Prophecy

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You don't need no crystal ball,
Don't fall for a magic wand.
We humans got it all, we perform the miracles. ~ Kate Bush
Everybody makes the same mistake. Fortune-telling doesn't reveal the future; it mirrors the present. It resonates against what your subconscious already knows and hauls it up out of the darkness so you can get a good look at it. ~ Charles de Lint

Prophecy is a process in which aspects of information, awareness, messages or knowledge which has been provided to an individual, often called a prophet, soothsayer, or a seer, are then indicated to others. The information provided typically involves indications of divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditions and events of the future, as well as testimony or repeated revelations of divine aspects of the world or Reality. The process of prophecy often involves reciprocal communication of the prophet with sources of the information.

Quotes[edit]

These have seen according to their sight.
For every fiery prophet in old times,
And all the sacred madness of the bard,
When God made music through them, could but speak
His music by the framework and the chord;
And as ye saw it ye have spoken truth."
~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson ~
  • Of all the horrid, hideous notes of woe,
    Sadder than owl-songs or the midnight blast;
    Is that portentous phrase, "I told you so."
  • Prophecy, however honest, is generally a poor substitute for experience.
    • Benjamin N. Cardozo, in West Ohio Gas Co. v. Public Utilities Commission (No.2), 294 U.S. 79, 82, (1935)
  • Everybody makes the same mistake. Fortune-telling doesn't reveal the future; it mirrors the present. It resonates against what your subconscious already knows and hauls it up out of the darkness so you can get a good look at it.
    • Charles de Lint, in "Paperjack" in Dreams Underfoot : The Newford Collection (2003), p. 396
  • Muad'Dib could indeed see the Future, but you must understand the limits of this power. Think of sight. You have eyes, yet cannot see without light. If you are on the floor of a valley, you cannot see beyond your valley. Just so, Muad'Dib could not always choose to look across the mysterious terrain. He tells us that a single obscure decision of prophecy, perhaps the choice of one word over another, could change the entire aspect of the future. He tells us "The vision of time is broad, but when you pass through it, time becomes a narrow door." And always, he fought the temptation to choose a clear, safe course, warning "That path leads ever down into stagnation."
  • Prophecy and prescience — How can they be put to the test in the face of the unanswered questions? Consider: How much is actual prediction of the "wave form" (as Muad'Dib referred to his vision-image) and how much is the prophet shaping the future to fit the prophecy? What of the harmonics inherent in the act of prophecy? Does the prophet see the future or does he see a line of weakness, a fault or cleavage that he may shatter with words or decisions as a diamond-cutter shatters his gem with a blow of a knife?
    • Frank Herbert, in Dune (1965), Private Reflections on Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan
  • A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country and in his own house.
    • Jesus, in Matthew, XIII. 57
  • The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true". This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.
  • If I have eschewed the word prophet, I do not wish to attribute to myself such lofty title at the present time, for whoever is called a prophet now was once called a seer; since a prophet, my son, is properly speaking one who sees distant things through a natural knowledge of all creatures. And it can happen that the prophet bringing about the perfect light of prophecy may make manifest things both human and divine, because this cannot be done otherwise, given that the effects of predicting the future extend far off into time.
  • Perfect knowledge of such things cannot be acquired without divine inspiration, given that all prophetic inspiration derives its initial origin from God Almighty, then from chance and nature. Since all these portents are produced impartially, prophecy comes to pass partly as predicted. For understanding created by the intellect cannot be acquired by means of the occult, only by the aid of the zodiac, bringing forth that small flame by whose light part of the future may be discerned.
  • When twenty years of the Moon's reign have passed
    another will take up his reign for seven thousand years.
    When the exhausted Sun takes up his cycle
    then my prophecy and threats will be accomplished.
  • There is a history in all men's lives,
    Figuring the nature of the times deceas'd,
    The which observed, a man may prophesy
    With a near aim, of the main chance of things
    As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
    And weak beginnings lie intreasured.
  • "Deafer," said the blameless King,
    "Gawain, and blinder unto holy things
    Hope not to make thyself by idle vows,
    Being too blind to have desire to see.

    But if indeed there came a sign from heaven,
    Blessed are Bors, Lancelot and Percivale,
    For these have seen according to their sight.
    For every fiery prophet in old times,
    And all the sacred madness of the bard,
    When God made music through them, could but speak
    His music by the framework and the chord;
    And as ye saw it ye have spoken truth.
    "

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 636-37.
  • Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life!
    The evening beam that smiles the clouds away,
    And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray!
    • Lord Byron, Bride of Abydos, Canto II, Stanza 20
  • The prophet's mantle, ere his flight began,
    Dropt on the world—a sacred gift to man.
  • Bene qui conjiciet, vatem hunc perhibebo optimum.
    • I shall always consider the beet guesser the best prophet.
    • Cicero, De Divinatione, II. 5 (Greek adage)
  • We know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    • I Corinthians, XIII. 9
  • From hence, no question, has sprung an observation … confirmed now into a settled opinion, that some long experienced souls in the world, before their dislodging, arrive to the height of prophetic spirits.
    • Erasmus, Praise of Folly (Old translation)
  • Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word;
    And in its hollow tones are heard
    The thanks of millions yet to be.
  • Prophet of evil! never hadst thou yet
    A cheerful word for me. To mark the signs
    Of coming mischief is thy great delight,
    Good dost thou ne'er foretell nor bring to pass.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book I, line 138, Bryant's translation
  • A tunnel underneath the sea from Calais straight to Dover, Sir,
    The squeamish folks may cross by land from shore to shore,
    With sluices made to drown the French, if e'er they would come over, Sir,
    Has long been talk'd of, till at length 'tis thought a monstrous bore.
  • This solemn moment of triumph, one of the greatest moments in the history of the world … this great hour which rings in a new era … and which is going to lift up humanity to a higher plane of existence for all the ages of the future.
    • David Lloyd George, speech at Guildhall after the signing of the Armistice (11 November 1918)
  • My gran'ther's rule was safer 'n 't is to crow:
    Don't never prophesy—onless ye know.
  • It takes a mind like Dannel's, fact, ez big ez all ou'doors
    To find out thet it looks like rain arter it fairly pours.
  • No mighty trance, or breathed spell
    Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.
  • Till old experience do attain
    To something like prophetic strain.
  • Is Saul also among the prophets?
    • I Samuel. X. 11
  • Prognostics do not always prove prophecies, at least the wisest prophets make sure of the event first.
  • Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
    • Zechariah. I. 5

External links[edit]

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