The sky is like a black sieve pierced by silver drops that tremble, ready to burst through.
There is fear hanging in the air of the sleeping halls, and...moreThe sky is like a black sieve pierced by silver drops that tremble, ready to burst through.
There is fear hanging in the air of the sleeping halls, and the air of the streets. Fear walks through the city, fear without name, without shape. All men feel it and none dare speak.
I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of all things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a sacrifice on their alters.
These are the things before me. And as I stand here at the door of glory, I look behind me for the last time. I look upon the history of men, which I have learned from the books, and I wonder. It was a long story, and the spirit which moved it was the spirit of man’s freedom. But what is freedom? Freedom from what? There is nothing to take a man’s freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else.(less)
And what, incidentally, do you think integrity is? The ability not to pick a watch out of a neighbor’s pocket? No, it’s not as easy as...moreFavorite Quotes
And what, incidentally, do you think integrity is? The ability not to pick a watch out of a neighbor’s pocket? No, it’s not as easy as that. If that were all, I’d say ninety-five percent of humanity were honest, upright men. Only, as you can see, they aren’t. Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea. That presupposes the ability to think. Thinking is something one doesn’t borrow or pawn.
He had always wanted to write music, and he could give no other identity to the thing he sought. If you want to know what it is, he told himself, listen to the first phrases of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto--or the last movement of Rachmaninoff’s Second. Men have not found the words for it, nor the deed nor the thought, but they have found the music. Let me see that in one single act of man on earth. Let me see it made real. Let me see the answer to the promise of that music. Not servants nor those served; not altars and immolations; but the final, the fulfilled, innocent of pain. Don’t help me or serve me, but let me see it once, because I need it. Don’t work for my happiness, my brothers--show me yours--show me that it is possible--show me your achievement--and the knowledge will give me courage for mine.
...It was the only thing I ever really wanted. And that’s the sin that can’t be forgiven--that I hadn’t done what I wanted. It feels so dirty and pointless and monstrous, as one feels about insanity, because there’s no sense to it, no dignity, nothing but pain--and wasted pain...why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world--to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage.(less)