Best 116 of Epiphany quotes - MyQuotes
...that realisation that I was the oddity, the statistical probability, life was predictable.
He is only one of a million no, a billion stories you could tell about the living beings on just this side of the mountain. The fact is that there are more stories in the space of a single second, in a single square foot of dirt and air and water, then we could tell in a hundred years. The word amazing isn't much of a word for how amazing it is. The fact is that there are more stories in the world than there are fish in the sea or birds in the air or lies among politicians. You could be sad at how many stories go untold, but you could also be delighted at how many stories we catch and share in delight and wonder and astonishment and illumination and sometimes even epiphany.
The truth can set us free but can hurt us sometimes...
I'm suspicious of epiphanies, because they so rarely last.
I was in no tent under leaves, sleepless and glad. There was no moon at all; along the world’s coasts the sea tides would be springing strong. The air itself also has lunar tides; I lay still. Could I feel in the air an invisible sweep and surge, and an answering knock in the lungs? Or could I feel the starlight? Every minute on a square mile of this land one ten thousandth of an ounce of starlight spatters to earth. What percentage of an ounce did that make on my eyes and cheeks and arms, tapping and nudging as particles, pulsing and stroking as waves?
He did not want to play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld. He did not know where to seek it or how, but a premonition which led him on told him that this image would, without any overt act of his, encounter him. They would meet quietly as if they had known each other and had made their tryst, perhaps at one of the gates or in some more secret place. They would be alone, surrounded by darkness and silence: and in that moment of supreme tenderness he would be transfigured. He would fade into something impalpable under her eyes and then in a moment he would be transfigured. Weakness and timidity and inexperience would fall from him in that magic moment.
He thought back to everything that happened the night before: the hooded men, the chase, his tired heart and weak legs. The very moment in which Mathias realized it was over, when he'd decided to sacrifice his own life in order to save the young man by his side, the monk had found something fundamental inside himself. Deep in his soul, in that hidden place that can only be discovered when a person finds himself poised on the edge of the abyss, gasping what he thought was his last breath, he'd suddenly seen it. Only then did he realize what he held dearest in his heart. Because the last thing to cross his mind, what he'd thought about the moment he'd spun around, prepared to impale himself on the blade, had been a face. No thoughts of God or faith or any other saint. A face. That's when everything became clear.
Looking into the spirit of others is sometimes like looking into a pond. Though we aim to see what's deep in the bottom, we are often distracted by our own reflection.
These are maybe the most exciting stars, those just above where sky meets land and ocean, because we so seldom see them, blocked as they usually are by atmosphere…and, as I grow more and more accustomed to the dark, I realize that what I thought were still clouds straight overhead aren’t clearing and aren’t going to clear, because these are clouds of stars, the Milky Way come to join me. There’s the primal recognition, my soul saying, yes, I remember.
Those people who shoot endless time-lapse films of unfurling roses and tulips have the wrong idea. They should train their cameras instead on the melting of pack ice, the green filling of ponds, the tidal swings…They should film the glaciers of Greenland, some of which creak along at such a fast clip that even the dogs bark at them. They should film the invasion of the southernmost Canadian tundra by the northernmost spruce-fir forest, which is happening right now at the rate of a mile every 10 years. When the last ice sheet receded from the North American continent, the earth rebounded 10 feet. Wouldn’t that have been a sight to see?
It was as if I finally understood what being present meant. I had heard it so many times in yoga classes but I had never experienced it. It was like a protective film that someone had forgotten to take off was peeled back from my brain, and I could finally see things clearly. How I wasn't truly stuck.
The teacher is a catalyst to convert information from a high energy state (list of facts) to a low energy state (visual concept associated with known concepts).
Today is the winter solstice. The planet tilts just so to its star, lists and holds circling in a fixed tension between veering and longing, and spins helpless, exalted, in and out of that fleet blazing touch. Last night Orion vaulted and spread all over the sky, pagan and lunatic, his shoulder and knee on fire, his sword three suns at the ready-for what? I won’t see this year again, not again so innocent; and longing wrapped round my throat like a scarf. “For the Heavenly Father desires that we should see,” says Ruysbroeck, “and that is why He is ever saying to our inmost spirit one deep unfathomable word and nothing else.” But what is the word? Is this mystery or coyness? A cast-iron bell hung from the arch of my rib cage; when I stirred, it rang, or it tolled, a long syllable pulsing ripples up my lungs and down the gritty sap inside my bones, and I couldn’t make it out; I felt the voiced vowel like a sigh or a note but I couldn’t catch the consonant that shaped it into sense.
Most of the words we use in history and everyday speech are like mental depth charges. As they descend [through our consciousness] and detonate, their resonant power is unleashed, showering our understanding with fragments of accumulated meaning and association.
What I learned in Rwanda was that God is not absent when great evil is unleashed. Whether that evil is man-made or helped along by darker forces, God is right there, saving those who respond to His urgings and trying to heal the rest.
Shh," I interrupted him. "Hold on a second. I think I'm having an epiphany here.
Now the wren has gone to roost and the sky is turnin' gold And like the sky my soul is also turnin' Turnin' from the past, at last and all I've left behind
I get it.
In the forty minutes I watched the muskrat, he never saw me, smelled me, or heard me at all. When he was in full view of course I never moved except to breathe. My eyes would move, too, following his, but he never noticed. Only once, when he was feeding from the opposite bank about eight feet away did he suddenly rise upright, all alert- and then he immediately resumed foraging. But he never knew I was there. I never knew I was there, either. For that forty minutes last night I was as purely sensitive and mute as a photographic plate; I received impressions, but I did not print out captions. My own self-awareness had disappeared; it seems now almost as though, had I been wired to electrodes, my EEG would have been flat. I have done this sort of thing so often that I have lost self-consciousness about moving slowly and halting suddenly. And I have often noticed that even a few minutes of this self-forgetfulness is tremendously invigorating. I wonder if we do not waste most of our energy just by spending every waking minute saying hello to ourselves. Martin Buber quotes an old Hasid master who said, “When you walk across the field with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their souls come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.
Tonight I miss you like the sky misses his moon; a delicate epiphany growing on grass. I serenade the breeze into dancing a cha cha cha; the mountains echo in the background. September sky never looked more charming; or the sublime petals of the rose looked so graceful.
The student thought again that if Vasilisa wept and her daughter was troubled, then obviously what he had just told them, something that had taken place nineteen centuries ago, had a relation to the present––to both women, and probably to this desolate village, to himself, to all people. . .The past, he thought, is connected with the present in an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of the other. And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain: he touched one end, and the other moved. - The Student
Yes, it’s tough, it’s tough, that goes without saying. But isn’t waiting itself and longing a wonder, being played on by wind, sun, and shade?
He walked on down the dark, empty street. Suddenly an idea came to him. Immediately, with his whole being, he knew it was true. He had glimpsed a new and improbable explanation for the atomic phenomena that up until now had seemed so hopelessly inexplicable; abysses had suddenly changed into bridges. What clarity and simplicity! This idea was astonishingly graceful and beautiful. It seemed to have given birth to itself – like a white water-lily appearing out of the calm darkness of a lake. He gasped, reveling in its beauty… And how strange, he thought suddenly, that this idea should have come to him when his mind was far away from anything to do with science, when the discussions that so excited him were those of free men, when his words and the words of his friends had been determined only by freedom, by bitter freedom.
I had an epiphany a few years ago when I was out at a celebrity party and it suddenly dawned on me that I had yet to meet a celebrity who is as smart and interesting as any of my friends.
It’s a little-known secret, and it should probably stay that way: attempting suicide usually jump-starts your brain chemistry. There must be something about taking all those pills that either floods the brain sufficiently or depletes it so completely that balance is restored. Whatever the mechanism, the result is that you emerge on the other side of the attempt with an awareness of what it means to be alive. Simple acts seem miraculous: you can stand transfixed for hours just watching the wind ruffle the tiny hairs along the top of your arm. And always, with every sensation, is the knowledge that you must have survived for a reason. You just can’t doubt it anymore. You must have a purpose, or you would have died. You have the rest of your life to discover what that purpose is. And you can’t wait to start looking.
I have epiphanies all the time, because I'm always thinking. I'm a thinker. I'm always writing poetry, I'm always coming to conclusions.
It looked as though the leaves of the autumn forest had taken flight, and were pouring down the valley like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, all the leaves of the hardwoods from here to Hudson’s Bay. It was as if the season’s colors were draining away like lifeblood, as if the year were molting and shedding. The year was rolling down, and a vital curve had been reached, the tilt that gives way to headlong rush. And when the monarch butterflies had passed and were gone, the skies were vacant, the air poised. The dark night into which the year was plunging was not a sleep but an awakening, a new and necessary austerity, the sparer climate for which I longed. The shed trees were brittle and still, the creek light and cold, and my spirit holding its breath.
I just had a epiphany, I need to go to Tiffany's
Without the quest, there can be no epiphany.
I have often noticed that these things, which obsess me, neither bother nor impress other people even slightly. I am horribly apt to approach some innocent at a gathering, and like the ancient mariner, fix him with a wild, glitt’ring eye and say, “Do you know that in the head of the caterpillar of the ordinary goat moth there are two hundred twenty-eight separate muscles?” The poor wretch flees. I am not making chatter; I mean to change his life.
And what lights the sun? Its own fire. And the sun goes on, day after day, burning and burning. The sun and time. The sun and time and burning. Burning. The river bobbled him along gently. Burning. The sun and every clock on the earth. It all came together and became a single thing in his mind. After a long time of floating on the land and a short time of floating in the river he knew why he must never burn again in his life.
Sean looks up at her, and he wants to explain it all to her. Explain what it’s like to be rubbed so raw, to have your emotional threshold exceeded day after day, your psyche beaten so completely that you have no choice but to turn inward, shunning any and everything that’s ever brought you comfort. He wants to explain that—up until the past month or so—he’d been existing in a black hole, a mental abyss that he only recently realized he put himself in. But watching Lauren’s face—the concern in her expression, so pure and complete, considering he’s technically still a complete stranger—he realizes he doesn’t have to explain anything. She knows what it’s like. Everybody does.
He's just not that into you.
Sometimes we get stuck in patterns or reoccurring themes in our lives that require a shocking epiphany to give us the opportunity to see new possibilities and notice the obstacles that keep us from moving on.
T. S. Eliot
A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter. And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, Lying down in the melting snow. There were times we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet. Then the camel men cursing and grumbling And running away, and wanting their liquor and women, And the night fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it. At the end we preferred to travel all night, Sleeping in snatches, With the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly. Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley, Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation; With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness, And three trees on the low sky, And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel, Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, And feet kicking the empty wine-skins, But there was no information, and so we continued And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory. All this was a long time ago, I remember, And I would do it again, but set down This set down This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death. We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death.
But he saw now that he must remain alone, a "Liberal," scorned by all the noisier prophets for refusing to be a willing cat for the busy monkeys of either side. But at worst, the Liberals, the Tolerant, might in the long run preserve some of the arts of civilization, no matter which brand of tyranny should finally dominate the world.
Perhaps the journey towards epiphany is an unseen, steady process towards understanding. Likened to a combination safe, as you scroll the dial towards the inevitable correct combination you cannot tangibly see your progress.
The music is happy; the laughter is happy. Everything feels ecstatic and desperate. Blurrily, I think of sex, and I think of death. I realize: Every moment of joyous celebration contains the seed of death.
Xerxes, I read, ‘halted his unwieldy army for days that he might contemplate to his satisfaction’ the beauty of a single sycamore. You are Xerxes in Persia. Your army spreads on a vast and arid peneplain…you call to you all your sad captains, and give the order to halt. You have seen the tree with the lights in it, haven’t you? You must have. Xerxes buffeted on a plain, ambition drained in a puff. Your men are bewildered…there is nothing to catch the eye in this flatness, nothing but a hollow, hammering sky, a waste of sedge in the lee of windblown rocks, a meager ribbon of scrub willow tracing a slumbering watercourse…and that sycamore. You saw it; you will stand rapt and mute, exalted, remembering or not remembering over a period of days to shade your head with your robe. “He had its form wrought upon a medal of gold to help him remember it the rest of his life.” We all ought to have a goldsmith following us around. But it goes without saying, doesn’t it, Xerxes, that no gold medal worn around your neck will bring back the glad hour, keep those lights kindled so long as you live, forever present? Pascal saw it; he grabbed pen and paper and scrawled the one word, and wore it sewn in his shirt the rest of his life. I don’t know what Pascal saw. I saw a cedar. Xerxes saw a sycamore.
Say you could view a time-lapse film of our planet: what would you see? Transparent images moving through light, “an infinite storm of beauty.” The beginning is swaddled in mists, blasted by random blinding flashes. Lava pours and cools; seas boil and flood. Clouds materialize and shift; now you can see the earth’s face through only random patches of clarity. The land shudders and splits, like pack ice rent by a widening lead. Mountains burst up, jutting and dull and soften before your eyes, clothed in forests like felt. The ice rolls up, grinding green land under water forever; the ice rolls back. Forests erupt and disappear like fairy rings. The ice rolls up-mountains are mowed into lakes, land rises wet from the sea like a surfacing whale- the ice rolls back. A blue-green streaks the highest ridges, a yellow-green spreads from the south like a wave up a strand. A red dye seems to leak from the north down the ridges and into the valleys, seeping south; a white follows the red, then yellow-green washes north, then red spreads again, then white, over and over, making patterns of color too swift and intricate to follow. Slow the film. You see dust storms, locusts, floods, in dizzying flash frames. Zero in on a well-watered shore and see smoke from fires drifting. Stone cities rise, spread, and then crumble, like patches of alpine blossoms that flourish for a day an inch above the permafrost, that iced earth no root can suck, and wither in a hour. New cities appear, and rivers sift silt onto their rooftops; more cities emerge and spread in lobes like lichen on rock. The great human figures of history, those intricate, spirited tissues that roamed the earth’s surface, are a wavering blur whose split second in the light was too brief an exposure to yield any images. The great herds of caribou pour into the valleys and trickle back, and pour, a brown fluid. Slow it down more, come closer still. A dot appears, like a flesh-flake. It swells like a balloon; it moves, circles, slows, and vanishes. This is your life.
We are communities in time and in a place, I know, but we are communities in faith as well - and sometimes time can stop shadowing us. Our lives are touched by those who lived centuries ago, and we hope that our lives will mean something to people who won't be alive until centuries from now. It's a great "chain of being," someone once told me, and I think our job is to do the best we can to hold up our small segment of the chain connected, unbroken. Our arms are linked - we try to be neighbors of His, and to speak up for his principles. That's a lifetime's job.
We must practice the presence of God. He said that when two or three are gathered together, there he is in the midst of them. He is with us in our kitchens, at our tables, on our breadlines, with our visitors, on our farms. When we pray for our material needs, it brings us close to his humanity. He, too, needed food and shelter; he, too, warmed his hands at a fire and lay down in a boat to sleep.
I waited for my face to warp and alter in the glass but it didn’t change. It had finally settled on a look and, after months of doubt and confusion, I suddenly recognized myself so well. I was my father’s son. The violent man I thought I was pretending to be.
The scene sucker-punched Max. He never saw it coming. It encapsulated in one poignant instant the tragic beauty of his family history.
Arriving at an acceptance of one's mortality is a process, not an epiphany.
J. P. Delaney
And when I realized you had secrets too, I was glad. I thought we could be honest with each other. That we could finally rid ourselves of all the clutter from our past. Not our possessions, but the stuff we carry around inside our heads. Because that's what I've realized, living in One Folgate Street. You can make your surroundings as polished and empty as you like. But it doesn't really matter if you're still messed up inside. And that's all anyone's looking for really, isn't it? Someone to take care of the mess inside our heads?
Men most often know what they want, yet they are not always sure how they feel. Women most often know how they feel, yet they may not always know what they want.
Now, what’s stirring in this murky sea of complexity and foolishness is an almost suffocating need to breathe fresh history.
Do you ever feel that way?" "Lonely?" I search for the words. "Restless. As if you haven't really met yourself yet. As is you'd passed yourself once in the fog, and your heart leapt - 'Ah! There I Am! I've been missing that piece!' But it happens too fast, and then that part of you disappears into the fog again. And you spend the rest of your days looking for it." He nods, and I think he's appeasing me. I feel stupid of having said it. It's sentimental and true, and I've revealed a part of myself I shouldn't have. "Do you know what I think?" Kartik says at last. "What?" "Sometimes, I think you can glimpse it in another.
There is no such thing as a silent, personal epiphany.