Friday, December 15, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Far or forgot to me is near;
Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame.
--
Brahma', st. 2.

 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not consider glory and fame to be of great account unless they are achieved through having my subjects respect Dhamma and practice Dhamma, both now and in the future. For this alone does Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desire glory and fame. And whatever efforts Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, is making, all of that is only for the welfare of the people in the next world, and that they will have little evil. And being without merit is evil. This is difficult for either a humble person or a great person to do except with great effort, and by giving up other interests. In fact, it may be even more difficult for a great person to do.

 
Ashoka the Great
 

I was in too much haste, and now have no time left. I traded all the sunlight and the cities and the distant lands for a handful of power, for a shadow, for the dark.

 
Ursula K. Le Guin
 

It's so much easier to create our own gods; gods that are fully knowable. Those are the gods of atheism, occultism, religion and sometimes even Christianity. Then, of course, there are those prejudices that we demand of our gods. Women who take offense at a "male" God create for themselves a female or neuter god. There, we have all the racial gods, the black gods, white gods, and cultural gods, the Spanish gods, African gods, Indian gods and so on. All of them called god. And yet none of them are truly Him. Some may be tiny glimpses of Him. Maybe His big toe or little finger, but nothing more. Others are not even that. They’re only delusions from our prejudices.

 
Sean Sellers
 

As to the viciousness of the philosophers, the meaning of this complaint is succinctly expressed in the charge that the philosophers do not “hold the gods the city holds.” And this accusation is most true. The quest for wisdom begins in doubt of the conventional wisdom about the highest things. The most cherished beliefs of the community, the collective hopes and fears, are centered on its gods. The unpardonable thing is to be beyond these hopes and fears, beyond the awe and shame the gods impose.

 
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Posthumous fame, book fame, nerd fame is not like the good kind of fame. It might last for centuries and let antique egg heads torture the young from the grave, but it just doesn't pay the bills.

 
Laura Penny
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