Best 116 of Epiphany quotes - MyQuotes
Truth grew in my mind like a fungus, and though I tried to sleep it out, there was no resisting the epiphanies.
Justin K. Mcfarlane Beau
There are those who are legitimately corrupt, who cannot admit that legitimacy allows them to corrupt legitimacy, and to legitimately corrupt others.
Myths are experienced in ordinary life, as everyday epiphanies.
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.
People don't want information; they want epiphanies.
[S]o much worth … a man has, so much and no more has his God. Consciousness of God is self-consciousness, knowledge of God is self-knowledge. By his God thou knowest the man, and by the man, his God; the two are identical.
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.
A kind of northing is what I wish to accomplish, a single-minded trek towards that place where any shutter left open to the zenith at night will record the wheeling of all the sky’s stars as a pattern of perfect, concentric circles. I seek a reduction, a shedding, a sloughing off. At the seashore you often see a shell, or fragment of a shell, that sharp sands and surf have thinned to a wisp. There is no way you can tell what kind of shell it had been, what creature it had housed; it could have been a whelk or a scallop, a cowrie, limpet, or conch. The animal is long since dissolved, and its blood spread and thinned in the general sea. All you hold in your hand is a cool shred of shell, an inch long, pared so thin that it passes a faint pink light. It is an essence, a smooth condensation of the air, a curve. I long for the North where unimpeded winds would hone me to such a pure slip of bone. But I’ll not go northing this year. I’ll stalk that floating pole and frigid air by waiting here. I wait on bridges; I wait, struck, on forest paths and meadow’s fringes, hilltops and banksides, day in and day out, and I receive a southing as a gift. The North washes down the mountains like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, and pours across the valley; it comes to me. It sweetens the persimmons and numbs the last of the crickets and hornets; it fans the flames of the forest maples, bows the meadow’s seeded grasses and pokes it chilling fingers under the leaf litter, thrusting the springtails and the earthworms deeper into the earth. The sun heaves to the south by day, and at night wild Orion emerges looming like the Specter over Dead Man Mountain. Something is already here, and more is coming.
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.
I've made my best personal investments when I've been a user of the product. Like Apple. The epiphany for me came when I purchased my fifth iPod and I hadn't unwrapped my fourth. It was still in the plastic case.
If nothing we do matters... , then all that matters is what we do
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?
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.
Now, what’s stirring in this murky sea of complexity and foolishness is an almost suffocating need to breathe fresh history.
I've come too far, and I don't know how to get back.
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.
Arriving at an acceptance of one's mortality is a process, not an epiphany.
The camera is my means to internalize those fleeting epiphanies that I was having in my life.
The epiphany for me was that I wasnt a writer, and I had to do something with these texts. I put them in the streets as posters.
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.
All at once, something wonderful happened, although at first, it seemed perfectly ordinary. A female goldfinch suddenly hove into view. She lighted weightlessly on the head of a bankside purple thistle and began emptying the seedcase, sowing the air with down. The lighted frame of my window filled. The down rose and spread in all directions, wafting over the dam’s waterfall and wavering between the tulip trunks and into the meadow. It vaulted towards the orchard in a puff; it hovered over the ripening pawpaw fruit and staggered up the steep faced terrace. It jerked, floated, rolled, veered, swayed. The thistle down faltered down toward the cottage and gusted clear to the woods; it rose and entered the shaggy arms of pecans. At last it strayed like snow, blind and sweet, into the pool of the creek upstream, and into the race of the creek over rocks down. It shuddered onto the tips of growing grasses, where it poised, light, still wracked by errant quivers. I was holding my breath. Is this where we live, I thought, in this place in this moment, with the air so light and wild? The same fixity that collapses stars and drives the mantis to devour her mate eased these creatures together before my eyes: the thick adept bill of the goldfinch, and the feathery coded down. How could anything be amiss? If I myself were lighter and frayed, I could ride these small winds, too, taking my chances, for the pleasure of being so purely played. The thistle is part of Adam’s curse. “Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” A terrible curse: But does the goldfinch eat thorny sorrow with the thistle or do I? If this furling air is fallen, then the fall was happy indeed. If this creekside garden is sorrow, then I seek martyrdom. I was weightless; my bones were taut skins blown with buoyant gas; it seemed that if I inhaled too deeply, my shoulders and head would waft off. Alleluia.
...that realisation that I was the oddity, the statistical probability, life was predictable.
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.
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.
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.
I am intentionally avoiding the standard term which, by the way, did not exist in Euler's time. One of the ugliest outgrowths of the "new math" was the premature introduction of technical terms.
And then it all came rushing back; that's when I realized I'll never stop having a thing for you.
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.
Oh, am I glad to know that after all these years it still is hard trying to unlove someone; if there's such a thing...
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.
The epiphany was simply tucked away for consideration after we were back on campus. Sometimes a revelation comes with a flash of heavenly light and a booming voice - and sometimes it is jotted in a sun-bleached spiral notebook.
I think for anyone who's gone through a crisis, there comes a turning point, an epiphany, that marks the beginning of the end.
Shadow is the blue patch where the light doesn’t hit. It is mystery itself, and mystery is the ancients’ ultima Thule, the modern explorer’s Point of Relative Inaccessibility, that boreal point most distant from all known lands. There the twin oceans of beauty and horror meet. The great glaciers are calving. Ice that sifted to earth as snow in the time of Christ shears from the pack with a roar and crumbles to water. It could be that our instruments have not looked deeply enough. The RNA deep in the mantis’s jaw is a beautiful ribbon. Did the crawling Polyphemus moth have in its watery heart one cell, and in that cell one special molecule, and that molecule one hydrogen atom, and round that atom’s nucleus one wild, distant electron that split showed a forest, swaying?
Now that his children had grown into their lives, their own children too, there was no one who needed more than the idea of him, and he thought maybe that was why he had this nagging feeling, this sense that there were things he had to know for himself, only for himself. He knew, of course he knew, that a life wasn't anything like one of those novels Jenny read, that it stumbled along, bouncing off one thing, then another, until it just stopped, nothing wrapped up neatly. He remembered his children's distress at different times, failing an exam or losing a race, a girlfriend. Knowing that they couldn't believe him but still trying to tell them that it would pass, that they would be amazed, looking back, to think it had mattered at all. He thought of himself, thought of things that had seemed so important, so full of meaning when he was twenty, or forty, and he thought maybe it was like Jenny's books after all. Red herrings and misdirection, all the characters and observations that seemed so central, so significant while the story was unfolding. But then at the end you realized that the crucial thing was really something else. Something buried in a conversation, a description - you realized that all along it had been a different answer, another person glimpsed but passed over, who was the key to everything. Whatever everything was. And if you went back, as Jenny sometimes did, they were there, the clues you'd missed while you were reading, caught up in the need to move forward. All quietly there.
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.
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.
I thought guys were complicated. Maybe they are. But maybe they're easy and it's really me who's complicated.
This is what I had come for, just this, and nothing more. A fling of leafy motion on the cliffs, the assault of real things, living and still, with shapes and powers under the sky- this is my city, my culture, and all the world I need.
The Chicago literary tradition is born not out of its Universities, but out of the sports desk and the city desk of its newspapers. Hemingway revolutionized English prose. His inspiration was the telegraph, whose use, at Western Union, taught this: every word costs something, This, of course, is the essence of poetry, which is the essence of great prose. Chicagoan literature came from the newspaper, whose purpose, in those days, was to Tell What Happened. Hemingway's epiphany was reported, earlier, by Keats as " 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty' --that is all ye know earth, and all ye need to know." I would add to Keats' summation only this: "Don't let the other fellow piss on your back and tell you it's raining." I believe one might theoretically forgive one who cheats at business, but never one who cheats at cards; for business adversaries operate at arm's length, the cardplayer under the strict rules of the game, period. That was my first political epiphany. And now, I have written a political book. What are the qualifications for a Political Writer? They are, I believe, the same as those of an aspiring critic: an inability to write for the Sports Page.
Shh," I interrupted him. "Hold on a second. I think I'm having an epiphany here.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
No telephone message arrived, but the butler went without his sleep and waited for it until four o'clock - until long after there was anyone to give it to if it came. I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn't believe it would come, and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm, world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.
She seems to always get it To have become adept at empathy Always giving excuses for people who’ve aggrieved her To the point it’s hard for her to hit back when necessary All because she assumes she ‘understands’ Then, one day . . . She finally stands up for herself At that moment, she revels in the natural instinct of self-preservation She realises all this while the power she’s been withholding In a transcendent moment of epiphany It’s all beautiful ‘cause Now, she can get back to empathy with understanding, rather, than without.
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 want to think about trees. Trees have a curious relationship to the subject of the present moment. There are many created things in the universe that outlive us, that outlive the sun, even, but I can’t think about them. I live with trees. There are creatures under our feet, creatures that live over our heads, but trees live quite convincingly in the same filament of air we inhabit, and in addition, they extend impressively in both directions, up and down, shearing rock and fanning air, doing their real business just out of reach.
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).
And for one infinitesimally brief moment, the universe peels open, and I can see everything—how physics and velocity and time intersects with the idea of a heaven above, how meta co-exist with the fundamental truth of their non-existence, how the sun can be a star can be a ball of dung rolled across the galaxy by a gargantuan beetle. Suddenly, it is all so clear.
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.
Were the earth as smooth as a ball bearing, it might be beautiful seen from another planet, as the rings of Saturn are. But here we live and move; we wander up and down the banks of the creek, we ride a railway through the Alps, and the landscape shifts and changes. Were the earth smooth, our brains would be smooth as well; we would wake, blink, walk two steps to get the whole picture and lapse into dreamless sleep. Because we are living people, and because we are on the receiving end of beauty, another element necessarily enters the question. The texture of space is a condition of time. Time is the warp and matter the weft of woven texture of beauty in space, and death is the hurtling shuttle… What I want to do, then, is add time to the texture, paint the landscape on an unrolling scroll, and set the giant relief globe spinning on it stand.
And under the cicadas, deeper down that the longest taproot, between and beneath the rounded black rocks and slanting slabs of sandstone in the earth, ground water is creeping. Ground water seeps and slides, across and down, across and down, leaking from here to there, minutely at a rate of a mile a year. What a tug of waters goes on! There are flings and pulls in every direction at every moment. The world is a wild wrestle under the grass; earth shall be moved. What else is going on right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet? The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening. If a million solar systems are born every hour, then surely hundreds burst into being as I shift my weight to the other elbow. The sun’s surface is now exploding; other stars implode and vanish, heavy and black, out of sight. Meteorites are arcing to earth invisibly all day long. On the planet, the winds are blowing: the polar easterlies, the westerlies, the northeast and southeast trades. Somewhere, someone under full sail is becalmed, in the horse latitudes, in the doldrums; in the northland, a trapper is maddened, crazed, by the eerie scent of the chinook, the sweater, a wind that can melt two feet of snow in a day. The pampero blows, and the tramontane, and the Boro, sirocco, levanter, mistral. Lick a finger; feel the now. Spring is seeping north, towards me and away from me, at sixteen miles a day. Along estuary banks of tidal rivers all over the world, snails in black clusters like currants are gliding up and down the stems of reed and sedge, migrating every moment with the dip and swing of tides. Behind me, Tinker Mountain is eroding one thousandth of an inch a year. The sharks I saw are roving up and down the coast. If the sharks cease roving, if they still their twist and rest for a moment, they die. They need new water pushed into their gills; they need dance. Somewhere east of me, on another continent, it is sunset, and starlings in breathtaking bands are winding high in the sky to their evening roost. The mantis egg cases are tied to the mock-orange hedge; within each case, within each egg, cells elongate, narrow, and split; cells bubble and curve inward, align, harden or hollow or stretch. And where are you now?
Instead of swinging back and forth between individual points of truth, each piece we learn should build upon another to bring us closer to the full truth.