Hold your hat and hang on to your soul
Something's coming to eat the world whole
If we fight it we've still got a chance
But whatever they offer you
Though they're slopping the trough for you
Please whatever they offer you
Don't feed the plantsLittle Shop of Horrors (1986)
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magniﬁcently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
I love to watch and encourage and thank the plants I see pushing up the sidewalks. That is the work we should be doing, and they are leading the way, teaching us how, these plants reaching through the concrete from the soil to the sky, these ants and birds and spiders going about their lives, all remind us that all times and in all places - even in cities - ecstatic life continues beneath the machine, waiting for the chance to return, to recover, and to reenter into relationship with those of us who are ready to live."Welcome to the Machine"
The fact that there is nothing but a spiritual world deprives us of hope and gives us certainty."Reflections on Sin, Suffering, Hope, and the True Way", #62
We will never have a perfect world, but it's not romantic or naïve to work toward a better one.
Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.
If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.
But we discovered something. Our one hope against total domination. A hope that with courage, insight and solidarity we could use to resist. A strange property of the physical universe that we live in.
The universe believes in encryption.
It is easier to encrypt information than it is to decrypt it.
I believe in living. I believe in the spectrum of Beta days and Gamma people. I believe in sunshine. In windmills and waterfalls, tricycles and rocking chairs. And I believe that seeds grow into sprouts. And sprouts grow into trees. I believe in the magic of the hands. And in the wisdom of the eyes. I believe in rain and tears. And in the blood of infinity. I believe in life. And I have seen the death parade march through the torso of the earth, sculpting mud bodies in its path. I have seen the destruction of the daylight, and seen bloodthirsty maggots prayed to and saluted. I have seen the kind become the blind and the blind become the bind in one easy lesson. I have walked on cut glass. I have eaten crow and blunder bread and breathed the stench of indifference. I have been locked by the lawless. Handcuffed by the haters. Gagged by the greedy. And, if I know any thing at all, it’s that a wall is just a wall and nothing more at all. It can be broken down. I believe in living. I believe in birth. I believe in the sweat of love and in the fire of truth. And I believe that a lost ship, steered by tired, seasick sailors, can still be guided home to port."Affirmation"
You don't write those books because you hope those things will happen. You write those books because you think they might happen.. but you'd rather they didn't.
So radiant in certain mornings' light With its roses and its trees Is Earth, or with its grain and olives So suddenly it is radiant on the soul, Which stands then alone and forgetful Though just a moment earlier the soul Wept bloody tears or dwelt in bitterness; So radiant in certain mornings' light Is Earth, and in its silence so expressive This wondrous lump rolling in its skies; Beautiful, tragic in solitude, yet smiling That the soul, unasked, replies, "Yes" replies, "Yes" to the Earth To the indifferent earth, "Yes!" Even though next instant skies Should darken, roses too, Or the effort of life grow heavier still, The act of breathing even more heroic, "Yes" replies the battered soul to Earth, So radiant in the light of certain mornings, Beautiful above all things, and human hope."Yes to the Earth"
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."