To see and feel one's beloved naked for the first time is one of life's pure, irreducible epiphanies. If there is a true religion in the universe, it must include that truth of contact or be forever hollow. To make love to the one true person who deserves that love is one of the few absolute rewards of being a human being, balancing all of the pain, loss, awkwardness, loneliness, idiocy, compromise, and clumsiness that go with the human condition. To make love to the right person makes up for a lot of mistakes.
I wish we had the technology to fight God on an equal basis. To beard him in his den. To fight back for all of the injustices heaped on humanity. To allow him to alter his smug arrogance or be blown to hell.
There would be no more offerings. Not this day. Not any day. Humankind had suffered enough for its love of gods, its long search for God. He thought of the many centuries in which his people, the Jews, had negotiated with God, complaining, bickering, decrying the unfairness of things but always - always - returning to obedience at whatever the cost. Generations dying in the ovens of hatred. Future generations scarred by the cold fires of radiation and renewed hatred.
When the last autumn of Dickens's life was over, he continued to work through his final winter and into spring. This is how all of us writers give away the days and years and decades of our lives in exchange for stacks of paper with scratches and squiggles on them. And when Death calls, how many of us would trade all those pages, all that squandered lifetime-worth of painfully achieved scratches and squiggles, for just one more day, one more fully lived and experienced day? And what price would we writers pay for that one extra day spent with those we ignored while we were locked away scratching and squiggling in our arrogant years of solipsistic isolation?Would we trade all those pages for a single hour? Or all of our books for one real minute?
In the beginning was the Word. Then came the fucking word processor. Then came the thought processor. Then came the death of literature. And so it goes.
Prison always has been a good place for writers, killing, as it does, the twin demons of mobility and diversion
Religion and ethics were not always - or even frequently - mutually compatible. The demands of religious absolutism or fundamentalism or rampaging relativism often deflected the worst aspects of contemporary culture or prejudices rather than a system which both man and God could live under with a sense of real justice.
He loved the darkness and the mystery of the Catholic service--the tall priest strutting like a carrion crow and pronouncing magic in a dead language, the immediate magic of the Eucharist bringing the dead back to life so that the faithful could devour Him and become of Him, the smell of incense and the mystical chanting.
...Data itself... was tolerable. It was the constant nerve-web-expanding pain of context that would kill him.
I explained my opinion of the ship’s logic. “That is a strange designation,” said the ship. “While I have certain organic elements incorporated into my substructure and decentralized DNA computing components, I am not—in the strictest sense of the term—a biological organism. I have no digestive system. No need for elimination, other than the occasional waste gas and passenger effluvium. Therefore, I have no anus in either real or figurative terms. Therefore, I hardly believe I could qualify to be called an …” “Shut up,” I said.
Luckily, even as a young man not yet become himself, John Bridgens had two things besides indecision that kept him from self-destruction - books and a sense of irony.
They lay together in a sheltered place among the ruins of Brasilia while deathbeams from Chinese EMVs played like blue searchlights on broken ceramic walls.
The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing.
Tyrena did not laugh again but her smile slashed upward in a twist of green lips. “Martin, Martin, Martin,” she said, “the population of literate people has been declining steadily since Gutenberg’s day. By the twentieth century, less than two percent of the people in the so-called industrialized democracies read even one book a year. And that was before the smart machines, dataspheres, and user-friendly environments.
I take my favorite and most promising lads to the theater,” said [Sherlock] Holmes. “I'd say that if they were born into better circumstances many would have grown up to be MP’s, but in truth most are too smart and too honest for Parliament.
... The continuation of her life was more than another day of breathing, but was the gift of another day of engagement with her beloved across the spectrum of all things.
To see and feel one's beloved naked for the first time is one of life's pure, irreducible epiphanies. If there is a true religion in the universe, it must include that truth of contact or be forever hollow.
But, Dad…” She hesitated. “It will mean raising me all over again. It means suffering through my childhood for a third time. No parent should be asked to do that.”Sol managed a smile. “No parent would refuse that, Rachel.
Who are you, Hockenberry, to thwart Fate and defy the Will of the Gods?I am me, Thomas Hockenberry. I am fed up with these power-addled thugs who call themselves gods.
No lifetime is long enough for those who wish to create, Raul. Or for those who simply wish to understand themselves and their lives. It is, perhaps, the curse of being human, but also a blessing.
... you met this Moneta ... or whatever her real name is ... in her past but your future ... in a meeting that's still to come
in Theo – quiet, efficient Theo – to get him through the morning. Trusting in luck to get him through the day. Trusting in the drinking at Cicero’s to get him through the night. Trusting in the unimportance of his posting to get him through life.
Words bend our thinking to infinite paths of self-delusion, and the fact that we spend most of our mental lives in brain mansions built of words means that we lack the objectivity necessary to see the terrible distortion of reality which language brings. Example: the Chinese pictogram for ‘integrity’ is a two-part symbol of a man literally standing next to his word. So far, so good. But what does the Late English word ‘honesty’ mean? Or ‘Motherland’? Or ‘progress’? Or ‘democracy’? Or ‘beauty’? But even in our self-deception, we become gods.
She [Beatrice] alone was still real for him, still implied meaning in the world, and beauty. Her nature became his landmark - what Melville would call, with more sobriety than we can now muster, his Greenwich Standard ...
The past is dead and buried. But I know now that buried things have a way of rising to the surface when one least expects them to.
All those before us have gone into the darkness without assurance of logic or fact or persuasive theory, with only a slender thread of hope or all too shakable convention of faith. And they have been able to sustain that slim hope in the face of darkness, then so must I.
All those before us have gone into the darkness without assurance of logic fact or persuasive theory, with only a slender thread of hope or the all too shakable convinction of faith. And if they have been able to sustain that slim hope in the face of darkness, then so must I.
Pain and darkness have been our lot since the Fall of Man. But there must be some hope that we can rise to a higher level ... that consciousness can evolve to a plane more benevolent than its counterpoint of a universe hardwired to indifference.
[The Void Which Binds] actual but unaccessible presence in our universe is one of the prime causes for our species elaborating myth and religion, for our stubborn, blind belief in extrasensory powers, in telepathy and precognition, in demons and demigods and resurrection and reincarnation and ghosts and messiahs and so many other categories of almost-but-not-quite satisfying bullshit.
When you've spent thirty years entering rooms filled with strangers you feel less pressure than when you've had only half that number of years of experience. You know what the room and the people in it probably hold for you and you go looking for it. If it's not there, you sense it earlier and leave to go about your business. You just know more about what is, what isn't, and how little time there is to learn the difference.