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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“And now of a sudden my illusion vanished. What was my body to me? A kind of flunkey in my service. Let my anger wax hot, my love grow exalted, my hatred collect in me, and the boasted solidarity between me and my body was gone.

Your son is in a burning house. Nobody can hold you back. You may burn up, but what do you think of that? You are ready to bequeath the rags of your body to any man who will take them. You discover that what you set so much store by is trash. You would sell your hand, if need be, to give a hand to a friend. It is in your act that you exist, not in your body. Your act is yourself, and there is no other you. Your body belongs to you: it is not you. Are you about to strike an enemy? No threat of bodily harm can hold you back. You? It is the death of your enemy that is you. You? It is the rescue of your child that is you. In that moment you exchange yourself against something else; and you have no feeling tat you lost by the exchange. Your members? Tools. A tool snaps in your hand: how important is that tool? You exchange yourself against the death of your enemy, the rescue of your child, the recovery of your patient, the perfection of your theorem...Your true significance becomes dazzlingly evident. Your true name is duty, hatred, love, child, theorem. There is no other you than this.”


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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