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Conrad Aiken

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Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
And birth with laughter and pain.
And the trees grew taller and blacker against the skies
And night came down again.

Conrad Aiken

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Laughter is the Wild Body's song of triumph.
2. Laughter is the climax in the tragedy of seeing, hearing and smelling self-consciously.
3. Laughter is the bark of delight of a gregarious animal at the proximity of its kind.
4. Laughter is an independent, tremendously important, and lurid emotion.
5. Laughter is the representative of Tragedy, when Tragedy is away.
6. Laughter is the emotion of tragic delight.
7. Laughter is the female of Tragedy.
8. Laughter is the strong elastic fish, caught in Styx, springing and flapping about until it dies.
9. Laughter is the sudden handshake of mystic violence and the anarchist.
10. Laughter is the mind sneezing.
11. Laughter is the one obvious commotion that is not complex, or in expression dynamic.
12. Laughter does not progress. It is primitive, hard and unchangeable.

Wyndham Lewis

The kabalists say that a man is not dead when his body is entombed. Death is never sudden; for, according to Hermes, nothing goes in nature by violent transitions. Everything is gradual, and as it required a long and gradual development to produce the living human being, so time is required to completely withdraw vitality from the carcass. "Death can no more be an absolute end, than birth a real beginning. Birth proves the preexistence of the being, as death proves immortality," says the same French kabalist [Eliphas Levi].

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

In the night as he slept Boyd came to him and squatted by the deep embers of the fire as he'd done times by the hundreds and smiled his soft smile that was not quite cynical and he took off his hat and held it before him and looked down into it. In the dream he knew that Boyd was dead and that the subject of his being so must be approached with a certain caution for that which was circumspect in life must be doubly so in death and he'd no way to know what word or gesture might subtract him back again into that nothingness out of which he'd come. When finally he did ask him what it was like to be dead Boyd only smiled and looked away and would not answer. They spoke of other things and he tried not to wake from the dream but the ghost dimmed and faded and he woke and lay looking up at the stars through the bramblework of the treelimbs and he tried to think of what that place could be where Boyd was but Boyd was dead and wasted in his bones wrapped in the soogan upriver in the trees and he turned his face to the ground and wept.

Cormac McCarthy

That so much time was wasted in this pain.
Ten thousand years ago he might have let off down
To not return again!
A dreadful laugh at last escapes his lips;
The laughter sets him free.
A Fool lives in the Universe! he cries.
The Fool is me!
And with one final shake of laughter
Breaks his bonds.
The nails fall skittering to marble floors.
And Christ, knelt at the rail, sees miracle
As Man steps down in amiable wisdom
To give himself what no one else can give:
His liberty.

Ray Bradbury

It is far from my intention to claim that I have reached a very high stage on the path to attainment of the highest wisdom, or that I have attained complete "inner peace." However, I can claim that I practice bhavana every day. I try to cultivate the ethical aspects of Buddhism, and I believe that I have attained a greater degree of emotional equilibrium than most people. This explains why the tragic news of the sudden death (in a traffic accident) of my only son, Tin Maung Thant, on May 21, 1962, with minimal emotional reaction. For are not birth and death the two phases of the same life process? According to the Buddha, birth is followed by death, but death, in turn, is followed by rebirth.

U Thant
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