heavenly mansion

The Maid (Prologue)

Originally posted by models-in-motion-gifs

Pairing : Jungkook x reader x Yoongi

Genre : smut, drama

Summary : Working as a maid for the Jeons has never been a burden…a lovely marriage who needs to dust things off once in a while and pays you well…that, until both her sons decide to move back from college and things get a bit wild. But, after all, a maid is supposed to keep quiet no matter what happens.


What began as a tough decision between fulfilling your mother´s wish or following your own path ended leading you - after many discussions and sleepless nights - to your current job: the youngest maid ever to work for the Jeon family. Not only had it been hectic, but the difficulty of choosing hadn´t advocated - at all - the fact that too many people had gotten involved in the mess that redirecting your life had been. Just because it ran in the family line, because the Jeons had practically begged for you to take the chance of working for them and because your mother had overwhelmed you with wise advice about dedication and loyalty - none of that meant it was the right turn to take. At the end of the day, it was you who was compromising to a full time job of cleaning and serving other people.

Or at least, those were the actions you had pictured in your mind after seeing your mother work for them ever since you were a child. All the memories you could recall led to that - her chubby fingers scrapping food from porcelain plates, neat buns that helped her vision stay clear as she mopped the floor and casted glances at you once in a while to check you were doing your homework.  Further clues about what she did were strangely missing as she had tried not to involve you in her working life too much or, at least, not the important parts. Hardly ever had you actually entered the house or talked to Miss and Mr. Jeon or, for the record, she had never mentioned a plan or showed intention of getting you to follow her steps.

But, after a while, you got to the conclusion that times had changed and a maid wasn´t quite what it used to be. The concept seemed to be separating from its old stigma and stereotypes, blurring and mixing into a decent job. It was quite rhetoric that you still had to clean - the base hadn´t moved one bit - but none of the backaches or horrible treatment you had expected appeared in the fairly short period of time you had been occupying the position.

People´s reactions were often worthy of one or two days of humiliation or a boost for your self-esteem and, often you found it hard not to smirk or blush when wide eyed stares were directed at you. The Jeons were fairly well known across the country, and so was their heavenly mansion everyone had dreamt of owning at least once in their lives. The fact that it was located in a small town derived in a rather not large number of population which, in itself, was an indicator of familiarity between habitants. It was not only pleasurable to say you lived there with them but to say they had personally hired you always made you feel somewhat proud of yourself - it didn´t matter if you were just their maid, the astonished reactions you received were equally desired by your ego. Support was the average message you received in return – assholes who thought it was a mediocre thing to do with your life asides.

But, just like any other job, it was tiring. The salary left you in internally excruciating pain every time Miss Jeon personally handed it to you. It was an over the top amount of money and, as if that wasn´t enough, you had your own room and a free pass to grab anything from the fridge whenever desired - which always led to you going to the convenience store later on because you had eaten too much. But money and commodities aside, as time passed and your presence got involved in the family dynamic, you discovered the Jeon family wasn´t as calmed and serene as it appeared to be.

It wasn’t as if they hid a corpse in their backyard or took part in mafia activities – at least, not that you knew about. It turned out, after many hours of observation, that their marriage seemed to be just an official document. It was the first time you saw Mr. Jeon walking in with another woman that you raised your suspicions. It was a complicated situation -it left you with a compromise, whether to tell Miss. Jeon or not. You decided to keep quiet, but things seemed to change for you and the way you saw Mr. Jeon never came back to its regular state. Good thing was, you didn’t work alone. The house was big - enough room for at least four families and it was centuries old. It required a lot of effort and maintenance and luckily for you the Jeons were considerate enough to have more than one employee. Your schedule only matched with the chef, Jimin, who was a couple years older than you but rather nice and talkative when it came to discussing those topics. You always stopped by the kitchen to drink some water or whenever you had some spare time. He was always smiling sweetly and always welcomed you with a spoon full of something for you to try. That´s why, two months into the job, you decided to ask him about Mr. Jeon´s mysterious activity.

“Jimin. I’m starving”

You glanced at his back as you entered the room, his head momentarily turning sideways to wordlessly tell he was now aware of your presence

“Do you have something for me?”

Your words trailed off with a heavy sigh, and then a yawn. It was the first in a series of hints that you would like him to take a pause and talk about something as you ate whatever he had in stock that day.

“You can try this. Twenty different ingredients this time, you´ll have to guess them all”

Faking a hurt expression you grabbed a spoon as he poured some soup on a plate, mouth already watering. Not even once that day had you had time to eat and even the smell of food seemed enough for your stomach to growl.

“I could eat the whole thing”

Eyes sparkling you leveled your eyes with the rest of the soup as Jimin leaned over the kitchen island to look at you. His hair was pointing in every direction and he looked sleep deprived, yet he still managed to move gracefully or talk without indications of his bad mood.

“But you shouldn’t”

Coming from anyone else maybe you´d be offended, but you knew Jimin meant more employees would eventually come to eat. Plus, it wasn´t only the food you had come for. A question had been roaming in your head for the past few days, and he was the only one you could formulate it to.

“Right…hey, Jimin…you’ve been working here longer than me. Have you ever noticed something weird between… them?”

Jimin´s brows furrowed as he swiped his thumb below his chin, eyes narrowing and you could almost see the gears in his head turning.

“Them? You mean our lovely bosses?”

His gesture suddenly turned into a smirk, now completely aware of what you had meant. You nodded and tried the food, keeping it around your tongue before swallowing to decipher different tastes. Jimin took interest in the topic as he observed the way you munched on some bread next.

“Ah, I see what you mean. They do a great job at covering it up, right?” This time it was you who frowned as Jimin leaned closer, hand next to his mouth as he whispered “That’s because they’re friends”

You kept devouring the food – just because it had been confirmed it didn´t mean you´d show the internal surprise that was corroding you.

“Friends?”

A marriage involves friendship, too, but it was more the fact that if they weren´t together or remained in good terms, how could they still act friendly between them? You knew for a fact you wouldn´t be able to.

“Yep. Rumors are they got a divorce years ago. But nobody knows, not even their sons”

You almost spat the soup. Not because of Jimin wiggling his brows all of a sudden – because he knew you had found the spicy ingredient between the others in the hot liquid -but because of the last thing he had said. It had made your insides turn with brutality.

“They have sons? Why did nobody tell me?”

Jimin doubted for a moment whether he had spilled information he shouldn´t or you were just ignorant. The latter seemed to convince him as he went back to the stove and moved something around with a spatula. He let out a loud sigh, internally complaining – although happy – about having to explain things to you.

“Hey, be thankful they’re grown ass man and you don’t have to take care of them or else you’d be a nanny too”

Being a nanny sounded terrible. But that wasn´t the big elephant to be addressed in the room. You had been working in the house for almost two months yet you still didn´t know about them. There were too many questions you had thought about in barely a minute.

“So if they’re old, why they never visit? Busy with business?”

Jimin turned around with a face that told you he couldn´t believe you weren´t understanding anything. Swiping his tongue over his bottom lip, he took a deep sigh before speaking.

“They’re actually around our age. Probably still in college and, it´s normal you haven´t seen them. They don´t live here"

Mr and Miss Jeon were still relatively young, of course. And it would´ve been weird that  children had never been in their minds  - if they hadn´t had any, who would carry on with their business? Still, there was something that didn´t quite add up.

“Oh. I see. I wouldn’t know how to react if they lived here”

It was true. But if they did, you´d have to get used to it. Boys around your age – you knew how they were. Messy, rude, cocky, full of themselves and…Jimin interrupted your thoughts, urging you to finish your lunch.

“I don’t think you’ll see them until Christmas”

You sighed, relieved for some reason. If they were just going to come by and then go back to wherever they were staying at, that was fine with you. As long as you didn´t have to deal with them, as long as they – ironically – didn´t invade your territory.

“True. Seems like they don’t get along with their parents”

Jimin quirked an eyebrow up as you pouted. The mere idea of not relaying on your parents made you sad.

“I don´t know about that”

Silence took over the room momentarily as you and Jimin thought about different things. So the Jeon family was bigger than you had ever imagined. But if they had sons…

“But, there aren’t any pictures of them anywhere. Besides, my mum would’ve told me” You gestured with your hand the obviousness of the matter. Your mum had long lectured you about every part of the house, object and, how not, everything about Miss and Mr. Jeon.

“They keep the house very non personal. It´s too big and, it´s not completely theirs, so they have to keep it as monumental as possible”

Slowly starting to understand you wondered what their sons looked like. Were they tall? Handsome? Perhaps just rich?

“Right. So no pictures. What about their rooms?”

You were obviously in charge of cleaning and owned a set of keys that allowed you to open and enter every single room in the house. Yet, still, Jimin seemed to be the only one who had actual answers.

“Guest rooms. Once they moved out they turned them into something useful. They stay there when they come”

You pouted again, finishing the soup as you spared a glance at the watch hanging around your wrist. Ruffling your ponytail you stood up, trailing next to Jimin and placing the bowl on the counter.

“Isn´t that a bit sad?”

Jimin handed you a piece of paper to write all the ingredients you had been able to guess – although you had to admit your attention had been somewhere else - and you took it. He talked one more time, leveling his stare with yours and giving, perhaps, more importance to the conversation than it had.

“I don´t know. And I don´t think we´ll get a chance to ask them”

Turned out you only guessed ten of the twenty ingredients and Jimin got mad at you for not using your taste buds properly. Of course, he was only joking, but truth is something much more important had come out from spending time with him. Since that conversation with Jimin you only thought about the Jeon siblings. Specially because it still surprised you their parents had never mentioned them. It was true that there weren´t many personal objects around the house –only professionally taken pictures hung from the walls and you had never seen anything that belonged to Mr or Miss Jeon other than their clothes. You thought, for some reason, about how they were and what kind of life had they carried. The fact that there were still so many things you didn´t know led you to revaluate what kind of job had you really gotten into. Time passed and, despite being busy, the thought of the Jon siblings refused to fade.


The following week seemed hectic for some reason, and it was a lazy Sunday afternoon when Jungkook and Yoongi arrived without warning anybody, the lull before the storm of Monday morning madness of alarm clocks and deadlines. Every single employee in the house was running errands while you hadn´t really received any direct orders, a particular grumpy mood taking over your constant frown and restless limbs. Not even Jimin had time for you and you had tried to avoid the kitchen, not wanting to constantly be ignored. Because of that, you decided to simply continue with your usual tasks. When the clock struck three you chose to start with your least favourite: cleaning the bathrooms. They were barely ever used but, still, it didn´t compare to dusting off the books in the library or giving extra shine to the porcelain pieces on the entrance.

The door was fully closed – something weird remembering you had left it open. The bathroom was bigger than your own room back when you lived with your mother, white and lavender motives making the atmosphere somewhat relaxing – for a bathroom. It even had windows – which you opened – that let natural light in and it was a mere coincidence the sun was fully out that evening. Just when you were about to spray the glass to meticulously clean it you heard water running and immediately turned towards the shower. A shiver raced along your skin, eyes squinted and trying to convince yourself it was just your imagination. Minutes later you realized reality was hitting you hard as the silhouette you had in front of you was moving, breathing, showering. Your hammering heart plummeted, panic taking over you as your weak hand reached your suddenly crimson cheeks. Someone was definitely there. You couldn´t see more than a shadow, tall, blurry and, worst of all, manly.

“Oh my god. W-what…why did nobody tell me? Oh my god, oh my god”

Still holding your cheeks between your trembling hands you turned around, picking up your things as your mind raced with possibilities. Perhaps whoever was behind the curtains was still unaware of your presence…who could it be? Employees didn´t use the rooms on the top floor, Mr. Jeon had his own bathroom…maybe someone had broken into the house?!?

“Okay, I´m not even making sense. I just need to go and nobody will know…”

Your whispering died down as you heard the curtain being removed, the sound of water dropping to the floor and someone stepping out. And although your body was fully tensed, limbs, muscles, even bones completely petrified, you turned around. Maybe because from the moment you were in his presence he drew you in, maybe because nerves can be cruel. But for a moment, he looked at you and you looked at him – well, everything but his eyes.

Which, speaking of that, you immediately covered yours.

“Oh my god. I can´t believe I just saw that”

With your fingertips you began caressing the rough fabric of your rags, smoothing it repeatedly in an attempt to calm yourself. Simultaneously, his toes of the left foot moved back and forth across the edges of the rug, a lopsided smirk plastered on his face. This action you found unpredictable; you couldn´t see anything yet you could feel the chuckle he was holding back. Your mind was snapping at you to stop trembling, so of course you did it all the more – especially when he talked.

“You can take your little hand out your eyes; a towel is now covering that you´ve just seen”

Despite the ironic nature of his words relief was the only thing you felt. It took you a while to lower your limb and still, you couldn´t get to look at him properly.
You had a sudden whiff of perfume and you repaired in the bottle he was opening, applying it to his skin as if you weren´t there.

“I-I´m so sorry. I was supposed to clean and I…I honestly don´t know who you are”

Well aware that you were slurring your words you reached for the door knob, eager to get out as soon as possible. But your statement had caught his attention.

“You don´t? Then I guess we´re on equal terms”

You really should be going, you thought, but you didn’t have the appetite for the outburst that might happen if you left then without clearing things out. Sucking in a breath you held all your sprays tighter as his eyes landed on you again. Shamelessly, they roamed over your figure at least twice, which made you frown slightly as you subtly stepped back.

“I´m sorry, but I think I should go”

His eyes opened wide, stepping closer to you as you spastically turned around again. He crossed his arms above his chest – maybe intentionally, pulsing veins making an appearance around his arms. Then, as he extended a hand for you to shake it, your eyes blinked as if their own accord.

“I guess you work here. And I guess you´re new. In that case, I´m sure we´ll get along…” his eyes seemed to stop somewhere between your lips and your collarbones “Very well”

Your body was totally devoid of compromise yet you still accepted his hand, holding it lightly. It was much bigger than yours and you both stared at your intertwined limbs. He smirked again, a headache approaching as you tried to find the right words.

“S-sure”

That´s all you were able to mutter, his smile remaining in place.

“I´m Jungkook, by the way. Jeon Junkook”


A/N : This is like an introduction to the story…she still has to meet Yoongi though. Thank you if you read this and, since I´m new here, feedback is always appreciated. I´ll try my best !

This day the stainless maiden, who had been defiled by no earthly lust, but ennobled by heavenly desires, returned not to dust, but, being herself a living heaven, took her place among the heavenly mansions.

- Saint John Damascus

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Warren Zevon | Jesus Mentioned 

Can’t you just imagine
Digging up the King
Begging him to sing
About those heavenly mansions
Jesus mentioned

Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. By the right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection; by the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master.
—  James Allen
The 40 stations on the path of irfan (mysticism)

The 40 stations on the path of irfan (mysticism) according to the 10th century Persian mystic of Nishapur, Khorasan, Sheikh Abū-Sa'īd Abil Khayr:

——–

In the Name of Allah Most Merciful and Compassionate And in him is our refuge.

The Shaikh, the traveler upon the spiritual path, the devotee of God, the king of the saints among those who have inquired into the Truth, Abu Said ibn Abil-Khayr, may Allah illuminate his spirit, has said that the arif must possess forty stations (muqamat) if his march upon the path of Irfan is to be acceptable:

The first station is intention (niyah). The traveler on the path must possess such an intention that if he were to be given this world and its blessings and the other world and its paradise or its calamity and affliction, he would give away this world and its blessings to the infidels, the other world and its paradise to the believers and keep the calamity and affliction for himself.

The second station is conversion (inabat). If he is in spiritual solitude he sees God. Changes in the world do not alter his inner secret and calamities sent by Heaven do not cause the bird of his love to fly away.

The third station is repentance (tawbat). All men repent from what is forbidden and do not eat of the forbidden lest they suffer punishment. They (the urafa) repent from what is lawful and eat what is lawful lest they become afflicted by what is forbidden and doubtful.

The fourth station is discipleship (iradat). All men seek comfort and with it wealth and worldly blessings. They seek affliction and with it dominion and sanctity.

The fifth station is spiritual struggle (mujahabat). People seek to multiply ten to twenty. They try to turn twenty into nothing.

The sixth station is constant attention (muraqabat). Constant attention is to guard one’s soul in spiritual retreat until of necessity the Lord of the Universe preserves one from committing sin.

The seventh station is patience (sabr). If the disaster of the two worlds befalls them they will not so much sigh. And if the love of the people of the worlds descends upon them they will not cease to march on the path of patience.

The eighth station is invocation (dhikr). In their heart they know Him and with their tongue they invoke Him. Whenever they are in an impasse they know no road save which leads to His Presence.

The ninth station is contentment (rida). If they are kept without clothing [by God] they are happy and if they are kept hungry they are happy. Never do they reside in the house of self-will.

The tenth station is opposition to the carnal soul (mukhalafat-i nafs). For seventy years their carnal soul cries in agony with the desire of receiving a single favor and does not receive anything but pain and hardship.

The eleventh station is agreement (muwafaqat). Disaster and well-being, favor and privation are the same for them.

The twelfth station is surrender (taslim). If the arrow of fate faces them from the hiding place of calamity they place themselves in the catapult of surrender and open themselves before the arrow of fate, making their soul and heart a shield before it. In front of the arrow of fate they stand still.

The thirteenth station is confidence (tawakkul). They do not demand anything of creatures nor of God. They worship Him only for Himself. There are no questions or answers exchanged. Consequently the Lord of the Universe enables them to attain the object of their desire when they are in need, and there is no reckoning involved.

The fourteenth station is asceticism (zuhd). From all the wealth of this world they have only a patched cloak of a hundred pieces made of muslin, a mat and a piece of felt. That cloak is a thousand times dearer to them than fine scarlet cloth and sumptuous dress.

The fifteenth station is worship (ibadat). Throughout the day they are occupied with the reading of the Qur'an and the invocation of the Name of God and throughout the night they remain standing on their feet. Their bodies are seeking to be of service, their hearts are exuberant with love of the One, their heads are roaring in quest of the contemplation of the King.

The sixteenth station is abstention (wara). They do not eat of just any food, nor do they wear just any kind of clothing. They do not sit in the company of just any kind of people and they do not choose the companionship of anyone save God, exalted be He.

The seventeenth station is sincerity (ikhlas). Throughout the night they pray and throughout the day they fast. If their carnal soul does not obey and then they observe obedience, they will sell fifty years of obedience for drinking of a sip of water and give those fifty years to a dog or to whomever it might be. Then they will say, “O soul! Dost thou now understand that what thou didst is not becoming of God?”

The eighteenth station is truthfulness (sidq). They do not take a single step without truthfulness and do not breathe a single breath save in truth. Their tongues speak of their hearts and their hearts of their inner secrets and their inner secrets of God.

The nineteenth station is fear (khawf). When they look at His justice they melt in fear, and they have no hope in being obedient [towards God’s commands].

The twentieth station is hope (raja). When they regard His grace they boast in joy, and they have no fear or terror.

The twenty-first station is annihilation (fana). They melt their carnal souls in the crucible of annihilation and become annihilated from all that is below Him. Their tongues do not speak of things of this world. There is nothing upon their tongues save His Name. Their bodies do not move save to obey Him and their minds do not spring into action save for Him.

The twenty-second station is subsistence (baqa). If they look to the right they see God and they look to the left they see God. They see Him in whatever condition they are. They subsist through His subsistence. They are satisfied with what He has ordained for them. They are joyous because of His grace and bounty.

The twenty-third station is the science of certainty (ilim al-yaqin). When they look through the eye of the science of certainty they see from the highest heavens to the lowest level of the earth without any veil.

The twenty-fourth station is the truth of certainty (haqq al-yaqin). When they see through the eye of the truth of certainty they pass beyond all artifacts and creatures and see God without any hows and whys and without any veil.

The twenty-fifth station is gnosis (marifaaht). Through all the creatures of the two worlds and through all people they perceive God, and there is no accusation to be made of their perception.

The twenty-sixth station is effort (jahd). They worship Him in their hearts and in their souls, and there is no doubt in their obedience.

The twenty-seventh station is sanctity (wilayat). This world and the next are not fit to be embraced by their spiritual will, and all of paradise and its bounties are not worth an atom in their eyes.

The twenty-eight station is love (muhabbat). Throughout the whole world they have only one Friend. Their love is one, for both outwardly and inwardly they are with the One. Their bodies melt in joy and their hearts are always happy in the Sacred Presence. They have no thought of children or wife, of the world or of wealth.

The twenty-ninth station is ecstasy (wajd). They are not to be found in the world, nor in the graveyard nor at the Resurrection nor on the straight path (sirat) [bridging over hell and leading to Heaven]. They are in the Most Sublime Presence. Where they reside is only God and them.

The thirtieth station is proximity (qurb). If they say, “0 God! Make all the people of infidelity and rebellion and all the people of polytheism and revolt be forgiven because of us,” the Lord of the Universe will not reject their demand.

The thirty-first station is meditation (tafakkur). Their intimate friend is His Name. Their peace resides in His message.

The thirty-second station is union (wisal). Although their person is in this world, their heart is with the Lord.

The thirty-third station is unveiling (kashf). There is no veil between God and their hearts. If they look below they see as far as the Gaw-mahi [the creature supporting the earth]. And if they look above they will see the Throne and the Pedestal, the Pen and the Guarded Tablet as far as the Sacred Precinct. Nothing is hidden from them.

The thirty-fourth station is service (khidmat). They do not cease to render service for the blinking of an eye. Nor are they for a single moment absent from the presence of the Friend.

The thirty-fifth station is catharsis (tajrid). If they be taken to hell, they say “Greetings!”, and if they be taken to paradise, they say “Greetings!” Neither does paradise cause them joy nor hell fear. They never turn away from His friendship and they possess nothing of all that is in this world.

Thirty-sixth station is aloneness (tafrid). In this world they are strangers among creatures. If they be beaten they will not leave the Path and if they be caressed they will not be fooled.

The thirty-seventh station is expansion (inbisat). They are audacious before God. If the Lord of the Universe sends an angel of death to them at the time of death, they will not obey. Until they hear from the Friend of the world they will not allow their souls to depart. They do not fear Nakir and Munkar and they do not give a thought to the Resurrection. They neither set foot in the Supreme Heaven nor look upon the face of the houris and the heavenly mansions until they have had a vision of the forgiving King.

The thirty-eighth station is the ascertaining of the Truth (tahqiq). They are all in a state of wonder with cries and lamentation. They flee from creatures and hang by the chain of His gate.

The thirty-ninth station is the supreme goal (nihayat). They have reached the inn by the roadside and have cut through the deserts of calamity. With the eye of the heart they have seen God.

The fortieth station is Irfan (mysticism). The arif is he who has become purified of all desire. His inner being is purified from wretchedness. His words are free from inadvertancy, thoughtlessness and calumny. His mind is radiant and his eyes are turned away from the world. He has become instructed with the Truth.

Of these stations, each belongs to a prophet among the prophets - may peace be upon them - the first Adam and the last Muhammad - upon them and upon other prophets and messengers and the angels of proximity be peace. And may God, the Exalted, be satisfied with all the companions of His Prophet. Amen.

[Reference: M. Damadi, Maqaqamat-I abbain-I Abu Said, Maarif-I Islami (Islamic Culture vol.XII, April 1971,pp. 58-62.]

Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. By the right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection; by the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master.
—  James Allen
Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. By the right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection; by the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master.
—  James Allen
Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. By the right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection; by the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master.
—  James Allen
Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. By the right choice and true application of thought, man ascends to the Divine Perfection; by the abuse and wrong application of thought, he descends below the level of the beast. Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master.
—  James Allen