Quotes

Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.

— Desmond Tutu

The skills of trying to predict where your industry is going or what your customers might want aren’t as important as the skills of provocation.

— Luke Williams, Disrupt

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

— Marianne Williamson

We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal

— Robert Brault

Knowing the truth is fairly useless; feeling it is profound; living it makes all the difference.

— David Deida, Blue Truth

Violence is always an effort toward greater freedom or love. Openness is freedom and love. Even the most violent or self-destructive emotions are rooted in the heart’s need for openness, to be free, to give and receive love.

— David Deida, Blue Truth

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

— Frederick Douglas

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.

— Frederick Douglas

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.

— Frederick Douglas

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a question to be lived.

— Jacob Needleman

The fear that we cannot grow beyond whatever distortions we may find within ourselves keeps us docile and loyal and obedient, externally defined, and leads us to accept many facets of our own oppression as women.

— Audre Lorde

The wound is in the place where the light enters you.

— Rumi

The courage we need is not the courage, the fortitude, to be obedient in the service of an unjust war, to help conceal lies, to do our job by a boss who has usurped power in his acting as an outlaw government. It is the courage, at last, to face honestly the truth and the reality of what we are doing in the world, and act responsibly to change it.

— Daniel Ellsberg

I see so much misery out of them movin to justify themselves as them that set out to do harm.

— ‘Doc’ Deadwood series

The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.

— Harry Truman

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

— Noam Chomsky

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

— Mark Twain

Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.

— Brene Brown

I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self.

— Audre Lorde

Work is love made visible.

— Khalil Gibran

If we try to hold on to our partial glimpses of the divine, we cut it down to our own size and close our minds. Like it or nor, our human experience of anything or anybody is always incomplete: there is usually something that eludes us, some portion of experience that evades our grasp.

— Karen Armstrong

our task now is to mend our broken world; if religion cannot do that, it is worthless. And what our world needs now is not belief, not certainty, but compassionate action and practically expressed respect for the sacred value of all human beings, even our enemies

— Karen Armstrong

It is not the unloved who initiate disaffection, but those who cannot love because they love only themselves. It is not the helpless, subject to terror, who initiate terror, but the violent, who with their power create the concrete situation which begets the ‘rejects of life.’ It is not the tyrannized who initiate despotism, but the tyrants. It is not those whose humanity is denied them who negate humankind, but those who denied that humanity (thus negating their own as well). Force is used not by those who have become weak under the preponderance of the strong, but by the strong who have emasculated them.”

— Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Without a sense of identity, there can be no real struggle…

— Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

‘I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance’

— Bell Hooks

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence.

Underneath the anti-prostitution rhetoric of the Church is its promotion of prostitution and its knowledge that if there were no sinners there would be no church. If the church eliminated prostitution by ending the split between body and soul, it would also eliminate itself.

— Jell Wells

Prostitution is inherently linked to Christianity as part of its ideology of the suppression of women. St. Augustine, in a quote that is still being used today to justify prostitution, wrote that elimination of prostitution would totally change the social structure. ‘Take away harlots from humanity and you will have tainted everything with lust . . . Give me chastity and continence but not yet.’

— Jess Wells

Vulnerability is not a weakness but a faculty for understanding.

— David Whyte

Having conducted one of the first panoramic surveys of misogyny from a historical perspective, Bloch argues that women-bashing is topos (a “place of thought”), one of those enduring threads that connects one age to another in the Western intellectual experience. He suggests that misogyny is not only a unifying discourse in Western thought, but one of the most enduring: “So persistent is the discourse of misogyny – from the earliest church fathers to Chaucer – that the conformity of its terms furnishes an important link between the Middle Ages and the present and renders the topic compelling because such terms still govern (consciously or not) the ways in which the question of woman is conducted.

— David Gilmore, paraphrasing Bloch

The mystery of the female body is the mystery of birth, which is also the mystery of the unmanifest becoming manifest in the whole of nature.

— Cashford and Baring

The point is that dialog has to go into all the pressures that are behind our assumptions. It goes into the process of thought behind the assumptions, not just the assumptions themselves.

— David Bohm

When we come together to talk, or otherwise to act in common, can each one of us be aware of the subtle fear and pleasure sensations that “block” his ability to listen freely? Without this awareness, the injunction to listen to the whole of what is said will have little meaning. But if each one of us can give full attention to what is actually “blocking” communication while he is also attending properly to the content of what is being communicated, then we may be able to create something new between us, something of very great significance for bringing to an end the at present insoluble problems of the individual and of society.

— David Bohm

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.

— Jimmy Carter

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

— Audre Lorde

I’ll be Post-Feminist in the Post-Patriarchy

— Bumper Sticker

Do I contradict myself? / Very well then I contradict myself, / (I am large, I contain multitudes)

— Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

In this ongoing struggle between what is and what many post-agricultural patriarchal societies insist must be, women who have dared to renounce the credo of the coy female are still spat upon, insulted, divorced, separated from their children, banished, burned as witches, pathologized as heretics, buried to their necks in desert sand, and stoned to death. They and their children – those ‘sons and daughters of bitches’ — are still sacrificed to the perverse gods of ignorance, shame, and fear.

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

Where female coalitions are the ultimate social authority and individual females need not fear the larger males, human societies in which women are “sassy and confident” as Barnes described the Mosuo girls – free to express their minds and sexuality without fear of shame or persecution – tend to be far more comfortable places for most men than societies ruled by a male elite. Maybe matriarchal societies are so difficult for Western male anthropologists to recognize because they expect a culture where men are suffering under the high heels of women – a reverse reflection of the long-standing oppression of women in Western cultures. Instead, observing a society where most of the men are lounging about relaxed and happy, they conclude they’ve found yet another patriarchy, thereby missing the point entirely.

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

Remember this when some loudmouth at the bar declares that “patriarchy is universal, and always has been!” It’s not, and it hasn’t. But rather than feel threatened, we’d recommend that our male readers ponder this: Societies in which women have lots of autonomy and authority tend to be decidedly male-friendly, relaxed, tolerant, and plenty sexy. Got that, fellas? If you’re unhappy at the amount of sexual opportunity in your life, don’t blame the women. Instead, make sure they have equal access to power, wealth, and status. Then watch what happens.

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

And yet, despite repeated assurances that women aren’t particularly sexual creatures, in cultures around the world men have gone to extraordinary lengths to control female libido: female genital mutilation, head-to-toe chadors, medieval witch burnings, chastity belts, suffocating corsets, muttered insults about “insatiable” whores, pathologizing, paternalistic medical diagnoses of nymphomania or hysteria, the debilitating scorn heaped on any female who chooses to be generous with her sexuality. . .all parts of a worldwide campaign to keep the supposedly low-key female libido under control. Why the electrified high-security razor-wire fence to contain a kitty-cat?

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

If women were as libidinous as men, we’re told, society itself would collapse. Lord Action was only repeating what everyone knew in 1875 when he declared, “The majority of women, happily for them and for society, are not very much troubled with sexual feeling of any kind.

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

We believe that the generally accepted myth of the origins and nature of human sexuality is not mere factually flawed, but destructive, sustaining a false sense of what it means to be a human being. This false narrative distorts our sense of our capacities and needs. It amounts to false advertising for a garment that fits almost no one. But we’re all supposed to buy and wear it anyway.

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

Malthus concluded that poverty is as inescapable as the wind and the rain. Nobody’s fault. Just the way it is. This conclusion was very popular with the wealthy and powerful, who were understandably eager to make sense of their good fortune and justify the suffering of the poor as an unavoidable fact of life.

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

In some respects, tho sexual mores of Victorian Britain replicated the mechanics of the age-defining steam engine. Blocking the flow of erotic energy creates ever–increasing pressure which is put to work through , controlled bursts of productivity. Though he was wrong about a lot, it appears Sigmund Freud got it right when he observed that “civilization” is built largely on erotic energy that has been blocked, concentrated, accumulated, and redirected.

— Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn

If you’re not on the edge, you’re taking up too much room

— Bumper Sticker, From Perseverance by Meg Wheatley

I stand among you as one who offers a small message of hope. . .
there are always people who dare
to seek on the margin of society,
who are not dependent
on social acceptance,
not dependent on social routine,
and prefer a kind of free-floating
existence under a state of risk.

— Thomas Merton, From Perseverance by Meg Wheatley

Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.

Courage – “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”

— Brene Brown

The one thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that we’re not worthy of connection.

— Brene Brown

Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.

— Ranier Maria Rilke

I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.

— Ranier Maria Rilke

For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.

— Ranier Maria Rilke

The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.

— Ranier Maria Rilke

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

— Ranier Maria Rilke

Lean into the discomfort

— ??

The world will be saved by western women

— Dalai Lama

I used to dream militant dreams of taking over america to show these whitefolks how it should be done i used to dream radical dreams of blowing everyone away with my perceptive powers of correct analysis i even used to think that i’d be the one to stop the riot and negotiate the peace then i awoke & dug that if i dreamed natural dreams of being a natural woman doing what a woman does when she’s natural i would have a revolution.

— Nikki Giovanni

The self divided is precisely where the self is authentically located. . . We all have identity crises because a single identity is a delusion of the monotheistic mind. . . Authenticity is in the illusion, playing it, seeing through it from within as we play it, like an actor who sees through his mask and can only see in this way.

— James Hillman

He who dares not offend cannot be honest.

— Thomas Paine

Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.

— William S. Burroughs

Where will you drive your own picket stake? Where will you choose to make your stand? Give me a threshold, a specific point at which you will finally stop running, at which you will finally fight back.

— Derrick Jensen

Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.

— Winston Churchill

Once your soul has been enlarged by a truth, it can never return to its original size.

— Blaise Pascal

When seeking guidance, don’t ever listen to the tiny-hearted. Be kind to them, heap them with blessing, cajole them, but do not follow their advice.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

The light of the sacred prostitute penetrates to the heart of this darkness. . . . she is the consecrated priestess, in the temple, spiritually receptive to the feminine power flowing through her from the Goddess, and at the same time joyously aware of the beauty and passion in her human body.

— Marion Woodman

Such a man withdraws when his partner begins to get wild, looking as if she might “eat him alive.” He acts like he is disgusted at her mood, but she can feel the truth: He is afraid.

— David Deida

A man with a weak Masculine is especially prone to despise and fear these qualities and may attempt to suppress the more destructive elements of the Feminine force in his partner.

— David Deida

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

— Alvin Toffler

We think we’re doing it all. But the animals are doing the real work of holding it all together, and keeping us on our path. As are the plants. It’s as if we think the stars and sun and moon and the earth itself aren’t doing any work. It’s as if we think that all of nature is unintelligent except for us.

— Jane Caputi

The earth has Fates all her own. The earth has purpose. And we can only partially know what that purpose is.

— Jane Caputi

I did not have to remember these things, they have remembered themselves all these years.

— Black Elk

The genocidal culture’s image of woman as object and victim is paralleled by contemporary representations that continually show the Earth as a toy, machine, or violated object, as well as by the religious and scientific ideology that legitimates the possession, contamination, and destruction of Mother Earth.

— Jane Caputi

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

— John F. Kennedy

By the time
I get to the corner

bar, corner store, corner construction
site, I become divine. I turn

men into swine. Leave
them behind me whistling, grunting, wild.

— Olga Broumas – Circe

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.

— Honore De Balzac

Before the war on drugs, the war on terror, or the war on cancer, there was the war on female sexual desire. It’s a war that has been raging far longer than any other, and its victim’s number well into the billions by now. Like the others, it’s a war that can never be won, as the declared enemy is a force of nature. We may as well declare war on the cycles of the moon.

— Christopher Ryan

Like all dominant groups, men seek to promote an image of their subordinate’s nature that contributes to the preservation of the status quo. For thousands of years, males have seen women not as women could be, but only as males want them to be.

— Marvin Harris

If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it.

— Erich Fromm

The Feminine force of life is often too wise for the Masculine’s need to know: The mysterious energy of the evolving cosmos is always superior to our temporary scientific notions about it. . .

— David Deida

A revolution that leaves our conceptualization of self and world intact cannot bring other than temporary, superficial change. Only a much deeper revolution, a reconceiving of who we are, can reverse the crises of our age.

— Charles Eisenstein

In brief, the goal of sexual suppression is that of producing an individual who is adjusted to the authoritarian order and who will submit to it in spite of all misery and degradation. . . The formation of the authoritarian structure takes place through the anchoring of sexual inhibition and sexual anxiety.

— Wilhelm Reich

You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for truth; if you don’t care for truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty.

— Tim O’Brien

The rationality of the ruled is always the weapon of the rulers.

— Zygmunt Baumann

Very few of us trust our immediate connection with nature, or the intuitive intelligence of our body. All too easily, we align ourselves with the logical world of Masculine intelligence. As a culture, we have become so Masculine that we are much more comfortable with analytical problem-solving than with ecstatic dancing!

— David Deida

If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I have found that the person with a sense of story built in from childhood is in better shape than one who has not had stories . . One knows what stories can do, how they can make up worlds and transpose existence into these worlds. . . .One learns that worlds are made by words and not only by hammers and wires.

— James Hillman

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. I don’t care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity.

— Emile Zola

We dull our lives by the way we conceive them.

— James Hillman

To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.

— Lao Tsu

Women who are conscious of their true feminine being are attentive to the wisdom of the heart; they do not allow this to be contaminated by collective norms and ideals. This wisdom (in men as well as is women) resides in the body and is related to the principle of Eros.

— Nancy Qualls-Corbett

There is more in a human life than our theories of it allow. Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path. . . This is what I must do, this is what I’ve got to have. This is who I am.

— James Hillman

One always learns one’s mystery at the price of one’s innocence.

— Robertson Davies

Yes we are devilish; that is true we cackle. Yes we are dark like the soil and wild like the animals. And we turn to each other and stare into this darkness. We find it beautiful. We find this darkness irresistible. We cease all hiding.

— Susan Griffin

I recognized it immediately the first time it happened – the cackle of the crone. It is the sound of a woman who is caught inside the mystery of the universe, in the irony of the angst, in the place ego abhors. Bliss.

— Toni Bentley

In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.

— Eric Hoffer

It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

…healing must be sought in the blood of the wound itself. It is another of the old alchemical truths that ‘no solution should be made except in its own blood.

— Nor Hall

The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.

— Muriel Rukeyser

During our interview with her we happen to ask how many times she had been busted. ” Six times,” she answered. “What did it cost you?” I asked. “Four blow jobs,” she replied, as though it were to be taken for granted that the law, too, trades in women’s bodies.

— Sam Janus

That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.

— Erich Fromm

Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous . . . Imperialism is the necessary logical consequence of universalism.

— Samuel P. Huntington

The energy that moves life is the force of the Feminine. She is unstoppable. She is the source of all life, the mover of blood, the breather of breath, the flow of the river’s water. The Feminine is life. We can feel Her moving and living in any moment we are open to Her, or as Her.

— David Deida

When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.

— Dresden James

On the whole, you could say that if you are defending your opinions, you are not serious.

— David Bohm

Let me repeat that: Our civilization is constitutionally incapable of reversing the annihilation of natural capital, or even slowing it down. Get used to that. When we really understand that, the project of reconceiving civilization itself will gain powerful impetus.

— Charles Eisenstein

Truth stood on one side and Ease on the other; it has often been so.

— Theodore Parker

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

— Abraham Lincoln

In my view, all we can expect from one another is new and interesting information.

— Meg Wheatley

Unquestioned beliefs are the real authorities of a culture. Therefore, if an individual can express what is undeniably real to him without invoking any authority beyond his own experience, he is transcending the belief systems of his culture.

— Robert Combs

… If these women [prostitutes] were ” deviants,” as had always been supposed, then what was one to say about their clients, a good many of them, as lawyers, legislators, and judges, were themselves responsible for defining them as deviant in the first place

— Sam Janus

The Truth is heavy, therefore few care to carry it.

— Anonymous

Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking.

— John Maynard Keynes

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

— William Shedd

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

— Robert McCloskey

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"For a woman to explore and express the fullness of her sexuality, her emotional and intellectual capacities, would entail who knows what risks and who knows what truly revolutionary alteration of the social conditions that demean and constrain her."

-Louise J. Kaplan - Female Perversions