What hell condemned, let heaven now heal
"You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say "Here at last is the thing I was made for". We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all." ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
"You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty. You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth. I don't want to understand you." ― Anton Chekhov
The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world. Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life. Whether you live or die is an absolute. Whether you have a piece of bread or not, is an absolute. Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute. There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromise is the transmitting rubber tube." ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.
"Every kingdom work, whether publicly performed or privately endeavored, partakes of the kingdom's imperishable character. Every honest intention, every stumbling word of witness, every resistance of temptation, every motion of repentance, every gesture of concern, every routine engagement, every motion of worship, every struggle towards obedience, every mumbled prayer, everything, literally, which flows out of our faith-relationship with the Ever-Living One, will find its place in the ever-living heavenly order which will dawn at his coming."
― Randy Alcorn, Heaven
Everything is relative except for the absolute"I saw the massive stone altar first begin to glow like a ruby; then it was a heart of liquid gold like a solid single-crystal chrysoprase: the gold intensified into ice-cold emerald and passed into the dark sapphire of an arctic sky; this again withdrew into a violet so deep that the visual purple of the eye itself seemed absorbed in that depth, that abyss of color in which sight was being drowned. And as this intensification of vibrancy seemed to sweep across the visible spectrum up to those ranges where energy absorbs all mass and that which can pierce the most solid is itself fine beyond all substance, so it seemed with hearing. That abyss of sound which I had been thinking of as only depth, it, too, seemed to rise or, rather, I suppose I was carried up on some rising wave which explored the deep of the height. As the light drew toward the invisible, I experienced a sound so acute that I can only remember feeling to myself that this was the note emitted when the visible universe returns to the unmanifest—this was the consummatum est of creation. I knew that an aperture was opening in the solid manifold. The things of sense were passing with the music of their own transmutation, out of sight. Veil after veil was evaporating under the blaze of the final Radiance. Suddenly I knew terror as never before. The only words which will go near to recreating in me some hint of that actual mode are those which feebly point toward the periphery of panic by saying that all things men dread are made actually friendly by this ultimate awfulness. Every human horror, every evil that the physical body may suffer, seemed, beside this that loomed before me, friendly, homely, safe. The rage of a leaping tiger would have been a warm embrace. The hell of a forest wrapped in a hurricane of fire, the subzero desolation of the antarctic blizzard, would have been only the familiar motions of a simple well-known world. Yes, even the worst, most cunning and cruel evil would only be the normal reassuring behavior of a well-understood, much-sympathized-with child. Against This, the ultimate Absolute, how friendly became anything less, anything relative." ― Gerald Heard, Dromenon: The Best Weird Stories of Gerald Heard
16th century advertisements cannot market 21st century products. Look for what is necessary at the present moment"We are the centuries... We have your eoliths and your mesoliths and your neoliths. We have your Babylons and your Pompeiis, your Caesars and your chromium-plated (vital-ingredient impregnated) artifacts. We have your bloody hatchets and your Hiroshimas. We march in spite of Hell, we do – Atrophy, Entropy, and Proteus vulgaris, telling bawdy jokes about a farm girl name of Eve and a traveling salesman called Lucifer. We bury your dead and their reputations. We bury you. We are the centuries. Be born then, gasp wind, screech at the surgeon's slap, seek manhood, taste a little godhood, feel pain, give birth, struggle a little while, succumb: (Dying, leave quietly by the rear exit, please.) Generation, regeneration, again, again, as in a ritual, with blood-stained vestments and nail-torn hands, children of Merlin, chasing a gleam. Children, too, of Eve, forever building Edens – and kicking them apart in berserk fury because somehow it isn't the same. (AGH! AGH! AGH! – an idiot screams his mindless anguish amid the rubble. But quickly! let it be inundated by the choir, chanting Alleluias at ninety decibels.)" ― Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz
"For them, it was just an ordinary miracle." ― Robert Harris, Pompeii"The human body cannot survive being in temperatures over 200 degrees centigrade for more than a few moments, especially in the fast moving current of a surge. Trying to breathe in the dense cloud of hot ash in the absence of oxygen would lead to unconsciousness in a few breaths, as well as causing severe burns to the respiratory tract... On the other hand, survival is possible in the more distal parts of a surge if there is adequate shelter to protect against the surge flow and its high temperature, as well as the missiles (rocks, building materials) entrained in the moving cloud of material." ― Encylopaedia of Volcanoes
"To understand this new frontier, I will have to try to master one of the most difficult and counterintuitive theories ever recorded in the annals of science: quantum physics. Listen to those who have spent their lives immersed in this world and you will have a sense of the challenge we face. After making his groundbreaking discoveries in quantum physics, Werner Heisenberg recalled, "I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?" Einstein declared after one discovery, "If it is correct it signifies the end of science." Schrödinger was so shocked by the implications of what he'd cooked up that he admitted, "I do not like it and I am sorry I had anything to do with it." Nevertheless, quantum physics is now one of the most powerful and well-tested pieces of science on the books. Nothing has come close to pushing it off its pedestal as one of the great scientific achievements of the last century. So there is nothing to do but to dive headfirst into this uncertain world. Feynman has some good advice for me as I embark on my quest: "I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, 'But how can it be like that?' because you will get 'down the drain,' into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that." ― Marcus du Sautoy, The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science