„Understand this, tell others: in my dream vultures chase me into my burning house. There, they pick out the brains of my family, dismember them, devour. I emerge from my home and I am burning, skin falling away like a snake as the structure crumbles into a black skeleton. I cannot fight off the vultures. A young man or woman emerges from the ashes. He/she doesn't save me, because he/she is holding my cracked and swollen heart in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. I can read it. It discusses and compares in great detail the differences between me and the vultures. He wraps my heart in the paper and tosses it to the ground. Can you see?“

—  Marilyn Manson, 1990s, As quoted in MarilynManson.com (6 February 1999).

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„In his arms, my lady lay asleep, wrapped in a veil.
He woke her then and trembling and obedient
She ate that burning heart out of his hand;
Weeping I saw him then depart from me.“

—  Dante Alighieri, livro Vita Nuova
La Vita Nuova (1293), ne le braccia avea madonna involta in un drappo dormendo. Poi la svegliava, e d'esto core ardendo lei paventosa umilmente pascea: appresso gir lo ne vedea piangendo. Chapter I, First Sonnet (tr. Mark Musa)

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Radhanath Swami photo

„Lying down to sleep on the earthen riverbank, I thought, Vrindavan is attracting my heart like no other place. What is happening to me? Please reveal Your divine will. With this prayer, I drifted off to sleep.
Before dawn, I awoke to the ringing of temple bells, signaling that it was time to begin my journey to Hardwar. But my body lay there like a corpse. Gasping in pain, I couldn’t move. A blazing fever consumed me from within, and under the spell of unbearable nausea, my stomach churned. Like a hostage, I lay on that riverbank. As the sun rose, celebrating a new day, I felt my life force sinking. Death that morning would have been a welcome relief. Hours passed.
At noon, I still lay there. This fever will surely kill me, I thought.
Just when I felt it couldn’t get any worse, I saw in the overcast sky something that chilled my heart. Vultures circled above, their keen sights focused on me. It seemed the fever was cooking me for their lunch, and they were just waiting until I was well done. They hovered lower and lower. One swooped to the ground, a huge black and white bird with a long, curving neck and sloping beak. It stared, sizing up my condition, then jabbed its pointed beak into my ribcage. My body recoiled, my mind screamed, and my eyes stared back at my assailant, seeking pity. The vulture flapped its gigantic wings and rejoined its fellow predators circling above. On the damp soil, I gazed up at the birds as they soared in impatient circles. Suddenly, my vision blurred and I momentarily blacked out. When I came to, I felt I was burning alive from inside out. Perspiring, trembling, and gagging, I gave up all hope.
Suddenly, I heard footsteps approaching. A local farmer herding his cows noticed me and took pity. Pressing the back of his hand to my forehead, he looked skyward toward the vultures and, understanding my predicament, lifted me onto a bullock cart. As we jostled along the muddy paths, the vultures followed overhead. The farmer entrusted me to a charitable hospital where the attendants placed me in the free ward. Eight beds lined each side of the room. The impoverished and sadhu patients alike occupied all sixteen beds. For hours, I lay unattended in a bed near the entrance. Finally that evening the doctor came and, after performing a series of tests, concluded that I was suffering from severe typhoid fever and dehydration. In a matter-of-fact tone, he said, “You will likely die, but we will try to save your life.”“

—  Radhanath Swami Gaudiya Vaishnava guru 1950
Republished on The Journey Home website.

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky photo

„Oh, everyone laughs in my face now, and assures me that one cannot dream of such details as I am telling now“

—  Fyodor Dostoyevsky, livro The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1877), Context: Oh, everyone laughs in my face now, and assures me that one cannot dream of such details as I am telling now, that I only dreamed or felt one sensation that arose in my heart in delirium and made up the details myself when I woke up. And when I told them that perhaps it really was so, my God, how they shouted with laughter in my face, and what mirth I caused! Oh, yes, of course I was overcome by the mere sensation of my dream, and that was all that was preserved in my cruelly wounded heart; but the actual forms and images of my dream, that is, the very ones I really saw at the very time of my dream, were filled with such harmony, were so lovely and enchanting and were so actual, that on awakening I was, of course, incapable of clothing them in our poor language, so that they were bound to become blurred in my mind; and so perhaps I really was forced afterwards to make up the details, and so of course to distort them in my passionate desire to convey some at least of them as quickly as I could. But on the other hand, how can I help believing that it was all true? It was perhaps a thousand times brighter, happier and more joyful than I describe it. Granted that I dreamed it, yet it must have been real. You know, I will tell you a secret: perhaps it was not a dream at all! IV

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