Quotes About Self Assertion

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Quotes About Self Assertion

When we feel ourselves to be sole heirs of the universe, when "the sea flows in our veins ... and the stars are our jewels," when all things are perceived as infinite and holy, what motive can we have for covetousness or self-assertion, for the pursuit of power or the drearier forms of pleasure?
— Aldous Huxley —

In the one, we find in ourselves the resources to make the journey to God. In the other, there is no journey except God provide its means and take us by the hand to its end. The one, then, is all about self-assertion albeit clothed and hidden in noble religious language. The other is about grace, and that grace can work only as the self is not simply mortified, or disciplined, but dies. In one, there is self-seeking; in the other, there is self-abnegation.

— David F. Wells

Self-assertion may deceive the ignorant for a time; but when the noise dies away, we cut open the drum, and find it was emptiness that made the music.

— Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Only in love can I find you, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself.

— Karl Rahner

Monasticism had transformed the humble work of discipleship into the meritorious activity of the saints, and the self-renunciation of discipleship into the flagrant spiritual self-assertion of the "religious." The world had crept into the very heart of the monastic life, and was once more making havoc. The monk's attempt to flee from the world turned out to be a subtle form of love for the world.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The practice of that which is ethically best-what we call goodness or virtue-involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence. In place of ruthless self-assertion it demands self-restraint; in place of thrusting aside, or treading down, all competitors, it requires that the individual shall not merely respect, but shall help his fellows ... It repudiates the gladiatorial theory of existence ... Laws and moral precepts are directed to the end of curbing the cosmic process.

— Thomas Henry Huxley

After slipping on a negligee and making herself comfortable on the lounge, she became conscious that she was miserable and that the tears were rolling down her cheeks. She wondered if they were the tears of self-pity, and tried resolutely not to cry, but this existence without hope, without happiness, oppressed her, and she kept shaking her head from side to side, her mouth drawn down tremulously in the corners, as though she were denying the assertion made by some one, somewhere. She did not know that this gesture of hers was years older than history, that, for a hundred generations of men, intolerable and persistent grief has offered that gesture, of denial, of protest, of bewilderment, to something more profound, more powerful than the God made in the image of man, and before which that God, did he exist, would be equally impotent. It is a truth set at the heart of tragedy that this force never explains, never answers - this force intangible as air, more definite than death.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Along with the yearning that came from some deep part of her, that was selfless and exalted, Thea had a hard kind of cockiness, a determination to get ahead. Well, there are passages in life when that fierce, stubborn self-assertion will stand its ground after the nobler feeling is overwhelmed and beaten under.

— Willa Cather

The conclusion that the myth-makers thought in much the same way as we still think in dreams is almost self-evident. The first attempts at myth-making can, of course, be observed in children, whose games of make-believe often contain historical echoes. But one must certainly put a large question-mark after the assertion that myths spring from the "infantile" psychic life of the race. They are on the contrary the most mature product of that young humanity.

— C.G. Jung

Even if it is indifferent to human desires, as it seems to be; if human life is a passing episode, hardly noticeable in the vastness of cosmic processes; if there is no superhuman purpose, and no hope of ultimate salvation, it is better to know and acknowledge this truth than to endeavor, in futile self-assertion, to order the universe to be what we find comfortable.

— Bertrand Russell

Rejection is a form of self-assertion. You have only to look back upon yourself as a person who hates this or that to discover what it is that you secretly love.

— George Santayana

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