The lack of mastery makes you vulnerable to the imposition of somebody else's will, in every respect.
Once, a newer teacher who I was mentoring came to speak with me. She had established a class with a steady following in a community she was happy to serve. They were loving the asana practice. How, though, she wanted to know, could she interest them in taking their practice deeper? She felt like she’d tried everything. What would it take to really get them seeking, she wanted to know? I smiled and replied immediately and brightly, “Suffering!”
If you think about what brought you to spiritual practice, it was probably a time of great pain. A few people come to practice purely from curiosity, and they are blessed! But most of us come to practice from pain. When we feel pain and suffer, we seek to change, to grow. If we look back, it is often the hardest of times which grow us the most, which make us wiser and stronger.
So, here we are. There is so much pain, so much suffering, for so many of us, as individuals and as a people right now. Let us feel this pain, and also let us know our peace, and from the two, let us press toward right action, toward clear sight, toward enlightenment. Let us care for one another in the dangerous times ahead; let us stay awake, vigilant, and grow. May this hard time spark the best of things in all of us.
May we all be free.
Kristie Dahlia Home
All of my actions are the result of a race condition between vanity and shamelessness.
If you are willing to look at another person's behaviour toward you as a reflection of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time cease to react at all.
We all have the natural human tendency to take the safe route — to do the thing we know will work rather than taking a chance. But that’s the antithesis of jazz, which is all about being in the present. Jazz is about being in the moment at every moment. It’s about trusting yourself to respond on the fly. If you can allow yourself to do that, you never stop exploring, you never stop learning, in music or in life.
Herbie Hancock, in Possibilities
By studying the reasons for our failure, only then can we begin to learn.
Jean Giraud, quoted in William Stout, 18 Tips for Comic Book Artists by Jean “Moebius” Giraud Tip #17
I divide my officers into four categories: the wise, the stupid, the industrious, and the lazy. Each officer possesses at least two of these properties. The clever and industrious are suitable for high staff positions. Whoever is clever and lazy is qualified as the highest leader, because he has the calm and nerves necessary to deal with any situation. Even the stupid and lazy can still be used. But the most dangerous are the stupid and industrious: they must be eliminated immediately.
Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord (translation mine)
Solitude did increase my perception. But here's the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn't even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.
This world that we have around us is not a world that we receive, but more a world that we create and make.
[I]t's easy to stay grounded. The ground is very close. And we walk on it every day.
That it is nearly impossible to do a good job of anything is simultaneously my primary source of fulfillment and of frustration.
Petitions are just lists of people on future firing squads.
somehow scifi predicts the future, yet fails to prepare us :/
Dave Llopis, private communication
Fortunately for my credit, from the outside most people can't tell the rapid exploitation of a belatedly recognized opportunity from deep-laid planning.
from Komarr by Lois Mcaster Bujold
There’s a tremendous power in using the least amount of information to get a point across.
The prosecutor painted me as a cowboy with no sense of blah blah blah and I didn't argue.
from The Midnight Promise by Zane Lovitt
I can't judge you by your cover, because you're an open book.
Ezekiel, to redacted
I don’t think you should ever say anything that you’re going to have to apologize for later. If the heat gets hot, just let them get mad. How did somebody make you apologize? Did they literally hit you on your body? Let them be upset. It’s not the worst thing in the world.
Louis C.K. in an interview
Your mind is not too busy to do meditation. I don’t care who you are or how busy your mind is. Your mind is just as busy as everybody else’s. Your mind and Buddha’s mind are equally as busy. Meditation is hard for everyone who does it. Everyone. If it wasn’t difficult to sit still and be quiet they wouldn’t build giant statues commemorating people whose main claim to fame is that they could sit still and be quiet.
from a Blog post by Brad Warner
Descriptive grammar has the natural advantage over prescriptive that observation usually has over dogma: namely, that time invested in it makes us smarter rather than angrier. But, of course, personal taste answers reliably to neither cause.
Joshua Burton, via email
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
Martin Luther King
Don’t worry about a style. It will creep up on you and eventually you will have to undo it in order to go further. Be like a river and accept everything.
Gary Panter, from Gary Panter’s Drawing Tips
Detachment is a pose, just another thing to get attached to.
Leslie: I love when you think you're smarter than everybody.
But they say I've spent the last couple years living with symptoms like... well, like my entire personality.
from Rat Girl by Kristin Hersh
Reese: “What exactly is a Zen center?”
Crews: “It's a place where people interested in their spiritual journey sit and do nothing. Which as it turns out is nearly impossible.”
I'm not concerned with plausibility; that's the easiest part of it, so why bother?
Alfred Hitchcock, in Hitchcock by Truffaut
I don't know what it is about kids today, but they just don't appreciate sudden, unfair, final death.
Jordan Mechner, on the original Karateka (from this interview)
Because while other people give up things like sex for Lent, I'm trying to give up setting people on fire for Black History Month.
Lauren Wheeler, via Facebook
Just because you haven't seen me fight doesn't mean I am weak.
Ezekiel Bornstein to a classmate, 2012-01-04
One's life gets to one in a way it doesn't get to anyone else.
Meryl Bornstein, 2011-12-22
The only way out is through.
Origin uncertain—possibly Akka Mahadevi—but brought to my attention by Margaret Atwood
Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.
Charles Bukowski, 1985-07-22
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
George Bernard Shaw
The downside of all these trips is that I realized I can't actually solve my problems by running away to other parts of the world.
Star Simpson, personal communication 2011-08-08
You do have an unfortunate tendency to be right.
Anonymous (about Jeremy)
And anyway, if you don't make bold moves, you don't get fucking anywhere. You've got to push the limits.
Life by Keith Richards
The silence is your canvas, that's your frame, that's what you work on; don't try and deafen it out.
Life by Keith Richards
“It still doesn't seem right.”
“Right is what all this is about,” Roland said. “But if you look too long at the small rights, Jake—the ones that lie close at hand—it's easy to lose sight of the big ones that stand farther off.”
from The Wastelands by Stephen King
Lead through example. That's why I brought you. We will offer prizes for accomplishment from the first. We will not stint with genuine praise, but we will not flatter. We will strive to always be better men than our pupils without embarrassing them. If possible, we will meet them socially and bury them under the weight of our accumulated war stories.
from Tyrant by Christian Cameron
I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.
“Your lieutenant could do such work,” the boy says. “No need for you to work so hard.”
Jaidee wipes his brow and shakes his head. “And then what would my men think? That I'm lazy.”
The boy gasps. “No one would think such a thing of you. Never!”
“When you're a captain, you'll understand better.” Jaidee smiles indulgently. “Men are loyal when you lead from the front. I won't have a man wasting his time winding a crank fan for me, or waving a palm frond just to keep me comfortable like those heeya in the Trade Ministry. I may lead, but we are all brothers. When you're a captain, promise me you'll do the same.”
from The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
It's okay to be driven a little crazy by someone who is so consistently right.
It's fine that you are all deep into music. But there's something deeper and if you would go deeper, if you go to the source of where the music is being made, you'll find something even more interesting. At the source, everyone's individual music is made. If you ask what the deep place is, it's your own life and it's knowing your own life, that own way that you live.
Watazumido Doso Roshi
"I earned my keep by copying the most inane drivel about loving your neighbor unless your neighbor doesn't eat his little wafer the way you do, in which case you should burn him to death."
from Crossed by Nicole Galland
For a moment he stared at Blomkvist with an expression that was presumably meant to instil respect, but which made him look more like an inflated moose.
from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I'm just a pebble beside the river. I've been worn down so long, now I'm nice and smooth.
the Priest from Kurosawa's The Lower Depths (in translation)
I picture the human mind as a movie screen. If you're a dopey sucker, you'll just sit and watch all kinds of mind-wrecking, damn fool movies on that screen.... Son, there is no reason except a stupid one for anybody to project on that screen anything that will worry him or dull that vital edge. After all, we are the absolute bosses of that whole theatre and show in our minds. We even write the script. So always write positive, dynamic scripts and show only the best movies for you on that screen whether you are pimp or priest.
Pimp by Iceberg Slim
Obvious inadequacies are for the convenience of critics.
Ways of Worldmaking by Nelson Goodman
Life is like poker, not chess, and logic is only a tiny part of the game.
Galveston by Sean Stewart
Don't tell me—I might think about it.
Frank Stahl, quoted in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track
A real child can go to bed, yet still build castles in its head.
Marvin Minsky, Society of Mind
The only difference between a madman and me is that I am not mad.
The power of an idea—this is itself an idea.
Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near
And, yes, when I die I will say “I have one regret... I wish I had spent more time at the office” just to skew the statistics.
Roy Batchelor, via email, 2007-07-19
If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, and in my heart he put other different desires. Each man is good in His sight. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows.
Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota), 1876
Great things alone can make a great mind, and petty things will make a petty mind unless a man rejects them as completely alien.
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
If you're the same leader in every environment, there's something wrong. Leadership is not about imposing your personality on a new culture. It's understanding that culture and figuring out how to make change within it.
I'm glad men like cars and guns and computers!
That frees me up to like babies and food and really nice sheets.
Elizabeth, 2005-02-26, personal communication
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”
H. L. Mencken, Minority Report (1956)
What was I to do? Justine was too strong for me in too many ways. I could only out-love her—that was my long suit. I went ahead of her—I anticipated every lapse; she found me already there, at every point where she fell down, ready to help her to her feet and show that it did not matter. After all she compromised the least part of me—my reputation.
From Justine by Lawrence Durrell
At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds.
Life is for service.
Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003), 2001-08-22
If there's an art to retail it's maintaining your self-respect without directly insulting the customers.
Gordon Edgar, Journal Comment, 2003-02-23
Jeremy: They just discovered that the universe is supposedly expanding forever.
Heather: But we don't care, do we?
Jeremy: Depends on how long you want to live.
Heather: Is there just this universe?
Jeremy: This result doesn't address that question.
Heather: I want to be uploaded.
Jeremy: Some people think that our universe is already being simulated on a computer.
Heather: I wish they had simulated us a better coffee table.
Flight of the porkchop.
Heather, 2003-02-03, while zooming Ezekiel around and humming “Flight of the Bumblebee”
This morning I decided that the only thing that can save me now is my uncanny ability to turn almost any potentially sexual situation into a platonic relationship with weird sexual tension and undertones.
Brent Thomas, 12/16/2002, personal communication
Heather: All we have to do today is pick up the car.
Jeremy: If I don't go shopping today I'm going to stab myself in the heart.
Heather: Fuck, you're dramatic!
Jeremy: I'm just saying what you said last night.
Heather: But honey, you're the stable one!
Jeremy: I'm sorry, I'm going to write that down.
Heather: Are you gathering evidence for the divorce?
Heather: I sometimes worry that I beat you up too much.
Jeremy: I'm okay.
Jeremy: Even when I'm unhappy with you I still love you.
Heather: Yeah, well just because you're a saint doesn't mean that I'm not a bitch.
Reading a story about an ancestor (Aaron David Bornstein), Jeremy said, “eclecticism apparently runs in my family.” Heather said, “so do tolerant women.”
I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.
Jay Gould, Railroad Magnate (before the 1886 strike on his Southwestern system)
Jeremy (about Ezekiel): I love how he's already his own person.
Heather: Yeah, but we get to make him wear funny pants.
Get the cat, Ezekiel! If you can catch her, you can eat her!
If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you. If you really make them think, they'll hate you.
D. R. P. Marquis (1878-1937)
And what the hell good is life if you can't follow a poetic notion from time to time?
Robert Wintner, Horndog Blue
People are so much nicer to me when I'm in a good mood.
Heather Smioly, 1/8/2002
He didn't want to sleep with Fiona, but he did want her to feel better, and he hadn't realized that in order to make her feel better he had to act in exactly the same way as if he did want to sleep with her. He didn't want to think about what that meant.
from About a Boy, by Nick Hornby
Repulsion is the sentry that guards the gate to all that we most desire.
Salvador Dali [authenticity unknown, please tell me if you have more information]
To write about homosexual practices without dealing with anal intercourse would be equivalent to writing a history of music and omitting Mozart.
Judge Bruce Hawkins (Ontario)
Young men and women, educated very carefully to be apolitical, to be technicians who thought they disliked politics, making them putty in the hands of their rulers, like always.
from Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
There is something so wrong with you.
Heather to Jeremy, on numerous occasions
I like a healthy breeze 'round my privates, thanks.
from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Heather: What are you up to?
Jeremy: Tidying up the hard drives.
Heather: Why, because we're having company?
Characteristically, Pangbourne's one affair in the high-rise had been with a laboratory researcher on the 2nd floor, a slim, silent brunette who probably spent all her time tormenting small mammals.
from High Rise by J.G. Ballard
Shugyo teaches us to commit every moment of our lives. If we commit every moment of our lives we will be a “Total Being” in every situation. When it's time to eat we eat; to work, we work; to be nice, we become nice. This will make us clear-minded and will make others feel clear with us. This is nothing special or spectacular but is the common and most fulfilling way. It sounds easy, but is the most difficult to do. To be a person like this we have through Shugyo to get rid of the attachment to our ego.
Shiohira Shihan of Pacific Aikido, from “Shihira Shihan's Aikido Philosophy”
She just stared at him, as if he were a stain on the wall, a stain that might resemble a person if you squinted at it in a certain way.
from Last Call by Tim Powers
Don't be humble; you're not that great.
it's hard to find pictures of panties without going through a ton of porn at work.
Brent Thomas, personal communication
[Heather & Jeremy in Jeremy's bed]
Heather: Your child is now kicking me in my colon.
Jeremy: Go for it kid—she'll do something to deserve it later.
Heather: Like shit in your bed?
You know, only dumb people try to impress smart people. Smart people just do what they do.
Chris Rock in Premiere of March 2001
I am NOT nuts!! I am holy.
Wherever I go, everyone is a little safer.
Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend.
When I return home, everyone is happy I am there.
Dr. Robert L. Humphrey (1923-1997)
[Jeremy and Heather are watching Branagh's Henry V]
Heather: I don't understand what's going on.
Jeremy: That's the Bishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely. They're discussing a bill which would take away lands currently controlled by the church, so they want King Henry to...
Heather: Those guys have cool hats!
A good soldier is not violent. A good fighter is not angry.
Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching
The secret of aikido is to cultivate a spirit of loving protection for all things.
I do not think badly of others when they treat me unkindly. Rather, I feel gratitude towards them for giving me the opportunity to train myself to handle adversity.
You should realize what the universe is and what you are yourself. To know yourself is to know the universe.
I tell you the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.
Vincent Van Gogh, in a letter to his brother
to be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigour and passion.
J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known
we are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us.
J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known
we are the result of all kinds of influences and there is nothing new in us, nothing that we have discovered for ourselves; nothing original, pristine, clear.
J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known
if you try to study yourself according to another you will always remain a secondhand human being.
J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known
Walk on the mat
Sweat a while
It seems as though his beauty, his absolute clarity of being, sweeps everything before it, so that he can touch any person, or object or subject, and impart his cleanness to it, endow it with the fresh air of his presence.
Unknown, from J. Krishnamurti: A Biography by Pupul Jayakar
You have a concept of what you should be and how you should act, and all the time you are in fact acting quite differently; so you see that principles, beliefs and ideals must inevitably lead to hypocrisy and a dishonest life. It is the ideal that creates the opposite to what is, so if you know how to be with ‘what is’, then the opposite is not necessary.
J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known
J. Krishnamurti, The Flame of Attention
...it is essential for a man to strive with all his heart, and to understand that it is difficult even to reach the average if he does not have the intention of surpassing others in whatever he does.
From Budoshoshinshu (The Warrior's Primer) by Daidoji Yuzan, trans. William Scott Wilson
Ueshiba... also had many mistresses. He used to encourage his young disciples to build their sexual ki by masturabting in front of proper shoji screens. 'If one of you can punch a hole through a shoji with just your ejaculation, then you'll be a real martial artist!'
From Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger
19. Make a desperate effort. (Issho kenmei
monogoto o suru koto)
Here is another lesson direct from iaijutsu training. In important matters, a “strong” effort usually results in only mediocre results. Whenever we are attempting anything truly worthwhile our effort must be as if our life is at stake, just as if we were under a physical attack! It is this extraordinary effort--an effort that drives us beyond what we thought we were capable of--that ensures victory in battle and success in life's endeavors.
From Flashing Steel: Mastering Eishin-Ryu Swordsmanship by Masayuki Shimabukuro and Leonard J. Pellman
Why aren't there more websites about ninjas?
It is a little embarrassing that, after 45 years of research and study, the best advice I can give to people is to be a little kinder to each other.
Aldous Huxley, This Timeless Moment
Why read a book that does not disturb you? If a book does not give you a blow in the head why bother with it?
Franz Kafka, in a letter to Oskar Pollak
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin.
At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
This is definitely “stick” country not “carrot” country... watch out for the preemptive strike.
Jeremy: How are you feeling?
Heather: I have propped my corpse up at my desk.
Waterhouse is going to fix the church's organ. This project will be sure to have side benefits for his own organ, a single-pipe instrument that needs attention just as badly.
Neal Stephenson, in Cryptonomicon
Well, if I publish a story in The Atlantic Monthly, then eleven intellectuals will read it, nod sagely, scratch their gray pates, and that will be the end of that. If, on the other hand, some sexist, racist, no-neck gazooney of a truck driver is sitting in a pay toilet in the Howard Johnson's on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and he's whacking off to a picture of a woman with a vagina the size of Au Sable Chasm, and then he turns the page and finds my story, and maybe that story says to him, "You are a no-neck, slavering, prognathous-jawed, gimlet-eyed moron, and you should be better, because you are human," then maybe it'll do some good.
Harlan Ellison, in an interview
the good thing about true hopelessness is that you don't have to try again.
Jamie Zawinski, personal communication
“I have the new kind of memory,” I said. “It's a cranial implant. You don't have to speak out loud. You just think, and it talks to you in a quiet little voice in your head.”
Conrad Metcalf, in Jonathan Lethem's Gun, with occasional music
i used to feel like i was the pinacle of evolution, like all those poor schmucky forfathers of mine only existed to make me happen. today i just feel like a rung any evolved ape can step on during their climb up my dna.
i say: fuck you evolution!
Heather Smioly, personal communication
I'm sick but my razor-sharp wit is still... slicing... at stuff.
Heather Smioly, while sick in bed watching TV
I will never call myself an aikidoka. I am a budoka who expresses himself through aikido.
Francis Takahashi Sensei, during training
We put the “harm” in “harmony” and the “end” in “blend”.
Jimmy Friedman Sensei of Suginami Aikikai
I can't go on like this.
That's what you think.
Samuel Beckett, from Waiting for Godot
She is achingly pretty, the kind of woman that you want to take care of for the rest of her life for a few years.
Alan of http://www.heinovision.com
I do believe that where there is a choice only between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.
If you deny the traditional approach, as a reaction, you will have created another pattern in which you will be trapped.
J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known
Throughout her life she [Yehonala, one of the author's grandmothers and the second-to-last Empress of China] was a devout Buddhist and would not go into the garden in the summer, saying that she was afraid of trampling any ants to death. Yet although she was so benevolent towards ants she was merciless when it came to beating servants.
Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, from his autobiography From Emperor to Citizen
First they came for the Communists, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.... Then they came for me, and I said, "Wait! You forgot about the gays! And I know where they're hiding!"
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.
"How can such a hard man be so gentle?" she asked wonderingly.
"If I wasn't hard, I wouldn't be alive. If I couldn't ever be gentle, I wouldn't deserve to be alive."
from Playback by Raymond Chandler
The doctor made his patient suck his oiled cock
Says it is their mother's absent breast
Sook-Yin Lee, from "Field Therapy" on the album Lavinia's Tongue
Buy your pizza, wear your dress, and mind your own business.
some spazzy guy on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley to Jeremy, after Jeremy tried to calm him down a bit after he ran his bicycle into a car on purpose to cause trouble, 2/7/98.
Minds of equivalent quality think alike.
Jeremy, after hearing some idiot say "great minds think alike" to another idiot, circa 1/17/98.
I don't believe that the human race will prosper forever so all I have to do is to relax and wait for the time when cats will reign.
the cat, in Wagahai wa Neko de aru (I am a Cat), by Soseki Natsume, trans. Shibata Katsue & Kai Motonari
Hey, look at the Dalai Lama doing jiu-jitsu!
random person watching Jeremy and Cyndy doing aikido while waiting in line to get into a movie
Once, when a woman correspondent from France came to the dojo, O'sensei was so sick he couldn't even stand up. The woman pleaded with him to give a demonstration, saying that she was never coming back to Japan again. So, O'sensei consented. Students had to carry him onto the mat on a litter. They stood him up, and he told his ukes to attack. Suddenly, he was a different man. He put on a 20-minute demonstration, almost non-stop. He just said, "Keep coming!" It was awesome. But, when it was over, he couldn't stand up any more. Students had to put him back on the litter and carried him off the mat.
Henry Kono Sensei, in Aikido Today Magazine #31, Vol. 7, No. 5; Dec. '93 / Jan. '94, p. 10.
A bear however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
A. A. Milne, brought to my attention by Sonic
neck/infamous butcher[broadcast]: UKE WITH TERRIFYING BEAR-LIKE-PILLOW KUNG FU STYLE
from spacebar 1997-02-04
This is like a large ball of worms.
Sriram Subraminian, personal communication, 1991
Make me whimper and beg for your tiny rubber love.
Harry, in Thing-Fish (1984) by Frank Zappa
Bruises are a sure sign of enjoyment in my book.
Alston Neal, personal communication, 1996-06-22
The waiter's argument with Wu had been cut short by the arrival of a Buddhist missionary, who entered to drop tracts on each table and whose ejection, once he proved to be an expert staff fighter, occupied the full attention of the bar's employees.
Walter Jon Williams, Angel Station, 1989
Normal people are those whom you don't know very well.
Kyrie Martin Hale, personal communication, 1996
We came, Takver thought, from a great distance to each other. We have always done so. Over great distances, over years, over abysses of chance. It is because he comes from so far away that nothing can separate us. Nothing, no distances, no years, can be greater than the distance that's already between us, the distance of our sex, the difference of our being, our minds; that gap, that abyss which we bridge with a look, with a touch, with a word, the easiest thing in the world.
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed, 1974
Many people who are new to the martial arts labor under the fantasy that when they get proficient they will be able to "really kick ass." Likewise, many who begin psychotherapy imagine that "cured" means they'll be able to boss people around. Having spent much of their lives afraid to assert themselves to "get what they want," they imagine that their new power will give them the nerve or self-confidence to get back at all the people and situations which have made them feel small all these years. They carry with them a great deal of anger which they cannot release, and it is this anger which directs their fantasy of revenge.
What they don't realize is that it is really their lack of connection to themselves that prevents them from functioning well. If their training in martial arts, or their therapy, is "successful," they appear quite different from their original fantasy. Having found their spirit and experienced their energy, they never quite get around to "kicking ass." The need for revenge is gone because their reconnection with their own centers has put them back into connection with all life.
Terry Dobson and Victor Miller, Aikido in Everyday Life, 1978
"To forge a change that you may be reluctant to forge, that may be problematical for this or that reason, you have to tell people. You have to talk and tell people. Jack sees what I'm getting at. You have to bring it out. Even if you have no intention at the time of doing it out of whatever fear or trembling, you still must make it begin to come true by articulating it. This changes the path of your life. Just telling people makes the change begin to happen. If, in the end, you choose to keep going with whatever you've been doing that's been this problematical thing in your life, well and good, it's up to you. But if you need to feel you're on the verge of a wonderful change, whether you are or not, the thing to do is tell people. 'I am on the verge of a wonderful change. I am about to do something electifying. The very fibers of your being will be electrified, sir, when I tell you what it is I propose to do.' To speak it in words is to see the possibility emerge. Doesn't matter what. Don't bother your head over what. For the purposes of this discussion it could be mountain-climbing we're talking about or this friend of Jack, the oft-mentioned scaly chap who plans to swim the North Sea left-handed. Our lives are enriched by these little blurbs we send each other. These things are necessary to do. 'I am going back to school to learn Arabic, whatever.' Say it to people for six months. 'I am going to live in Maine or else.' Jack sees my point. Tell people, tell them. Make something up. The important thing is to seem to be on the verge. Then it begins to come true, a little bit. I don't know, maybe talking is enough. Maybe you don't want to forge the change. Maybe telling people *is* the change. How should I know? Why ask me? Lyle, where is Lyle? Say good night to Lyle."
from Chapter 3 of Players by Don DeLillo