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object:Liber 913 - Who Am I
  LIBER Taw-Yod-Shin-Aleph-Resh-Bet (Th IShARB)
                VIAE MEMORIAE
               sub figura CMXIII
                A.. A..
             Publication in Class B.
                 Imprimatur:
              N. Fra A.. A..
000. May be.
[00. It has not been possible to construct this book on a basis of pure
Scepticism. This matters less, as the practice leads to Scepticism, and
it may be through it.]
0. This book is not intended to lead to the supreme attainment. On the
contrary, its results define the separate being of the Exempt Adept
from the rest of the Universe, and discover his relation to that
Universe.
  1. It is of such importance to the Exempt Adept that We cannot
   overrate it. Let him in no wise adventure the plunge into the Abyss
   until he have accomplished this to his most perfectest
   satisfaction.
  2. For in the Abyss no effort is anywise possible. The Abyss is passed
   by virtue of the mass of the Adept and his Karma. Two forces impel
   him: (1) the attraction of Binah, (2) the impulse of his Karma; and
   the ease and even the safety of his passage depend on the strength
   and direction of the latter.
  3. Should one rashly dare the passage, and take the irrevocable Oath
   of the Abyss, he might be lost therein through AEons of
   incalculable agony; he might even be thrown back upon Chesed, with
   the terrible Karma of failure added to his original imperfection.
  4. It is even said that in certain circumstances it is possible to
   fall altoge ther from the Tree of Life, and to attain the Towers of
   the Black Brothers. But We hold that this is not possible for any
   adept who has truly attained his grade, or even for any man who has
   really sought to help humanity even for a single second,<
   possession of Liber CLXXXV. will note that in every grade but one
   the aspirant is pledged to serve his inferiors in the Order.>> and
   that although his aspiration have been impure through vanity or any
   similar imperfection.
  5. Let then the Adept who finds the result of these meditations
   unsatisfactory refuse the Oath of the Abyss, and live so that his
   Karma gains strength and direction suitable to the task at some
   future period.
  6. Memory is essential to the individual consciousness; otherwise the
   mind were but a blank sheet on which shadows are cast. But we see
   that not only does the mind retain impressions, but that it is so
   constituted that its tendency is to retain some more excellently
   than others. Thus the great classical scholar, Sir Richard Jebb,
   was unable to learn even the schoolboy mathematics required for the
   preliminary examination at Cambridge University, and a special act
   of the authorities was required in order to admit him.{WEH NOTE:
   Normally this would be an exercise of Medieval privilege by a Royal
   or other nobility. Wars have been lost over such "Grace" being
   given in the qualification of officers!}
  7. The first method to be described has been detailed in Bhikkhu
   Ananda Metteya's "Training of the Mind" (EQUINOX, I. 5, pp. 28-59,
   and especially pp. 48-56). We have little to alter or to add. Its
   most important result, as regards the Oath of the Abyss, is the
   freedom from all desire or clinging to anything which it gives. Its
   second result is to aid the adept in the second method, by
   supplying him with further data for his investigation.
  8. The stimulation of memory useful in both practices is also achieved
   by simple meditation (Liber E), in a certain stage of which old
   memories arise unbidden. The adept may then practise this, stopping
   at that stage, and encouraging instead of suppressing the flashes
   of memory.
  9. Zoroaster has said, "Explore the River of the Soul, whence or in
   what order you have come; so that although you have become a
   servant to the body, you may again rise to that Order (the A..
   A..) from which you descended, joining Works (Kamma) to the Sacred
   Reason (the Tao)."
10. The Result of the Second Method is to show the Adept to what end
   his powers are destined. When he has passed the Abyss and become
   NEMO, the return of the current causes him "to appear in the Heaven
   of Jupiter as a morning star or as an evening star."[The formula of
   the Great Work "Solve et Coagula" may be thus interpreted. Solve,
   the dissolution of the Self in the Infinite; Coagula, the
   presentation of the Infinite in a concrete form to the outer. Both
   are necessary to the Task of a Master of the Temple.] In other
   words, he should discover what may be the nature of his work. Thus
   Mohammed was a Brother reflected into Netzach, Buddha a Brother
   reflected into Hod, or, as some say, Daath. The present
   manifestation of Frater P. to the outer is in Tiphereth, to the
   inner in the path of Leo.
11. First Method. Let the Exempt Adept first train himself to think
   backwards by external means, as set forth here following.
   ("a") Let him learn to write backwards, with either hand.
   ("b") Let him learn to walk backwards.
   ("c") Let him constantly watch, if convenient, cinematograph films,
   and listen to phonograph records, reversed, and let him so accustom
   himself to these that they appear natural, and appreciable as a
   whole.
   ("d") Let him practise speaking backwards; thus for "I am He" let
   him say, "Eh ma I".
   ("e") Let him learn to read backwards. In this it is difficult to
   avoid cheating one's self, as an expert reader sees a sentence at a
   glance. Let his disciple read aloud to him backwards, slowly at
   first, then more quickly.
   ("f") Of his own ingenium, let him devise other methods.
12. In this his brain will at first be overwhelmed by a sense of utter
   confusion; secondly, it will endeavour to evade the difficulty by a
   trick. The brain will pretend to be working backwards when it is
   really normal. It is difficult to describe the nature of the trick,
   but it will be quite obvious to anyone who has done practices ("a")
   and ("b") for a day or two. They become quite easy, and he will
   think that he is making progress, an illusion which close analysis
   will dispel.
13. Having begun to train his brain in this manner, and obtained some
   little success, let the Exempt Adept, seated in his Asana, think
   first of his present attitude, next of the act of being seated,
   next of his entering the room, next of his robing, et cetera,
   exactly as it happened. And let him most strenuously endeavour to
   think each act as happening backwards. It is not enough to think:
   "I am seated here, and before that I was standing, and before that
   I entered the room," etc. That series is the trick detected in the
   preliminary practices. The series must not run "ghi-def-abc" but
   "ihgfedcba": not "horse a is this" but "esroh a si siht". To obtain
   this thoroughly well, practice ("c") is very useful. The brain will
   be found to struggle constantly to right itself, soon accustoming
   itself to accept "esroh" as merely another glyph for "horse." This
   tendency must be constantly combated.
14. In the early stages of this practice the endeavour should be to
   meticulous minuteness of detail in remembering actions; for the
   brain's habit of thinking forwards will at first be insuperable.
   Thinking of large and complex actions, then, will give a series
   which we may symbolically write "opqrstu-hijklmn-abcdefg." If these
   be split into detail, we shall have
   "stu-pqr-o---mn-kl-hij---fg-cde-ab," which is much nearer to the
   ideal "utsrqponmlkjihgfedcba."

15. Capacities differ widely, but the Exempt Adept need have no reason
   to be discouraged if after a month's continuous labour he find that
   now and again for a few seconds his brain really works backwards.
16. The Exempt Adept should concentrate his efforts upon obtaining a
   perfect picture of five minutes backwards rather than upon
   extending the time covered by his meditation. For this preliminary
   training of the brain is the Pons Asinorum of the whole process.
17. This five minutes' exercise being satisfactory, the Exempt Adept
   may extend the same at his discretion to cover an hour, a day, a
   week, and so on. Difficulties vanish before him as he advances; the
   extension from a day to the course of his whole life will not prove
   so difficult as the perfecting of the five minutes.
18. This practice should be repeated at least four times daily, and
   progress is shown firstly by the ever easier running of the brain,
   secondly by the added memories which arise.
19. It is useful to reflect during this practice, which in time becomes
   almost mechanical, upon the way in which effects spring from
   causes. This aids the mind to link its memories, and prepares the
   adept for the preliminary practice of the Second Method.
20. Having allowed the mind to return for some hundred times to the
   hour of birth, it should be encouraged to endeavour to penetrate
   beyond that period. If it be properly trained to run backwards,
   there will be little difficulty in doing this, although it is one
   of the distinct steps in the practice.
21. It may be then that the memory will persuade the adept of some
   previous existence. Where this is possible, let it be checked by an
   appeal to facts, as follows:
22. It often occurs to men that on visiting a place to which they have
   never been, it appears familiar. This may arise from a confusion of
   thought or a slipping of the memory, but it is conceivably a fact.
   If, then, the adept "remember" that he was in a previous life in
   some city, say Cracow, which he has in this life never visited, let
   him describe from memory the appearance of Cracow, and of its
   inhabitants, setting down their names. Let him further enter into
   details of the city and its customs. And having done this with
   great minuteness, let him confirm the same by consultation with
   historians and geographers, or by a personal visit, remembering
   (both to the credit of his memory and its discredit) that
   historians, geographers, and himself are alike fallible. But let
   him not trust his memory to assert its conclusions as fact, and act
   thereupon, without most adequate confirmation.
23. This process of checking his memory should be practised with the
   earlier memories of childhood and youth by reference to the
   memories and records of others, always reflecting upon the
   fallibility even of such safeguards.
24. All this being perfected, so that the memory reaches back into
   aeons incalculably distant, let the Exempt Adept meditate upon the
   fruitlessness of all those years, and upon the fruit thereof,
   severing that which is transitory and worthless from that which is
   eternal. And it may be that he being but an Exempt Adept may hold
   all to be savourless and full of sorrow.
25. This being so, without reluctance will he swear the Oath of the
   Abyss.
26. Second Method. Let the Exempt Adept, fortified by the practice of
   the First Method, enter the preliminary practice of the Second
   Method.
27. Second Method. Preliminary Practices. Let him, seated in his Asana,
   consider any event, and trace it to its immediate causes. And let
   this be done very fully and minutely. Here, for example, is a body
   erect and motionless. Let the adept consider the many forces which
   maintain it; firstly, the attraction of the earth, of the sun, of
   the planets, of the farthest stars, nay, of every mote of dust in
   the room, one of which (could it be annihilated) would cause that
   body to move, although so imperceptibly. Also the resistance of the
   floor, the pressure of the air, and all other external conditions.
   Secondly, the internal forces which sustain it, the vast and
   complex machinery of the skeleton, the muscles, the blood, the
   lymph, the marrow, all that makes up a man. Thirdly the moral and
   intellectual forces involved, the mind, the will, the
   consciousness. Let him continue this with unremitting ardour,
   searching Nature, leaving nothing out.
28. Next, let him take one of the immediate causes of his position, and
   trace out its equilibrium. For example, the will. What determines
   the will to aid in holding the body erect and motionless?
29. This being discovered, let him choose one of the forces which
   determined his will, and trace out that in similar fashion; and let
   this process be continued for many days until the interdependence
   of all things is a truth assimilated in his inmost being.
30. This being accomplished, let him trace his own history with special
   reference to the causes of each event. And in this practice he may
   neglect to some extent the universal forces which at all times act
   on all, as for example the attraction of masses, and let him
   concentrate his attention upon the principal and determining or
   effective causes.
   For instance, he is seated, perhaps, in a country place in Spain.
   Why? Because Spain is warm and suitable for meditation, and because
   cities are noisy and crowded. Why is Spain warm? and why does he
   wish to meditate? Why choose warm Spain rather than warm India? To
   the last question: Because Spain is nearer to his home. Then why is
   his home near Spain? Because his parents were Germans. And why did
   they go to Germany? And so during the whole meditation.
31. On another day, let him begin with a question of another kind, and
   every day devise new questions, not only concerning his present
   situation, but also abstract questions. Thus let him connect the
   prevalence of water upon the surface of the globe with its
   necessity to such life as we know, with the specific gravity and
   other physical properties of water, and let him perceive ultimately
   through all this the necessity and concord of things, not concord
   as the schoolmen of old believed, making all things for man's
   benefit or convenience, but the essential mechanical concord whose
   final law is "inertia." And in these meditations let him avoid as
   if it were the plague any speculation sentimental or fantastic.
32. Second Method. The Practice Proper. Having then perfected in his
   mind these conceptions, let him apply them to his own career,
   forging the links of memory into the chain of necessity.
   And let this be his final question: To what purpose am I fitted? Of
   what service can my being prove to the Brothers of the A.. A.. if
   I cross the Abyss, and am admitted to the City of the Pyramids?
33. Now that he may clearly understand the nature of this question, and
   the method of solution, let him study the reasoning of the
   anatomist who reconstructs an animal from a single bone. To take a
   simple example.
34. Suppose, having lived all my life among savages, a ship is cast
   upon the shore and wrecked. Undamaged among the cargo is a
   "Victoria." What is its use? The wheels speak of roads, their
   slimness of smooth roads, the brake of hilly roads. The shafts show
   that it was meant to be drawn by an animal, their height and length
   suggest an animal of the size of a horse. That the carriage is open
   suggests a climate tolerable at any rate for part of the year. The
   height of the box suggest crowded streets, or the spirited
   character of the animal employed to draw it. The cushions indicate
   its use to convey men rather than merchandise; its hood that rain
   sometimes falls, or that the sun is at times powerful. The springs
   would imply considerable skill in metals; the varnish much
   attainment in that craft.
35. Similarly, let the adept consider of his own case. Now that he is
   on the point of plunging into the Abyss a giant Why? confronts him
   with uplifted club.
36. There is no minutest atom of his composition which can be withdrawn
   without making him some other than he is; no useless moment in his
   past. Then what is his future? The "Victoria" is not a waggon; it
   is not intended for carting hay. It is not a sulky; it is useless
   in trotting races.
37. So the adept has military genius, or much knowledge of Greek; how
   do these attainments help his purpose, or the purpose of the
   Brothers? He was put to death by Calvin, or stoned by Hezekiah; as
   a snake he was killed by a villager, or as an elephant slain in
   battle under Hamilcar. How do such memories help him? Until he have
   thoroughly mastered the reason for every incident in his past, and
   found a purpose for every item of his present equipment, [A brother
   known to me was repeatedly baffled in this meditation. But one day
   being thrown with his horse over a sheer cliff of forty feet, and
   escaping without a scratch or a bruse, he was reminded of his many
   narrow escapes from death. These proved to be the last factors in
   his problem, which, thus completed, solved itself in a moment. O.M.
   {WEH NOTE ADDENDA: Here Crowley speaks of himself, the event being
   noted in his China walk account.}] he cannot truly answer even
   those Three Question what were first put to him, even the Three
   Questions of the Ritual of the Pyramid; he is not ready to swear
   the Oath of the Abyss.
38. But being thus enlightened, let him swear the Oath of the Abyss;
   yea, let him swear the Oath of the Abyss.



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now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO


AUTH

BOOKS

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT

PRIMARY CLASS

SIMILAR TITLES
Liber 913 - Who Am I

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH


TERMS ANYWHERE



QUOTES [31 / 31 - 716 / 716]


KEYS (10k)

   22 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   2 Sri Ramakrishna
   1 Yoga Vasishta Sara
   1 Saint Gregory the Great
   1 Robert Adams
   1 Ramana
   1 The Mother
   1 Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
   1 Aleister Crowley

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   40 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   16 John Green
   14 Marianne Williamson
   9 Lewis Carroll
   8 Simone Elkeles
   8 Anonymous
   7 Eckhart Tolle
   7 Deepak Chopra
   6 Pope Francis
   6 Clarice Lispector
   6 Carl Sandburg
   5 Nicholas Sparks
   5 Haruki Murakami
   4 Soren Kierkegaard
   4 Richard Rohr
   4 Neil Gaiman
   4 Douglas Adams
   3 Ursula K Le Guin
   3 Steven Pressfield
   3 S ren Kierkegaard

1:Who Am I? ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
2:There are two ways: ask yourself 'Who am I?' or submit. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
3:The enquiry 'Who am I?' turns the mind inward and makes it calm. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
4:It is only through the enquiry 'Who am I?' that the mind subsides. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
5:The means to abide in Self is to begin inquiring inwardly, "Who am I?" ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
6:Who am I?

   The Divine under many disguises.
   ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II, "The Divine" and "Man",
7:To realize happiness, the enquiry, 'Who am I?' in quest of the Self is the best means. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
8:If you enquire 'Who am I?' the mind gets introverted and the rising thought also subsides. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
9:To enquire 'Who am I that am in bondage?' and to know one's real nature is alone Liberation. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
10:Is it not a wonder of wonders? The quest "Who am I?" is the axe with which to cut off the ego. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
11:The thought 'who am I?' will destroy all other thoughts. Then, there will arise Self-realization. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
12:By directly inquiring, "Who AM I?" ... 'I' reveals itself as the Perfect Being, the Absolute Self. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
13:Who am I — what kind of watchman am I? I do not stand on the pinnacle of achievement, I languish rather in the depths of my weakness. ~ Saint Gregory the Great,
14:Even though the mind wanders, involved in external matters, one should remember: The body is not I. Who am I? ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
15:If by the enquiry, 'Who am I?' you understand the seer, all problems about the seen will be completely solved. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
16:The great remedy for the long-lasting disease of samsara is the enquiry, 'Who am I?, to whom does this samsara belong?,' which entirely cures it. ~ Yoga Vasishta Sara,
17:So long as subtle tendencies continue to inhere in the mind, it is necessary to carry on the enquiry, 'Who am I?' ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
18:Ask: "Who am I?" until well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us. That is firmness of faith. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
19:Ask: 'Who am I?' until well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us. That is firmness of faith.
   ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
20:`Who am I to meditate on an object ?' Such a one must be told to find the Self. That is the finality. That is vichara. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
21:Even when we are blinded by the fulfillment of every worldly desire there may arise in us this question: "Who am I who enjoy all this?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
22:Even when we are blinded by the fulfillment of every worldly desire there may arise in us this question: "Who am I who enjoys all this?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
23:... happiness is daily experienced by everyone in sleep, when there is no mind. To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself. For that, Self-Enquiry, Who am I? is the chief means.
   ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
24:If you wake up in the morning and say, "Who am I? What is this universe I'm living in all about? Who wakes up? Who sleeps?" If you inquire the answer to all these questions you become free in no time. But most of you do not do this, do you? ~ Robert Adams,
25:Pursue the enquiry 'Who am I?' relentlessly. Analyse your entire personality. Try to find out where the I-thought begins. Go on with your meditations. Keep turning your attention within. One day the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition will mysteriously arise. ~ Ramana,
26:You are asking, "Who am I?" and you are not going to get an answer, because the one who will get the answer is false. You may have an idea, a concept, and you will think you have found yourself, but it is only a concept; you can never see your Self. ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,
27:Who am I?' is not a mantra. It means that you must find out where in you the 'I-thought' arises, which is the source of all other thoughts. But if you find that vichara marga (path of enquiry) is too hard for you, you go on repeating 'I-I' and that will lead you to the same goal. There is no harm in using 'I' as a mantra. It is the first name of God. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Gems,
28:As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry "Who am I?" Is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as their enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
29:18. Of the devotees, who is the greatest?

He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease? ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Who am I,
30:In your early struggles you may have found it difficult to conquer sleep; and you may have wandered so far from the object of your meditations without noticing it, that the meditation has really been broken; but much later on, when you feel that you are "getting quite good," you will be shocked to find a complete oblivion of yourself and your surroundings. You will say: "Good heavens! I must have been to sleep!" or else "What on earth was I meditating upon?" or even "What was I doing?" "Where am I?" "Who am I?" or a mere wordless bewilderment may daze you. This may alarm you, and your alarm will not be lessened when you come to full consciousness, and reflect that you have actually forgotten who you are and what you are doing! This is only one of many adventures that may come to you; but it is one of the most typical. By this time your hours of meditation will fill most of the day, and you will probably be constantly having presentiments that something is about to happen. You may also be terrified with the idea that your brain may be giving way; but you will have learnt the real symptoms of mental fatigue, and you will be careful to avoid them. They must be very carefully distinguished from idleness! ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA,
31:34
D: What are the eight limbs of knowledge (jnana ashtanga)?
M: The eight limbs are those which have been already mentioned, viz., yama, niyama etc., but differently defined:
(1) Yama: This is controlling the aggregate of sense-organs, realizing the defects that are present in the world consisting of the body, etc.
(2) Niyama: This is maintaining a stream of mental modes that relate to the Self and rejecting the contrary modes. In other words, it means love that arises uninterruptedly for the Supreme Self.
(3) Asana: That with the help of which constant meditation on Brahman is made possible with ease is asana.
(4) Pranayama: Rechaka (exhalation) is removing the two unreal aspects of name and form from the objects constituting the world, the body etc., puraka (inhalation) is grasping the three real aspects, existence, consciousness and bliss, which are constant in those objects, and kumbhaka is retaining those aspects thus grasped.
(5) Pratyahara: This is preventing name and form which have been removed from re-entering the mind.
(6) Dharana: This is making the mind stay in the Heart, without straying outward, and realizing that one is the Self itself which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
(7) Dhyana: This is meditation of the form 'I am only pure consciousness'. That is, after leaving aside the body which consists of five sheaths, one enquires 'Who am I?', and as a result of that, one stays as 'I' which shines as the Self.
(8) Samadhi: When the 'I-manifestation' also ceases, there is (subtle) direct experience. This is samadhi.
For pranayama, etc., detailed here, the disciplines such as asana, etc., mentioned in connection with yoga are not necessary.
The limbs of knowledge may be practised at all places and at all times. Of yoga and knowledge, one may follow whichever is pleasing to one, or both, according to circumstances. The great teachers say that forgetfulness is the root of all evil, and is death for those who seek release,10 so one should rest the mind in one's Self and should never forget the Self: this is the aim. If the mind is controlled, all else can be controlled. The distinction between yoga with eight limbs and knowledge with eight limbs has been set forth elaborately in the sacred texts; so only the substance of this teaching has been given here. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Self-Enquiry, 34,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:I'm always tripped up by the eternal who am I? ~ haruki-murakami, @wisdomtrove
2:Who am I? And how, I wonder, will this story end? ~ nicholas-sparks, @wisdomtrove
3:All-powerful god, who am I but the fear that I inspire in others? ~ jean-paul-sartre, @wisdomtrove
4:Who am I helping, what am I breaking, what am I giving, what am I taking? ~ bob-dylan, @wisdomtrove
5:Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted? ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove
6:The whole Universe has brought this moment about. Who am I to fight it? ~ eckhart-tolle, @wisdomtrove
7:I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge? ~ douglas-adams, @wisdomtrove
8:Who am I? is the only question worth asking and the only one never answered.    ~ deepak-chopra, @wisdomtrove
9:Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove
10:The most intimate question we can ask, and the one that has the most spiritual power, is this: What or who am I? ~ adyashanti, @wisdomtrove
11:We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~ marianne-williamson, @wisdomtrove
12:What a liberation to realiSe that the "voice in my head" is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.   ~ eckhart-tolle, @wisdomtrove
13:&
14:We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~ marianne-williamson, @wisdomtrove
15:Who am I, and where am I going? You are the answer to this question. You are here to ask the question, and to be the answer. ~ michael-beckwith, @wisdomtrove
16:I stick my finger into existence.. it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean? ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove
17:Who am I? That's the big question of self-discovery. Too simple to ask when I set out. Too vast to encompass on the way. Too absurd to answer when I am me. ~ barry-long, @wisdomtrove
18:The question &
19:We want to answer this classical question, who am I? So I think that most of our works are for art, or whatever we do, including science or religion, tried to answer that question. ~ paulo-coelho, @wisdomtrove
20:Science is an objective enquiry that entails looking out onto the world and asking ‘what is it?’ Spirituality is a subjective enquiry that entails looking within and asking ‘who am I?’ ~ tim-freke, @wisdomtrove
21:We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. ~ marianne-williamson, @wisdomtrove
22:Science is an objective enquiry that entails looking out onto the world and asking, ‘what is it?’ Spirituality is a subjective enquiry that entails looking within and asking, ‘who am I?’ ~ tim-freke, @wisdomtrove
23:When you inquire &
24:Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?-are not questions with an answer but questions that open us up to new questions which lead us deeper into the unshakeable mystery of existence. ~ henri-nouwen, @wisdomtrove
25:Give up all questions except one, "Who am I?" After all the only fact you are sure of is that you "are". The "I am" is certain, the "I am this" is not.  Struggle to find out what you are in reality. ~ sri-nisargadatta-maharaj, @wisdomtrove
26:I am creating my reality . . . but who am I? I am the unconscious primal awareness that is conscious through Tim. My essential nature is unconsciously dreaming the life-dream . . . but Tim can consciously shape it.   ~ tim-freke, @wisdomtrove
27:Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted? And If I am compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I want to see him. ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove
28:The universe is conspiring in your favor. It is placing before you in every moment all of the right and perfect people, circumstances, and situations with which to answer life's only question: Who am I? Have you decided yet? ~ neale-donald-walsch, @wisdomtrove
29:You experience all of them, but you don’t control them, you don’t own them, and you are not them. People ask ‘Who am I?’ and expect to be told a story. The first thing you need to know about yourself, is that you are not a story. ~ yuval-noah-harari, @wisdomtrove
30:Peter must have thought, "Who am I compared to Mr. Faithfulness (John)?" But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: "Follow Me." (John 21:20-22) ~ charles-r-swindoll, @wisdomtrove
31:Enquire: &
32:You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. ~ jim-rohn, @wisdomtrove
33:Who am I? It matters not that you know who I am; it is of little importance. This clay garment is one of a penniless pilgrim journeying in the name of peace. It is what you cannot see that is so very important. I am one who is propelled by the power of faith; I bathe in the light of eternal wisdom; I am sustained by the unending energy of the universe; this is who I really am. ~ peace-pilgrim, @wisdomtrove
34:As Confucius once said, &
35:In reality all existence, every form, is my own, within my consciousness. I cannot tell what I am because words can describe only what I am not. I am, and because I am, all is. But I am beyond consciousness and, therefore, in consciousness I cannot say what I am. Yet, I am. The question &
36:It'll be no use their putting their heads down and saying "Come up again, dear!" I shall only look up and say "Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else"&
37:If in the state of witnessing you ask yourself: &
38:On the beach, at dawn: Four small stones clearly Hugging each other. How many kinds of love Might there be in the world, And how many formations might they make And who am I ever To imagine I could know Such a marvelous business? When the sun broke It poured willingly its light Over the stones That did not move, not at all, Just as, to its always generous term, It shed its light on me, My own body that loves, Equally, to hug another body. ~ mary-oliver, @wisdomtrove
39:Ask yourself such questions as: ‘Was I really born?' &
40:At some point in life, we all ask the same question: Who am I? And no one really knows the answer. The self is a slippery subject—especially when it’s the subject that is regarding itself as an object! So let’s begin by grounding this airy topic with an experiential activity—taking the body for a walk. Then we’ll investigate the nature of the self in your brain. Last, we’ll explore methods for relaxing and releasing self-ing in order to feel more confident, peaceful, and joined with all things. (For more on this profound matter, which reaches beyond the scope of a single chapter, see Living Dhamma by Ajahn Chah, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts, I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, or The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi.) ~ rick-hanson, @wisdomtrove
41:Enquire: &

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Who am I to judge a gay person? ~ Pope Francis,
2:I, who am I among living creatures? ~ Enheduanna,
3:Who am I? I’m the Breeze, bitch! ~ Michael Grant,
4:"Who am I?" The Self alone. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
5:By the inquiry 'Who am I?'. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
6:Who am I, and when did I gain a pound? ~ Anonymous,
7:Who am I? this or the other? ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
8:Who am I to tamper with a masterpiece? ~ Oscar Wilde,
9:And who am I to blow against the wind? ~ David Levithan,
10:Who am I, then, if my memory is impaired? ~ Mira Bartok,
11:And without guilt and dread, who am I? ~ Christopher Moore,
12:Who am I? The great inquiry indeed. ~ Paramhansa Yogananda,
13:The letters dance before my eyes. Who am I? ~ Patrick Modiano,
14:I'm too wacky for most weirdos. Who am I to judge? ~ Tori Amos,
15:I'm always tripped up by the eternal who am I? ~ Haruki Murakami,
16:Of all the japas, 'Who am I?' is the best. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
17:We have to constantly ask ourselves: "Who am I?" ~ Frederick Lenz,
18:Who am I, for God's sake, that I should be kind! ~ Charles Dickens,
19:Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going? ~ Carl Sandburg,
20:Who am I? And how, I wonder, will this story end? ~ Nicholas Sparks,
21:And who am I? The wrong person; I can tell you that. ~ Philip K Dick,
22:God forgives us. ... Who am I not to forgive? ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes,
23:Who am I being that my players' eyes are not shining? ~ Benjamin Zander,
24:Who am I gonna believe, you or my own lying eyes? ~ Christopher Greyson,
25:Who am I? Let's put it this way: who has the best tunes? ~ Salman Rushdie,
26:Who am I ?

Standing in the midst
of this thought traffic. ~ Rumi,
27:There are two ways: ask yourself 'Who am I?' or submit. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
28:Who am I to know my own  motives. But I did foolhardy things. ~ Thomas Pynchon,
29:If who I am is what I have and what I have is lost, then who am I? ~ Sean Covey,
30:Who Am I? Or (Perhaps More Accurately) Who Else Could Be Me? ~ Chuck Klosterman,
31:Who am I?" My first spoken words.
"No one," she said. "Nosoul. ~ Jodi Meadows,
32:Who am I supposed to be again? Just be yourself. But who am I? ~ Candace Bushnell,
33:Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? ~ Marianne Williamson,
34:All-powerful god, who am I but the fear that I inspire in others? ~ Jean Paul Sartre,
35:Who am I? What will I be? Why am I here? Where am I going? ~ Constantin Stanislavski,
36:We can't continue to be like this. Who am I? Your fiancée or your concubine? ~ Ha Jin,
37:Who am I and what do I believe?” is less of a question and more of a quest. ~ Unknown,
38:Who am I helping, what am I breaking, what am I giving, what am I taking? ~ Bob Dylan,
39:Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted? ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
40:If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge? ~ Pope Francis,
41:The enquiry ‘Who am I?’ turns the mind inward and makes it calm. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
42:Who am I to tell my private nightmares to if I can’t tell them to you? ~ Samuel Beckett,
43:Who am I, why am I here? Forget the question, someone give me another beer. ~ Meat Loaf,
44:Who is that girl in the mirror? Who am I? Why is this happening to me? ~ Shalini Boland,
45:It is only through the enquiry ‘Who am I?’ that the mind subsides. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
46:Often the question of, "Who am I?" should be answered with, "Whose am I? ~ Matt Chandler,
47:The inquiry "who am I" turns the mind introvert and makes it calm. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
48:You have to figure out who am I? What do I want to do? What do I want to say? ~ Ryan Eggold,
49:The means to abide in Self is to begin enquiring inwardly, "Who am I?" ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
50:The means to abide in Self is to begin inquiring inwardly, "Who am I?" ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
51:Who am I? is the only question worth asking and the only one never answered. ~ Deepak Chopra,
52:Who am I really?” Syren smiled. “I’m the kind of bullet you want in your gun. ~ Avril Ashton,
53:Who am I to stop everybody just to tell my stupid story? It's presumptuous. ~ Brendan Benson,
54:I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge? ~ Douglas Adams,
55:But who am I to judge? We’re all fighting our own battles, the best way we can. ~ Richelle Mead,
56:I am careful never to talk about religion. Who am I to kick at people's crutches? ~ Yann Martel,
57:...you have to ask yourself two questions: Who am I? And how may I become myself? ~ Paul Beatty,
58:Q.= WHO AM I? WHO ARE YOU?

U.G = You are what you are doing RIGHT NOW! ~ U G Krishnamurti,
59:Wait, is he . . . jealous? Well, who am I not to make the most of this unexpected gift? ~ Lila Monroe,
60:Who am I to tell her who to love? My job just to love her good and true myself. P. 237 ~ Alice Walker,
61:For a while, I thought a lot about lineage. Where do I belong? Who am I standing next to? ~ Jim Hodges,
62:I’ll do anything except scenes of a sexual nature. Who am I kidding? I’ll do that too. ~ Chance Carter,
63:O my Saviour, who am I, that Thou shouldst have so long awaited my repentance! ~ Margaret Mary Alacoque,
64:If one inquires, "Who am I?", one will see that there is no such thing as the "I." ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
65:The only truth is that I live. Sincerely, I live. Who am I? Well, that's a bit much. ~ Clarice Lispector,
66:If we don't have souls then who am I talking to when I keep telling myself to be good? ~ Greg Fitzsimmons,
67:Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
68:Who am I? The sum of your dreams, the thrill you refuse to grasp, the unknown you fear. ~ Neal Shusterman,
69:Your brother Trent. And Travis. And you’re Thomas. Who am I missing? Tiger and Toadstool? ~ Jamie McGuire,
70:The purpose of life is to find out 'Who am I?', 'Why am I here?' and 'Where am I going?' ~ George Harrison,
71:Of course I work hard. Why shouldn't I? Who am I to think I should get things the easy way? ~ Judy Holliday,
72:Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than any constellation in the sky? ~ Jay Kristoff,
73:Who are you, Miss Snowe?"...
"Who am I indeed? Perhaps a personage in disguise. ~ Charlotte Bront,
74:I have two children who died before reaching 30, so who am I to complain about being alive? ~ Carlos Fuentes,
75:To realize happiness, the enquiry, 'Who am I?' in quest of the Self is the best means. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
76:Identity is part of drama to me. Who am I, why am I behaving this way, and am I aware of it? ~ Matthew Weiner,
77:Who am I talking to other than myself here? Someone I hope who at least knows my languages. ~ Samuel R Delany,
78:If you enquire ‘Who am I?’ the mind gets introverted and the rising thought also subsides. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
79:Who am I?

   The Divine under many disguises.
   ~ The Mother, Words Of The Mother II, "The Divine" and "Man",
80:For someone so conflicted, who am I to give advice to anybody? It’s such a funny, grandiose idea ~ Florence Welch,
81:Some days you’re the hammer, some days you’re the nail. Meh, who am I kidding? I’m always the nail. ~ Tim Marquitz,
82:To enquire 'Who am I that am in bondage?' and to know one's real nature is alone Liberation. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
83:Who am I kidding? I have no reason for being here other that the fact that I want to be near her. ~ Simone Elkeles,
84:For obtaining such knowledge the enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ in quest of the Self is the best means. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
85:It's not nice of you, Didi. Who am I to tell my private nightmares to if I can't tell them to you? ~ Samuel Beckett,
86:Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? ~ Moses,
87:"Before you ask any other question, first ask the most fundamental question of your life: Who am I?" ~ Eckhart Tolle,
88:Is it not a wonder of wonders? The quest “Who am I?” is the axe with which to cut off the ego. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
89:Obama is for same-sex marriage. If the President is saying that, then who am I to go the other way? ~ Curtis Jackson,
90:Who am I? Whence am I? On finding the source, you realise the state of Absolute Consciousness. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
91:And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell...You know you love me.
XOXO,
Gossip Girl ~ Cecily von Ziegesar,
92:I am who I am who I am who am I Requesting some enlightenment Could I have been anyone other than me? ~ Dave Matthews,
93:Who am I to judge is what I say. I'm 90 years old, for crying out loud, and I don't sit in any chariot. ~ Don Rickles,
94:A lot of girls in L.A. just stand in the corner wondering 'Who's gonna talk to me? Who am I gonna diss?' ~ Kellan Lutz,
95:What freedom to realize the voice in my head is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who noticed this. ~ Eckhart Tolle,
96:The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts. Then, there will arise Self-realization. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
97:Who am I to say that small joys are less valuable than a passion which shatters your life? ~ Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni,
98:By directly inquiring, "Who AM I?" ... 'I' reveals itself as the Perfect Being, the Absolute Self. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
99:Look at me
Who am I supposed to be?
Look at me
What am I supposed to be?
Look at me
Oh my love ~ John Lennon,
100:It's not going to be about money. It's going to be about who am I, what have I done and where am I going. ~ Shirley MacLaine,
101:And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary? ~ Anonymous,
102:I believe the Lord has chosen me to spread His word through my words and who am I to question His plans for me? ~ Cindy Bauer,
103:The most intimate question we can ask, and the one that has the most spiritual power, is this: What or who am I? ~ Adyashanti,
104:Who am I? After negating all as 'not this', 'not this', that Awareness which alone remains - that I am. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
105:I am a nightmare to most, and a dream for the broken; who am I?’ and the answer to that is death.” “Correct. ~ Roshani Chokshi,
106:I doubt my doubt, doubt itself is unsure
I love, but who is it for whom I sigh?
Not Muslim, yet not heathen; who am I? ~,
107:'And how, who am I? I will remember, if I can! I'm determined to do it!' But being determined didn't help much. ~ Lewis Carroll,
108:Do you know the three great spiritual questions?" he asked..."Who am I?...Why am I here?...And how shall I live? ~ Dani Shapiro,
109:He's just my brother now and not my hero. I will not try to be like him. So, then who am I supposed to be like? ~ Shawn Goodman,
110:What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that. ~ Eckhart Tolle,
111:What a liberation to realize that the "voice in my head" is not who i am. Who am i then? The one who sees that. ~ Eckhart Tolle,
112:"What a liberation to realize that the voice in my head is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that." ~ Eckhart Tolle,
113:extras, in case you want to send some.” “Irma,” M.J. said. “Who am I going to write a postcard to? You’re the ~ Stephanie Kallos,
114:We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~ Marianne Williamson,
115:When I sleep every night, what am I called or not called? And when I wake, who am I if I was not I while I slept? ~ Pablo Neruda,
116:Who am I?" She whispered. Alex opened his mouth as if to correct her, but then he said, "You are my love. ~ Deirdre Riordan Hall,
117:The might of God's grace and the quest of the Self in the form of 'Who am I?' lead the seeker to the Heart. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
118:What a liberation to realize that the 'voice in my head' is not who I am. 'Who am I, then?' The one who sees that. ~ Eckhart Tolle,
119:Who am I? If this once I were to rely on a proverb, then perhaps everything would amount to knowing whom I 'haunt.' ~ Andre Breton,
120:Who am I, when I am not surrounded by the walls of my life? When they have all fallen into dust and rubble? ~ Lois McMaster Bujold,
121:Even though the mind wanders, involved in external matters, one should remember: The body is not I. Who am I? ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
122:When you get your “Who am I?” question right, all the “What should I do?” questions tend to take care of themselves. ~ Richard Rohr,
123:If by the enquiry, 'Who am I?' you understand the seer, all problems about the seen will be completely solved. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
124:"Who am I?" is not really a question because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. ~ Rajneesh,
125:I think that the second we find ourselves asking 'who am I?' is the second we become the perfect person for the job. ~ Katie Ganshert,
126:Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 ~ Beth Moore,
127:To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself. For that, Self-enquiry, 'Who am I?' is the chief means. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
128:So long as subtle tendencies continue to inhere in the mind, it is necessary to carry on the enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
129:When you get your,'Who am I?', question right, all of your,'What should I do?' questions tend to take care of themselves ~ Richard Rohr,
130:About Pranayama ~ “Na aham” I am not this = out-breathing. “Koham” Who am I? = in-breathing. “Soham” I am He [She] = Retention of breath,
131:I don't write songs thinking about formats, where is it going to get played, who am I gonna please, what's the outlet for it. ~ Kid Rock,
132:In India and other places, there are people who fool themsleves. They walk around all day saying, "Who am I? Who am I?" ~ Frederick Lenz,
133:I only swing for one girl. But if she's into a certain kind of kink, who am I to deny her such pleasantries?"~ Luke Wagner ~ Jodi Linton,
134:Who am I kidding? When I finally get inside you, I’m going to fuck you until your voice is hoarse from screaming my name. ~ Tessa Bailey,
135:Ask: “Who am I?” until well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us. That is firmness of faith. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
136:Who's to say that my light is better than your darkness? Who's to say death is better than your darkness? Who am I to say? ~ Daniel Keyes,
137:I am just a simple monk. The sun shines on the just and unjust alike. If the sun does not judge, then who am I to do so? ~ Janet Evanovich,
138:The enquiry ‘Who am I?’ is the principal means to the removal of all misery and the attainment of the supreme bliss. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
139:Questions about the existence of evil in the world will all cease when you enquire 'Who am I?' and find out the seer. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
140:Ask: 'Who am I?' until well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us. That is firmness of faith.
   ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
141:want the lies to end. I pull my gun from my purse and point it at him. “Who are you to me, Kayden? Who am I?” from Denial ~ Lisa Renee Jones,
142:Who am I now among men? Or am I lost already? Am I nothing already?" And I cry out and call my name to hear if it still lives. ~ Knut Hamsun,
143:`Who am I to meditate on an object ?' Such a one must be told to find the Self. That is the finality. That is vichara. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
144:It is not the question, what am I going to be when I grow up; you should ask the question, who am I going to be when I grow up. ~ Goldie Hawn,
145:We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~ Marianne Williamson,
146:Who am I?” I ask softly, heart pleading. “Who am I to you?”
She turns to face me… “You’re Lachlan McGregor. And you’re mine. ~ Karina Halle,
147:I'd love to have a shoe line, or a sunglasses line, or a purse line. Who am I kidding, I'd like to have an everything line! ~ Bethany Cosentino,
148:Who am I, and where am I going? You are the answer to this question. You are here to ask the question, and to be the answer. ~ Michael Beckwith,
149:Who are you?’ Gaia gasped.
The girl froze for a moment.
Looked at her. Smiled and said, ‘Who am I? I’m the Breeze, bitch! ~ Michael Grant,
150:Who’s to say that my light is better than your darkness? Who’s to say death is better than your darkness? Who am I to say? . . . ~ Daniel Keyes,
151:It's lucky I was there. Then again, who am I kidding? I'm in most places at least once, and in 1943, I was just about everywhere. ~ Markus Zusak,
152:It's so easy to get caught up in your own self-doubt when you're writing. It can be so easy to tell yourself, "Who am I kidding?" ~ Michael Cera,
153:My God, my God, whose performance am I watching? How many people am I? Who am I? What is this space between myself and myself? ~ Fernando Pessoa,
154:Richard opened his hand, and the key stared up at him from his palm. "By my crooked teeth," asked Richard, remembering, "who am I? ~ Neil Gaiman,
155:. . . and that revelation murdered all that I once did know. Where once I asked of the God, 'Who are you?' now I ask, 'Who am I? ~ R Scott Bakker,
156:You are prime matter, who am I?
The looking-glass in your fingers.
I become all that you display -
The mirror to prove you exist. ~ Rumi,
157:The question 'Who am I?' is not really meant to get an answer, the question 'Who am I?' is meant to dissolve the questioner. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
158:It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself. ~ Betty Friedan,
159:I only swing for one girl. But if she's into a certain kind of kink, who am I to deny her such pleasantries?"~ Jodi Linton Luke Wagner ~ Jodi Linton,
160:The first question in any interactive process with another is: now Who Am I, and Who Do I Want to Be, in relationship to that? ~ Neale Donald Walsch,
161:What does he [Pope Francis] mean, "Who am I to judge?" People think he's fantastic, but they also wonder how some of these pieces fit. ~ Ralph Martin,
162:Alone.
Before this crowd.
Alone, in this terrible dream.
Who am I in this visible silence?
Can they hear me scream? ~ Courtney C Stevens,
163:And who am i? Do you know who i am?"
She smiled up at him, showing him her pointed teeth. "Of course i do. You're Damon and I love you. ~ L J Smith,
164:Not only who am I, but who are we? And where are we going? It's the "we." It's the social connections that are special to human beings. ~ Sylvia Earle,
165:Slim throws me a startled look. I aim my bolt shooter at him. Who am I, you sonofabitch?
Helluva time for a identity crisis, he says. ~ Moira Young,
166:In an ideal world everyone would ask “Who am I?” every day, and since “I” is constantly shifting, each new day would bring a new answer. ~ Deepak Chopra,
167:So you contemplate this, and you realize that never in your life have you asked yourself that question and really meant it. Who am I? ~ Michael A Singer,
168:That day I swore to never manipulate anyone again. Even if I believed I was doing good--for who am I to presume what is good for others? ~ Marissa Meyer,
169:I really need to break him of the bad language habit he’s developing at a rapid pace, but who am I to talk? I curse all the fucking time. ~ Monica Murphy,
170:It is necessary ... for a man to go away by himself ... to sit on a rock ... and ask, 'Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going? ~ Carl Sandburg,
171:Perhaps the essence of our evolution as human beings is to keep answering, on deeper and deeper levels, the basic question: Who am I? ~ Nathaniel Branden,
172:That day I swore to never manipulate anyone again. Even if I believed I was doing good - for who am I to presume what is good for others? ~ Marissa Meyer,
173:Who am I? I am that. Nothing can change that. Words, intellect and concepts can never reach that. It is the perfect silence without vibration. ~ Amit Ray,
174:Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up; if not, I'll stay down here till I'm someone else. ~ Lewis Carroll,
175:Who am I to say that these things might nit be forever? Who is Peter Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? ~ John Green,
176:I'm still standing here. Okay, it's a crummy front porch I stand on, cracked to shithouse, and who am I to say that the world isn't the same? ~ Markus Zusak,
177:Religion survives because it answers three questions that every reflective person must ask. Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? ~ Jonathan Sacks,
178:If poems very different from my own bring pleasure to a group of readers, who am I to say that the poems should have been written differently? ~ James Arthur,
179:These are not easy questions. Who am I? Why am I here? They're not easy because the human being isn't wired to function as an individual. ~ Steven Pressfield,
180:Who am I, then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else'- ~ Lewis Carroll,
181:My first official music video for "Who Am I." It's getting crazy traffic and a lot of hype. I got sponsored by a company called MATIX because of it. ~ SonReal,
182:Francis’s all-night prayer, “Who are you, O God, and who am I?” is probably a perfect prayer, because it is the most honest prayer we can offer. ~ Richard Rohr,
183:When folks get to the best of their profession, people are like, "Who am I to give a critique to this individual who's reached mastery?". ~ Bryce Dallas Howard,
184:Truth doesn’t set you free, it shifts your world into something else entirely until you’re back to this: Who am I now that I know who I should be? ~ David James,
185:I'm not one to call out an individual and say "I don't think that is honest." Who am I to know what is in their heart while they are singing it? ~ Michael Gungor,
186:I stick my finger into existence.. it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean? ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
187:Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else"--but, ~ Lewis Carroll,
188:Who am I that I have to sing under an umbrella? These people are my fans, and if they can stand in the rain to hear me sing, I can stand in the rain. ~ Bobby Darin,
189:Don’t be a moron, Harry,” I said. “You came for the kid. He’s safe. That’s all you were obligated to do. Let it g—oh who am I kidding. There’s a girl. ~ Jim Butcher,
190:WHO AM I?2 Who am I? They often tell me I stepped from my cell’s confinement calmly, cheerfully, firmly, like a Squire from his country house. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
191:What am I responsible for? Who am I responsible to? Everybody? How come when Archie Bunker nailed everybody, it was funny - but when I do it, it's not? ~ Sam Kinison,
192:Find your true self. The old question, asked in many ages, "Who am I?" Once you figure out who am I, and you know who am I, then you have that knowledge of self. ~ RZA,
193:I hate dry turkey. I may have over-basted it. Who am I kidding, though? No such thing. You’ll eat my fucking turkey and lick your fingers when you’re done. ~ C J Roberts,
194:I turn my head, and you may go where you want. I turn it again, you will stay till you rot. I have no face, but I live or die By my crooked teeth—who am I? ~ Neil Gaiman,
195:The ancient human question 'Who am I?' leads inevitably to the equally important question 'Whose am I?' - for there is no self outside of relationship. ~ Parker J Palmer,
196:Do what you love and you’ll always be happy.’” “Who said that?” “Charles Manson. No, wait. He said, ‘Kill all the people in the house.’ Who am I thinking of? ~ Tim Dorsey,
197:Within our whole universe the story only has the authority to answer that cry of heart of its characters, that one cry of heart of each of them: "Who am I?" ~ Isak Dinesen,
198:Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel says we are who we are because of what we learn and what we remember. Who am I, then, if my memory is impaired? ~ Mira Bartok,
199:The world is filled with so many beautiful people after all and who am I to think that you will hold on, hold on to me, because who am I and what are we? ~ Charlotte Eriksson,
200:They say that "he who flies highest, falls farthest" - and who am I to argue? But we can't forget that "he who doesn't flap his wings, never flies at all". ~ Hunter S Thompson,
201:Do moons choose the planets they orbit? Do planets choose their stars? Who am I to deny gravity, Aurora? When you shine brighter than an constellation in the sky? ~ Amie Kaufman,
202:Who am I? is then answered with, I am an infinite being who originated not from my parents, but from a Source that is itself birthless, deathless, and changeless. ~ Wayne W Dyer,
203:I’m teetering on the verge of tears and I feel like such a wuss. Who am I to be crying when all these people just got displaced from their homes? No one. That’s who. ~ Anna Banks,
204:turn my head, and you may go where you want.     I turn it again, you will stay till you rot.     I have no face, but I live or die     by my crooked teeth—who am I? ~ Neil Gaiman,
205:There's some people who are not understanding what Limp Bizkit is about. But, then again, who am I to tell people what they can use art for or how they can interpret it? ~ Fred Durst,
206:The search "Who am I"...ends in the annihilation of the illusory "I" and the Self which remains over will be as clear as a gooseberry in the palm of one's hand. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
207:Lots of people go through life not having the slightest idea what names to put in the blanks on their “Who Am I?” work sheets, and they aren’t bothered in the least by it. ~ Meg Cabot,
208:Part of my identity for as long as I can remember is being a baseball player. If I'm not that anymore, then who am I?"

"Who do you want to be?"

"Harry Potter ~ J Sterling,
209:And who am I, mighty Khan?
She felt warmth in him then, the beginnings of a smile deep inside.
He spread his wings.
Bowed his head.
Purred.
YOU ARE YUKIKO. ~ Jay Kristoff,
210:He’s a great mysterious Bodhisattva I think maybe a reincarnation of Asagna the great Mahayana scholar of the old centuries.” “And who am I?” “I dunno, maybe you’re Goat. ~ Jack Kerouac,
211:I begin to feel I have no personality. I’m a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker, somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I? ~ Betty Friedan,
212:You can't shape me anymore. I am the uncontrolled element, the random act. I am forward movement in time. You think you can see me? Then tell me, who am I? You don't know. ~ Janet Fitch,
213:Chip recons that he is charming as hell, and who am I to poke holes in his theory. That means that sometimes lies leave his mouth dressed like truth. He just can’t help it. ~ Esi Edugyan,
214:Humans have always wondered the big questions, "Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?" It's part of human nature. It's perhaps the underpinnings of religion. ~ Sylvia Earle,
215:The nudity is down to the individual actor or actress. If they feel comfortable and it's done in a way that they feel comfortable doing, then who am I to say anything? ~ Nathalie Emmanuel,
216:When all is stripped away, who am I? Even if our abilities are diminished or removed from us, there are deeper gifts we can give. We can love others with our very selves. ~ Vesper Stamper,
217:It's hard for me, a Jew, to stay in the moment. Without the past, where is the guilt? And without the future, where is the dread? And without guilt and dread, who am I? ~ Christopher Moore,
218:It’s hard for me, a Jew, to stay in the moment. Without the past, where is the guilt? And without the future, where is the dread? And without guilt and dread, who am I? ~ Christopher Moore,
219:who am i, really? What does any of it mean? i'm so afraid someday everyone will see that i'm just an imposter, a fake, among all the real and gorgeous godheads.
- ~ Catherynne M Valente,
220:The question 'Who am I?' is not an idle one. How you answer the question will determine how you live the rest of your life. It will determine the quality of your life. ~ Neale Donald Walsch,
221:And now?" came my dad's voice. "Now who am I?"
"The man who chose his girlfriend over his family." I turned and looked at my father. "Someone whose words I don't believe. ~ Jenny B Jones,
222:I believe love at first sight is possible. Centuries of literature and art and beauty has been dedicated to that idea, so who am I to argue, even if I've never experienced it? ~ Maggie Grace,
223:When girls are asking themselves 'Who am I?' for the first time and they hear all this bad PR about math, they think, 'Well, whoever I am, I'm not somebody who likes math.' ~ Danica McKellar,
224:When I was 10 I used to walk around shopping centres and go, "Oh, they've recognised me!" And I would think, "hold on, who am I? I'm nobody famous yet!" - Darren on 60 Minutes ~ Darren Hayes,
225:So the point is, I don't have a right to tell anybody what's right or wrong about their lives. Who am I to tell you at any given moment of the day what would be right for you? ~ Robin Quivers,
226:You do have to continue, as you grow as a human, checking in and going is this what I want? Am I giving away things that I don’t want? Who am I and what do I want to keep doing? ~ Mae Whitman,
227:But I’ve been the queen of crazy for the last few months. The last year, really. Who am I kidding? My entire life I’ve been at the epicenter of crazy. I am the hurricane’s eye. ~ Molly O Keefe,
228:Had our hearts really become so numb that we needed dead bodies in order to feel the beat of compassion in our chests? Who am I if I need to be shocked back into my best self? ~ Jason Reynolds,
229:How do we get out of our small mind? When we enquire into the core of our existence. What is life? Who am I? This spirit of self-inquiry can awaken something inside you. ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,
230:I don’t want to slam somebody else’s religion. I mean as a Catholic, we’re basically cannibals: We eat Jesus every Sunday, you know? So who am I to say your religion is creepy? ~ Larry Wilmore,
231:You were always there... until you weren't anymore. Losing you taught me not to count on anyone but myself. It shaped who am I today... and that's not necessarily a good thing. ~ Penelope Ward,
232:I am a woman who slept with my father the Pope.
They say I did, at least, and so does he.
And who am I to make of the Pope a liar,
And who is he to make a liar of me? ~ Gregory Maguire,
233:When Moses says, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?" God answers not by telling Moses who he is, but by telling him who God is, saying, "I will be with you" (Exodus 3:12) ~ Harold S Kushner,
234:That lost-self cry of “Who am I?” is the cry of a person who suddenly realizes that the philosophy he has been following around in the grocery store isn’t his mother after all. ~ Rachel Jankovic,
235:We want to answer this classical question, who am I? So I think that most of our works are for art, or whatever we do, including science or religion, tried to answer that question. ~ Paulo Coelho,
236:When you inquire 'Who am I?' if you are honest, you'll notice that it takes you right back to silence instantly. The brain doesn't have an answer, so all of a sudden there is silence. ~ Adyashanti,
237:We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. ~ Marianne Williamson,
238:There are so many things to think about when you make an album. Like, who am I trying to impress? Am I going to get respect, critical acclaim? Or am I going to sell lots of records? ~ Ellie Goulding,
239:If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?... No one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society. ~ Pope Francis,
240:That’s not who you are,” Blythe said.

“Who am I?”

“My little wolf.” She traced my jaw, the ridge of my knuckles. “All teeth and claws. Cunning, and fierce, and insatiable. ~ Leah Raeder,
241:I wouldn’t necessarily say she is a country artist. I mean, obviously Taylor Swift started in country, but she morphed into somewhat of a cultural icon, so, who am I to judge what she is? ~ Luke Bryan,
242:Every day, take some time to meditate and cultivate inner quiet. Then ask yourself what I call the "soul questions": Who am I? What do I want? What is the purpose and meaning of my life? ~ Deepak Chopra,
243:Right after 'Raymond' I had a world-is-my-oyster attitude, but I found out I don't like oysters. I had this existential emptiness.'What is my purpose? Who am I?' I had a big identity crisis. ~ Ray Romano,
244:The romantic wants to create a world where he or she will possess a fully integrated, unconflicted identity—where the answers to the questions Who am I? and What are we? are exactly the same. ~ Mark Lilla,
245:Who am I, really?” The search for an answer produces feelings of alienation and anxiety and can only be relieved when one accepts that inner self and receives public recognition for it. ~ Francis Fukuyama,
246:George Foreman. A miracle. A mystery to myself. Who am I? The mirror says back. The George you was always meant to be. Wasn't always like that. Used to look in the mirror and cried a river. ~ George Foreman,
247:Who Am I meditation is allowing the mind to drop and settled in the inner being  like a falling leaf of a tall tree. It is like observing the full moon in a silent lake, where there is no ripple, ~ Amit Ray,
248:It was heartbreaking . . . I think it was disappointing because I had such an identity in being 'Mrs. Parker', and being a wife, and so when that's taken away from you, you [think], 'Who am I? ~ Eva Longoria,
249:Anything can happen: anything. Or nothing. Who can say? The world, monstrous, is made that way, and in the end consumes us all. Who am I, administrated or no, to have the audacity to survive it? ~ Brian Evenson,
250:Who am I? Where have I come from? Where am I going?-are not questions with an answer but questions that open us up to new questions which lead us deeper into the unshakeable mystery of existence. ~ Henri Nouwen,
251:You have to believe in the arthouse, if you will - the emotion, the conflict, the who am I, which will always be an unanswered question. If you do it right, you have a smaller drama, and a great movie. ~ Avi Arad,
252:Come up again, dear!" I shall only look up and say "Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else"--but, ~ Lewis Carroll,
253:I am particular about the seating of the audience - also about how much money they pay - but most of all where they are seated. If I am going to sing something intimate, who am I going to sing it to? ~ Nina Simone,
254:Suddenly the whole imagination of writing and editorial and newspaper and all these presumptions about who am I reading this, and who else other people may be, and all that, it's so grimly brutal! ~ Robert Creeley,
255:Who am I, anyway? Does one exist, or to what extent does one exist as an individual without friends, family, anybody to whom one can relate, to whom one’s existence is of the least importance? ~ Patricia Highsmith,
256:... happiness is daily experienced by everyone in sleep, when there is no mind. To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself. For that, Self-Enquiry, Who am I? is the chief means.
   ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
257:I’ve been lucky, so lucky, working with [...] Rachel (McAdams) on The Notebook. A big draw for me, when I do a film, is who am I going to be opposite, because there’s only so much I can do on my own. ~ Ryan Gosling,
258:I want to do more drama. Comedy is the path of least resistance for my company. People know we can do them. People know they get a good response. People want to make them. Who am I to push up against that? ~ Ice Cube,
259:Who am I? I'm just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. ~ Richard Siken,
260:The artist and the fundamentalist both confront the same issue, the mystery of their existence as individuals. Each asks the same questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life? ~ Steven Pressfield,
261:If the Loki in 'Thor' was about a spiritual confusion - 'Who am I? How do I belong in this world?' - the Loki in 'Avengers' is, 'I know exactly who I am, and I'm going to make this world belong to me.' ~ Tom Hiddleston,
262:Most people, on waking up, accelerate through a quick panicky pre-consciousness check-up: who am I, where am I, who is he/she, good god, why am I cuddling a policeman’s helmet, what happened last night? ~ Terry Pratchett,
263:The primary needs can be filled without language. We can eat, sleep, make love, build a house, bear children, without language. But we cannot ask questions. We cannot ask, 'Who am I? Who are you? Why? ~ Madeleine L Engle,
264:The concept of Who Am I is following me around from 2001 to 2005, I filmed high quality videos but never really serviced them to the television so I saved those and I knew that would be an incentive for the fans. ~ Cormega,
265:Who am I behind this unreality? I don’t know. I must be someone. And if I do not seek to live, to act or to feel, it is — believe me — so as not to disturb the already laid-down lines of my false persona. ~ Fernando Pessoa,
266:And I’ll admit—I thought it might be best if we kept it all to the page, passed that notebook back and forth until we were ninety. But clearly that wasn’t meant to be. And who am I to blow against the wind? ~ David Levithan,
267:Stop defining the disturbed mind as a negative experience; just see if you can relax behind it. When your mind is disturbed, don’t ask, “What do I do about this?” Instead ask, “Who am I that notices this? ~ Michael A Singer,
268:Who am I?
It seems so natural to think thoughts that contain the word I.
But each of my thoughts are hollow and weightless, because the word “I” is attached to no one. No name, no face. I am… nothing. ~ Colleen Hoover,
269:Who am I that I should urge these missionaries to confess their sins in public, when, for all I know, they may be living nearer to God than I am? The Spirit of God does not need me to act as His detective. ~ Jonathan Goforth,
270:My first movie, I got nominated for a Canadian Oscar-for Meatballs. For MEATBALLS. And who am I up against? George C. Scott. So he wins the award and I stand up and go, 'That's it-let's get the hell outta here.' ~ Bill Murray,
271:I was dealing with a lot of spiritual questions like "Who am I?" "What is God" "What is the meaning of life?" All of these questions that I think we can either face head on or choose to ignore, it's up to us. ~ John McLaughlin,
272:There comes a moment when the things one has written, even a traveler's memories, stand up and demand a justification. They require an explanation. They query, 'Who am I? What is my name? Why am I here? ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh,
273:I can't believe you're going to sacrifice your archery mojo for MacReive." Lucia would forfeit her fantastical skill with a bow if she was unchaste. "Who am I going to hang out with when your a talentless nobody? ~ Kresley Cole,
274:In reality, Who Am I meditation is to understand and realize your deep connection with the trees, earth, air, sky, stars, environment, existence and the whole cosmos. It is accepting the whole cosmos as one organism. ~ Amit Ray,
275:I think it's pretty clear that the internet as a whole has not had a strong notion of identity. And identity means, 'Who am I?' Fundamentally, what Facebook has done has built a way to figure out who people are... ~ Eric Schmidt,
276:Parked in the school lot, I grab their two backpacks, which I swear weigh more than they do, get out, and open the back door like a chauffeur. Who am I kidding? Not like a chauffeur. I am a chauffeur. No one moves. ~ Lisa Genova,
277:There are essentially two questions in life - a spiritual question and a material question. The spiritual question is 'Who am I?' The material question is 'What am I to do with my life?' One leads to the other. ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru,
278:A few weeks ago, passing through my grocer’s, I bought a packet of dehydrated French’s pork gravy. The label noted that this gravy was award-winning. Since I have never won an award, who am I to question this gravy? ~ Jim Harrison,
279:What is your name?” I asked, voice hoarse.
“Alexandria,” she repeated in a soft voice I’d never heard Alex use in real life.
“And who am I?”
“Aiden.” She smiled, and I flinched. “You are my Master. ~ Jennifer L Armentrout,
280:My job [is] to awaken possibility in other people. If their eyes are shining, you know you're doing it. If they're not shining you get to ask this question: "Who am I being that my children's eyes are not shining?" ~ Benjamin Zander,
281:I was conveniently bisexual for a long time, and then I went, 'Come on, who am I kidding?' And I have to say, it was the single biggest step I took toward emotional well-being, to stop feeling like I had to hide who I am. ~ Alan Ball,
282:How can I expect readers to know who I am if I do not tell them about my family, my friends, the relationships in my life? Who am I if not where I fit in the world, where I fit in the lives of the people dear to me? ~ Rabih Alameddine,
283:Today must not be a souvenir of yesterday, and so the struggle is everlasting. Who am I today? What do I see today? How shall I use what I know, and how shall I avoid being victim of what I know? Life is not repetition. ~ Robert Henri,
284:Who am I? It seems like an easy question. And then I realize... Maybe what I said to those cops wasn't a joke. Maybe the name belongs to whoever has the courage to fight.
And so I tell them.
I tell them who I am. ~ G Willow Wilson,
285:Who am I to you?' That’s what she asked me. 'Who am I to you?' I told her ‘You are my friend, my mate, my beloved; you are all the things I need and all the things I don’t deserve. That’s who you are, Sally. You are mine. ~ Quinn Loftis,
286:I feel like your generation is like, "We deserve a place at this table, we have a right to be here," whereas when I was in my 20s I was like, "Who am I?" It's exciting because I do see a lot of young women feeling empowered. ~ Miriam Shor,
287:we must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice we must not act without. Who am i-though i have the power to do it- to punish and reward, playing with men's destinies? ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
288:Ah . . . ! What’s happening? it thought. Er, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now . . . oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? ~ Douglas Adams,
289:I never want to sell my soul for something I don't believe in. Because guess what? Somebody somewhere in the world would have believed in that part and should be playing it - who am I to not allow that person that opportunity? ~ Juno Temple,
290:who am i? i don't really know. everybody calls me wise, and i have tried to learn very much about the world, but i don't feel very wise. and i know that owls are supposed to be wise. so then i don't feel owly enough to be an owl. ~ Jomny Sun,
291:I work more now because at this time of my life I am not disturbed from my aim by outside pressures such as family, passionate relationships, dealing with 'who am I?' - those complications when one is searching for one's self. ~ Jeanne Moreau,
292:You have to ask yourself the question 'Who am I?' This investigation will lead in the end to the discovery of something within you which is behind the mind. Solve that great problem and you will solve all other problems. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
293:AJ Jacobs, author of “Drop Dead Healthy” — “Fake it til you make it” — He was telling me sometimes when he begins a project he feels like, “Who am I fooling here? I can’t do this!” But then he acts like he can. And then he does it. ~ Anonymous,
294:If you cannot bear these stories then the society is unbearable. Who am I to remove the clothes of this society, which itself is naked. I don't even try to cover it, because it is not my job, that's the job of dressmakers. ~ Saadat Hasan Manto,
295:There's a strange lack of knowledge about the role of drag queens in our culture. I attribute this to the appalling state of our country's education system. Others might blame an utter lack of interest. Who am I to judge? ~ Josh Kilmer Purcell,
296:There's a strange lack of knowledge about the role of drag queens in our culture. I attribute this to the appalling state of our country's educational system. Others might blame an utter lack of interest. Who am I to judge? ~ Josh Kilmer Purcell,
297:Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted? And If I am compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I want to see him. ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
298:Sometimes I wake up at night in a panic. Wondering: What will my life be like? And sometimes I even wonder: Who am I? What am I doing here, on this planet, in this city, in this house? And it gives me the shivers, makes me panic. ~ Robert Cormier,
299:Go back to your house then, and see what happiness you find there.’ ‘It has nothing to do with happiness.’ ‘It is true that marriage seems often to have little to do with happiness. But who am I to judge? I have never been married. ~ Helen Dunmore,
300:I don’t deserve your forgiveness and yet here I am, receiving it.”
“Who am I to say you don’t deserve forgiveness? My love for you isn’t conditional, Bri. I fell in love with you, my heart never allowed me to fall out. ~ Jennifer Van Wyk,
301:So who am I, then?" she asked instead. "Your student, or just a prisoner? Are you ever going to let me go?" He watched her carefully with venom-green eyes. The question hung between them, naked and vulnerable. Finally, he said "No. ~ T L Shreffler,
302:You should be constantly asking yourself: What do I want to say next? What do I believe in? Who am I? What is my image? To be a successful photographer, you have to have a unique point of view otherwise you'll get lost in the mix. ~ Mario Sorrenti,
303:Once I actually get in the studio and I start working, I'm fine, but it's just getting there and these hours of torment with myself and self doubt, thinking 'I'm useless' and 'Who am I, conning myself into thinking I can do it again.' ~ Imogen Heap,
304:Is nausea always a manifestation of grief? Who am I to know? I have never been thus before. Grief-stricken. Stricken is right; it is as though you had been felled. Knocked to the ground; pitched out of life and into something else. ~ Penelope Lively,
305:A lot of nerds aren't aware they're nerds. A geek has thrown his hands up to the universe and gone, 'I speak Klingon - who am I fooling? You win! I'm just gonna openly like what I like.' Geeks tend to be a little happier with themselves. ~ Patton Oswalt,
306:His eyes moved over me, but hovered mostly on my face. That was almost worse. Who am I without this? I thought. Without the seduction I wear like armor, without my bravado and cocksure confidence? Am I really just a little girl under it all? ~ Leah Raeder,
307:How do you connect the tragedy with the joy, the heartbreak with the serenity? Who am I when I can’t even remember the night that defined my life? How do you characterize a person if they are undefined, a façade still waiting to be exposed? ~ Sejal Badani,
308:I had the good fortune of speaking with Orson Wells many decades ago and he said 'Success is primarily luck anyway.' And I have been very lucky. Of course, Orson Wells was enormously talented and brilliant - so who am I to argue with him! ~ George Kennedy,
309:I haven't had a phone since. I shouldn't have one now. Who am I supposed to call?"

"Nicky, Coach, the suicide hotline, I don't care."

"I'm remembering why I don't like you."

"I'm surprised you forgot in the first place. ~ Nora Sakavic,
310:The way out is through awareness. Stop defining the disturbed mind as a negative experience; just see if you can relax behind it. When your mind is disturbed, don’t ask, “What do I do about this?” Instead ask, “Who am I that notices this? ~ Michael Singer,
311:In New York I was always so scared of saying that I wrote fiction. It just seemed like, 'Who am I to dare to do that thing here? The epicenter of publishing and writers?' I found all that very intimidating and avoided writing as a response. ~ Jhumpa Lahiri,
312:I want to know the age. The sex. Most of all, the fingerprints. I'd like to identify who it is.
After he had agreed, and I had left the office, walking to calm myself, I thought: And who am I? Please tell me who I am and what I'm doing. ~ Paul Theroux,
313:Peter must have thought, "Who am I compared to Mr. Faithfulness (John)?" But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: "Follow Me." (John 21:20-22) ~ Charles R Swindoll,
314:Who am I to try to change things, to get greedy and want more? If our Society changes and things are different, who am I to tell the girl who would have enjoyed the safe protected life that now she has to have choice and danger because of me? ~ Ally Condie,
315:Once, she had been her parents' daughter. Then great, unlucky Ias's wife. Her children's mother. At the last, her mother's keeper. Well, I am none of these things now. Who am I, when I am not surrounded by the walls of my life? ~ Lois McMaster Bujold,
316:Question yourself every day. Ask yourself: Who am I? What have I learned? What have I created? What forward progress have I made? Who have I helped? What am I doing to improve myself—today? To get better, faster, stronger, healthier, smarter? ~ Jocko Willink,
317:Why am I talking about all this? Who am I talking to? I send out these words, these thoughts, simply because it is time. Time for what, I do not know and it does not matter because it is what I want and that is always reason enough for me. ~ Christopher Pike,
318:No, sarcasm aside, life is always worth living. Even when sometimes it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s when it seems like more trouble than it’s worth that I want it the most. I mean, isn’t everyone like that? ~ Steven Brust,
319:We all make rules for ourselves. It's these rules that help define who we are. So when we break those rules, we risk losing ourselves and becoming something unknown. Who is Deb now? Who am I? Is this a new beginning? Or the beginning of the end? ~ Jeff Lindsay,
320:You do find a lot of your time in the West kind of searching for your place in the world - your voice, your identity, like, who am I? Like, what is my reason for being here, you know? And in that same way who am I to be partnered with, you know? ~ Aasif Mandvi,
321:I don’t love or hate humans. I respect them. They shape themselves, in a way that we angels do not. They tell lies and sleep around and curse, and they try to define themselves so valiantly. Who am I? they keep asking. Why am I here? ~ Cynthia Hand,
322:Every tragedy is unique, just as every human is unique. When a person loses someone dear to her, who am I to say that my tragedy was greater? I have no right. For that person, her tragedy is the greatest in the world—and she is right in thinking so. ~ Elie Wiesel,
323:One night I went over to get some dope from some Hollywood tough guy. After I left, my son Scott, who was only fifteen, went over with a baseball bat to kill him. I was laughing out of one eye and crying out of the other. I thought, Who am I kidding? ~ James Caan,
324:Some students are in a hurry to begin "real" pranayama. They go right to the later stages without first laying a quality foundation, and their practice often suffers. First find out what is. This is also part of the answer to the question Who am I? ~ Richard Rosen,
325:There are some questions that we all ask ourselves in different ways: Who am I? Who is God? What am I here for? What matters most? What matters least? What are my unique talents and abilities? What will my contribution be? What happens when we die? ~ Matthew Kelly,
326:But the more dangerous problem with postmodernist thinking is its a priori nature. Not truth, but a political goal must be served in this case, the goal of openness, or tolerance without judgment. Your truth is your truth, and who am I to judge? ~ Shawn Lawrence Otto,
327:You want him to watch me hurt you?”
“Oh, oui
“So he can see what he’s missing?”
“No.” Kingsley shook his head. “So he can see who you really are.”
“And who am I?” she asked…
“That’s for me to know, and for you to beat out of me. ~ Tiffany Reisz,
328:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Its that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? ~ Marianne Williamson,
329:Who am I? But it was like trying to identify one particular cell that coursed through the torpid veins of my body. Maybe I was just this blackness and bewilderment and pain, but that seemed less like a suitable answer than something I'd read somewhere. ~ Ralph Ellison,
330:Where am I? Who am I?
How did I come to be here?
What is this thing called the world?
How did I come into the world?
Why was I not consulted?
And If I am compelled to take part in it, where is the director?
I want to see him. ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
331:Who am I to tell a man to live? Who am I to claim the powers of the Ancestors? I moved aside so the shawman could have more room to do his holy work. He's climbed the Scared Mountain and seen the face of the Ancestors. I have no place beside him. -Dashti ~ Shannon Hale,
332:The sickness stretching tight across my face the moment he was gone. My skin feels that same way now, like a mask that doesn’t fit anymore, like I’m not the person anyone thinks I am, not even Audrey. But if I’m not that person, just who am I instead? ~ C K Kelly Martin,
333:If you want to open a supermarket chain and put your face all around the globe, selling your baby and your dog, if it makes you happy, who am I to disagree, as the song goes. But it's not for me. I've always tried to keep my integrity and keep my autonomy. ~ Annie Lennox,
334:Thoughts of bondage and of freedom last only as long as one feels, ‘I am bound’. When one enquires of oneself, ‘Who am I, the bound one?’ the Self, Eternal, ever free, remains. The thought of bondage goes; and with it goes the thought of freedom too. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
335:Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? These are questions to which the answer is prescriptive not descriptive, substantive not procedural. The result is that the twenty-first century has left us with a maximum of choice and a minimum of meaning. ~ Jonathan Sacks,
336:She’s gone from Disney Channel Miley Cyrus to Full-on Twerk Mode Miley, and it’s officially time for me to put a stop to it before she moves straight to Let’s Make a Sex Tape Miley. Wait—has Miley ever made a sex tape? Fuck, who am I kidding? Of course she has. ~ Anonymous,
337:It's very benign, it seems, to think, "There's a tree." In fact, it's a very beautiful thought. If someone chops down all the trees, then we think, "Oh, my goodness, something is out of order in my world." We begin to think, "Who am I in a world without trees?" ~ Byron Katie,
338:Nothing but you and me and no hate in-between. My heart living in yours and yours in mine. Destined. Who am I to know better than destiny? She shook herself. No! No! No! Stop it. Just hold strong for a few more days. Then you can walk away and never look back. ~ Tenaya Jayne,
339:Only a fool is interested in other people's guilt, since he cannot alter it. The wise man learns only from his own guilt. He will ask himself: Who am I that all this should happen to me? To find the answer to this fateful question he will look into his own heart. ~ Carl Jung,
340:That's right. Who am I thinking of? Oh, I know. It's Cinna who likes you. But that's mainly because you didn't try to run when he set you on fire," says Peeta. "On the other hand, Haymitch... well, if I were you, I'd avoid Haymitch completely. He hates you. ~ Suzanne Collins,
341:You are asking yourself, as all of us must: 'Who am I?' . . . 'Where am I?' . . . 'Whence do I go?' The process of enlightenment is usually slow. But, in the end, our seeking always brings a finding. These great mysteries are, after all, enshrined in complete simplicity. ~ Bill W,
342:What is there? I know first of all that I am. But who am I? All I know of myself is that I suffer. And if I suffer it is because at the origin of myself there is mutilation, separation. I am separated. What I am separated from -- I cannot name it. But I am separated. ~ Arthur Adamov,
343:I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary? ~ John Green,
344:Tucker: I'm glad it happened. because then I got to know who you really are.

Clara: Oh yeah? Who am I?

Tucker: A really, really spiritual, spoiled California chick.

Avery: Shut up.

Tucker: It's cool though. My girlfriend is an angel. ~ Cynthia Hand,
345:Don't listen to me. Listen to yourself ... People often ask me at this age, 'Who am I passing the torch to?' First of all, I'm not giving up my torch, thank you! I'm using my torch to light other people's torches. ... If we each have a torch, there's a lot more light. ~ Gloria Steinem,
346:I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it -or my observation of it- is temporary? ~ John Green,
347:Often she would lock herself in her room and sitting before the mirror, apply the makeup of John Barrymore, Barrymore of The Sea Beast or of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Seeing these gruesome images in the mirror she would being to rave. "Who am I?" she would say. "What am I? ~ Henry Miller,
348:It'll be no use their putting their heads down and saying, 'Come up again, dear!' I shall only look up and say, 'Who am I, then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up -- if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else' -- but, oh, dear! ~ Lewis Carroll,
349:WHO AM I TO TELL others what ethical leadership is? Anyone claiming to write a book about ethical leadership can come across as presumptuous, even sanctimonious. All the more so if that author happens to be someone who was quite memorably and publicly fired from his last job. ~ James Comey,
350:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~ Marianne Williamson,
351:The words had acted like a charm. They'd released it all, in seconds. They'd made everything happening stand just far enough away.
&emsp It was nothing less than magic.
&emsp Who needs a passport?
&emsp Who am I? Where am I? What am I?
&emsp I'm reading. ~ Ali Smith,
352:Who am I really? The answer to that question is found in the answer to another. What is God's heart toward me, or, how do I affect him? If God is the Pursuer, the Ageless Romancer, the Lover, then there has to be a Beloved, one who is the Pursued. This is our role in the story. ~ John Eldredge,
353:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~ Marianne Williamson,
354:Science has proved there's nothing to the talk of ghosts and spirits, no proof anything like the soul exists. And to my mind that's an argument against the existence of an omniscient force. I think people believe whatever makes living easiest, and who am I to deny someone comfort? ~ Ann Aguirre,
355:Twain broke with the tradition of asking “Who Am I?” and its species-wide variant “Who Is Man?” on the grounds that a “who-question” is a leading question. It predisposes us to expect the answer to be a sentient being, not unlike ourselves, “whom” we’re trying to characterize. ~ Robert W Fuller,
356:Who am I?
What do I believe?
Never lose sight of what I believe in. Never, no matter what happens.
What one person does affects all of us.
We're all bound together. We're all threads in a single garment of destiny.
I make my destiny myself.
By the choices I make. ~ Moira Young,
357:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?" M. Williamson ~ Nancy Young,
358:It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?'...If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one's time-the stuff of life ~ Carl Sandburg,
359:Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which come back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are. And who am I? ~ Alexander McCall Smith,
360:You like Superman?”
I shrugged, “He lacks the boyish charm of Spiderman, but he’s alright.”
“I’m like Superman.”
I rolled my eyes. “This should be good. And who am I? Louis Lane?”
A solemn shake of his head, and then his hands were tangling in my hair. “You’re kryptonite. ~ Adrianne Brooks,
361:I wanted to say, Who am I to do this, a woman? But that voice was not mine. It was Father's voice. It was Thomas'. It belonged to Israel, to Catherine, and to Mother. It belonged to the church in Charleston and the Quakers in Philadelphia. It would not, if I could help it, belong to me. ~ Sue Monk Kidd,
362:Now if you expand their choice set. Say you give them 20 different speed dates, everything goes out the window. Everybody starts choosing in accordance with looks because that becomes the easiest criteria by which to weed out all the options and decide "So who am I going to say yes to?" ~ Sheena Iyengar,
363:Who am I to decide what someone should or shouldn’t do? People skip funerals and memorials all the time, for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they want to grieve for their loved ones in private. Maybe it’s too hard for them. Maybe they just don’t believe in funerals. It’s not my place to judge ~ Elle Kennedy,
364:But who am I to give lessons? There are no real messages in my fiction. The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone. ~ Donna Tartt,
365:Young children seem to be learning who to share this toy with and figure out how it works, while adolescents seem to be exploring some very deep and profound questions: how should this society work? How should relationships among people work? The exploration is: who am I, what am I doing? ~ Alison Gopnik,
366:Who am I kidding? I have no reason for being here other than the fact that I want to be near her. Screw the bet.
I want to know how to make this girl laugh. I want to know what makes her cry. I want to know what it feels like to have her look at me as if I’m her knight in shining armor. ~ Simone Elkeles,
367:Who am I to say that these things might not be forever? Who is Peter Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? All I know of heaven and all I know of death is in this park: an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children. ~ John Green,
368:Who am I to say that these things might not be forever? Who is Peter Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? All I know of heaven and all I know of death is in this park; an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children. ~ John Green,
369:Anytime anybody asks you to do anything that is celebrating you or highlighting your life, just the fact that they cared enough about me, who am I to say no? It's a form of flattery to me and I take those things seriously, because in the long run, people don't have to care about you. ~ Vanessa Bell Calloway,
370:It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself. ~ Betty Friedan,
371:It’s definitely worth something,” I said. “A lot. We still don’t know each other, right? And I’ll admit—I thought it might be best if we kept it all to the page, passed that notebook back and forth until we were ninety. But clearly that wasn’t meant to be. And who am I to blow against the wind? ~ Rachel Cohn,
372:It seems to me that Canadian sensibility has been profoundly disturbed, not so much by our famous problem of identity, important as that is, as by a series of paradoxes in what confronts that identity. It is less perplexed by the question "Who am I?" than by some such riddle as "Where is here? ~ Northrop Frye,
373:But ripped out of context, ["Who am I to judge?" phrase] has become an all-purpose filter through which everything else - including the pope's multiple reaffirmations of Humanae Vitae, Paul VI's encyclical on the morally appropriate means of family planning - gets airbrushed out of the picture. ~ George Weigel,
374:The rabbi thought he saw an expression of perplexity in the golem's eyes. It seemed to the rabbi that his eyes were asking, Who am I? Why am I here? What is the secret of my being? Rabbi Leib often saw the same bewilderment in the eyes of newborn children and even in the eyes of animals. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer,
375:The Rabbi thought he saw an expression of perplexity in the golem's eyes. It seemed to the Rabbi that his eyes were asking, 'Who am I? Why am I here? What is the secret of my being? Rabbi Leib often saw the same bewilderment in the eyes of newborn children and even in the eyes of animals. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer,
376:A yellow leaf fluttered down from overhead and settled in his lap, a clear, almost transparent yellow against the brownness of the robe. He moved to brush it off and then he let it stay. For who am I, he thought, to interfere with or dispute even such a simple thing as the falling of a leaf. He ~ Clifford D Simak,
377:People have to have the desire within themselves to find out who they are. Who am I and what am I doing here and where am I going? Those sort of basic questions. Even without picking up a book or anything. If they just ask themselves that sincerely, in the quiet of the night, the door will open. ~ George Harrison,
378:A lot of girls in L.A. just stand in the corner wondering 'Who's gonna talk to me? Who am I gonna diss?' As for the girls in Arizona, it's just so different. They're like 'You have really cute dimples. You know that?' 'You have really nice eyes.' 'What's your name? Kellan? That's cool, that's unique. ~ Kellan Lutz,
379:Things can be really empty in this world, and I don't just mean the music world. It can become a very meaningless place if you don't really understand: Who am I? Why am I here? What am I doing? To feel fulfillment and have a deeper level of understanding, personally, that is the most important thing. ~ Alicia Keys,
380:Open the GIFTS actually came out of this quest. I ended up going into a pretty deep depression that people don't know about, and now I'm talking about it. I was too focused on, If I'm not working, who am I? Why am I not doing that thing that I want to do the most? Why am I not successful in this moment? ~ Kim Coles,
381:Enquire: 'Who am I?' and you will find the answer. Look at a tree: from one seed arises a huge tree; from it comes numerous seeds, each one of which in its turn grows into a tree. No two fruits are alike. Yet it is one life that throbs in every particle of the tree. So, it is the same Atman everywhere. ~ Anandamayi Ma,
382:Meditation is a good starting point, or even a little bit of contemplative reflection, asking questions like: Who am I without my name or form? What is my purpose if there is one? What do I want out of my life? What am I grateful for? Just a little bit of reflection like that starts you on the journey. ~ Deepak Chopra,
383:Life can be a painful struggle and filled with mysteries, so whatever one needs to do to get through the day to find happiness and to bring some resolution to those nagging mysteries … well … who am I to argue? As declared in Psalms 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. ~ Michael Shermer,
384:It would not be the first time that Jove and Stella had covered the traces of where I began and where they ended. I liked the playfulness of the lovers' argument: who are you and who am I? Which of us is which? Liked it less when the erotic twinhood developed into forged letters and faked signatures. ~ Jeanette Winterson,
385:...: we live blindly. We repeat the same mistakes by rote until an emotional punch to the gut brings us up short. ...Sometimes it requires intense pain before we can take a good hard look at ourselves, before we ask the important questions. ... Who am I? What is important? What do I believe? What do I want? ~ Joan Medlicott,
386:Riddle me this - she is my daughter but I am not her father: who am I?

I am a step parent. Ah, but I don't really believe in the term step-parent. I don't think the role exists. Not really. For either in the end you are either a child's parent or you are not. And blood does not have a lot do to with it. ~ Tony Parsons,
387:We’re here with a special offer for you, Mr. Steele. A once-in-a-lifetime type of opportunity. (Joe)
Oh, wait, I’ve seen this movie. I do a job for you, and you let me go. So who am I? I can’t be Eddie Murphy, wrong ethnicity. I’m not bald, so I can’t be Vin Diesel. So where does that leave me? (Steele) ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
388:I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary? ~ Anonymous,
389:I once had someone swerve her tank out of our column and straight into a house. With a very large basement. Because she was too sleep-deprived to think. It's funny now, but it wasn't funny then. – Oh, who am I kidding, it was HILARIOUS, even if it was kind of a disaster. I laughed so hard my aide almost shot me. ~ Yoon Ha Lee,
390:I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary. ~ John Green,
391:My identity was a big issue when I was a teenager, and I had a lot of questions, like: 'Who am I?' 'Who do I belong to?' But when I was still quite young, I decided that belonging is a tough process in life, and I'd better say I belonged to myself and the world rather than belonging to one nationality or another. ~ Hiam Abbass,
392:I'm always trying to ask myself both "Who am I as an individual?" and "What are the cultural forces that have made me the person that I am?" How can I understand myself as a cultural creature as well as an individual? I'm really obsessed with that question, and always asking my students to consider it. ~ Alison Hawthorne Deming,
393:I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it - or my observation of it - is temporary? ~ John Green,
394:I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary? ~ John Green,
395:When you get your “Who am I?” question right, all the “What should I do?” questions tend to take care of themselves. The very fact that so many religious people have to so vigorously prove and defend their salvation theories makes one seriously doubt whether they have experienced divine mirroring at any great depth. ~ Richard Rohr,
396:Who am I, that you should love me?"
"You are My Queen," said Eugenides. She sat perfectly still, looking at him without moving as his words dropped like water into dry earth.
"Do you believe me?" he asked.
"Yes," she answered.
"Do you love me?"
"Yes."
"I love you."
And she believed him. ~ Megan Whalen Turner,
397:A divorced or separated person wasn’t allowed to enter the family home, for example, and all Protestants were regarded as automatically destined for damnation. Rosa, however, broke through that rigidity, shaping a more generous faith that later flowered in the Argentine pope’s most famous line, “Who am I to judge? ~ John L Allen Jr,
398:If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalized because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society. The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. ~ Pope Francis,
399:I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary? A ~ John Green,
400:Cinderella’s voice trailed out of hearing range as the soldiers trailed after her like a herd of attentive cows. Friedrich adjusted his hat. “I want them to like her. I want her to like them,” he repeated to himself. He groaned as he headed back to his friends. “Who am I kidding? Diederick is right. She is a firecracker.”   ~ K M Shea,
401:If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? ... The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. ~ Pope Francis,
402:People who become great leaders are those who take time to reflect every day on the big questions: Who am I? What is my purpose? Who are my heroes in history, mythology, and religion? What are my unique talents and how do I express them? These are the qualities of silent reflection that make a great leader, like Jesus. ~ Deepak Chopra,
403:Gratitude asks, “Why me? Why do I get all that I have?” David modeled this kind of gratitude when he prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”15 Years later, his son would write, “It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else. ~ Rick Warren,
404:The most enduring of the false narratives is that the signature phrase of the early pontificate - "Who am I to judge?" - was a matter of the pope jettisoning millennia of Catholic moral teaching. It was not. It was a specific response to the circumstances of a man who had repented and was trying to live an upright life. ~ George Weigel,
405:
   Who am I? It seems like an easy question. And then I realize.. Maybe what I said to those cops wasn't a joke. Maybe the name belongs to whoever has the courage to fight.



   And so I tell them.



   I tell them who I am



   You can call me Ms. Marvel. And if you cooperate, I won't throw you again.

~ G Willow Wilson,
406:I got comments about being too small, too short, there haven't been any Asian players and who am I to go out there and turn pro before my 16th birthday? And that's all good and fine. People want to have their comments and their opinions. Ultimately, you do what you believe in your heart. I think for me, things turned out OK. ~ Michael Chang,
407:There's this existential crisis in America and in the West of, like - who am I? - based on this searching for individual fulfillment, which you don't necessarily have in the East in the same way because you're kind of told what to do. I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm just saying that's just, like, the reality. ~ Aasif Mandvi,
408:Who am I going to sit with at lunch? Who is going to let me borrow a pencil if I need one?” he pleaded out the question like a total drama queen. I wasn’t sure where the hell he’d picked that up from.

My real question was: why wouldn’t he have a pencil to begin with? I’d bought him a value pack and mechanical pencils. ~ Mariana Zapata,
409:I find that the only way I can survive is in the present tense. If I look at my past, I see loneliness. Loneliness and… and mistakes made of loneliness. If I look at my future, I see fear. Struggle. The possibility of much pain. And so I look only at now, at this present tense, and ask myself, what am I doing now? Who am I now? ~ Claire North,
410:I think any break-up from a long relationship has this accompanying feeling of who am I without this person. You feel like a half-person because you've integrated yourself into an idea of a couple for so long, and then teasing that out and finding out who you are without them, it just takes a while. It feels like an amputation. ~ Greta Gerwig,
411:We were friends with Jonathan Demme. We were all down on the West Side of New York, and I think I met Kurt Vonnegut through Edith Demme. And then I was lucky to do Who Am I This Time? 1982, which was an adaptation of his short story that Jonathan Demme directed with Chris Walken and I, and that really cemented the friendship. ~ Susan Sarandon,
412:I have people who want to pull me into specific projects in the community based on my music and on the mixtapes. It's like, it's the truth but I'm not trying to preach to you. Because who am I to say what's really right or wrong, or whether what I say is going to change anything? I don't take it too seriously; it's really whimsical. ~ Lupe Fiasco,
413:Inside our mind there is hidden place that contains the mind within the mind. There, you will find another version of yourself that may be your true self. We do not find that self by travelling, by searching. We find that self by sitting still, being quiet and looking inside. Ask yourself: who am I? And your true self will answer. ~ Chloe Thurlow,
414:/Farsi & Turkish Love is here; it is the blood in my veins, my skin. I am destroyed; He has filled me with Passion. His fire has flooded the nerves of my body. Who am I? Just my name; the rest is Him. [1722.jpg] -- from Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom, by Andrew Harvey / Eryk Hanut

~ Jalaluddin Rumi, Love is Here
,
415:Lately I’ve had to redefine the word “knowledge” to a knowledge that cannot know anything. I’m dealing not in careless absurdities here but in the way material reality is unobservable and implicit order can be found in paradox. Perhaps despair is the only human sin. Who am I to feel disappointment? Is a bird disappointed in the sky ~ Gretel Ehrlich,
416:She had the feeling that she would be different from now on, that she could never go back and be the same person she had been.

So who am I now?
Somebody fierce, I think.
Somebody who’d enjoy running through the darkness, underneath stars bright as miniature suns, and maybe even hunt deer.
Somebody who can laugh and death ~ L J Smith,
417:That’s what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary? ~ John Green,
418:Who am I? The shell-selling Lace girl, the attendant of Lady Arilou, Mother Govrie’s other daughter, the thing of dust, the victim, the revenger, the diplomat, the crowd-witch, the killer, the rescuer, the pirate?

I am anything I wish to be. The world cannot choose for me. No, it is for me to choose what the world shall be. ~ Frances Hardinge,
419:That's what I believe. I believe that universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary? ~ John Green,
420:You start questioning yourself: Who am I? Where do I belong? Where am I going? Why is my city divided? Why are we not allowed to enter in certain areas? We used to ask my father why the Christians lived in another neighborhood and didn’t come to our neighborhood. I think my father was trying to avoid having us think about these issues. ~ Rula Jebreal,
421:They’re less into “finding their strengths” and more into “adaptive service”—exploring what needs fixing and growing into the person who can fix it. The question they ask is less often “Who am I and what am I good at?” and more often “What is required to be of service here, and how can I grow into that or lead others to deliver that? ~ Brendon Burchard,
422:Even if the fall of our Society would make life better for some, it would make it worse for others. Who am I to try to change things, to get greedy and want more? If our Society changes and things are different, who am I to tell the girl who would have enjoyed the safe protected life that now she has to have choice and danger because of me? ~ Ally Condie,
423:Give up the idea of being a person, that is all. You need not become what you are anyhow. There is the identity of what you are and there is the person superimposed on it. All you know is the person, the identity - which is not a person - you do not know, for you never doubted, never asked yourself the crucial question: 'Who am I?' ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,
424:All this stuff is so mind-blowing to me that I get to do in my life. Throwing the first pitch out at the White Sox game on a random Wednesday? Like who am I? How did I get this life? I'm glad I'm not jaded, and little kids are the least jaded people in the entire world, so it's fun to be around people that still find wonder in how cool things are. ~ Jonah Hill,
425:I was a very determined kid. I couldn't imagine any other life for myself. This happens to kids who are different in any way. How am I going to make a life? Who am I going to be when I grow up? Will there be a place for me in the world? Acting gave me a sense of purpose, but it also gave me a sense that I would survive, that I would find my place. ~ Linda Hunt,
426:Who am I? Oh, yes: I'm the kind of person who doesn't like fiction, country music, or cilantro. We use these defining truths to help us stay in the lines of ourselves. We think we have to hold on to these labels, we feel comfortable holding on to these labels, but it turns out the labels are removable, you can peel them right off. ~ Amy Krouse Rosenthal,
427:Nothing wrong with changing your mind. That's a very unwaffling thing to say: "Nothing wrong..." Who am I to say that there's nothing wrong with it? Maybe something is wrong with changing your mind. Anyway, love is very, very difficult. I love. But probably because I hate myself on some deep, sick level, it makes loving difficult. But I do try. ~ Jonathan Ames,
428:Now here you go again
You say you want your freedom
Well who am I to keep you down
It's only right that you should
Play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat ... drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost ...

[Dreams] ~ Stevie Nicks,
429:Who am I? I'm the one you love to love and love to hate. I make you laugh, cry & cringe. You'll forever remember me or easily forget me. I'm past, present & future in black and white. I'm unique but always compared. You want me to take you away from your life if only for a little while. My pen knows no morals or boundaries. I'm a writer! ~ Eveli Acosta,
430:I have at least the whole of my life to answer a question: Who am I? And who is the other? A gust of wind at dawn? A motionless landscape? A trembling leaf? A coil of white smoke above a mountain? I write all these words and I hear the wind, not outside, but inside my head. A strong wind, it rattles the shutters through which I enter the dream. ~ Tahar Ben Jelloun,
431:First of all, I must make it clear that this girl does not know herself apart from the fact that she goes on living aimlessly. Were she foolish enough to ask herself 'Who am I?', she would fall flat on her face. For the question 'Who am I?' creates a need. And how does one satisfy that need? To probe oneself is to recognize that one is incomplete. ~ Clarice Lispector,
432:Unable to guess the answer, she asked, 'Who am I, that you should love me?'
'You are my Queen,' said Eugenides. She sat perfectly still, looking at him without moving as his words dropped like water into dry earth.
'Do you believe me?' he asked.
'Yes,' she answered.
'Do you love me?'
'Yes.'
'I love you.'
And she believed him. ~ Megan Whalen Turner,
433:Who am I? What am I doing here? I fall between the cold walls of human malevolence, a white figure fluttering, sinking down through the cold lake, a mountain of skulls above me. I settle down to the cold latitudes, the chalk steps washed with indigo. The earth in its dark corridors knows my step, feels a foot abroad, a wing stirring, a gasp and a shudder. ~ Henry Miller,
434:IDENTITY
ACTION
FEELINGS

You begin by asking, "Who am I going to be?" You decided to be courageous again. So what's next? Act that way. Act with courage. And here comes the part that's so simple it's easy to miss: the way you act will shape the way you feel. You act with courage and immediately your fears start to shrink and you begin to grow. ~ Eric Greitens,
435:I know she wouldn’t like it, but the possessiveness I feel for her tells me unequivocally how serious I am. She’s mine. I mean, I know she’s not mine mine, I’m a liberated guy, she’s her own person, nobody owns anyone, that’s not what I’m saying. Oh fuck it, who am I kidding? I’m saying she’s mine and I’ll pound any motherfucker who tries to get between us. ~ J T Geissinger,
436:No questions, no excuses, none of this who-am-I, what-am-I, where-am-I crap, not a grain of self-mistrust or the slightest impulse toward spiritual distinction; rather, like so many of his generation out of Newark’s old Jewish slums, a man who breathed the spirit of opposition while remaining completely in accord with the ways and means of the earth. Back when ~ Philip Roth,
437:...there are just some people you cannot find the good in. But who am I to decide if someone should be killed for murdering a child...instead of for murdering a drug addict during a deal that went bad...or even if we should be killing the inmate himself? I'm not smart enough to be able to say which life is worth more than the other. I don't know if anyone is. ~ Jodi Picoult,
438:I don't want to be lofty when I say this, but I don't know what a success is any more. I know how we define it, but that was a moment where I went, "Wait, who am I?" You could feel the business, in particular, kind of go "He's all right, let's go over here." I started to go, "Wait, I know why I love to do this." I think I got off track in why I love to do it. ~ Jake Gyllenhaal,
439:Mankind can never get rid of the need for religious self-identification: who am I, where did I come from, where do I fit in, why am I responsible, what does my life mean, how will I face death? Religion is a paramount aspect of human culture. Religious need cannot be ex-communicated from culture by rationalist incantation. Man does not live by reason alone. ~ Leszek Ko akowski,
440:Pursue the enquiry ‘Who am I?’ relentlessly. Analyse your entire personality. Try to find out where the I-thought begins. Go on with your meditations. Keep turning your attention within. One day the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition will mysteriously arise. Follow that intuition, let your thinking stop, and it will eventually lead you to the goal. ~ Paul Brunton,
441:Basically, my deal is that I choose roles based on three criteria. One is the role, obviously, if it's something that speaks to me. Two is, are they gonna pay me? And three is, who am I gonna work with? And, really, if one of those is there, I'm pretty likely to do it, but it's particularly important to me who I'm going to work with, 'cause that's part of the joy. ~ Brent Spiner,
442:Who am I?' is not a mantra. It means that you must find out where in you the 'I-thought' arises, which is the source of all other thoughts. But if you find that vichara marga (path of enquiry) is too hard for you, you go on repeating 'I-I' and that will lead you to the same goal. There is no harm in using 'I' as a mantra. It is the first name of God. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Gems,
443:Watch us, all stand in line, for a slice of the devil's pie. Who am I to justify, all the evil in our eye. Been through hell. All them fools whose souls' for sale. Demons screaming in my ear. Your soul's me, your soul's somethin' that I, feel inside. If I run, Lord only knows how far. You're part of my identity. I sometimes have the tendency to look at you religiously. ~ D Angelo,
444:There is the devil at the door. I'm nearly going under, can't help but wonder who am I working for? No one's more enslaved now then the ones who falsely feel they are free. I've come to terms with the fact that nothing is what it seems. This life is an illusion. And everything you thought you knew isn't what it seems. Only truth will set you free. This new world has begun. ~ Tinashe,
445:Who am I? is the only question worth asking and the only one never answered. It is your destiny to play an infinity of roles, but these roles are not yourself. The spirit is non-local, but it leaves behind a fingerprint, which we call a body. A wizard does not believe himself to be a local event dreaming of a larger world. A wizard is a world dreaming of local events. ~ Deepak Chopra,
446:One of the most fundamental ways that the Christian faith disrupts the questions of philosophy about self and identity is actually by bypassing the whole issue: who I am is not actually my concern. It is far from my responsibility and life’s work to create and curate myself. For the Christian, the question of “Who am I?” is actually just another way of asking “Who is He? ~ Rachel Jankovic,
447:Let us have compassion for those under chastisement. Alas, who are we ourselves? Who am I and who are you? Whence do we come and is it quite certain that we did nothing before we were born? This earth is not without some resemblance to a gaol. Who knows but that man is a victim of divine justice? Look closely at life. It is so constituted that one senses punishment everywhere. ~ Victor Hugo,
448:You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. ~ Jim Rohn,
449:Heaven works extensively with the fact that we're currently placed here in 3D as the 'spirit' part of what is to come. Each being in heaven represents the human factor dimensionally, therefore our focus is the direction of the dimensions to be able to assist all here as one. My 'daily' focus here is the discovery/growth of self, if I am to use such a word, meaning who am I? ~ Timothy Treadwell,
450:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. ~ Marianne Williamson,
451:But if I hope to understand in order to accept things - the act of surrender will never happen. I must take the plunge all at once, a plunge that includes comprehension and especially incomprehension. And who am I to dare to think? What I have to do is surrender. How is it done? I know however that only by walking do you know how to walk and - miracle - find yourself walking. ~ Clarice Lispector,
452:Who am I? I'm a survivor. I'm a woman with tremendous inner resources and resilience. I care about people. I believe in 'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,' and I live by that. I am becoming authentic, and that's important to me. I have surpassed both my parents in terms of emotional stability, happiness and well-being. And I'm a lucky woman. I've deserved my luck. ~ Jane Fonda,
453:If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle. ~ Richard Rhodes,
454:I feel I'm exactly where I belong. When I'm with Mr Nakata I can't be bothered with all this who-am-I? stuff. Maybe this is going over board, but I bet Buddha's followers and Jesus' apostles felt the same way. When I'm with the Buddha, I always feel I'm where I belong - something like that. Forget about culture, truth, all that junk. That kind of inspiration is what it's all about. ~ Haruki Murakami,
455:Who am I?” Laia muttered to her invisible audience, and they knew the answer and told it to her with one voice. She was the little girl with scabby knees, sitting on the doorstep staring down through the dirty golden haze of River Street in the heat of late summer, the six-year-old, the sixteen-year-old, the fierce, cross, dream-ridden girl, untouched, untouchable. She was herself ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
456:As Confucius once said, 'He who does nothing is the one who does nothing.'" Gabby pondered the words, the furrowed her brow. "did Confucius really say that?" Sunglasses in place, Stephanie managed the tiniest of shrugs. "No, but who cared? The point is, they handled, and most likely they found some sort of self-satisfaction in their industrious-ness. Who am I to deprive them of that? ~ Nicholas Sparks,
457:I went through that stage every teenager goes through: Who am I? What am I? Where do I fit in? In my case I had to deal with newspapers saying I looked fat or tired or my hair was a mess. People always criticize: they either love you, or they don't. But you have to block that out and concentrate on the work. And I feel I am doing good work, and I'm finally getting to see who I really am. ~ LeAnn Rimes,
458:Hannah hadn’t been moving suggestively when she’d belted out Lady Gaga earlier, but she sure as shit is moving suggestively now. She’s gone from Disney Channel Miley Cyrus to Full-on Twerk Mode Miley, and it’s officially time for me to put a stop to it before she moves straight to Let’s Make a Sex Tape Miley. Wait—has Miley ever made a sex tape? Fuck, who am I kidding? Of course she has. ~ Elle Kennedy,
459:Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (1Chronicles 29:14). This is the way we should speak of fasting. There is no ground of boasting here. Who am I that I should be able to fast? Nobody. There is nothing in me that would choose this for your glory apart from your transforming grace. ~ John Piper,
460:Who am I?” he whispered. “For years I pretended I was other than I was, and then I gloried that I might return to the truth of myself, only to find there is no truth to return to. I was an ordinary child, and then I was a not very good man, and now I do not know how to be either of those things any longer. I do not know what I am, and when Jem is gone, there will be no one to show me. ~ Cassandra Clare,
461:Sometimes it seems the universe wants to be noticed.’ “That’s what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary? ~ John Green,
462:You can't take yourself too seriously. Like, yeah, I'm doin' all that, but still I don't feel like I've done anything, really. I feel blessed 'cause I'm doin' all these things, but I'm not satisfied. I still have that feeling like, "Who am I? Who am I to have an ego? Who am I to change up and act like some Hollywood character?" Technically, in the grand scheme of things, I haven't done anything. ~ J Cole,
463:As Confucius once said, 'He who does nothing is the one who does nothing.'"
Gabby pondered the words, the furrowed her brow. "did Confucius really say that?"
Sunglasses in place, Stephanie managed the tiniest of shrugs. "No, but who cared? The point is, they handled, and most likely they found some sort of self-satisfaction in their industrious-ness. Who am I to deprive them of that? ~ Nicholas Sparks,
464:It'll be no use their putting their heads down and saying "Come up again, dear!" I shall only look up and say "Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else"--but, oh dear!' cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears, 'I do wish they WOULD put their heads down! I am so VERY tired of being all alone here! ~ Lewis Carroll,
465:Hope is always about the future. And it isn't always good news. Sometimes, hope can imprison us with belief or expectation that something will happen in the future to change our lives. Similarly hopelessness isn't always about despair. Hopelessness can bring us right into this very moment and answer all of life's most difficult questions. Who am I? Where am I? What does this mean? And what now? ~ Daniel Gottlieb,
466:I turn my head, and you may go where you want. I turn it again, you will stay till you rot. I have no face, but I live or die by my crooked teeth—who am I?” Door took a step forward. She licked her lips and half closed her eyes. “I turn my head . . .” she said, puzzling to herself. “Crooked teeth . . . go where you . . .” Then a smile spread over her face. She stared up at Brother Fuliginous. “A key, ~ Neil Gaiman,
467:[about being a father] I don't really remember what it was like before. Whatever I had going on, it was bullshit. It wasn't important. It's kind of a nice thing about being a dad. My identity is really about them now, and what I can do for them, so it sort of takes the pressure off of your own life. What am I going to do, who am I? Who cares, you've got to get your kids to school. So I like it that way. ~ Louis C K,
468:That's a good question. I don't really remember what it was like before. Whatever I had going on, it was bullshit. It wasn't important. It's kind of a nice thing about being a dad. My identity is really about them now, and what I can do for them, so it sort of takes the pressure off of your own life. What am I going to do, who am I? Who cares, you've got to get your kids to school. So I like it that way. ~ Louis C K,
469:I had lost confidence and a sense of self. Who am I? Am I a person who cowers in fear at the back of a spin class, avoiding everyone’s gaze? This uncertainty about who I am, this confusion over where I truly was in the time line of my illness and recovery, was ultimately the deeper source of the shame. A part of my soul believed that I would never be myself, the carefree, confident Susannah, again. ~ Susannah Cahalan,
470:IF SEANAN MCGUIRE WERE A superhero, her power would be— Oh, who am I kidding? You and I both know Seanan would be a supervillain. She’d wear a sparkling tiara and a glittering orange and black costume (complete with machete and a builtin battery pack for the chainsaw attachment). She’d laugh from her secret virology laboratory as she manipulated a hundred strains of beautiful, microscopic, viral doom. ~ Seanan McGuire,
471:You have a self that can look down from a more exalted position upon that lower, ego-dominated self. So begin to know yourself as something far greater than the ever-changing, ever-dying aspects that have dominated your picture of who you are. Who am I? is then answered with, I am an infinite being who originated not from my parents, but from a Source that is itself birthless, deathless, and changeless. ~ Wayne W Dyer,
472:I don’t want you being with anyone else period.” My brain flickers into static, his words lost in the noise. “Are you asking me out?” “No.” “Then what are you saying?” He closes his eyes, his chest rising and falling on a sigh. “Hell if I know.” I can’t help it. I laugh. And eyes closed, a smile forms on his face. “You’re not making any sense.” “I know.” “If I’m not supposed to be with anyone else, who am I ~ Jamie Shaw,
473:There is no looking-glass here and I don't know what I am like now. I remember watching myself brush my hair and how my eyes looked back at me. The girl I saw was myself yet not quite myself. Long ago when I was a child and very lonely I tried to kiss her. But the glass was between us - hard, cold and misted over with my breath. Now they have taken everything away. What am I doing in this place and who am I? ~ Jean Rhys,
474:Who am I? What have I done with my life? Who can I trust?
That last one is a doozy. It haunts you in moments of doubt. Sometimes when you wake up at night, you wonder if you've put your faith in the right people. Sometimes when you find yourself alone, for whatever reason, you review every little thing you know about someone, searching your memory for small, subtle things you may have missed about them. ~ Jim Butcher,
475:IDENTITY
ACTION
FEELINGS

You begin by asking, "Who am I going to be?" You decided to be courageous again. So what's next? Act that way. Act with courage. And here comes the part that's so simple it's easy to miss: the way you act will shape the way you feel. You act with courage and immediately your fears start to shrink and you begin to grow. If you want to feel differently, act differently. ~ Eric Greitens,
476:If you think about it hard enough, if you trace potential
reverberations long enough, every step can be a false step, any move can lead to an
unintended consequence.
Who am I ignoring that I shouldn’t be ignoring? What am I not saying that I should be
saying? What won’t I notice that she would absolutely notice? While I’m out in the
public hallways, what private languages am I not hearing? ~ David Levithan,
477:Take a trip in my mind
see all that I've seen,
and you'd be called a
beast, not a human being...

Fuck it, cause there's
not much I can do,
there's no way out, my
screams have no voice no
matter how loud I shout...

I could be called a
low life, but life ain't
as low as me. I'm
in juvenile hall headed
for the penitentiary.
George Trevino, sixteen, "Who Am I? ~ Edward Humes,
478:If at times I have thought myself unfortunate, it is because of a confusion, an error. I have mistaken myself for someone else... Who am I really? I am the author of The World as Will and Representation, I am the one who has given an answer to the mystery of Being that will occupy the thinkers of future centuries. That is what I am, and who can dispute it in the years of life that still remain for me? ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
479:It'll be no use their putting their heads down and saying "Come up again, dear!"
I shall only look up and say "Who am I then? Tell me that first, and then,
if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here
till I'm somebody else"--but, oh dear!' cried Alice, with a sudden burst
of tears, 'I do wish they WOULD put their heads down! I am so VERY tired
of being all alone here! ~ Lewis Carroll,
480:Let us have compassion on the chastised. Alas! Who are we ourselves? Who am I who now address you? Who are you who are listening to me? And are you very sure that we have done nothing before we were born? The earth is not devoid of resemblance to a jail. Who knows whether man is not a recaptured offender against divine justice? Look closely at life. It is so made, that everywhere we feel the sense of punishment. ~ Victor Hugo,
481:Most of my friends are into strange things I don't really understand - and with a few shameful exceptions I wish them all well. Who am I, after all, to tell some friend he shouldn't change his name to Oliver High, get rid of his family, and join a Satanism cult in Seattle? Or to argue with another friend who wants to buy a single-shot Remington Fireball so he can go out and shoot cops from a safe distance? ~ Hunter S Thompson,
482:To achieve respectability, to be admitted to the debate, they must accept without question or inquiry the fundamental doctrine that the state is benevolent, governed by the loftiest intentions, adopting a defensive stance, not an actor in world affairs but only reacting to the crimes of others...If even the harshest of critics tacitly adopt these premises, then the ordinary person may ask, who am I to disagree? ~ Noam Chomsky,
483:Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'
On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'
In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'
In the words that I'm thinkin'
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking ~ Bob Dylan,
484:You want these back, don't you? You want me out of here so you can come back and take over where you left off. I don't blame you. It's your body and your brain-and your life, even though you weren't able to make much use of it. I don't have the right to take it away from you. Nobody does. Who's to say that my light is better than your darkness? Who's to say death is better than your darkness? Who am I to say?... ~ Daniel Keyes,
485:energy is attracted to them. Sometimes dark energy, but usually, just an aspect of that energy.” “Not the entire entity.” “Right, Sam. Just like not all of you is contained within your physical vessel.” “An aspect of me?” “An idea of you, Sam. Your soul. Your real soul lies in the energetic world, observing all of this with interest.” “So, who am I, then?” “Think of yourself as a representative of who you really are. ~ J R Rain,
486:He strips his shirt over his head and I catch my breath, watching those long hard muscles ripple. I know how his shoulders look, bunched, when he's on top of me, how his face gets tight with lust, as he eases inside me. "Who am I?"

"Jericho"

"Who are you?" He kicks off his boots, steps out of his pants. He's commando tonight.

My breath whooshes out of me in a run-on word: "Whogivesafuck? ~ Karen Marie Moning,
487:This is the hour I hide everything
Behind my eyes
To see if you can see
All the trouble my brain's been brewing.

Yes, I feel I am the worst and you are the best
And yet, and yet,
Nothing bad unfolds as we sit,
Young and nervous,
Alive and bursting,
With futures that may not entwine.
Who am I?
Who am I to sabotage what may be too small
For even chaos to notice
And disassemble? ~ Evan Roskos,
488:A man must find time for himself. Time is what we spend our lives with. If we are not careful we find others spending it for us. . . . It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?' . . . If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one's time—the stuff of life. ~ Carl Sandburg,
489:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn't serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. ~ Marianne Williamson,
490:He still had on last night’s trousers. Not a good sign. However, she had not killed him in his sleep—and that was a good sign. She was probably saving his execution for later, when he could feel it. He stood up straight in front of the mirror. He stuck out his hairy chest. He flexed, popping out tattooed biceps. I am a marine, he said to himself. She is five foot three. He sagged visibly. Who am I kidding? was his next thought. He ~ Robyn Carr,
491:Jake still won’t talk to me, and I miss him so much, it’s like I’ve been hollowed out by a nuclear blast and there’s nothing left but ashes fluttering inside brittle bones. I’ve sent him dozens of texts that aren’t only unanswered; they’re unread. He unfriended me on Facebook and unfollowed me on Instagram and Snapchat. He’s pretending I don’t exist and I’m starting to think he’s right. If I’m not Jake’s girlfriend, who am I? ~ Karen M McManus,
492:Gorilla, a guy who got his name because he's hairy and because his arms are so long his knuckles scrape the floor. He's grinning and moving closer and she's blocked in on all sides by a mass of bodies. I look at her and him. I look at the window. I think back to our date. She can always break his nose if he gets too friendly. I jump through, land on the grass, and turn around. Who am I kidding? I want to see it if she breaks his nose. ~ Cath Crowley,
493:She rolls her eyes and stomps her foot. I’d call the action cute if I didn’t know this girl wouldn’t hesitate to take out her frustration on a part of my body that is very near and dear to me. A part of my body that holds the future of the Garrett line. The part that could potentially, wait, who am I kidding, that will probablyproduce the first All Powerful, All Knowing Ambassador of the Earth…That would be my genitals, to be clear. ~ Leah Rae Miller,
494:But who am I if I'm not Janie the bulimic? Bulimia has become so much a part of me that I can't remember what it felt like not to purge. It's been this secret that I have hidden from my parents and my friends (well, except for Nancy) and the rest of the world. It's the way I can let off the pressure of always feeling like I'm not smart enough, I'm not thin enough, not pretty enough, not funny enough, just plain not enough enough. ~ Sarah Darer Littman,
495:On the beach, at dawn: Four small stones clearly Hugging each other. How many kinds of love Might there be in the world, And how many formations might they make And who am I ever To imagine I could know Such a marvelous business? When the sun broke It poured willingly its light Over the stones That did not move, not at all, Just as, to its always generous term, It shed its light on me, My own body that loves, Equally, to hug another body. ~ Mary Oliver,
496:BLAMING IDIOTS FOR interruptions is like blaming clowns for scaring children—they can’t help it. It’s their nature. Then again, I had (who am I kidding—and have), on occasion, been known to create interruptions out of thin air. If you’re anything like me, that makes us both occasional idiots. Learn to recognize and fight the interruption impulse. This is infinitely easier when you have a set of rules, responses, and routines to follow. ~ Timothy Ferriss,
497:The question "Who am I?" really asks, "Where do I belong or fit?" We get the sense of that "direction" -- the sense of moving toward the place where we fit, or of shaping the place toward which we are moving so that it will fit us -- from hearing how others have handled or are attempting to handle similar (but never exactly the same) situations. We learn by listening to their stories, by hearing how they came (or failed) to belong or fit. ~ Ernest Kurtz,
498:For fear is a primary source of evil. And when the question "Who am I?" recurs and is unanswered, then fear and frustration project a negative attitude. The bewildered soul can answer only: "Since I do not understand 'Who I am,' I only know what I am not." The corollary of this emotional incertitude is snobbism, intolerance and racial hate. The xenophobic individual can only reject and destroy, as the xenophobic nation inevitably makes war. ~ Carson McCullers,
499:Who am I to claim such boundless sorrow? This heartache, acute and true as it may be, is slight compared to all of this world. Five miscarriages, two stillborn, three live births, and Mrs. Connor is one of our fortunate. She is not disemboweled in the snow. Her hands have committed no atrocities. She believes in God.
It is remarkable how we go on. All that we come to know and witness and endure, yet our hearts keep beating, our faith persists. ~ Eowyn Ivey,
500:Who am I to judge others for the choices they make? If a soul is born to be wild, it will only grow angry with a leash wrapped around its neck. If a soul prefers order, then it will shrivel with too many choices. Neither is wrong.”
“You do not see darkness as evil?”
“Nothing is evil. The very idea was created by those who won wars and whished to paint their poor choices as the right thing. No one goes into war or battle thinking they are evil. ~ Emma Hamm,
501:ON THE BEACH On the beach, at dawn: four small stones clearly hugging each other. How many kinds of love might there be in the world, and how many formations might they make and who am I ever to imagine I could know such a marvelous business? When the sun broke it poured willingly its light over the stones that did not move, not at all, just as, to its always generous term, it shed its light on me, my own body that loves, equally, to hug another body. ~ Mary Oliver,
502:when you come across a person who appears, in relative terms as observed within your world, to be disadvantaged, the first question you have to ask is: Who am I and who do I choose to be, in relationship to that? In other words, the first question when you encounter another in any circumstance should always be: What do I want here? Did you hear that? Your first question, always, must be: What do I want here?—not: What does the other person want here? ~ Neale Donald Walsch,
503:Every living being longs always to be happy, untainted by sorrow; and everyone has the greatest love for himself, which is solely due to the fact that happiness is his real nature. Hence, in order to realize that inherent and untainted happiness, which indeed he daily experiences when the mind is subdued in deep sleep, it is essential that he should know himself. For obtaining such knowledge the inquiry 'Who am I?' in quest of the Self is the best means. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
504:If you're not focusing on becoming so good they can't ignore you, you're going to be left behind. This clarity is refreshing. It tells you to stop worrying about what your job offers you, and instead worry about what you're offering the world. This mindset–which I call the craftsman mindset-allows you to sidestep the anxious questions generated by the passion hypothesis—"Who am I?", "What do I truly love?"—and instead put your head down and focus on becoming valuable. ~ Cal Newport,
505:And then we jumped off Mount Olympus and flew through the clouds and you held your knee to your chest because you skinned it on a sharp cloud and then we fell into a salty lake. Then I woke up and the window frightened me and I thought: Eurydice is dead. Then I thought—who is Eurydice? Then the whole room started to float and I thought: what are people? Then my bed clothes smiled at me with a crooked green mouth and I thought: who am I? It scares me, Eurydice. Please come back. ~ Sarah Ruhl,
506:Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. ~ Marianne Williamson,
507:As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry "Who am I?" Is required. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through inquiry. If one resorts to contemplation of the Self unintermittently, until the Self is gained, that alone would do. As long as their enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi,
508:Can I sleep with you?" asked Oz. "Kinda scary in my room. Pretty sure I saw a troll in the corner."
Lou said, "Get up here." Oz climbed next to her.
Oz suddenly looked troubled. "When you get married, who am I going to come get in bed with when I'm scared, Lou?"
"One day you're gonna get bigger than me, then I'm going to be running to you when I get scared."
"How do you know that?"
"Because that's the deal God makes between big sisters and their little brothers. ~ David Baldacci,
509:It can be difficult going through a period of time where you feel depressed because it can become your identifier. In the sense that you wake up, you're depressed; you talk to your friends, you're complaining that you're depressed; you talk to your parents, you're unmotivated. You know what you could do to try to overcome it - although obviously there's no cure - but you start to feel like, 'what will happen to me if I feel better? Who am I when I'm happy. I'm so used to feeling like this.' ~ Halsey,
510:Colt, you’re a cop. I’m fairly certain you realize what you are proposing is illegal. As in bigamy.”
He laughed. “You don’t legally marry us both. Just one of us. Then the three of us make our own private vows.”
“Fine,” she leaned back and gave him a smug look as if expecting her next question to jar some sense into them. “Who am I going to legally marry?”
He grinned at her transparency. Obviously, she thought this was going to be a sticking point. “We’ll arm wrestle to decide that. ~ Mari Carr,
511:Now, years later, I can translate that lesson into: safe isn’t always better than sorry. Sometimes you need sorry to appreciate the safe. And sometimes safe is just plain boring. Rayna’s probably going through a combination of both right now. And who am I to say what’s right and what’s wrong?
And what is the law to say how she should live?
The law prohibits Half-Breeds. Am I really that bad? The law is like a one-size-fits-all T-shirt. And how often do those shirts really fit everyone? ~ Anna Banks,
512:Outward ritual cannot destroy ignorance, because they are not mutually contradictory,” wrote Shankara in his famous Century of Verses. “Realized knowledge alone destroys ignorance....Knowledge cannot spring up by any other means than enquiry. ‘Who am I? How was this universe born? Who is its maker? What is its material cause?’ This is the kind of enquiry referred to.” The intellect has no answer for these questions; hence the rishis evolved yoga as the technique of spiritual enquiry. The ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
513:Think, "I am beyond the body. This body is just a water bubble. I am beyond the mind. This mind is just a mad monkey. I am the Atma. I and God are one. Before this body was formed I was there. After this body leaves I am there. Without this body I am still there. I am omnipresent. I am all." To reach this truth you have to do some spiri­tual practice. You have to inquire, "What is God? Who is God? Who am I?" Jesus spent twelve years in the desert; then he realized. You must also do some Sadhana. ~ Sathya Sai Baba,
514:On the beach, at dawn:
Four small stones clearly
Hugging each other.

How many kinds of love
Might there be in the world,
And how many formations might they make

And who am I ever
To imagine I could know
Such a marvelous business?

When the sun broke
It poured willingly its light
Over the stones

That did not move, not at all,
Just as, to its always generous term,
It shed its light on me,

My own body that loves,
Equally, to hug another body. ~ Mary Oliver,
515:She really talks to you, doesn't she?" She asked. "it's not just you talking to her. She talks BACK."
"hel, half the time she starts it." I said, half-defensively. "I know it's weird."
"Well, yes, it's weird. Technically, I think it's insane. But who am I to judge?" Maggie shrugged. "I live in a house most people view as the setting of a horror movie waiting to happen, with an army of security ninjas and a couple dozen epileptic dogs for company. I don't think I'm qualified to pass judgement on 'weird'. ~ Mira Grant,
516:Take five minutes every day and just sit in silence. In that time, put these questions to your attention and heart: “Who am I? What do I want for my life? What do I want from my life today?” Then let go, and let your stream of consciousness, your quieter inner voice, supply the answers. Then, after five minutes, write them down. Do this every day and you’ll be surprised at how situations, circumstances, events, and people will orchestrate themselves around the answers. This is the beginning of synchrodestiny. ~ Deepak Chopra,
517:A lot of blues music seems like it's moving away from God, or the center, and Gospel music is moving towards it. It's embracing a higher reality. When you look a little closer, the way that I define it or explain it, is that the blues is the naked cry of the human heart, apart from God. People are searching for union with God. They're searching to be home. There's something in people that seeks this union with their creator. Why am I here? Where am I going? What's it all about? Who am I? All this kind of stuff. ~ Dion DiMucci,
518:At these words I was utterly stupefied and terror-stricken. I thought to myself, “With what tongue shall I address such majesty, seeing that all men ought to tremble in the presence of even an earthly prince? Who am I, that I should lift up mine eyes or raise my hands to the divine Majesty? The angels surround him. At his nod the earth trembles. And shall I, a miserable little pygmy, say ‘I want this, I ask for that’? For I am dust and ashes and full of sin and I am speaking to the living, eternal and the true God. ~ Martin Luther,
519:Who am I, and why? This is the question that writers of personal nonfiction must ask of themselves. Like other forms of art, the writing of memoirs and personal essays should be a journey of discovery. If we believe that we know the answer to the question before we sit down to write, we will learn nothing new about ourselves and, worse, our readers will be denied the opportunity to learn something new about themselves. Readers of your nonfiction should come away knowing more about themselves than they do about you. ~ Sean Prentiss,
520:'Who am I?' The answer is 'I am God'. The body comes and goes, but the Atma is permanent. The body has birth and death, but the spirit does not have any of these. You reach the stage where you say, 'I am God', but even there, there is duality, 'God and I'. That is not the full Truth. When we breathe, the breath makes the sound of 'So-Hum', 'He am I'. There is still the body consciousness, the 'I'. But in deep sleep, the declaration of 'He' and 'I' falls away and only '0' and 'M' remain, 'Om'; there is only the One. ~ Sathya Sai Baba,
521:First Russians objective was - as I said earlier - to sow discord, discontent, disruption. And their next objective was - because of the very strong personal animus that Putin himself had for both Clintons, both President Clinton and Secretary Clinton - and he particularly held her responsible for what he felt was an attempted color revolution in 2011 to attempt to overturn him. So, he had very strong hatred - personal hatred - towards her, and that kind of led him to - if I'm opposed to her, who am I going to favor? ~ James R Clapper,
522:Men like Caesar and Pompey--they're not heroes, Meto. They're monsters. They call their greed and ambition "honour," and to satisfy their so-called honour they'll tear the world apart. But who am I to judge them? Every man does what he must, to protect his share of the world. What's the difference between killing whole villages and armies, and killing a single man? Caesar's reasons and mine are different only in degree. The consequences and the suffering still spread to the innocent (Gordianus the Finder to his son Meto) ~ Steven Saylor,
523:As soon as the cold became uncomfortable, Eli had opened his shirt and had a nice long chat with the burn on his chest. Karon was happy to help them stick it to the ice and wind spirits, and he cheerfully kept the air around Eli as warm and dry as a smokehouse.

“I only wish it didn’t reek of sulfur,” Josef said, pressing up the mountainside. “I’d almost rather deal with the cold.”

“Well, don’t let me stop you,” Eli huffed, though even he looked a little green. “Who am I to stand between a man and his frostbite? ~ Rachel Aaron,
524:I did it for a little girl who was about to go charging out and maybe get herself killed much the same way—if I didn’t do something. I did it because she was my guest and I temporarily stood in loco parentis to her. I did it because she was all guts and gallantry but too ignorant to be allowed to monkey with such a buzz saw; she’d get hurt. But you, my cynical and sin-stained chum, know all about those buzz saws. If your own asinine carelessness caused you to back into one, who am I to tamper with your karma? You picked it. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
525:Definitely my generation and beyond grew up in theaters and when you make a film you think of the theatrical experience. You think of that big screen in the darkened theater with a lot of people, so that's always the thought behind it. If that's the case, it's nice if that's available. That's great, but I don't really mind if they're watching films on a plane. I don't mind. Anybody who just wants to watch a movie, I can't complain. If that's the way they're going to watch them, that's the way they watch them. Who am I to judge? ~ Richard Linklater,
526:    Qui suis-je, moi qu’on accuse?  Un esclave de la Liberte, un     martyr vivant de la Republique.  — “Discours de Robespierre, 8 Thermidor.”       (Who am I, — I whom they accuse?  A slave of Liberty, — a living     martyr for the Republic.) It roars, — The River of Hell, whose first outbreak was chanted as the gush of a channel to Elysium. How burst into blossoming hopes fair hearts that had nourished themselves on the diamond dews of the rosy dawn, when Liberty came from the dark ocean, and the arms of decrepit Thraldom ~ Edward Bulwer Lytton,
527:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. ~ Marianne Williamson,
528:Who am I doing it for,' I asked him. It was a fairly rhetorical question and the only reply it warranted was a shrug, which he supplied. I sat on the floor engrossed in the empty space before me. He lay stretched out on the couch looking sturdy and sure.

Maybe no man is an island, but some sure look like one. All safe and dry and looming on your horizon. But the current was against me and who was I kidding? His island was already inhabited and here I was, a teenaged trespasser. All I had to do was make the most of being adrift. ~ Carrie Fisher,
529:Swami cannot give peace of mind; you must work for it yourselves. First, stop the questioning and ask, 'who am I?'. This is my body, my mind, my intelligence. But who is this 'My'? Who is it that claims the ownership of that which is declared to be 'mine'? 'My' indicates ownership. That 'My' is the life. As long as the life is in the body, there is this connection between the 'my' and the intellect - 'my' body, 'my' house, 'my' land. But the moment you remove the life from the body, there is no 'my' or sense of possession. Life is God. ~ Sathya Sai Baba,
530:He turned to face her and studied her as if he could see right through her. “None of them are worthy of you.”

A wave of longing coursed through her. “Then who am I to marry?” When he failed to answer, she turned away and fiddled with the flowers on the desk. “Without the advantage of wealth or status, I’m not exactly overrun with prospects like you are.”

“Perhaps not,” he said softly, “but at least you can be certain the man who marries you did so for love and not because of your wealth or title.”

Charlotte & Sebastian ~ Ally Broadfield,
531:Nor did I affirm it openly, in so many words. I did not deny it, true. Who am I to express judgments on the plots of the Evil One, especially,” he added, and seemed to want to insist on this reason, “in cases where those who had initiated the inquisition, the bishop, the city magistrates, and the whole populace, perhaps the accused themselves, truly wanted to feel the presence of the Devil? There, perhaps the only real proof of the presence of the Devil was the intensity with which everyone at that moment desired to know he was at work. . . .” “Are ~ Umberto Eco,
532:You could hear the wind in the leaves, and on that wind traveled the screams of the kids on the playground in the distance, the little kids figuring out how to be alive, how to navigate a world that was not built for them by navigating a playground that was. . . Who am I to say that these things might not be forever? Who is Pete Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? All I know of heaven and all I know of death is in this park: an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children. ~ John Green,
533:To a significant degree, the commitments we make in life define us. They reveal our interests, passions and goals, and give important clues in discerning meaning and finding happiness in life. While many seem to struggle with the archetypal human question, "who am I?" one simple look at who and what you're devoted to, what takes up your time and fires your imagination can clarify your life direction. It can help you to make authentic decisions that are rooted in your deepest convictions. We are happiest when we are in harmony with our passion. ~ Monks of New Skete,
534:Who tricked me into this whole thing and leaves me standing here? Who am I? How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it, why was I not informed of the rules and regulations and just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought from a peddling shanghaier of human beings? How did I get involved in the big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn’t it a matter of choice? If I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager-I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint? ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
535:Motherhood is exactly the kind of “special circumstance” that lends itself to memoir. It is a time of transition and sometimes a period of intense identity struggle: Who am I if I spend all day shirtless, trying to nurse a colicky baby? What happened to my former life, my former self? How do I balance my own needs with those of my family? I am drawn to all kinds of motherhood memoirs because I am interested in the different ways that women process the challenges and joys of motherhood, and how they write about life in general through their mother eyes. ~ Kate Hopper,
536:You could hear the wind in the leaves, and on that wind traveled the screams of the kids on the playground in the distance, the little kids figuring out how to be alive, how to navigate a world that was not built for them by navigating a playground that was. . .
Who am I to say that these things might not be forever? Who is Pete Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? All I know of heaven and all I know of death is in this park: an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children. ~ John Green,
537:Religion is a valid inquiry; whether society accepts it or rejects it, it doesn't matter. Man is a religious animal and is going to remain that way. Religion is something natural. To ask from where you come is relevant; to ask, 'Who am I?' is going to remain relevant always. But the modern mind has created a climate of atheism so you cannot ask such questions. If you ask, people laugh. If you talk about such things, people feel bored If you start inquiring in these ways, people think you are slipping out of your sanity. Religion is no longer a welcome inquiry. ~ Rajneesh,
538:The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned -- seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, 'OK, I don't want to deal with these people ever again.' But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I've met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We've talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I've made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge? ~ LeBron James,
539:The suggestion had been made by some of my colleagues that I should participate in the marking of the summer examinations which in Oxford we refer to as Schools. Much as I was honoured by the proposal, I had felt obliged to decline: who am I to sit in judgement on the young? Moreover, the marking of examination scripts is among the most tedious of occupations. I had accordingly explained that the demands of scholarship – that is to say, of my researches into the concept of causa in the early Common Law – precluded any other commitment of my time and energies. ~ Sarah Caudwell,
540:In a seminar at New York University in 1980, Foucault is reported to have said that the difference between late antiquity and early Christianity might be reduced to the following questions: the patrician pagan asks, "Given that I am who I am, whom can I fuck?" That is, given my status in society, who would it be appropriate for me to take as my lover, which girl or boy, woman or man? By contrast, the Christian asks, "Given that I can fuck no one, who am I?" That is, the question of what it means to be human first arises for Christians in the sight of God. ( 239) ~ Simon Critchley,
541:He questioned us one after the other. Each one of his questions—all of them very simple: Who were we? Why had we come?—caught us completely off our guard and seemed to probe our very insides. Who are you? Who am I? We could not answer him as we could a police official or a customs inspector. Give one's name and profession? What does that mean? But *who* are you? And *what* are you? The words we uttered—we had none better—were worthless, repugnant and grotesque as dead things. We realized that with the guides of Mount Analogue, we could no longer get away with just words. ~ Ren Daumal,
542:Mahmoud Darwish dice player

Dice player Mahmoud Darwish

Who am I to tell you
What do I tell you?
And I was not a stone polished by water
He became a face
Nor did the wind pierce him
It became Naya ...

I'm a dice player,
We win and lose our time
I am like you
Or slightly less ...
I was born beside the well
And the three single trees as nuns
She was born without a flap and without a midwife
I was called by chance
I belonged to a family
coincidence ,
And inherited its features and qualities
And diseases ~ Mahmoud Darwish,
543:I stared at the black plank of rafter over my head and felt the truth and logic of that, and it came to me that what I feared most was not speaking. That fear was old and tired. What I feared was the immensity of it all—a female abolition agent traveling the country with a national mandate. I wanted to say, Who am I to do this, a woman? But that voice was not mine. It was Father’s voice. It was Thomas’. It belonged to Israel, to Catherine, and to Mother. It belonged to the church in Charleston and the Quakers in Philadelphia. It would not, if I could help it, belong to me. ~ Sue Monk Kidd,
544:You will open the door to this mystery with the word breath. We will select the word mystery instead of the word eternity because they are all mysterious and always we must breathe this warm and mysterious. The warm and sober breath, the solemn and knowing breath; the lasting breath of satisfaction we have earned in earning our last, so the trickle of moisture that provides mountains with valleys and those with streambeds. I have been told to help you breathe and who am I to point out your previous mastery? There is so little that I can do while we wait to begin this life. ~ Peter Conners,
545:Hard and cruel though it may seem," said the Cardinal, "yet we, who hold our high office as keepers and watchmen to the story, may tell you, verily, that to its human characters there is salvation in nothing else in the universe. If you tell them -- you compassionate and accommodating human readers -- that they may bring their distress and anguish before any other authority, you will be cruelly deceiving and mocking them. For within our whole universe the story only has authority to answer that cry of heart of its characters, that one cry of heart of each of them: 'Who am I? ~ Karen Blixen,
546:Who Am I
As common as hello i was asked to many times before.
with wich no answer to provide, for i did not know.
As years went on so did the unknown
untill it was brought to my attention.
I am what one would call teddy bear
loveable, sweet, caring, and kind.
Friend indeed as true as can be
hugs and kisses given everyday.
To the end of time by your side
always protecting from harmful things.
Yes i do all of these things to the extreme
oh well its just who i am.
i dare ask this question to you so
by all means who are you
~ david bailey,
547:The hood is also a low-stress, comfortable life. All your mental energy goes into getting by, so you don’t have to ask yourself any of the big questions. Who am I? Who am I supposed to be? Am I doing enough? In the hood you can be a forty-year-old man living in your mom’s house asking people for money and it’s not looked down on. You never feel like a failure in the hood, because someone’s always worse off than you, and you don’t feel like you need to do more, because the biggest success isn’t that much higher than you, either. It allows you to exist in a state of suspended animation. ~ Trevor Noah,
548:Love is the bridge that leads from the I sense to the We, and there is a paradox about personal love. Love of another individual opens a new relation between the personality and the world. The lover responds in a new way to nature and may even write poetry. Love is affirmation; it motivates the yes responses and the sense of wider communication. Love casts out fear, and in the security of this togetherness we find contentment, courage. We no longer fear the age-old haunting questions: "Who am I?" "Why am I?" "Where am I going?" - and having cast out fear, we can be honest and charitable. ~ Carson McCullers,
549:The real drive to understand the self, though, comes not from the need to develop treatments, but from a more deep-seated urge that we all share: the desire to understand ourselves. Once self-awareness emerged through evolution, it was inevitable that an organism would ask, ― Who am I? Across vast stretches of inhospitable space and immeasurable time, there suddenly emerged a person called Me or I. Where does this person come from? Why here? Why now? You, who are made of star-dust, are now standing on a cliff, gazing at the starlit sky pondering your own origins and your place in the cosmos. ~ V S Ramachandran,
550:Not to be rude, but what the hell? I live for it. You can’t start running your mouth about what you’ve seen here tonight. (ZT)
Great threat you’ve going there big ZT. News flash, I didn’t want to see anything. Your people dragged me into this against my will, not the other way around, and who am I going to tell anyway? The last thing I want is to be dragged off and committed because I saw...something that no rational human being has ever seen before. (Geary)
I don’t think you understand what’s going on here, do you? (ZT)
Not a clue and, no offense, I like it that way. Clueless rules. (Geary) ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon,
551:Who Am I?
My head knocks against the stars.
My feet are on the hilltops.
My finger-tips are in the valleys and shores of
universal life.
Down in the sounding foam of primal things I
reach my hands and play with pebbles of
destiny.
I have been to hell and back many times.
I know all about heaven, for I have talked with God.
I dabble in the blood and guts of the terrible.
I know the passionate seizure of beauty
And the marvelous rebellion of man at all signs
reading "Keep Off."
My name is Truth and I am the most elusive captive
in the universe.
~ Carl Sandburg,
552:You know what I believe? I remember in college I was taking this math class, this really great math class taught by this tiny old woman. She was talking about fast Fourier transforms and she stopped midsentence and said, ‘Sometimes it seems the universe wants to be noticed.’ “That’s what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary? ~ John Green,
553:There isn’t a name for my situation. Firstly because I decided to kill myself. And then because of this idea:

I don’t have to do it immediately.

Whoosh, through a little door. It’s a limbo.

I need never answer the phone again or pay a bill. My credit score no longer matters. Fears and compulsions don’t matter. Socks don’t matter. Because I’ll be dead. And who am I to die? A microwave chef. A writer of pamphlets. A product of our time. A failed student. A faulty man. A bad poet. An activist in two minds. A drinker of chocolate milk, and when there’s no chocolate, of strawberry and sometimes banana. ~ D B C Pierre,
554:Who am I? I am that which thou hast searched for since thy baby eyes gazed wonderingly upon the world, whose horizon hides this real life from thee. I am that which in thy heart thou hast prayed for, demanded as thy birthright, although thou hast not known what it was. I am that which has lain in thy soul for hundreds and thousands of years. Sometimes I lay in thee grieving because thou didst not recognize me; sometimes I raised my head, opened my eyes, and extended my arms calling thee either tenderly and quietly, or strenuously, demanding that thou shouldst rebel against the iron chains which bound thee to the earth. ~ Leo Tolstoy,
555:I cannot give up on my values and beliefs for the sake of respecting someone else’s values and morals. Because those values explain who am I. I prefer struggling and even dying for what I believe and what I don’t believe.
Silence is not respect; it is not condemning brutality and cruelty, and neglecting your own existence as human being. I will be killed and so many others because of standing against the fallacy and misleading notion of religions. They will torture us and cut us in pieces alive and even won’t stop disrespecting our death bodies; that is how these monsters have been governing for hundreds thousands of years. ~ M F Moonzajer,
556:Dear Logan,
I'm very sorry to hear that you are in a coma.
Or maybe you have amnesia.
Or you lost the use of your writing hand and are learning to write with your other hand, which we both know would be saying something since even with your good hand your penmanship is atrocious.
Or, wait, maybe the White House is out of paper.
Oh my gosh! Is the White House out of paper?! You'd think that would be in the newspapers that my dad brings, but I could see where it might be a national security risk. No wonder the press is keeping it hush-hush.
Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me.
Who am I going to tell?
Maddie
~ Ally Carter,
557:To A Lady Asking Foolish Questions
Why am I sorry, Chloe? Because the moon is far:
And who am I to be straitened in a little earthly star?
Because thy face is fair? And what if it had not been,
The fairest face of all is the face I have not seen.
Because the land is cold, and however I scheme and plot,
I cannot find a ferry to the land where I am not.
Because thy lips are red and thy breasts upbraid the snow?
(There is neither white nor red in the pleasance where I go.)
Because thy lips grow pale and thy breasts grow dun and fall?
I go where the wind blows, Chloe, and am not sorry at all.
~ Ernest Christopher Dowson,
558:Because, no matter how bad her situation, she didn't want to be deprived of herself, she wanted to be herself. She thought she'd incur serious punishment and even risk dying if she took too much pleasure in life. So she protected herself from death by living less, consuming so little of her life that she'd never run out. This savings gave her a little security since you can't fall farther than the ground. Did she feel she was living for nothing? I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Only once did she ask a tragic question: who am I? It frightened her so much that she completely stopped thinking.

She sometimes on payday bought herself a rose. ~ Clarice Lispector,
559:Because, no matter how bad her situation, she didn't want to be deprived of herself, she wanted to be herself. She thought she'd incur serious punishment and even risk dying if she took too much pleasure in life. So she protected herself from death by living less, consuming so little of her life that she'd never run out. This savings have her a little security since you can't fall farther than the ground. Did she feel she was living for nothing? I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Only once did she ask a tragic question: who am I? It frightened her so much that she completely stopped thinking.

She sometimes on payday bought herself a rose. ~ Clarice Lispector,
560:A Fuzzy Fellow, Without Feet
173
A fuzzy fellow, without feet,
Yet doth exceeding run!
Of velvet, is his Countenance,
And his Complexion, dun!
Sometime, he dwelleth in the grass!
Sometime, upon a bough,
From which he doth descend in plush
Upon the Passer-by!
All this in summer.
But when winds alarm the Forest Folk,
He taketh Damask Residence—
And struts in sewing silk!
Then, finer than a Lady,
Emerges in the spring!
A Feather on each shoulder!
You'd scarce recognize him!
By Men, yclept Caterpillar!
By me! But who am I,
To tell the pretty secret
Of the Butterfly!
~ Emily Dickinson,
561:Because, no matter how bad her situation, she didn't want to be deprived of herself, she wanted to be herself. She thought she'd incur serious punishiment and even risk dying if she took too much pleasure in life. So she protected herself from death by living less, consuming so little of her life that she'd never run out. This savings have her a little security since you can't fall father than the ground. Did she feel she was living for nothing? I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Only once did she ask a tragic question: who am I? It frightened her so much that she completely stopped thinking. She sometimes occasionally on payday bought herself a rose. ~ Clarice Lispector,
562:She’d opened the book she bought today. She’d started to read, from the beginning, quite quietly, out loud. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. The words had acted like a charm. They’d released it all, in seconds. They’d made everything happening stand just far enough away. It was nothing less than magic. Who needs a passport? Who am I? Where am I? What am I? I’m reading. ~ Ali Smith,
563:Still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.
Narcissism, the unstable self, the fractured ego, Maud thought, who am I? A matrix for a susurration of texts and codes?It was both a pleasant and an unpleasant idea, this requirement that she think of herself as intermittent and partial. There was the question of the awkward body. The skin, the breath, the eyes, the hair, their history, which did seem to exist. ~ A S Byatt,
564:Who am I? According to the prevailing worldview in our postmodern culture, I'm nothing. Why am I here? I am here to make the most of it, to consume and enjoy while I can. What Is Wrong with the World? If you ask proponents of postmodernism what is wrong with the world, the answer is very simple. People are either insufficiently educated or insufficiently governed. That's what's wrong with the world. People either don't know enough, or they are not being watched enough. How Can What Is Wrong Be Made Right? The solution to our woes is more education and more government. That's the only answer our culture can propose: teach people more stuff and give them more information. How ~ John Piper,
565:Life is a valuable and unique opportunity
to discover who you are.
But it seems as soon as you near
answering that age-old question,
something unexpected always happens
to alter your course.
And who it is you thought you were
suddenly changes.

Then comes the frustrating realization
that no matter how long life endures,
no matter how many experiences
are muddled through in this existence,
you may never really be able
to answer the question....

Who am I?

Because the answer, like the seasons,
constantly, subtly, inevitably changes.
And who it is you are today,
is not the same person you will be tomorrow. ~ Richelle E Goodrich,
566:I stick my finger in existence — it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? How came I here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs instead of throwing me into the ranks, as if I had been bought by a kidnapper, a dealer in souls? How did I obtain an interest in this big enterprise they call reality? Why should I have an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I should like to make a remark to him. Is there no director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint? ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
567:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us . . . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson,
568:Oh, if only I did nothing simply as a result of laziness. Lord, how I’d respect myself then. I’d respect myself precisely because at least I’d be capable of being lazy; at least I’d possess one more or less positive trait of which I could be certain. Question: who am I? Answer: a sluggard. Why, it would have been very pleasant to hear that said about oneself. It would mean that I’d been positively identified; it would mean that there was something to be said about me. “A sluggard!” Why, that’s a calling and a vocation, a whole career! Don’t joke, it’s true. Then, by rights I’d be a member of the very best club and would occupy myself exclusively by being able to respect myself continually. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
569:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us . . . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Nelson Mandela) ~ John Eldredge,
570:O Lord, I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thy handmaid: Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of Let my heart and my tongue praise Thee; yea, let all my bones say, O Lord, who is like unto Thee? Let them say, and answer Thou me, and say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Who am I, and what am I? What evil have not been either my deeds, or if not my deeds, my words, or if not my words, my will? But Thou, O Lord, are good and merciful, and Thy right hand had respect unto the depth of my death, and from the bottom of my heart emptied that abyss of corruption. And this Thy whole gift was, to nill what I willed, and to will what Thou willedst. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
571:Though I have never been part of a church that hosts an open table, I’m with Sara on this one. I don’t know exactly how Jesus is present in the bread and wine, but I believe Jesus is present, so it seems counterintuitive to tell people they have to wait and meet him someplace else before they meet him at the table. If people are hungry, let them come and eat. If they are thirsty, let them come and drink. It’s not my table anyway. It’s not my denomination’s table or my church’s table. It’s Christ’s table. Christ sends out the invitations, and if he has to run through the streets gathering up the riffraff to fill up his house, then that’s exactly what he’ll do. Who am I to try and block the door? Long ~ Rachel Held Evans,
572:Sometimes I think that wisdoms slip from my mind like drool from the lips of an idiot...

Where's all this stuff coming from? Is it any good? Any good in, you know, the wisdom sense? Who am I to spout this stuff anyway?

Well, here's the thing. You too can find yourself shedding wisdom like cat hair if you only allow yourself the liberty of introspection.

Think about what you alone know that no one else does. That one neat wonderful profound insight. It is fully yours. No one else on this planet of about six billion people understands it like you do.

Now, see if you can share it with someone. Bestow it, a gift of yourself.

Wisdom is like gossip. Except it's the good kind. ~ Vera Nazarian,
573:Who am I? You know who I am. Or you think you do. I’m your florist. I’m your grocer. I’m your porter. I’m your waiter. I’m the owner of the dry-goods store on the corner of Elm. I’m the shoeshine boy. I’m the judo teacher. I’m the Buddhist priest. I’m the Shinto priest. I’m the Right Reverend Yoshimoto. So prease to meet you. (…) I’m the one you call Jap. I’m the one you call Nip. I’m the one you call Slits. I’m the one you call Slopes. I’m the one you call Yellowbelly. I’m the one you call Gook. I’m the one you don’t see at all—we all look alike. I’m the one you see everywhere—we’re taking over the neighborhood. I’m the one you look for under your bed every night before you go to sleep. (…) I’m your nightmare… ~ Julie Otsuka,
574:And Jazz snapped.
He didn't snap the way a normal person might snap. A normal person would fling his arms around and stomp his feet and rant at the top of his lungs, bellowing to the sky. There might be tears, from a normal person.
Jazz went quiet. He darted out one hand and grabbed the wrist of the paramedic who had been trying to cuff him and pulled the man close, holding his gaze.
In a moment, he channeled every last drop of (his father).
"Who am I? I'll tell you. I'm the local psychopath, and if you don't save my best friend's life, I will hunt down everyone you've ever cared about in your life and make you watch while I do things to them that will have you begging me to kill them. That's who I am. ~ Barry Lyga,
575:And just as it only takes a moment to die, it only takes a moment to live. You just close your eyes and let every futile fear slip away. And then, in this new state, free from fear, you ask yourself: who am I? If I could live without doubt what would I do? If I could be kind without the fear of being f***** over? If I could love without he fear being hurt? If I could taste the sweetness of today without thinking of how I will miss that taste tomorrow? If I could not feat the passing of time and the people it will steal? Yes. What would I do? Who would I care for? What battle would I fight? Which paths would I step down? What joys would I allow myself? What internal mysteries would I solve? How, in short, would I live? ~ Matt Haig,
576:The moment they came together, Cassie understood why they belonged to each other. He filled her, and she took away his scars. Cassie wrapped her arms around Alex's neck, surprised by the tears that leaked from the edges of her eyes. She turned her face to the open window, breathing in the sweet mix of herself and Alex and endless ocean.

She was drifting off to sleep when Alex's voice slipped over her. 'You don't have to get your memory back, Cass. I know who you are.'
'Oh?' she said, smiling. She drew Alex's arm around her. 'Who am I?'

She felt Alex's peace curl against her like a benediction. He pulled her back against his front, into the place where she just fit. 'You're my other half,' he said. ~ Jodi Picoult,
577:And, just as it only takes a moment to die, it only takes a moment to live. You just close your eyes and let every futile fear slip away. And then, in this new state, free from fear, you ask yourself: who am I? If I could live without doubt what would I do? If I could be kind without the fear of being fucked over? If I could love without fear of being hurt? If I could taste the sweetness of today without thinking of how I will miss that taste tomorrow? If I could not fear the passing of time and the people it will steal? Yes. What would I do? Who would I care for? What battle would I fight? Which paths would I step down? What joys would I allow myself? What internal mysteries would I solve? How, in short, would I live? ~ Matt Haig,
578:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Bren Brown,
579:You wanted me,” he said.
Lying would only give him greater satisfaction. I had to keep him on the other end of the tub or I would throw myself at him again. “Yes, I did.”
“What happened?”
“I remembered who I am and who you are.”
“And who am I? Enlighten me.”
“You’re the man who likes to play games and hates losing. And I’m the idiot who keeps forgetting that. Turn around, so I can get out, please.” And he almost had me too.
He sprawled against the tub wall in a leisurely fashion, showing absolutely no indication of moving.
“Fine.” Let’s get this over with. I crouched on the bench and rose quickly. The water came to my midthigh.
A rough noise emanated from him. It sounded almost like a groan. ~ Ilona Andrews,
580:Suffering is the fuel in the engine of civilization.

Now he begins to understand: because pain is a god—he has been in the grip of this cruel god ever since Anakin’s death. But it is also a teacher, and a bridge. It can be a slave master, and break you—and it can be the power that makes you unbreakable. It is all these things, and more.

At the same time.

What it is depends on who you are.

But who am I? he wonders. I’ve been running like Dad—like Anakin. I think they stopped, though; I think Dad was strong enough to turn back and face it, to use the pain to make himself stronger, like Mom and Uncle Luke. Anakin did, too, at the end. Am I that strong?

There’s only one way to find out. ~ Matthew Woodring Stover,
581:You can't imagine fame. You can only ever see it from an outsider and comment on it with the rueful wisdom of a non participant. When it happens to you, it doesn't matter what age or how, it is a very steep learning curve. The imprtanot thing to realize in all of it is that life is short, to protect the ones you love, and not expose yourself to too much abuse or narcissistic reflection gazing and move on. If fame affords me the type of ability to do the kind of work I'm being offered, who am I to complain about the downsides. It's all relative. And this are obviously very high class problems. The way privacy becomes an every shrinking island is inevitable but also manageable and it doesn't necessary have to get that way... ~ Benedict Cumberbatch,
582:I'm sure those are not the right words," said poor Alice, and her eyes filled with tears again as she went on, "I must be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play with, and oh, ever so many lessons to learn! No, I've made up my mind about it: if I'm Mabel, I'll stay down here! It'll be no use their putting their heads down and saying 'Come up again, dear!' I shall only look up and say 'Who Am I, then? Tell me that first, and then if I like being that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here till I'm somebody else' - but oh dear!" Cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears, " I do wish they would put their heads down! I am so very tired of being all alone here! ~ Lewis Carroll,
583:As Confucius once said, "He who does nothing is the one who does nothing."'
Gabby pondered the words, the furrowed her brow. 'did Confucius really say that?'
Sunglasses in place, Stephanie managed the tiniest of shrugs. 'No, but who cared? The point is, they handled, and most likely they found some sort of self-satisfaction in their industrious-ness. Who am I to deprive them of that?'
Gabby put her hands on her hips. 'Or maybe you just wanted to be lazy.'
Stephanie grinned. 'Like Jesus said, "Blessed are the lazy who lie in boats, for they shall inherit a suntan."'
'Jesus didn't say that.'
'True,' Stephanie afreed, sitting up. She removed her glasses, stared through them, then wiped them on a towel. 'But again, who cares? ~ Nicholas Sparks,
584:In the ancient Indian Upanishads, the answer to the question “Who am I?” is “Tat tvam asi.” This succinct Sanskrit sentence means literally: “Thou art That,” or “You are Godhead.” It suggests that we are not namarupa—name and form (body/ego), but that our deepest identity is with a divine spark in our innermost being (Atman) that is ultimately identical with the supreme universal principle (Brahman). And Hinduism is not the only religion that has made this discovery. The revelation concerning the identity of the individual with the divine is the ultimate secret that lies at the mystical core of all great spiritual traditions. The name for this principle could thus be the Tao, Buddha, Cosmic Christ, Allah, Great Spirit, Sila, and many others. ~ Stanislav Grof,
585:My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself; for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression. ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
586:18. Of the devotees, who is the greatest?

He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease? ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Who am I,
587:Why do this to yourself? How does it make anything better?”

“It does not make anything worse.”

“It makes you worse. Why can’t you just … do good things with it?”

Winter laughed against the strain of the delusion. “They all believe they are doing good.” Her head fell to the side and she watched Scarlet with her bleary eyes. “My stepmother is not only powerful because the people fear her, she is powerful because she can make them love her when she needs them to. We think that if we choose to do only good, then we are only good. We can make people happy. We can offer tranquility or contentment or love, and that must be good. We do not see the falsehood becoming its own brand of cruelty... who am I to presume what is good for others? ~ Marissa Meyer,
588:Who am I? What am I doing here? Who are these others? This trilogy of spiritual conundrums is as practical as it is philosophical. Mindful inquiry devoted to these three questions is as spiritual as it is material and as obvious as it is unanswerable. Knowledge isn’t to comfort our souls; it is to enhance awareness—that is what some call an awakening. Some things have to be believed to be seen. Feelings articulate truth in ways that our brains cannot. We may have a sense about who we are, what our purpose is and how we relate to the rest of the world even without the vocabulary to articulate it. Recovery is visceral as much as it is intellectual. The Eleventh Step is our spiritual barometer, feeding back sensations, feelings and thoughts as we observe our life. ~ Joe C,
589:Jem—Jem is all the better part of myself. I wouldnot expect you to understand. I owe him this.


“I know. I know it. And yet I feel such dread in my heart, as if it were the last hour of mylife. I have felt hopelessness before, Tess, but never such fear. And yet I have known—Ihave always known …”That Jem would die. She did not say it. It was between them, unspoken.“Who am I?” he whispered. “For years I pretended I was other than I was, and then I gloried that I might return to the truth of myself, only to find there is no truth to return to. I was an ordinary child, and then I was a not very good man, and now I do not know how to be either of those things any longer. I do not know what I am, and when Jem is gone, therewill be no one to show me. ~ Cassandra Clare,
590:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Hal Elrod,
591:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Hal Elrod,
592:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Hal Elrod,
593:Stay down if you know what's good for you." Colin said. He put his foot on the man's neck and applied a little weight.
The man coughed into the dirt. "Who...who are you?"
Who am I?" Colin replied. He had been waiting for this moment. "I'm the the one bogeyman is afraid of. I'm the new face of justice. I'm your worst nightmare."
He crouched down, leaning closer to the man. "You'd better warn the rest of your low-life friends that there's a new hero in town. You and your kind wont be tolerated any longer."
Colin stood up and folded his arms. He wished there was a breeze that would make his cape fly a little. "Who am I? I am Titan."
And that was when one of the other muggers hit Colin across the back of his head with a plank of wood. ~ Michael Carroll,
594:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others ~ Marianne Williamson,
595:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Steven Pressfield,
596:Most people, on waking up, accelerate through a quick panicky pre-consciousness check-up: who am I, where am I, who is he/she, good god, why am I cuddling a policeman's helmet, what happened last night?
And this is because people are riddled by Doubt. It is the engine that drives them through their lives. It is the elastic band in the little model aeroplane of their soul, and they spend their time winding it up until it knots. Early morning is the worst time -there's that little moment of panic in case You have drifted away in the night and something else has moved in. This never happened to Granny Weatherwax. She went straight from asleep to instant operation on all six cylinders. She never needed to find herself because she always knew who was doing the looking. ~ Terry Pratchett,
597:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.6 ~ Jessica N Turner,
598:You are at the start of a magnificent journey and know not where it will take you, but you feel compelled and more trusting to ride with this wave nonetheless. Physical travel, a break from work or a total resignation to discover oneself are part of the inner journey here, as you seek to discover your soul in a series of new and unknown contexts. Who am I and what am I here to do is the guiding force here, as you start to search for the happiness that lies at the end of all things. You can sense it, not knowing what it is, but your soul beckons you forward, and a whole multitude of glorious synchronicities, guides, books, people and angels seen and unseen come flooding into your life to kick start this new and exciting adventure into pastures fertile with promise. ~ Padma Aon Prakasha,
599:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Gabrielle Bernstein,
600:Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson,
601:Brittany was right. I don’t belong here. It doesn’t matter, because even if I don’t belong in this place, she’s here and I want to be where she is.
“Well, what did you want to talk about?” she asks.
I wish her long, lean legs weren’t sticking out from her shorts. They’re a distraction. I look away from them, desperate to keep my wits. So what if she has sexy legs? So what if she has eyes as clear as glass marbles? So what if she can take a prank like a man and give it right back?
Who am I kidding? I have no reason for being here other than the fact that I want to be near her. Screw the bet.
I want to know how to make this girl laugh. I want to know what makes her cry. I want to know what it feels like to have her look at me as if I’m her knight in shining armor. ~ Simone Elkeles,
602:What about his style?" asked Dalgliesh who was beginning to think that his reading had been unnecessarily restricted.
"Turgid but grammatical. And, in these days, when every illiterate debutante thinks she is a novelist, who am I to quarrel with that? Written with Fowler on his left hand and Roget on his right. Stale, flat and, alas, rapidly becoming unprofitable..."
"What was he like as a person?" asked Dalgliesh.
"Oh, difficult. Very difficult, poor fellow! I thought you knew him? A precise, self-opinionated, nervous little man perpetually fretting about his sales, his publicity or his book jackets. He overvalued his own talent and undervalued everyone else's, which didn't exactly make for popularity."
"A typical writer, in fact?" suggested Dalgliesh mischievously. ~ P D James,
603:My flesh is stone. My blood rages hot as molten iron. I have a thousand eyes. A thousand swords. And one mind.
I have heard the death-cry. Was she kin? She said as much, when first she touched me. We were upon the ground. Far from each other, and yet of a kind.
I heard her die.
And so I came to mourn her, I came to find her body, her silent tomb.
But she dies still. I do not understand. She dies still—and there are strangers. Cruel strangers. I knew them once. I know them now. I know, too, that they will not yield.
Who am I?
What am I?
But I know the answers to these questions. I believe, at last, that I do.
Strangers, you bring pain. You bring suffering. You bring to so many dreams the dust of death.
But, strangers, I am Icarium.
And I bring far worse. ~ Steven Erikson,
604:I didn't tell Papa that Petrona was raped.

I didn't tell Cassandra I had written to Petrona and that she had written back.

I didn't correct Mama when she assumed the photograph Petrona had sent was a new photograph. I didn't tell her it was actually printed the year we fled Colombia.

I didn't tell Mama that the man in the photograph was Gorrion.

I was the only one with all the pieces. I was the only one that knew that Petrona had made a home with a man who had betrayed her, that she had chosen to keep the baby, that this new life she had fed from her breasts was something I had to make up to her and the only thing I could do was keep silent about what I knew. After all, who am I to judge? As her photo blurred, I thought: even oblivion is a kindness. ~ Ingrid Rojas Contreras,
605:Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; its in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Carol Tuttle,
606:Cohabitation is a big issue, and how it is dealt with at the parish level is a big concern, so the pope is sending a signal,” said John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter. He said that the couples chosen for the ceremony “seem to be normal people and not necessarily handpicked. It’s one more indication that the pope looks at things the way they really are; he’s a realist. “It’s a pope willing to say that if you want to be married in the church, we’ll find a way to do it. It’s the ‘who am I to judge?’ pope, who doesn’t want to turn people away and instead wants to find a way to bring people in,” Mr. Thavis said. In defending the sacrament of marriage, the pope acknowledged that it could become a challenge, that spouses could stray, or become discouraged and “daily life becomes burdensome, even nauseating. ~ Anonymous,
607:I love this Marianne Williamson quote: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Jessica N Turner,
608:The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. There may be a moment in life when our compensatory activities, the accumulation of money, learning and objects, leaves us feeling deeply apathetic. This can motivate us towards the search for our real nature beyond appearances. We may find ourselves asking, 'Why am I here? What is life? Who am I?' Sooner or later any intelligent person asks these questions. What you are looking for is what you already are, not what you will become. What you already are is the answer and the source of the question. In this lies its power of transformation. It is a present actual fact. Looking to become something is completely conceptual, merely an idea. The seeker will discover that he is what he seeks and that what he seeks is the source of the inquiry. ~ Jean Klein,
609:I could probably go back further still. Back to ancestors who fled from oppression, who hid from armies, who survived on their wits. Perhaps my mother expects the worst because her people so often experienced it. My brother and I are the first generation to know privilege, to have opportunities and advantages. It seems ungrateful to complain.

But what a cross to bear—to expect the worst, to wait for the sky to fall. All my life I had been told it wasn't if the world would go to hell, just when. Tomorrow? Next week? It's best to be prepared.

I didn't want to live like that. I wanted grace.

And yet, I owed my existence to the fears that had made my ancestors suspicious. Those who trusted often died. Only the crafty and cynical made it out alive. Who am I to say where the line should be drawn? ~ Tara Austen Weaver,
610:Wonder

The first thing you sent me were fireworks. Sparks of light and color over a bridge to nowhere. I was already in love when we met that summer; I belonged to someone else. To make room for you, I had to ask the world for permission, but every answer was a dead end. But who am I to blame them for telling me what I already knew?

So I danced around you like a storm, white light against the cool black sky, like strobe lights flickering on and off. I said we could be something, you and me. I said so much and meant it, but never proved it to you, did I? We both know what my word was worth, you and me both.

You took my hand under a Ferris wheel, spitting light, spinning lies. You dazzled me, you know. You were incandescent. I don’t think we could have been anything, not really. But isn’t it something to wonder? ~ Lang Leav,
611:3 In the military, there is a concept called “span of control”. It is the idea that in combat, an officer can effectively coordinate the combat activities of only twelve to sixteen people effectively. This size unit is a “squad”, and a platoon consists of two squads. The platoon leader (a lieutenant) oversees two squad leaders (usually sergeants). Several platoons in turn make up a company, overseen by a captain; several companies form a battalion, overseen by a major. And several battalions form a regiment, overseen by a colonel, and so on up the chain of command. Each command position is directly responsible for sixteen or fewer people in combat situations. And the greatest Leader I know of only worked with twelve men (one of whom became a failure). Who am I to suggest a business owner can work with more than this effectively?— 234 — ~ Anonymous,
612:Are you using me simply as a vulgar tool? Don't you care for me the least little bit? Let me suggest that for a girl in your-your ambiguous position, you are too proud, by several shades. Don't go back to Roger in a hurry! You're not the unspotted maiden you were but two short days ago. Who am I, what am I, to the people whose opinion you care for? A very low fellow, madam; and yet with me you've gone far to cast your lot. If you're not prepared to do more, you should have done less.
Nora, Nora," he went on, breaking into a vein none the less revolting for being more ardent, "I confess I don't understand you! But the more you puzzle me the more you fascinate me; and the less you like me the more I love you. What has there been between you and Lawrence? Hang me if I can understand! Are you an angel of purity, or are you the most audacious of flirts? ~ Henry James,
613:Secularity is a way of being dependent on the responses of our milieu. The secular or false self is the self which is fabricated, as Thomas Merton says, by social compulsions. “Compulsive” is indeed the best adjective for the false self. It points to the need for ongoing and increasing affirmation. Who am I? I am the one who is liked, praised, admired, disliked, hated or despised. Whether I am a pianist, a businessman or a minister, what matters is how I am perceived by my world. If being busy is a good thing, then I must be busy. If having money is a sign of real freedom, then I must claim my money. If knowing many people proves my importance, I will have to make the necessary contacts. The compulsion manifests itself in the lurking fear of failing and the steady urge to prevent this by gathering more of the same—more work, more money, more friends. ~ Henri J M Nouwen,
614:Secularity is a way of being dependent on the responses of our milieu. The secular or false self is the self which is fabricated, as Thomas Merton says, by social compulsions. 'Compulsive' is indeed the best adjective for the false self. It points to the need for ongoing and increasing affirmation. Who am I? I am the one who is liked, praised, admired, disliked, hated or despised. Whether I am a pianist, a businessman or a minister, what matters is how I am perceived by my world. If being busy is a good thing, then I must be busy. If having money is a sign of real freedom, then I must claim my money. If knowing many people proves my importance, I will have to make the necessary contacts. The compulsion manifests itself in the lurking fear of failure and the steady urge to prevent this by gathering more of the same - more work, more money, more friends. ~ Henri J M Nouwen,
615:The notion of an impersonal, even hostile society is common--a society in which all actions and motives seem to have equal value and to be perversely detached from human direction. Common too is the helplessness of the individual before alien forces--not the hero who does things, but as Wynham Lewis has put it, the hero to whom things are done. The disenchanted, lonely figure, searching for ethical significance in the smallest of things, struggling for identification with race or class or group, incessantly striving to answer the question, "Who am I, What am I", has become, especially in Europe, almost the central literary type of the age.

Not the free individual, but the lost individual; not independence but isolation; not self-discovery but self-obsession; not to conquer but to be conquered; these are the major states of mind in contemporary literature. ~ Robert A Nisbet,
616:On whom am I dependent? What are my main fears? Who was I meant to be at birth? What were my goals and how did they change? What were the forks of the road where I took the wrong direction and went the wrong way? What efforts did I make to correct the error and return to the right way? Who am I now, and who would I be if I had always made the right decisions and avoided crucial errors? Whom did I want to be long ago, now, and in the future? What is my image of myself? What is the image I wish others to have of me? Where are the discrepancies between the two images, both between themselves and with what I sense in my real self? Who will I be if I continue to live as I am living now? What are the conditions responsible for the development as it happened? What are the alternatives for further development open to me now? What must I do to realize the possibility I choose? ~ Erich Fromm,
617:Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” (1 Samuel 9:21). “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15). But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). When God calls, you will probably be in the most unlikely circumstances to receive that call. You will be in the midst of a crisis, you will lack resources and you will not have the skills you think you need. This is the way of God. God works this way because He wants you to know that your call is based on His ability, not yours. When you think it is based on you, you possess a false humility, which is unbelief and disobedience on your part. ~ Os Hillman,
618:Just say it, she thought. Say what everyone in this bunker is thinking. Say what we all know to be true. The truth that we are all going to die down here, and death is the end. Nobody wakes up to a heaven or paradise. Your life will be gone. You will be gone. Forever. Uncover the truth. Tear off the bandages of delusion. Open your hearts and minds to the real world. We were doomed the day we were born. We lived and we will die and the only immortals are the people who did something worth remembering while they lived. My genetics are prime. I am pleasing to the eyes of man and machine. A dripping fountain of pleasure. Their organic sanctuary. And in time? Aging. Fading. Graying. What am I? Who am I? What makes me human? Emotions? My conscience? The soul is an old testament myth. No one shall ascend anywhere except into annihilation. The dust of earth and stars are the only eternals, she said. ~ C J Anderson,
619:I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men, and, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus, the intelligence of a man. You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am a HABIT! ~ Peter Voogd,
620:It’s a diamond isle of paradise beneath a black sky!
Welcome to a crisp Italian January!
We’re so much more than lavish travelers now…
We’ll go down in history,
Down like this vessel that sank so swiftly,
Down to the depths below…
These angels are splashing through neon casinos,
Lifeboats are launching, and first up’s Schettino .
Don’t blame him, he claims he fell in!
That’s why he’s safe and we’re sorry.
Vada a bordo, cazzo!

Our beautiful floating carnival is DYING!
Velvet carpets soaked with seawater, elevators sealed shut!
The sour taste of death flows through in waves,
Pulling people down to icy graves,
Down to the depths below…
Who am I?
I’m his purser, and I might survive,
If the coastguard realizes I’m still alive.
For now I’m down here, as you might overhear,
At the trial where he’ll share his story.
Vada a bordo, cazzo! ~ Rebecca McNutt,
621:Are you using me simply as a vulgar tool? Don't you care for me the least little bit? Let me suggest that for a girl in your - your ambiguous position, you are too proud, by several shades. Don't go back to Roger in a hurry! You're not the unspotted maiden you were but two short days ago. Who am I, what am I, to the people whose opinion you care for? A very low fellow, madam; and yet with me you've gone far to cast your lot. If you're not prepared to do more, you should have done less.
Nora, Nora," he went on, breaking into a vein none the less revolting for being more ardent, "I confess I don't understand you! But the more you puzzle me the more you fascinate me; and the less you like me the more you fascinate me; and the less you like me the more I love you. What has there been between you and Lawrence? Hang me if I can understand! Are you an angel of purity, or are you the most audacious of flirts? ~ Henry James,
622:What do you think of when you think of mourning?' Jenny asks.
The question snaps me back to attention. I answer without really thinking. "I guess 'Funeral Blues' by W.H. Auden. I think it was Auden. I suppose that's not very original.'
'I don't know it.'
'It's a poem.'
'I gathered.'
'I'm just clarifying. It's not a blues album.'
Jenny ignores my swipe at her intelligence.
'Does your response need to be original? Isn't that what poetry is for, for the poet to express something so personal that it ultimately is universal?'
I shrug. Who is Jenny, even new Jenny, to say what poetry is for? Who am I for that matter?
'Why do you thin of that poem in particular?'
"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, / Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, / Silence the pianos and with muffled drum / Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.'
I learned the poem in college and it stuck. ~ Steven Rowley,
623:This is where the Christian Story stands out dramatically from all the rest.5 The Story answers the question “Why?” It tells us why man is different, why humans are special, why you and I are wonderful in a way that can never change. It tells us that in all the world, God created only one creature who was, in a unique and important and almost indescribable way, like himself, bearing his own likeness, having a soul imprinted with his very image. If you have ever asked yourself the question “Who am I?” you now have your answer. The Story says you are a creature, but you are not just a creature. You are not a little god, but you are not nothing. You are made like God in a magnificent way that can never be taken from you. No matter how young or old or small or disfigured or destitute or dependent, you are still a beautiful creature. You bear the mark of God. He has made you like himself, and that changes everything. Two ~ Gregory Koukl,
624:A disturbing thought hits me,"but then our only neighbor would be Haymich!"
"Ah, that'll be nice,"says Peeta, tightening his arms around me."You and me and Haymich. Very cozy. Picnics, birthdays. long winters around the campfire retelling old Hunger Games tales."
"I told you he hates me!" I say, but I can't help laughing at the image of Haymich becoming my new pal.
"Only sometimes. When he's sober, I've never heard him say one negative thing about you," says Peeta.
He's never sober!" I protest.
That's right. Who am I thinking of? Oh, I know. It's Cinna who likes you. But that's mainly because you didn't try to run when he set you in fire," says Peeta. "On the other hand, Haymich ... well, if I were you, I'd avoid Haymich completely. He Hates you."
" I thought that you said I was his favorite," I say.
"He hates me more," says Peeta, "I don't think people in general are his sort of thing. ~ Suzanne Collins,
625:I lay my fantasy in the backseat of Isa's car and slide in next to her. She snuggles up, using me as her personal pillow, her blond curls sprawled over my crotch. I close my eyes for a second, trying to get the image out of my head. And I don't know what to do with my hands. My right one is on the door armrest. My left one hovers over Brittany.
I hesitate. Who am I kidding? I'm not a virgin. I'm an eighteen-year-old guy who can deal with having a hot, passed-out girl next to me. Why am I afraid of putting my arm where it's comfortable, right over her midsection?
I hold my breath as I settle my arm on her. She cuddles closer and I'm feeling weird and light-headed. Either it's the aftereffects from the joint or . . . I don't want to think about the "or." Her long hair is wrapped around my thigh. Without thinking, I weave my hands in her hair and watch as the silky strands slowly fall through the V's between my fingers. ~ Simone Elkeles,
626:The most holy association is to Be as you are. This is Freedom. This is beyond imagination, very new and very fresh. So just keep Quiet. Do not think. It is you. It is you. Don't stir a thought, and if a thought comes, let it, don't waver, don't doubt your majesty. It is so simple. The one who has It will know that they have done it. When you are quiet it is Beauty, Joy and Stillness. It is effortless. Effort is to disturb your mind, effort is playing with corpses in the graveyard. Just contemplate that which is always silence. Go to the Source. Do not believe anything, simply stay quiet and return home and do not rest until you are there. Peace is only available when there is no “I” and you need an “I” to do practice. The secret to Bliss is to stop the search, stop thinking, stop not-thinking, and keep Quiet. The best practice is to Know “Who am I.” You are Brahman, know this. If you want to do anything, just Always adore Self. ~ H W L Poonja,
627:What are you about?" said the vehicle as a panel popped open to reveal delicate components. "I am not accustomed to such usage."

The little man said nothing, but began to rearrange connections and sever some linkages within the autocab's mechanism. The vehicle lurched and then spiraled down to a meadow bordered by trees.

"I will be compelled to summon assist-" said the car, then broke off as Gaskarth made a final adjustment. The autocab dropped the remaining few inches to the grass, and the dwarf twisted the emergency release handle to open the doors. Filidor followed him out of the autocab.

"Who am I?" inquired the car. "Have I a function?"

"Perhaps you are a type of bird," said Gaskarth. "If so, it is your function to fly."

The autocab digested this information briefly, then lifted slightly. "Experimentation tends to support the hypothesis," it said, and flew in widening circles out of their ken. ~ Matthew Hughes,
628:How can another see into me, into my most secret self, without my being able to see in there myself? And without my being able to see him in me. And if my secret self, that which can be revealed only to the other, to the wholly other, to God if you wish, is a secret that I will never reflect on, that I will never know or experience or possess as my own, then what sense is there in saying that it is my secret, or in saying more generally that a secret belongs, that it is proper to or belongs to some one, or to some other who remains someone. It's perhaps there that we find the secret of secrecy. Namely, that it is not a matter of knowing and that it is there for no one. A secret doesn't belong, it can never be said to be at home or in its place. The question of the self: who am I not in the sense of who am I but rather who is this I that can say who? What is the- I and what becomes of responsibility once the identity of the I trembles in secret? ~ Jacques Derrida,
629:Who Am I?
I’m a creator, a visionary, a poet. I approach the world with the eyes of an artist, the ears of a musician, and the soul of a writer. I see rainbows where others see only rain, and possibilities when others see only problems. I love spring flowers, summer’s heat on my body, and the beauty of the dying leaves in the fall. Classical music, art museums, and ballet are sources of inspiration, as well as blues music and dim cafes. I love to write; words flow easily from my fingertips, and my heart beats rapidly with excitement as an idea becomes a reality on the paper in front of me. I smile often, laugh easily, and I weep at pain and cruelty. I'm a learner and a seeker of knowledge, and I try to take my readers along on my journey. I am passionate about what I do. I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer. Come dream with me. ~ Sharon M Draper,
630:MAY I ask you about your experiences as confessor to homosexual people? During the press conference on your return flight from Rio de Janeiro you famously remarked, “Who am I to judge?”           On that occasion I said this: If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person? I was paraphrasing by heart the Catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalized. I am glad that we are talking about “homosexual people” because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity. And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love. I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together. You can advise them to pray, show goodwill, show them the way, and accompany them along it. ~ Pope Francis,
631:He thought here you are Joe Bonham lying like a side of beef all the rest of your life and for what? Somebody tapped you on the shoulder and said come along son we’re going to war. So you went. But why? In any other deal even like buying a car or running an errand you had the right to say what’s there in it for me? Otherwise you’d be buying bad cars for too much money or running errands for fools and starving to death. It was a kind of duty you owed yourself that when anybody said come on son do this or do that you should stand up and say look mister why should I do this for who am I doing it and what am I going to get out of it in the end? But when a guy comes along and says here come with me and risk your life and maybe die or be crippled why then you’ve got no rights. You haven’t even the right to say yes or no or I’ll think it over. There are plenty of laws to protect guys’ money even in war time but there’s nothing on the books says a man’s life’s his own. Of ~ Dalton Trumbo,
632:We fall into the great continuing circle of dancers. Some leave the floor, tired but giddy; others have only just arrived. They are eager to wear their new status as ladies, to be paraded about and lauded until they see themselves with new eyes. The fathers beam at their daughters, thinking them perfect flowers in need of their protection, while the mothers watch from the margins, certain this moment is their doing. We create illusions we need to go on. And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty. The light is liberating. Necessary. Terrifying. We stand naked and emptied before it. Adn when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to shield us from its relentless truth.
But the girls! Their eyes glow with the fever dream of all they might become. They tell themselves this is the beginning of everything. And who am I to say it isn't? ~ Libba Bray,
633:Soon after you confront the matter of preserving your identity, another question will occur to you: “Who am I writing for?” It’s a fundamental question, and it has a fundamental answer: You are writing for yourself. Don’t try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience—every reader is a different person. Don’t try to guess what sort of thing editors want to publish or what you think the country is in a mood to read. Editors and readers don’t know what they want to read until they read it. Besides, they’re always looking for something new. Don’t worry about whether the reader will “get it” if you indulge a sudden impulse for humor. If it amuses you in the act of writing, put it in. (It can always be taken out, but only you can put it in.) You are writing primarily to please yourself, and if you go about it with enjoyment you will also entertain the readers who are worth writing for. If you lose the dullards back in the dust, you don’t want them anyway. This ~ William Zinsser,
634:WHO AM I?

I have seven heavenly panels
Leading up to a pointed sphere
I’m multidimensional like a crystal
And my center is never clear.

I’m an inventor and pioneer.
A mentor to my peers.
But I'm not as sound as my shell reveals,
Because I’m tormented by my fears -
That may appear to be grounded
But my insides are filled with tears.
And the sadness is well-founded,
From years and years
Of traumatic experiences
Compounded
In the most demented
Atmospheres.

I talk but feel like nobody hears.

Has reason disappeared?
And, God, are you near?

This is Giza’s 7th light force
And I'm asking you to interfere.
I can no longer walk amongst the blind and dead
With open eyes and ears.
I’m trying to maintain my sanity
And to straighten up my veneer
As I roll amongst the growing calamities
Flowing on Earth’s severely trashed
Frontier.



Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun (2010) ~ Suzy Kassem,
635:At those moments I saw myself suddenly for what I was: a slave, willing to always do what he wanted, careful not to exaggerate in order not to get him in trouble, not to displease him. I wasted my time cooking for him, washing the dirty clothes he left in the house, listening to all his troubles at the university and in the many responsibilities that he was accumulating, thanks to the aura of good feeling that surrounded him and the small powers of his father-in-law; I always welcomed him joyfully, I wanted him to be happier with me than in the other house, I wanted him to relax, to confide, I felt sorry that he was continuously overwhelmed by obligations; I even wondered if Eleonora might love him more than I did, since she accepted every insult just to feel that he was still hers. But sometimes I couldn’t stand it anymore and I yelled at him, despite the risk that the girls might hear: Who am I for you, tell me why I’m in this city, why I wait for you every night, why I tolerate this situation. ~ Elena Ferrante,
636:/Farsi Loghman of Sarrakhs cried: "Dear God, behold Your faithful servant, poor, bewildered, old-- An old slave is permitted to go free; I've spent my life in patient loyalty, I'm bent with grief, my black hair's turned to snow; Grant manumission, Lord, and let me go." A voice replied: "When you have gained release from mind and thought, your slavery will cease; You will be free when these two disappear." He said: "Lord, it is You whom I revere; What are the mind and all its ways to me?" And left them there and then -- in ecstasy He danced and clapped his hands and boldly cried: "Who am I now? The slave I was has died; What's freedom, servitude, and where are they? Both happiness and grief have fled away; I neither own nor lack all qualities; My blindness looks on secret mysteries -- I know not whether You are I, I You; I lose myself in You, there is no two." [2178.jpg] -- from The Conference of the Birds, Translated by Afkham Darbandi / Translated by Dick Davis

~ Farid ud-Din Attar, A slaves freedom
,
637:If these two worldviews--postmodern secular humanism and Christian theism--are juxtaposed, something very interesting happens. With the former you are left empty and hopeless; man is left worthless, and you are left to pursue your own satisfaction and never find it. But with the latter, you are precious; you have purpose, and you are powerless--but it's okay because you were purchased. This is the supremacy of Christ in truth in a postmodern world. Ultimately, this is what Christian theism tells us: Who am I? I am the crown and glory of the creation of God. Why am I here? I am here to bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ. What is wrong with the world? What is wrong is me, and everyone like me who refused to acknowledge the supremacy of Christ and instead chose to live in pursuit of the supremacy of self. How can what is wrong be made right? What is wrong can be made right through the penal, substitutionary, atoning death of the Son of God, and through repentance and faith on the part of sinners. ~ John Piper,
638:Mysterious

My paper shines
white, like snow,
but the paper looks empty.
I could decorate it
with tiny spiders
or stars or sketches of me
looking at a blank page,
but the clock ticks, and
somehow I must write.

I like the sight
of untouched snow.
Gentle, snow, silent,
it drifts and swirls,
layers itself, and I see
a new world of mysterious,
inviting shapes. I walk in its white
whispers, susurrus.
I drift
back to this paper that feels
hard on the desk, and I begin
to listen–
to the story I tell myself.

The paper is a white, patient place,
my private space
for remembering,
saving, spring sun on my face,
venting and inventing,
arguing with my mother,
wonder: who am I,
wandering through cobwebs of old dreams,
crying, sighing at people who don't see me,
hoping to write music so blue
listeners forget to breathe,
playing the sounds, jamming with myself,

changing
into the me I can't quite see. ~ Pat Mora,
639:Mysterious

My paper shines
White, like snow,
but the paper looks empty.
I could decorate it
with tiny spiders
or stars or sketches of me
looking at a blank page,
but the clock ticks,
and somehow I must write.

I like the sight
of untouched snow.
Gentle, slow, silent,
it drifts and swirls,
layers itself, and I see
a new world of mysterious,
inviting shapes. I walk in its white
whispers, susurrus.

I drift
back to this paper that feels
hard on the disk, and I begin
to listen-
to the story I tell myself.

The paper is a white, patient place,
my private space
for remembering,
saving: spring sun on my face
venting and inventing,
arguing with my mother,
wondering: who am I,
wandering through cobwebs of old dreams,
crying, sighing at people who don't see me, hoping to write music so blue
listeners forget to breathe,
playing the sounds, jamming with myself,

changing
....into the me I can't quite see. ~ Pat Mora,
640:One way I try to do it is to observe that in any other area of life that people take seriously, they naturally assume there’s legitimacy to objective values. Take a golf swing. Nobody would seriously say, “Just go swing it any way you want to, because who am I to tell you what to do?” Well, how would that work out? Horrifically. We know that in something like golf, you start to internalize objective ideals, and in that process, you become freer and freer. You become a freer player of golf, and you can actually do what you want to do. That’s true of anything—language, music, politics, anything. You begin to internalize objective values in such a way that they now become the ground for your freedom, and not the enemy of your freedom. The binary option we have to get past is “my freedom versus your oppression.” What we need to say is, No, no, the objectivity of the moral good enables your freedom, opens freedom up. Once you get that, you see the Church is not the enemy of your flourishing, but the condition for it. ~ Robert E Barron,
641:We may indeed die here, that's true. But we will all die anyway-is there any denying that? When you think of all the possible ways you might go, this is as fine a place as any, isn't it? I mean, to end one's life surrounded by friends, in a comfortable, dry room with plenty to read... that doesn't sound too awful, does it?"
"What is the advantage of fear, or the benefit of regret, or the bonus of granting misery a foothold even if death is embracing you? My old abbot used to say, 'Life is only precious if you wish it to be.' I look at it like the last bite of a wonderful meal-do you enjoy it, or does the knowledge that there is no more to follow make it so bitter that you would ruin the experience?" The monk looked around, but no one answered him. "If Maribor wishes for me to die, who am I to argue? After all, it is he who gave me life to begin with. Until he decides I am done, each day is a gift granted to me, and it would be wasted if spent poorly. Besides, for me, I've learned that the last bite is often the sweetest. ~ Michael J Sullivan,
642:He slotted some ice, connected the construct, and jacked in. It was exactly the sensation of someone reading over his shoulder. He coughed.
"Dix? McCoy? That you man?"
His throat was tight.
"Hey, bro," said a directionless voice.
"It's Case, man. Remember?"
"Miami, joeboy, quick study."
"What's the last thing you remember before I spoke to you, Dix?"
"Nothin'."
"Hang on."
He disconnected the construct. The presence was gone. He reconnected it.
"Dix? Who am I?"
"You got me hung, Jack. Who the fuck are you?"
"Ca--your buddy. Partner. What's happening, man?"
"Good question."
"Remember me being here, a second ago?"
"No."
"Know how a ROM personality construct works?"
"Sure, bro, it's a firmware construct."
"So I jack it into the bank I'm using, I can give it sequential real-time memory?"
"Guess so," said the construct.
"Okay, Dix,. You are a ROM construct. Got me?"
"If you say so," said the construct. "Who are you?"
"Case."
"Miami," said the voice, "joeboy, quick study. ~ William Gibson,
643:Most of what people read, if you go to the bookshelf in the airport convenience store and look at what’s there, even if it doesn’t have a YA on the spine, is YA in its moral simplicity. People don’t want moral complexity. Moral complexity is a luxury. You might be forced to read it in school, but a lot of people have hard lives. They come home at the end of the day, they feel they’ve been jerked around by the world yet again for another day. The last thing they want to do is read Alice Munro, who is always pointing toward the possibility that you’re not the heroic figure you think of yourself as, that you might be the very dubious figure that other people think of you as. That’s the last thing you’d want if you’ve had a hard day. You want to be told good people are good, bad people are bad, and love conquers all. And love is more important than money. You know, all these schmaltzy tropes. That’s exactly what you want if you’re having a hard life. Who am I to tell people that they need to have their noses rubbed in moral complexity? ~ Jonathan Franzen,
644:Horatian Epode To The Duchess Of Malfi
Duchess: Who am I?
Bosola: Thou art a box of worm-seed, at best but a
salvatory of green mummy.
The stage is about to be swept of corpses.
You have no more chance than an infusorian
Lodged in a hollow molar of an eohippus.
Come, now, no prattle of remergence with the
ovtws ov.(Greek word)
As (the form requires the myth)
A Greek girl stood once in the prytaneum
Of Carneades, hearing mouthings of Probability,
Then mindful of love dashed her brain on a megalith
So you, O nameless Duchess who die young,
Meet death somewhat lovingly
And I am filled with a pity of beholding skulls.
There was no pride like yours.
Now considerations of the void coming after
Not changed by the 'strict gesture' of your death
Split the straight line of pessimism
Into two infinities.
It is moot whether there be divinities
As I finish this play by Webster:
The street-cars are still running however
And the katharsis fades in the warm water of a yawn.
~ Allen Tate,
645:Waste of what?” “Of you! It seems degrading. Forgive me for saying that. I’ve seen those African movies. The lion makes a kill and then clever animals come in and grab something and run. You’re so bright, Trav, and so intuitive about people. And you have … the gift of tenderness. And sympathy. You could be almost anything.” “Of course!” I said, springing to my feet and beginning to pace back and forth through the lounge. “Why didn’t I think of that! Here I am, wasting the golden years on this lousy barge, getting all mixed up with lame-duck women when I could be out there seeking and striving. Who am I to keep from putting my shoulder to the wheel? Why am I not thinking about an estate and how to protect it? Gad, woman, I could be writing a million dollars a year in life insurance. I should be pulling a big oar in the flagship of life. Maybe it isn’t too late yet! Find the little woman, and go for the whole bit. Kiwanis, P.T.A., fund drives, cookouts, a clean desk, and vote the straight ticket, yessiree bob. Then when I become a senior citizen, I can look back upon … ~ John D MacDonald,
646:You could hear the wind in the leaves, and on that wind traveled the screams of the kids on the playground in the distance, the little kids figuring out how to be alive, how to navigate a world that was not built for them by navigating a playground that was. Dad saw me watching the kids and said, "You miss running around like that?"
"Sometimes, I guess." But that wasn't what I was thinking about. I was just trying to notice everything: the light on the ruined Ruins, this little kid who could barely walk discovering a stick at the corner of the playground, my indefatigable mother zigzagging mustard across her turkey sandwich, my dad patting his handheld in his pocket and resisting the urge to check it, a guy throwing a Frisbee that his dog kept running under and catching and returning to him.
Who am I to say that these things might not be forever? Who is Peter Van Houten to assert as fact the conjecture that our labor is temporary? All I know of heaven and all I know of death is in this park: an elegant universe in ceaseless motion, teeming with ruined ruins and screaming children. ~ John Green,
647:And here is where I’m humbled. I’m humbled by my feebleness in helping this person. Humbled that I had the arrogance to believe I’d seen and heard it all. You can never see and hear it all because, for all their sordid similarities, each story in the Downtown Eastside unfolded in the particular existence of a unique human being. Each one needs to be heard, witnessed, and acknowledged anew, every time it’s told. And I’m especially humbled because I dared to imagine that Serena was less than the complex and luminous person she is. Who am I to judge her for being driven to the belief that only through drugs will she find respite from her torments? Spiritual teachings of all traditions enjoin us to see the divine in each other. Namaste, the Sanskrit holy greeting, means, “The divine in me salutes the divine in you.” The divine? It’s so hard for us even to see the human. What have I to offer this young Native woman whose three decades of life bear the compressed torment of generations? An antidepressant capsule every morning, to be dispensed with her methadone, and half an hour of my time once or twice a month. ~ Gabor Mat,
648:Who am I?

Am I Caleb?

Am I James?

I've often asked myself this very thing and have always come up with a different answer. Perhaps the only truthful answer is, "I am both."

Caleb will always be a part of me--probably the largest part. I want to be James.

James is a 29-year-old from Oregon. He was raised by his mother and always wondered about his father. He grew up with respect for women but also a need to display his masculinity to make up for his lack of a father. He went to college but took time off before grad school to go and see the world. He met Sophia at The Paseo de Colon and fell instantly in love.

James never met anyone named Livvie. He never hurt her.

We know different. We know the truth. So, for the purposes of this story you begged me to tell--I am Caleb.

I am the man who kidnapped Livvie. I am the man who held her in a dark room for weeks. I'm the one who tied her to a bedpost and beat her. I'm the one who nearly sold her into sexual slavery. But, most importantly, I am the man she loves.

She loves me. It's quite sick, isn't it? ~ C J Roberts,
649:We made it, baby.
We’re riding in the back of the black
limousine. They have lined
the road to shout our names.
They have faith in your golden hair
& pressed grey suit.
They have a good citizen
in me. I love my country.
I pretend nothing is wrong.
I pretend not to see the man
& his blond daughter diving
for cover, that you’re not saying
my name & it’s not coming out
like a slaughterhouse.
I’m not Jackie O yet
& there isn’t a hole in your head, a brief
rainbow through a mist
of rust. I love my country
but who am I kidding? I’m holding
your still-hot thoughts in,
darling, my sweet, sweet
Jack. I’m reaching across the trunk
for a shard of your memory,
the one where we kiss & the nation
glitters. Your slumped back.
Your hand letting go. You’re all over
the seat now, deepening
my fuchsia dress. But I’m a good
citizen, surrounded by Jesus
& ambulances. I love
this country. The twisted faces.
My country. The blue sky. Black
limousine. My one white glove
glistening pink—with all
our American dreams. ~ Ocean Vuong,
650:You want my advice?” Sierra asks.
I look at her warily. “I don’t know. You hated the idea of Alex and me together from the beginning.”
“That’s not true, Brit. I didn’t tell you this, but he’s actually a nice guy when he loosens up. I had fun the day we all went to Lake Geneva. Doug did, too, and even said Alex was cool to hang with. I don’t know what happened between the two of you, but either forget about him, or give him everything you’ve got in your arsenal.”
“Is that what you do with Doug?”
She smiles. “Sometimes Doug needs a wake-up call. When our relationship starts getting comfortable, I do something to switch it up. Don’t interpret my advice as an excuse to go after Alex. But if he’s what you really want, well, then, who am I to tell you not to go for it? I hate seeing you sad, Brit.”
“Was I happy with Alex?”
“Obsessed is more like it. But yeah, I saw you happy. Happier than you’ve been in a really, really long time. With someone you like that much, the lows are as low as the highs are high. Does that make sense?”
“It does. It also makes me sound bipolar.”
“Love will do that to a person. ~ Simone Elkeles,
651:Imagine that one day you are out for a walk in the woods. Suddenly you see a small spaceship on the path in front of you. A tiny Martian climbs out the spaceship and stands on the ground looking up at you…
What would you think? Never mind, it’s not important. But have you ever given any thought to the fact that you are a Martian yourself?
It is obviously unlikely that you will ever stumble upon a creature from another planet. We do not even know that there is life on other planets. But you might stumble upon yourself one day. You might suddenly stop short and see yourself in a completely new light. On just such a walk in the woods.
I am an extraordinary being, you think. I am a mysterious creature.
You feel as if you are waking from an enchanted slumber. Who am I? you ask. You know that you are stumbling around on a planet in the universe. But what is the universe?
If you discover yourself in this manner you will have discovered something as mysterious as the Martian we just mentioned. You will not only have seen a being from outer space. You will feel deep down that you are yourself an extraordinary being. ~ Jostein Gaarder,
652:Then, recalling what he had said, she turned to him eagerly. “What’s my surprise?”

Most Ancient turned and reached for something that was behind him. He picked it up and placed it in her arms, and it looked up at her with wide, curious eyes. It was what she had once been: tiny, a wisp of a thing, with a mischievous smile and a trusting, visible heart.

“Oh!” she cried. She hugged it to her, against her badge. “What’s its name?”

“Ask it,” Most Ancient suggested.

“Who are you?” she asked the diminutive, transparent creature in her arms, keeping her voice calm so that it wouldn’t be scared.

“New Littlest,” it told her.

She was puzzled and almost frightened at first. The she thought, Of course! Most Ancient could not have always have been Most Ancient, and Thin Elderly must once have been something else. Even Fastidious – well, maybe not. Perhaps she had always been Fastidious.

She cradled New Littlest, moving her hands as gently as possible around the fragile little thing, and turned back to ask Most Ancient what she needed to know.

“Who am I now?”

“Gossamer,” he told her. ~ Lois Lowry,
653:Come unto me. Come unto me, you say. All right then, dear my Lord. I will try in my own absurd way. In my own absurd way I will try to come unto you, a project which is in itself by no means unabsurd. Because I do not know the time or place where you are. And if by some glad accident my feet should stumble on it, I do not know that I would know that I had stumbled on it. And even if I did know, I do not know for sure that I would find you there. … And if you are there, I do not know that I would recognize you. And if I recognized you, I do not know what that would mean or even what I would like it to mean. I do not even well know who it is you summon, myself.

For who am I? I know only that heel and toe, memory and metatarsal, I am everything that turns, all of a piece, unthinking, at the sound of my name. … Come unto me, you say. I, … all of me, unknowing and finally unknowable even to myself, turn. O Lord and lover, I come if I can to you down through the litter of any day, through sleeping and waking and eating and saying goodbye and going away and coming back again. Laboring and laden with endless histories heavy on my back. ~ Frederick Buechner,
654:I find it hard to talk about myself. I’m always tripped up by the eternal who am I? paradox. Sure, no one knows as much pure data about me as me. But when I talk about myself, all sorts of other factors—values, standards, my own limitations as an observer—make me, the narrator, select and eliminate things about me, the narratee. I’ve always been disturbed by the thought that I’m not painting a very objective picture of myself. This kind of thing doesn’t seem to bother most people. Given the chance, people are surprisingly frank when they talk about themselves. “I’m honest and open to a ridiculous degree,” they’ll say, or “I’m thin-skinned and not the type who gets along easily in the world.” Or “I am very good at sensing others’ true feelings.” But any number of times I’ve seen people who say they’re easily hurt hurt other people for no apparent reason. Self-styled honest and open people, without realizing what they’re doing, blithely use some self-serving excuse to get what they want. And those “good at sensing others’ true feelings” are duped by the most transparent flattery. It’s enough to make me ask the question: How well do we really know ourselves? ~ Haruki Murakami,
655:Who am I trying to fool? I'm well aware that at every stage of history there have been crimes against humanity, and they couldn't have happened without humans to commit them. The crimes that have been visited on my children have been committed, and still are being committed, by young people just like them, by people stirring up their delusions, giving them delusions of grandeur. So why do I imagine that people might improve? Everything going on around us seems to indicate that the values our forebears passed down to us no longer apply. Instead, we have sown the seeds of mistrust, scepticism and resignation, which will grow into a jungle of nihilism and cynicism, a jungle in which you will never find the courage to even mention the names of goodness, truth and common humanity, a corp that is now bearing fruit with remarkable speed. We're obliged to dig our own children's graves, but what's even more shocking is that these crimes are creating a future in which there is no place for truth and human decency. Nobody dare to speak truth anymore. Oh, my poor children ... we are burying you, but you should realize that we are also digging a grave for our future. Can you hear me? ~ Mahmoud Dowlatabadi,
656:Seven and a half million years our race has waited for this Great and Hopefully Enlightening Day!” cried the cheerleader. “The Day of the Answer!” Hurrahs burst from the ecstatic crowd. “Never again,” cried the man, “never again will we wake up in the morning and think Who am I? What is my purpose in life? Does it really, cosmically speaking, matter if I don’t get up and go to work? For today we will finally learn once and for all the plain and simple answer to all these nagging little problems of Life, the Universe and Everything!” As the crowd erupted once again, Arthur found himself gliding through the air and down toward one of the large stately windows on the first floor of the building behind the dais from which the speaker was addressing the crowd. He experienced a moment’s panic as he sailed straight toward the window, which passed when a second or so later he found he had gone right through the solid glass without apparently touching it. No one in the room remarked on his peculiar arrival, which is hardly surprising as he wasn’t there. He began to realize that the whole experience was merely a recorded projection which knocked six-track seventy-millimeter into a cocked hat. ~ Douglas Adams,
657:What do you want?” He spreads my thighs so he can stand between them. “You.” “Me?” I squeak. He grabs my bottom and yanks me closer to him. “Yes. You.” “But I’m just a girl. And there are so many of them crawling after you that you can’t keep all the names straight.” Tears sting my eyes and I blink them back. He looks at me quizzically. “I hurt you,” he says softly. My nose is starting to run, so I sniffle. “No, you didn’t.” “I did. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean what I said.” Sniffle. “Then why did you say it?” “Because those assholes were asking questions about you and I didn’t want to tell them anything, so I downplayed it. I didn’t want them all sniffing around you. You’re too important.” “You just met me yesterday,” I remind him. “And you’re all I’ve thought about ever since.” “Really?” “Really,” he says. His lips hover over mine, so close that we’re sharing breaths, but he doesn’t kiss me. My blood thrums in my veins. “I can’t believe you stood me up. I showed up with flowers, wearing a tie, and driving a car I borrowed, just to impress you.” “I don’t need all that stuff. I just need you.” “Who am I?” he asks. His blue eyes look deeply into mine. “You’re everything,” I breathe. ~ Tammy Falkner,
658:Who is he that shall control me? Why may not I act & speak & write & think with entire freedom? Who am I to the Universe, or the Universe, what is it to me? Who hath forged the chains of Right and Wrong, of Opinion and Custom? And must I wear them? Is Society my anointed King? Or is there any mightier community or any man or more than man, whose slave I am? I am solitary in the vast society of beings; I consort with no species; I indulge no sympathies. I see the world, human, brute & inanimate nature; I am in the midst of them, but not of them; I hear the song of the storm— the Winds & warring Elements sweep by me— but they mix not with my being. I see cities & nations & witness passions— the roar of their laughter— but I partake it not;— the yell of their grief— it touches no chord in me; their fellowships & fashions, lusts & virtues, the words & deeds they call glory & shame— I disclaim them all. I say to the Universe, Mighty one! thou art not my mother; Return to chaos, if thou wilt, I shall still exist. I live. If I owe my being, it is to a destiny greater than thine. Star by Star, world by world, system by system shall be crushed— but I shall live. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
659:In your early struggles you may have found it difficult to conquer sleep; and you may have wandered so far from the object of your meditations without noticing it, that the meditation has really been broken; but much later on, when you feel that you are "getting quite good," you will be shocked to find a complete oblivion of yourself and your surroundings. You will say: "Good heavens! I must have been to sleep!" or else "What on earth was I meditating upon?" or even "What was I doing?" "Where am I?" "Who am I?" or a mere wordless bewilderment may daze you. This may alarm you, and your alarm will not be lessened when you come to full consciousness, and reflect that you have actually forgotten who you are and what you are doing! This is only one of many adventures that may come to you; but it is one of the most typical. By this time your hours of meditation will fill most of the day, and you will probably be constantly having presentiments that something is about to happen. You may also be terrified with the idea that your brain may be giving way; but you will have learnt the real symptoms of mental fatigue, and you will be careful to avoid them. They must be very carefully distinguished from idleness! ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA,
660:Who am I? Who am I?”
“You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.”

"And who are you?"
"I'm Willem Ragnarsson. And I will never let you go. ~ Hanya Yanagihara,
661:As tears become rivers emptying into a sea of pain, there you'll find my heart, smashed into a thousand pieces littered in the rain. Amongst the shadows is where you'll see a glimpse of the woman I used to be. I used to believe in the good of everything, everyone; an optimist...nothing could cloud my day; my world I met him on a sunny June day and knew he was heaven sent the sun shined brighter, the world was happier; here standing in front of me was the one I'd waited my whole life for Him, my destroyer, the man that cracked my universe and taught me things and people weren't always what they seemed and no matter how I tried, there was no longer a sun in sight to see I trusted him, gave my heart to him; he used me; did he ever love me? Does he know what love means? Loyalty?  Please! He has none, except to himself... I lost myself in him and his world; who am I? I'm not sure They call me Ananda, I call me damaged I'm not who I used to be and unsure of who I'm supposed to be and there is the problem... I'm a broken reflection of someone I used to know and can never be again am I better or worse after him? My heart is definitely worse, but my spirit--the one thing he couldn't touch is unbroken my spirit survived his wrath and in due time so will I.... ~ Mychea,
662:When you ask the question, “Who am I?”—if you have enough time and concentration—you may find some surprising answers. You may see that you are a continuation of your ancestors. Your parents and your ancestors are fully present in every cell of your body; you are their continuation. You don’t have a separate self. If you remove your ancestors and your parents from you, there’s no “you” left.

You may see that you’re made of elements, like water for example. If you remove the water from you, there’s no “you” left. You’re made of earth. If you remove the element earth from you, there’s no “you” left. You’re made of air. You need air desperately; without air you cannot survive. So if you remove the element of air from you, there’s no “you” left. And there’s the fire element, the element of heat, the element of light, in you. You know that you are made of light. Without sunlight, nothing can grow on Earth. If you continue to look, you see that you are made of the sun, one of the biggest stars in the galaxy. And you know that the Earth, as well as yourself, is made of the stars. So you are the stars. On a clear night, look up, and you can see that you are the stars above. You’re not just the tiny body you normally may think of as “yourself. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh,
663:Wow,” Wesley said. We were lying in his bed only a few minutes after we’d finished, with a foot or more space between our bodies. “I definitely wasn’t expecting that.”
God, he ruined everything when he talked. Annoyed, and still wading through the emotional repercussions, I sneered. “What? Ashamed that you screwed the Duff?”
“No.” I was surprised by how serious he sounded. “I’m never ashamed of anyone I sleep with. Sex is a natural chemical reaction. It always happens for a reason. Who am I to dictate who experiences the joy of sharing my bed?” He didn’t see me roll my eyes as he continued. “No, I just meant that I’m shocked. I was honestly starting to believe that you hated me.”
“I do hate you,” I assured him, kicking off the covers and moving to pick up my clothes.
“You must not hate me too much,” Wesley said, rolling onto his elbow and watching me dress. “You did pretty much throw yourself at me. Generally, hatred doesn’t inspire that kind of passion.”
I pulled on my T-shirt. “Believe me, Wesley, I definitely hate you. I was just using you. You use people all the time, so I’m sure you understand.” I buttoned my jeans and grabbed my alligator clip from the nightstand. “This was fun, but if you ever tell anyone, I swear I’ll castrate you. ~ Kody Keplinger,
664:Wow,” Wesley said. We were lying in his bed only a few minutes after we’d finished, with a foot or more space between our bodies. “I definitely wasn’t expecting that.”
God, he ruined everything when he talked. Annoyed, and still wading through the emotional repercussions, I sneered. ��What? Ashamed that you screwed the Duff?”
“No.” I was surprised by how serious he sounded. “I’m never ashamed of anyone I sleep with. Sex is a natural chemical reaction. It always happens for a reason. Who am I to dictate who experiences the joy of sharing my bed?” He didn’t see me roll my eyes as he continued. “No, I just meant that I’m shocked. I was honestly starting to believe that you hated me.”
“I do hate you,” I assured him, kicking off the covers and moving to pick up my clothes.
“You must not hate me too much,” Wesley said, rolling onto his elbow and watching me dress. “You did pretty much throw yourself at me. Generally, hatred doesn’t inspire that kind of passion.”
I pulled on my T-shirt. “Believe me, Wesley, I definitely hate you. I was just using you. You use people all the time, so I’m sure you understand.” I buttoned my jeans and grabbed my alligator clip from the nightstand. “This was fun, but if you ever tell anyone, I swear I’ll castrate you. ~ Kody Keplinger,
665:The Poet Of Ignorance
Perhaps the earth is floating,
I do not know.
Perhaps the stars are little paper cutups
made by some giant scissors,
I do not know.
Perhaps the moon is a frozen tear,
I do not know.
Perhaps God is only a deep voice
heard by the deaf,
I do not know.
Perhaps I am no one.
True, I have a body
and I cannot escape from it.
I would like to fly out of my head,
but that is out of the question.
It is written on the tablet of destiny
that I am stuck here in this human form.
That being the case
I would like to call attention to my problem.
There is an animal inside me,
clutiching fast to my heart,
a huge carb.
The doctors of Boston
have thrown up their hands.
They have tried scalpels,
needles, poison gasses adn the like.
The crab remains.
It is a great weight.
I try to forget it, go about my business,
cook the broccoli, open the shut books,
brush my teeth and tie my shoes.
I have tried prayer
but as I pray the crab grips harder
and the pain enlarges.
I had a dream once,
perhaps it was a dream,
309
that the crab was my ignorance of God.
But who am I to believe in dreams?
Anonymous submission.
~ Anne Sexton,
666:Who am I?" she snaps. "I am America, Israel, England! What am I doing?" She waits another long moment, her eyes shining. "I'm shutting up and listening." She draws the last word out so it hisses through the air. "I am the presidents, the kings, the prime ministers, the highs and the mighties—L-I-S-T-E-N!" She spells the word in the air. "The woman who made the baklava has something to say to you! Voilà! You see? Now what am I doing?" She picks up an imaginary plate, lifts something from it, and takes an invisible bite. Then she closes her eyes and says, "Mmm... That is such delicious Arabic-Jordanian-Lebanese-Palestinian baklawa. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Please will you come to our home now and have some of our food?" She puts down the plate and brushes imaginary crumbs from her fingers. "So now what did I just do?
"You ate some baklawa?"
She curls her hand as if making a point so essential, it can be held only in the tips of the fingers. "I looked, I tasted, I spoke kindly and truthfully. I invited. You know what else? I keep doing it. I don't stop if it doesn't work on the first or the second or the third try. And like that!" She snaps the apron from the chair into the air, leaving a poof of flour like a wish. "There is your peace. ~ Diana Abu Jaber,
667:When you ask the question, “Who am I?”—if you have enough time and
concentration—you may find some surprising answers. You may see that you are
a continuation of your ancestors. Your parents and your ancestors are fully
present in every cell of your body; you are their continuation. You don’t have a
separate self. If you remove your ancestors and your parents from you, there’s no
“you” left.
You may see that you’re made of elements, like water for example. If you
remove the water from you, there’s no “you” left. You’re made of earth. If you
remove the element earth from you, there’s no “you” left. You’re made of air.
You need air desperately; without air you cannot survive. So if you remove the
element of air from you, there’s no “you” left. And there’s the fire element, the
element of heat, the element of light, in you. You know that you are made of
light. Without sunlight, nothing can grow on Earth. If you continue to look, you
see that you are made of the sun, one of the biggest stars in the galaxy. And you
know that the Earth, as well as yourself, is made of the stars. So you are the
stars. On a clear night, look up, and you can see that you are the stars above.
You’re not just the tiny body you normally may think of as “yourself. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh,
668:Whereas the craftsman mindset focuses on what you can offer the world, the passion mindset focuses instead on what the world can offer you. This mindset is how most people approach their working lives. There are two reasons why I dislike the passion mindset (that is, two reasons beyond the fact that, as I argued in Rule #1, it’s based on a false premise). First, when you focus only on what your work offers you, it makes you hyperaware of what you don’t like about it, leading to chronic unhappiness. This is especially true for entry-level positions, which, by definition, are not going to be filled with challenging projects and autonomy—these come later. When you enter the working world with the passion mindset, the annoying tasks you’re assigned or the frustrations of corporate bureaucracy can become too much to handle. Second, and more serious, the deep questions driving the passion mindset—“Who am I?” and “What do I truly love?”—are essentially impossible to confirm. “Is this who I really am?” and “Do I love this?” rarely reduce to clear yes-or-no responses. In other words, the passion mindset is almost guaranteed to keep you perpetually unhappy and confused, which probably explains why Bronson admits, not long into his career-seeker epic What Should I Do With My Life? that “the one feeling everyone in this book has experienced is of missing out on life. ~ Cal Newport,
669:Who am I? They often tell me I would step from my cell's confinement calmly, cheerfully, firmly, like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me I would talk to my warden freely and friendly and clearly, as though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me I would bear the days of misfortune equably, smilingly, proudly, like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of, or am I only what I know of myself, restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds, thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness, trembling with anger at despotisms and petty humiliation, tossing in expectation of great events, powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, faint and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the other? Am I one person today, and tomorrow another? Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? Or is something within me still like a beaten army, fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine! ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
670:I Step Across The Mystic Border-Land
I step across the mystic border-land,
And look upon the wonder-world of Art.
How beautiful, how beautiful its hills!
And all its valleys, how surpassing fair!
The winding paths that lead up to the heights
Are polished by the footsteps of the great.
The mountain-peaks stand very near to God:
The chosen few whose feet have trod thereon
Have talked with Him. and with the angels walked.
Here are no sounds of discord-no profane
Or senseless gossip of unworthy thingsOnly the songs of chisels and of pens,
Of busy brushes, and ecstatic strains
Of souls surcharged with music most divine.
Here is no idle sorrow, no poor grief
For any day or object left behindFor time is counted precious, and herein
Is such complete abandonment of Self
That tears turn into rainbows, and enhance
The beauty of the land where all is fair,
Awed and afraid, I cross the border-land.
Oh, who am I, that I dare enter here
Where the great artists of the world have trodThe genius-crowned aristocrats of Earth?
Only the singer of a little song;
Yet loving Art with such a mighty love
I hold it greater to have won a place
Just on the fair land's edge, to make my grave,
Than in the outer world of greed and gain
To sit upon a royal throne and reign.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
671:Whenever any kind of deep loss occurs in your life — such as loss of possessions, your home, a close relationship; or loss of your reputation, job, or physical abilities — something inside you dies. You feel diminished in your sense of who you are. There may also be a certain disorientation. “Without this...who am I?” When a form that you had unconsciously identified with as part of yourself leaves you or dissolves, that can be extremely painful. It leaves a hole, so to speak, in the fabric of your existence. When this happens, don't deny or ignore the pain or the sadness that you feel. Accept that it is there. Beware of your mind's tendency to construct a story around that loss in which you are assigned the role of victim. Fear, anger, resentment, or self-pity are the emotions that go with that role. Then become aware of what lies behind those emotions as well as behind the mind-made story: that hole, that empty space. Can you face and accept that strange sense of emptiness? If you do, you may find that it is no longer a fearful place. You may be surprised to find peace emanating from it. Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death. That is why the peace of God can come to you through the contemplation and acceptance of death. ~ Eckhart Tolle,
672:Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can’t even remember who he is. “Where am I?” he asks, desperate, and then, “Who am I? Who am I?”
And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs.
“You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen.
“You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way.
“You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it.
“You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again.
“You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you. ~ Hanya Yanagihara,
673:My Faithful Mother Tongue
Faithful mother tongue,
I have been serving you.
Every night, I used to set before you little bowls of colors
so you could have your birch, your cricket, your finch
as preserved in my memory.
This lasted many years.
You were my native land; I lacked any other.
I believed that you would also be a messenger
between me and some good people
even if they were few, twenty, ten
or not born, as yet.
Now, I confess my doubt.
There are moments when it seems to me I have squandered my life.
For you are a tongue of the debased,
of the unreasonable, hating themselves
even more than they hate other nations,
a tongue of informers,
a tongue of the confused,
ill with their own innocence.
But without you, who am I?
Only a scholar in a distant country,
a success, without fears and humiliations.
Yes, who am I without you?
Just a philosopher, like everyone else.
I understand, this is meant as my education:
the glory of individuality is taken away,
Fortune spreads a red carpet
before the sinner in a morality play
while on the linen backdropp a magic lantern throws
images of human and divine torture.
Faithful mother tongue,
perhaps after all it's I who must try to save you.
So I will continue to set before you little bowls of colors
bright and pure if possible,
70
for what is needed in misfortune is a little order and beauty.
~ Czeslaw Milosz,
674:I find it hard to talk about myself. I'm always tripped up by the eternal who am I? paradox. Sure, no one knows as much pure data about me as me. But when I talk about myself, all sorts of other factors--values, standards, my own limitations as an observer--make me, the narrator, select and eliminate things about me, the narratee. I've always been disturbed by the thought that I'm not painting a very objective picture of myself.

This kind of thing doesn't seem to bother most people. Given the chance, people are surprisingly frank when they talk about themselves. "I'm honest and open to a ridiculous degree," they'll say, or "I'm thin-skinned and not the type who gets along easily in the world." Or "I am very good at sensing others' true feelings." But any number of times I've seen people who say they've easily hurt other people for no apparent reason. Self-styled honest and open people, without realizing what they're doing, blithely use some self-serving excuse to get what they want. And those "good at sensing others' true feelings" are duped by the most transparent flattery. It's enough to make me ask the question: How well do we really know ourselves?

The more I think about it, the more I'd like to take a rain check on the topic of me. What I'd like to know more about is the objective reality of things outside myself. How important the world outside is to me, how I maintain a sense of equilibrium by coming to terms with it. That's how I'd grasp a clearer sense of who I am. ~ Haruki Murakami,
675:We are all, of course, wayfaring strangers on this earth. But coming out of the rainbow tunnel, the liminal portal between Marin and San Francisco, myth and reality, I catch sight of a beautiful, sparkling city that might as well be on the moon. I can name the sights, the streets, the eateries, but in my heart it feels as unfamiliar as Cape Town or Cuzco. I've lived here for fourteen years. This is the arena of my adult life, with its large defeats and small victories. Maybe, like all transplants (converts?), I've asked too much of the city. I would never have moved to Pittsburh or Houston or L.A. expecting it to save my soul. Only here in the great temple by the bay. It's a mistake we've been making for decades, and probably a necessary one. The city's flaws, of course, are numerous. Our politics can suffer from humourless stridency, and life here is menacingly expensive. But if you're insulated from these concerns, sufficiently employed and housed, if you are -in other words- like most people, you are in view of the unbridgeable ideal. Here, with our plentiful harvest, our natural beauty, our bars, our bookstores, our cliffs and ocean, out free to be you and me; here, where pure mountain water flows right out of the tap. It's here that the real questions become inescapable. In fact the proximity of the ideal makes us more acutely aware of the real questions. Not the run-of-the-mill insolubles-Why am I here? Who am I?- but the pressing questions of adult life: Really? and Are you sure? And Now what? ~ Scott Hutchins,
676:You’re so bright, Trav, and so intuitive about people. And you have … the gift of tenderness. And sympathy. You could be almost anything.” “Of course!” I said, springing to my feet and beginning to pace back and forth through the lounge. “Why didn’t I think of that! Here I am, wasting the golden years on this lousy barge, getting all mixed up with lame-duck women when I could be out there seeking and striving. Who am I to keep from putting my shoulder to the wheel? Why am I not thinking about an estate and how to protect it? Gad, woman, I could be writing a million dollars a year in life insurance. I should be pulling a big oar in the flagship of life. Maybe it isn’t too late yet! Find the little woman, and go for the whole bit. Kiwanis, P.T.A., fund drives, cookouts, a clean desk, and vote the straight ticket, yessiree bob. Then when I become a senior citizen, I can look back upon …” I stopped when I heard the small sound she was making. She sat with her head bowed. I went over and put my fingertips under her chin. I tilted her head up and looked down into her streaming eyes. “Please, don’t,” she whispered. “You’re beginning to bring out the worst in me, woman.” “It was none of my business.” “I will not dispute you.” “But … who did this to you?” “I’ll never know you well enough to try to tell you, Lois.” She tried to smile. “I guess it can’t be any plainer than that.” “And I’m not a tragic figure, no matter how hard you try to make me into one. I’m delighted with myself, woman.” “And you wouldn’t say it that way if you were.” “Spare me the cute insights. ~ John D MacDonald,
677:Loving-Kindness: The Essential Practice FOR AN ASPIRING BODHISATTVA, the essential practice is to cultivate maitri, or loving-kindness. The Shambhala teachings speak of “placing our fearful mind in the cradle of loving-kindness.” Another image for maitri is that of a mother bird who protects and cares for her young until they are strong enough to fly away. People sometimes ask, “Who am I in this image—the mother or the chick?” The answer is we’re both: both the loving mother and those ugly little chicks. It’s easy to identify with the babies—blind, raw, and desperate for attention. We are a poignant mixture of something that isn’t all that beautiful and yet is dearly loved. Whether this is our attitude toward ourselves or toward others, it is the key to learning how to love. We stay with ourselves and others when we’re screaming for food and have no feathers and also when we are more grown up and more appealing by worldly standards. In cultivating loving-kindness, we learn first to be honest, loving, and compassionate toward ourselves. Rather than nurturing self-denigration, we begin to cultivate a clear-seeing kindness. Sometimes we feel good and strong. Sometimes we feel inadequate and weak. But like mother-love, maitri is unconditional; no matter how we feel, we can aspire that we be happy. We can learn to act and think in ways that sow seeds of our future well-being. Gradually, we become more aware about what causes happiness as well as what causes distress. Without loving-kindness for ourselves, it is difficult, if not impossible, to genuinely feel it for others. ~ Pema Ch dr n,
678: ~ glow of the light of daybreak is in your emerald vault, the goblet of the blood of twilight is your blood-measuring bowl
author class:Jalaluddin Rumi
/Farsi & Turkish The glow of the light of daybreak is in your emerald vault, the goblet of the blood of twilight is your blood-measuring bowl. Mile on mile, torrent on torrent come dancing and gliding to the shore of your sea. With all the abstention and aspiration of the moon, the cap falls off the head of the moon when the moon raises its face to gaze upon your height. Every morn the nightingales lament like the heart-forlorn ones to the melodies of those attaining your verdant meadow. The spirits seek vision, the hearts all seek the Beloved; you in whose broad orchard four streams are let flow -- one stream pure water, another honey, the third fresh milk, the fourth your ruby wine. You never give me a chance, you are giving wine upon wine; where is the head, that I may describe the drinking-cup of your wine? Yet who am I? Heaven itself in the round of this heavy bumper finds not a moment's peace from your love and the craving for you. Moon of silver girdle, you have experience of love; heaven, loverhood is apparent in your features. When love is yoked to the heart it wearies of the heart's chatter; heart, be silent! How long this striving and inquiring of yours? The heart said, "I am His reed pipe, I wail as the breath inn me." I said, "Be lamenting now, the slave of whose passion is the soul." We have opened your door; do not desert your companions; in thankfulness for an all-embracing love which has seized you from head to toe. [1494.jpg] -- from Mystical Poems of Rumi: Volume 2, Translated by A. J. Arberry

,
679:I’m a virgin, Alex. What if I do everything wrong?”
“There is no wrong here. This isn’t a test in Peterson’s class. This is you and me. The rest of the world is shut out right now, okay?”
“Okay,” she says softly. Her eyes are glistening. Is she crying?
“I don’t deserve you. You know that, querida, don’t you?”
“When are you gonna realize you’re one of the good guys?” When I don’t answer, she pulls my head down to hers. “My body is yours tonight, Alex,” she whispers against my lips. “Do you want it?”
“God, yes.” As we make out, I shrug off my jeans and briefs and hug her tight, devouring the softness and warmth of her body against mine. “Are you scared?” I whisper in her ear when she’s ready and I’m ready and I can’t wait any longer.
“A little, but I trust you.”
“Relax, preciosa.
“I’m trying.”
“This won’t work unless you relax.” I pull away and reach for a condom, my hands shaking. “You sure about this?” I ask.
“Yes, yes, I’m sure. I love you, Alex,” she says. “I love you,” she says again, saying it almost desperately this time.
I let her words seep into my body and hold myself back, not wanting to hurt her. Who am I kidding? The first time for a girl hurts, no matter how careful a guy is.
I want to tell her how I feel, tell her how much she’s become the center of my being. But I can’t. The words won’t come.
“Just do it,” she says, sensing my hesitation.
So I do, but when she sucks in a breath, I just wish I could take the pain away from her.
She sniffs and wipe a tear that’s running down her cheek. Seeing her that emotional is my undoing. For the first time since I saw my dad lying dead in front of me, a tear drops from my eye. ~ Simone Elkeles,
680:They do the twenty-one-gun salute for the good guys, right? So I brought this.” Beckett pointed the gun in the sky. “For Mouse.”
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen shots exploded from Beckett’s gun.
“Who am I fucking kidding? What the hell does a gun shot by me mean? Nothing special, that’s for damn sure. Fuck it.”
“For Mouse, who watched over my sister and saved Blake and me from more than we could’ve handled in the woods that night.” Livia nodded at Beckett, and he squeezed the trigger. When the sound had cleared, she counted out loud. “Seventeen.”
Kyle stepped forward and replaced Livia at Beckett’s arm. “For Mouse. I didn’t know you well, but I wish I had.” The air snapped with the shot. “Eighteen.”
Cole rubbed Kyle’s shoulder as he approached. He took the gun from Beckett’s hand. “For Mouse, who protected Beckett from himself for years.” The gun popped again. “Nineteen.”
Blake thought for a moment with the gun pointed at the ground, then aimed it at the sky. “For Mouse, who saved Livia’s life when I couldn’t. Thank you is not enough.” The gun took his gratitude to the heavens. “Twenty.”
Eve took the gun from Blake, the hand that had been shaking steadied. “Mouse, I wish you were still here. This place was better when you were part of it.” The last shot was the most jarring, juxtaposed with the perfect silence of its wake.
As if the bullet was a key in a lock, the gray skies opened and a quiet, lovely snow shower filtered down. The flakes decorated the hair of the six mourners like glistening knit caps.
Eve turned her face to be bathed in the fresh flakes. “Twenty-one,” she said softly, replacing her earpiece. ~ Debra Anastasia,
681:Jackaby did not speak as we left the building. We were three or four blocks away from the station house when Lydia Lee caught up to us, the coach rattling and clinking and the dappled gray horse stamping its hooves impatiently on the cobblestones. Miss Lee managed to convince the Duke to clop to a halt just ahead of us, and my employer climbed into the carriage wordlessly.

Miss Lee gave me an inquisitive look, but Jackaby finally broke his silence before I could explain. “Don’t bother with niceties. Take me home, Miss Lee.” He thought for a moment. “I’m going to need you to go to jail for me afterward.”

“That is the second time a man’s said those words to me,” she replied gamely. “Although the last time I got flowers and a dance first, if memory serves.”

“Bail,” amended Jackaby as Miss Lee hopped back into the driver’s box.

“They usually do, in the end,” she said, sighing.

“What? Listen, I have a jar of banknotes in my office earmarked for bail. I’ll bring it out to you as soon as we arrive. I need you to bring it to the processing officer at the Mason Street Station. He’ll sort out the paperwork. Just sign where he tells you to. Ask for Alton.”

“Allan,” I corrected.

“I’m fairly sure it’s Alton,” said Jackaby.

“You want me to post bail for somebody?” Miss Lee called down as the carriage began to rattle on down the street. “I guess I can do that.”

“Thank you,” Jackaby called back to her.

“Who am I bailing out?”

“Everyone.”

The carriage bumped along the paving stones for a silent stretch. “By everyone, you mean . . . ?”

“It is a rather large jar of banknotes,” said Jackaby.

“Right,” came Miss Lee’s voice at length. “You’re the boss. ~ William Ritter,
682:Hey, that's weird," Chloe says. "You both have the same color eyes as Emma. I've never seen that before. I always thought it was because she's freakishly pasty. Ow! That's gonna leave a mark, Emma," she says, rubbing her freshly pinched biceps.
"Good, I hope it does," I snap. I want to ask them about their eyes-the color seems prettier set against the olive tone of Galen's skin-but Chloe has bludgeoned my chances of recovering from embarrassment. I'll have to be satisfied that my dad-and Google-were wrong all this time; my eye color just can't be that rare. Sure, my dad practiced medicine until the day he died two years ago. And sure, Google never let me down before. But who am I to argue with living, breathing proof that this eye color actually does exist? Nobody, that's who. Which is convenient, since I don't want to talk anymore. Don't want to force Galen into any more awkward conversations. Don't want to give Chloe any more opportunities to deepen the heat of my burning cheeks. I just want this moment of my life to be over.
I push past Chloe and snatch up the surfboard. To her good credit, she presses herself against the rail as I pass her again. I stop in front of Galen and his sister. "It was nice to meet you both. Sorry I ran into you. Let's go, Chloe."
Galen looks like he wants to say something, but I turn away. He's been a good sport, but I'm not interested in discussing swimmer safety-or being introduced to any more of his hostile relatives. Nothing he can say will change the fact that DNA from my cheek is smeared on his chest.
Trying not to actually march, I thrust past them and make my way down the stairs leading to the pristine white sand. I hear Chloe closing the distance behind me, giggling. And I decide on sunflowers for her funeral. ~ Anna Banks,
683:Raquel laughed, and David joined her. They sounded slightly manic. “You’re free now,” he said.
“Of all of it,” she answered, and I looked up to see them locked in a gaze I’d previously only observed between actors on Easton Heights—one filled with all the things unspoken over the years, all the betrayals and fears and pain left behind in favor of overwhelming love. It was beautiful.
Oh, who am I kidding, it was awkward as all heck and I didn’t have time for it. “Okay! So, you may have noticed Lend is in the kitchen.”
“Mmm hmm,” Raquel answered, reaching up to smooth down a stray piece of David’s hair.
“Yeah, that’d be the big faerie curse.”
“Farie curse?” She actually turned toward me; David took both her hands in his.
“Yup. Really funny one, too. See, any time Lend and I are in the same room or can see each other or could actually, you know, touch, he falls fast asleep.”
“Oh,” Raquel frowned.
“So I need your help. You know all the names of the IPCA controlled faeries, right?”
She nodded, her frown deepening.
“Well, it was a dark faerie curse, so I figure we need a dark faerie to undo it. So you call an Unseelie faerie, we give him or her a named command to break the curse, ta-da, we can double-date!”
“Wait, who can double-date?” Lend asked.
“I’ll let your dad tell you. So. Faerie?”
Raquel heaved a sigh, along the lines of her famous things never get easier, do they? sign, and, boy, I agreed with her.
“To be honest, I don’t know which court most of the faeries belong to.”
“You don’t? How can you not know? It seems like pretty vital information to me. You know, ‘Are you a member of the evil court kidnapping humans and plotting world domination, or a member of the moderately less evil court who just wants to get the crap off the planet?’ sort of a survey when you get them. ~ Kiersten White,
684:Arren was silent, pondering this. Presently the mage said, speaking softly, “Do you see, Arren, how an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that’s the end of it. When that rock is lifted, the earth is lighter; the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown, the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls the universe is changed. On every act the Balance of the Whole depends. The winds and seas, the powers of water and earth and light, all that these do, and all that the beasts and green things do, is well done, and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium. From the hurricane and the great whale’s sounding to the fall of a dry leaf and the gnat’s flight, all they do is done within the Balance of the Whole. But we, insofar as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the Balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility. Who am I—though I have the power to do it—to punish and reward, playing with men’s destinies?” “But then,” the boy said, frowning at the stars, “is the Balance to be kept by doing nothing? Surely a man must act, even not knowing all the consequences of his act, if anything is to be done at all?” “Never fear. It is much easier for men to act than to refrain from acting. We will continue to do good and to do evil. . . . But if there were a king over us all again and he sought counsel of a mage, as in the days of old, and I were that mage, I would say to him: My lord, do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
685:Moses

Come.
When?
Now. This way. I will guide you.
Wait! Not so fast.
Hurry. You. I said you.
Who am I?
Certainly I will be with thee.
Is nothing, then, what it is? I had rather the rod had
stayed a rod and not become a serpent.
Come. Quickly. While the blast of my breath opens the sea.
Stop. I'm thirsty.
Drink water from this rock.
But the rock moves on before us.
Go with it and drink.
I'm tired. Can't you stop for a while?
You have already tarried too long.
But if I am to follow you I must know your name.
I will be that I will be.
You have set the mountain on fire.
Come. Climb.
I will be lost in the terror of your cloud.
You are stiff-necked and of a stiff-necked people.
YOUR poeple, Lord,
Indubitably.
Your wrath waxes hot. I burn.
Thus to become great.
Show me, then, they glory.
No man may see my face and live. But I will cover you with my hand while I pass by.
My people turn away and cry because the skin of my
face shines
Did you not expect this?
I cannot enter the tent of the congregation while your
cloud covers it and your glory fills the tabernacle.
Look. It moves before us again. Can you not stay still?
Come. Follow.
But this river is death. The waters are dark and deep.
Swim.
Now will I see your face? Where are you taking me
now?
Up the mountain with me before I die.
But death
bursts into light.
The death is
what it will be.
These men: they want to keep us here in three
tabernacles. But the cloud moves. The water springs
from a rock that journeys on.
You are contained in me.
But how can we contain you in ark or tabernacle or
You cannot.
Where, then?
In your heart. Come.
Still?
I will be with thee.
Who am I?
You are that I will be. Come. ~ Madeleine L Engle,
686:Are you scared?” I whisper in her ear when she’s ready and I’m ready and I can’t wait any longer.
“A little, but I trust you.”
“Relax, preciosa.
“I’m trying.”
“This won’t work unless you relax.” I pull away and reach for a condom, my hands shaking. “You sure about this?” I ask.
“Yes, yes, I’m sure. I love you, Alex,” she says. “I love you,” she says again, saying it almost desperately this time.
I let her words seep into my body and hold myself back, not wanting to hurt her. Who am I kidding? The first time for a girl hurts, no matter how careful a guy is.
I want to tell her how I feel, tell her how much she’s become the center of my being. But I can’t. The words won’t come.
“Just do it,” she says, sensing my hesitation.
So I do, but when she sucks in a breath, I just wish I could take the pain away from her.
She sniffs and wipe a tear that’s running down her cheek. Seeing her that emotional is my undoing. For the first time since I saw my dad lying dead in front of me, a tear drops from my eye.
She holds my head in her hands and kisses my tear away. “It’s okay, Alex.”
But it’s not. I need to make this perfect. Because I may never get another chance and she needs to know how good it can be.
I focus on her completely, desperate to make it special. Afterward, I pull her close. She nestles into me while I stroke her hair, both of us content to stay in our private world for as long as possible.
I can’t believe she shared her body with me. I should feel victorious. Instead, me siento una mierda.
It’ll be impossible to protect Brittany for the rest of her life from all the other guys who want to be near her, to see her as I’ve seen her. Touch her as I’ve touched her. Man, I never want to let her go.
But it’s too late. I can’t waste more time. After all, she isn’t mine forever and I can’t pretend she is. ~ Simone Elkeles,
687:Happy As The Day Is Long
I take the long walk up the staircase to my secret room.
Today's big news: they found Amelia Earhart's shoe, size 9.
1992: Charlie Christian is bebopping at Minton's in 1941.
Today, the Presidential primaries have failed us once again.
We'll look for our excitement elsewhere, in the last snow
that is falling, in tomorrow's Gospel Concert in Springfield.
It's a good day to be a cat and just sleep.
Or to read the Confessions of Saint Augustine.
Jesus called the sons of Zebedee the Sons of Thunder.
In my secret room, plans are hatched: we'll explore the Smoky Mountains.
Then we'll walk along a beach: Hallelujah!
(A letter was just delivered by Overnight Expressit contained nothing of importance, I slept through it.)
(I guess I'm trying to be 'above the fray.')
The Russians, I know, have developed a language called 'Lincos'
designed for communicating with the inhabitants of other worlds.
That's been a waste of time, not even a postcard.
But then again, there are tree-climbing fish, called anabases.
They climb the trees out of stupidity, or so it is said.
Who am I to judge? I want to break out of here.
A bee is not strong in geometry: it cannot tell
a square from a triangle or a circle.
The locker room of my skull is full of panting egrets.
I'm saying that strictly for effect.
In time I will heal, I know this, or I believe this.
The contents and furnishings of my secret room will be labeled
and organized so thoroughly it will be a little frightening.
What I thought was infinite will turn out to be just a couple
of odds and ends, a tiny miscellany, miniature stuff, fragments
of novelties, of no great moment. But it will also be enough,
maybe even more than enough, to suggest an immense ritual and tradition.
And this makes me very happy.
~ Edward Taylor,
688:What’s sacred to me? thought Fate. The vague pain I feel at the passing of my mother? An understanding of what can’t be fixed? Or the kind of pang in the stomach I feel when I look at this woman? And why do I feel a pang, if that’s what it is, when she looks at me and not when her friend looks at me? Because her friend is nowhere near as beautiful, thought Fate. Which seems to suggest that what’s sacred to me is beauty, a pretty girl with perfect features. And what if all of a sudden the most beautiful actress in Hollywood appeared in the middle of this big, repulsive restaurant, would I still feel a pang each time my eyes surreptitiously met this girl’s or would the sudden appearance of a superior beauty, a beauty enhanced by recognition, relieve the pang, diminish her beauty to ordinary levels, the beauty of a slightly odd girl out to have a good time on a weekend night with three slightly peculiar men and a woman who basically seems like a hooker? And who am I to think that Rosita Méndez seems like a hooker? thought Fate. Do I really know enough about Mexican hookers to be able to recognize them at a glance? Do I know anything about innocence or pain? Do I know anything about women? I like to watch videos, thought Fate. I also like to go to the movies. I like to sleep with women. Right now I don’t have a steady girlfriend, but I know what it’s like to have one. Do I see the sacred anywhere? All I register is practical experiences, thought Fate. An emptiness to be filled, a hunger to be satisfied, people to talk to so I can finish my article and get paid. And why do I think the men Rosa Amalfitano is out with are peculiar? What’s peculiar about them? And why am I so sure that if a Hollywood actress appeared all of a sudden Rosa Amalfitano’s beauty would fade? What if it didn’t? What if it sped up? And what if everything began to accelerate from the instant a Hollywood actress crossed the threshold of El Rey del Taco? ~ Roberto Bola o,
689:At a time which seemed to him as far distant as the dim and distant past of his ancestors, his father, Okumana, the man who could make better spear tips than anyone else, had explained to him that there was always a way out of any situation, as long as one was alive. Death was the last hiding place. That was something to keep in reserve until there was no other way of avoiding an apparently insuperable threat. There were always escape routes that were not immediately obvious, and that was why humans, unlike animals, had a brain. In order to look inward, not outward. Inward, toward the secret places where the spirits of one’s ancestors were waiting to act as a man’s guide through life. Who am I? he thought. A human being who has lost his identity is no longer a human being. He is an animal. That’s what has happened to me. I started to kill people because I myself was dead. When I was a child and saw the signs, the accursed signs telling the blacks where they were allowed to go and what existed exclusively for the whites, I started to be diminished even then. A child should grow, grow bigger; but in my country a black child had to learn how to grow smaller and smaller. I saw my parents succumb to their own invisibility, their own accumulated bitterness. I was an obedient child and learned to be a nobody among nobodies. Apartheid was my real father. I learned what no one should need to learn. To live with falsehood, contempt, a lie elevated to the only truth in my country. A lie enforced by the police and laws, but above all by a flood of white water, a torrent of words about the natural differences between white and black, the superiority of white civilization. That superiority turned me into a murderer, songoma. And I can believe this is the ultimate consequence of learning to grow smaller and smaller as a child. For what has this apartheid, this falsified white superiority been but a systematic plundering of our souls? When our despair exploded in furious ~ Henning Mankell,
690:Boyfriend/Girlfriend-Centered This may be the easiest trap of all to fall into. I mean, who hasn’t been centered on a boyfriend or girlfriend at one point? Let’s pretend Brady centers his life on his girlfriend, Tasha. Now, watch the instability it creates in Brady. TASHA’S ACTIONS BRADY’S REACTIONS Makes a rude comment: “My day is ruined.” Flirts with Brady’s best friend: “I’ve been betrayed.   I hate my friend.” “I think we should date other people”: “My life is over. You don’t love me anymore.” The ironic thing is that the more you center your life on someone, the more unattractive you become to that person. How’s that? Well, first of all, if you’re centered on someone, you’re no longer hard to get. Second, it’s irritating when someone builds their entire emotional life around you. Since their security comes from you and not from within themselves, they always need to have those sickening “where do we stand” talks. if who I am is what I have and what I have is lost, then who am I? ANONYMOUS When I began dating my wife, one of the things that attracted me most was that she didn’t center her life on me. I’ll never forget the time she turned me down (with a smile and no apology) for a very important date. I loved it! She was her own person and had her own inner strength. Her moods were independent of mine. You can usually tell when a couple becomes centered on each other because they are forever breaking up and getting back together. Although their relationship has deteriorated, their emotional lives and identities are so intertwined that they can never fully let go of each other. Believe me, you’ll be a better boyfriend or girlfriend if you’re not centered on your partner. Independence is more attractive than dependence. Besides, centering your life on another doesn’t show that you love them, only that you’re dependent on them. Have as many girlfriends or boyfriends as you’d like, just don’t get obsessed with or centered on them, because, although there are exceptions, these relationships are usually about as stable as a yo-yo. ~ Sean Covey,
691:Centuries of navel-gazing. Millennia of masturbation. Plato to Descartes to Dawkins to Rhanda. Souls and zombie agents and qualia. Kolmogorov complexity. Consciousness as Divine Spark. Consciousness as electromagnetic field. Consciousness as functional cluster.

I explored it all.

Wegner thought it was an executive summary. Penrose heard it in the singing of caged electrons. Nirretranders said it was a fraud; Kazim called it leakage from a parallel universe. Metzinger wouldn't even admit it existed. The AIs claimed to have worked it out, then announced they couldn't explain it to us. Gödel was right after all: no system can fully understand itself.

Not even the synthesists had been able to rotate it down. The load-bearing beams just couldn't take the strain.

All of them, I began to realize, had missed the point. All those theories, all those drugdreams and experiments and models trying to prove what consciousness was: none to explain what it was good for. None needed: obviously, consciousness makes us what we are. It lets us see the beauty and the ugliness. It elevates us into the exalted realm of the spiritual. Oh, a few outsiders—Dawkins, Keogh, the occasional writer of hackwork fiction who barely achieved obscurity—wondered briefly at the why of it: why not soft computers, and no more? Why should nonsentient systems be inherently inferior? But they never really raised their voices above the crowd. The value of what we are was too trivially self-evident to ever call into serious question.

Yet the questions persisted, in the minds of the laureates, in the angst of every horny fifteen-year-old on the planet. Am I nothing but sparking chemistry? Am I a magnet in the ether? I am more than my eyes, my ears, my tongue; I am the little thing behind those things, the thing looking out from inside. But who looks out from its eyes? What does it reduce to? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?

What a stupid fucking question. I could have answered it in a second, if Sarasti hadn't forced me to understand it first. ~ Peter Watts,
692:Preparatory Meditations - First Series: 38
(I John 2:1. An Advocate with the Father)
Oh! What a thing is man? Lord, who am I?
That Thou shouldest give him law (Oh! golden line)
To regulate his thoughts, words, life thereby;
And judge him wilt thereby too in Thy time.
A court of justice Thou in heaven holdst
To try his case while he's here housed on mold.
How do Thy angels lay before Thine eye
My deeds both white and black I daily do?
How doth Thy court Thou pannel'st there them try?
But flesh complains: 'What right for this? Let's know.
For, right or wrong, I can't appear unto't.
And shall a sentence pass on such a suit?'
Soft; blemish not this golden bench, or place.
Here is no bribe, nor colorings to hide,
Nor pettifogger to befog the case,
But justice hath her glory here well tried.
Her spotless law all spotted cases tends;
Without respect or disrespect them ends.
God's judge himself; and Christ attorney is;
The Holy Ghost registerer is found.
Angels the serjeants are; all creatures kiss
The book, and do as evidences abound.
All cases pass according to pure law,
And in the sentence is no fret nor flaw.
What say'st, my soul? Here all thy deeds are tried.
Is Christ thy advocate to plead thy cause?
Art thou His client? Such shall never slide.
He never lost His case: He pleads such laws
As carry do the same, nor doth refuse
The vilest sinner's case that doth Him choose.
This is His honor, not dishonor: nay,
No habeas corpus gainst His clients came;
20
For all their fines His purse doth make down pay.
He non-suits Satan's suit or casts the same.
He'll plead thy case, and not accept a fee.
He'll plead
sub forma pauperis
for thee.
My case is bad. Lord, be my advocate.
My sin is red: I'm under God's arrest.
Thou hast the hint of pleading; plead my state.
Although it's bad, Thy plea will make it best.
If Thou wilt plead my case before the king,
I'll wagon-loads of love and glory bring.
~ Edward Taylor,
693:The door handle turned. Someone knocked, and a man's voice called, "Uh, hello?"
Valkyrie looked at Skulduggery, looked back at the others, looked at Skulduggery again.
"Hello," Skulduggery said, speaking loudly to be heard over the alarm.
"Hi," said the man. "The door's locked."
"Is it?"
"Yes."
"That's funny" said Skulduggery. "Hold on a moment." He reached out, jiggled the handle a few times, then stepped back. "Yes, it's locked. You wouldn't happen to have the key, would you?"
There was a delay in response from the other side. "I'm sorry," the man called, "Who am I speaking with?"
Skulduggery tilted his head. "Who am I speaking with?"
"This is Oscar Nightfall."
"Are you sure?"
"What?"
"Are you sure you are who you say you are? This is the Great Chamber, after all. It's a very important place for very important people. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone, and I'm not saying that this applies to you in particular, but someone could conceivably lie about who they are in order to gain access to this room. I have to be vigilant, especially now. There's a war on, you know."
Oscar Nightfall sounded puzzled. Who are you?"
"Me? I'm nobody. I'm a cleaner. I'm one of the cleaners. I was cleaning the thrones and the door shut behind me. Now I can't get out. Could you try and find a key?"
"What's your name? Give me you name."
"No. It's mine."
"Tell me your name!"
"My name is Oscar Nightfall."
"What? No it isn't. That's my name."
"Is it? Since when?"
"Since I took it!"
"You didn't ask me if you could take it. I was using it first."
"Open this door immediately."
"I don't have the key."
"I'll fetch the Cleavers."
"I found the key. It was in the keyhole. It's always the last place you look isn't it? I'm unlocking the door now. Here we go."
Skulduggery relaxed the air pressure, opened the door, and pulled Oscar Nightfall inside. Valkyrie stuck out her foot, and Oscar stumbled over it and Vex shoved him to Ghastly and Ghastly punched him. Oscar fell down and didn't get up again. Skulduggery closed the door once more. ~ Derek Landy,
694:Knocking on the Ellises’ door ten minutes later with the pink horn and streamers in hand, I try to put on the I-am-a-cool-motherfucker pose.
When Brittany opens the door wearing a baggy T-shirt and shorts, I’m floored.
Her pale blue eyes open wide. “Alex, what are you doing here?”
I hold out the horn and streamers.
She snatches them from my hand. “I can’t believe you came here because of some prank.”
“We’ve got some things to discuss. Besides pranks.”
She swallows nervously. “I’m not feeling great, okay? Let’s just talk at school.” She tries to close the door.
Shit, I can’t believe I’m going to do this like a stalker guy in the movies. I push open the door. ¡Que mierdaǃ
“Alex, don’t.”
“Let me in. For a minute. Please.”
She shakes her head, those angelic curls swaying back and forth across her face. “My parents don’t like when I have people over.”
“Are they home?”
“No.” She sighs, then opens the door hesitantly.
I step inside. The house is even bigger than it looks from the outside. The walls are painted bright white, reminding me of a hospital. I swear dust wouldn’t have the nerve to land on their floors or counters. The two-story foyer boasts a staircase that rivals the one I saw in The Sound of Music, which we were forced to watch in junior high, and the floor is as shiny as water.
Brittany was right. I don’t belong here. It doesn’t matter, because even if I don’t belong in this place, she’s here and I want to be where she is.
“Well, what did you want to talk about?” she asks.
I wish her long, lean legs weren’t sticking out from her shorts. They’re a distraction. I look away from them, desperate to keep my wits. So what if she has sexy legs? So what if she has eyes as clear as glass marbles? So what if she can take a prank like a man and give it right back?
Who am I kidding? I have no reason for being here other than the fact that I want to be near her. Screw the bet.
I want to know how to make this girl laugh. I want to know what makes her cry. I want to know what it feels like to have her look at me as if I’m her knight in shining armor. ~ Simone Elkeles,
695:No need about the world to roam And suffer from depression; Make poppadum within the home According to the lesson Of 'Thou art That', without compare, The Unique Word, unspoken 'Tis not by speech it will declare. The silence is unbroken Of Him who is the Adept-Sage, The great Apotheosis, With His eternal heritage That Being-Wisdom-Bliss is. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. The grain which is the black gram's yield, The so-called self or ego, Grown in the body's fertile field Of five-fold sheaths, put into The roller-mill made out of stone, Which is the search for Wisdom, The 'Who am I?'. 'Tis thus alone The Self will gain its freedom. This must be crushed to finest dust And ground up into fragments As being the non-self, so must We shatter our attachments. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. Mix the juice of square-stemmed vine, This association With Holy Men. With this combine Within the preparation Some cummin-seed of mind-control And pepper for restraining The wayward senses, with them roll That salt which is remaining Indifferent to the world we see, With condiment of leanings Towards a virtuous unity. These are their different meanings. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. The mixture into dough now blend And on the stone then place it Of mind, by tendencies hardened, And without ceasing baste it With heavy strokes of the 'I-I' Delivered with the pestle Of introverted mind. Slowly The mind will cease to wrestle. Then roll out with the pin of peace Upon the slab of Brahman. Continue effort without cease With energetic lan. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. The poppadum or soul's now fit To put into the fry-pan, The one infinite symbol it Of the great Silence, which can Be first prepared by putting in Some clarified fresh butter Of the Supreme. And now begin To heat it till it sputter, On Wisdom's self-effulgent flame Fry poppadum, 'I', as That. Enjoying all alone the same; Which bliss we ever aim at. Make poppadum of self and after eat; Of Perfect Peace then you will be replete. [1468.jpg] -- from The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, Edited by Arthur Osborne

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, The Song of the Poppadum
,
696:Who am I? And how I wonder, will this story end? . . .
My life? It is'nt easy to explain. It has not been the rip-roaring spectacular I fancied it woulf be, but neither have I burrowed around with the gophers. i suppose it has most resembled a bluechip stock: fairly stable, more ups and downs, and gradually tending over time. A good buy, a lucky buy, and I've learned that not everyone can say this about his life. But do not be misled. I am nothing special; of this I am sure. I am common man with common thought and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.
The romantics would call this a love story, the cynics would call it a tragedy. In my mind, it's a little bit of both, and no matter how you choose to view it in the end, it does not change the fact that involves a great deal of my life and the path I've chosen to follow. I have no complaints about the places it has taken me, enough complaints to fill a circus tent about other thins, maybe, but the path I've chosen has always been the right one, and I would'nt have had it any other way.
Time, unfortunatley, does'nt make it easy to stay on course. The path is straight as ever, but now it is strewn with the rocks and gravel that accumulated over a lifetime . . .
There is always a moment right before I begin to read the story when my mind churns, and I wonder, will it happen today? I don't know, for I never know beforehand, and deep down it really doesn't matter. It's the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee, a sort of wager on my part. And though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing, I believe that anything is possible.
I realize that odds, and science, are againts me. But science is not the answer; this I know, this I have learned in my lifetime. And that leaves me with the belief that miracles, no matter how inexplicable or unbelievable, are real and can occur without regard to the natural order of things. So once again, just as I do ecery day, I begin to read the notebook aloud, so that she can hear it, in the hope that the miracle, that has come to dominate my life will once again prevail.
And maybe, just maybe, it will. ~ Nicholas Sparks,
697:Do you remember that time we played spin the bottle in my basement?”
I nod.
“I was nervous to kiss you, because I’d never kissed a girl before,” he says, and picks up the glass of sweet tea again. He takes a swig, but there’s no tea left, just ice. His eyes meet mine, and he grins. “All the guys gave me such a hard time afterward for whiffing it.”
“You didn’t whiff it,” I say.
“I think that was around when Trevor’s old brother told us he made a girl…” John hesitates, and I nod eagerly so he’ll go on. “He claimed he gave a girl an orgasm just by kissing her.”
I let out a shrieky laugh and clap my hands to my mouth. “That’s the biggest lie I ever heard! I never saw him talk to even one girl. Besides, I don’t think that’s even possible. And if it was possible, I highly doubt Sean Pike was capable of it.”
John laughs too. “Well, I know it’s a lie now, but at the time we all believed him.”
“I mean, was it a great kiss? No, it wasn’t.” John winces and I quickly continue. “But it wasn’t an altogether terrible one. I swear. And listen, it’s not like I’m an expert on kissing anyway. Who am I to say?”
“Okay okay, you can stop trying to make me feel better.” He sets down his glass. “I’ve gotten much better at it. That’s what the girls tell me.”
This conversation has taken a strange and confessional turn, and I’m nervous but not in a bad way. I like sharing secrets, being coconspirators. “Oh, so you’ve kissed that many, huh?”
He laughs again. “A respectable number.” He pauses. “I’m surprised you even remember that day. You were so into Kavinsky, I don’t think you even noticed who else was there.”
I push him in the shoulder. “I was not ‘so into Kavinsky’!”
“Yes you were. You kept your eyes on that bottle the whole game, like this.” John picks up the bottle and lasers his eyes at it. “Waiting for your moment.”
I’m bright red, I know I am. “Oh, be quiet.”
Laughing, he says, “Like a hawk on its prey.”
“Shut up!” Now I’m laughing too. “How do you even remember that?”
“Because I was doing the same thing,” he says.
“You were staring at Peter too?” I say it like a joke, to tease, because this is fun. For the first time in days I’m having fun.
He looks right at me, navy-blue eyes sure and steady, and my breath catches in my chest. “No. I was looking at you. ~ Jenny Han,
698:34
D: What are the eight limbs of knowledge (jnana ashtanga)?
M: The eight limbs are those which have been already mentioned, viz., yama, niyama etc., but differently defined:
(1) Yama: This is controlling the aggregate of sense-organs, realizing the defects that are present in the world consisting of the body, etc.
(2) Niyama: This is maintaining a stream of mental modes that relate to the Self and rejecting the contrary modes. In other words, it means love that arises uninterruptedly for the Supreme Self.
(3) Asana: That with the help of which constant meditation on Brahman is made possible with ease is asana.
(4) Pranayama: Rechaka (exhalation) is removing the two unreal aspects of name and form from the objects constituting the world, the body etc., puraka (inhalation) is grasping the three real aspects, existence, consciousness and bliss, which are constant in those objects, and kumbhaka is retaining those aspects thus grasped.
(5) Pratyahara: This is preventing name and form which have been removed from re-entering the mind.
(6) Dharana: This is making the mind stay in the Heart, without straying outward, and realizing that one is the Self itself which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
(7) Dhyana: This is meditation of the form 'I am only pure consciousness'. That is, after leaving aside the body which consists of five sheaths, one enquires 'Who am I?', and as a result of that, one stays as 'I' which shines as the Self.
(8) Samadhi: When the 'I-manifestation' also ceases, there is (subtle) direct experience. This is samadhi.
For pranayama, etc., detailed here, the disciplines such as asana, etc., mentioned in connection with yoga are not necessary.
The limbs of knowledge may be practised at all places and at all times. Of yoga and knowledge, one may follow whichever is pleasing to one, or both, according to circumstances. The great teachers say that forgetfulness is the root of all evil, and is death for those who seek release,10 so one should rest the mind in one's Self and should never forget the Self: this is the aim. If the mind is controlled, all else can be controlled. The distinction between yoga with eight limbs and knowledge with eight limbs has been set forth elaborately in the sacred texts; so only the substance of this teaching has been given here. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Self-Enquiry, 34,
699:I find it hard to talk about myself. I'm always tripped up by the eternal who am I? paradox. Sure, no one knows as much pure data about me as me. But when I talk about myself, all sorts of other factors - values, standards, my own limitations as an observer - make me, the narrator, select and eliminate things about me, the narratee. I've always been disturbed by the thought that I'm not painting a very objective picture of myself.

This kind of things doesn't seem to bother most people. Given the chance, people are surprisingly frank when they talk about themselves. "I'm honest and open to a ridiculous degree," they'll say, or "I'm thin-skinned and not the type who gets along easily in the world." Or "I'm very good at sensing others' true feelings." But any number of times I've seen people who say they're easily hurt or hurt other people for no apparent reason. Self-styled honest and open people, without realizing what they're doing, blithely use some self-serving excuse to get what they want. And those "good at sensing others' true feelings" are taken in by the most transparent flattery. It's enough to make me ask the question: how well do really know ourselves?

The more I think about it, the more I'd like to take a rain check on the topic of me. What I'd like to know more about is the objective reality of things outside myself. How important the world outside is to me, how I maintain a sense of equilibrium by coming to terms with it. That's how I'd grasp a clearer sense of who I am.

These are the kind of ideas I had running through my head when I was a teenager. Like a master builder stretches taut his string and lays one brick after another, I constructed this viewpoint - or philosophy of life, to put a bigger spin on it. Logic and speculation played a part in formulating this viewpoint, but for the most part it was based on my own experiences. And speaking of experience, a number of painful episodes taught me that getting this viewpoint of mine across to other people wasn't the easiest thing in the world.

The upshot of all this is that when I was young I began to draw an invisible boundary between myself and other people. No matter who I was dealing with, I maintained a set distance, carefully monitoring the person's attitude so that they wouldn't get any closer. I didn't easily swallow what other people told me. My only passions were books and music. As you might guess, I led a lonely life. ~ Haruki Murakami,
700:No Name
“A stone upon her heart and head,
But no name written on that stone;
Sweet neighbours whisper low instead,
This sinner was a loving one.”
— Mrs. Browning.
'Tis a nameless stone that stands at your head —
The gusts in the gloomy gorges whirl
Brown leaves and red till they cover your bed —
Now I trust that your sleep is a sound one, girl!
I said in my wrath, when his shadow cross'd
From your garden gate to your cottage door,
“What does it matter for one soul lost?
Millions of souls have been lost before.”
Yet I warn'd you — ah! but my words came true —
“Perhaps some day you will find him out.”
He who was not worthy to loosen your shoe,
Does his conscience therefore prick him? I doubt.
You laughed and were deaf to my warning voice —
Blush'd and were blind to his cloven hoof —
You have had your chance, you have taken your choice
How could I help you, standing aloof?
He has prosper'd well with the world — he says
I am mad — if so, and if he be sane,
I, at least, give God thanksgiving and praise
That there lies between us one difference plain.
You in your beauty above me bent
In the pause of a wild west country ball —
Spoke to me — touched me without intent —
Made me your servant for once and all.
Light laughter rippled your rose-red lip,
205
And you swept my cheek with a shining curl,
That stray'd from your shoulder's snowy tip —
Now I pray that your sleep is a sound one, girl!
From a long way off to look at your charms
Made my blood run redder in every vein,
And he — he has held you long in his arms,
And has kiss'd you over and over again.
Is it well that he keeps well out of my way?
If we met, he and I — we alone — we two —
Would I give him one moment's grace to pray?
Not I, for the sake of the soul he slew.
A life like a shuttlecock may be toss'd
With the hand of fate for a battledore;
But it matters much for your sweet soul lost,
As much as a million souls and more.
And I know that if, here or there, alone,
I found him, fairly and face to face,
Having slain his body, I would slay my own,
That my soul to Satan his soul might chase.
He hardens his heart in the public way —
Who am I? I am but a nameless churl;
But God will put all things straight some day —
Till then may your sleep be a sound one, girl!
~ Adam Lindsay Gordon,
701:It was Junnaid’s usual prayer—Mohammedans pray five times a day—and after each prayer he would raise his hands to God and he would say, “I am so grateful to You. How should I express my gratefulness? You take care of me in every possible way; Your compassion is infinite, your love knows no bounds.” The disciples were tired because five times every day, and in situations where they could see there is no care taken by God—they have not received food, they have not received water, they have not received shelter from the hot sun in the desert.… Once it happened that for three days continually they were thrown out, stoned, given no food, no water, no shelter; but Junnaid continued his prayer the same way. On the third day, the disciples freaked out. They said, “Enough is enough. Why are you saying, ‘You are compassionate,’ ‘Your love is great,’ ‘You take care of us in every possible detail?’ For three days we have not eaten a single thing, we are thirsty, we have not slept under shelter, we have been sleeping in the desert, shivering in the cold night. For what are you being grateful?” The answer that Junnaid gave to his disciples is worthy of being remembered. He said, “For these three days, do you think I cannot see that food has not been given to us, that we have been thrown out, that we have been stoned, that we are thirsty, that for three days we had to remain in the open desert…? Don’t you see that I am also aware of it? But this does not mean that he is not taking care of us. Perhaps this is the way he is taking care of us; perhaps this is what we need at this time. “It is very easy, when life is going comfortably, to thank God. That thankfulness means nothing. These three days I have been watching. Slowly, slowly, all of you have stopped thanking Him after the prayer; you failed the test. It was a beautiful test. Even if death comes to me, I will die with gratefulness. He gave me life; He took it away. It was His, it is His, it will be His. Who am I to interfere in His affairs?” So there will be times when you will not find any moment of peace, silence, meditation, love, blissfulness. But do not lose hope. Perhaps those moments are needed to crystallize you, to make you strong. Be grateful not only when things are going good, but be grateful when everything is going wrong. A man who can be grateful when everything is going wrong is really grateful; he knows the beauty of gratefulness. For him, things can go wrong forever, but his gratefulness is such a transforming force, it is going to change everything. ~ Anonymous,
702:Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.

And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.

Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.

Er, excuse me, who am I?

Hello?

Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?

What do I mean by who am I?

Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.

Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?

No.

Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …

Or is it the wind?

There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?

And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?

And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now. ~ Douglas Adams,
703:In the Bible, God called Gideon a mighty man of (fearless) courage.
Gideon looked around and said, “Who’s He talking to? That’s not me.”
God had an assignment for Gideon, something great for him to accomplish, but Gideon had not renewed his mind. He had these toxic thoughts. God saw him as strong, but Gideon saw himself as weak, defeated, not able to.
God wanted him to lead the people of Israel and to defeat an opposing army, but Gideon said, “God, I can’t do that. I’m the least one in my father’s house. I come from the poorest family. I don’t have the education, the skills, the courage.”
Notice how Gideon perceived himself compared to how God saw him. God said he was a mighty man of fearless courage. If God were to call your name today, He wouldn’t say, “Hello, you weak worm of the dust. Hello, you failure. Hello, you ol’ sinner. How’s My loser doing today?”
God would say the same sort of thing to you that He said to Gideon: “Hello, Mary, you mighty woman of fearless courage.” Or “Hello, Bob, you mighty man of fearless courage.”
I wonder if you would be like Gideon and say, “God, who are You talking to? Don’t You know what family I come from? Haven’t You seen the mistakes I’ve made? Let me remind You of some of them. God, You know I’m not that talented. Why are You calling me a mighty man?”
The problem is, you have allowed these wrong thoughts to infect your thinking. But thank God this is a new day. You are beginning a new diet. You are starting a fast by cutting out every negative, discouraging, can’t do it thought.
When those wrong thoughts come up, instead of saying like Gideon, “I’m not able. Who am I?” Turn it around and say, “I know who I am. I am well able. I’m ready for my assignment. God I am who You say I am.”
I believe in the coming days God will present you with new opportunities. New doors will open. New people will come across your path. Maybe there will even be a new career opportunity. If you are to reach a new level, you must have a new way of thinking. You have to clean out the old so you’ll have room for the new. I’m asking you to detox all the garbage telling you what you’re not and what you can’t do. Remove all those strongholds. Detox little dreams. Detox low self-esteem. Detox the negative words. Stay on your diet.
Every morning go through a good cleanse. Start the day off in faith. If you’ll guard your mind and instead of letting it get toxic keep it full of faith-filled thoughts, God promises you’ll overcome every obstacle, you’ll defeat every enemy, and every dream and every desire God has put in your heart will come to pass. ~ Joel Osteen,
704:The Reluctant Cowboy

I try never to go too far down the path of predicting what any of my children will do when they grow up, because I’ve learned firsthand that life can change on a dime and it very often turns out completely different than originally planned. And I haven’t even grown up yet myself, so who am I to even think about such things? Of all my children, though, I would say that (God willing and the creek don’t rise) my older son, Bryce, is the one who seems most destined to be a rancher. Since he was young, he has sprung out of bed when it’s time to saddle the horses, and the cowboy way of life just comes naturally to him.
Now, my youngest, Todd, on the other hand? Well…I’m not sure! While he started working on the ranch at the same age (birth) as his older brother, he’s never exactly inhaled and embraced his ranching duties in the same way. Oh, he shows up and he does the job, all right. He’s Todd Drummond, after all, and he’s a great kid! It’s just that he doesn’t lie awake at night thinking about the herd he’ll have one day.
But that’s the cool thing about Todd. There’s a whole world going on under the surface, and as he’s saddling and riding his horse, I can see that thirteen-year-old mind a-churning. He might be thinking about the next Marvel movie that’s on its way to theaters. He might be remembering the suit of armor he saved scrap metal to build when he was young. He might be imagining what position he’ll play in football (his favorite sport) next year. Or he might be noodling on the long conversation he had with one of the older congregants at our Presbyterian church last Sunday. He’s got a rich bank of memories and perspectives swimming around in that noggin of his. And this is only something a mama would say: I love to watch the kid think.
What will Todd be when he grows up? There’s no way of knowing. He might be an illustrator for a comic book series, the host of a radio sports show, an accountant, a doctor, a salesman, a diplomat, minister, missionary, or coach.
Although…I do know a certain cattle rancher around these parts who was reportedly exactly like Todd when he was a boy. His head was somewhere else when he was on his horse, and ranching wouldn’t have been described as his favorite line of work. This gentleman loved Spider-Man and football, and he never lay awake at night thinking about the herd he’d have one day. Then, when he grew up, his love for ranching set in. He realized he loved Osage County, raising cattle, and living on the land. And he made the choice to do the thing he never thought he’d wind up doing. And he’s never regretted it for a single day!
(I know the gentleman. I’m married to him.)
It’ll be fun to watch Todd’s future unfold. ~ Ree Drummond,
705:I don’t know what to do with you,” he said, his voice growing curt with anger again. “Deceitful little minx. I’m of half a mind to put you to work, milking the goats. But that’s out of the question with these hands, now isn’t it?” He curled and uncurled her fingers a few times, testing the bandage. “I’ll tell Stubb to change this twice a day. Can’t risk the wound going septic. And don’t use your hands for a few days, at least.”
“Don’t use my hands? I suppose you’re going to spoon-feed me, then? Dress me? Bathe me?”
He inhaled slowly and closed his eyes. “Don’t use your hands much.” His eyes snapped open. “None of that sketching, for instance.”
She jerked her hands out of his grip. “You could slice off my hands and toss them to the sharks, and I wouldn’t stop sketching. I’d hold the pencil with my teeth if I had to. I’m an artist.”
“Really. I thought you were a governess.”
“Well, yes. I’m that, too.”
He packed up the medical kit, jamming items back in the box with barely controlled fury. “Then start behaving like one. A governess knows her place. Speaks when spoken to. Stays out of the damn way.”
Rising to his feet, he opened the drawer and threw the box back in. “From this point forward, you’re not to touch a sail, a pin, a rope, or so much as a damned splinter on this vessel. You’re not to speak to crewmen when they’re on watch. You’re forbidden to wander past the foremast, and you need to steer clear of the helm, as well.”
“So that leaves me doing what? Circling the quarterdeck?”
“Yes.” He slammed the drawer shut. “But only at designated times. Noon hour and the dogwatch. The rest of the day, you’ll remain in your cabin.”
Sophia leapt to her feet, incensed. She hadn’t fled one restrictive program of behavior, just to submit to another. “Who are you to dictate where I can go, when I can go there, what I’m permitted to do? You’re not the captain of this ship.”
“Who am I?” He stalked toward her, until they stood toe-to-toe. Until his radiant male heat brought her blood to a boil, and she had to grab the table edge to keep from swaying toward him. “I’ll tell you who I am,” he growled. “I’m a man who cares if you live or die, that’s who.”
Her knees melted. “Truly?”
“Truly. Because I may not be the captain, but I’m the investor. I’m the man you owe six pounds, eight. And now that I know you can’t pay your debts, I’m the man who knows he won’t see a bloody penny unless he delivers George Waltham a governess in one piece.”
Sophia glared at him. How did he keep doing this to her? Since the moment they’d met in that Gravesend tavern, there’d been an attraction between them unlike anything she’d ever known. She knew he had to feel it, too. But one minute, he was so tender and sensual; the next, so crass and calculating. Now he would reduce her life’s value to this cold, impersonal amount? At least back home, her worth had been measured in thousands of pounds not in shillings.
“I see,” she said. “This is about six pounds, eight shillings. That’s the reason you’ve been watching me-“
He made a dismissive snort. “I haven’t been watching you.”
Staring at me, every moment of the day, so intently it makes my…my skin crawl and all you’re seeing is a handful of coins. You’d wrestle a shark for a purse of six pounds, eight. It all comes down to money for you. ~ Tessa Dare,
706:I'M Going Together With Jogi
Going to Makkah is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of prayers are offered
Going to River Ganges is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of cleansing (Baptisms) are done
Going to Gaya is not the ultimate
Even if hundreds of worships are done
~ Bulleh Shah



the ultimate is
When the "I" is removed from the heart
[He] Read a lot and became a scholar
But [he] never read himself
[He] goes enters into the temple & mosque
But [he] never entered into his own heart
He fights with the devil every day for nothing
He never wrestled with his own ego
~ Bulleh Shah



he grabs for heavenly flying things
But doesn't grasp the one who's sitting at home
Religious scholars stay awake at night
But dogs stay awake at night, higher than you
They don't cease from barking at night
Then they go sleep in yards, higher than you
They [dogs] don't leave the beloved's doorstep
Even if they're beaten hundreds of times, higher than you
~ Bulleh Shah



get up and make up with the beloved
Otherwise dogs will win the contest, better than you
O friends, don't call Ranjha a shepherd
I shy away from calling him a shepherd
22
I am like a thousand Heers to him
Who am I, like countless others
He's the ruler of Hazara's throne
And I am forever the plain Heer
~ Bulleh Shah



may God hear my wail
And I'll become shepherded by the Shepherd
Ranjha became a Jogi and arrived
He exchanged into a unique disguise
He changed his name from Ahad (One God) to Ahmad (Prophet Mohammad
PBUH)
I'm going together with Jogi
Someone's with someone else, this one's with that one
I'm together with Jogi
Since I have become Jogi's
I have no "I" left in me
Repeating Ranjha Ranjha
I became Ranjha myself
Call me Ranjha
Nobody call me Heer
It's not me, it's he himself
He amuses his own self
The one with whom I connected my heart
I became just like him, O friends
Jogi is with me
I am with Jogi
I'm going together with Jogi
After putting earrings in my ears
and decorating my forehead with Tilak
Hey he's not [a] Jogi
23
He's some form of God
He's disguised as Jogi
This Jogi has attracted me
This Jogi has established residence in my heart
I swear by the Quran it's true
Jogi is my belief and faith
This Jogi has marked me
Hey I belong to him
Now I'm not worth any one else (Now there's no other Jogi)
I'm floating, I've drifted across, O people
My eyes inter-meshed with Jogi's, O people
Call me Jogi's female Jogi
Heer is dead, O people
In Khayrray they have deep talks
I have to listen to accusations about
I don't know anything about anyone else
If I know anything, I only know Jogi
No one has attained what he has attained
His shadow is on both worlds
His fame is celebrated in both world
His shoes were kissed by Heaven
This Jogi is full of wonders
In his hand is the rosary of "There is Nothing But One God"
Hey, his name is [Mohammad] "The One With The Shawl"
If Jogi comes to my home
All your fights will end
I will embrace him
And celebrate a million praises
24
~ Bulleh Shah



a Jogi came
To our door….(…? …)
He stole away Heer of Sayal
He came in a disguise
~ Bulleh Shah,
707:Sam’s the man who’s come to chop us up to bits. No wonder I kicked him out. No wonder I changed the locks. If he cannot stop death, what good is he? ‘Open the door. Please. I’m so tired,’ he says. I look at the night that absorbed my life. How am I supposed to know what’s love, what’s fear? ‘If you’re Sam who am I?’ ‘I know who you are.’ ‘You do?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Who?’ Don’t say wife, I think. Don’t say mother. I put my face to the glass, but it’s dark. I don’t reflect. Sam and I watch each other through the window of the kitchen door. He coughs some more. ‘I want to come home,’ he says. ‘I want us to be okay. That’s it. Simple. I want to come home and be a family.’ ‘But I am not simple.’ My body’s coursing with secret genes and hormones and proteins. My body made eyeballs and I have no idea how. There’s nothing simple about eyeballs. My body made food to feed those eyeballs. How? And how can I not know or understand the things that happen inside my body? That seems very dangerous. There’s nothing simple here. I’m ruled by elixirs and compounds. I am a chemistry project conducted by a wild child. I am potentially explosive. Maybe I love Sam because hormones say I need a man to kill the coyotes at night, to bring my babies meat. But I don’t want caveman love. I want love that lives outside the body. I want love that lives.

‘In what ways are you not simple?’ I think of the women I collected upstairs. They’re inside me. And they are only a small fraction of the catalog. I think of molds, of the sea, the biodiversity of plankton. I think of my dad when he was a boy, when he was a tree bud. ‘It’s complicated,’ I say, and then the things I don’t say yet. Words aren’t going to be the best way here. How to explain something that’s coming into existence? ‘I get that now.’ His shoulders tremble some. They jerk. He coughs. I have infected him. ‘Sam.’ We see each other through the glass. We witness each other. That’s something, to be seen by another human, to be seen over all the years. That’s something, too. Love plus time. Love that’s movable, invisible as a liquid or gas, love that finds a way in. Love that leaks. ‘Unlock the door,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to love you because I’m scared.’ ‘So you imagine bad things about me. You imagine me doing things I’ve never done to get rid of me. Kick me out so you won’t have to worry about me leaving?’ ‘Yeah,’ I say. ‘Right.’ And I’m glad he gets that. Sam cocks his head the same way a coyote might, a coyote who’s been temporarily confused by a question of biology versus mortality. What’s the difference between living and imagining? What’s the difference between love and security? Coyotes are not moral. ‘Unlock the door?’ he asks. This family is an experiment, the biggest I’ve ever been part of, an experiment called: How do you let someone in? ‘Unlock the door,’ he says again. ‘Please.’ I release the lock. I open the door. That’s the best definition of love. Sam comes inside. He turns to shut the door, then stops himself. He stares out into the darkness where he came from. What does he think is out there? What does he know? Or is he scared I’ll kick him out again? That is scary. ‘What if we just left the door open?’ he asks. ‘Open.’ And more, more things I don’ts say about the bodies of women. ‘Yeah.’ ‘What about skunks?’ I mean burglars, gangs, evil. We both peer out into the dark, looking for thees scary things. We watch a long while. The night does nothing. ‘We could let them in if they want in,’ he says, but seems uncertain still. ‘Really?’ He draws the door open wider and we leave it that way, looking out at what we can’t see. Unguarded, unafraid, love and loved. We keep the door open as if there are no doors, no walls, no skin, no houses, no difference between us and all the things we think of as the night. ~ Samantha Hunt,
708:The Windy City [sections 1 and 6]
The lean hands of wagon men
put out pointing fingers here,
picked this crossway, put it on a map,
set up their sawbucks, fixed their shotguns,
found a hitching place for the pony express,
made a hitching place for the iron horse,
the one-eyed horse with the fire-spit head,
found a homelike spot and said, "Make a home,"
saw this corner with a mesh of rails, shuttling
people, shunting cars, shaping the junk of
the earth to a new city.
The hands of men took hold and tugged
And the breaths of men went into the junk
And the junk stood up into skyscrapers and asked:
Who am I? Am I a city? And if I am what is my name?
And once while the time whistles blew and blew again
The men answered: Long ago we gave you a name,
Long ago we laughed and said: You? Your name is Chicago.
Early the red men gave a name to the river,
the place of the skunk,
the river of the wild onion smell,
Shee-caw-go.
Out of the payday songs of steam shovels,
Out of the wages of structural iron rivets,
The living lighted skyscrapers tell it now as a name,
Tell it across miles of sea blue water, gray blue land:
I am Chicago, I am a name given out by the breaths of working men,
laughing men, a child, a belonging.
So between the Great Lakes,
The Grand De Tour, and the Grand Prairie,
The living lighted skyscrapers stand,
Spotting the blue dusk with checkers of yellow,
streamers of smoke and silver,
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parallelograms of night-gray watchmen,
Singing a soft moaning song: I am a child, a belonging.
The wheelbarrows grin, the shovels and the mortar
hoist an exploit.
The stone shanks of the Monadnock, the Transportation,
the People's Gas Building, stand up and scrape
at the sky.
The wheelbarrows sing, the bevels and the blueprints
whisper.
The library building named after Crerar, naked
as a stock farm silo, light as a single eagle
feather, stripped like an airplane propeller,
takes a path up.
Two cool new rivets says, "Maybe it is morning."
"God knows."
Put the city up; tear the city down;
put it up again; let us find a city.
Let us remember the little violet-eyed
man who gave all, praying, "Dig and
dream, dream and hammer, till your
city comes."
Every day the people sleep and the city dies;
every day the people shake loose, awake and
build the city again.
The city is a tool chest opened every day,
a time clock punched every morning,
a shop door, bunkers and overalls
counting every day.
The city is a balloon and a bubble plaything
shot to the sky every evening, whistled in
a ragtime jig down the sunset.
The city is made, forgotten, and made again,
trucks hauling it away haul it back
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steered by drivers whistling ragtime
against the sunsets.
Every day the people get up and carry the city,
carry the bunkers and balloons of the city,
lift it and put it down.
"I will die as many times
as you make me over again,
says the city to the people,
I am the woman, the home, the family,
I get breakfast and pay the rent;
I telephone the doctor, the milkman, the undertaker;
I fix the streets
for your first and your last ride—
Come clean with me, come clean or dirty,
I am stone and steel of your sleeping numbers;
I remember all you forget.
I will die as many times
as you make me over again."
Under the foundations,
Over the roofs,
The bevels and the blueprints talk it over.
The wind of the lake shore waits and wanders.
The heave of the shore wind hunches the sand piles.
The winkers of the morning stars count out cities
And forget the numbers.
~ Carl Sandburg,
709:Every morning the maple leaves.
Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party
and seduced you
and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.
You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?

A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.
Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.
What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.
Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly
flames everywhere.
I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either.
Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.
I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,
I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow
glass, but that comes later.

Let me do it right for once,
for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes,
you know the story, simply heaven.
Inside your head you hear a phone ringing
and when you open your eyes
only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer.
Inside your head the sound of glass,
a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion.
Hello darling, sorry about that.
Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we
lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell
and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud.
Especially that, but I should have known.

Inside your head you hear
a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up
in a stranger’s bathroom,
standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away
from the dirtiest thing you know.
All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly
darkness,
suddenly only darkness.
In the living room, in the broken yard,
in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport
bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of
unnatural light,
my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away.
I arrived in the city and you met me at the station,
smiling in a way
that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade,
up the stairs of the building
to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things,
I looked out the window and said
This doesn’t look that much different from home,
because it didn’t,
but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights.

We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too,
smiling and crying in a way that made me
even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I
just couldn’t say it out loud.
Actually, you said Love, for you,
is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
terrifying. No one
will ever want to sleep with you.
Okay, if you’re so great, you do it—
here’s the pencil, make it work …
If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window
is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing
river water.

Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
we have had our difficulties and there are many things
I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
years later, in the chlorinated pool.
I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
these luxuries.
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
Quit milling around the yard and come inside. ~ Richard Siken,
710:Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb

When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb

When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace

In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race

No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up

If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup

If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holdin' on

And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone

And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it

And the wood's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it

And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long

And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong

And lonesome comes up as down goes the day

And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away

And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'

And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'

And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys

Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys

And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin'

And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin'

And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin'

And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'

And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm

And to yourself you sometimes say

"I never knew it was gonna be this way

Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"

And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat

And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet

And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air

And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare

And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying

And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'

And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet

And you need it badly but it lays on the street

And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat

And you think yer ears might a been hurt

Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt

And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush

When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush

And all the time you were holdin' three queens

And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean

Like in the middle of Life magazine

Bouncin' around a pinball machine

And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying

That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'

But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head

And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed

And no matter how you try you just can't say it

And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it

And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head

And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead

And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth

And his jaws start closin with you underneath

And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind

And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign

And you say to yourself just what am I doin'

On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin'

On this curve I'm hanging

On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking

In this air I'm inhaling

Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard

Why am I walking, where am I running

What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'

On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'

In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'

In the words that I'm thinkin'

In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'

Who am I helping, what am I breaking

What am I giving, what am I taking

But you try with your whole soul best

Never to think these thoughts and never to let

Them kind of thoughts gain ground

Or make yer heart pound
... ~ Bob Dylan,
711:By The Camp Fire
Ah, 'twas but now I saw the sun flush pink on yonder placid tide;
The purple hill-tops, one by one, were strangely lit and glorified;
And yet how sweet the night has grown, with palest starlights dimly sown!
Those mountain ranges, far and near, enclasp me,— sharply pencilled there,
Like blackest sea-waves,—outlined here, like phantoms in the luminous air,
Between that cold and quiet sky, and the calm river running by.
The gum-trees whisper overhead, and, delicately dark and fine,
Their lovely shadow-patterns shed across the paths of white moonshine.
The golden wattles glimmer bright, scenting this cool, transparent night.
What spirits wake when earth is still? I hear wild wood-notes softly swell.
There's the strange clamour, hoarse and shrill, that drowns the bull-frogs' hollow
bell;
And there's the plaintive rise and fall of the lone mopoke's cuckoo-call.
And nearer, an opossum flits above the firelight, pauses, peers—
I see a round ball where he sits, with pendant tail and pointed ears;
And two are gruffly snarling now in hollows of yon upper bough.
Hark! that's the curlew's thrilling scream. What mountain echoes it has stirred!
The sound goes crying down the stream, the wildest bird-note ever heard.
And there's a crane, with legs updrawn, gone sailing out to meet the dawn.
It croaks its farewell, like a crow, beating the air with soft, wide wings.
On the white water down below its vague grey shadow-shape it flings,
And, dream-like, passes out of sight, a lonely vision of the night.
Ah me! how weird the undertones that thrill my wake-ful fancy through!
The river softly creeps and moans; the wind seems faintly crying too.
Such whisperings seem to come and pass across the orchis-flower'd grass.
The darkness gather'd all around is full of rustlings, strange and low,
The dead wood crackles on the ground, and shadowy shapes flit to and fro;
I think they are my own dim dreams, wandering amongst the woods and
streams.
The tangled trees seem full of eyes,—still eyes that watch me as I sit;
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A flame begins to fall and rise, their glances come and go with it.
And on the torn bark, rough and brown, I hear soft scratchings up and down.
Sometimes I hear a sound of feet,—a slow step through the darkness steals;
And then I think of yours, my sweet, in spirit following at my heels;
For leagues before, around, behind, part me from all my human-kind.
Coo-ey!—the long vibration throbs in countless echoes through the hills.
The lonely forest wakes and sobs, and then no sound the silence fills,—
Only the night-frogs' bubbling shriek in every water-hole and creek;
Only a rush of wind in flight, as startled wild-ducks flutter past,
Quivering and twinkling in the light, skimming the shining water fast;
And ripples from a black swan's breast, darting from out its rushy nest.
How is't in England?—Sunday morn, and organ-music, love, with you.
That breath of memory, idly born, like a great storm-wind shakes me through.
Ah, darling! bend your head and pray,—it cannot touch you far away.
Why do I care? My house of God, beyond all thought, is grand and great!
My prayerful knees, upon the sod, its flowers and grasses consecrate.
And I can see Him in the stars, undimmed by walls and window-bars.
Great Nature spreads her wondrous book, and shows me all her pages fair;
To me the language, when I look, seems but a letter here and there—
The very stones beneath me teach a lore beyond my utmost reach.
For all my pain, and toil, and strife, I see so dimly what is true!
O Art! O Science! O great Life! I grasp thee by so faint a clue!
No more of ocean tides I dream than minnows in their shallow stream.
Sea without bottom, without shore, where is the plumb to fathom thee?
O mystery! as I learn thee more, the more thy deeps are dark to me!
But who am I, that I should scan the Divine Maker's mighty plan?
And yet, oh yet, if I could hear that organ-music once again,
My soul, methinks, would lose its fear; and on this troubled heart and brain
Some light of knowledge would be shed, and some few riddles would be read.
~ Ada Cambridge,
712:THE UGLIEST MAN

And again Zarathustra's feet ran over mountains and
through woods, and his eyes kept seeking, but he whom
they wanted to see was nowhere to be seen: the great
distressed one who had cried out. All along the way,
however, Zarathustra jubilated in his heart and was
grateful. 'What good things," he said, "has this day
given me to make up for its bad beginning! What
strange people have I found to talk with Now I shall
long chew their words like good grains; my teeth shall
grind them and crush them small till they flow like milk
into my soul."
But when the path turned around a rock again the
scenery changed all at once, and Zarathustra entered a
realm of death. Black and red cliffs rose rigidly: no
grass, no tree, no bird's voice. For it was a valley that
all animals avoided, even the beasts of prey; only a
species of ugly fat green snakes came here to die when
they grew old. Therefore the shepherds called this
valley Snakes' Death.
Zarathustra, however, sank into a black reminiscence,
for he felt as if he had stood in this valley once before.
And much that was grave weighed on his mind; he
walked slowly, and still more slowly, and finally stood
still. But when he opened his eyes he saw something
sitting by the way, shaped like a human being, yet
scarcely like a human being-something inexpressible.
And all at once a profound sense of shame overcame
Zarathustra for having laid eyes on such a thing:
blushing right up to his white hair, he averted his eyes
and raised his feet to leave this dreadful place. But at
that moment the dead waste land was filled with a
noise, for something welled up from the ground, gurgling and rattling, as water gurgles and rattles by night
in clogged waterpipes; and at last it became a human
voice and human speech-thus:
"Zarathustra! Zarathustral Guess my riddle! Speak,
speak! What is the revenge against the witness? I lure
you back, here is slippery ice. Take care, take care that
your pride does not break its legs here! You think yourself wise, proud Zarathustra. Then guess the riddle, you
cracker of hard nuts-the riddle that I am. Speak then:
who am I?"
But when Zarathustra had heard these words-what
do you suppose happened to his soul? Pity seized him;
and he sank down all at once, like an oak tree that has
long resisted many woodcutters-heavily, suddenly,
terrifying even those who had wanted to fell it. But immediately he rose from the ground again, and his face
became hard.
"I recognize you well," he said in a voice of bronze;
'you are the murderer of God! Let me go. You could
not bear him who saw you-who always saw you
through and through, you ugliest man! You took revenge on this witness!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he wanted to leave; but
the inexpressible one seized a corner of his garment and
began again to gurgle and seek for words. "Stayl" he
said finally. "Stay! Do not pass by! I have guessed what
ax struck you to the ground: hail to you, 0 Zarathustra,
that you stand again! You have guessed, I know it
well, how he who killed him feels-the murderer of
God. Stay! Sit down here with me! It is not for nothing.
Whom did I want to reach, if not you? Stay! Sit down!
But do not look at me! In that way honor my ugliness
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They persecute me; now you are my last refuge. Not
with their hatred, not with their catchpoles: I would
mock such persecution and be proud and glad of itl
"Has not all success hitherto been with the wellpersecuted? And whoever persecutes well, learns readily
how to follow; for he is used to going after somebody
else. But it is their pity-it is their pity that I flee,
fleeing to you. 0 Zarathustra, protect me, you my last
refuge, the only one who has solved my riddle: you
guessed how he who killed him feels. Stay! And if you
would go, you impatient one, do not go the way I
came. That way is bad. Are you angry with me that I
have even now stammered too long-and even advise
you? But know, it is I, the ugliest man, who also has
the largest and heaviest feet. Where I have gone, the
way is bad. I tread all ways till they are dead and
ruined.
"But that you passed me by, silent; that you blushed,
I saw it well: that is how I recognized you as Zarathustra. Everyone else would have thrown his alms to
me, his pity, with his eyes and words. But for that I
am not beggar enough, as you guessed; for that I am
too rich, rich in what is great, in what is terrible, in
what is ugliest, in what is most inexpressible. Your
shame, Zarathustra, honored me! With difficulty I
escaped the throng of the pitying, to find the only one
today who teaches, 'Pity is obtrusive'-you, 0 Zarathustra. Whether it be a god's pity or man's-pity
offends the sense of shame. And to be unwilling to help
can be nobler than that virtue which jumps to help.
"But today that is called virtue itself among all the
little people-pity. They have no respect for great misfortune, for great ugliness, for great failure. Over this
multitude I look away as a dog looks away over the
backs of teeming flocks of sheep. They are little gray
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people, full of good wool and good will. As a heron
looks away contemptuously over shallow ponds, its
head leaning back, thus I look away over the teeming
mass of gray little waves and wills and souls. Too long
have we conceded to them that they are right, these
little people; so that in the end we have also conceded
them might. Now they teach: 'Good is only what little
people call good.'
"And today 'truth' is what the preacher said, who
himself came from among them, that queer saint and
advocate of the little people who bore witness about
himself: 'I am the truth.' This immodest fellow has long
given the little people swelled heads-he who taught
no small error when he taught, 'I am the truth.' Has an
immodest fellow ever been answered more politely?
You, however, 0 Zarathustra, passed him by and said,
'No! No! Three times no!' You warned against his error,
you, as the first, warned against pity-not all, not none,
but you and your kind.
"You are ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer;
and verily, when you say, 'From pity, a great cloud
approaches; beware, 0 men!'; when you teach, 'All
creators are hard, all great love is over and above its
pity'-O Zarathustra, how well you seem to me to understand storm signs. But you-warn yourself also
against your pity. For many are on their way to you,
many who are suffering, doubting, despairing, drowning, freezing. And I also warn you against myself. You
guessed my best, my worst riddle: myself and what I
did. I know the ax that fells you.
"But he had to die: he saw with eyes that saw everything; he saw man's depths and ultimate grounds, all
his concealed disgrace and ugliness. His pity knew no
shame: he crawled into my dirtiest nooks. This most
curious, overobtrusive, overpitying one had to die. He
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always saw me: on such a witness I wanted to have
revenge or not live myself. The god who saw everything, even man-this god had to die! Man cannot
bear it that such a witness should live."
Thus spoke the ugliest man. But Zarathustra rose and
was about to leave, for he felt frozen down to his very
entrails. "You inexpressible one," he said, "you have
warned me against your way. In thanks I shall praise
mine to you. Behold, up there lies Zarathustra's cave.
My cave is large and deep and has many nooks; even
the most hidden can find a hiding-place there. And
close by there are a hundred dens and lodges for crawling, fluttering, and jumping beasts. You self-exiled exile,
would you not live among men and men's pity? Well
then Do as I do. Thus you also learn from me; only
the doer learns. And speak first of all to my animals.
The proudest animal and the wisest animal-they
should be the right counselors for the two of us."
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he went his way, still
more reflectively and slowly than before; for he asked
himself much, and he did not know how to answer himself readily. "How poor man is after all," he thought in
his heart; "how ugly, how wheezing, how full of hidden
shame! I have been told that man loves himself: ah,
how great must this self-love bel How much contempt
stands against it! This fellow too loved himself, even as
he despised himself: a great lover he seems to me, and
a great despiser. None have I found yet who despised
himself more deeply: that too is a kind of height. Alas,
was he perhaps the higher man whose cry I heard? I
love the great despisers. Man, however, is something
that must be overcome."
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~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE UGLIEST MAN
,
713:SCENE I. An Ante-chamber in the Castle.
Enter LUDOLPH and SIGIFRED.
Ludolph. No more advices, no more cautioning:
I leave it all to fate to any thing!
I cannot square my conduct to time, place,
Or circumstances; to me 'tis all a mist!
Sigifred. I say no more.
Ludolph. It seems I am to wait
Here in the ante-room; that may be a trifle.
You see now how I dance attendance here,
Without that tyrant temper, you so blame,
Snapping the rein. You have medicin'd me
With good advices; and I here remain,
In this most honourable ante-room,
Your patient scholar.
Sigifred. Do not wrong me, Prince.
By Heavens, I'd rather kiss Duke Conrad's slipper,
When in the morning he doth yawn with pride,
Than see you humbled but a half-degree!
Truth is, the Emperor would fain dismiss
The nobles ere he sees you.
Enter GONFRED from the Council-room.
Ludolph. Well, sir! What?
Gonfred. Great honour to the Prince! The Emperor,
Hearing that his brave son had re-appeared,
Instant dismiss 'd the Council from his sight,
As Jove fans off the clouds. Even now they pass.
[Exit.
Enter the Nobles from the Council-room. They cross the stage,
bowing unth respect to LUDOLPH, he frowning on them.
CONRAD follows. Exeunt Nobles.
Ludolph. Not the discoloured poisons of a fen,
Which he who breathes feels warning of his death,
Could taste so nauseous to the bodily sense,
As these prodigious sycophants disgust
The soul's fine palate.
Conrad. Princely Ludolph, hail!
Welcome, thou younger sceptre to the realm!
Strength to thy virgin crownet's golden buds,
That they, against the winter of thy sire,
May burst, and swell, and flourish round thy brows,
Maturing to a weighty diadem!
Yet be that hour far off; and may he live,
Who waits for thee, as the chapp'd earth for rain.
Set my life's star! I have lived long enough,
Since under my glad roof, propitiously,
Father and son each other re-possess.
Ludolph. Fine wording, Duke! but words could never yet
Forestall the fates; have you not learnt that yet?
Let me look well: your features are the same;
Your gait the same; your hair of the same shade;
As one I knew some passed weeks ago,
Who sung far different notes into mine ears.
I have mine own particular comments on 't;
You have your own, perhaps.
Conrad. My gracious Prince,
All men may err. In truth I was deceived
In your great father's nature, as you were.
Had I known that of him I have since known,
And what you soon will learn, I would have turned
My sword to my own throat, rather than held
Its threatening edge against a good King's quiet:
Or with one word fever'd you, gentle Prince,
Who seem'd to me, as rugged times then went,
Indeed too much oppress'd. May I be bold
To tell the Emperor you will haste to him?
Ludolph. Your Dukedom's privilege will grant so much.
[Exit CONRAD
He's very close to Otho, a tight leech!
Your hand I go. Ha! here the thunder comes
Sullen against the wind! If in two angry brows
My safety lies, then Sigifred, I'm safe.
Enter OTHO and CONRAD.
Otho. Will you make Titan play the lackey-page &
To chattering pigmies? I would have you know
That such neglect of our high Majesty
Annuls all feel of kindred. What is son,
Or friend, or brother, or all ties of blood,
When the whole kingdom, centred in ourself,
Is rudely slighted ? Who am I to wait ?
By Peter's chair! I have upon my tongue
A word to fright the proudest spirit here!
Death! and slow tortures to the hardy fool,
Who dares take such large charter from our smiles!
Conrad, we would be private. Sigifred!
Off! And none pass this way on pain of death!
[Exeunt CONRAD and SIGIFRED,
Ludolph. This was but half expected, my good sire,
Yet I am griev'd at it, to the full height,
As though my hopes of favour had been whole.
Otho. How you indulge yourself! What can you hope for?
Ludolph. Nothing, my liege ; I have to hope for nothing.
I come to greet you as a loving son,
And then depart, if I may be so free,
Seeing that blood of yours in my warm veins
Has not yet mitigated into milk.
Otho. What would you, sir?
Ludolph. A lenient banishment;
So please you let me unmolested pass
This Conrad's gates, to the wide air again.
I want no more. A rebel wants no more.
Otho. And shall I let a rebel loose again
To muster kites and eagles 'gainst my head?
No, obstinate boy, you shall be kept cag'd up,
Serv'd with harsh food, with scum for Sunday-drink.
Ludolph. Indeed!
Otho. And chains too heavy for your life:
I'll choose a gaoler, whose swart monstrous face
Shall be a hell to look upon, and she
Ludolph. Ha!
Otho. Shall be your fair Auranthe.
Ludolph. Amaze! Amaze!
Otho. To-day you marry her.
Ludolph. This is a sharp jest!
Otho. No. None at all. When have I said a lie?
Ludolph. If I sleep not, I am a waking wretch.
Otho. Not a word more. Let me embrace my child.
Ludolph. I dare not. 'Twould pollute so good a father!
heavy crime! that your son's blinded eyes
Could not see all his parent's love aright,
As now I see it. Be not kind to me
Punish me not with favour.
Otho. Are you sure,
Ludolph, you have no saving plea in store?
Ludolph. My father, none!
Otho. Then you astonish me.
Ludolph. No, I have no plea. Disobedience,
Rebellion, obstinacy, blasphemy,
Are all my counsellors. If they can make
My crooked deeds show good and plausible,
Then grant me loving pardon, but not else,
Good Gods! not else, in any way, my liege!
Otho. You are a most perplexing, noble boy.
Ludolph. You not less a perplexing noble father.
Otho. Well, you shall have free passport through the gates.
Farewell!
Ludolph. Farewell! and by these tears believe,
And still remember, I repent in pain
All my misdeeds!
Otho. Ludolph, I will! I will!
But, Ludolph, ere you go, I would enquire
If you, in all your wandering, ever met
A certain Arab haunting in these parts.
Ludolph. No, my good lord, I cannot say I did.
Otho. Make not your father blind before his time;
Nor let these arms paternal hunger more
For an embrace, to dull the appetite
Of my great love for thee, my supreme child!
Come close, and let me breathe into thine ear.
knew you through disguise. You are the Arab!
You can't deny it. [Embracing him.
Ludolph. Happiest of days!
Otho. We'll make it so.
Ludolph. 'Stead of one fatted calf
Ten hecatombs shall bellow out their last,
Smote 'twixt the horns by the death-stunning mace
Of Mars, and all the soldiery shall feast
Nobly as Nimrod's masons, when the towers
Of Nineveh new kiss'd the parted clouds!
Otho. Large as a God speak out, where all is thine.
Ludolph. Aye, father, but the fire in my sad breast
Is quench 'd with inward tears! I must rejoice
For you, whose wings so shadow over me
In tender victory, but for myself
I still must mourn. The fair Auranthe mine!
Too great a boon! I prythee let me ask I
What more than I know of could so have changed
Your purpose touching her?
Otho. At a word, this:
In no deed did you give me more offense
Than your rejection of Erminia.
To my appalling, I saw too good proof
Of your keen-eyed suspicion, she is naught!
Ludolph. You are convinced?
Otho. Aye, spite of her sweet looks.
O, that my brother's daughter should so fall!
Her fame has pass'd into the grosser lips
Of soldiers in their cups.
Lndolph. 'Tis very sad.
Otho. No more of her. Auranthe Ludolph, come!
This marriage be the bond of endless peace! [Exeunt.
SCENE II. The Entrance of GERSA'S Tent in the Hungarian Camp.
Enter ERMINIA.
Erminia. Where! where! where shall I find a messenger?
A trusty soul? A good man in the camp?
Shall I go myself? Monstrous wickedness!
O cursed Conrad devilish Auranthe!
Here is proof palpable as the bright sun!
O for a voice to reach the Emperor's ears!
[Shouts in the Camp.
Enter an HUNGARIAN CAPTAIN.
Captain. Fair prisoner, hear you those joyous shouts?
The king aye, now our king, but still your slave,
Young Gersa, from a short captivity
Has just return'd. He bids me say, bright Dame,
That even the homage of his ranged chiefs
Cures not his keen impatience to behold
Such beauty once again. What ails you, lady?
Erminia. Say, is not that a German, yonder? There!
Captain. Methinks by his stout bearing he should be
Yes 'tis one Albert; a brave German knight,
And much in the emperor's favour.
Erminia. I would fain
Enquire of friends and kinsfolk; how they fared
In these rough times. Brave soldier, as you pass
To royal Gersa with my humble thanks,
Will you send yonder knight to me?
Captain. I will. [Exit.
Ermina. Yes, he was ever known to be a man
Frank, open, generous; Albert I may trust.
proof! proof! proof! Albert's an honest man;
Not Ethelbert the monk, if he were here,
Would I hold more trustworthy. Now!
Enter ALBERT.
Albert. Good Gods!
Lady Erminia! are you prisoner
In this beleaguer 'd camp? Or are you here
Of your own will? You pleas'd to send for me.
By Venus, 'tis a pity I knew not
Your plight before, and, by her Son, I swear
To do you every service you can ask.
What would the fairest?
Erminia. Albert, will you swear?
Albert. I have. Well?
Erminia. Albert, you have fame to lose.
If men, in court and camp, lie not outright,
You should be, from a thousand, chosen forth
To do an honest deed. Shall I confide?
Albert. Aye, anything to me, fair creature. Do;
Dictate my task. Sweet woman,
Erminia. Truce with that.
You understand me not; and, in your speech,
see how far the slander is abroad.
Without proof could you think me innocent?
Albert. Lady, I should rejoice to know you so.
Erminia. If you have any pity for a maid,
Suffering a daily death from evil tongues;
Any compassion for that Emperor's niece,
Who, for your bright sword and clear honesty,
Lifted you from the crowd of common men
Into the lap of honour; save me, knight!
Albert. How? Make it clear; if it be possible,
I, by the banner of Saint Maurice, swear
To right you.
Erminia. Possible! Easy. O my heart!
This letter's not so soil'd but you may read it;
Possible! There that letter! Read read it,
[Gives him a letter.
Albert (reading). "To the Duke Conrad. Forget the threat you
made at parting, and I will forget to send the Emperor letters and
papers of your's I have become possessed of. His life is no trifle to
me; his death you shall find none to yourself." (Speaks to himself
Tis me my life that's pleaded for! (Reads.) "He, for his
own sake, will be dumb as the grave. Erminia has my shame fix'd
upon her, sure as a wen. We are safe.
AURANTHE."A she-devil! A dragon! I her imp!
Fire of Hell! Auranthe lewd demon!
Where got you this? Where? When?
Erminia. I found it in the tent, among some spoils
Which, being noble, fell to Gersa's lot.
Come in, and see. [They go in and return.
Albert. Villainy! Villainy!
Conrad's sword, his corslet, and his helm,
And his letter. Caitiff, he shall feel
Erminia. I see you are thunderstruck. Haste, haste away!
Albert. O I am tortured by this villainy.
Erminia. You needs must be. Carry it swift to Otho;
Tell him, moreover, I am prisoner
Here in this camp, where all the sisterhood,
Forc'd from their quiet cells, are parcell'd out
For slaves among these Huns. Away! Away!
Albert. I am gone.
Erminia. Swift be your steed! Within this hour
The Emperor will see it.
Albert. Ere I sleep:
That I can swear. [Hurries out.
Gersa (without). Brave captains! thanks. Enough
Of loyal homage now!
Enter GERSA.
Erminia. Hail, royal Hun!
Gersa. What means this, fair one? Why in such alarm?
Who was it hurried by me so distract?
It seem'd you were in deep discourse together;
Your doctrine has not been so harsh to him
As to my poor deserts. Come, come, be plain.
I am no jealous fool to kill you both,
Or, for such trifles, rob the adorned world
Of such a beauteous vestal.
Erminia. I grieve, my Lord,
To hear you condescend to ribald phrase.
Gersa. This is too much! Hearken, my lady pure!
Erminia. Silence! and hear the magic of a name
Erminia! I am she, the Emperor's niece!
Prais'd be the Heavens, I now dare own myself!
Gersa. Erminia! Indeed! I've heard of her.
Prythee, fair lady, what chance brought you here?
Erminia. Ask your own soldiers.
Gersa. And you dare own your name.
For loveliness you may and for the rest
My vein is not censorious.
Erminia. Alas! poor me!
Tis false indeed.
Gersa. Indeed you are too fair:
the swan, soft leaning on her fledgy breast,
When to the stream she launches, looks not back
With such a tender grace ; nor are her wings
So white as your soul is, if that but be
Twin-picture to your face. Erminia!
To-day, for the first day, I am a king,
Yet would I give my unworn crown away
To know you spotless.
Erminia. Trust me one day more,
Generously, without more certain guarantee,
Than this poor face you deign to praise so much;
After that, say and do whate'er you please.
If I have any knowledge of you, sir,
I think, nay I am sure, you will grieve much
To hear my story. O be gentle to me,
For I am sick and faint with many wrongs,
Tir'd out, and weary-worn with contumelies.
Gersa. Poor lady!
Enter ETHELBERT.
Erminia. Gentle Prince, 'tis false indeed.
Good morrow, holy father! I have had
Your prayers, though I look'd for you in vain.
Ethelbert. Blessings upon you, daughter! Sure you look
Too cheerful for these foul pernicious days.
Young man, you heard this virgin say 'twas false,
Tis false, I say. What! can you not employ
Your temper elsewhere, 'mong these burly tents,
But you must taunt this dove, for she hath lost
The Eagle Otho to beat off assault?
Fie! fie! But I will be her guard myself;
In the Emperor's name. I here demand of you
Herself, and all her sisterhood. She false!
Gersa. Peace! peace, old man! I cannot think she is.
Ethelbert. Whom I have known from her first infancy,
Baptized her in the bosom of the Church,
Watch'd her, as anxious husbandmen the grain,
From the first shoot till the unripe mid-May,
Then to the tender ear of her June days,
Which, lifting sweet abroad its timid green,
Is blighted by the touch of calumny;
You cannot credit such a monstrous tale.
Gersa. I cannot. Take her. Fair Erminia,
I follow you to Friedburg, is't not so?
Erminia. Aye, so we purpose.
Ethelbert. Daughter, do you so?
How's this? I marvel! Yet you look not mad.
Erminia. I have good news to tell you, Ethelbert.
Gersa. Ho! ho, there! Guards!
Your blessing, father! Sweet Erminia,
Believe me, I am well nigh sure
Erminia . Farewell!
Short time will show. [Enter Chiefs.
Yes, father Ethelbert,
I have news precious as we pass along.
Ethelbert. Dear daughter, you shall guide me.
Erminia. To no ill.
Gersa. Command an escort to the Friedburg lines.
[Exeunt Chiefs.
Pray let me lead. Fair lady, forget not
Gersa, how he believ'd you innocent.
I follow you to Friedburg with all speed. [Exeunt.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

~ John Keats, Otho The Great - Act II
,
714:I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do,harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!
Aha, you know your betters! Then, you'll take
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
Three streets offhe's a certain . . . how d'ye call?
MasteraCosimo of the Medici,
I' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best!
Remember and tell me, the day you're hanged,
How you affected such a gullet's-gripe!  
But you, sir, it concerns you that your knaves
Pick up a manner nor discredit you:
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
And count fair price what comes into their net?
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is!
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Lord, I'm not angry! Bid your hang-dogs go
Drink out this quarter-florin to the health
Of the munificent House that harbours me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside!)
And all's come square again. I'd like his face
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern,for the slave that holds
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
With one hand ("Look you, now," as who should say)
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped!
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see!
Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me so.
What, brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
You know them and they take you? like enough!
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Let's sit and set things straight now, hip to haunch.
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And I've been three weeks shut within my mew,
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
And saints again. I could not paint all night
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
A sweep of lute strings, laughs, and whifts of song,
Flower o' the broom,
Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!
Flower o' the quince,
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since?
Flower o' the thymeand so on. Round they went.
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight,three slim shapes,
And a face that looked up . . . zooks, sir, flesh and blood,
That's all I'm made of! Into shreds it went,
Curtain and counterpane and coverlet,
All the bed-furniturea dozen knots,
There was a ladder! Down I let myself,
Hands and feet, scrambling somehow, and so dropped,
And after them. I came up with the fun
Hard by Saint Laurence, hail fellow, well met,
Flower o' the rose,
If I've been merry, what matter who knows?
And so as I was stealing back again
To get to bed and have a bit of sleep
Ere I rise up to-morrow and go work
On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast
With his great round stone to subdue the flesh,
You snap me of the sudden. Ah, I see!
Though your eye twinkles still, you shake your head
Mine's shaveda monk, you saythe sting 's in that!
If Master Cosimo announced himself,
Mum's the word naturally; but a monk!
Come, what am I a beast for? tell us, now!
I was a baby when my mother died
And father died and left me in the street.
I starved there, God knows how, a year or two
On fig-skins, melon-parings, rinds and shucks,
Refuse and rubbish. One fine frosty day,
My stomach being empty as your hat,
The wind doubled me up and down I went.
Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand,
(Its fellow was a stinger as I knew)
And so along the wall, over the bridge,
By the straight cut to the convent. Six words there,
While I stood munching my first bread that month:
"So, boy, you're minded," quoth the good fat father
Wiping his own mouth, 'twas refection-time,--
"To quit this very miserable world?
Will you renounce" . . . "the mouthful of bread?" thought I;
By no means! Brief, they made a monk of me;
I did renounce the world, its pride and greed,
Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking-house,
Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici
Have given their hearts toall at eight years old.
Well, sir, I found in time, you may be sure,
'T#was not for nothingthe good bellyful,
The warm serge and the rope that goes all round,
And day-long blessed idleness beside!
"Let's see what the urchin's fit for"that came next.
Not overmuch their way, I must confess.
Such a to-do! They tried me with their books:
Lord, they'd have taught me Latin in pure waste!
Flower o' the clove.
All the Latin I construe is, "amo" I love!
But, mind you, when a boy starves in the streets
Eight years together, as my fortune was,
Watching folk's faces to know who will fling
The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he desires,
And who will curse or kick him for his pains,
Which gentleman processional and fine,
Holding a candle to the Sacrament,
Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch
The droppings of the wax to sell again,
Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped,
How say I?nay, which dog bites, which lets drop
His bone from the heap of offal in the street,
Why, soul and sense of him grow sharp alike,
He learns the look of things, and none the less
For admonition from the hunger-pinch.
I had a store of such remarks, be sure,
Which, after I found leisure, turned to use.
I drew men's faces on my copy-books,
Scrawled them within the antiphonary's marge,
Joined legs and arms to the long music-notes,
Found eyes and nose and chin for A's and B's,
And made a string of pictures of the world
Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun,
On the wall, the bench, the door. The monks looked black.
"Nay," quoth the Prior, "turn him out, d'ye say?
In no wise. Lose a crow and catch a lark.
What if at last we get our man of parts,
We Carmelites, like those Camaldolese
And Preaching Friars, to do our church up fine
And put the front on it that ought to be!"
And hereupon he bade me daub away.
Thank you! my head being crammed, the walls a blank,
Never was such prompt disemburdening.
First, every sort of monk, the black and white,
I drew them, fat and lean: then, folk at church,
From good old gossips waiting to confess
Their cribs of barrel-droppings, candle-ends,
To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot,
Fresh from his murder, safe and sitting there
With the little children round him in a row
Of admiration, half for his beard and half
For that white anger of his victim's son
Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm,
Signing himself with the other because of Christ
(Whose sad face on the cross sees only this
After the passion of a thousand years)
Till some poor girl, her apron o'er her head,
(Which the intense eyes looked through) came at eve
On tiptoe, said a word, dropped in a loaf,
Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers
(The brute took growling), prayed, and so was gone.
I painted all, then cried " `T#is ask and have;
Choose, for more's ready!"laid the ladder flat,
And showed my covered bit of cloister-wall.
The monks closed in a circle and praised loud
Till checked, taught what to see and not to see,
Being simple bodies,"That's the very man!
Look at the boy who stoops to pat the dog!
That woman's like the Prior's niece who comes
To care about his asthma: it's the life!''
But there my triumph's straw-fire flared and funked;
Their betters took their turn to see and say:
The Prior and the learned pulled a face
And stopped all that in no time. "How? what's here?
Quite from the mark of painting, bless us all!
Faces, arms, legs, and bodies like the true
As much as pea and pea! it's devil's-game!
Your business is not to catch men with show,
With homage to the perishable clay,
But lift them over it, ignore it all,
Make them forget there's such a thing as flesh.
Your business is to paint the souls of men
Man's soul, and it's a fire, smoke . . . no, it's not . . .
It's vapour done up like a new-born babe
(In that shape when you die it leaves your mouth)
It's . . . well, what matters talking, it's the soul!
Give us no more of body than shows soul!
Here's Giotto, with his Saint a-praising God,
That sets us praisingwhy not stop with him?
Why put all thoughts of praise out of our head
With wonder at lines, colours, and what not?
Paint the soul, never mind the legs and arms!
Rub all out, try at it a second time.
Oh, that white smallish female with the breasts,
She's just my niece . . . Herodias, I would say,
Who went and danced and got men's heads cut off!
Have it all out!" Now, is this sense, I ask?
A fine way to paint soul, by painting body
So ill, the eye can't stop there, must go further
And can't fare worse! Thus, yellow does for white
When what you put for yellow's simply black,
And any sort of meaning looks intense
When all beside itself means and looks nought.
Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn,
Left foot and right foot, go a double step,
Make his flesh liker and his soul more like,
Both in their order? Take the prettiest face,
The Prior's niece . . . patron-saintis it so pretty
You can't discover if it means hope, fear,
Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these?
Suppose I've made her eyes all right and blue,
Can't I take breath and try to add life's flash,
And then add soul and heighten them three-fold?
Or say there's beauty with no soul at all
(I never saw itput the case the same)
If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents:
That's somewhat: and you'll find the soul you have missed,
Within yourself, when you return him thanks.
"Rub all out!" Well, well, there's my life, in short,
And so the thing has gone on ever since.
I'm grown a man no doubt, I've broken bounds:
You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.
I'm my own master, paint now as I please
Having a friend, you see, in the Corner-house!
Lord, it's fast holding by the rings in front
Those great rings serve more purposes than just
To plant a flag in, or tie up a horse!
And yet the old schooling sticks, the old grave eyes
Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work,
The heads shake still"It's art's decline, my son!
You're not of the true painters, great and old;
Brother Angelico's the man, you'll find;
Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer:
Fag on at flesh, you'll never make the third!"
Flower o' the pine,
You keep your mistr manners, and I'll stick to mine!
I'm not the third, then: bless us, they must know!
Don't you think they're the likeliest to know,
They with their Latin? So, I swallow my rage,
Clench my teeth, suck my lips in tight, and paint
To please themsometimes do and sometimes don't;
For, doing most, there's pretty sure to come
A turn, some warm eve finds me at my saints
A laugh, a cry, the business of the world
(Flower o' the peach
Death for us all, and his own life for each!)
And my whole soul revolves, the cup runs over,
The world and life's too big to pass for a dream,
And I do these wild things in sheer despite,
And play the fooleries you catch me at,
In pure rage! The old mill-horse, out at grass
After hard years, throws up his stiff heels so,
Although the miller does not preach to him
The only good of grass is to make chaff.
What would men have? Do they like grass or no
May they or mayn't they? all I want's the thing
Settled for ever one way. As it is,
You tell too many lies and hurt yourself:
You don't like what you only like too much,
You do like what, if given you at your word,
You find abundantly detestable.
For me, I think I speak as I was taught;
I always see the garden and God there
A-making man's wife: and, my lesson learned,
The value and significance of flesh,
I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards.
You understand me: I'm a beast, I know.
But see, nowwhy, I see as certainly
As that the morning-star's about to shine,
What will hap some day. We've a youngster here
Comes to our convent, studies what I do,
Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop:
His name is Guidihe'll not mind the monks
They call him Hulking Tom, he lets them talk
He picks my practice uphe'll paint apace.
I hope sothough I never live so long,
I know what's sure to follow. You be judge!
You speak no Latin more than I, belike;
However, you're my man, you've seen the world
The beauty and the wonder and the power,
The shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades,
Changes, surprises,and God made it all!
For what? Do you feel thankful, ay or no,
For this fair town's face, yonder river's line,
The mountain round it and the sky above,
Much more the figures of man, woman, child,
These are the frame to? What's it all about?
To be passed over, despised? or dwelt upon,
Wondered at? oh, this last of course!you say.
But why not do as well as say,paint these
Just as they are, careless what comes of it?
God's workspaint any one, and count it crime
To let a truth slip. Don't object, "His works
Are here already; nature is complete:
Suppose you reproduce her(which you can't)
There's no advantage! you must beat her, then."
For, don't you mark? we're made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, paintedbetter to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;
God uses us to help each other so,
Lending our minds out. Have you noticed, now,
Your cullion's hanging face? A bit of chalk,
And trust me but you should, though! How much more,
If I drew higher things with the same truth!
That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place,
Interpret God to all of you! Oh, oh,
It makes me mad to see what men shall do
And we in our graves! This world's no blot for us,
Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good:
To find its meaning is my meat and drink.
"Ay, but you don't so instigate to prayer!"
Strikes in the Prior: "when your meaning's plain
It does not say to folkremember matins,
Or, mind you fast next Friday!" Why, for this
What need of art at all? A skull and bones,
Two bits of stick nailed crosswise, or, what's best,
A bell to chime the hour with, does as well.
I painted a Saint Laurence six months since
At Prato, splashed the fresco in fine style:
"How looks my painting, now the scaffold's down?"
I ask a brother: "Hugely," he returns
"Already not one phiz of your three slaves
Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side,
But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content,
The pious people have so eased their own
With coming to say prayers there in a rage:
We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.
Expect another job this time next year,
For pity and religion grow i' the crowd
Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools!
That isyou'll not mistake an idle word
Spoke in a huff by a poor monk, God wot,
Tasting the air this spicy night which turns
The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine!
Oh, the church knows! don't misreport me, now!
It's natural a poor monk out of bounds
Should have his apt word to excuse himself:
And hearken how I plot to make amends.
I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece
There's for you! Give me six months, then go, see
Something in Sant' Ambrogio's! Bless the nuns!
They want a cast o' my office. I shall paint
God in the midst, Madonna and her babe,
Ringed by a bowery, flowery angel-brood,
Lilies and vestments and white faces, sweet
As puff on puff of grated orris-root
When ladies crowd to Church at midsummer.
And then i' the front, of course a saint or two
Saint John' because he saves the Florentines,
Saint Ambrose, who puts down in black and white
The convent's friends and gives them a long day,
And Job, I must have him there past mistake,
The man of Uz (and Us without the z,
Painters who need his patience). Well, all these
Secured at their devotion, up shall come
Out of a corner when you least expect,
As one by a dark stair into a great light,
Music and talking, who but Lippo! I!
Mazed, motionless, and moonstruckI'm the man!
Back I shrinkwhat is this I see and hear?
I, caught up with my monk's-things by mistake,
My old serge gown and rope that goes all round,
I, in this presence, this pure company!
Where's a hole, where's a corner for escape?
Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing
Forward, puts out a soft palm"Not so fast!"
Addresses the celestial presence, "nay
He made you and devised you, after all,
Though he's none of you! Could Saint John there draw
His camel-hair make up a painting brush?
We come to brother Lippo for all that,
Iste perfecit opus! So, all smile
I shuffle sideways with my blushing face
Under the cover of a hundred wings
Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you're gay
And play hot cockles, all the doors being shut,
Till, wholly unexpected, in there pops
The hothead husband! Thus I scuttle off
To some safe bench behind, not letting go
The palm of her, the little lily thing
That spoke the good word for me in the nick,
Like the Prior's niece . . . Saint Lucy, I would say.
And so all's saved for me, and for the church
A pretty picture gained. Go, six months hence!
Your hand, sir, and good-bye: no lights, no lights!
The street's hushed, and I know my own way back,
Don't fear me! There's the grey beginning. Zooks!
NOTES



Form:
unrhyming

1.
First published in Men and Women, 1855.In this poem, Browning makes use of the account of
Lippi in Vasari's Lives of the Painters, from
which the following is an extract: "The Carmelite monk,
Fra Filippo di Tommaso Lippi (1412-1469), was born
at Florence in a bye-street called Ardiglione, under the
Canto alla Cuculia, and behind the convent of the
Carmelites. By the death of his father he was left a
friendless orphan at the age of two years, his mother
having also died shortly after his birth. The child was
for some time under the care of a certain Mona Lapaccia,
his aunt, the sister of his father, who brought him up
with very great difficulty till he had attained his eighth
year, when, being no longer able to support the burden
of his maintenance, she placed him in the above-named
convent of the Carmelites. Here, in proportion as he
showed himself dexterous and ingenious in all works
performed by hand, did he manifest the utmost dullness
and incapacity in letters, to which he would never apply
himself, nor would he take any pleasure in learning of
any kind. The boy continued to be called by his worldly
name of Filippo, and being placed with others, who like
himself were in the house of the novices, under the care
of the master, to the end that the latter might see what
could be done with him\; in place of studying, he never
did anything but daub his own books, and those of the
other boys, with caricatures, whereupon the prior determined
to give him all means and every opportunity for learning
to draw. The chapel of the Carmine had then been newly
painted by Masaccio, and this being exceedingly beautiful,
pleased Fra Filippo greatly, wherefore he frequented it daily
for his recreation, and, continually practising there, in
company with many other youths, who were constantly
drawing in that place, he surpassed all the others by very
much in dexterity and knowledge .... Proceeding thus, and
improving from day to day, he has so closely followed the
manner of Masaccio, and his works displayed so much
similarity to those of the latter, that many affirmed the spirit
of Masaccio to have entered the body of Fra Filippo .... "It is
said that Fra Filippo was much addicted to the pleasures of
sense, insomuch that he would give all he possessed to secure
the gratification of whatever inclination might at the moment
be predominant .... It was known that, while occupied in the
pursuit of his pleasures, the works undertaken by him received
little or none of his attention\; for which reason Cosimo de'
Medici, wishing him to execute a work in his own palace, shut
him up, that he might not waste his time in running about\; but
having endured this confinement for two days, he then made
ropes with sheets of his bed, which he cut to pieces for that
purpose, and so having let himself down from a window, escaped,
and for several days gave himself up to his amusements. When
Cosimo found that the painter had disappeared, he caused him
to be sought, and Fra Filippo at last returned to his work, but
from that time forward Cosimo gave him liberty to go in and
out at his pleasure, repenting greatly of having previously shut
him up, when he considered the danger that Fra Filippo had
incurred by his folly in descending from the window\; and ever
afterwards labouring to keep him to his work by kindness only,
he was by this means much more promptly and effectually
served by the painter, and was wont to say that the excellencies
of rare genius were as forms of light and not beasts of burden."

17.
Cosimo of the Medici (1389-1464): the real ruler of Florence,
and a patron of art and literature.

53.
The snatches of song represent a species of Italian folk-song
called Stornelli\; each consisting of three lines of a set form,
and containing the name of a flower in the first line.

67.
Saint Laurence: the Church at San Lorenzo, now famous for
the tombs of the Medici, the work of Michael Angelo.

73.
Jerome: one of the Christian Fathers, translated the Bible
into Latin\; he led a life of extreme asceticism.

117-18.
A reference to the procession carrying the consecrated wafer.

121.
the Eight: a body of magistrates who kept order.

130.
antiphonary: the service-book.

140.
Preaching Friars: the Dominicans.

172.
funked: turned to smoke.

176 ff.
Lippi belonged to the naturalistic school which developed
among the Florentines. These showed a greater attention to
natural form and beauty, as opposed to the conventional school,
who were men under the influence of earlier artists and inherited
an ascetic timidity in the representation of material things.

189.
Giotto (1267-1337): the earliest of the greater Florentine
painters.

196.
Herodias: sister-in-law of Herod, and mother of Salome.
See Matthew, 14 for the story of Salome's dance and the beheading
of John the Baptist.

227.
See line 18 above.

235.
Brother Angelico: Fra Angelico (1387-1455), "By purity of
life, habitual elevation of thought, and natural sweetness of
disposition, he was enabled to express the sacred affections
upon the human countenance, as no one ever did before or since" (Ruskin).

236.
Lorenzo: Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1425), a Camaldolese
friar who painted in Florence.

273 ff.
Tommaso Guidi (1401-28) better known as Masaccio (which means
"hulking") "because," says Vasari, "of his excessive negligence and
disregard of himself." He was the teacher--not, as here represented,
the pupil--of Filippo Lippi (see first note above).

324.
Prato: a town some dozen miles from Florence\; in the Cathedral
are frescoes by Filippo, but they represent St. Stephen, and the
Baptist, not St. Laurence.

328.
According to tradition, St. Laurence was roasted on a gridiron.

339.
Chianti wine: the common red wine of Tuscany.

346.
Browning proceeds to put into Fra Filippo's mouth a description
of what is considered his masterpiece --a Coronation of the Virgin--which
he painted for the nuns of Sant' Ambrogio. Browning, following Vasari,
believes that the painter put a self-portrait in the lower corner of the
picture. Recent research has shown that the figure is a portrait, not of
Fra Filippo, but of the benefactor who ordered the picture for the
church. In this case, perfecit opus means "caused the work to
be made," not, as Browning takes it, "completed the work himself."

354.
St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of the Florentines.


~ Robert Browning, Fra Lippo Lippi
,
715:Scene. Wrzburg; a garden in the environs. 1512.
Festus, Paracelsus, Michal.
Paracelsus.
Come close to me, dear friends; still closer; thus!
Close to the heart which, though long time roll by
Ere it again beat quicker, pressed to yours,
As now it beatsperchance a long, long time
At least henceforth your memories shall make
Quiet and fragrant as befits their home.
Nor shall my memory want a home in yours
Alas, that it requires too well such free
Forgiving love as shall embalm it there!
For if you would remember me aright,
As I was born to be, you must forget
All fitful strange and moody waywardness
Which e'er confused my better spirit, to dwell
Only on moments such as these, dear friends!
My heart no truer, but my words and ways
More true to it: as Michal, some months hence,
Will say, "this autumn was a pleasant time,"
For some few sunny days; and overlook
Its bleak wind, hankering after pining leaves.
Autumn would fain be sunny; I would look
Liker my nature's truth: and both are frail,
And both beloved, for all our frailty.
Michal.
                     Aureole!
                     Paracelsus.
Drop by drop! she is weeping like a child!
Not so! I am contentmore than content;
Nay, autumn wins you best by this its mute
Appeal to sympathy for its decay:
Look up, sweet Michal, nor esteem the less
Your stained and drooping vines their grapes bow down,
Nor blame those creaking trees bent with their fruit,
That apple-tree with a rare after-birth
Of peeping blooms sprinkled its wealth among!
Then for the windswhat wind that ever raved
Shall vex that ash which overlooks you both,
So proud it wears its berries? Ah, at length,
The old smile meet for her, the lady of this
Sequestered nest!this kingdom, limited
Alone by one old populous green wall
Tenanted by the ever-busy flies,
Grey crickets and shy lizards and quick spiders,
Each family of the silver-threaded moss
Which, look through near, this way, and it appears
A stubble-field or a cane-brake, a marsh
Of bulrush whitening in the sun: laugh now!
Fancy the crickets, each one in his house,
Looking out, wondering at the worldor best,
Yon painted snail with his gay shell of dew,
Travelling to see the glossy balls high up
Hung by the caterpillar, like gold lamps.
Michal.
In truth we have lived carelessly and well.
Paracelsus.
And shall, my perfect pair!each, trust me, born
For the other; nay, your very hair, when mixed,
Is of one hue. For where save in this nook
Shall you two walk, when I am far away,
And wish me prosperous fortune? Stay: that plant
Shall never wave its tangles lightly and softly,
As a queen's languid and imperial arm
Which scatters crowns among her lovers, but you
Shall be reminded to predict to me
Some great success! Ah see, the sun sinks broad
Behind Saint Saviour's: wholly gone, at last!
Festus.
Now, Aureole, stay those wandering eyes awhile!
You are ours to-night, at least; and while you spoke
Of Michal and her tears, I thought that none
Could willing leave what he so seemed to love:
But that last look destroys my dreamthat look
As if, where'er you gazed, there stood a star!
How far was Wrzburg with its church and spire
And garden-walls and all things they contain,
From that look's far alighting?
Paracelsus.
                 I but spoke
And looked alike from simple joy to see
The beings I love best, shut in so well
From all rude chances like to be my lot,
That, when afar, my weary spirit,disposed
To lose awhile its care in soothing thoughts
Of them, their pleasant features, looks and words,
Needs never hesitate, nor apprehend
Encroaching trouble may have reached them too,
Nor have recourse to fancy's busy aid
And fashion even a wish in their behalf
Beyond what they possess already here;
But, unobstructed, may at once forget
Itself in them, assured how well they fare.
Beside, this Festus knows he holds me one
Whom quiet and its charms arrest in vain,
One scarce aware of all the joys I quit,
Too filled with airy hopes to make account
Of soft delights his own heart garners up:
Whereas behold how much our sense of all
That's beauteous proves alike! When Festus learns
That every common pleasure of the world
Affects me as himself; that I have just
As varied appetite for joy derived
From common things; a stake in life, in short,
Like his; a stake which rash pursuit of aims
That life affords not, would as soon destroy;
He may convince himself that, this in view,
I shall act well advised. And last, because,
Though heaven and earth and all things were at stake,
Sweet Michal must not weep, our parting eve.
Festus.
True: and the eve is deepening, and we sit
As little anxious to begin our talk
As though to-morrow I could hint of it
As we paced arm-in-arm the cheerful town
At sun-dawn; or could whisper it by fits
(Trithemius busied with his class the while)
In that dim chamber where the noon-streaks peer
Half-frightened by the awful tomes around;
Or in some grassy lane unbosom all
From even-blush to midnight: but, to-morrow!
Have I full leave to tell my inmost mind?
We have been brothers, and henceforth the world
Will rise between us:all my freest mind?
'T is the last night, dear Aureole!
Paracelsus.
                   Oh, say on!
Devise some test of love, some arduous feat
To be performed for you: say on! If night
Be spent the while, the better! Recall how oft
My wondrous plans and dreams and hopes and fears
Havenever wearied you, oh no!as I
Recall, and never vividly as now,
Your true affection, born when Einsiedeln
And its green hills were all the world to us;
And still increasing to this night which ends
My further stay at Wrzburg. Oh, one day
You shall be very proud! Say on, dear friends!
Festus.
In truth? 'T is for my proper peace, indeed,
Rather than yours; for vain all projects seem
To stay your course: I said my latest hope
Is fading even now. A story tells
Of some far embassy despatched to win
The favour of an eastern king, and how
The gifts they offered proved but dazzling dust
Shed from the ore-beds native to his clime.
Just so, the value of repose and love,
I meant should tempt you, better far than I
You seem to comprehend; and yet desist
No whit from projects where repose nor love
Has part.
Paracelsus.
     Once more? Alas! As I foretold.
     Festus.
A solitary briar the bank puts forth
To save our swan's nest floating out to sea.
Paracelsus.
Dear Festus, hear me. What is it you wish?
That I should lay aside my heart's pursuit,
Abandon the sole ends for which I live,
Reject God's great commission, and so die!
You bid me listen for your true love's sake:
Yet how has grown that love? Even in a long
And patient cherishing of the self-same spirit
It now would quell; as though a mother hoped
To stay the lusty manhood of the child
Once weak upon her knees. I was not born
Informed and fearless from the first, but shrank
From aught which marked me out apart from men:
I would have lived their life, and died their death,
Lost in their ranks, eluding destiny:
But you first guided me through doubt and fear,
Taught me to know mankind and know myself;
And now that I am strong and full of hope,
That, from my soul, I can reject all aims
Save those your earnest words made plain to me,
Now that I touch the brink of my design,
When I would have a triumph in their eyes,
A glad cheer in their voicesMichal weeps,
And Festus ponders gravely!
Festus.
               When you deign
To hear my purpose . . .
Paracelsus.
             Hear it? I can say
Beforehand all this evening's conference!
'T is this way, Michal, that he uses: first,
Or he declares, or I, the leading points
Of our best scheme of life, what is man's end
And what God's will; no two faiths e'er agreed
As his with mine. Next, each of us allows
Faith should be acted on as best we may;
Accordingly, I venture to submit
My plan, in lack of better, for pursuing
The path which God's will seems to authorize.
Well, he discerns much good in it, avows
This motive worthy, that hope plausible,
A danger here to be avoided, there
An oversight to be repaired: in fine
Our two minds go togetherall the good
Approved by him, I gladly recognize,
All he counts bad, I thankfully discard,
And nought forbids my looking up at last
For some stray comfort in his cautious brow.
When, lo! I learn that, spite of all, there lurks
Some innate and inexplicable germ
Of failure in my scheme; so that at last
It all amounts to thisthe sovereign proof
That we devote ourselves to God, is seen
In living just as though no God there were;
A life which, prompted by the sad and blind
Folly of man, Festus abhors the most;
But which these tenets sanctify at once,
Though to less subtle wits it seems the same,
Consider it how they may.
Michal.
             Is it so, Festus
He speaks so calmly and kindly: is it so?
Paracelsus.
Reject those glorious visions of God's love
And man's design; laugh loud that God should send
Vast longings to direct us; say how soon
Power satiates these, or lust, or gold; I know
The world's cry well, and how to answer it.
But this ambiguous warfare . . .
Festus.
                 . . . Wearies so
That you will grant no last leave to your friend
To urge it?for his sake, not yours? I wish
To send my soul in good hopes after you;
Never to sorrow that uncertain words
Erringly apprehended, a new creed
Ill understood, begot rash trust in you,
Had share in your undoing.
Paracelsus.
              Choose your side,
Hold or renounce: but meanwhile blame me not
Because I dare to act on your own views,
Nor shrink when they point onward, nor espy
A peril where they most ensure success.
Festus.
Prove that to mebut that! Prove you abide
Within their warrant, nor presumptuous boast
God's labour laid on you; prove, all you covet
A mortal may expect; and, most of all,
Prove the strange course you now affect, will lead
To its attainmentand I bid you speed,
Nay, count the minutes till you venture forth!
You smile; but I had gathered from slow thought
Much musing on the fortunes of my friend
Matter I deemed could not be urged in vain;
But it all leaves me at my need: in shreds
And fragments I must venture what remains.
Michal.
Ask at once, Festus, wherefore he should scorn . . .
Festus.
Stay, Michal: Aureole, I speak guardedly
And gravely, knowing well, whate'er your error,
This is no ill-considered choice of yours,
No sudden fancy of an ardent boy.
Not from your own confiding words alone
Am I aware your passionate heart long since
Gave birth to, nourished and at length matures
This scheme. I will not speak of Einsiedeln,
Where I was born your elder by some years
Only to watch you fully from the first:
In all beside, our mutual tasks were fixed
Even then't was mine to have you in my view
As you had your own soul and those intents
Which filled it when, to crown your dearest wish,
With a tumultuous heart, you left with me
Our childhood's home to join the favoured few
Whom, here, Trithemius condescends to teach
A portion of his lore: and not one youth
Of those so favoured, whom you now despise,
Came earnest as you came, resolved, like you,
To grasp all, and retain all, and deserve
By patient toil a wide renown like his.
Now, this new ardour which supplants the old
I watched, too; 't was significant and strange,
In one matched to his soul's content at length
With rivals in the search for wisdom's prize,
To see the sudden pause, the total change;
From contest, the transition to repose
From pressing onward as his fellows pressed,
To a blank idleness, yet most unlike
The dull stagnation of a soul, content,
Once foiled, to leave betimes a thriveless quest.
That careless bearing, free from all pretence
Even of contempt for what it ceased to seek
Smiling humility, praising much, yet waiving
What it professed to praisethough not so well
Maintained but that rare outbreaks, fierce and brief,
Revealed the hidden scorn, as quickly curbed.
That ostentatious show of past defeat,
That ready acquiescence in contempt,
I deemed no other than the letting go
His shivered sword, of one about to spring
Upon his foe's throat; but it was not thus:
Not that way looked your brooding purpose then.
For after-signs disclosed, what you confirmed,
That you prepared to task to the uttermost
Your strength, in furtherance of a certain aim
Whichwhile it bore the name your rivals gave
Their own most puny effortswas so vast
In scope that it included their best flights,
Combined them, and desired to gain one prize
In place of many,the secret of the world,
Of man, and man's true purpose, path and fate.
That you, not nursing as a mere vague dream
This purpose, with the sages of the past,
Have struck upon a way to this, if all
You trust be true, which following, heart and soul,
You, if a man may, dare aspire to know:
And that this aim shall differ from a host
Of aims alike in character and kind,
Mostly in this,that in itself alone
Shall its reward be, not an alien end
Blending therewith; no hope nor fear nor joy
Nor woe, to elsewhere move you, but this pure
Devotion to sustain you or betray:
Thus you aspire.
Paracelsus.
         You shall not state it thus:
I should not differ from the dreamy crew
You speak of. I profess no other share
In the selection of my lot, than this
My ready answer to the will of God
Who summons me to be his organ. All
Whose innate strength supports them shall succeed
No better than the sages.
Festus.
             Such the aim, then,
God sets before you; and't is doubtless need
That he appoint no less the way of praise
Than the desire to praise; for, though I hold
With you, the setting forth such praise to be
The natural end and service of a man,
And hold such praise is best attained when man
Attains the general welfare of his kind
Yet this, the end, is not the instrument.
Presume not to serve God apart from such
Appointed channel as he wills shall gather
Imperfect tributes, for that sole obedience
Valued perchance! He seeks not that his altars
Blaze, careless how, so that they do but blaze.
Suppose this, then; that God selected you
To know (heed well your answers, for my faith
Shall meet implicitly what they affirm)
I cannot think you dare annex to such
Selection aught beyond a steadfast will,
An intense hope; nor let your gifts create
Scorn or neglect of ordinary means
Conducive to success, make destiny
Dispense with man's endeavour. Now, dare you search
Your inmost heart, and candidly avow
Whether you have not rather wild desire
For this distinction than security
Of its existence? whether you discern
The path to the fulfilment of your purpose
Clear as that purposeand again, that purpose
Clear as your yearning to be singled out
For its pursuer. Dare you answer this?
Paracelsus
[after a pause].
No, I have nought to fear! Who will may know
The secret'st workings of my soul. What though
It be so?if indeed the strong desire
Eclipse the aim in me?if splendour break
Upon the outset of my path alone,
And duskest shade succeed? What fairer seal
Shall I require to my authentic mission
Than this fierce energy?this instinct striving
Because its nature is to strive?enticed
By the security of no broad course,
Without success forever in its eyes!
How know I else such glorious fate my own,
But in the restless irresistible force
That works within me? Is it for human will
To institute such impulses?still less,
To disregard their promptings! What should I
Do, kept among you all; your loves, your cares,
Your lifeall to be mine? Be sure that God
Ne'er dooms to waste the strength he deigns impart!
Ask the geier-eagle why she stoops at once
Into the vast and unexplored abyss,
What full-grown power informs her from the first,
Why she not marvels, strenuously beating
The silent boundless regions of the sky!
Be sure they sleep not whom God needs! Nor fear
Their holding light his charge, when every hour
That finds that charge delayed, is a new death.
This for the faith in which I trust; and hence
I can abjure so well the idle arts
These pedants strive to learn and teach; Black Arts,
Great Works, the Secret and Sublime, forsooth
Let others prize: too intimate a tie
Connects me with our God! A sullen fiend
To do my bidding, fallen and hateful sprites
To help mewhat are these, at best, beside
God helping, God directing everywhere,
So that the earth shall yield her secrets up,
And every object there be charged to strike,
Teach, gratify her master God appoints?
And I am young, my Festus, happy and free!
I can devote myself; I have a life
To give; I, singled out for this, the One!
Think, think! the wide East, where all Wisdom sprung;
The bright South, where she dwelt; the hopeful North,
All are passed o'erit lights on me! 'T is time
New hopes should animate the world, new light
Should dawn from new revealings to a race
Weighed down so long, forgotten so long; thus shall
The heaven reserved for us at last receive
Creatures whom no unwonted splendours blind,
But ardent to confront the unclouded blaze.
Whose beams not seldom blessed their pilgrimage,
Not seldom glorified their life below.
Festus.
My words have their old fate and make faint stand
Against your glowing periods. Call this, truth
Why not pursue it in a fast retreat,
Some one of Learning's many palaces,
After approved example?seeking there
Calm converse with the great dead, soul to soul,
Who laid up treasure with the like intent
So lift yourself into their airy place,
And fill out full their unfulfilled careers,
Unravelling the knots their baffled skill
Pronounced inextricable, true!but left
Far less confused. A fresh eye, a fresh hand,
Might do much at their vigour's waning-point;
Succeeding with new-breathed new-hearted force,
As at old games the runner snatched the torch
From runner still: this way success might be.
But you have coupled with your enterprise,
An arbitrary self-repugnant scheme
Of seeking it in strange and untried paths.
What books are in the desert? Writes the sea
The secret of her yearning in vast caves
Where yours will fall the first of human feet?
Has wisdom sat there and recorded aught
You press to read? Why turn aside from her
To visit, where her vesture never glanced,
Nowsolitudes consigned to barrenness
By God's decree, which who shall dare impugn?
Nowruins where she paused but would not stay,
Old ravaged cities that, renouncing her,
She called an endless curse on, so it came:
Or worst of all, nowmen you visit, men,
Ignoblest troops who never heard her voice
Or hate it, men without one gift from Rome
Or Athens,these shall Aureole's teachers be!
Rejecting past example, practice, precept,
Aidless'mid these he thinks to stand alone:
Thick like a glory round the Stagirite
Your rivals throng, the sages: here stand you!
Whatever you may protest, knowledge is not
Paramount in your love; or for her sake
You would collect all help from every source
Rival, assistant, friend, foe, all would merge
In the broad class of those who showed her haunts,
And those who showed them not.
Paracelsus.
                What shall I say?
Festus, from childhood I have been possessed
By a fireby a true fire, or faint or fierce,
As from without some master, so it seemed,
Repressed or urged its current: this but ill
Expresses what would I convey: but rather
I will believe an angel ruled me thus,
Than that my soul's own workings, own high nature,
So became manifest. I knew not then
What whispered in the evening, and spoke out
At midnight. If some mortal, born too soon,
Were laid away in some great trancethe ages
Coming and going all the whiletill dawned
His true time's advent; and could then record
The words they spoke who kept watch by his bed,
Then I might tell more of the breath so light
Upon my eyelids, and the fingers light
Among my hair. Youth is confused; yet never
So dull was I but, when that spirit passed,
I turned to him, scarce consciously, as turns
A water-snake when fairies cross his sleep.
And having this within me and about me
While Einsiedeln, its mountains, lakes and woods
Confined mewhat oppressive joy was mine
When life grew plain, and I first viewed the thronged,
The everlasting concourse of mankind!
Believe that ere I joined them, ere I knew
The purpose of the pageant, or the place
Consigned me in its rankswhile, just awake,
Wonder was freshest and delight most pure
'T was then that least supportable appeared
A station with the brightest of the crowd,
A portion with the proudest of them all.
And from the tumult in my breast, this only
Could I collect, that I must thenceforth die
Or elevate myself far, far above
The gorgeous spectacle. I seemed to long
At once to trample on, yet save mankind,
To make some unexampled sacrifice
In their behalf, to wring some wondrous good
From heaven or earth for them, to perish, winning
Eternal weal in the act: as who should dare
Pluck out the angry thunder from its cloud,
That, all its gathered flame discharged on him,
No storm might threaten summer's azure sleep:
Yet never to be mixed with men so much
As to have part even in my own work, share
In my own largess. Once the feat achieved,
I would withdraw from their officious praise,
Would gently put aside their profuse thanks.
Like some knight traversing a wilderness,
Who, on his way, may chance to free a tribe
Of desert-people from their dragon-foe;
When all the swarthy race press round to kiss
His feet, and choose him for their king, and yield
Their poor tents, pitched among the sand-hills, for
His realm: and he points, smiling, to his scarf
Heavy with riveled gold, his burgonet
Gay set with twinkling stonesand to the East,
Where these must be displayed!
Festus.
                Good: let us hear
No more about your nature, "which first shrank
"From all that marked you out apart from men!"
Paracelsus.
I touch on that; these words but analyse
The first mad impulse: 't was as brief as fond,
For as I gazed again upon the show,
I soon distinguished here and there a shape
Palm-wreathed and radiant, forehead and full eye.
Well pleased was I their state should thus at once
Interpret my own thoughts:"Behold the clue
"To all," I rashly said, "and what I pine
"To do, these have accomplished: we are peers.
"They know and therefore rule: I, too, will know!"
You were beside me, Festus, as you say;
You saw me plunge in their pursuits whom fame
Is lavish to attest the lords of mind,
Not pausing to make sure the prize in view
Would satiate my cravings when obtained,
But since they strove I strove. Then came a slow
And strangling failure. We aspired alike,
Yet not the meanest plodder, Tritheim counts
A marvel, but was all-sufficient, strong,
Or staggered only at his own vast wits;
While I was restless, nothing satisfied,
Distrustful, most perplexed. I would slur over
That struggle; suffice it, that I loathed myself
As weak compared with them, yet felt somehow
A mighty power was brooding, taking shape
Within me; and this lasted till one night
When, as I sat revolving it and more,
A still voice from without said"Seest thou not,
"Desponding child, whence spring defeat and loss?
"Even from thy strength. Consider: hast thou gazed
"Presumptuously on wisdom's countenance,
"No veil between; and can thy faltering hands,
"Unguided by the brain the sight absorbs,
"Pursue their task as earnest blinkers do
"Whom radiance ne'er distracted? Live their life
"If thou wouldst share their fortune, choose their eyes
"Unfed by splendour. Let each task present
"Its petty good to thee. Waste not thy gifts
"In profitless waiting for the gods' descent,
"But have some idol of thine own to dress
"With their array. Know, not for knowing's sake,
"But to become a star to men for ever;
"Know, for the gain it gets, the praise it brings,
"The wonder it inspires, the love it breeds:
"Look one step onward, and secure that step!"
And I smiled as one never smiles but once,
Then first discovering my own aim's extent,
Which sought to comprehend the works of God,
And God himself, and all God's intercourse
With the human mind; I understood, no less,
My fellows' studies, whose true worth I saw,
But smiled not, well aware who stood by me.
And softer came the voice"There is a way:
"'T is hard for flesh to tread therein, imbued
"With frailtyhopeless, if indulgence first
"Have ripened inborn germs of sin to strength:
"Wilt thou adventure for my sake and man's,
"Apart from all reward?" And last it breathed
"Be happy, my good soldier; I am by thee,
"Be sure, even to the end!"I answered not,
Knowing him. As he spoke, I was endued
With comprehension and a steadfast will;
And when he ceased, my brow was sealed his own.
If there took place no special change in me,
How comes it all things wore a different hue
Thenceforward?pregnant with vast consequence,
Teeming with grand result, loaded with fate?
So that when, quailing at the mighty range
Of secret truths which yearn for birth, I haste
To contemplate undazzled some one truth,
Its bearings and effects aloneat once
What was a speck expands into a star,
Asking a life to pass exploring thus,
Till I near craze. I go to prove my soul!
I see my way as birds their trackless way.
I shall arrive! what time, what circuit first,
I ask not: but unless God send his hail
Or blinding fireballs, sleet or stifling snow,
In some time, his good time, I shall arrive:
He guides me and the bird. In his good time!
Michal.
Vex him no further, Festus; it is so!
Festus.
Just thus you help me ever. This would hold
Were it the trackless air, and not a path
Inviting you, distinct with footprints yet
Of many a mighty marcher gone that way.
You may have purer views than theirs, perhaps,
But they were famous in their daythe proofs
Remain. At least accept the light they lend.
Paracelsus.
Their light! the sum of all is briefly this:
They laboured and grew famous, and the fruits
Are best seen in a dark and groaning earth
Given over to a blind and endless strife
With evils, what of all their lore abates?
No; I reject and spurn them utterly
And all they teach. Shall I still sit beside
Their dry wells, with a white lip and filmed eye,
While in the distance heaven is blue above
Mountains where sleep the unsunned tarns?
Festus.
                      And yet
As strong delusions have prevailed ere now.
Men have set out as gallantly to seek
Their ruin. I have heard of such: yourself
Avow all hitherto have failed and fallen.
Michal.
Nay, Festus, when but as the pilgrims faint
Through the drear way, do you expect to see
Their city dawn amid the clouds afar?
Paracelsus.
Ay, sounds it not like some old well-known tale?
For me, I estimate their works and them
So rightly, that at times I almost dream
I too have spent a life the sages' way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
Ages ago; and in that act, a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted outnot so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories, as now, when once more seems
The goal in sight again. All which, indeed,
Is foolish, and only meansthe flesh I wear,
The earth I tread, are not more clear to me
Than my belief, explained to you or no.
Festus.
And who am I, to challenge and dispute
That clear belief? I will divest all fear.
Michal.
Then Aureole is God's commissary! he shall
Be great and grandand all for us!
Paracelsus.
                   No, sweet!
Not great and grand. If I can serve mankind
'T is well; but there our intercourse must end:
I never will be served by those I serve.
Festus.
Look well to this; here is a plague-spot, here,
Disguise it how you may! 'T is true, you utter
This scorn while by our side and loving us;
'T is but a spot as yet: but it will break
Into a hideous blotch if overlooked.
How can that course be safe which from the first
Produces carelessness to human love?
It seems you have abjured the helps which men
Who overpass their kind, as you would do,
Have humbly sought; I dare not thoroughly probe
This matter, lest I learn too much. Let be
That popular praise would little instigate
Your efforts, nor particular approval
Reward you; put reward aside; alone
You shall go forth upon your arduous task,
None shall assist you, none partake your toil,
None share your triumph: still you must retain
Some one to cast your glory on, to share
Your rapture with. Were I elect like you,
I would encircle me with love, and raise
A rampart of my fellows; it should seem
Impossible for me to fail, so watched
By gentle friends who made my cause their own.
They should ward off fate's envythe great gift,
Extravagant when claimed by me alone,
Being so a gift to them as well as me.
If danger daunted me or ease seduced,
How calmly their sad eyes should gaze reproach!
Michal.
O Aureole, can I sing when all alone,
Without first calling, in my fancy, both
To listen by my sideeven I! And you?
Do you not feel this? Say that you feel this!
Paracelsus.
I feel't is pleasant that my aims, at length
Allowed their weight, should be supposed to need
A further strengthening in these goodly helps!
My course allures for its own sake, its sole
Intrinsic worth; and ne'er shall boat of mine
Adventure forth for gold and apes at once.
Your sages say, "if human, therefore weak:"
If weak, more need to give myself entire
To my pursuit; and by its side, all else . . .
No matter! I deny myself but little
In waiving all assistance save its own.
Would there were some real sacrifice to make!
Your friends the sages threw their joys away,
While I must be content with keeping mine.
Festus.
But do not cut yourself from human weal!
You cannot thrivea man that dares affect
To spend his life in service to his kind
For no reward of theirs, unbound to them
By any tie; nor do so, Aureole! No
There are strange punishments for such. Give up
(Although no visible good flow thence) some part
Of the glory to another; hiding thus,
Even from yourself, that all is for yourself.
Say, say almost to God"I have done all
"For her, not for myself!"
Paracelsus.
              And who but lately
Was to rejoice in my success like you?
Whom should I love but both of you?
Festus.
                   I know not:
But know this, you, that't is no will of mine
You should abjure the lofty claims you make;
And this the causeI can no longer seek
To overlook the truth, that there would be
A monstrous spectacle upon the earth,
Beneath the pleasant sun, among the trees:
A being knowing not what love is. Hear me!
You are endowed with faculties which bear
Annexed to them as't were a dispensation
To summon meaner spirits to do their will
And gather round them at their need; inspiring
Such with a love themselves can never feel,
Passionless'mid their passionate votaries.
I know not if you joy in this or no,
Or ever dream that common men can live
On objects you prize lightly, but which make
Their heart's sole treasure: the affections seem
Beauteous at most to you, which we must taste
Or die: and this strange quality accords,
I know not how, with you; sits well upon
That luminous brow, though in another it scowls
An eating brand, a shame. I dare not judge you.
The rules of right and wrong thus set aside,
There's no alternativeI own you one
Of higher order, under other laws
Than bind us; therefore, curb not one bold glance!
'T is best aspire. Once mingled with us all . . .
Michal.
Stay with us, Aureole! cast those hopes away,
And stay with us! An angel warns me, too,
Man should be humble; you are very proud:
And God, dethroned, has doleful plagues for such!
Warns me to have in dread no quick repulse,
No slow defeat, but a complete success:
You will find all you seek, and perish so!
Paracelsus
[after a pause].
Are these the barren firstfruits of my quest?
Is love like this the natural lot of all?
How many years of pain might one such hour
O'erbalance? Dearest Michal, dearest Festus,
What shall I say, if not that I desire
To justify your love; and will, dear friends,
In swerving nothing from my first resolves.
See, the great moon! and ere the mottled owls
Were wide awake, I was to go. It seems
You acquiesce at last in all save this
If I am like to compass what I seek
By the untried career I choose; and then,
If that career, making but small account
Of much of life's delight, will yet retain
Sufficient to sustain my soul: for thus
I understand these fond fears just expressed.
And first; the lore you praise and I neglect,
The labours and the precepts of old time,
I have not lightly disesteemed. But, friends,
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate'er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fulness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perceptionwhich is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without. Watch narrowly
The demonstration of a truth, its birth,
And you trace back the effluence to its spring
And source within us; where broods radiance vast,
To be elicited ray by ray, as chance
Shall favour: chancefor hitherto, your sage
Even as he knows not how those beams are born,
As little knows he what unlocks their fount:
And men have oft grown old among their books
To die case-hardened in their ignorance,
Whose careless youth had promised what long years
Of unremitted labour ne'er performed:
While, contrary, it has chanced some idle day,
To autumn loiterers just as fancy-free
As the midges in the sun, gives birth at last
To truthproduced mysteriously as cape
Of cloud grown out of the invisible air.
Hence, may not truth be lodged alike in all,
The lowest as the highest? some slight film
The interposing bar which binds a soul
And makes the idiot, just as makes the sage
Some film removed, the happy outlet whence
Truth issues proudly? See this soul of ours!
How it strives weakly in the child, is loosed
In manhood, clogged by sickness, back compelled
By age and waste, set free at last by death:
Why is it, flesh enthrals it or enthrones?
What is this flesh we have to penetrate?
Oh, not alone when life flows still, do truth
And power emerge, but also when strange chance
Ruffles its current; in unused conjuncture,
When sickness breaks the bodyhunger, watching,
Excess or languoroftenest death's approach,
Peril, deep joy or woe. One man shall crawl
Through life surrounded with all stirring things,
Unmoved; and he goes mad: and from the wreck
Of what he was, by his wild talk alone,
You first collect how great a spirit he hid.
Therefore, set free the soul alike in all,
Discovering the true laws by which the flesh
Accloys the spirit! We may not be doomed
To cope with seraphs, but at least the rest
Shall cope with us. Make no more giants, God,
But elevate the race at once! We ask
To put forth just our strength, our human strength,
All starting fairly, all equipped alike,
Gifted alike, all eagle-eyed, true-hearted
See if we cannot beat thine angels yet!
Such is my task. I go to gather this
The sacred knowledge, here and there dispersed
About the world, long lost or never found.
And why should I be sad or lorn of hope?
Why ever make man's good distinct from God's,
Or, finding they are one, why dare mistrust?
Who shall succeed if not one pledged like me?
Mine is no mad attempt to build a world
Apart from his, like those who set themselves
To find the nature of the spirit they bore,
And, taught betimes that all their gorgeous dreams
Were only born to vanish in this life,
Refused to fit them to its narrow sphere,
But chose to figure forth another world
And other frames meet for their vast desires,
And all a dream! Thus was life scorned; but life
Shall yet be crowned: twine amaranth! I am priest!
And all for yielding with a lively spirit
A poor existence, parting with a youth
Like those who squander every energy
Convertible to good, on painted toys,
Breath-bubbles, gilded dust! And though I spurn
All adventitious aims, from empty praise
To love's award, yet whoso deems such helps
Important, and concerns himself for me,
May know even these will follow with the rest
As in the steady rolling Mayne, asleep
Yonder, is mixed its mass of schistous ore.
My own affections laid to rest awhile,
Will waken purified, subdued alone
By all I have achieved. Till thentill then . . .
Ah, the time-wiling loitering of a page
Through bower and over lawn, till eve shall bring
The stately lady's presence whom he loves
The broken sleep of the fisher whose rough coat
Enwraps the queenly pearlthese are faint types!
See, see, they look on me: I triumph now!
But one thing, Festus, Michal! I have told
All I shall e'er disclose to mortal: say
Do you believe I shall accomplish this?
Festus.
I do believe!
Michal.
       I ever did believe!
       Paracelsus.
Those words shall never fade from out my brain!
This earnest of the end shall never fade!
Are there not, Festus, are there not, dear Michal,
Two points in the adventure of the diver,
Onewhen, a beggar, he prepares to plunge,
Onewhen, a prince, he rises with his pearl?
Festus, I plunge!
Festus.
         We wait you when you rise!


~ Robert Browning, Paracelsus - Part I - Paracelsus Aspires
,
716:No more wine? then we'll push back chairs and talk.
A final glass for me, though: cool, i' faith!
We ought to have our Abbey back, you see.
It's different, preaching in basilicas,
And doing duty in some masterpiece
Like this of brother Pugin's, bless his heart!
I doubt if they're half baked, those chalk rosettes,
Ciphers and stucco-twiddlings everywhere;
It's just like breathing in a lime-kiln: eh?
These hot long ceremonies of our church
Cost us a littleoh, they pay the price,
You take meamply pay it! Now, we'll talk.

So, you despise me, Mr. Gigadibs.
No deprecation,nay, I beg you, sir!
Beside 't is our engagement: don't you know,
I promised, if you'd watch a dinner out,
We'd see truth dawn together?truth that peeps
Over the glasses' edge when dinners done.                    
And body gets its sop and holds its noise
And leaves soul free a little. Now's the time:
'T is break of day! You do despise me then.
And if I say, "despise me,"never fear!
I know you do not in a certain sense
Not in my arm-chair, for example: here,
I well imagine you respect my place
( Status, entourage , worldly circumstance)
Quite to its valuevery much indeed:
Are up to the protesting eyes of you
In pride at being seated here for once
You'll turn it to such capital account!
When somebody, through years and years to come,
Hints of the bishop,names methat's enough:
"Blougram? I knew him"(into it you slide)
"Dined with him once, a Corpus Christi Day,
"All alone, we two; he's a clever man:
"And after dinner,why, the wine you know,
"Oh, there was wine, and good!what with the wine . .
"'Faith, we began upon all sorts of talk!
"He's no bad fellow, Blougram; he had seen
"Something of mine he relished, some review:
"He's quite above their humbug in his heart,
"Half-said as much, indeedthe thing's his trade.
"I warrant, Blougram's sceptical at times:
"How otherwise? I liked him, I confess!"
                    
Che che , my dear sir, as we say at Rome,
Don't you protest now! It's fair give and take;
You have had your turn and spoken your home-truths:
The hand's mine now, and here you follow suit.

Thus much conceded, still the first fact stays
You do despise me; your ideal of life
Is not the bishop's: you would not be I.
You would like better to be Goethe, now,
Or Buonaparte, or, bless me, lower still,
Count D'Orsay,so you did what you preferred,
Spoke as you thought, and, as you cannot help,
Believed or disbelieved, no matter what,
So long as on that point, whate'er it was,
You loosed your mind, were whole and sole yourself.
That, my ideal never can include,
Upon that element of truth and worth
Never be based! for say they make me Pope
(They can'tsuppose it for our argument!)
Why, there I'm at my tether's end, I've reached
My height, and not a height which pleases you:
An unbelieving Pope won't do, you say.
It's like those eerie stories nurses tell,
Of how some actor on a stage played Death,
With pasteboard crown, sham orb and tinselled dart,
And called himself the monarch of the world;                      

Then, going in the tire-room afterward,
Because the play was done, to shift himself,
Got touched upon the sleeve familiarly,
The moment he had shut the closet door,
By Death himself. Thus God might touch a Pope
At unawares, ask what his baubles mean,
And whose part he presumed to play just now?
Best be yourself, imperial, plain and true!

So, drawing comfortable breath again,
You weigh and find, whatever more or less
I boast of my ideal realized,
Is nothing in the balance when opposed
To your ideal, your grand simple life,
Of which you will not realize one jot.
I am much, you are nothing; you would be all,
I would be merely much: you beat me there.

No, friend, you do not beat me: hearken why!
The common problem, yours, mine, every one's,
Isnot to fancy what were fair in life
Provided it could be,but, finding first
What may be, then find how to make it fair
Up to our means: a very different thing!
No abstract intellectual plan of life
Quite irrespective of life's plainest laws,
                      
But one, a man, who is man and nothing more,
May lead within a world which (by your leave)
Is Rome or London, not Fool's-paradise.
Embellish Rome, idealize away,
Make paradise of London if you can,
You're welcome, nay, you're wise.

A simile!
We mortals cross the ocean of this world
Each in his average cabin of a life;
The best's not big, the worst yields elbow-room.
Now for our six months' voyagehow prepare?
You come on shipboard with a landsman's list
Of things he calls convenient: so they are!
An India screen is pretty furniture,
A piano-forte is a fine resource,
All Balzac's novels occupy one shelf,
The new edition fifty volumes long;
And little Greek books, with the funny type
They get up well at Leipsic, fill the next:
Go on! slabbed marble, what a bath it makes!
And Parma's pride, the Jerome, let us add!
'T were pleasant could Correggio's fleeting glow
Hang full in face of one where'er one roams,
Since he more than the others brings with him
Italy's self,the marvellous Modenese!
                      
Yet was not on your list before, perhaps.
Alas, friend, here's the agent . . . is't the name?
The captain, or whoever's master here
You see him screw his face up; what's his cry
Ere you set foot on shipboard? "Six feet square!"
If you won't understand what six feet mean,
Compute and purchase stores accordingly
And if, in pique because he overhauls
Your Jerome, piano, bath, you come on board
Barewhy, you cut a figure at the first
While sympathetic landsmen see you off;
Not afterward, when long ere half seas over,
You peep up from your utterly naked boards
Into some snug and well-appointed berth,
Like mine for instance (try the cooler jug
Put back the other, but don't jog the ice!)
And mortified you mutter "Well and good;
"He sits enjoying his sea-furniture;
"'T is stout and proper, and there's store of it:
"Though I've the better notion, all agree,
"Of fitting rooms up. Hang the carpenter,
"Neat ship-shape fixings and contrivances
"I would have brought my Jerome, frame and all!"
And meantime you bring nothing: never mind
You've proved your artist-nature: what you don't
You might bring, so despise me, as I say.                      

Now come, let's backward to the starting-place.
See my way: we're two college friends, suppose.
Prepare together for our voyage, then;
Each note and check the other in his work,
Here's mine, a bishop's outfit; criticize!
What's wrong? why won't you be a bishop too?

Why first, you don't believe, you don't and can't,
(Not statedly, that is, and fixedly
And absolutely and exclusively)
In any revelation called divine.
No dogmas nail your faith; and what remains
But say so, like the honest man you are?
First, therefore, overhaul theology!
Nay, I too, not a fool, you please to think,
Must find believing every whit as hard:
And if I do not frankly say as much,
The ugly consequence is clear enough.

Now wait, my friend: well, I do not believe
If you'll accept no faith that is not fixed,
Absolute and exclusive, as you say.
You're wrongI mean to prove it in due time.
Meanwhile, I know where difficulties lie
I could not, cannot solve, nor ever shall,
So give up hope accordingly to solve
                      
(To you, and over the wine). Our dogmas then
With both of us, though in unlike degree,
Missing full credenceoverboard with them!
I mean to meet you on your own premise:
Good, there go mine in company with yours!

And now what are we? unbelievers both,
Calm and complete, determinately fixed
To-day, to-morrow and for ever, pray?
You'll guarantee me that? Not so, I think!
In no wise! all we've gained is, that belief,
As unbelief before, shakes us by fits,
Confounds us like its predecessor. Where's
The gain? how can we guard our unbelief,
Make it bear fruit to us?the problem here.
Just when we are safest, there's a sunset-touch,
A fancy from a flower-bell, some one's death,
A chorus-ending from Euripides,
And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears
As old and new at once as nature's self,
To rap and knock and enter in our soul,
Take hands and dance there, a fantastic ring,
Round the ancient idol, on his base again,
The grand Perhaps! We look on helplessly.
There the old misgivings, crooked questions are
This good God,what he could do, if he would,                      
Would, if he couldthen must have done long since:
If so, when, where and how? some way must be,
Once feel about, and soon or late you hit
Some sense, in which it might be, after all.
Why not, "The Way, the Truth, the Life?"

That way
Over the mountain, which who stands upon
Is apt to doubt if it be meant for a road;
While, if he views it from the waste itself,
Up goes the line there, plain from base to brow,
Not vague, mistakeable! what's a break or two
Seen from the unbroken desert either side?
And then (to bring in fresh philosophy)
What if the breaks themselves should prove at last
The most consummate of contrivances
To train a man's eye, teach him what is faith?
And so we stumble at truth's very test!
All we have gained then by our unbelief
Is a life of doubt diversified by faith,
For one of faith diversified by doubt:
We called the chess-board white,we call it black.

"Well," you rejoin, "the end's no worse, at least;
"We've reason for both colours on the board:
"Why not confess then, where I drop the faith
"And you the doubt, that I'm as right as you?"                      

Because, friend, in the next place, this being so,
And both things even,faith and unbelief
Left to a man's choice,we'll proceed a step,
Returning to our image, which I like.

A man's choice, yesbut a cabin-passenger's
The man made for the special life o' the world
Do you forget him? I remember though!
Consult our ship's conditions and you find
One and but one choice suitable to all;
The choice, that you unluckily prefer,
Turning things topsy-turvythey or it
Going to the ground. Belief or unbelief
Bears upon life, determines its whole course,
Begins at its beginning. See the world
Such as it is,you made it not, nor I;
I mean to take it as it is,and you,
Not so you'll take it,though you get nought else.
I know the special kind of life I like,
What suits the most my idiosyncrasy,
Brings out the best of me and bears me fruit
In power, peace, pleasantness and length of days.
I find that positive belief does this
For me, and unbelief, no whit of this.
For you, it does, however?that, we'll try!
'T is clear, I cannot lead my life, at least,

                      
Induce the world to let me peaceably,
Without declaring at the outset, "Friends,
"I absolutely and peremptorily
"Believe!"I say, faith is my waking life:
One sleeps, indeed, and dreams at intervals,
We know, but waking's the main point with us
And my provision's for life's waking part.
Accordingly, I use heart, head and hand
All day, I build, scheme, study, and make friends;
And when night overtakes me, down I lie,
Sleep, dream a little, and get done with it,
The sooner the better, to begin afresh.
What's midnight doubt before the dayspring's faith?
You, the philosopher, that disbelieve,
That recognize the night, give dreams their weight
To be consistent you should keep your bed,
Abstain from healthy acts that prove you man,
For fear you drowse perhaps at unawares!
And certainly at night you'll sleep and dream,
Live through the day and bustle as you please.
And so you live to sleep as I to wake,
To unbelieve as I to still believe?
Well, and the common sense o' the world calls you
Bed-ridden,and its good things come to me.
Its estimation, which is half the fight,
That's the first-cabin comfort I secure:                      
The next . . . but you perceive with half an eye!
Come, come, it's best believing, if we may;
You can't but own that!

Next, concede again,
If once we choose belief, on all accounts
We can't be too decisive in our faith,
Conclusive and exclusive in its terms,
To suit the world which gives us the good things.
In every man's career are certain points
Whereon he dares not be indifferent;
The world detects him clearly, if he dare,
As baffled at the game, and losing life.
He may care little or he may care much
For riches, honour, pleasure, work, repose,
Since various theories of life and life's
Success are extant which might easily
Comport with either estimate of these;
And whoso chooses wealth or poverty,
Labour or quiet, is not judged a fool
Because his fellow would choose otherwise:
We let him choose upon his own account
So long as he's consistent with his choice.
But certain points, left wholly to himself,
When once a man has arbitrated on,
We say he must succeed there or go hang.
                    
Thus, he should wed the woman he loves most
Or needs most, whatsoe'er the love or need
For he can't wed twice. Then, he must avouch,
Or follow, at the least, sufficiently,
The form of faith his conscience holds the best,
Whate'er the process of conviction was:
For nothing can compensate his mistake
On such a point, the man himself being judge:
He cannot wed twice, nor twice lose his soul.

Well now, there's one great form of Christian faith
I happened to be born inwhich to teach
Was given me as I grew up, on all hands,
As best and readiest means of living by;
The same on examination being proved
The most pronounced moreover, fixed, precise
And absolute form of faith in the whole world
Accordingly, most potent of all forms
For working on the world. Observe, my friend!
Such as you know me, I am free to say,
In these hard latter days which hamper one,
Myselfby no immoderate exercise
Of intellect and learning, but the tact
To let external forces work for me,
Bid the street's stones be bread and they are bread;
                    
Bid Peter's creed, or rather, Hildebrand's,
Exalt me o'er my fellows in the world
And make my life an ease and joy and pride;
It does so,which for me's a great point gained,
Who have a soul and body that exact
A comfortable care in many ways.
There's power in me and will to dominate
Which I must exercise, they hurt me else:
In many ways I need mankind's respect,
Obedience, and the love that's born of fear:
While at the same time, there's a taste I have,
A toy of soul, a titillating thing,
Refuses to digest these dainties crude.
The naked life is gross till clothed upon:
I must take what men offer, with a grace
As though I would not, could I help it, take!
An uniform I wear though over-rich
Something imposed on me, no choice of mine;
No fancy-dress worn for pure fancy's sake
And despicable therefore! now folk kneel
And kiss my handof course the Church's hand.
Thus I am made, thus life is best for me,
And thus that it should be I have procured;
And thus it could not be another way,
I venture to imagine.                      

You'll reply,
So far my choice, no doubt, is a success;
But were I made of better elements,
With nobler instincts, purer tastes, like you,
I hardly would account the thing success
Though it did all for me I say.

But, friend,
We speak of what is; not of what might be,
And how't were better if't were otherwise.
I am the man you see here plain enough:
Grant I'm a beast, why, beasts must lead beasts' lives!
Suppose I own at once to tail and claws;
The tailless man exceeds me: but being tailed
I'll lash out lion fashion, and leave apes
To dock their stump and dress their haunches up.
My business is not to remake myself,
But make the absolute best of what God made.
Orour first similethough you prove me doomed
To a viler berth still, to the steerage-hole,
The sheep-pen or the pig-stye, I should strive
To make what use of each were possible;
And as this cabin gets upholstery,
That hutch should rustle with sufficient straw.

But, friend, I don't acknowledge quite so fast
I fail of all your manhood's lofty tastes
                    
Enumerated so complacently,
On the mere ground that you forsooth can find
In this particular life I choose to lead
No fit provision for them. Can you not?
Say you, my fault is I address myself
To grosser estimators than should judge?
And that's no way of holding up the soul,
Which, nobler, needs men's praise perhaps, yet knows
One wise man's verdict outweighs all the fools'
Would like the two, but, forced to choose, takes that.
I pine among my million imbeciles
(You think) aware some dozen men of sense
Eye me and know me, whether I believe
In the last winking Virgin, as I vow,
And am a fool, or disbelieve in her
And am a knave,approve in neither case,
Withhold their voices though I look their way:
Like Verdi when, at his worst opera's end
(The thing they gave at Florence,what's its name?)
While the mad houseful's plaudits near out-bang
His orchestra of salt-box, tongs and bones,
He looks through all the roaring and the wreaths
Where sits Rossini patient in his stall.

Nay, friend, I meet you with an answer here
That even your prime men who appraise their kind
                    
Are men still, catch a wheel within a wheel,
See more in a truth than the truth's simple self,
Confuse themselves. You see lads walk the street
Sixty the minute; what's to note in that?
You see one lad o'erstride a chimney-stack;
Him you must watchhe's sure to fall, yet stands!
Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things.
The honest thief, the tender murderer,
The superstitious atheist, demirep
That loves and saves her soul in new French books
We watch while these in equilibrium keep
The giddy line midway: one step aside,
They're classed and done with. I, then, keep the line
Before your sages,just the men to shrink
From the gross weights, coarse scales and labels broad
You offer their refinement. Fool or knave?
Why needs a bishop be a fool or knave
When there's a thousand diamond weights between?
So, I enlist them. Your picked twelve, you'll find,
Profess themselves indignant, scandalized
At thus being held unable to explain
How a superior man who disbelieves
May not believe as well: that's Schelling's way!
It's through my coming in the tail of time,
Nicking the minute with a happy tact.
Had I been born three hundred years ago
                    
They'd say, "What's strange? Blougram of course believes;"
And, seventy years since, "disbelieves of course."
But now, "He may believe; and yet, and yet
"How can he?" All eyes turn with interest.
Whereas, step off the line on either side
You, for example, clever to a fault,
The rough and ready man who write apace,
Read somewhat seldomer, think perhaps even less
You disbelieve! Who wonders and who cares?
Lord So-and-sohis coat bedropped with wax,
All Peter's chains about his waist, his back
Brave with the needlework of Noodledom
Believes! Again, who wonders and who cares?
But I, the man of sense and learning too,
The able to think yet act, the this, the that,
I, to believe at this late time of day!
Enough; you see, I need not fear contempt.

Except it's yours! Admire me as these may,
You don't. But whom at least do you admire?
Present your own perfection, your ideal,
Your pattern man for a minuteoh, make haste
Is it Napoleon you would have us grow?
Concede the means; allow his head and hand,
(A large concession, clever as you are)
                      
Good! In our common primal element
Of unbelief (we can't believe, you know
We're still at that admission, recollect!)
Where do you findapart from, towering o'er
The secondary temporary aims
Which satisfy the gross taste you despise
Where do you find his star?his crazy trust
God knows through what or in what? it's alive
And shines and leads him, and that's all we want.
Have we aught in our sober night shall point
Such ends as his were, and direct the means
Of working out our purpose straight as his,
Nor bring a moment's trouble on success
With after-care to justify the same?
Be a Napoleon, and yet disbelieve
Why, the man's mad, friend, take his light away!
What's the vague good o' the world, for which you dare
With comfort to yourself blow millions up?
We neither of us see it! we do see
The blown-up millionsspatter of their brains
And writhing of their bowels and so forth,
In that bewildering entanglement
Of horrible eventualities
Past calculation to the end of time!
Can I mistake for some clear word of God
(Which were my ample warrant for it all)
                      
His puff of hazy instinct, idle talk,
"The State, that's I," quack-nonsense about crowns,
And (when one beats the man to his last hold)
A vague idea of setting things to rights,
Policing people efficaciously,
More to their profit, most of all to his own;
The whole to end that dismallest of ends
By an Austrian marriage, cant to us the Church,
And resurrection of the old rgime ?
Would I, who hope to live a dozen years,
Fight Austerlitz for reasons such and such?
No: for, concede me but the merest chance
Doubt may be wrongthere's judgment, life to come!
With just that chance, I dare not. Doubt proves right?
This present life is all?you offer me
Its dozen noisy years, without a chance
That wedding an archduchess, wearing lace,
And getting called by divers new-coined names,
Will drive off ugly thoughts and let me dine,
Sleep, read and chat in quiet as I like!
Therefore I will not.

Take another case;
Fit up the cabin yet another way.
What say you to the poets? shall we write
Hamlet, Othellomake the world our own,
                      
Without a risk to run of either sort?
I can'tto put the strongest reason first.
"But try," you urge, "the trying shall suffice;
"The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life:
"Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate!"
Spare my self-knowledgethere's no fooling me!
If I prefer remaining my poor self,
I say so not in self-dispraise but praise.
If I'm a Shakespeare, let the well alone;
Why should I try to be what now I am?
If I'm no Shakespeare, as too probable,
His power and consciousness and self-delight
And all we want in common, shall I find
Trying for ever? while on points of taste
Wherewith, to speak it humbly, he and I
Are dowered alikeI'll ask you, I or he,
Which in our two lives realizes most?
Much, he imaginedsomewhat, I possess.
He had the imagination; stick to that!
Let him say, "In the face of my soul's works
"Your world is worthless and I touch it not
"Lest I should wrong them"I'll withdraw my plea.
But does he say so? look upon his life!
Himself, who only can, gives judgment there.
He leaves his towers and gorgeous palaces
To build the trimmest house in Stratford town;
                      
Saves money, spends it, owns the worth of things,
Giulio Romano's pictures, Dowland's lute;
Enjoys a show, respects the puppets, too,
And none more, had he seen its entry once,
Than "Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal."
Why then should I who play that personage,
The very Pandulph Shakespeare's fancy made,
Be told that had the poet chanced to start
From where I stand now (some degree like mine
Being just the goal he ran his race to reach)
He would have run the whole race back, forsooth,
And left being Pandulph, to begin write plays?
Ah, the earth's best can be but the earth's best!
Did Shakespeare live, he could but sit at home
And get himself in dreams the Vatican,
Greek busts, Venetian paintings, Roman walls,
And English books, none equal to his own,
Which I read, bound in gold (he never did).
Terni's fall, Naples' bay and Gothard's top
Eh, friend? I could not fancy one of these;
But, as I pour this claret, there they are:
I've gained themcrossed St. Gothard last July
With ten mules to the carriage and a bed
Slung inside; is my hap the worse for that?
We want the same things, Shakespeare and myself,
And what I want, I have: he, gifted more,
                      
Could fancy he too had them when he liked,
But not so thoroughly that, if fate allowed,
He would not have them also in my sense.
We play one game; I send the ball aloft
No less adroitly that of fifty strokes
Scarce five go o'er the wall so wide and high
Which sends them back to me: I wish and get
He struck balls higher and with better skill,
But at a poor fence level with his head,
And hithis Stratford house, a coat of arms,
Successful dealings in his grain and wool,
While I receive heaven's incense in my nose
And style myself the cousin of Queen Bess.
Ask him, if this life's all, who wins the game?

Believeand our whole argument breaks up.
Enthusiasm's the best thing, I repeat;
Only, we can't command it; fire and life
Are all, dead matter's nothing, we agree:
And be it a mad dream or God's very breath,
The fact's the same,belief's fire, once in us,
Makes of all else mere stuff to show itself:
We penetrate our life with such a glow
As fire lends wood and ironthis turns steel,
That burns to ashall's one, fire proves its power
For good or ill, since men call flare success.
                      
But paint a fire, it will not therefore burn.
Light one in me, I'll find it food enough!
Why, to be Lutherthat's a life to lead,
Incomparably better than my own.
He comes, reclaims God's earth for God, he says,
Sets up God's rule again by simple means,
Re-opens a shut book, and all is done.
He flared out in the flaring of mankind;
Such Luther's luck was: how shall such be mine?
If he succeeded, nothing's left to do:
And if he did not altogetherwell,
Strauss is the next advance. All Strauss should be
I might be also. But to what result?
He looks upon no future: Luther did.
What can I gain on the denying side?
Ice makes no conflagration. State the facts,
Read the text right, emancipate the world
The emancipated world enjoys itself
With scarce a thank-you: Blougram told it first
It could not owe a farthing,not to him
More than Saint Paul! 't would press its pay, you think?
Then add there's still that plaguy hundredth chance
Strauss may be wrong. And so a risk is run
For what gain? not for Luther's, who secured
A real heaven in his heart throughout his life,
Supposing death a little altered things.                      

"Ay, but since really you lack faith," you cry,
"You run the same risk really on all sides,
"In cool indifference as bold unbelief.
"As well be Strauss as swing 'twixt Paul and him.
"It's not worth having, such imperfect faith,
"No more available to do faith's work
"Than unbelief like mine. Whole faith, or none!"

Softly, my friend! I must dispute that point
Once own the use of faith, I'll find you faith.
We're back on Christian ground. You call for faith:
I show you doubt, to prove that faith exists.
The more of doubt, the stronger faith, I say,
If faith o'ercomes doubt. How I know it does?
By life and man's free will, God gave for that!
To mould life as we choose it, shows our choice:
That's our one act, the previous work's his own.
You criticize the soul? it reared this tree
This broad life and whatever fruit it bears!
What matter though I doubt at every pore,
Head-doubts, heart-doubts, doubts at my fingers' ends,
Doubts in the trivial work of every day,
Doubts at the very bases of my soul
In the grand moments when she probes herself
If finally I have a life to show,
The thing I did, brought out in evidence
                      
Against the thing done to me underground
By hell and all its brood, for aught I know?
I say, whence sprang this? shows it faith or doubt?
All's doubt in me; where's break of faith in this?
It is the idea, the feeling and the love,
God means mankind should strive for and show forth
Whatever be the process to that end,
And not historic knowledge, logic sound,
And metaphysical acumen, sure!
"What think ye of Christ," friend? when all's done and said,
Like you this Christianity or not?
It may be false, but will you wish it true?
Has it your vote to be so if it can?
Trust you an instinct silenced long ago
That will break silence and enjoin you love
What mortified philosophy is hoarse,
And all in vain, with bidding you despise?
If you desire faiththen you've faith enough:
What else seeks Godnay, what else seek ourselves?
You form a notion of me, we'll suppose,
On hearsay; it's a favourable one:
"But still" (you add), "there was no such good man,
"Because of contradiction in the facts.
"One proves, for instance, he was born in Rome,
"This Blougram; yet throughout the tales of him
                    
"I see he figures as an Englishman."
Well, the two things are reconcileable.
But would I rather you discovered that,
Subjoining"Still, what matter though they be?
"Blougram concerns me nought, born here or there."

Pure faith indeedyou know not what you ask!
Naked belief in God the Omnipotent,
Omniscient, Omnipresent, sears too much
The sense of conscious creatures to be borne.
It were the seeing him, no flesh shall dare
Some think, Creation's meant to show him forth:
I say it's meant to hide him all it can,
And that's what all the blessed evil's for.
Its use in Time is to environ us,
Our breath, our drop of dew, with shield enough
Against that sight till we can bear its stress.
Under a vertical sun, the exposed brain
And lidless eye and disemprisoned heart
Less certainly would wither up at once
Than mind, confronted with the truth of him.
But time and earth case-harden us to live;
The feeblest sense is trusted most; the child
Feels God a moment, ichors o'er the place,
Plays on and grows to be a man like us.
                    
With me, faith means perpetual unbelief
Kept quiet like the snake 'neath Michael's foot
Who stands calm just because he feels it writhe.
Or, if that's too ambitious,here's my box
I need the excitation of a pinch
Threatening the torpor of the inside-nose
Nigh on the imminent sneeze that never comes.
"Leave it in peace" advise the simple folk:
Make it aware of peace by itching-fits,
Say Ilet doubt occasion still more faith!

You'll say, once all believed, man, woman, child,
In that dear middle-age these noodles praise.
How you'd exult if I could put you back
Six hundred years, blot out cosmogony,
Geology, ethnology, what not
(Greek endings, each the little passing-bell
That signifies some faith's about to die),
And set you square with Genesis again,
When such a traveller told you his last news,
He saw the ark a-top of Ararat
But did not climb there since 't was getting dusk
And robber-bands infest the mountain's foot!
How should you feel, I ask, in such an age,
How act? As other people felt and did;
With soul more blank than this decanter's knob,                
Believeand yet lie, kill, rob, fornicate
Full in belief's face, like the beast you'd be!

No, when the fight begins within himself,
A man's worth something. God stoops o'er his head,
Satan looks up between his feetboth tug
He's left, himself, i' the middle: the soul wakes
And grows. Prolong that battle through his life!
Never leave growing till the life to come!
Here, we've got callous to the Virgin's winks
That used to puzzle people wholesomely:
Men have outgrown the shame of being fools.
What are the laws of nature, not to bend
If the Church bid them?brother Newman asks.
Up with the Immaculate Conception, then
On to the rack with faith!is my advice.
Will not that hurry us upon our knees,
Knocking our breasts, "It can't beyet it shall!
"Who am I, the worm, to argue with my Pope?
"Low things confound the high things!" and so forth.
That's better than acquitting God with grace
As some folk do. He's triedno case is proved,
Philosophy is lenienthe may go!

You'll say, the old system's not so obsolete
But men believe still: ay, but who and where?
                    
King Bomba's lazzaroni foster yet
The sacred flame, so Antonelli writes;
But even of these, what ragamuffin-saint
Believes God watches him continually,
As he believes in fire that it will burn,
Or rain that it will drench him? Break fire's law,
Sin against rain, although the penalty
Be just a singe or soaking? "No," he smiles;
"Those laws are laws that can enforce themselves."

The sum of all isyes, my doubt is great,
My faith's still greater, then my faith's enough.
I have read much, thought much, experienced much,
Yet would die rather than avow my fear
The Naples' liquefaction may be false,
When set to happen by the palace-clock
According to the clouds or dinner-time.
I hear you recommend, I might at least
Eliminate, decrassify my faith
Since I adopt it; keeping what I must
And leaving what I cansuch points as this.
I won'tthat is, I can't throw one away.
Supposing there's no truth in what I hold
About the need of trial to man's faith,
Still, when you bid me purify the same,
To such a process I discern no end.
                
Clearing off one excrescence to see two,
There's ever a next in size, now grown as big,
That meets the knife: I cut and cut again!
First cut the Liquefaction, what comes last
But Fichte's clever cut at God himself?
Experimentalize on sacred things!
I trust nor hand nor eye nor heart nor brain
To stop betimes: they all get drunk alike.
The first step, I am master not to take.

You'd find the cutting-process to your taste
As much as leaving growths of lies unpruned,
Nor see more danger in it,you retort.
Your taste's worth mine; but my taste proves more wise
When we consider that the steadfast hold
On the extreme end of the chain of faith
Gives all the advantage, makes the difference
With the rough purblind mass we seek to rule:
We are their lords, or they are free of us,
Just as we tighten or relax our hold.
So, others matters equal, we'll revert
To the first problemwhich, if solved my way
And thrown into the balance, turns the scale
How we may lead a comfortable life,
How suit our luggage to the cabin's size.                    

Of course you are remarking all this time
How narrowly and grossly I view life,
Respect the creature-comforts, care to rule
The masses, and regard complacently
"The cabin," in our old phrase. Well, I do.
I act for, talk for, live for this world now,
As this world prizes action, life and talk:
No prejudice to what next world may prove,
Whose new laws and requirements, my best pledge
To observe then, is that I observe these now,
Shall do hereafter what I do meanwhile.
Let us concede (gratuitously though)
Next life relieves the soul of body, yields
Pure spiritual enjoyment: well, my friend,
Why lose this life i' the meantime, since its use
May be to make the next life more intense?

Do you know, I have often had a dream
(Work it up in your next month's article)
Of man's poor spirit in its progress, still
Losing true life for ever and a day
Through ever trying to be and ever being
In the evolution of successive spheres
Before its actual sphere and place of life,
Halfway into the next, which having reached,
It shoots with corresponding foolery
                    
Halfway into the next still, on and off!
As when a traveller, bound from North to South,
Scouts fur in Russia: what's its use in France?
In France spurns flannel: where's its need in Spain?
In Spain drops cloth, too cumbrous for Algiers!
Linen goes next, and last the skin itself,
A superfluity at Timbuctoo.
When, through his journey, was the fool at ease?
I'm at ease now, friend; worldly in this world,
I take and like its way of life; I think
My brothers, who administer the means,
Live better for my comfortthat's good too;
And God, if he pronounce upon such life,
Approves my service, which is better still.
If he keep silence,why, for you or me
Or that brute beast pulled-up in to-day's "Times,"
What odds is't, save to ourselves, what life we lead?

You meet me at this issue: you declare,
All special-pleading done withtruth is truth,
And justifies itself by undreamed ways.
You don't fear but it's better, if we doubt,
To say so, act up to our truth perceived
However feebly. Do then,act away!
'T is there I'm on the watch for you. How one acts
Is, both of us agree, our chief concern:
                    
And how you'll act is what I fain would see
If, like the candid person you appear,
You dare to make the most of your life's scheme
As I of mine, live up to its full law
Since there's no higher law that counterchecks.
Put natural religion to the test
You've just demolished the revealed withquick,
Down to the root of all that checks your will,
All prohibition to lie, kill and thieve,
Or even to be an atheistic priest!
Suppose a pricking to incontinence
Philosophers deduce you chastity
Or shame, from just the fact that at the first
Whoso embraced a woman in the field,
Threw club down and forewent his brains beside,
So, stood a ready victim in the reach
Of any brother savage, club in hand;
Hence saw the use of going out of sight
In wood or cave to prosecute his loves:
I read this in a French book t' other day.
Does law so analysed coerce you much?
Oh, men spin clouds of fuzz where matters end,
But you who reach where the first thread begins,
You'll soon cut that!which means you can, but won't,
Through certain instincts, blind, unreasoned-out,
                    
You dare not set aside, you can't tell why,
But there they are, and so you let them rule.
Then, friend, you seem as much a slave as I,
A liar, conscious coward and hypocrite,
Without the good the slave expects to get,
In case he has a master after all!
You own your instincts? why, what else do I,
Who want, am made for, and must have a God
Ere I can be aught, do aught?no mere name
Want, but the true thing with what proves its truth,
To wit, a relation from that thing to me,
Touching from head to footwhich touch I feel,
And with it take the rest, this life of ours!
I live my life here; yours you dare not live.

Not as I state it, who (you please subjoin)
Disfigure such a life and call it names,
While, to your mind, remains another way
For simple men: knowledge and power have rights,
But ignorance and weakness have rights too.
There needs no crucial effort to find truth
If here or there or anywhere about:
We ought to turn each side, try hard and see,
And if we can't, be glad we've earned at least
The right, by one laborious proof the more,
To graze in peace earth's pleasant pasturage.
                    
Men are not angels, neither are they brutes:
Something we may see, all we cannot see.
What need of lying? I say, I see all,
And swear to each detail the most minute
In what I think a Pan's faceyou, mere cloud:
I swear I hear him speak and see him wink,
For fear, if once I drop the emphasis,
Mankind may doubt there's any cloud at all.
You take the simple lifeready to see,
Willing to see (for no cloud's worth a face)
And leaving quiet what no strength can move,
And which, who bids you move? who has the right?
I bid you; but you are God's sheep, not mine:
" Pastor est tui Dominus ." You find
In this the pleasant pasture of our life
Much you may eat without the least offence,
Much you don't eat because your maw objects,
Much you would eat but that your fellow-flock
Open great eyes at you and even butt,
And thereupon you like your mates so well
You cannot please yourself, offending them;
Though when they seem exorbitantly sheep,
You weigh your pleasure with their butts and bleats
And strike the balance. Sometimes certain fears
Restrain you, real checks since you find them so;
Sometimes you please yourself and nothing checks:
                      
And thus you graze through life with not one lie,
And like it best.

But do you, in truth's name?
If so, you beatwhich means you are not I
Who needs must make earth mine and feed my fill
Not simply unbutted at, unbickered with,
But motioned to the velvet of the sward
By those obsequious wethers' very selves.
Look at me, sir; my age is double yours:
At yours, I knew beforehand, so enjoyed,
What now I should beas, permit the word,
I pretty well imagine your whole range
And stretch of tether twenty years to come.
We both have minds and bodies much alike:
In truth's name, don't you want my bishopric,
My daily bread, my influence and my state?
You're young. I'm old; you must be old one day;
Will you find then, as I do hour by hour,
Women their lovers kneel to, who cut curls
From your fat lap-dog's ear to grace a brooch
Dukes, who petition just to kiss your ring
With much beside you know or may conceive?
Suppose we die to-night: well, here am I,
Such were my gains, life bore this fruit to me,
While writing all the same my articles
                    
On music, poetry, the fictile vase
Found at Albano, chess, Anacreon's Greek.
But youthe highest honour in your life,
The thing you'll crown yourself with, all your days,
Isdining here and drinking this last glass
I pour you out in sign of amity
Before we part for ever. Of your power
And social influence, worldly worth in short,
Judge what's my estimation by the fact,
I do not condescend to enjoin, beseech,
Hint secrecy on one of all these words!
You're shrewd and know that should you publish one
The world would brand the liemy enemies first,
Who'd sneer"the bishop's an arch-hypocrite
"And knave perhaps, but not so frank a fool."
Whereas I should not dare for both my ears
Breathe one such syllable, smile one such smile,
Before the chaplain who reflects myself
My shade's so much more potent than your flesh.
What's your reward, self-abnegating friend?
Stood you confessed of those exceptional
And privileged great natures that dwarf mine
A zealot with a mad ideal in reach,
A poet just about to print his ode,
A statesman with a scheme to stop this war,
An artist whose religion is his art
    
~ Robert Browning, Bishop Blougram's Apology
,

IN CHAPTERS [40/40]



   9 Poetry
   3 Yoga
   3 Christianity
   2 Philosophy
   1 Occultism
   1 Integral Yoga


   8 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   3 Sri Ramakrishna
   3 Robert Browning
   2 Jalaluddin Rumi


   11 Talks
   3 Browning - Poems
   2 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
   2 Liber ABA


1.00 - Preliminary Remarks, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
  In your early struggles you may have found it difficult to conquer sleep; and you may have wandered so far from the object of your meditations without noticing it, that the meditation has really been broken; but much later on, when you feel that you are getting quite good, you will be shocked to find a complete oblivion of yourself and your surroundings. You will say: Good heavens! I must have been to sleep! or else What on earth was I meditation upon? or even What was I doing Where am I? Who Am I? or a mere wordless bewilderment may daze you. This may alarm you, and your alarm will not be lessened when you come to full consciousness, and reflect that you have actually forgotten who you are and what you are doing!
  This is only one of many adventures that may come to you; but it is one of the most typical. By this time your hours of meditation will fill most of the day, and you will probably be constantly having presentiments that something is about to happen. You may also be terrified with the idea that your brain may be giving way; but you will have learnt the real symptoms of mental fatigue, and you will be careful to avoid them. They must be very carefully distinguished from idleness!

1.03 - The Divine and Man, #Words Of The Mother II, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  Who Am I?
  The Divine under many disguises.

1.03 - The Sunlit Path, #On the Way to Supermanhood, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  We are Bill Smith, a name without a meaning, a legal artifice to tie us to the great Machine and to an obscure genealogy we do not know much about, except that we are the son of our father, who was the son of his father, who was the son of his father, and that evidently we shall be the father of our son, who will be the father of his son, who will be the father of his son, and so on endlessly. And we walk up and down the great boulevard of the world, here or there, in a Los Angeles which looks more and more like Tokyo, which looks more and more like Mexico City, which looks more and more like every city in the world, just as one anthill looks like another. We can very well take a plane, but we will find ourselves again everywhere. We are French or American, but, to tell the truth, that is only history and passports, another artifice to bind us hand and foot to one machine or another, while our brother in Calcutta or Rangoon walks the same boulevard with the same question, under a yellow, red or orange flag. All this is the vestige of the hunting grounds, but there is not much left to hunt, save ourselves, and we are well on our way to being crushed out of that possibility, too, under the steamroller of the great Machine. So we go up and down the stairs, make phone calls, rush around, rush to vacation or enjoy life, like our brother under a yellow or a brown skin: in English, French and Chinese, we are harassed on all sides, exhausted, and we are not quite sure whether we are enjoying life or life is enjoying us. But it goes on and on all the same. And through it all, there is something that goes up and down, rushes and rushes, and sometimes, for a second, there is a sort of little cry inside: Who Am I? Who Am I? Where is me? Where am I?
  That brief second, so vain and futile amid this gigantic haste, is the real key to the discovery, an all-powerful lever that seems like nothing but truth seems like nothing, naturally, for if it seemed like something, we would already have wrung its neck, to pigeonhole it and harness it to another piece of machinery. It is light; it slips through the fingers. It is a passing breeze that refreshes all.

1.07 - Jnana Yoga, #Amrita Gita, #Swami Sivananda Saraswati, #Hinduism
  20. Enquire Who Am I? Deny or sublate the limiting adjuncts (body, mind, etc.); know the Self and be free.
  2l. Constantly think of the Immortal, all-pervading Atman. Give up thinking of body. You will attain Self-realisation.

1.240 - 1.300 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  "Who Am I?"
  M.: Yes. When you see God in all, do you think of God or do you not?
  --
  D.: A certain young man from Dindigul spoke to Sri Bhagavan, saying that he had learnt by his stay for a few days; that all that he need do was to enquire, "Who Am I?" He wanted to know if any discipline was to be observed and started with the question: "Where should I do the enquiry?" meaning if he should do it in Guru sannidhi (the presence of the Master).
  M.: The enquiry should be from where the 'I' is.
  --
  D.: The booklet Who Am I? speaks of swarupa drishti (seeing the essence). Then there must be a seer and the seen. How can this be reconciled with the Ultimate Unity?
  M.: Why do you ask for salvation, release from sorrow, etc.? He who asks for them sees them also.
  --
  Remember, "Who Am I?" The work will not bind you. It will go on automatically. Make no effort either to work or to renounce work.
  Your effort is the bondage. What is bound to happen will happen.
  --
  The interpreter advised the questioner to study Who Am I? The doctor was ready with his protestations: "I have read it also. I cannot still make my mind concentrate."
  M.: By practice and dispassion - abhyasa vairagyabhyam.

1.240 - Talks 2, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Who Am I?
  M.: Yes. When you see God in all, do you think of God or do you not?
  --
  D.: A certain young man from Dindigul spoke to Sri Bhagavan, saying that he had learnt by his stay for a few days; that all that he need do was to enquire, Who Am I? He wanted to know if any discipline was to be observed and started with the question: Where should I do the enquiry? meaning if he should do it in Guru sannidhi (the presence of the Master).
  M.: The enquiry should be from where the I is.
  --
  D.: The booklet Who Am I? speaks of swarupa drishti (seeing the essence). Then there must be a seer and the seen. How can this be reconciled with the Ultimate Unity?
  M.: Why do you ask for salvation, release from sorrow, etc.? He who asks for them sees them also.
  --
  Remember, Who Am I? The work will not bind you. It will go on automatically. Make no effort either to work or to renounce work.
  Your effort is the bondage. What is bound to happen will happen.
  --
  The interpreter advised the questioner to study Who Am I? The doctor was ready with his protestations: I have read it also. I cannot still make my mind concentrate.
  M.: By practice and dispassion abhyasa vairagyabhyam.
  --
  What should one do in order to remain free from thoughts as advised by you? Is it only the enquiry Who Am I?
  M.: Only to remain still. Do it and see.
  --
  M.: Exactly. For the same reason the enquiry Who Am I? is advised.
  D.: Raising the question, no response comes from within.
  --
  M.: Then and there raise the same question, Who Am I?
  D.: Should I do so as each thought arises? Well. Is the world our thought only?
  --
  I was long wondering where the current starts, within the body or elsewhere. Suddenly, my body grew tenuous until it disappeared. The enquiry Who Am I? went on very clearly and forcibly. The sound of I-I-I alone persisted. There was one vast expanse and nothing more. There was a hazy perception of the occurrences in the hall. I knew that people stood up to salute at the end of the Vedic chant. I
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi wanted to stand: the thought soon deserted me. I was again lost in the one expanse. The experience continued until I heard the voice of Sri
  --
  The lady was then told of the pamphlet, Who Am I? She agreed to read it before asking further questions of Sri Bhagavan.
  Talk 332.
  --
  Above all, Who Am I that should be repeating the mantra? Let me find who I am before I proceed further; and so you will stop japa and begin investigation.
  D.: It is said: The senses are out-going (paranchikhani); inward turned (is) sight (avrittachakshuh). What is avrittachakshuh
  --
  D.: Is it not better to say I am the Supreme Being than ask Who Am I?
  M.: Who affirms? There must be one to do it. Find that one.
  --
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi enquiry of Who Am I? - even as the central blade of grass is delicately drawn out from its whorl - that which is different from all the three bodies and is existent as one and universal in the heart as
  Aham or I and denoted by the words Tvam (in the Scriptural dictum
  --
  He is nothing else. Yet he asks Who Am I? A victim of illusion would ask Who Am I? and not a man fully aware of himself.
  The wrong identity of the Self with the non-self makes you ask,
  Who Am I?
  Later still: There are different routes to Tiruvannamalai, but
  --
  M.: Ask yourself the question, Who Am I?
  D.: Please tell me how you have found it. I shall not be able to find it myself. (The I is the result of biological forces. It results in silence. I want to know how the Master finds it.)
  --
  D.: What is new in the existence of anything? I take up your book and read there that the one question one should ask oneself is Who Am I? I want to know Who are you? I have my own answer. If another says the same, and so too, millions of others, there is the probability of the Self. I want a positive answer for the question and no playing with words.
  M.: In this way you are in the region of probabilities at the best.
  --
  Who Am I to meditate on an object? Such a one must be told to find the Self. That is the finality. That is Vichara.
  D.: Will vichara alone do in the absence of meditation?
  --
  I would probably be nowhere - always in confusion. My purva vasanas (former tendencies) directly took me to the enquiry Who Am I? It was indeed fortunate!
  11th April, 1937

1.300 - 1.400 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  What should one do in order to remain free from thoughts as advised by you? Is it only the enquiry "Who Am I?"
  M.: Only to remain still. Do it and see.
  --
  M.: Exactly. For the same reason the enquiry "Who Am I?" is advised.
  D.: Raising the question, no response comes from within.
  --
  M.: Then and there raise the same question, "Who Am I?"
  D.: Should I do so as each thought arises? Well. Is the world our thought only?
  --
  "I was long wondering where the 'current' starts, within the body or elsewhere. Suddenly, my body grew tenuous until it disappeared. The enquiry 'Who Am I?' went on very clearly and forcibly. The sound of 'I-I-I' alone persisted. There was one vast expanse and nothing more. There was a hazy perception of the occurrences in the hall. I knew that people stood up to salute at the end of the Vedic chant. I
  304
  --
  The lady was then told of the pamphlet, Who Am I? She agreed to read it before asking further questions of Sri Bhagavan.
  Talk 332.
  --
  Above all, Who Am I that should be repeating the mantra? Let me find who I am before I proceed further"; and so you will stop japa and begin investigation.
  D.: It is said: The senses are out-going (paranchikhani); inward turned (is) sight (avrittachakshuh). What is avrittachakshuh
  --
  D.: Is it not better to say 'I am the Supreme Being' than ask 'Who Am I?'
  M.: Who affirms? There must be one to do it. Find that one.
  --
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi enquiry of "Who Am I?" - even as the central blade of grass is delicately drawn out from its whorl - that which is different from all the three bodies and is existent as one and universal in the heart as
  Aham or 'I' and denoted by the words Tvam (in the Scriptural dictum
  --
  He is nothing else. Yet he asks "Who Am I?" A victim of illusion would ask "Who Am I?" and not a man fully aware of himself.
  The wrong identity of the Self with the non-self makes you ask,
  "Who Am I?"
  Later still: There are different routes to Tiruvannamalai, but
  --
  M.: Ask yourself the question, "Who Am I?"
  D.: Please tell me how you have found it. I shall not be able to find it myself. (The 'I' is the result of biological forces. It results in silence. I want to know how the Master finds it.)
  --
  D.: What is new in the existence of anything? I take up your book and read there that the one question one should ask oneself is "Who Am I?" I want to know "Who are you?" I have my own answer. If another says the same, and so too, millions of others, there is the probability of the Self. I want a positive answer for the question and no playing with words.
  M.: In this way you are in the region of probabilities at the best.
  --
  "Who Am I to meditate on an object?" Such a one must be told to find the Self. That is the finality. That is Vichara.
  D.: Will vichara alone do in the absence of meditation?
  --
  I would probably be nowhere - always in confusion. My purva vasanas (former tendencies) directly took me to the enquiry "Who Am I?" It was indeed fortunate!
  11th April, 1937

1.400 - 1.450 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Koham - Who Am I? (search for the I) - corresponds to puraka
  Soham - He am I; (The Self alone) - corresponds to kumbhaka.

1.439, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Koham - Who Am I? (search for the I) - corresponds to puraka
  Soham - He am I; (The Self alone) - corresponds to kumbhaka.
  --
  Therefore enquire Who Am I? Sink deep within and abide as the
  Self. That is Siva as BE-ing. Do not expect to have visions of Him repeated. What is the difference between the objects you see and
  --
  D.: What about myself? Who Am I?
  M.: That is just it. Know it, when all will be known; if not, ask then.
  --
  D.: Engaged in other pursuits, can the mental activities be checked and the query Who Am I? pursued? Are they not contrary to each other?
  M.: These questions arise only in the absence of strength of mind. As the mental activities diminish its strength increases.
  --
  Mr. Ganapatram: How shall I find out Who Am I?
  M.: Are there two selves for the one self to find the other?
  --
  I to make the japa, Who Am I?
  M.: No japa of the kind is meant.
  D.: Am I to think Who Am I?
  M.: You have known that the I-thought springs forth. Hold the Ithought and find its moola (source).
  --
  To enquire Who Am I? is the only remedy for all the ills of the world. It is also perfect bliss.
  Talk 533.
  --
  Can anything be so obvious as that? Hence it is the easiest. All that you need do is to enquire, Who Am I?
  A mans true name is mukti (liberation)
  --
  But the best means of realisation is the enquiry Who Am I? The present trouble is to the mind and it must be removed by the mind only.
  D.: Are there restrictions to be observed in food?
  --
  When the matter is understood intellectually the earnest seeker begins to apply it practically. He argues at every moment, For whom are these thoughts? Who Am I? and so forth, until he is well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us.
  That is firmness of faith. Then all his doubts are cleared and he needs no further instructions.
  --
  Miss Merston, an English lady visitor: I have read Who Am I? While
  inquiring who the I is, I cannot hold it for any length of time.
  --
  I. If you seek it, asking Who Am I? the subject and objects would
  coalesce. After that there is no quest. Till then thought will arise, things
  --
  but must query Who Am I? and find the Self.
  D.: I have no pleasure in the house. There remains nothing for me to
  --
  M.: The former is vichara - Who Am I? (Koham?) It represents jnana.
  The latter is dhyana - Whence am I? (Kutoham?) This admits a

1.450 - 1.500 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Therefore enquire "Who Am I?" Sink deep within and abide as the
  Self. That is Siva as BE-ing. Do not expect to have visions of Him repeated. What is the difference between the objects you see and
  --
  D.: What about myself? Who Am I?
  M.: That is just it. Know it, when all will be known; if not, ask then.
  --
  D.: Engaged in other pursuits, can the mental activities be checked and the query "Who Am I?" pursued? Are they not contrary to each other?
  M.: These questions arise only in the absence of strength of mind. As the mental activities diminish its strength increases.
  --
  Mr. Ganapatram: How shall I find out "Who Am I"?
  M.: Are there two selves for the one self to find the other?
  --
  I to make the japa, "Who Am I?"
  M.: No japa of the kind is meant.
  D.: Am I to think "Who Am I"?
  M.: You have known that the 'I-thought' springs forth. Hold the 'Ithought' and find its moola (source).

1.550 - 1.600 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  Can anything be so obvious as that? Hence it is the easiest. All that you need do is to enquire, "Who Am I?"
  A man's true name is mukti (liberation)
  --
  But the best means of realisation is the enquiry "Who Am I?" The present trouble is to the mind and it must be removed by the mind only.
  536
  --
  When the matter is understood intellectually the earnest seeker begins to apply it practically. He argues at every moment, "For whom are these thoughts? Who Am I?" and so forth, until he is well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us.
  That is firmness of faith. Then all his doubts are cleared and he needs no further instructions.

1.fua - A slaves freedom, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
   English version by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis Original Language Persian/Farsi Loghman of Sarrakhs cried: "Dear God, behold Your faithful servant, poor, bewildered, old-- An old slave is permitted to go free; I've spent my life in patient loyalty, I'm bent with grief, my black hair's turned to snow; Grant manumission, Lord, and let me go." A voice replied: "When you have gained release from mind and thought, your slavery will cease; You will be free when these two disappear." He said: "Lord, it is You whom I revere; What are the mind and all its ways to me?" And left them there and then -- in ecstasy He danced and clapped his hands and boldly cried: "Who Am I now? The slave I was has died; What's freedom, servitude, and where are they? Both happiness and grief have fled away; I neither own nor lack all qualities; My blindness looks on secret mysteries -- I know not whether You are I, I You; I lose myself in You, there is no two." [2178.jpg] -- from The Conference of the Birds, Translated by Afkham Darbandi / Translated by Dick Davis

1.jk - Otho The Great - Act II, #Keats - Poems, #John Keats, #Poetry
  Is rudely slighted ? Who Am I to wait ?
  By Peter's chair! I have upon my tongue

1.jr - Love is Here, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
   English version by Andrew Harvey Original Language Persian/Farsi & Turkish Love is here; it is the blood in my veins, my skin. I am destroyed; He has filled me with Passion. His fire has flooded the nerves of my body. Who Am I? Just my name; the rest is Him. [1722.jpg] -- from Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom, by Andrew Harvey / Eryk Hanut <
1.jr - The glow of the light of daybreak is in your emerald vault, the goblet of the blood of twilight is your blood-measuring bowl, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
   English version by A. J. Arberry Original Language Persian/Farsi & Turkish The glow of the light of daybreak is in your emerald vault, the goblet of the blood of twilight is your blood-measuring bowl. Mile on mile, torrent on torrent come dancing and gliding to the shore of your sea. With all the abstention and aspiration of the moon, the cap falls off the head of the moon when the moon raises its face to gaze upon your height. Every morn the nightingales lament like the heart-forlorn ones to the melodies of those attaining your verdant meadow. The spirits seek vision, the hearts all seek the Beloved; you in whose broad orchard four streams are let flow -- one stream pure water, another honey, the third fresh milk, the fourth your ruby wine. You never give me a chance, you are giving wine upon wine; where is the head, that I may describe the drinking-cup of your wine? Yet Who Am I? Heaven itself in the round of this heavy bumper finds not a moment's peace from your love and the craving for you. Moon of silver girdle, you have experience of love; heaven, loverhood is apparent in your features. When love is yoked to the heart it wearies of the heart's chatter; heart, be silent! How long this striving and inquiring of yours? The heart said, "I am His reed pipe, I wail as the breath inn me." I said, "Be lamenting now, the slave of whose passion is the soul." We have opened your door; do not desert your companions; in thankfulness for an all-embracing love which has seized you from head to toe. [1494.jpg] -- from Mystical Poems of Rumi: Volume 2, Translated by A. J. Arberry <
1.rb - Bishop Blougram's Apology, #Browning - Poems, #Robert Browning, #Poetry
  "Who Am I, the worm, to argue with my Pope?
  "Low things confound the high things!" and so forth.

1.rb - Fra Lippo Lippi, #Browning - Poems, #Robert Browning, #Poetry
   And please to know me likewise. Who Am I?
   Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend

1.rb - Paracelsus - Part I - Paracelsus Aspires, #Browning - Poems, #Robert Browning, #Poetry
  And Who Am I, to challenge and dispute
  That clear belief? I will divest all fear.

1.srm - The Song of the Poppadum, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
   English version by Ramanasramam Original Language Tamil No need about the world to roam And suffer from depression; Make poppadum within the home According to the lesson Of 'Thou art That', without compare, The Unique Word, unspoken 'Tis not by speech it will declare. The silence is unbroken Of Him who is the Adept-Sage, The great Apotheosis, With His eternal heritage That Being-Wisdom-Bliss is. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. The grain which is the black gram's yield, The so-called self or ego, Grown in the body's fertile field Of five-fold sheaths, put into The roller-mill made out of stone, Which is the search for Wisdom, The 'Who Am I?'. 'Tis thus alone The Self will gain its freedom. This must be crushed to finest dust And ground up into fragments As being the non-self, so must We shatter our attachments. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. Mix the juice of square-stemmed vine, This association With Holy Men. With this combine Within the preparation Some cummin-seed of mind-control And pepper for restraining The wayward senses, with them roll That salt which is remaining Indifferent to the world we see, With condiment of leanings Towards a virtuous unity. These are their different meanings. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. The mixture into dough now blend And on the stone then place it Of mind, by tendencies hardened, And without ceasing baste it With heavy strokes of the 'I-I' Delivered with the pestle Of introverted mind. Slowly The mind will cease to wrestle. Then roll out with the pin of peace Upon the slab of Brahman. Continue effort without cease With energetic lan. Make poppadum and after making fry, Eat, so your cravings you may satisfy. The poppadum or soul's now fit To put into the fry-pan, The one infinite symbol it Of the great Silence, which can Be first prepared by putting in Some clarified fresh butter Of the Supreme. And now begin To heat it till it sputter, On Wisdom's self-effulgent flame Fry poppadum, 'I', as That. Enjoying all alone the same; Which bliss we ever aim at. Make poppadum of self and after eat; Of Perfect Peace then you will be replete. [1468.jpg] -- from The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, Edited by Arthur Osborne <
2.21 - IN THE COMPANY OF DEVOTEES AT SYAMPUKUR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  MASTER: "You may speak that way about sages like Dhruva, Prahlada, Nrada, or Kapila; but Who Am I? Please come again."
  HARIBALLAV: "I shall certainly come, because you attract me. You don't have to urge me."

2.23 - THE MASTER AND BUDDHA, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Narendra had a little indigestion. He said to M.: "If one follows the path of bhakti, then the mind comes down a little to the body. Otherwise, Who Am I? Neither man nor God. I have neither pleasure nor pain."
  It was about nine o'clock in the evening. Surendra and a few other devotees entered Sri Ramakrishna's room and offered him garlands of flowers. Baburam, Latu, and M. were also in the room.

3.07.5 - Who Am I?, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  object:3.07.5 - Who Am I?
  class:Meditation The First and Last Freedom
  --
  Gurdjieff tried from one corner. Just try to remember you are. Raman Maharshi tried from another corner. He made it a meditation to ask, to inquire, Who Am I? And dont believe in any answers that the mind can supply. The mind will say, What nonsense are you asking? You are this, you are that, you are a man, you are a woman, you are educated or uneducated, rich or poor The mind will supply answers, but go on asking. Dont accept any answer because all the answers given by the mind are false.
  They are from the unreal part of you. They are coming from words, they are coming from scriptures, they are coming from conditioning, they are coming from society, they are coming from others. Go on asking. Let this arrow of Who Am I? penetrate deeper and deeper A moment will come when no answer will come.
  That is the right moment. Now you are nearing the answer. When no answer comes, you are near the answer because mind is becoming silent - you have gone far away from the mind. When there will be no answer and a vacuum will be created all around you, your questioning will look absurd. Whom are you questioning? There is no one to answer you. Suddenly, even your questioning will stop. With the questioning, the last part of the mind has dissolved because this question was also of the mind. Those answers were of the mind and this question was also of the mind. Both have dissolved, so now you are.

4.07 - THE UGLIEST MAN, #Thus Spoke Zarathustra, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
  Who Am I?"
  But when Zarathustra had heard these words-what

4.41 - Chapter One, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
    I,26: Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who Am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her li the body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.
    I,27: Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!

Blazing P1 - Preconventional consciousness, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  Who Am I?
  Loevinger

Book of Exodus, #The Bible, #Anonymous, #Various
  11 And Moses said unto God, Who Am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
  12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

COSA - BOOK IX, #The Confessions of Saint Augustine, #Saint Augustine of Hippo, #Christianity
  and say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Who Am I, and what am I? What
  evil have not been either my deeds, or if not my deeds, my words, or if

ENNEAD 04.09 - Whether All Souls Form a Single One?, #Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 01, #Plotinus, #Christianity
  2. In the first place, if the souls of myself and of another man form but one soul, this does not necessarily imply their being identical with their principle. Granting the existence of different beings, the same principle need not experience in each the same affections. Thus, humanity may equally reside in me, Who Am In motion, as in you, who may be at rest, although in me it moves, and it rests in you. Nevertheless, it is neither absurd nor paradoxical to insist that the same principle is both in you and in me; and this does not necessarily make us feel the identical affections. Consider a single body: it is not the left hand which feels what the right one does, but the soul which is present in the whole body. To make you feel the same as I141 do, our two bodies would have to constitute but a single one; then, being thus united, our souls would perceive the same affections. Consider also that the All remains deaf to a multitude of impressions experienced by the parts of a single and same organism, and that so much the more as the body is larger. This is the state of affairs, for instance, with the large whales which do not feel the impression received in some one part of their body, because of the smallness of the movement.
  SYMPATHY DOES NOT FORCE IDENTITY OF SENSATION.

Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (text), #Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  the question, "Who Am I who enjoy all this?" This may be the moment in which a revelation of the secret
  begins.

Talks 001-025, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
    M.: Constant search for I, the source of the ego. Find out Who Am I?
    The pure I is the reality, the Absolute Existence-Consciousness Bliss. When That is forgotten, all miseries crop up; when that is held fast, the miseries do not affect the person.
  --
    On a former occasion B. V. Narasimha Swami, author of SelfRealization, asked: Who Am I? How is it to be found?
    M.: Ask yourself the question. The body (annamaya kosa) and its functions are not I.
  --
    Enquiring further the questions arise, Who is this I? Wherefrom does it come? I was not aware in sleep. Simultaneously with its rise sleep changes to dream or wakefulness. But I am not concerned with dream just now. Who Am I now, in the wakeful state? If I originated from sleep, then the I was covered up with ignorance. Such an ignorant I cannot be what the scriptures say or the wise ones affirm.
    I am beyond even Sleep; I must be now and here and what I was all along in sleep and dreams also, without the qualities of such states. I must therefore be the unqualified substratum underlying these three states (anandamaya kosa transcended).

Talks 026-050, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
    Enquiring thus the mind also disappears. Then what remains over is seen to be I. The next question is Who Am I? The Self alone. This is contemplation. It is how I did it. By this process attachment to the body
    (dehavasana) is destroyed. The ego vanishes. Self alone shines. One method of getting mind-dissolution (manolaya) is association with great ones - the yoga adepts (Yoga arudhas). They are perfect adepts in samadhi. Self-Realisation has been easy, natural, and perpetual to them. Those moving with them closely and in sympathetic contact gradually absorb the samadhi habit from them.
  --
    M.: Who Am I? is the investigation.
    D.: May we perform japa?
  --
    Subjectively, Who Am I? The false ego is associated with objects; this ego itself is its own object. Objectivity is the falsity. Subject is alone the Reality. Do not confound yourself with the object, namely the body. This gives rise to the false ego, consequently of the world and your movements therein with the resulting misery. Do not think yourself to be this, that or anything; to be so and so, or to be such and such. Only leave off the falsity. The Reality will reveal itself.
    The scriptures say that the Self is nityasiddha, ever present, and yet speak of the removal of ajnana. If Self is (nitya) always and (siddha) present, how can there be ajnana? For whom is the ajnana? These are contradictory. But such statements are for guiding the earnest seeker in the right way. He does not readily understand the only Truth if mentioned in plain words as in natwam naham neme janadhipah

Talks 051-075, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
    I-consciousness. Who Am I? Whence am I? On finding the source, you realise the state of Absolute Consciousness.
    D.: Who is this I? It seems to be only a continuum of senseimpression. The Buddhist idea seems to be so too.
  --
  Koham (Who Am I?) is puraka (inhalation).
  Soham (I am He) is kumbhaka (retention of breath).
  --
  D.: Who Am I?
  M.: Find it yourself.
  --
  D.: Who Am I then?
  M.: (Smiling) Have you come to examine me and ask me? You must say who you are.
  --
  A high officer asked: If juniors are promoted over oneself the mind is perturbed. Will the enquiry, Who Am I? help the man to soo the the mind under such circumstances?
  M.: Yes. Quite so. The enquiry Who Am I? turns the mind inward and makes it calm.
  D.: I have faith in murti dhyana (worship of form). Will it not help me to gain jnana?
  --
  The reference is to a passage in Who Am I? where it is stated that a disciple can never revert to the world after he has once fallen into the field of the Gurus gracious look as surely as the prey in the tigers jaws cannot escape.
  --- Talk 64.
  --
  A visitor, Mr. K. S. N. Iyer of the South Indian Railway, said, There is a trifling halting-place in my meditation. When I ask myself, Who Am I? my reasoning proceeds as follows; I see my hand. Who sees it?
  My eye. How to see the eye? In a mirror. Similarly to see me, there must be a mirror. Which is to supply the place of the mirror in me? is my question.
  M.: Then why do you enquire, Who Am I? Why do you say you are troubled and so on? You could as well remain quiet. Why do you rise out of your composure?
  D.: Enquiring thus helps me to concentrate. Is concentration the only benefit?
  --
  M.: Enquiry of Who Am I? means finding the source of I. When that is found, that which you seek is accomplished.
  (The gist of Sri Bhagavans words seems to be that one should make a concerted effort and not give it up baffled, with a defeatist mentality.)
  --
  Who Am I? is the best.
  27th September, 1935

Talks 076-099, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  M.: Who Am I? is the best japa.
  What could be more concrete than the Self? It is within each ones experience every moment. Why should he try to catch anything outside, leaving out the Self? Let each one try to find out the known

Talks 125-150, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: In the book Who Am I? you have said the Heart is the seat of the mind. Is it so?
  M.: The mind is Atman.
  --
  Enquiry of Who Am I? or of the I-thought being itself a thought, how can it be destroyed in the process?
  M.: When Sita was asked who was her husb and among the rishis
  --
  M.: No. Only the quest Who Am I? is necessary. What remains all through deep sleep and waking is the same. But in waking there is unhappiness and the effort to remove it. Asked who wakes up from sleep you say I. Now you are told to hold fast to this I.
  If it is done the eternal Being will reveal Itself. Investigation of I is the point and not meditation on the heart-centre. There is nothing like within or without. Both mean either the same thing or nothing.
  --
  The quest Who Am I? is the axe with which to cut off the ego.
  Talk 147.

Talks 151-175, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: I mean meditation as signified in The Secret Path and Who Am I?
  M.: Long for it intensely so that the mind melts in devotion. After the camphor burns away no residue is left. The mind is the camphor; when it has resolved itself into the Self without leaving even the slightest trace behind, it is Realisation of the Self.
  --
  Who Am I? = in-breathing
  Soham
  --
  M.: What is mind? Who Am I?
  D.: (Silence).
  --
  Who Am I? and the Self becomes clear to him.
  D.: Will the knowledge gained by direct experience be lost afterwards?

Talks 176-200, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: I begin to ask myself Who Am I?, eliminate body as not I, the breath as not I, the mind as not I and I am not able to proceed further.
  M.: Well, that is so far as the intellect goes. Your process is only intellectual. Indeed, all the scriptures mention the process only to
  --
  I-thought, all other thoughts arise. The I-thought is therefore the root-thought. If the root is pulled out all others are at the same time uprooted. Therefore seek the root I, question yourself Who Am I?; find out its source. Then all these will vanish and the pure
  Self will remain ever.

Talks 500-550, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  To enquire "Who Am I?" is the only remedy for all the ills of the world. It is also perfect bliss.
  529

Talks 600-652, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  Miss Merston, an English lady visitor: I have read Who Am I? While inquiring who the 'I' is, I cannot hold it for any length of time.
  Secondly, I have no interest in the environment, but yet I have hopes that I shall find some interest in life.
  --
  'I'. If you seek it, asking "Who Am I?" the subject and objects would coalesce. After that there is no quest. Till then thought will arise, things will appear and disappear; you ask yourself what has happened, and what will happen. If the subject be known then the objects will merge in the subject. If without that knowledge, one applies the mind to objects, because these objects appear and disappear, and one does not know that one's true nature is that which remains over as the Self. On the vanishing of objects, fear arises. That is, the mind being bound to objects there is suffering when the objects are absent. But they are transient and the Self is eternal. If the eternal Self be known subject and object merge into one, and the One without a second will shine.
  D.: Is there the merger of the Omkara?
  M.: Om is the eternal truth. That which remains over after the disappearance of objects is Om. It does not merge in anything. It is the State of which it is said: "Where one sees none other, hears none other, knows none other, that is Perfection." Yatra nanyat pasyati, nanyat srunoti, nanyat vijanati sa bhuma? All the upasanas are ways to winning it. One must not get stuck in the upasanas, but must query "Who Am I?" and find the Self.
  D.: I have no pleasure in the house. There remains nothing for me to do in the family. I have finished doing what I had to do. Now there are grandsons and granddaughters. May I remain in the house, or should I leave it and go away?
  --
  M.: The former is vichara - Who Am I? (Koham?) It represents jnana.
  The latter is dhyana - Whence am I? (Kutoham?) This admits a jivatma which seeks the Paramatma.
  --
  When this becomes natural, it is samadhi. The enquiry "Who Am I?" is the sravana. The ascertainment of the true import of
  'I' is the manana. The practical application on each occasion is nididhyasana. Being as 'I' is samadhi.

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 1, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  "... Who Am I to meddle with any, Joe? I have long given up my place as a
  leader,I have no right to raise my voice. Since the beginning of this year I

Verses of Vemana, #is Book, #unset, #Zen
  Where in the earth is the place where he is not beheld? He exists in everything. Who Am I; who is he that I am not--know this truth, O Vema.
  641
  --
  Where in the earth is the place where he is not beheld? He exists in everything. Who Am I; who is he that I am not--know this truth, O Vema.
  641
  --
  Who Am I to think in any mind or Who Am I to be without meditation; alas the deity appears to man, and conceals itself.
  706

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