Top Life Then Death Quotes

Browse top 56 famous quotes and sayings about Life Then Death by most favorite authors.

Favorite Life Then Death Quotes

1. "We must conquer life by living it to the full, and then we can go to meet death with a certain prestige."
Author: Aleister Crowley
2. "A Short TestamentWhatever harm I may have doneIn all my life in all your wide creationIf I cannot repair itI beg you to repair it,And then there are all the wounded The poor the deaf the lonely and the oldWhom I have roughly dismissedAs if I were not one of them.Where I have wronged them by itAnd cannot make amendsI ask youTo comfort them to overflowing,And where there are lives I may have withered around me,Or lives of strangers far or nearThat I've destroyed in blind complicity,And if I cannot find themOr have no way to serve them,Remember them. I beg you to remember themWhen winter is overAnd all your unimaginable promisesBurst into song on death's bare branches."
Author: Anne Porter
3. "Sweetheart, I want you to go somewhere with your life. I know that you can do some wonderful things if you set your mind to it. You're a smart and caring teenager. Much more mature then most seventeen year olds. But death is inevitable for everybody. No matter how much people try to fight it, it's going to happen." Eden looked at me with a serious expression painted on her face. "Death doesn't suit everybody, though."
Author: Barbara C. Doyle
4. "I was twenty-two, the same age she was when she'd been pregnant with me. She was going to leave my life at the same moment that I came into hers, I thought. For some reason that sentence came fully formed into my head just then, temporarily blotting out the Fuck them prayer. I almost howled in agony. I almost choked to death on what I knew before I knew. I was going to live the rest of my life without my mother."
Author: Cheryl Strayed
5. "Art can model the more difficult dynamic of transfiguring one's life, but at some point the dynamic reverses itself: life models, or forces, the existential crisis by which art—great art—is fully experienced. There is a fluidity between art and life, then, in the same way that there is, in the best lives, a fluidity between mind and matter, self and soul, life and death. Experience seems to stream clearly through some lives, rather than getting slowed and clogged up in the drift-waste of ego, or stagnating in little inlets of despair, envy, rage. It has to do with seizing and releasing as a single gesture. It has to do with standing in relation to life and death ... owning an emptiness that, because you have claimed it, has become a source of light, wearing your wound that, like a ramshackle house on some high exposed hill, sings with the hard wind that is steadily destroying it."
Author: Christian Wiman
6. "Every last minute of my life has been preordained and I'm sick and tired of it.How this feels is I'm just another task in God's daily planner: the Italian Renaissance penciled in for right after the Dark Ages....The Information Age is scheduled immediately after the Industrial Revolution. Then the Postmodern Era, then the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Famine. Check. Pestilence. Check. War. Check. Death. Check. And between the big events, the earthquakes and the tidal waves, God's got me squeezed in for a cameo appearance. Then maybe in thirty years, or maybe next year, God's daily planner has me finished."
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
7. "I let that swim around in my aching head for a few minutes - "the arsenal of megadeath...the arsenal of megadeath" - and then, for some reason I can't quite explain, I began to write. Using a borrowed pencil and a cupcake wrapper, I wrote the first lyrics of my post-Metallica life. This song was called "Megadeth" (I dropped the second "a"), and though it would never find its way onto an album, it did serve as the basis for the song "Set the World Afire." It hadn't occured to me then that Megadeth-as used by Senator Cranston, megadeath referred to the loss of one million lives as a result of nuclear holocaust-might be a perfectly awesome name for a thrash metal band."
Author: Dave Mustaine
8. "To me it was plain silly. It is so obvious that life works in terms of species rather than individuals. The individual just has to be born, to develop to the point at which it can procreate, and then to fall away into death to make way for its successors, and humans are no exception whatever they may fancy."
Author: Diana Athill
9. "Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and ye say ye love me." He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other. "You're no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let's go."
Author: Diana Gabaldon
10. "For the real movements of a life are gradual, then sudden; they resist becoming anecdotes, they pulse like quasars from long-dead stars to reach the vivid planet of the present, they drift like fog over the ship until the spread sails are merely panels of gray in grayer air and surround becomes object, as in those perceptual tests where figure and ground reverse, the kissing couple in profile turn into the outlines of the mortuary urn that holds their own ashes. Time wears down resolve--then suddenly violence, something irrevocable flashes out of nowhere, there are thrashing fins and roiled, blood-streaked water, death floats up on its side, eyes bulging."
Author: Edmund White
11. "That every man after the life in the world lives to eternity, is evident from this, that man is then spiritual, and no longer natural, and that the spiritual man, separated from the natural, remains such as he is to eternity, for man's state cannot be changed after death."
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg
12. "People who have intended and loved what is evil in the world intend and love what is evil in the other life, and then they no longer allow themselves to be led away from it. This is why people who are absorbed in evil are connected to hell and actually are there in spirit; and after death they crave above all to be where their evil is. So after death, it is we, not the Lord, who cast ourselves into hell."
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg
13. "That Socrates should ever have been so treated by the Athenians!" Slave! why say "Socrates"? Speak of the thing as it is: That ever then the poor body of Socrates should have been dragged away and haled by main force to prision! That ever hemlock should have been given to the body of Socrates; that that should have breathed its life away!—Do you marvel at this? Do you hold this unjust? Is it for this that you accuse God? Had Socrates no compensation for this? Where then for him was the ideal Good? Whom shall we hearken to, you or him? And what says he? "Anytus and Melitus may put me to death: to injure me is beyond their power." And again:— "If such be the will of God, so let it be."
Author: Epictetus
14. "Abandon certainty! That's life's deepest command. That's what life's all about. We're a probe into the unknown, into the uncertain. Why can't you hear Muad'Dib? If certainty is knowing absolutely an absolute future, then that's only death disguised! Such a future becomes now!"
Author: Frank Herbert
15. "When the little mouse, which was loved as none other was in the mouse-world, got into a trap one night and with a shrill scream forfeited its life for the sight of the bacon, all the mice in the district, in their holes were overcome by trembling and shaking; with eyes blinking uncontrollably they gazed at each other one by one, while their tails scraped the ground busily and senselessly. Then they came out, hesitantly, pushing one another, all drawn towards the scene of death. There it lay, the dear little mouse, its neck caught in the deadly iron, the little pink legs drawn up, and now stiff the feeble body that would so well have deserved a scrap of bacon.The parents stood beside it and eyed their child's remains."
Author: Franz Kafka
16. "He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
17. "My code of life and conduct is simply this: work hard, play to the allowable limit, disregard equally the good and bad opinion of others, never do a friend a dirty trick, eat and drink what you feel like when you feel like, never grow indignant over anything, trust to tobacco for calm and serenity, bathe twice a day . . . learn to play at least one musical instrument and then play it only in private, never allow one's self even a passing thought of death, never contradict anyone or seek to prove anything to anyone unless one gets paid for it in cold, hard coin, live the moment to the utmost of its possibilities, treat one's enemies with polite inconsideration, avoid persons who are chronically in need, and be satisfied with life always but never with one's self."
Author: George Jean Nathan
18. "What then is death? If it be a stopping of life, then that is which cannot be. But it may be only a change in the form of life that looks like a stopping, and is not! If Death be stronger than Life, so that he stops life, how then was Life able so to flout him, that he, the thing that was not, arose from the antenatal sepulchre on which Death sat throned in impotent negation of entity, unable to preclude existence, and yet able to annihilate it? Life alone is: nothingness is not; Death cannot destroy; he is not the antagonist, not the opposite of life."
Author: George MacDonald
19. "Doubt swells and surges, with swelling doubt behind!My soul in storm is but a tattered sail,Streaming its ribbons on the torrent gale;In calm, 'tis but a limp and flapping thing:Oh! swell it with thy breath; make it a wing,To sweep through thee the ocean, with thee the windNor rest until in thee its haven it shall find.Roses are scentless, hopeless are the morns,Rest is but weakness, laughter crackling thorns,But love is life. To die of love is thenThe only pass to higher life than this.All love is death to loving, living men;All deaths are leaps across clefts to the abyss.Weakness needs pity, sometimes love's rebuke;Strength only sympathy deserves and draws -And grows by every faithful loving look.Ripeness must always come with loss of might."
Author: George MacDonald
20. "...waking at very early dawn amid all that sweat and stink, he had found himself comparing this ghastly journey with his own life, which had first moved over smiling level ground, then clambered up rocky mountains, slid over threatening passes, to emerge eventually into a landscape of interminable undulations, all of the same color, all bare as despair. These early morning fantasies were the very worst that could happen to a man of middle age; and although the Prince knew that they would vanish with the day's activities, he suffered acutely all the same, as he was used enough to them by now to realize that deep inside him they left a sediment of grief which, accumulating day by day, would in the end be the real cause of his death."
Author: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
21. "Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
22. "Harry lost any sense of where they were: Streetlights above him, yells around him, he was clinging to the sidecar for dear life. Hedwig's cage, the Firebolt, and his rucksack slipped from beneath his knees —"No — HEDWIG!"The broomstick spun to earth, but he just managed to seize the strap of his rucksack and the top of the cage as the motorbike swung the right way up again. A second's relief, and then another burst of green light. The owl screeched and fell to the floor of the cage."No — NO!"The motorbike zoomed forward; Harry glimpsed hooded Death Eaters scattering as Hagrid blasted through their circle."Hedwig — Hedwig —"But the owl lay motionless and pathetic as a toy on the floor of her cage."
Author: J.K. Rowling
23. "Here upon earth there is life, and then death,Dawn, and later nightfall,Fire, and the quenching of embers:But why should I not remember that my night is dawn in another part of the world,If the idea fits my fancy?"
Author: John Gould Fletcher
24. "And when you were a silent word upon Life's quivering lips, I too was there, another silent word. Then life uttered us and we came down the years throbbing with memories of yesterday and with longing for tomorrow, for yesterday was death conquered and tomorrow was birth pursued."
Author: Kahlil Gibran
25. "A movie is better than real life because in the movies only the bad guys die. Or you can pick the good movies where the bad guys die and only those. If you get tricked and a good person dies in the movie then you can rewrite it in your head so the good person lives and the part about death is superfluous."
Author: Kathryn Erskine
26. "The only absolute truth is change, and death is the only way to stop change. Life is a series of judgments on changing situations, and no ideal, no belief fits every solution. Yet humans need to believe in something beyond themselves. Perhaps all intelligences do. If we do not act on higher motivations, then we can justify any action, no matter how horrible, as necessary for our survival. We are endlessly caught between the need for high moral absolutes—which will fail enough that any absolute can be demonstrated as false—and our tendency for individual judgments to degenerate into self-gratifying and unethical narcissism. Trying to force absolutes on others results in death and destruction, yet failing to act beyond one's self also leads to death and destruction, generally a lot sooner."
Author: L.E. Modesitt Jr.
27. "I recalled the hundreds of occasions when life had died within me only to be reborn. I remembered that I only lived during those times when I believed in God. Then, as now, I said to myself: I have only to believe in God in order to live. I have only to disbelieve in Him, or to forget Him, in order to die. What are these deaths and rebirths? It is clear that I do not live when I lose belief in God's existence, and I should have killed myself long ago, were it not for a dim hope of finding Him. What then is it you are seeking? a voice exclaimed inside me. There He is! He, without whom it is impossible to live. To know God and to live are one and the same thing. God is life.‘Live in search of God and there will be no life without God!' And more powerfully than ever before everything within and around me came to light, and the light has not deserted me since."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
28. "It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the whitefolks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us."
Author: Maya Angelou
29. "They [human lives] are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence (Beethoven's music, death under a train) into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual's life. Anna could have chosen another way to take her life. But the motif of death and the railway station, unforgettably bound to the birth of love, enticed her in her hour of despair with its dark beauty. Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.It is wrong, then, to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences (like the meeting of Anna, Vronsky, the railway station, and death or the meeting of Beethoven, Tomas, Tereza, and the cognac), but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life a dimension of beauty."
Author: Milan Kundera
30. "When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility."
Author: Neil Postman
31. "My teacher said once that every man faces seven enemies in his lifetime. Sickness, hunger, betrayal, envy, greed, old age, and then death..."
Author: Osamu Tezuka
32. "One day there is life . . . and then, suddenly, it happens there is death"
Author: Paul Auster
33. "If your life is Christ, then your death will be only more of Christ, forever. If your life is only Christlessness, then your death will be only more Christlessness, forever. That's not fundamentalism, that's the law of non-contradiction."
Author: Peter Kreeft
34. "In idyllic small towns I sometimes see teenagers looking out of place in their garb of desperation, the leftover tatters and stains and slashes of the fashion of my youth. For this phase of their life, the underworld is their true home, and in the grit and underbelly of a city they could find something that approximates it. Even the internal clock of adolescents changes, making them nocturnal creatures for at least a few years. All through childhood you grow toward life and then in adolescence, at the height of life, you begin to grow toward death. This fatality is felt as an enlargement to be welcomed and embraced, for the young in this culture enter adulthood as a prison, and death reassures them that there are exits. "I have been half in love with easeful death," said Keats who died at twenty-six and so were we, though the death we were in love with was only an idea then."
Author: Rebecca Solnit
35. "[L]asting love is something a person has to decide to experience. Lifelong monogamous devotion is just not natural—not for women even, and emphatically not for men. It requires what, for lack of a better term, we can call an act of will. . . . This isn't to say that a young man can't hope to be seized by love. . . . But whether the sheer fury of a man's feelings accurately gauges their likely endurance is another question. The ardor will surely fade, sooner or later, and the marriage will then live or die on respect, practical compatibility, simple affection, and (these days, especially) determination. With the help of these things, something worthy of the label 'love' can last until death. But it will be a different kind of love from the kind that began the marriage. Will it be a richer love, a deeper love, a more spiritual love? Opinions vary. But it's certainly a more impressive love."
Author: Robert Wright
36. "She was someone who heard each grain in the hour-glass, she felt the passing seconds like sandpaper against her softest skin. Time actually seemed to hurt her, and people helped her get through it. [..] Sometimes it seemed to Nathan that her life was just that, a feat of held breath, just another ten seconds, just another five, and then death would flood her lungs like water, a string of glass bubbles to the surface and then nothing. She was scared in a way that he could understand. The kind of fear that sends you running across a six-lane highway or jumping into rapids. She was someone who ran towards her fear, screaming. Who tried to frighten it. Who, in another period of history, would have been worshipped as a saint or burned as a witch."
Author: Rupert Thomson
37. "If the changes that we fear be thus irresistible, what remains but to acquiesce with silence, as in the other insurmountable distresses of humanity? It remains that we retard what we cannot repel, that we palliate what we cannot cure. Life may be lengthened by care, though death cannot be ultimately defeated: tongues, like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration; we have long preserved our constitution, let us make some struggles for our language."
Author: Samuel Johnson
38. "I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And then? I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And what next? I get laid, I take a short holiday, but very soon after I fall upon those same thorns with gratification in pain, or suffering in joy - who knows what the mixture is! What good, what lasting good is there in me? Is there nothing else between birth and death but what I can get out of this perversity - only a favorable balance of disorderly emotions? No freedom? Only impulses? And what about all the good I have in my heart - does it mean anything? Is it simply a joke? A false hope that makes a man feel the illusion of worth? And so he goes on with his struggles. But this good is no phony. I know it isn't. I swear it."
Author: Saul Bellow
39. "We approach truth only inasmuch as we depart from life. For what do we, who love truth, strive after in life? To free ourselves from the body, and from all the evil that is caused by the life of the body! If so, then how can we fail to be glad when death comes to us?The wise man seeks death all his life and therefore death is not terrible to him."
Author: Socrates
40. "I stand ready to risk my own life, to play the game of thought with it in all earnest; but another's life I cannot jeopardize. This service is perhaps the only one I can render to Philosophy, I who have no learning to offer her, "scarcely enough for the course at one drachma, to say nothing of the great course at fifty drachmas" (Cratylus). I have only my life, and the instant a difficulty offers I put it in play. Then the dance goes merrily, for my partner is the thought of Death, and is indeed a nimble dancer; every human being, on the other hand, is too heavy for me. Therefore I pray, per deos obsecro: Let no one invite me, for I will not dance."
Author: Søren Kierkegaard
41. "When a warrior fights not for himself, but for his brothers, when his most passionately sought goal is neither glory nor his own life's preservation, but to spend his substance for them, his comrades, not to abandon them, not to prove unworthy of them, then his heart truly has achieved contempt for death, and with that he transcends himself and his actions touch the sublime. That is why the true warrior cannot speak of battle save to his brothers who have been there with him. The truth is too holy, too sacred, for words." -Suicide (Gates of Fire)"
Author: Steven Pressfield
42. "If death is the absence of life, then death's death is life."
Author: Sun Ra
43. "So many things in this world were cracked and sad, and still a glowing showed through and moments came when everything was lit and love happened. Every tree stood where it belonged, each bird had perfect feathers folded against its tiny body, each holding a heart beating madly. Life was a vibration of light and dark, and love illuminated that life. Then darkness descended and your heart was ripped apart. So that was part of it, a requirement of the miracle. Death stayed, lurking in the shadow of beauty. In the bargain, life both had meaning and had none. So, she kept thinking, what to do? What to do? A pressure in her would not stop asking. There were not many things she could make better, not many things she could change. And yet…and yet…sparks of possibility still shot out. Unasked for, they came and randomly flew up."
Author: Susan Minot
44. "I add my oath of protection to the bone,' he said in a whisper. 'To you now and to any child you may bear in the future. I would trade no day I spend with you for a life of safe slavery. I accepted the post of Seeker of my own free will. And if Darken Rahl takes the whole world into madness, then we will die with a sword in our hands, not chains on our wings. We will not allow it to be easy for them to kill us; they will pay a high price. We will fight with our last breath if need be, and in our death, let us inflict a wound on him that will fester until it claims him."
Author: Terry Goodkind
45. "All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE."Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES."So we can believe the big ones?"YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING."They're not the same at all!"YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED."Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"MY POINT EXACTLY."
Author: Terry Pratchett
46. "Those who live in the country get idiotic in time, without noticing it, for a while they think it's original and good for their health, but life in the country is not original at all, for anyone who wasn't born in and for the country it shows a lack of taste and is only harmful to their health. The people who go walking in the country walk right into their own funeral in the country and at the very least they lead a grotesque existence which leads them first into idiocy, then into an absurd death."
Author: Thomas Bernhard
47. "Had it been the object or the intention of Jesus Christ to establish a new religion, he would undoubtedly have written the system himself, or procured it to be written in his life time. But there is no publication extant authenticated with his name. All the books called the New Testament were written after his death. He was a Jew by birth and by profession."
Author: Thomas Paine
48. "Life rises out of death, death rises out of life; in being opposite they yearn to each other, they give birth to each other and are forever reborn. And with them, all is reborn, the flower of the apple tree, the light of the stars. In life is death. In death is rebirth. What then is life without death? Life unchanging, everlasting, eternal?-What is it but death-death without rebirth?"
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
49. "But if sleep it was, of what nature, we can scarcely refrain from asking, are such sleeps as these? Are they remedial measures—trances in which the most galling memories, events that seem likely to cripple life for ever, are brushed with a dark wing which rubs their harshness off and gilds them, even the ugliest, and basest, with a lustre, an incandescence? Has the finger of death to be laid on the tumult of life from time to time lest it rend us asunder? Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living? And then what strange powers are these that penetrate our most secret ways and change our most treasured possessions without our willing it? Had Orlando, worn out by the extremity of his suffering, died for a week, and then come to life again? And if so, of what nature is death and of what nature life?"
Author: Virginia Woolf
50. "Has the finger of death to be laid on the tumult of life from time to time lest it rend us asunder? Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living? And then what strange powers are these that penetrate our most secret ways and change our most treasured possessions without our willing it? Had Orlando, worn out by the extremity of his suffering, died for a week, and then come to life again? And if so, of what nature is death and of what nature life? Having waited well over half an hour for an answer to these questions, and none coming, let us get on with the story."
Author: Virginia Woolf

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If a decision-making process is flawed and dysfunctional, decisions will go awry."
Author: Carly Fiorina

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