But most of the prophets, who roamed the streets flagellating themselves and preaching the end of the world for its corruption and lack of faith, had accepted conversion to the new religion.
Criminals, prisoners of war, fugitives were usually accepted as mariners because it was a profession more dangerous than the army. In war, a soldier always had a chance to escape with his life; but the seas were unknown, populated by monsters, and when a tragedy occurred, none were left to tell the story.
Souls too, like rivulets and plants, needed a different kind of rain: hope, faith, a reason to live. When this did not come to pass, everything in that soul died, even if the body went on living; and the people could say: “Here in this body there was once a man.”
“It was part of your apprenticeship. When a man journeys toward his destiny, often he is obliged to change paths. At other times, the forces around him are too powerful and he is compelled to lay aside his courage and yield. All this is part of the apprenticeship.”
“But no-one can lose sight of what they desire. Even if there are moments when he believes the world and others are stronger. The secret is this: do not surrender.”
“..I have never seen the ocean but I know it is like the desert: it slays those who challenge it….”
“Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time but what he must not do is forget it. Whoever doubteth not himself is unworthy—for in his unquestioning belief in his ability, he commitheth the sin of pride. Blessed are they who go through moments of indecision.”
“The best warrior is one who succeeds in transforming an enemy into a friend.”
“I shall not live a second longer than the Lord desires…It is He who decides, not you.”
“The best [at using a sword] is the one who’s most like a rock…without drawing its blade, it proves that no one can defeat it.”
“All life’s battles teach us something, even those we lose.”
“…the Lord demandeth of people only that which is within the possibilities of each of them.”
“no one dieth. The arms of eternity open for every soul, and each one will carry on his task.
There is a reason for everything under the sun.
“There is no tragedy, only the unavoidable. Everything hath its reason for being: thou needest only distinguish what is temporary from what is lasting.”
“What is temporary?”
“And what is lasting?”
“The lessons of the unavoidable.”
Courage is fear that preys.
“…they had not found what they were seeking, for they carried with them, along with their bags, the weight of their earlier failure.”
“If you have a past that dissatisfies you, forget it now…imagine a new story of your life, and believe in it, Concentrate only on those moments in which you achieved what you desired, and this strength will help you accomplish what you want.”
“Everything that could have happened but did not is carried away with the wind and leaves no trace…
Life is made of our attitudes. And there are certain things that the gods oblige us to live through. Their reason for this does not matter, and there is no action we can take to make them pass us by.”
From heaven, God smiles contentedly, for it was this that He desired, that each person take into his hands the responsibility for his own life. For in the final analysis, He had given His children the greatest of all gifts: the capacity to choose and determine their acts.
God was infinite in His mercy, and implacable in His severity with those who lacked the courage to dare.
“…a warrior is always aware of what is worth fighting for. He does not go into combat over things that do not concern him, and he never wastes his time over provocations. A warrior accepts defeat…after all this has passed, he licks his wounds and begins everything anew. A warrior knows that war is made of many battles; he goes on.”