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Yesterday's Wounds

To the men whose words have inspired me along the way.
14/02/2019
Red Roses
“I already felt in my head the dreadful torpor that heralds disintegration of the personality, I sensed that in truth I had neither memory nor the power of thought, nor even any existence, that all my life had been a constant process of obliteration, a turning away from myself and the world.”

“I felt something rending within me, and a sense of shame and sorrow, or perhaps something quite different, something inexpressible because we have no words for it… All I do know is that when I saw the boy sitting on the bench I became aware, through my dull bemusement, of the destructive effect on me of my desolation through all those past years, and a terrible weariness overcame me at the idea that I had never really been alive, or was only now being born…”

W. G. Sebald: Austerlitz
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“The discipline of suffering, of great suffering – know ye not that it is only this discipline that has produced all the elevations of humanity hitherto?” “… and whatever depth, mystery, disguise, spirit, artifice or greatness has been bestowed upon the soul – has it not been bestowed through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering?”

Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil
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“But some day, in a stronger age than this rotting and introspective present, must he in sooth come to us, even the redeemer of great love and scorn, the creative spirit… this conqueror of God and of Nothingness–he must one day come.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality
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“What a bad conscience religion must have is to be judged by the fact that it is forbidden under pain of such severe punishment to mock it.”

Arthur Schopenhauer: The Horrors and Absurdities of Religion
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“We all have a fatal flaw, and we don’t know what it is. This fatal flaw is the shortcoming that we don’t know about or can’t do anything about. It is our undoing because it is precisely in our blind spot.”

“Life isn’t fair. There is no justice in life, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you’ll be. There is only you, and the world, and the terrors, and the wonders, and the loneliness, and happiness, and beauty, and banality. You are going to be hurt all through life. Take it. Your heart is going to be broken over and over again. Well, all right. That’s when you have to have the warrior’s courage. You see, there is no real reason for being a warrior, and unlike the scholar –for whom there is no ultimate justification either– the warrior accepts that without question and faces the unknown with courage and strength. Just keep your mind on your goals and persevere.”

DENG Ming-Dao: Scholar Warrior
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“It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black… A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
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“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom.”

C. S. Lewis: Mere Christianity
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“It was not enough that something should be touching, charming, graceful; it had to have about it a certain radiance, the power to inspire veneration. One had to feel forced to one’s knees before it or lifted by it to the skies. Kaname requires this not only in works of art. A woman-worshipper, he looked for the same divine attributes in women, but he had never come upon what he was looking for either in art or in women. He only harboured a vague dream, and its very refusal to become a reality made his longing the keener. He found in foreign novels, music, movies something that satisfied it a little, probably because of the Occidental view of women…”

Junichiro Tanizaki: Some Prefer Nettles
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Source material and for more information - the Author's name precedes the Title: Austerlitz - p174 & p194 | Beyond Good and Evil - p122 | On the Genealogy of Morality - 9. & 24. | The Horrors and Absurdities of Religion - p88 | Scholar Warrior - p229 & p209 | Long Walk to Freedom - p544 | Mere Christianity - p188 | Some Prefer Nettles - p33