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Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1) Sexus by Henry Miller
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Sexus Quotes Showing 1-30 of 53
“Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything godlike about God, it is that. He dared to imagine everything”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“The man who is forever disturbed about the condition of humanity either has no problems of his own or has refused to face them.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“Life's wildest moment---she kneels on the sidewalk. Everything else she does is lies, lies.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“What I want is to open up. I want to know what's inside me. I want everybody to open up. I'm like an imbecile with a can opener in his hand, wondering where to begin-- to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I'm sure of it.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“I will go directly to her home, ring the bell, and walk in. Here I am, take me-or stab me to death. Stab the heart, stab the brains, stab the lungs, the kidneys, the viscera, the eyes, the ears. If only one organ be left alive you are doomed-doomed to be mine, forever, in this world and the next and all the worlds to come. I'm a desperado of love, a scalper, a slayer. I'm insatiable. I eat hair, dirty wax, dry blood clots, anything and everything you call yours. Show me your father, with his kites, his race horses, his free passes for the opera: I will eat them all, swallow them alive. Where is the chair you sit in, where is your favorite comb, your toothbrush, your nail file? Trot them out that I may devour them at one gulp. You have a sister more beautiful than yourself, you say. Show her to me-I want to lick the flesh from her bones.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“She may be lying in bed reading a book, she may be making love with a prize fighter, or she may be running like mad through a field of stubble, one shoe one, one shoe off, a man named Corn Cob pursuing her hotly. Wherever she is I am standing in complete darkness; her absence blots me out.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“Her fluency was marvelous. She would say things at random, intricate, flamelike, or slide off into a parenthetical limbo peppered with fireworks-- admirable linguistic feats which a practiced writer might struggle for hours to achieve.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“How we hate to admit that we would like nothing better than to be the slave! Slave and master at the same time! For even in love the slave is always the master in disguise. The man who must conquer the woman, subjugate her, bend her to his will, form her according to his desires—is he not the slave of his slave? How easy it is, in this relationship, for the woman to upset the balance of power! The mere threat of self-dependence, on the woman’s part, and the gallant despot is seized with vertigo. But if they are able to throw themselves at one another recklessly, concealing nothing, surrendering all, if they admit to one another their interdependence, do they not enjoy a great and unsuspected freedom? The man who admits to himself that he is a coward has made a step towards conquering his fear; but the man who frankly admits it to every one, who asks that you recognize it in him and make allowance for it in dealing with him, is on the way to becoming a hero. Such a man is often surprised, when the crucial test comes, to find that he knows no fear. Having lost the fear of regarding himself as a coward he is one no longer: only the demonstration is needed to prove the metamorphosis. It is the same in love. The man who admits not only to himself but to his fellowmen, and even to the woman he adores, that he can be twisted around a woman’s finger, that he is helpless where the other sex is concerned, usually discovers that he is the more powerful of the two. Nothing breaks a woman down more quickly than complete surrender. A woman is prepared to resist, to be laid siege to: she has been trained to behave that way. When she meets no resistance she falls headlong into the trap.

To be able to give oneself wholly and completely is the greatest luxury that life affords. Real love only begins at this point of dissolution. The personal life is altogether based on dependence, mutual dependence. Society is the aggregate of persons all interdependent. There is another richer life beyond the pale of society, beyond the personal, but there is no knowing it, no attainment possible, without firs traveling the heights and depths of the personal jungle. To become the great lover, the magnetiser and catalyzer, the blinding focus and inspiration of the world, one has to first experience the profound wisdom of being an utter fool. The man whose greatness of heart leads him to folly and ruin is to a woman irresistible. To the woman who loves, that is to say. As to those who ask merely to be loved, who seek only their own reflection in the mirror, no love however great, will ever satisfy them. In a world so hungry for love it is no wonder that men and women are blinded by the glamour and glitter of their own reflected egos. No wonder that the revolver shot is the last summons. No wonder that the grinding wheels of the subway express, though they cut the body to pieces, fail to precipitate the elixir of love. In the egocentric prism the helpless victim is walled in by the very light which he refracts. The ego dies in its own glass cage…”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“From the little reading I had done I had observed that the men who were most in life, who were molding life, who were life itself, ate little, slept little, owned little or nothing. They had no illusions about duty, or the perpetuation of their kith and kin, or the preservation of the State. They were interested in truth and in truth alone. They recognized only one kind of activity - creation.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“To love! To surrender absolutely, to prostrate oneself before the divine image, to die a thousand imaginary deaths, to annihilate every trace of self, to find the whole universe embodied and enshrined in the living image of another! Adolescent, we say. Rot! This is the germ of the future life, the seed which we hide away, which we bury deep within us, which we smother and stifle and do our utmost to destroy as we advance from one experience to another and flutter and flounder and lose our way.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“There is a theory that when a planet, like our earth for example, has manifested every form of life, when it has fulfilled itself to the point of exhaustion, it crumbles to bits and is dispersed like star dust throughout the universe. It does not roll on like a dead moon, but explodes, and in the space of a few minutes, there is not a trace of it visible in the heavens. In marine life we have a similar effect. it is called implosion. When an amphibian accustomed to the black depths rises above a certain level, when the pressure to which it adapts itself is lifted, the body bursts inwardly. Are we not familiar with this spectacle in the human being also? The norsemen who went berserk, the malay who runs amuck—are these not examples of implosion and explosion? When the cup is full it runs over. but when the cup and that which it contains are one substance, what then? There are moments when the elixir of life rises to such overbrimming splendor that the soul spills over. In the seraphic smile of the madonnas the soul is seen to flood the psyche. The moon of the face becomes full; the equation is perfect. A minute, a half minute, a second later, the miracle has passed. something intangible, something inexplicable, was given out—and received. In the life of a human being it may happen that the moon never comes to the full. In the life of some human beings it would seem, indeed, that the only mysterious phenomenon observable is that of perpetual eclipse. In the case of those afflicted with genius, whatever the form it may take, we are almost frightened to observe that there is nothing but a continuous waxing and waning of the moon. Rarer still are the anomalous ones who, having come to the full, are so terrified by the wonder of it that they spend the rest of their lives endeavoring to stifle that which gave them birth and being. The war of the mind is the story of the soul-split. When the moon was at full there were those who could not accept the dim death of diminution; they tried to hang full-blown in the zenith of their own heaven. They tried to arrest the action of the law which was manifesting itself through them, through their own birth and death, in fulfillment and transfiguration. Caught between the tides they were sundered; the soul departed the body, leaving the simulacrum of a divided self to fight it out in the mind. Blasted by their own radiance they live forever the futile quest of beauty, truth and harmony. Depossessed of their own effulgence they seek to possess the soul and spirit of those to whom they are attracted. They catch every beam of light; they reflect with every facet of their hungry being. instantly illumined, When the light is directed towards them, they are also speedily extinguished. The more intense the light which is cast upon them the more dazzling—and blinding—they appear. Especially dangerous are they to the radiant ones; it is always towards these bright and inexhaustible luminaries that they are most passionately drawn…”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“There is one thing I like about the Poles—their language. Polish, when it is spoken by intelligent people, puts me in ecstasy. The sound of the language evokes strange images in which there is always a greensward of fine spiked grass in which hornets and snakes play a great part. I remember days long back when Stanley would invite me to visit his relatives; he used to make me carry a roll of music because he wanted to show me off to these rich relatives. I remember this atmosphere well because in the presence of these smooth−tongued, overly polite, pretentious and thoroughly false Poles I always felt miserably uncomfortable. But when they spoke to one another, sometimes in French, sometimes in Polish, I sat back and watched them fascinatedly. They made strange Polish grimaces, altogether unlike our relatives who were stupid barbarians at bottom. The Poles were like standing snakes fitted up with collars of hornets. I never knew what they were talking about but it always seemed to me as if they were politely assassinating some one. They were all fitted up with sabres and broad−swords which they held in their teeth or brandished fiercely in a thundering charge. They never swerved from the path but rode rough−shod over women and children, spiking them with long pikes beribboned with blood−red pennants. All this, of course, in the drawing−room over a glass of strong tea, the men in butter−colored gloves, the women dangling their silly lorgnettes. The women were always ravishingly beautiful, the blonde houri type garnered centuries ago during the Crusades. They hissed their long polychromatic words through tiny, sensual mouths whose lips were soft as geraniums. These furious sorties with adders and rose petals made an intoxicating sort of music, a steel−stringed zithery slipper−gibber which could also register anomalous sounds like sobs and falling jets of water.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“To make absolute, unconditional surrender to the woman one loves is to break every bond save the desire not to lose her, which is the most terrible bond of all”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“Talk is only a pretext for other, subtler forms of communication. When the latter are inoperative speech becomes dead. If two people are intent upon communicating with one another it doesn’t matter in the least how bewildering the talk becomes. People who insist upon clarity and logic often fail in making themselves understood. They are always-searching for a more perfect transmitter, deluded by the supposition that the mind is the only instrument for the exchange of thought. When one really begin to talk one delivers himself. Words are thrown about recklessly, not counted like pennies. One doesn’t care about grammatical or factual errors, contradictions, lies and so on. One talks. If you are talking to some one who knows how to listen he understands perfectly, even though the words make no sense. When this kind of talk gets under way a marriage takes place, no matter whether you are talking to a man or a woman. Men talking with other men have as much need of this sort of marriage as women talking with women have. Married couples seldom enjoy this kind of talk, for reasons which are only too obvious.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“Au fond, les gens ne lisent pas ; ou, s'ils lisent, ils ne comprennent pas ; ou, s'ils comprennent, ils oublient.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“The act of dreaming, like a draught of fresh air in an abandoned house, situates the furniture of the mind in a new ambiance.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“I stood before a mirror and said fearfully: “I want to see how I look in the mirror with my eyes closed.”

These wrods of Richter’s, when I first came upon them, made an indescribable commotion in me. As did the following, which seems almost like a corollary of the above—from Novalis:

The seat of the soul is where inner world and outer world touch each other. For nobody knows himself, if he is only himself and not also another one at the same time.

To take possession of one’s transcendental I, to be the I of one’s I, at the same time, as Novalis expressed it again.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“The creative life! Ascension. Passing beyond oneself. Rocketing out into the blue, grasping at flying ladders, mounting, soaring, lifting the world up by the scalp, rousing the angels from their ethereal lairs, drowning in stellar depths, clinging to the tails of comets. Nietzsche had written of it ecstatically —and then swooned forward into the mirror to die in root and flower. «Stairs and contradictory stairs,» he wrote, and then suddenly there was no longer any bottom; the mind, like a splintered diamond, was pulverized by the hammer−blows of truth. There was a time when I acted as my father's keeper. I was left alone for long hours, cooped up in the little booth which we used as an office. While he was drinking with his cronies I was feeding from the bottle of creative life. My companions were the free spirits, the overlords of the soul. The young man sitting there in the mingy yellow light became completely unhinged; he lived in the crevices of great thoughts, crouched like a hermit in the barren folds of a lofty mountain range. From truth he passed to imagination and from imagination to invention. At this last portal, through which there is no return, fear beset him. To venture farther was to wander alone, to rely wholly upon oneself. The purpose of discipline is to promote freedom. But freedom leads to infinity and infinity is terrifying. Then arose the comforting thought of stopping at the brink, of setting down in words the mysteries of impulsion, compulsion, propulsion, of bathing the senses in human odors. To become utterly human, the compassionate fiend incarnate, the locksmith of the great door leading beyond and away and forever isolate.
Men founder like ships. Children also. There are children who settle to the bottom at the age of nine, carrying with them the secret of their betrayal. There are perfidious monsters who look at you with the bland, innocent eyes of youth; their crimes are unregistered, because we have no names for them.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“The great ones do not set up offices, charge fees, give lectures, or write books. Wisdom is silent, and the most effective propaganda for truth is the force of personal example. The great ones attract disciples, lesser figures whose mission is to preach and to teach. These are gospelers who, unequal to the highest task, spend their lives in converting others. The great ones are indifferent, in the profoundest sense. They don’t ask you to believe: they electrify you by their behavior. They are the awakeners. What you do with your petty life is of no concern to them. What you do with your life is only of concern to you, they seem to say. In short, their only purpose here on earth is to inspire. And what more can one ask of a human being than that?”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“To move forward clinging to the past is like dragging a ball and chain. The prisoner is not the one who has committed a crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over. We are all guilty of crime, the great crime of not living life to the full. But we are all potentially free. We can stop thinking of what we have failed to do and do whatever lies within our power. What these powers that are in us may be no one has truly dared to imagine. That they are infinite we will realize the day we admit to ourselves that imagination is everything. Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything God-like about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“Fear, hydra-headed fear, which is rampant in all of us, is a hang-over from lower forms of life. We are straddling two worlds, the one from which we have emerged and the one towards which we are heading. This is the deepest meaning of the word human, that we are a link, a bridge, a promise. It is in us that the life process is being carried to fulfillment. We have a tremendous responsibility, and it is the gravity of that which awakens our fears. We know that if we do not move forward, if we do not realize our potential being, we shall relapse, sputter out, and drag the world down with us. We carry Heaven and Hell within us; we are the cosmogonic builders. We have choice—and all creation is our range.

For some it a terrifying prospect. It would be better, think they, if Heaven were above and Hell below—anywhere outside, but not within. But that comfort has been knocked from under us. There are no places to go to, either for reward or punishment. The place is always here and now, in your own person and according to your own fancy. The world is exactly what you picture it to be, always, every instant. It is impossible to shift the scenery about and pretend that you will enjoy another, a different act. The setting is permanent, changing with the mind and heart, not according to the dictates of an invisible stage director. You are the author, director and actor all in one: the drama is always going to be your own life, not some one else’s. A beautiful, terrible, ineluctable drama, like a suit made of your own skin. Would you want it otherwise? Could you invent a better drama?”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“If you were married to a dipsomaniac, would you pretend that the mania for alcohol was perfectly harmless?”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“This was the sort of ebullience and élan I prayed for when I felt the desire to write. I used to sit down and wait for this to happen. But it never did happen- not this way. It happened afterwards, sometimes when I had left the machine and gone for a walk. Yes, suddenly it would come on, like an attack, pell-mell, from every direction, a veritable inundation, an avalanche- and there I was, helpless, miles away from the typewriter, not a piece of paper in my pocket.”
Henry Miller , Sexus
“Naturally, I said. You’re always the same person. You don’t change from one milieu to another. You’re honest and open. You could get along anywhere with any group or class or race. But most people aren’t that way. Most people are conscious of race, color, religion, nationality, and so on. To me all peoples are mysterious when I look at them closely. I can detect their differences much easier than their kinship. In fact, I like the distinctions which separate them just as much as I like what unites them. I think it’s foolish to pretend that we’re all pretty much the same. Only the great, the truly distinctive individuals, resemble one another. Brotherhood doesn’t start at the bottom, but at the top. The nearer we get to God the more we resemble one another. At the bottom it’s like a rubbish pile … that’s to say, from a distance it all seems like so much rubbish, but when you get nearer you perceive that this so-called rubbish is composed of a million-billion different particles. And yet, no matter how different one bit of rubbish is from another, the real difference only asserts itself when you look at something which is not rubbish. Even if the elements which compose the universe can be broken down into one vital substance … well, I don’t know what I was going to say exactly … maybe this … that as long as there is life there will be differentiation, values, hierarchies. Life is always making pyramidal structures, in every realm. If you’re at the bottom you stress the sameness of things; if you’re at the top, or near it, you become aware of the difference between things. And if something is obscure—especially a person—you’re attracted beyond all power of will. You may find that it was an empty chase, that there was nothing there, nothing more than a question mark, but just the same…”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“My policy has always been to burn my bridges behind me. My face is always set toward the future. If I make a mistake it is fatal. When I am flung back I fall all the way back—to the very bottom. My one safeguard is my resiliency. So far I have always bounced back.”
Henry Miller, Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion I
“That’s why I like you, he would say. You’re unpredictable. You have no code. Really, Henry—and he would give a hearty guffaw—you’re essentially treacherous. If we ever make a new world you’ll have no place in it. You don’t seem to understand what it means to give and take. You’re an intellectual hobo… At times I don’t understand you at all. You’re always gay and affable, almost sociable, and yet … well, you have no loyalties. I try to be friends with you … we were friends once, you remember … but you’ve changed … you’re hard inside … you’re untouchable. God, you think I’m hard … I’m just cocky, pugnacious, full of spirits. You’re the one who’s hard. You’re a gangster, do you know that? He chuckled. Yes, Henry, that’s what you are—you’re a spiritual gangster. I don’t trust you.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“The creative side of the female operates imperceptibly: its province is the potential man. When its play is unrestricted the level of the race is raised. One can always gauge the level of a period by the status of its womankind. Something more than freedom and opportunity are here involved because Woman's true nature never expressed itself in demands. Like water, woman always finds her own level. And like water also, she mirrors faithfully all that passes in the soul of man. What is called truly feminine therefore is only the deceptive masquerade which the uncreative male blindly accepts as the real show. It is the flattering substitute which the thwarted female offers in self-defense. It is the homosexual game which Narcissus exacts. It is most flagrantly revealed when the partners are extremely masculine and feminine. It can be mimicked most successfully in the shadow play of the avowed homosexuals. It reaches its blind culmination in the Don Juan. Here the pursuit of the unattainable reaches the burlesk proportions of a Chaplinesque pursuit. The end is always the same: Narcissus drowning in his own image.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“Now when he closes his eyes he can really look at himself. He no longer sees a mask. He sees without seeing, to be exact. Vision without sight, a fluid grasp of intangibles: the merging of sight and sound: the heart of the web. Here stream the different personalities which evade the crude contact of the senses; here the overtones of recognition discreetly lap against one another in bright, vibrant harmonies. There is no language employed, no outlines delineated. When a ship founders, it settles slowly; the spars, the masts, the rigging float away. On the ocean floor of death the bleeding hull bedecks itself with jewels; remorselessly the anatomic life begins. What was ship becomes the nameless indestructible. Like ships, men founder time and again. Only memory saves them from complete dispersion. Poets drop their stitches in the loom, straws for drowning men to grasp as they sink into extinction. Ghosts climb back on watery stairs, make imaginary ascents, vertiginous drops, memorize numbers, dates, events, in passing from gas to liquid and back again. There is no brain capable of registering the changing changes. Nothing happens in the brain, except the gradual rust and detrition of the cells. But in the minds, worlds unclassified, undenominated, unassimilated, form, break, unite, dissolve and harmonize ceaselessly. In the mind-world ideas are the indestructible elements which form the jewelled constellations of the interior life. We move within their orbits, freely if we follow their intricate patterns, enslaved or possessed if we try to subjugate them.”
Henry Miller, Sexus
“مكن أن يكون تحمل الدموع أسهل من الفرح الفرح مدمر إنه يزعج الأخرين " إذا بكيت فستبكي وحدك" يالها من أكذوبة ! ابك وستجد مليون تمساح يبكي معك العالم يبكي إلى الأبد العالم غارق في البكاء...”
Henry Miller, Sexus

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