupine and beanflower scent the air,
The wild-bees hum round golden bay,
The green frog sings on fig-tree bole,
And, see! down daisy-whitened way
Come the slow steers and swaying pole.
The fresh-pruned vine-stems, curving, bend
Over the peaceful wheaten spears,
And with the glittering sunshine blend
Their transitory April tears.
O'er wall and trellis trailed and wound,
Hang roses blushing, roses pale;
And, hark! what was that silvery sound?
The first note of the nightingale.
Curtained, I close my lids and dream
Of Beauty seen not but surmised,
And, lulled by scent and song, I seem
Immortally imparadised.
447
When from the deep sweet swoon I wake
And gaze past slopes of grape and grain,
Where Arno, like some lonely lake,
Silvers the far-off seaward plain,
I see celestial sunset fires
That lift us from this earthly leaven,
And darkly silent cypress spires
Pointing the way from hill to Heaven.
Then something more than mortal steals
Over the wavering twilight air,
And, messenger of nightfall, peals
From each crowned peak a call to prayer.
And now the last meek prayer is said,
And, in the hallowed hush, there is
Only a starry dome o'erhead,
Propped by columnar cypresses.
XXXIV
Re-roaming through this palaced town,
I suddenly, 'neath grim-barred pile,
Catch sight of Dante's awful frown,
Or Leonardo's mystic smile;
Then, swayed by memory's fancy, stroll
To where from May-day's flaming pyre
Savonarola's austere soul
Went up to Heaven in tongues of fire;
Or Buonarroti's plastic hand
Made marble block from Massa's steep
Dawn into Day at his command,
Then plunged it into Night and Sleep.
No later wanderings can dispel
The glamour of the bygone years;
And, through the streets I know so well,
448
I scarce can see my way for tears.
XXXV
A sombre shadow seems to fall
On comely altar, transept fair;
The saints are still on frescoed wall,
But who comes thither now for prayer?
Men throng from far-off stranger land,
To stare, to wonder, not to kneel,
With map and guide-book in their hand
To tell them what to think and feel.
They scan, they prate, they marvel why
The figures still expressive glow,
Oblivious they were painted by
Adoring Frà Angelico.
Did Dante from his tomb afar
Return, his wrongs redressed at last,
And see you, Florence, as you are,
Half alien to your gracious Past,
Finding no Donatello now,
No reverent Giotto 'mong the quick,
To glorify ascetic vow
Of Francis or of Dominic;
Self-exiled by yet sterner fate
Than erst, he would from wandering cease,
And, ringing at monastic gate,
Plead, ``I am one who craves for peace.''
And what he sought but ne'er could find,
Shall I, less worthy, hope to gain,
The freedom of the tranquil mind,
The lordship over loss and pain?
More than such peace I found when I
Did first, in unbound youth, repair
449
To Tuscan shrine, Ausonian sky.
I found it, for I brought it there.
XXXVI
Yet Art brings peace, itself is Peace,
And, as I on these frescoes gaze,
I feel all fretful tumults cease
And harvest calm of mellower days.
For Soul too hath its seasons. Time,
That leads Spring, Summer, Autumn, round,
Makes our ephemeral passions chime
With something permanent and profound.
And, as in Nature, April oft
Strives to revert to wintry hours,
But shortly upon garth and croft
Re-sheds warm smiles and moistening showers,
Or, for one day, will Autumn wear
The gayer garments of the Spring,
And then athwart the wheatfields bare
Again her graver shadows fling;
So, though the Soul hath moods that veer,
And seem to hold no Rule in awe,
Like the procession of the year,
It too obeys the sovran Law.
Nor Art itself brings settled peace,
Until the mind is schooled to know
That gusts subside and tumults cease
Only in sunset's afterglow.
Life's contradictions vanish then,
Husht thought replacing clashing talk
Among the windy ways of men.
'Tis in the twilight Angels walk.
450
ROME
XXXVII
The last warm gleams of sunset fade
From cypress spire and stonepine dome,
And, in the twilight's deepening shade,
Lingering, I scan the wrecks of Rome.
Husht the Madonna's Evening Bell;
The steers lie loosed from wain and plough;
The vagrant monk is in his cell,
The meek nun-novice cloistered now.
Pedant's presumptuous voice no more
Vexes the spot where Caesar trod,
And o'er the pavement's soundless floor
Come banished priest and exiled God.
The lank-ribbed she-wolf, couched among
The regal hillside's tangled scrubs,
With doting gaze and fondling tongue
Suckles the Vestal's twin-born cubs.
Yet once again Evander leads
Æneas to his wattled home,
And, throned on Tiber's fresh-cut reeds,
Talks of burnt Troy and rising Rome.
From out the tawny dusk one hears
The half-feigned scream of Sabine maids,
The rush to arms, then swift the tears
That separate the clashing blades.
The Lictors with their fasces throng
To quell the Commons' rising roar,
As Tullia's chariot flames along,
Splashed with her murdered father's gore.
Her tresses free from band or comb,
Love-dimpled Venus, lithe and tall,
451
And fresh as Fiumicino's foam,
Mounts her pentelic pedestal.
With languid lids, and lips apart,
And curving limbs like wave half-furled,
Unarmed she dominates the heart,
And without sceptre sways the world.
Nerved by her smile, avenging Mars
Stalks through the Forum's fallen fanes,
Or, changed of mien and healed of scars,
Threads sylvan slopes and vineyard plains.
With waves of song from wakening lyre
Apollo routs the wavering night,
While, parsley-crowned, the white-robed choir
Wind chanting up the Sacred Height,
Where Jove, with thunder-garlands wreathed,
And crisp locks frayed like fretted foam,
Sits with his lightnings half unsheathed,
And frowns against the foes of Rome.
You cannot kill the Gods. They still
Reclaim the thrones where once they reigned,
Rehaunt the grove, remount the rill,
And renovate their rites profaned.
Diana's hounds still lead the chase,
Still Neptune's Trident crests the sea,
And still man's spirit soars through space
On feathered heels of Mercury.
No flood can quench the Vestals' Fire;
The Flamen's robes are still as white
As ere the Salii's armoured choir
Were drowned by droning anchorite.
The saint may seize the siren's seat,
The shaveling frown where frisked the Faun;
Ne'er will, though all beside should fleet,
The Olympian Presence be withdrawn.
452
Here, even in the noontide glare,
The Gods, recumbent, take their ease;
Go look, and you will find them there,
Slumbering behind some fallen frieze.
But most, when sunset glow hath paled,
And come, as now, the twilight hour,
In vesper vagueness dimly veiled
I feel their presence and their power.
What though their temples strew the ground,
And to the ruin owls repair,
Their home, their haunt, is all around;
They drive the cloud, they ride the air.
And, when the planets wend their way
Along the never-ageing skies,
``Revere the Gods'' I hear them say;
``The Gods are old, the Gods are wise.''
Build as man may, Time gnaws and peers
Through marble fissures, granite rents;
Only Imagination rears
Imperishable monuments.
Let Gaul and Goth pollute the shrine,
Level the altar, fire the fane:
There is no razing the Divine;
The Gods return, the Gods remain.
XXXVIII
Christ is arisen. The place wherein
They laid Him shows but cerements furled,
And belfry answers belfry's din
To ring the tidings round the world.
Grave Hierarchs come, an endless band,
In jewelled mitre, cope embossed,
Who bear Rome's will to every land
453
In all the tongues of Pentecost.
Majestic, along marble floor,
Walk Cardinals in blood-red robe,
Martyrs for Faith and Christ no more,
Who gaze as though they ruled the globe.
With halberds bare and doublets slashed,
Emblems that war will never cease,
Come martial guardians, unabashed,
And march afront the Prince of Peace.
Then, in his gestatorial Chair
See Christ's vicegerent, bland, benign,
To crowds all prostrate as in prayer
Lean low, and make the Holy Sign.
Then trumpets shrill, and organ peals,
Throughout the mighty marble pile,
Whileas a myriad concourse kneels
In dense-packed nave and crowded aisle.
Hark to the sudden hush! Aloft
From unseen source in empty dome
Swells prayerful music silvery-soft,
Borne from far-off celestial Home.
Then, when the solemn rite is done,
The worshippers stream out to where
Dance fountains glittering in the sun,
While expectation fills the air.
Now on high balcony He stands,
And-save for the Colonna curse,Blesses with high-uplifted hands
The City and the Universe.
Christ is arisen! But scarce as when,
On the third day of death and gloom,
Came ever-loving Magdalen
With tears and spices to His tomb.
454
XXXIX
The Tiber winds its sluggish way
Through niggard tracts whence Rome's command
Once cast the shadow of her sway,
O'er Asian city, Afric sand.
Nor even yet doth She resign
Her sceptre. Still the spell is hers,
Though she may seem a rifled shrine
'Mid circumjacent sepulchres.
One after one, they came, they come,
Gaul, Goth, Savoy, to work their will;
She answers, when She most seems dumb,
``I wore the Crown, I wear it still.
``From Jove I first received the gift,
I from Jehovah wear it now,
Nor shall profane invader lift
The diadem from off my brow.
``The Past is mine, and on the Past
The Future builds; and Time will rear
The next strong structure on the last,
Where men behold but shattered tier.
``The Teuton hither hies to teach,
To prove, disprove, to delve and probe.
Fool! Pedant! Does he think to reach
The deep foundations of the globe?''
For me, I am content to tread
On Sabine dust and Gothic foe.
Leave me to deepening silent dread
Of vanished Empire's afterglow.
In this Imperial wilderness
Why rashly babble and explore?
O, let me know a little less,
So I may feel a little more!
455
XL
For upward of one thousand years,
Here men and women prayed to Jove,
With smiles and incense, gifts and tears,
In secret shrine, or civic grove;
And, when Jove did not seem to heed,
Sought Juno's mediatorial power,
Or begged fair Venus intercede
And melt him in his amorous hour.
Sages invoked Minerva's might;
The Poet, ere he struck the lyre,
Prayed to the God of Song and Light
To touch the strings with hallowed fire.
With flaming herbs were altars smoked
Sprinkled with blood and perfumed must,
And gods and goddesses invoked
To second love or sanction lust.
And did they hear and heed the prayer,
Or, through that long Olympian reign,
Were they divinities of air
Begot of man's fantastic brain?
In Roman halls their statues still
Serenely stand, but no one now
Ascends the Capitolian Hill,
To render thanks, or urge the vow.
Through now long centuries hath Rome
Throned other God, preached other Creed,
That here still have their central home,
And feed man's hope, content his need.
Against these, too, will Time prevail?
No! Let whatever gestates, be,
Secure will last the tender tale
456
From Bethlehem to Calvary.
Throughout this world of pain and loss,
Man ne'er will cease to bend his knee
To Crown of Thorns, to Spear, to Cross,
And Doorway of Humility.
XLI
If Reason be the sole safe guide
In man implanted from above,
Why crave we for one only face,
Why consecrate the name of Love?
Faces there are no whit less fair,
Yet ruddier lip, more radiant eye,
Same rippling smile, same auburn hair,
But not for us. Say, Reason, why.
Why bound our hearts when April pied
Comes singing, or when hawthorn blows?
Doth logic in the lily hide,
And where's the reason in the rose?
Why weld our keels and launch our ships,
If Reason urge some wiser part,
Kiss England's Flag with dying lips
And fold its glories to the heart?
In this gross world we touch and see,
If Reason be no trusty guide,
For world unseen why should it be
The sole explorer justified?
The homing swallow knows its nest,
Sure curves the comet to its goal,
Instinct leads Autumn to its rest,
And why not Faith the homing soul?
Is Reason so aloof, aloft,
It doth not 'gainst itself rebel,
457
And are not Reason's reasonings oft
By Reason proved unreasonable?
He is perplexed no more, who prays,
``Hail, Mary Mother, full of grace!''
O drag me from Doubt's endless maze,
And let me see my Loved One's face!
XLII
``Upon this rock!'' Yet even here
Where Christian God ousts Pagan wraith,
Rebellious Reason whets its spear,
And smites upon the shield of Faith.
On sacred mount, down seven-hilled slopes,
Fearless it faces foe and friend,
Saying to man's immortal hopes,
``Whatso began, perforce must end.''
Not men alone, but gods too, die;
Fanes are, like hearths, left bare and lone;
This earth will into fragments fly,
And Heaven itself be overthrown.
Why then should Man immortal be?
He is but fleeting form, to fade,
Like momentary cloud, or sea
Of waves dispersed as soon as made.
Yet if 'tis Force, not Form, survives,
Meseems therein that one may find
Some comfort for distressful lives;
For, if Force ends not, why should Mind?
Is Doubt more forceful than Belief?
The doctor's cap than friar's cowl?
O ripeness of the falling leaf!
O wisdom of the moping owl!
Man's Mind will ever stand apart
458
From Science, save this have for goal
The evolution of the heart,
And sure survival of the Soul.
XLIII
The Umbilicum lonely stands
Where once rose porch and vanished dome;
But he discerns who understands
That every road may lead to Rome.
Enthroned in Peter's peaceful Chair,
The spiritual Caesar sways
A wider Realm of earth and air
Than trembled at Octavian's gaze.
His universal arms embrace
The saint, the sinner, and the sage,
And proffer refuge, comfort, grace
To tribulation's pilgrimage.
Here scientific searchers find
Precursors for two thousand years,
Who in a drouthy world divined
Fresh springs for human doubts and fears.
Here fair chaste Agnes veils her face
From prowlers of the sensual den,
And pity, pardon, and embrace
Await repentant Magdalen.
Princess and peasant-mother wend
To self-same altar, self-same shrine,
And Cardinal and Patriarch bend
Where lepers kneel, and beggars whine.
And is there then, in my distress,
No road, no gate, no shrine, for me?
The answer comes, ``Yes, surely, yes!
The Doorway of Humility.''
459
O rival Faiths! O clamorous Creeds!
Would you but hush your strife in prayer,
And raise one Temple for our needs,
Then, then, we all might worship there.
But dogma new with dogma old
Clashes to soothe the spirit's grief,
And offer to the unconsoled
Polyglot Babel of Belief!
XLIV
The billows roll, and rise, and break,
Around me; fixedly shine the stars
In clear dome overhead, and take
Their course, unheeding earthly jars.
Yet if one's upward gaze could be
But stationed where the planets are,
The star were restless as the sea,
The sea be tranquil as the star.
Hollowed like cradle, then like grave,
Now smoothly curved, now shapeless spray,
Withal the undirected wave
Forms, and reforms, and knows its way.
Then, waters, bear me on where He,
Ere death absolved at Christian font,
Removed Rome's menaced majesty
Eastward beyond the Hellespont.
Foreseeing not what Fate concealed,
But Time's caprice would there beget,
That Cross would unto Crescent yield,
Caesar and Christ to Mahomet.
Is it then man's predestined state
To search for, ne'er to find, the Light?
Arise, my Star, illuminate
These empty spaces of the Night!
460
XLV
Last night I heard the cuckoo call
Among the moist green glades of home,
And in the Chase around the Hall
Saw the May hawthorn flower and foam.
Deep in the wood where primrose stars
Paled before bluebell's dazzling reign,
The nightingale's sad sobbing bars
Rebuked the merle's too joyful strain.
The kine streamed forth from stall and byre,
The foal frisked round its mother staid,
The meads, by sunshine warmed, took fire,
And lambs in pasture, bleating, played.
The uncurbed rivulets raced to where
The statelier river curled and wound,
And trout, of human step aware,
Shot through the wave without a sound.
Adown the village street, as clear
As in one's wakeful mid-day hours,
Beheld I Monica drawing near,
Her vestal lap one crib of flowers.
Lending no look to me, she passed
By the stone path, as oft before,
Between old mounds Spring newly grassed,
And entered through the Little Door.
Led by her feet, I hastened on,
But, ere my feverish steps could get
To the low porch, lo! Morning shone
On Moslem dome and minaret!
CONSTANTINOPLE
461
XLVI
Now Vesper brings the sunset hour,
And, where crusading Knighthood trod,
Muezzin from his minaret tower
Proclaims, ``There is no God but God!''
Male God who shares his godhead with
No Virgin Mother's sacred tear,
But finds on earth congenial kith
In wielders of the sword and spear:
Male God who on male lust bestows
The ruddy lip, the rounded limb,
And promises, at battle's close,
Houri, not saint nor seraphim.
Swift through the doubly-guarded stream,
Shoots the caïque 'neath oarsmen brisk,
While from its cushioned cradle gleam
The eyes of yashmaked odalisque.
Unchanged adown the changing years,
Here where the Judas blossoms blaze,
Against Sophia's marble piers
The scowling Muslim lean and gaze;
And still at sunset's solemn hour,
Where Christ's devout Crusader trod,
Defiant from the minaret's tower
Proclaim, ``There is no God but God!''
XLVII
Three rival Rituals. One revered
In that loved English hamlet where,
With flowers in Vicarage garden reared,
She decks the altar set for prayer:
Another, where majestic Rome,
With fearless Faith and flag unfurled
462
'Gainst Doubt's ephemeral wave and foam,
Demands obedience from the world.
The third, where now I stand, and where
Two hoary Continents have met,
And Islam guards from taint and tare
Monistic Creed of Mahomet.
Yet older than all three, but banned
To suffer still the exile's doom
From shrine where Turkish sentries stand,
And Christians wrangle round Christ's tomb.
Where then find Creed, divine or dead,
All may embrace, and none contemn?Remember Who it was that said,
``Not here, nor at Jerusalem!''
ATHENS
XLVIII
To Acrocorinth's brow I climb,
And, lulled in retrospective bliss,
Descry, as through the mists of time,
Faintly the far Acropolis.
Below me, rivers, mountains, vales,
Wide stretch of ancient Hellas lies:
Symbol of Song that never fails,
Parnassus communes with the skies.
I linger, dream-bound by the Past,
Till sundown joins time's deep abyss,
Then skirt, through shadows moonlight-cast,
Lone strand of sailless Salamis,
Until Eleusis gleams through dawn,
Where, though a suppliant soul I come,
The veil remains still unwithdrawn,
463
And all the Oracles are dumb.
So onward to the clear white Light,
Where, though the worshippers be gone,
Abides on unmysterious height
The calm unquestioning Parthenon.
Find I, now there I stand at last,
That naked Beauty, undraped Truth,
Can satisfy our yearnings vast,
The doubts of age, the dreams of youth;
That, while we ask, in futile strife,
From altar, tripod, fount, or well,
Form is the secret soul of life,
And Art the only Oracle;
That Hera and Athena, linked
With Aphrodite, hush distress,
And, in their several gifts distinct,
Withal are Triune Goddesses?
That mortal wiser then was He
Who gave the prize to Beauty's smile,
Divides his gifts among the Three,
And thuswise baffles Discord's guile?
But who is wise? The nobler twain,
Who the restraining girdle wear,
Contend too often all in vain
With sinuous curve and frolic hair.
Just as one sees in marble, still,
Pan o'er Apollo's shoulder lean,
Suggesting to the poet's quill
The sensual note, the hint obscene.
Doth then the pure white Light grow dim,
And must it be for ever thus?
Listen! I hear a far-off Hymn,
Veni, Creator, Spiritus!
464
XLIX
The harvest of Hymettus drips
As sweet as when the Attic bees
Swarmed round the honey-laden lips
Of heavenly-human Sophocles.
The olives are as green in grove
As in the days the poets bless,
When Pallas with Poseidon strove
To be the City's Patroness.
The wine-hued main, white marble frieze,
Dome of blue ether over all,
One still beholds, but nowhere sees
Panathenaic Festival.
O'erhead, no Zeus or frowns or nods,
Olympus none in air or skies;
Below, a sepulchre of Gods,
And tombs of dead Divinities.
Yet, are they dead? Still stricken blind,
Tiresiaslike, are they that see,
With bold uncompromising mind,
Wisdom in utter nudity;
Experiencing a kindred fate
With the First Parents of us all,
Jehovah thrust through Eden's Gate,
When Knowledge brought about their Fall.
Hath Aphrodite into foam,
Whence She first flowered, sunk back once more,
And doth She nowhere find a home,
Or worship, upon Christian shore?
Her shrine is in the human breast,
To find her none need soar or dive.
Goodness or Loveliness our quest,
The ever-helpful Gods survive.
465
Hellas retorts, when Hebrew gibes
At Gods of levity and lust,
``God of Judaea's wandering tribes
Was jealous, cruel, and unjust.''
Godhead, withal, remains the same,
And Art embalms its symbols still;
As Poets, when athirst for Fame,
Still dream of Aganippe's rill.
Why still pursue a bootless quest,
And wander heartsore farther East,
Because unanswered, south or west,
By Pagan seer or Christian priest?
Brahma and Buddha, what have they
To offer to my shoreless search?
``Let Contemplation be,'' they say,
``Your ritual, Nothingness your Church.
``Passion and purpose both forsake,
Echoes from non-existent wall;
We do but dream we are awake,
Ourselves the deepest dream of all.
``We dream we think, feel, touch, and see,
And what these are, still dreaming, guess,
Though there is no Reality
Behind their fleeting semblances.''
Thus the East answers my appeal,
Denies, and so illudes, my want.
Alas! Could I but cease to feel,
Brahma should be my Hierophant.
But, hampered by my Western mind,
I cannot set the Spirit free
From Matter, but Illusion find,
466
Of all, the most illusory.
DELPHI
LI
The morning mists that hid the bay
And curtained mountains fast asleep,
Begin to feel the touch of day,
And roll from off both wave and steep.
In floating folds they curve and rise,
Then slowly melt and merge in air,
Till high above me glow the skies,
And cloudless sunshine everywhere.
Parnassus wears nor veil nor frown,
Windless the eagle wings his way,
As I from Delphi gaze adown
On Salona and Amphissa.
It was the sovran Sun that drew
Aloft and scattered morning haze,
And now fills all the spacious blue
With its own glorifying rays.
And, no less sovran than the sun,
Imagination brings relief
Of morning light to shadows dun,
To heart's distress, and spirit's grief.
Parnassus boasts no loftier peak
Than Poet's heavenward song; which, though
Harbouring among the sad and weak,
Lifteth aloft man's griefs below.
Though sun-bronzed Phocian maidens lave
Their kerchiefs in Castalia's spring,
The Muses linger round its wave,
And aid the pilgrim sent to sing.
467
And, listening there, I seem to hear
The unseen Oracle say, ``Be strong:
Subdue the sigh, repress the tear,
And let not sorrow silence Song.
``You now have learnt enough from pain;
And, if worse anguish lurk behind,
Breathe in it some unselfish strain,
And with grief's wisdom aid your kind.
``Who but of his own suffering sings,
Is like an eagle, robbed, distressed,
That vainly shrieks and beats its wings,
Because it cannot find its nest.
``Let male Imagination wed
The orphan, Sorrow, to console
Its virgin loneness, whence are bred
Serenity and self-control.
``Hence let the classic breezes blow
You to your Land beyond the sea,
That you may make, for others' woe,
Your own a healing melody;
``To wintry woe no more a slave,
But, having dried your April tears,
Behold a helpful harvest wave
From ridges of the fallow years.''
LII
Rebuked thus by the stately Past,
Whose solemn choruses endure
Through voices new and visions vast,
And centuries of sepulture,
Because, serene, it never blinked
At sheen or shadow of the sun,
But Hades and Olympus linked
468
With Salamis and Marathon;
Which held despondency at bay
And, while revering Fate's decree,
Reconciled with majestic lay
Man to the Human Tragedy;
To Gods of every land I vowed,
Judaea, Hellas, Mecca, Rome,
No more to live by sorrow bowed,
But, wending backward to my home,
Thenceforth to muse on woe more wide
Than individual distress,
The loftier Muses for my guide,
Minerva for my monitress;
Nor yet to scorn the tender aid
Of Christian martyr, virgin, sage,
And, meekly pondering in the shade,
Proffer ripe counsel to my Age.
And, haply, since 'tis Song alone
Can baffle death, and conquer time,
Maiden unborn in days unknown,
Under the leaves of fragrant lime,
Scanning the verse that here is writ,
While cherishing some secret smart
Of love or loss, may glean from it
Some comfort for her weary heart;
And, gently warned, grave minds may own
The world hath more to bear than they,
And, while I dream 'neath mossy stone,
Repeat my name, and love my lay.
LIII
Scarce to the all-indwelling Power
That vow was uttered, ere there came
469
A messenger in boyhood's flower,
Winged with his search, his face aflame.
From Amphissa he straight had clomb,
Thridding that devious mountain land,
With letter from my far-off home,
And written by my Loved One's hand.
``Come to me where I drooping lie.
None yet have died of Love, they say:
Withal, I sometimes think that I
Have prayed and sighed my life away.
``I want your absolution, dear,
For whatso wrong I may have done;
My conscience waneth less severe,
In softness of the setting sun.
``'Twas I, 'twas I, far more than you,
That stood in need, as now I see,
Stooping, to enter meekly through
The Doorway of Humility.
``In vain I turn to Throne of Grace,
Where sorrows cease, and tears are dry;
I fain once more would see your face,
And hear your voice, before I die.''
ENGLAND
LIV
The oak logs smoulder on my hearth,
Though round them hums no household talk;
The roses in the garden-garth
Hang mournfully on curving stalk.
My wolf-hound round me leaps and bays,
That wailed lost footsteps when I went:
He little knows the grief that weighs
470
On my return from banishment.
Half Autumn now, half Summer yet,
For Nature hath a human heart,
It seems as though they, having met,
To take farewell, are loth to part.
The splendour of the Year's decline
Hath not yet come. One still can see
Late honeysuckle intertwine
With Maiden's-Bower and briony.
The bracken-fronds, fast yellowing, tower
From out sere needles of the pine;
Now hawkweed blooms where foxgloves flower,
And bramble where once eglantine.
And, as I wend with hurrying feet
Across the park, along the lane
That leads unto the hamlet street,
And cradle of my bliss and bane,
In cottage plots on either side,
O'er mignonette and fragrant stock
Soar tiger-lilies lithe and tall,
And homely-sheltered hollyhock.
And when I reach the low grey wall
That skirts God's-acre on the hill,
I see, awaiting my recall,
The Little Door stand open still.
A dip, a slight descent, and then
Into the Vicarage Walk I passed;
It seemed as though the tongues of men
Had left it since I saw it last.
Round garden-plot, in westering sun,
Her agëd parents slowly stepped:
Her Mother had the face of one
Who oft hath prayed, and oft hath wept.
471
She wore the silent plaintive grace
Of Autumn just before its close,
And on her slowly fading face
The pathos of November rose.
With pitying gaze and accents kind,
``Go in,'' she said, ``and mount the stair;
And you through open door will find
That Monica awaits you there.''
LV
I mounted. At half-open door
Pausing, I softly called her name,
As one would pause and halt before
Heaven's Gateway. But no answer came.
She lies, methought, in Sleep's caress,
So, passing in, I seemed to see,
So saintly white the vision, less
A chamber than a Sanctuary.
Vestured in white, on snow-white bed,
She lay, as dreaming something sweet,
Madonna lilies at her head,
Madonna lilies at her feet.
A thought, I did not dare to speak,``Is this the sleep of life or death?''
And, with my cheek against her cheek,
Listening, I seemed to hear her breath.
'Twas Love's last blindness not to see
Her sinless soul had taken wing
Unto the Land, if such there be,
Where saints adore, and Seraphs sing.
And yet I felt within my heart,
Though lids were closed and lips were dumb,
That, for Love's sake, her soul in part
Had lingered here, till I should come.
472
I kissed her irresponsive hand,
I laid my lips on her cold brow,
That She, like me, should understand
'Twas thus I sealed our nuptial vow.
And then I saw upon her breast
A something writ, she fain had said
Had I been near, to me addressed,
Which, kneeling down, I took and read.
LVI
``I prayed I might prolong my years
Till you could come and hush my sighs,
And dry my penitential tears;
But Heaven hath willed it otherwise:
``That I may expiate the wrong
By me inflicted on us both,
When, yet Love's novice, feebly strong,
I sinned against Love's sovran troth.
``Now Death, the mirror unto Life,
Shows me that nought should keep apart
Those who, though sore perplexed by strife
'Twixt Faith and Doubt, are one in heart.
``For Doubt is one with Faith when they,
Who doubt, for Truth's sake suffering live;
And Faith meanwhile should hope and pray,
Withholding not what Love can give.
``We lead the blind by voice and hand,
And not by light they cannot see;
We are not framed to understand
The How and Why of such as He,
``But natured only to rejoice
At every sound or sign of hope,
And, guided by the still small voice,
473
In patience through the darkness grope;
``Until our finer sense expands,
And we exchange for holier sight
The earthly help of voice and hands,
And in His light behold the Light.
``Had my poor Love but been more wise,
I should have ta'en you to my breast,
Striving to hush your plaintive cries,
And rock your Reason back to rest.
``But, though alone you now must tread
Where we together should have trod,
In loneliness you may be led,
Through faith in me, to Faith in God.
``With tranquil purpose, fervent mind,
Foster, while you abide on earth,
And humbly proffer to your kind,
The gift assigned to you at birth.
``As in the far-off boyish year
When did your singing voice awake,
Disinterestedly revere
And love it for its own great sake.
``And when life takes autumnal hues,
With fervent reminiscence woo
All the affections of the Muse,
And write the poem lived by you.
``And should, until your days shall end,
You still the lyric voice retain,
With its seductive music blend
A graver note, a loftier strain.
``While buoyant youth and manhood strong
Follow where Siren sounds entice,
The Deities of Love and Song,
Rapture and loveliness, suffice.
474
``But when decay, and pain, and loss,
Remind one of the Goal forgot,
And we in turn must bear the Cross,
The Pagan Gods can help us not.
``Nor need you then seek, far and near,
More sumptuous shrines on alien strand,
But with domestic mind revere
The Ritual of your native Land.
``The Little Door stands open wide,
And, if you meekly pass therethrough,
Though I no longer kneel inside,
I shall be hovering near to you.
``Farewell! till you shall learn the whole
Of what we here but see in part.
Now I to God commend my soul,
And unto you I leave my heart.''
LVII
I wended up the slope once more
To where the Church stands lone and still,
And passed beneath the Little Door,
My will the subject of Her will.
The sunset rays through pictured pane
Fell, fretted into weft and woof,
On transept, nave, and aisle, to wane
On column cold and vaulted roof.
Within the carven altar screen
Were lilies tall, and white, and fair,
So like to those I late had seen,
It seemed She must be sleeping there.
Mutely I knelt, with bended brow
And shaded eyes, but heart intent,
To learn, should any teach me now,
What Life, and Love, and Sorrow meant.
475
And there remained until the shroud
Of dusk foretold the coming night;
And then I rose, and prayed aloud,
``Let there be Light! Let there be Light!''
~ Alfred Austin

--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



0

   8 Integral Yoga
   2 Yoga
   1 Philosophy
   1 Christianity


   8 Sri Ramakrishna
   7 Sri Aurobindo
   5 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   4 Satprem
   3 The Mother
   2 Swami Vivekananda


   11 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
   2 The Life Divine
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01
   2 Bhakti-Yoga


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