Tea with us became more than an idealisation of the form of drinking; it is a religion of the art of life. The beverage grew to be an excuse for the worship of purity and refinement, a sacred function at which the host and guest joined to produce for that occasion the utmost beatitude of the mundane.
Where there is no belief in the soul, there is very little drama . . . . Either one is serious about salvation or one is not. And it is well to realize that the maximum amount of seriousness admits the maximum amount of comedy. Only if we are secure in our beliefs can we see the comical side of the universe.
For the spiritual efficacy of the Sacrament doth not depend upon the nature of the thing received, supposing we received what our Lord appointed, and receive it with a right preparation and disposition of mind, but upon the supernatural blessing that goes along with it, and makes it effectual to those spiritual ends for which it was appointed.
Maybe philosophical problems are hard not because they are divine or irreducible or meaningless or workaday science, but because the mind of Homo sapiens lacks the cognitive equipment to solve them. We are organisms, not angels... Our minds evolved... to solve problems, [not]... to answer any question we are capable of asking.
Chairman Mao once said that political power comes from the barrel of a gun. He was only partly right: power that comes from the barrel of a gun can be effective only for a short time. In the end, peoples love for truth, justice, freedom, and democracy will triumph. No matter what governments do, the human spirit will always prevail.
A writer can't just be well-educated or good at research; to build a living, breathing world with interesting characters, you have to write from the gut. I'm not saying you have to live your life like a fantasy adventure. The trick is the ability to synthesize your own everyday experiences into your fiction. Infuse your characters with believable emotions and motivations. Infuse your world with rich sensory detail. For that you have to be in touch with your own existence and your own soul, the dark and the light of it.
Perhaps both men and women in America may hunger, in our material, outward, active, masculine culture, for the supposedly feminine qualities of heart, mind and spirit--qualities which are actually neither masculine nor feminine, but simply human qualities that have been neglected. It is growth along these lines that will make us whole, and will enable the individual to become world to himself.
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