"People never stop to think that the greatest workers in the world have been those who bestowed the least thought on their own individualities. Then alone does a man love when he finds that the object of his love is not any low, little, mortal thing. Then alone does a man love when he finds that the object of his love is not a clod of earth, but is the veritable God Himself. The wife will love the husband the more when she knows that the husband is God Himself. The husband will love the wife the more when he knows that the wife is God Himself. The parents will love their children the more when they know that the children are God Himself. That man will love his greatest enemy who knows that very enemy to be God Himself. That man will love a holy man who knows that the holy man is God Himself, and that very man will also love the unholiest of men because he knows that the background of that unholiest of men is even He, the Lord. Such a man becomes a world-mover. For him, the little self is dead and God stands in its place; for him the whole Universe becomes transfigured. That which is painful and miserable will all vanish; struggles will depart. Instead of being a prison-house, where every day we struggle and fight and compete for a morsel of bread, this Universe will then be to us a playground. Beautiful will be this Universe then! Such a man alone has the right to stand up and say, 'How beautiful is this world!' He alone has the right to say that it is all good."
- From Jnana-Yoga by Swami Vivekananda, read on the day of my marriage to Josephine, 8/23/14 by the maid of honor, Amanda Wilson
"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."
- From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, read on the day of my marriage to Josephine, 8/23/14 by the best man, Brian Bishop