I couldn’t see any sense in pretending that life was not full of horrors. Death and trousers are facts in nature; and merely to avoid reference to them or to invent euphemisms for them does not alter their character.
Aleister Crowley, Confessions, Chapter 8
Horribly useless, this business called life. What does it all matter, when love is gone? And who can hold love? Oh, misery! misery! And still so many years to live. To live alone.
Helen Woljeska, Nocturne
I don’t want to be high any more or again, and this sends me into a spiral of misery, life seems completely empty if this magic world is too painful for me. I want to die and I have infinite terror of the pain of every form of death. I see emptiness and hopelessness everywhere.
Mary Sativa, Acid Temple Ball [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
3. The pain-bearing obstructions are — ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and clinging to life.
These are the five pains, the fivefold tie that binds us down, of which ignorance is the cause and the other four its effects. It is the only cause of all our misery. What else can make us miserable? The nature of the Soul is eternal bliss. What can make it sorrowful except ignorance, hallucination, delusion? All pain of the Soul is simply delusion.
Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms, Chapter II – Concentration: Its Practice (in Swami Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga)
Lo! were it otherwise, mere banishment,
I deem he had feared more! He had an heir.
This was a boy of strength with ardour blent,
High hope embowered in a body fair.
Him had he watched with eager eye, aware
Of misery occult in youth, awake
At the first touch of the diviner air
Of manhood, that could bane and blessing make,
The Lord of Life and Death, the secret of the Snake.
Aleister Crowley, Why Jesus Wept
man’s fear to live in the infinite luxury of life is the prime root of his misery.
Christopher S Hyatt, The Black Book, Volume 1: Principles of Extreme Living: Become Who You Are—There Are No Guarantees [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
You may also be surprised to find that some of the things you write on the list will actually come to pass, almost without your making any conscious effort to make them happen. If you acknowledge the power of the imagination to foster changes in perception and performance, it’s easy to see how having a Someday/Maybe list out in front of your conscious mind could potentially add many wonderful adventures to your life and work. We’re likely to seize opportunities when they arise if we’ve already identified and captured them as a possibility.
David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
I’ve come to understand: No matter who you are or what you do, if you’re drawn to the dreamy side of life and you long to create a better world, you have genius within you that demands to be brought forth. It is not too weird, too useless, or too fluffy to go about the labor of transmuting your suffering to ecstasy.
Carolyn Elliott, Awaken Your Genius: A Seven-Step Path to Freeing Your Creativity and Manifesting Your Dreams [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher]
“Think not that we have acted toward you in a spirit of persecution,” said the nun. “The mysteries which have alarmed you will be explained at a future period, when your soul is prepared by penance, self-mortification, and prayer to receive the necessary revelation. In the meantime, ask no questions, forget the world, and resolve to embrace a life devoted to the service of Heaven.”
George W M Reynolds, Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf [Amazon, Internet Archive]
Hesse argued that men must seek a new morality that, transcending the conventional dichotomy of good and evil, will embrace all extremes of life in one unified vision.
Hermann Hesse (foreword by Theodore Ziolkowski, translated by Richard Winston and Clara Winston), The Glass Bead Game: (Magister Ludi) A Novel [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]