When Apollo stood and sounded the first notes of his lyre, a hush fell. From his strings arose visions of universal love, harmony and happiness, a deep abiding joy in life, and a sense of heaven itself.
Stephen Fry, Mythos [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
Religion, like nations and individuals, passes through the regular gradation, first of infancy, when religious ideas and thoughts are crude in the extreme; the age of Puritanism, when innocent women and children are burned at the stake for witchcraft, when with gloomy faces and in unsightly dress the poor fanatics sacrificed every pleasure on the altar of duty; the time when Sunday was a day of horror to children from its gloom, a day when every innocent amusement was forbidden. After religion’s infancy comes youth. At that stage, the absurd dress and gloomy faces were not considered essential adjuncts to religion, but free discussion was not allowed upon religious subjects. Everything must be taken for granted, without any investigation on the part of the people. After youth comes manhood, the time when reason has full sway, when superstition and credulities form no part of religious teaching and thought. People are able to think, to reason for themselves. After the age of manhood, comes old age and that is the stage of agnosticism. Questions are being asked, and ideas propounded which must not be overlooked nor treated with contempt. All questions asked in a fair spirit, must be answered in a fair manner. It is not sufficient to say, “it is so”, but good and tangible reasons must be given to prove the truth of an assertion. We are now in the stage of “old age.” Agnosticism and Infidelity are wide spread. After old age comes decay and the decline of the absolutely orthodox. From time immemorial, every religion has passed through the same gradation, of infancy, youth, old age and decay finally comes philosophy.
Lydia Leavitt, Bohemian Society [Amazon, Amazon (Dodo Press), Bookshop (Dodo Press, Gutenberg, Local Library]
I would teach you the new ritual of ‘Arrivism’: If you would realize God you must first re-create your God within. You can become God by expurgating—for what is without is an exhausting-transudating past.
Austin Osman Spare, The Logomachy of Zos
It was, first, the equalization of fortunes, by means of an income tax and succession duties, both heavily progressive, as also by a direct confiscation of the land in order to sub-divide it, and by heavy war taxes levied upon the rich only.
Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
The smell pierced her. It coiled and drifted and wove through her, conjuring the last drip of whiskey in her father’s crystal decanter, the first strawberries of summer, the last scrap of Christmas pudding smeared over gold-chased bone china and licked off with lazy tongue swipes. It smelled like a sticky wetness on her fingers, coaxed out of a pretty girl in the cloak room at a Mayfair ball, slipped into a pair of silk gloves and placed on a young colonel’s scarlet shoulder during the waltz.
Kelly Robson, A Human Stain [Amazon, Publisher, Local Library]
Are you not magnificent? Or you will be, someday. But first, you must earn your beauty.
N K Jemisin, Emergency Skin
Then I am alone, he told himself. I am the last of the Jedi. He seemed to hear Ben’s voice, faint and indistinct, as if from a great distance. “Not the last of the old Jedi, Luke. The first of the new.”
Timothy Zahn, Heir to the Empire
Anyone who destroys more than he creates must be miserable beyond expression. Question what you see by all means, but believe in something first.
Ramsey Campbell, Demons by Daylight
Commentary (ΚϜ) in Liber CCCXXXIII, The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley.
“But the vulgarians conceive of nothing beyond the creator, and therefore call him The First.” [via]