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Quotes on the human condition – please submit your own…

From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

From Philip Roth The Human Stain:

"It is in everyone...Inherent. Defining. The stain is there before its mark. Without the sign it is there. The stain so intrinsic that it doesn't require a mark. The stain that precedes disobedience, that encompasses disobedience and perplexes all explanation and understanding. It's why all the cleansing is a joke. A barbaric joke at that. The fantasy purity is appalling. It's insane. What is the quest to purify, if not more impurity?"
From the Minnesota Crime Commission, 1926:

"Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it -- his bottle, his mother's attention, his playmate's toy, his uncle's watch. Deny him these wants, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous, were he not so helpless. He is dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist."

Miroslav Volf, from Exclusion and Embrace:

‎"Forgiveness flounders when we exclude our enemies from the community of humans and when we exclude ourselves from the community of sinners."

Russell Brand (thanks Simon)

“All addictions comes from the same root – an inability to cope with some sense of longing and yearning – whether chocolate, sex or drugs… I would say ultimately all addiction comes from the same root… We all have a yearning… All desire is the inappropriate substitute for the ultimate desire to be at one with God."

Do you have some quotes? Share the wealth in the comments...

11 thoughts on “Quotes on the human condition – please submit your own…

  1. Steve Martin

    From Jesus:

    (Mark 7:21)

    "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness."

    When I am honest with myself, I can see that Jesus knows me all too well.

  2. Ken

    We had our election in the states yesterday.
    (6 Billion dollars spent nothing was changed) This was my quote yesterday...

    Vote if you may, but at the end of the day,

    Know that only one vote counts.

    "God is the one who justifies."

    This is really just a two party system.

    You are either dead in Adam or alive in Christ !!!

  3. Simon Oatridge

    Love your blogs Glenn, many thanks.

    Here's a few of my favourites:

    Russell Brand, talking about his book, Booky Wook a few years ago on Richard and Judy
    "all addictions comes from the same root - an inability to cope with some sense of longing and yearning - whether chocolate, sex or drugs... I would say ultimately all addiction comes from the same root... We all have a yearning... All desire is the inappropriate substitute for the ultimate desire to be at one with God'

  4. Glen

    Hi Anthony, thanks for checking. Hmm. I wrote it down from a Rico Tice talk 10 years ago. Maybe it's one of those "preacher's quotes." Perhaps I'll take it down until verified otherwise

  5. Anthony Smith

    It sounds plausible, but I was a little suspicious. I know nothing of Smith (no relation), but a while ago I read something in his defence, which made me think that the self-centred attitude he had in mind was (ideally) a bit more like the self-centred attitude of a Christian hedonist of the John Piper variety. Quoting Smith:

    "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it."

  6. John B

    From John Zizioulas:

    "There is a pathology built into the very roots of our existence, inherited through our birth, and that is the fear of the other. This is a result of the rejection of the par excellence "Other", our Creator, by the first man, Adam, and before him, by the demonic powers that revolted against God. The essence of sin is the fear of the Other, which is part of the rejection of God. Once the affirmation of the "self" is realized through the rejection and not the acceptance of the Other—this is what Adam chose in his freedom to do—it is only natural and inevitable for the other to become an enemy and a threat. Reconciliation with God is a necessary precondition for reconciliation with any 'other'."

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