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Awareness

  • The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent, and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness. He alone lives, while other people, slaves of ceremony, let life slip past them in a kind of dream.

  • If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of the roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.

  • ... she had an acute ear, and tiny sounds, the shiver of grass on grass in light airs, the squeaking of bats, cries of birds in a distant field, creaking of dried roots, the trickle of rain down the walls of a house, were caught by it, and offered to memory.

  • ... I break up through the skin of awareness a thousand times a day, as dolphins burst through seas, and dive again, and rise, and dive.

  • To the uneducated eye, as to the incurious mind, much of the world is in darkness, and a thousand songs are lost on the unlistening ear.

  • Awareness of the sacred in life is what holds our world together, and the lack of awareness of the sacred is what is tearing it apart.

  • I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe ... ?

    • Kate Chopin,
    • "Mrs. Mobry's Reason" (1900), The Storm ()
  • Anythin' wrong leaves a kind of impression on the eye; brain trots along afterwards with the warnin'.

    • Dorothy L. Sayers,
    • "The Footsteps That Ran" (1928), in Ellery Queen, ed., Masterpieces of Mystery ()
  • O why do you walk through the fields in gloves, / Missing so much and so much? / O fat white woman whom nobody loves, / Why do you walk through the fields in gloves / When the grass is as soft as the breast of doves / And shivering sweet to the touch?

  • One pays a lot, we all pay a lot, for awareness.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • in Nina Winter, Interview With the Muse ()
  • To think and to be fully alive are the same ...

  • By what strange law of mind is it that an idea long overlooked, and trodden under foot as a useless stone, suddenly sparkles out in new light, as a discovered diamond!

  • Sin recognized - but that - may keep us humble, / But oh, it keeps us nasty.

  • We are ourselves the stumbling-blocks in the way of our happiness. Place a common individual — by common, I mean with the common share of stupidity, custom, and discontent — place him in the garden of Eden, and he would not find it out unless he were told, and when told, he would not believe it.

  • Persons who merely have-a-life customarily move in a dense fluid. That's how they're able to conduct their lives at all. Their living depends on not seeing.

  • It's exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.

    • Adrienne Rich,
    • "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision," On Lies, Secrets, and Silence ()
  • People don't really change. Not fundamentally. When they surprise us, it is because we failed to recognize their potentialities.

  • i keep knowing / the language of other nations. / i keep hearing / tree talk / water words / and i keep knowing what they mean.

  • I try to live what I consider a 'poetic existence.' That means I take responsibility for the air I breathe and the space I take up. I try to be immediate, to be totally present for all my work.

    • Maya Angelou,
    • in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work ()
  • Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.

  • It's always a revolution, you know, when things occur of which you have never happened to hear!

  • An evil discovered is half healed.

    • Jane de Chantal,
    • letter (1632), in Péronne Marie Thibert, V.H.M., trans., Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal: Letters of Spiritual Direction ()
  • You do not notice changes in what is always before you.

  • It was as if I had worked for years on the wrong side of a tapestry, learning accurately all its lines and figures, yet always missing its color and sheen.

  • No behavior can be changed before it's acknowledged. And no addiction is beyond the reach of Love.

  • Some people are aware of everything that is going on everywhere at every moment in their lives.

  • ... what the eye does no' see, the heart does no' rue.

  • Sometimes in astronomy, a heavenly body has been virtually invisible until a single observer detects its presence and points it out to his colleagues, who then see it with increasing clarity. Perhaps a myriad of unknown senses are only awaiting our consciousness.

  • I want to feel myself part of things, of the great drift and swirl: not cut off, missing things, like being sent to bed early as a child, the blinds being drawn while the sun and cheerful voices came through the chink from the garden.

  • ... continually we look at things about us without seeing more than a very little of what is there.

  • Consciousness will not always solve the problem, but it may make the suffering meaningful.

  • The people whom I take to walk / I love and yet deplore, / Such things of real importance / They persistently ignore. / ... / Sometimes I really wonder / If they can hear and smell; / Such vital things escape them — / And yet they mean so well!

  • What I do must be done in the sunlight of awareness.

  • To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.