Birth Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 777 quotes )
Birth after birth the line unchanging runs, And fathers live transmitted in their sons; Each passing year beholds the unvarying kinds, The same their manners, and the same their minds: Till, as erelong successive buds decay, And insect-shoals successive pass away, Increasing wants the pregnant parent vex. With the fond wish to form a softer sex. ..
We do not rush toward death, we flee the catastrophe of birth, survivors struggling to forget it. Fear of death is merely the projection into the future of a fear which dates back to our first moment of life. We are reluctant, of course, to treat birth as a scourge: has it not been inculcated as the sovereign good—have we not been told that the worst came at the end, not at the outset of our lives? Yet evil, the real evil, is behind, not ahead of us. What escaped Jesus did not escape Buddha: “If three things did not exist in the world, O disciples, the Perfect One would not appear in the world. …” And ahead of old age and death he places the fact of birth, source of every infirmity, every disaster.
The Gospel writers are not really interested primarily in the facts of the birth but in the significance, the meaning for them of that birth just as the people who love us are not really interested primarily in the facts of our births but in what it meant to them when we were born and how for them the world was never the same again, how their whole lives were changed with new significance.
Anything which is just born, which has just come into existence, has no past behind it. Birth, in other words, is the condition of having no past. And likewise, anything which now dies, which has just ceased to be, has no future left in front of it. Death is the condition of having no future. But we have already seen that this present moment has both no past and no future simultaneously. That is, birth and death are one in this present moment. This moment is just now being born—you can never find a past to this present moment, you can never find something before it. Yet also, this moment is just now dying — you can never find a future to this moment, never find something after it. This present, then, is a coincidence of opposites, a unity of birth and death, being and non-being, living and dying. As Ippen put it, "Every moment is the last moment and every moment is a rebirth.
While the demonic quality gradually disappeared from his experience, he still felt tremendously erotic and was engaged in endless sequences of the most fantastic orgies and sexual fantasies, in which he played all roles. All through these experiences, he continued being simultaneously the child struggling through the birth canal and the mother delivering it. It became very clear to him that sex and birth were deeply connected and also that satanic forces had important links with the situation in the birth canal.
Man can never know the loneliness a woman knows. Man lies in the woman's womb only to gather strength, he nourishes himself from this fusion, and then he rises and goes into the world, into his work, into battle, into art. He is not lonely. He is busy. The memory of the swim in amniotic fluid gives him energy, completion. Woman may be busy too, but she feels empty. Sensuality for her is not only a wave of pleasure in which she is bathed, and a charge of electric joy at contact with another. When man lies in her womb, she is fulfilled, each act of love a taking of man within her, an act of birth and rebirth, of child rearing and man bearing. Man lies in her womb and is reborn each time anew with a desire to act, to be. But for woman, the climax is not in the birth, but in the moment man rests inside of her.
The strong and strange thing—that which moves on its way as do birth and death, and the rising and setting of the sun—had begun to move in them. It was no new and rare thing, but an ancient and common one—as common and ancient as death and birth themselves; and part of the law as they are. As it comes to royal persons to whom one makes obeisance at their mere passing by, as it comes to scullery maids in royal kitchens, and grooms in royal stables, as it comes to ladies-in-waiting and the women who serve them, so it had come to these two who had been drawn near to each other from the opposite sides of the earth, and each started at the touch of it, and withdrew a pace in bewilderment, and some fear.
Where I grew up, death is a constant visitor. A virus, bacteria, a parasite; drought and famine; soldiers, and torturers; could bring it to anyone, any time. Death comes riding on raindrops that turned to floods. It catches the imagination of men in positions of authority who order their subordinates to hunt, torture, and kill people they imagine to be enemies. Death lures many others to take their own lives in order to escape a dismal reality. For many women, because of the perception of lost honor, death comes at the hands of a father, brother, or husband. Death comes to young women giving birth to new life, leaving the newborn orphaned in the hands of strangers. For those who live in anarchy and civil war, as in the country of my birth, Somalia, death is everywhere.
I bring you the dance. I bring you the idea that is going to revolutionise our entire epoch. Where have I discovered it? By the Pacific Ocean, but the waving pine-forests of Sierra Nevada. I have seen the ideal figure of youthful American dancing over the top of the Rockies. The supreme poet of our country is Walt Whitman. I have discovered the dance that is worthy of the poem of Walt Whitman. I am indeed the spiritual daughter of Walt Whitman. For the children of America I will create a new dance that will express America. I bring to your theatre the vital soul that it lacks, the soul of the dancer. For you know...that the birth of the theatre was the dance, that the first actor was the dancer. He danced and sang. That was the birth of the tragedy, and until the dancer in all his spontaneous great art returns to the theatre, your theatre will not live in its true expression!
A solitary, unused to speaking of what he sees and feels, has mental experiences which are at once more intense and less articulate than those of a gregarious man. They are sluggish, yet more wayward, and never without a melancholy tinge. Sights and impressions which others brush aside with a glance, a light comment, a smile, occupy him more than their due; they sink silently in, they take on meaning, they become experience, emotion, adventure. Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.
I'm talking about equalizing the pressure between outer actions and events which are shattering and devastating to us and then the place where we recompose and reconstruct ourselves, where we finally achieve what Jung called the second birth. The second birth is the one that you can make, and the discovery of that to me was always a great relief. As long as we expect the changes to come only from the outside or from action outside or from political systems, then we are bound to feel helpless, to feel sometimes that reality is bigger and stronger than we are. But if suddenly we begin to feel that there is one person we can change, simultaneously we change many people around us. And as a writer I suddenly discovered the enormous radius of influence that one person can have.
Over and over again, stories in women's magazines insist that women can know fulfillment only at the moment of giving birth to a child. They deny the years when she can no longer look forward to giving birth, even if she repeats the act over and over again. In the feminine mystique, there is no other way for a woman to dream of creation or of the future. There is no other way she can even dream about herself, except as her children's mother, her husband's wife.
Bipedalism is a demanding and risky strategy. It means refashioning the pelvis into a full load-bearing instrument. To preserve the required strength, the birth canal in the female must be comparatively narrow. This has two very significant immediate consequences and one longer-term one. First, it means a lot of pain for any birthing mother and greatly increased danger of fatality to mother and baby both. Moreover, to get the baby's head through such a tight space it must be born while it's brain is still small - and while the baby, therefore, is still helpless. This means long-term infant care, which in turn implies solid male-female bonding.
I'm quickly approaching the moment of discovery: of myself by myself, which was something I knew all along and yet didn't know; and the discovery by poor half-blind Dr. Philobosian of what he'd failed to notice at my birth and continued to miss during every annual physical thereafter; and the discovery by my parents of what kind of child they'd given birth to (answer: the same child, only different); and finally, the discovery of the mutated gene that had lain buried in our bloodline for two hundred and fifty years, biding its time, waiting for Ataturk to attack, for Hajienestis to turn into glass, for a clarinet to play seductively out a back window, until, comint together with its recessive twin, it started the chain of events that led to me, here, writing in Berlin.