1. "I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen."
    — The prayer of Pi.

    Mostly praying to himself. 
     


  2. Poems by Steve Turner

    "Creed"

    We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
    We believe everything is OK
    as long as you don’t hurt anyone,
    to the best of your definition of hurt,
    and to the best of your knowledge.

    We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
    We believe in the therapy of sin.
    We believe that adultery is fun.
    We believe that sodomy is OK.
    We believe that taboos are taboo.

    We believe that everything is getting better
    despite evidence to the contrary.
    The evidence must be investigated
    And you can prove anything with evidence.

    We believe there’s something in
    horoscopes, UFO’s and bent spoons;
    Jesus was a good man
    just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
    He was a good moral teacher
    although we think His good morals were bad.

    We believe that all religions are basically the same—
    at least the one that we read was.
    They all believe in love and goodness.
    They only differ on matters of
    creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

    We believe that after death comes the Nothing
    Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing.
    If death is not the end, if the dead have lied,
    then it’s compulsory heaven for all
    excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.

    We believe in Masters and Johnson.
    What’s selected is average.
    What’s average is normal.
    What’s normal is good.

    We believe in total disarmament.
    We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
    Americans should beat their guns into tractors
    and the Russians would be sure to follow.

    We believe that man is essentially good.
    It’s only his behavior that lets him down.
    This is the fault of society.
    Society is the fault of conditions.
    Conditions are the fault of society.

    We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
    Reality will adapt accordingly.
    The universe will readjust.
    History will alter.
    We believe that there is no absolute truth
    excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

    We believe in the rejection of creeds,
    and the flowering of individual thought.

    "Chance" -  a post-script

    If chance be the Father of all flesh,
    disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
    and when you hear

    State of Emergency!
    Sniper Kills Ten!
    Troops on Rampage!
    Whites go Looting!
    Bomb Blasts School!

    It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

     


  3. "I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature."
    — John Steinbeck, from his 1962 Nobel Prize acceptance speech
     


  4. "Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail."
    — John Donne
     

  5. This man is a Holocaust survivor, and he speaks of believing in the potential of humans. Truly powerful. 

     
     


  6. "I feel that a man is a very important thing—maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed—because “Thou mayest.”"
    — John Steinbeck, East of Eden
     


  7. "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
    — Mahatma Ghandi
     


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  9. The “gospel” of Steinbeck. Part 2.

    "We have usurped many of the powers we once ascribed to God.
    Fearful and unprepared, we have assumed lordship over the life or death of the whole world — of all living things.
    The danger and the glory and the choice rest finally in man. The test of his perfectibility is at hand.
    Having taken Godlike power, we must seek in ourselves for the responsibility and the wisdom we once prayed some deity might have.
    Man himself has become our greatest hazard and our only hope.
    So that today, St. John the apostle may well be paraphrased: In the end is the Word, and the Word is Man — and the Word is with Men.”

    -John Steinbeck, 1962 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

    To understand the role of the individual, one must understand the prevalent or potentially innovative thoughts in society at large. Steinbeck’s writing has been the most beautiful literary form I have ever come into contact with, and for that reason (illogically, admittedly) his principles are much more attractive to me, as I am sure they are to many other readers. I am not going to comment for or against the veracity of the above statements, because this is not a “preachy” tumblr. To believe something, my dear audience, you must assess it and make the ensuing conviction your own. If you know me, you will know how I feel regarding the quote. Think about how you feel.