Category Archives: Quote of the Day
It has been years since I’ve read William James‘ lectures which he delivered at Edinburgh in 1901-1902. These lectures were compiled and printed in THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE A Study in Human Nature BEING THE GIFFORD LECTURES ON NATURAL RELIGION DELIVERED IN 1901-1902.
I purchased this book in the 1950s and some of the pages are fairly dog-eared so I obviously spent some time with the book in those days.
In the chapter entitled Lecture VIII THE DIVIDED SELF, AND THE PROCESS OF ITS UNIFICATION, James writes that
There are two lives, the natural and the spiritual, and we must lose the one before we can participate in the other.
James went on to quote one Billy Bray: “I can’t help praising the Lord. As I go along the street, I lift up one foot, and it seems to say ‘Glory’; and I lift up the other, and it seems to say ‘Amen’; and so they keep up like that all the time I am walking.”
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
It seems as though the years have just whizzed by without me noticing. My grandchildren are in their teens; my mirror reflects this strange dumpy grey-haired woman and I can’t remember where the young brunette girl went (it seems she was here just the other day).
. . the research suggests that the brain has more control over its own perception of passing time than people may know. For example, many people have the defeated sense that it was just yesterday that they made last year’s resolutions; the year snapped shut, and they didn’t start writing that novel or attend even one Pilates class. But it is precisely because they didn’t act on their plan that the time seemed to have flown away.
At the beginning of 2010, I feel as though I squandered 2009.
The good thing: a fresh start now – in Twenty-Ten!
“Here’s to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here’s to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold.”
Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce