Quotations about:
    light


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Even so, one step from my grave,
I believe that cruelty, spite,
The powers of darkness will in time
Be crushed by the spirit of light.

[Но и так, почти у гроба,
Верю я, придет пора —
Силу подлости и злобы
Одолеет дух добра.]

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator
“Nobel Prize [Нобелевская Премия]” st. 4 (1959) [tr. Stallworthy/France (1982)]
    (Source)

On his persecution for winning the 1958 Nobel Prize for Literature for Doctor Zhivago, which had been condemned by the Communist Party and the Soviet government. The poem was not published until Selected Poems (1983).

This upbeat ending is how the poem officially ends. Two more, darker, stanzas were attached to the manuscript by Pasternak, but it is unclear if they were meant to be added (and, if so, where), or if Pasternak ever wanted the poem published.

(Source (Russian)). Alternate translations:

Even now, at the edge of the tomb,
I believe in the virtuous fate, --
And the spirit of goodness will soon
overcome all the malice and hate.
[tr. Kneller]

But even as my grave awaits,
the time will come. I've believed --
The forces of meanness and hate
will be vanquished by the spirit of good.
[tr. Mager]

Yet, as I approach my passing,
I believe the day is near,
When the heart of good surpasses
rage and baseness -- even here.
[tr. Moreton]

Even in my dying hour
I believe it still stronger:
Malice will be overpowered
By the spirit of Good Will.
[tr. Astrakhan]

 
Added on 2-Jul-24 | Last updated 2-Jul-24
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More quotes by Pasternak, Boris

The glory of the One Who moves all things
shines through the universe and is reflected
by all things in proportion to their merit.

[La gloria di colui che tutto move
per l’universo penetra, e risplende
in una parte più e meno altrove.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 3 “Paradiso,” Canto 1, l. 1ff (1.1-3) (1320) [tr. Musa (1984)
    (Source)

God as the "unmoved mover" derives from Aristotle (Metaphysics 12.7), frequently referenced in medieval Scholastic writings.

Musa provides this variant translation as "a more interpretive rendering" in his notes (and a rendering similar to Ciardi's). His more literal translation, which he uses in the main text, is given below.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

His Glory, who, with solitary hand,
Launches thro' boundless space the stellar Band,
And shines effulgent, or involves his Throne
In darkness, as he wills ....
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 1]

His glory, by whose might all things are mov’d,
Pierces the universe, and in one part
Sheds more resplendence, elsewhere less.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

The glory of Him who moveth all things
Pierceth the universe, and shines so fair,
More at one part, and less, perchance, elsewhere.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

The glory of Him who moveth everything
Doth penetrate the universe, and shine
In one part more and in another less.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

The glory of Him who moves all things penetrates through the universe, and shines forth in one quarter more, and less in another.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

His glory who moves all doth penetrate
Throughout the universe, and shineth bright
Here with a greater, there with lesser state.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

The glory of Him who moves everything penetrates through the universe, and shines in one part more and in another less.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

The All-mover's glory penetrates through the universe, and regloweth in one region more, and less in another.
[tr. Wicksteed (1899)]

The glory of Him who moves all things penetrates the universe and shines in one part more and in another less.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

The glory of Him who moveth all that is
Pervades the universe, and glows more bright
In the one region, and in another less.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

The glory of Him who moves all things soe’er
Impenetrates the universe, and bright
The splendour burns, more here and lesser there.
[tr. Sayers/Reynolds (1962)]

The glory of Him who moves all things rays forth
through all the universe, and is reflected
from each thing in proportion to its worth.
[tr. Ciardi (1970)]

The glory of the All-Mover penetrates through the universe and reglows in one part more, and in another less.
[tr. Singleton (1975)]

The glory of him who moves everything
Penetrates the universe and shines
In one part more and, in another, less.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

the glory of the One who moves all things
permeates the universe and glows
in one part more and in another less.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1984)]

The glory of the One Who moves all things
penetrates all the universe and shines
in one part more and in another less.
[tr. Musa (1984)]

The glory of Him who moves all things
penetrates through the universe and shines
forth in one place more and less elsewhere
[tr. Durling (2011)]

The glory of Him, who moves all things, penetrates the universe, and glows in one region more, in another less.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Glory, from Him who moves all things that are,
penetrates the universe and then shines back,
reflected more in one part, less elsewhere.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2007)]

The glory of Him who moves all things
pervades the universe and shines
in one part more and in another less.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

The Glory of He who made and moves it all
Penetrates the entire universe
Glowing in one part more, in another less.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

The glory of the Animator of Everything
Pervades the universe and shines more
In one area and less somewhere else.
[tr. Bang (2021)]

 
Added on 28-Apr-24 | Last updated 28-Apr-24
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

Gustave Dore - Inferno 34-139 stars 1890
Gustave Dore – Inferno 34.139 (1890)

So now we entered on that hidden path,
my lord and I, to move once more towards
a shining world. We did not care to rest.
We climbed, he going first and I behind,
until through some small aperture I saw
the lovely things the skies above us bear.
Now we came out, and once more saw the stars.

[Lo duca e io per quel cammino ascoso
intrammo a ritornar nel chiaro mondo;
sanza cura aver d’alcun riposo,
salimmo sù, el primo e io secondo,
tanto ch’i’ vidi de le cose belle
che porta ’l ciel, per un pertugio tondo.
E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 34, l. 133ff (34.133-139) (1309) [tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]
    (Source)

The end of Book 1, as Virgil and Dante exit the Inferno to the other side of the world, where rises Mount Purgatory.

The word "stars" (stelle) ends each of the three books of the Divine Comedy.

(Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

My Guide and I, to the bright World attain,
Enter'd this secret path; not took repose.
We leaped up, he first, I foll'wing him;
'Till through a space round formed I beheld
Those beauteous sights which are in Heav'n display'd:
And thence we rose to view again the Stars.
[tr. Rogers (1782), l. 130ff]

Still up the wave-worn cliff the Mantuan press'd,
I follow'd faint, deny'd a moment's rest;
'Till dim and dubious thro' the rocks on high,
A ray of welcome light disclos'd our path;
Joyful we left the shadowy realms of death,
And hail'd the op'ning glories of the sky.
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 27]

By that hidden way
My guide and I did enter, to return
To the fair world: and heedless of repose
We climbed, he first, I following his steps,
Till on our view the beautiful lights of heav’n
Dawn’d through a circular opening in the cave:
Thus issuing we again beheld the stars.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

To seek return to daylight world sublime
My guide and I that darksome path explored,
And while he first, I second, 'gan to climb,
No care to rest us might our haste afford,
Till through a rounded opening I saw plain
The glorious things in part which heaven doth hoard,
And thence we rose to view the stars again.
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

The Guide and I entered by that hidden road, to return to the bright world; and without caring for any rest,
we mounted up, he first and I second, so far that I distinguished through a round opening the beauteous things which Heaven bears;
and thence we issued out, again to see the Stars.
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

The leader and myself through pathway hid
Entered, returning to the world that's clear.
Of no reposing had we any care:
We mounted up; he first, the second I.
Through round and hollowed opening, saw afar
The heave, and all the beauteous things it bore;
And then we issued to review the stars.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

My chief and I, following this hidden path,
Set forth on our return to the bright world;
Having no thought nor care for any rest,
Upwards we clomb, he first and second I,
Till I at length through a round opening saw
Those beauteous things which with the heavens revolve;
Thence we went forth once more to see the stars.
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

The Guide and I into that hidden road
Now entered, to return to the bright world;
And without care of having any rest ⁠
We mounted up, he first and I the second,
Till I beheld through a round aperture
Some of those beauteous things which Heaven doth bear;
Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Through that hidden road my Leader and I entered to return into the bright world; and without having a care of any rest we mounted up, he first and I second, so far that I had sight of the fair objects which the Heaven bears, through a round opening; and thence we issued to see again the stars.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

My chief and I by that mysterious way
Entered, the world of light again to find:
Nor with the thought of rest did we delay,
But clambered up, he first, and I behind.
Until I witnessed through that rounded bore
The things so fair athwart the heavens that shined,
And issued thence to see the stars once more.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

My Leader and I entered through that hidden way, to return to the bright world. And without care, to have any repose, we mounted up, he first and I second, till through a round opening I saw of those beauteous things which heaven bears, and thence we came forth to see again the stars.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

My Guide and I went in by that darksome way that we might reach the world of light again; and unconcerned for any thought of rest, we went aloft, he first and I behind, so high that, through a rounded chink, I could behold the beauteous gems which Heaven weareth; and thence came we forth to look once more upon the stars.
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

My guide and I upon that hidden pathway
Entered to make return to the world of
brightness ; And, without taking thought of any resting,
We mounted up, he first and I the second.
So far that I had sight of things of beauty
Borne on the firmament, through a round loophole:
Thence came we forth to see the starry heavens.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

The Leader and I entered on that hidden road to return into the bright world, and without caring to have any rest we climbed up, he first and I second, so far that I saw through a round opening some of the fair things that Heaven bears; and thence we can forth to see again the stars.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

The Guide and I, entering that secret road,
Toiled to return into the world of light.
Nor thought on any resting-place bestowed.
We climbed, he first, I following, till to sight
Appeared those things of beauty that heaven wears
Glimpsed through a rounded opening, faintly bright;
Thence issuing, we beheld again the stars.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

By that hid way my guide and I withal,
Back to the lit world from the darkened dens
Toiled upward, caring for no rest at all,
He first, I following; till my straining sense
Glimpsed the bright burden of the heavenly cars
Through a round hole; by this we climbed, and thence
Came forth, to look once more upon the stars.
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

My Guide and I crossed over and began
to mount that little known and lightless road
to ascend into the shining world again.
He first, I second, without thought of rest
we climbed the dark until we reached the point
where a round opening brought in sight the blest
and beauteous shining of the Heavenly cars.
And we walked out once more beneath the stars.
[tr. Ciardi (1954)]

My leader and I entered on that hidden road to return into the bright world; and caring not for any rest, we climbed up, hie first and I second, so far that through a round opening I saw some of the beautiful things that Heaven bears; and thence we issued forth to see again the stars.
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

My guide and I entered that hidden road
to make our way back up to the bright world.
We never thought of resting while we climbed.
We climbed, he first and I behind, until,
through a small round opening ahead of us
I saw the lovely things the heavens hold,
and we came out to see once more the stars.
[tr. Musa (1971)]

My guide and I came on that hidden road
to make our way back into the bright world;
and with no care for any rest, we climbed
he first, I following -- until I saw,
through a round opening, some of those things
of beauty Heaven bears. It was from there
that we emerged, to see -- once more -- the stars.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

My guide and I started out on that road,
Through its obscurity to return to the bright world;
And not worrying about taking any rest,
We mounted up, he first and I second,
So that I saw some of the lovely things
That are in the heavens, through a round opening;
And then we emerged to see the stars again.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

To get back up to the shining world from there
My guide and I went into that hidden tunnel;
And following its path, we took no care
To rest, but climbed: he first, then I -- so far,
Through a round aperture I saw appear
Some of the beautiful things that Heaven bears,
Where we came forth, and once more saw the stars.
[tr. Pinsky (1994)]

My leader and I entered on that hidden path to return to the bright world; and, without taking care for rest at all,
up we climbed, he first and I second, until I saw the beautiful things the heavens carry, through a round opening.
And thence we came forth to look again at the stars.
[tr. Durling (1996)]

The guide and I entered by that hidden path, to return to the clear world: and, not caring to rest, we climbed up, he first, and I second, until, through a round opening, I saw the beautiful things that the sky holds: and we issued out, from there, to see, again, the stars.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

My guide and I began that hidden route
to journey back into the world of light;
and caring not for rest, but resolute,
we climbed and climbed until we caught a sight,
beyond a rounded opening, of store on store
of things of Heavenly delight;
and we emerged to see the stars once more.
[tr. Carson (2002)]

Into that hidden passage my guide and I
entered, to find again the world of light,
and, without thinking of a moment's rest,
we climbed up, he first and I behind him,
far enough to see, through a round opening,
a few of those fair things the heavens bear.
Then we came forth, to see again the stars.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

My leader and I followed that unknown road,
Which showed us how to return to the shining world,
Nor did we stop for a moment, needing no rest,
Climbing steadily, he in the lead, I next,
Ascending so far that through a circular hole
I could see a few of the beautiful things in Heaven.
And then we came out, and saw the stars again.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

My Guide and I were on the hidden road
That leads back out to where the world is bright.
No need for rest. We bore an easy load:
The task of getting back to the sweet light.
And up we went, he first, I second, to
The point where I could see an opening.
And it was there I saw, when I looked through,
A sight more wonderful than anything --
some of the loveliness revealed to men
By Heaven. We could see the star again.
[tr. James (2013), l. 153ff]

 
Added on 15-Sep-23 | Last updated 15-Sep-23
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

To me are bedroom joys revealed,
Enjoy at will, my lips are sealed.

[Dulcis conscia lectuli lucerna,
Quidquid vis facias licet, tacebo.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 14, epigram 39 (14.39) (AD 84-85) [tr. Whigham (1987)]
    (Source)

"A Bedside Lamp [Lucerna cubicularis]". (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Privy to nocturnal glee;
Nought I say, of all I see.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), "The Chamber-Lamp," Book 11, ep. 17]

I am a night-lamp, privy to the pleasures of the couch; do whatever you please, I shall be silent.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859), "A Night-Lamp"]

I am a lamp, privy to the pleasures of your couch: you may do what you will, I shall be silent.
[tr. Ker (1920), "A Bedroom Lamp"]

A lamp am I, aware of your joy in bed:
Do what you will, not one word will be said.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

I am a lamp, confidante of your sweet bed. You may do whatever you will, I shall be silent.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993), "Bedroom Lamp"]

I show but do not countenance what you do.
Douse me. The only record is in you.
[tr. Porter (2010), "A Bedside Light"]

 
Added on 22-Apr-22 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
Sand and Foam (1946)
    (Source)
 
Added on 22-Mar-22 | Last updated 22-Mar-22
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Without darkness, nothing comes to birth,
As without light, nothing flowers.

May Sarton
May Sarton (1912-1995) Belgian-American poet, novelist, memoirist [pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton]
“The Invocation to Kali,” Part 5, Poetry (Feb 1971)
    (Source)
 
Added on 24-Aug-21 | Last updated 24-Aug-21
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When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it,
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it,
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Amanda Gorman (b. 1998) American poet and activist
“The Hill We Climb” (2021)
    (Source)

Read at the Presidential Inauguration (20 Jan 2021).
 
Added on 1-Apr-21 | Last updated 1-Apr-21
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As stars in the night sky glittering
round the moon’s brilliance blaze in all their glory
when the air falls to a sudden, windless calm …
all the lookout peaks stand out and the jutting cliffs
and the steep ravines and down from the high heavens bursts
the boundless, bright air and all the stars shine clear
and the shepherd’s heart exults.

[Ὡς δ’ ὅτ’ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἄστρα φαεινὴν ἀμφὶ σελήνην
φαίνετ’ ἀριπρεπέα, ὅτε τ’ ἔπλετο νήνεμος αἰθήρ·
ἔκ τ’ ἔφανεν πᾶσαι σκοπιαὶ καὶ πρώονες ἄκροι
καὶ νάπαι· οὐρανόθεν δ’ ἄρ’ ὑπεῤῥάγη ἄσπετος αἰθήρ,
πάντα δὲ εἴδεται ἄστρα, γέγηθε δέ τε φρένα ποιμήν.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 8, l. 551ff (8.551-555) (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990), ll. 641-47]

Used as a metaphor for the campfires of the Trojan troops before Ilium. Alternate translations:

As when about the silver moon, when air is free from wind,
And stars shine clear, to whose sweet beams, high prospects, and the brows
Of all steep hills and pinnacles, thrust up themselves for shows,
And ev’n the lowly valleys joy to glitter in their sight,
When the unmeasur’d firmament bursts to disclose her light,
And all the signs in heav’n are seen, that glad the shepherd’s heart.
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 486ff]

As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light,
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumbered gild the glowing pole,
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain's head;
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies:
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

As when around the clear bright moon, the stars
Shine in full splendor, and the winds are hush’d,
The groves, the mountain-tops, the headland-heights
Stand all apparent, not a vapor streaks
The boundless blue, but ether open’d wide
All glitters, and the shepherd’s heart is cheer’d.
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 643ff]

As when in heaven the stars appear very conspicuous around the lucid moon, when the æther is wont to be without a breeze, and all the pointed rocks and lofty summits and groves appear, but in heaven the immense æther is disclosed, and all the stars are seen, and the shepherd rejoices in his soul.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

As when in Heav'n, around the glitt'ring moon
The stars shine bright amid the breathless air;
And ev'ry crag and ev'ry jutting peak
Stands boldly forth, and ev'ry forest glade;
Ev'n to the gates of Heav'n is open'd wide
The boundless sky; shines each particular star
Distinct; joy fills the gazing shepherd's heart.
[tr. Derby (1864), ll. 629-35]

Even as when in heaven the stars about the bright moon shine clear to see, when the air is windless, and all the peaks appear and the tall headlands and glades, and from heaven breaketh open the infinite air, and all stars are seen, and the shepherd’s heart is glad.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

As when the stars shine clear, and the moon is bright -- there is not a breath of air, not a peak nor glade nor jutting headland but it stands out in the ineffable radiance that breaks from the serene of heaven; the stars can all of them be told and the heart of the shepherd is glad.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Even as in heaven about the gleaming moon the stars shine clear, when the air is windless, and forth to view appear all mountain peaks and high headlands and glades, and from heaven breaketh open the infinite air, and all stars are seen, and the shepherd joyeth in his heart.
[tr. Murray (1924)]
As when in heaven principal stars shine out around the moon when the night sky is limpid, with no wind, and all the lookout points, headlands, and mountain clearings are distinctly seen, as though pure space had broken through, downward from heaven, and all the stars are out, and in his heart the shepherd sings.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

 
Added on 11-Nov-20 | Last updated 8-Dec-21
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But also I say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,
when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
“Poppies,” Blue Iris (2004)
    (Source)
 
Added on 31-Mar-20 | Last updated 31-Mar-20
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Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Reaper Man (1991)
 
Added on 31-May-19 | Last updated 31-May-19
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And God said, Let there be light, and there was light; but Eastern Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.

Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan (1918-2002) Anglo-Irish comedian, writer, actor
The Bible According to Spike Milligan, “The Creation According to the Trade Unions” (1994)
    (Source)

Quoted in Spike Milligan's Meaning of Life: A Sort of Autobiography, ch. 1 (2011) [ed. Norma Farnes]
 
Added on 13-Aug-15 | Last updated 13-Aug-15
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If thou hast Knowledge, let others light their Candle at thine.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Introductio ad Prudentiam, #1784 (1727)
    (Source)

Often misattributed to Margaret Fuller or Winston Churchill, frequently in modern English, e.g., "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it" (or "in it" or "with it").

More discussion about this quotation:
 
Added on 9-Apr-15 | Last updated 7-Feb-24
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People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) Swiss-American psychiatrist, author
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Attributed to her by the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation.

The quotation is often cited to Jim Clemmer, The Leader's Digest (2003), but Clemmer simply attributes it to Kübler-Ross. I have been unable to find an primary source.
 
Added on 10-Jun-13 | Last updated 16-Oct-23
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Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction […] The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
Strength To Love, ch. 5 “Loving Your Enemies,” sec. 2 (1963)
    (Source)

See also this.
 
Added on 20-Apr-12 | Last updated 16-Jan-23
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More quotes by King, Martin Luther

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)
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I know a number of highly sensitive and intelligent people in my own communion who consider as a heresy my faith that God’s loving concern for his creation will outlast all our willfulness and pride. No matter how many eons it takes, he will not rest until all of creation, including Satan, is reconciled to him, until there is no creature who cannot return his look of love with a joyful response of love […] Some people feel it to be heresy because it appears to deny man his freedom to refuse to love God. But this, it seems to me, denies God his freedom to go on loving us beyond all our willfulness and pride. If the Word of God is the light of the world, and this light cannot be put out, ultimately it will brighten all the dark corners of our hearts and we will be able to see, and seeing, will be given the grace to respond with love — and of our own free will.

Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) American writer
The Irrational Season (1977)
 
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Where there is much light, the shadows are deepest.

[Wo viel Licht is, ist starker Schatten.]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Gotz von Berlichingen, I, 24 (1773)
 
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I made a comparison at table some time since, which has often been quoted, and received many compliments. It was that of the mind of a bigot to the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) American poet, essayist, scholar
“The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” Atlantic Monthly (1858-04)
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Often trimmed/paraphrased to "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract." Frequently misattributed to his son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The Autocrat himself correctly comments that a similar phrase appears in Thomas Moore, Preface to the poems "Corruption" and "Intolerance":

The minds of some of our statesmen, like the pupil of the human eye, contract themselves the more the stronger light there is shed upon them.

The Autocrat goes on to note, "When a person of fair character for literary honesty uses an image such as another has employed before him, the presumption is, that he has struck upon it independently, or unconsciously recalled it, supposing it his own."

Collected in The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, ch. 6 (1858)

 
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So we’re just in this maze for now, trying to figure out if that glint in the distance is daylight, or a Minotaur with an Uzi.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, “ATTN JMS: Warner Bros” (8 Dec 1996)
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My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night:
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends —
It gives a lovely light!

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) American poet
“Figs from Thistles: First Fig” in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse (1918-06)
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Collected in A Few Figs From Thistles (1921).
 
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