"Happy, even in the midst of sadness, is he whom God has given a soul worthy of love and of unhappiness! He who has not viewed the things of this world and the heart of man under this double light has seen nothing and knows nothing of the true. The soul which loves and suffers is in a state of sublimity." - 15968
Seeking to explain the paradoxical joy in selflessness.
__________"God's whole policy consists in making slopes less steep." -15807
This is one of my favorite quotes from the whole book. Particularly when one thinks of iniquity as a slope, this artfully encapsulates the story of Christ. Where there are walls, God makes hills, and eventually plains.
"And then strange to say, the first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity; in a young girl it is boldness" -16598
All too true.
"If you are a stone be adamant, if you are a plant, be the sensitive plant, if you are a man, be love" -17255
One of the points that I like to make often when I talk about creativity is that there is nothing greater for the creator than to see is creation do what it was meant to do. This is a great example of that concept.
"To meet the needs of this conflict [crime], wretchedness has invented a language of combat, which is slang." -18182
An interesting chapter, which covers the corruption of language that is slang. It certainly makes me pause to think of all the people who speak in some corrupted form of English (obviously Les Mis covers the topic of French slang.) There is on one end the simple slang of expediency (or ignorance) which is innocent enough. On the other hand there is the kind of slang discussed here. Invented in the prisons and alleys of the urban underworld, and brought into the light by the glorification of a life of crime. (Primarily in this day and age, Ebonics and rap, respectively.) One who enters into this slang speaks a language dredged from the subconscious of the night. Fear and hatred of authority, violence,crime, and all other sorts of vice are imbedded into this language. A poet may use it to good affect, but care must certainly be taken. Further to the point...
"The words are misshapen and stamped with an indescribable and fantastic bestiality" -18222
"Is the under side of civilization so much less important than the upper side simply because it is deeper and more somber? Do we really know the mountain well when we are not acquainted with the cavern?"- 18203
This idea expresses well the need of any man who wants to be the love of Christ in the world (or do any real good at all) must become comfortable among the under side of civilization. Here I think, that the knowledge of hearts is as much as stake as civic knowledge. The discipler as much as the law maker must become "acquainted with the cavern" if he is to be able to accomplish his aim.
"In this world, evidently the vestibule for another, there are no fortunate" -18237
While this statement seems to be defeatist, I cannot help but see the hope imbedded in it. That this world must lead to another, and that those who have vested themselves in that other world, rather than this one, might count themselves fortunate.
I'll end this post on a similar, (if mirrored) tone as it began.
"He who says light does not, necessarily say joy. People suffer in the light, excess burns. The flame is the enemy of the wing. To burn without ceasing to fly,-therin lies the marvel of genius
When you have learned to know, and to love, you will still suffer. The day is born in tears. The luminous weep, if only over those in the darkness."