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Nikolai Bukharin

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But to everything in this world there comes an end; there even comes an end to the torments suffered in those intermediate states of transition when the last secret tear of one's soul is bitterly swallowed, and the crisis passes, resolving itself into some new sort of phase, which even as it comes into existence is fated in turn to pass away, to disappear in the eternal changing of the times and seasons.
--
How It All Began : The Prison Novel, one of Bukharin's final works while in prison, as translated by George Shriver, (1998), Ch.8

 
Nikolai Bukharin

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Life passes, but the conditions of life do not. Air, food, water, the moral sense, the mathematical problem and its solution. These things wait upon one generation much as they did upon its predecessor. What, too, is this wonderful residuum which refuses to disappear when the very features of time seem to succumb to the law of change, and we recognize our world no more ? Whence comes this system in which man walks as in an artificial frame, every weight and lever of which must correspond with the outlines of an eternal pattern?
Our spiritual life appears to include three terms in one. They are ever with us, this Past which does not pass, this Future which never arrives. They are part and parcel of this conscious existence which we call Present. While Past and Future have each their seasons of predominance, both are contained in the moment which is gone while we say, "It is here."
So the Eternal is with us, whether we will or not, and the idea of God is inseparable from the persuasion of immortality; the Being which, perfect in itself, can neither grow nor decline, nor indeed undergo any change whatever. The great Static of the universe, the rationale of the steadfast faith of believing souls, the sense of beauty which justifies our high enjoyments, the sense of proportion which upholds all that we can think about ourselves and our world, the sense of permanence which makes the child in very truth parent to the man, able to solve the deepest riddle, the profoundest problem in all that is. Let us then willingly take the Eternal with us in our flight among the suns and stars.
Experience is our great teacher, and on this point it is wholly wanting. No one on the farther side of the great Divide has been able to inform those on the hither side of what lies beyond.

 
Julia Ward Howe
 

We are approaching a more fluid state. I have talked about cultural boiling. The idea of the phase-transition period which, in fractal mathematics, is the chaotic flux between one state and another. …Culturally, and as a species, we are approaching a phase-transition. I don’t know quite what that means, on a human level.

 
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What does winter or autumn or spring or summer know of memory. They know nothing of memory. They know that seasons pass and return. They know that they are seasons. That they are time. And they know how to affirm themselves. And they know how to impose themselves. And they know how to maintain themselves, What does autumn know of summer. What sorrows do seasons have. None hate. None love. They just pass.

 
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“Then shall it come to pass the saying that is written,” a voice said. “Death is swallowed up. In victory.” Perhaps only Fred heard it. “Because,” the voice said, “as soon as the writing appears backward, then you know which is illusion and which is not. The confusion ends, and death, the last enemy, Substance Death, is swallowed not into the body but up—in victory. Behold, I tell you the sacred secret now: we shall not all sleep in death.”

 
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May not the absolute and perfect eternal happiness be an eternal hope, which would die if it were realized? Is it possible to be happy without hope? And there is no place for hope once possession has been realized, for hope, desire, is killed by possession. May it not be, I say, that all souls grow without ceasing, some in a greater measure than others, but all having to pass some time through the same degree of growth, whatever that degree may be, and yet without ever arriving at the infinite, at God, to whom they continually approach? Is not eternal happiness an eternal hope, with its eternal nucleus of sorrow in order that happiness shall not be swallowed up in nothingness?

 
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