1 " He returned to his seat and sat down; the road is so long, so long; he had to get through these spaces where stations clustered about the track amidst the black night like some black coffin set with candles. He thought that minute was flying after minute, mile after mile, everything was moving — even he was moving — but to where?("Adam") "
2 " Adam Antonovich's father was a tubby tyrant with a triple chin and chinks where his eyes should have been. All his life he had amassed money. In old age he had exchanged it for space; his estates grew, grew and swelled.("Adam") "
4 " The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means. "
7 " Thus spoke the Beauty and her voice had a cheerful ring, and her face was aflame with a great rejoicing. She finished her story and began to laugh quietly, but not cheerfully. The Youth bowed down before her and silently kissed her hands, inhaling the languid fragrance of myrrh, aloe and musk which wafted from her body and her fine robes. The Beauty began to speak again.'There came to me streams of oppressors, because my evil, poisonous beauty bewitches them. I smile at them, they who are doomed to death, and I feel pity for each of them, and some I almost loved, but I gave myself to no one. Each one I gave but one single kiss — and my kisses were innocent as the kisses of a tender sister. And whomsoever I kissed, died.'The soul of the troubled Youth was caught in agony, between two quite irresolvable passions, the terror of death and an inexpressible ecstasy. But love, conquering all, overcoming even the anguish of death's grief, was triumphant once again today. Solemnly stretching out his trembling hands to the tender and terrifying Beauty, the Youth exclaimed, 'If death is in your kiss, o beloved, let me revel in the infinity of death. Cling to me, kiss me, love me, envelop me with the sweet fragrance of your poisonous breath, death after death pour into my body and into my soul before you destroy everything that once was me!''You want to! You are not afraid!' exclaimed the Beauty.The face of the Beauty was pale in the rays of the lifeless moon, like a guttering candle, and the lightning in her sad and joyful eyes was trembling and blue. With a trusting movement, tender and passionate, she clung to the Youth and her naked, slender arms were entwined about his neck.'We shall die together!' she whispered. 'We shall die together. All the poison of my heart is afire and flaming streams are rushing through my veins, and I am all enveloped in some great holocaust.''I am aflame!' whispered the Youth, 'I am being consumed in your embraces and you and I are two flaming fires, burning with the immense ecstasy of a poisonous love.'The sad and lifeless moon grew dim and fell in the sky — and the black night came and stood watch. It concealed the secret of love and kisses, fragrant and poisonous, with gloom and solitude. And it listened to the harmonious beating of two hearts growing quieter, and in the frail silence it watched over the final delicate sighs.And so, in the poisonous Garden, having breathed the fragrances which the Beauty breathed, and having drunk the sweetness of her love so tenderly and fatally compassionate, the beautiful Youth died. And on his breast the Beauty died, having delivered her poisonous but fragrant soul up to sweet ecstasies.("The Poison Garden") "
8 " On the third day Vera said:'I love your body because it is beautiful. But I do not know your soul. I do not know whether there is a soul. Nor is it necessary for me because your body is beautiful.But everything is mutable and you will grow old. At first your face will grow old. Your body will live longer. An old face will be a mockery before a youthful body. And then a wasted body will be a mockery to ravenous desires.This is like the dead light of the setting sun which from the clouds above was reflected in the water... feeble and full of disillusion.Should I not kill you so that I might always possess you for myself.'And Vera became terrifying.I found this unpleasant.But from these words I understood that she had decided upon the day.("Thirty-Three Abominations") "
11 " He asked her, 'Why do you feel sorry for me, Old Woman?'The Old Woman stood beside him and looked out the window at the Garden, so beautiful, flowering and everywhere illuminated by the rays of the setting sun, and said, 'I feel sorry for you, dear Youth, because I know where you are gazing and what you are waiting for. I feel sorry for you and your mother.'Perhaps because of these words, or perhaps because of something else, there was a change in the Youth's mood. The Garden, flowering behind the high fence below his window, and exuding a wonderful fragrance, suddenly seemed somehow strange to him; and an ominous sensation, a sudden fear, gripped his heart with a violent palpitation, like heady and languid fragrances rising from brilliant flowers.'What is happening?' he wondered in confusion.("The Poison Garden") "
12 " The Old Woman asked, "Here you are, dear Youth, you are looking at the Garden and do not know that it is an evil Garden. Here you are waiting for the Beautiful Woman and do not know that her beauty is destructive. You have been living in my room for two years and never before have you become so engrossed as you have today. Apparently your turn has come too. Go away from the window before it is too late, do not breathe the evil fragrance of these deceitful flowers and do not wait for the Beautiful Woman to appear below your window and enchant you. She will come, she will enchant you, and you will follow her against your will.Speaking thus, the Old Woman lit two candles on the table where some books were lying, banged the window shut and drew the curtain tightly across the window. The curtain rings scraped lightly along the bronze curtain rod, and the yellow linen of the curtain fluttered and once again lay motionless — and the room became cheerful, comfortable and peaceful. And it seemed that there was no longer any garden beyond the window, nor was there any sorcery in the world, and everything was simple, ordinary, and would remain so once and for all.("The Poison Garden") "
14 " You walk and walk and walk and then you look at back and see your youth, so far away from you, so young, so curious, so hopeful, so breezy, so brave! To feel young in old age, remember your youth very often! Remind yourself frequently what you were once! "
17 " The Church is the Body of Christ, and as such it is both heavenly and earthly. The Church is the communion of saints, and it includes as members both angels and shepherds - cherubim and seraphim, and you, and me. "
18 " If you have ever belonged to such a community, however, you may have discovered that the trouble starts when darkness falls on your life, which can happen in any number of unsurprising ways: you lose your job, your marriage falls apart, your child acts out in some attention getting way, you pray hard for something that does not happen, you begin to doubt some of the things you have been taught about what the Bible says. The first time you speak of these things in a full solar church, you can usually get a hearing. Continue to speak of them and you may be reminded that God will not let you be tested beyond your strength. All that is required of you is to have faith. If you still do not get the message, sooner or later it will be made explicit for you: the darkness is your own fault, because you do not have enough faith. "
19 " The purpose of the local church is not primarily to be one's church home or extended family, though it can be at times. And it is not to survive by obtaining more people for its support base. Its purpose is to invite people to be part of the true mission of the church. Reception into the church is only a threshold to involvement in its mission. The task of the church is not to accumulate attendees. The church is a school for developing agents of the new creation from among those who are the beneficiaries of God's grace. "