orson scott card Quotes

Orson Scott Card Quotes

Birth Date: 1951-08-24 (Friday, August 24th, 1951)

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Quotes

    • 'I'm accusing you of violating the laws of nature,' he said, irritated at my failure to respond. 'Nature's virtue is intact,' I reassured him. 'I just know some different laws.'
    • : I had seen the princess and let her lie there unawakened, because the happily ever after was so damnably much work.
    • The lies we live will always be confessed in the stories that we tell.
    • [It] was written and sold. I knew it was a strong story because I cared about it and believed in it. I had no idea that it would have the effect it had on the audience. While most people ignored it, of course, and continue to live full and happy lives without reading it or anything else by me, there was still a surprisingly large group who responded to the story with some fervency.
    • Even if there's no such thing as free will, we have to treat each other as if there were free will in order to live together in society. Because otherwise, every time somebody does something terrible, you can't punish him, because he can't help it, because his genes or his environment or god made him do it, and every time somebody does something good, you can't honor him because he was a puppet, too. If you think that everybody around you is a puppet why bother talking to them at all? Why even try to plan anything or create anything, since everything you plan or create or desire or dream of is just acting out the script your puppeteer built into you.
    • The priests say that God created our souls, and that just puts us under the control of another puppeteer. If God created our will, then he's responsible for every choice we make. God, our genes, our environment, or some stupid programmer keying in code at an ancient terminal -- there's no way free will can ever exist if we as individuals are the result of some external cause.
    • Isn't it possible, he wondered, for one person to love another without trying to own each other? Or is that buried so deep in our genes that we can never get it out? Territoriality. My wife. My friend. My lover. My outrageous and annoying computer personality who's about to be shut off at the behest of a half- crazy girl with OCD on a planet that I never heard of and how will I live without [her] when she's gone?
    • A strange thing happened then. The speaker agreed with her that she had made a mistake that night, and she knew when he said the words that it was true, that his judgment was correct. And yet she felt strangely healed, as if simply speaking her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn't a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate.
    • But I hope that in the lives of [the characters], you will find stories worth holding in your memory, perhaps even in your heart. That's the transaction that counts more than best-seller lists, royalty statements, awards, or reviews. Because in the pages of this book, you and I will meet one-on-one, my mind and yours, and you will enter a world of my making and dwell there, not as a character that I control, but as a person with a mind of your own. You will make of my story what you need it to be, if you can. I hope my tale is true enough and flexible enough that you can make it into a world worth living in.
    • The danger that keeps me just a little frightened with every book I write, however, is that I'll overreach myself once too often and try to write a story that I'm just plain not talented or skilful enough to write. That's the dilemma every storyteller faces. It is painful to fail. But it is far sadder when a storyteller stops wanting to try.
    • This is the essence of the transaction between storyteller and audience. The 'true' story is not the one that exists in my mind; it is certainly not the written words on the bound paper that you hold in your hands. The story in my mind is nothing but a hope; the text of the story is the tool I created in order to try to make that hope a reality. The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided and shaped by my text, but then transformed, elucidated, expanded, edited, and clarified by their own experience, their own desires, their own hopes and fears.
    • ... All these readers have placed themselves inside this story, not as spectators, but as participants, and so have looked at the world, not with my eyes only, but also with their own.
    • At first he thought he felt bad because he was afraid of leading an army, but it wasn't true. He knew he'd make a good commander. He felt himself wanting to cry. He hadn't cried since the first few days of homesickness after he got here. He tried to put a name on the feeling that put a lump in his throat and made him sob silently, however much he tried to hold it down. He bit down on his hand to stop the feeling, to replace it with pain. It didn't help.
    • Ender stepped under the water and rinsed himself, took the sweat of combat and let it run down the drain. All gone, except they recycled it and we'll be drinking Bonzo's blood water in the morning. All the life gone out of it, but his blood just the same, his blood and my sweat, washed down in their stupidity or cruelty or whatever it was that made them let it happen.
    • Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to be controlled by good people, by people who love you.
    • At last he came to a door, with these words in glowing emeralds: the end of the world. He did not hesitate. He opened the door and stepped through.
    • It was just him and me. He fought with honor. If it weren't for his honor, he and the others would have beaten me together. They might have killed me, then. His sense of honor saved my life. I didn't fight with honor... I fought to win.
    • Ender would be pleased - every one of them was stupid.
    • ...Human beings are free except when humanity needs them. Maybe humanity needs you. To do something. Maybe humanity needs me - to find out what you're good for.
    • Individual human beings are all tools, that the others use to help us all survive.
    • There was no doubt in Ender's mind. There was no help for him. Whatever he faced, now and forever, no one would save him from it. Peter might be scum, but Peter had been right, always right; the power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can't kill you are always subject to those who can, and nothing no one will ever save you.
    • Human beings didn't evolve brains in order to lie around on lakes. Killing is the first thing we learned. And a good thing we did, or we'd be dead, and the tigers would rule the earth.
    • There is no teacher but the enemy.
    • The screen went blank, and words appeared. Play again?
    • I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get.
    • Well, I'm your man. I'm the bloody bastard you wanted when you had me spawned. I'm your tool, and what difference does it make if I hate the part of me that you most need? What difference does it make that when the little serpents killed me in the game, I agreed with them, and was glad.
    • Forget it, Mazer. I don't care if I pass your test, I don't care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won't let you beat me unfairly - I'll beat you unfairly first.
    • I went back through some of the tapes. I can't help it. I like the kid. I think we're going to screw him up. Of course we are. It's our job. We're the wicked witch. We promise gingerbread, but we eat the little bastards alive.
    • I am your enemy, the first one you've ever had who was smarter than you. There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will ever tell you what the enemy is going to do. No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you when he is strong. And the rules of the game are what you can do to him and what you can stop him from doing to you. I am your enemy from now on. From now on, I am your teacher.
    • I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.
    • We have to go. I'm almost happy here.
    • Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.
    • Then I'll tell the truth. We're allowed to do that in emergencies. We can't plan for everything, you know.
    • It was a lie of course, that it wouldn't hurt a bit. But since adults always said that when it was going to hurt, he could count on that statement as an accurate prediction of the future. Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.
    • You'll keep looking around for something, something you were looking for, but you can't find it, and you can't remember what it was.
    • We have to strike a delicate balance. Isolate him enough that he remains creative -otherwise he'll adopt the system here and well lose him. At the same time, we need to make sure he keeps a strong ability to lead.
    • I thought you were my friend. Whatever gave you that idea...? Because you - you didn't lie.
    • Think what we're going to do to him We're going to make him the best military commander in history. And then put the fate of the world on his shoulders.
    • He can never come to believe that anyone will ever help him out, ever. If he once thinks there's an easy way out, he's wrecked.
    • Thank you for this... For dry eyes and silent weeping. You taught me how to hide anything I felt. More than ever, I need that now.
    • His accent made him exotic and interesting; his broken arm made him a martyr; his sadism made him a natural focus for all those who loved pain in others.
    • You remember this little boy; they never tell you anymore truth than they have to.
    • So he believed. Believed, but the seed of doubt was there, and it stayed, and every now and then sent out a little root. It changed everything, to have that seed growing. It made [him] listen more carefully to what people meant, instead of what they said. It made him wise.
    • He is dead...because we have forgotten him.
    • It was a kind of magic:; a sacrifice that somehow stilled the dark gods that hunted for his soul.
    • We don't think like other children, do we...? We don't talk like other children. And above all, we don't write like other children.
    • It's my greatest gift, I can see where the weak points are, I can see how to get in and use them, I just see those things without even trying.
    • Is it some law of human nature that you inevitably become whatever your first commander was? I can quit right now, if that's so.
    • I'm hurting you to make you a better solider in every way. To sharpen your wit. To intensify your effort. To keep you off balance, never sure what's going to happen next, so you always have to be ready for anything, ready to improvise, determined to win no matter what. I'm also making you miserable. That's why they brought you to me... So you could be just like me... But I'll be watching you, more compassionately that you know, and when the time is right you'll find that I'm your friend, and you are the solider you want to be.
    • For now that they could not be together, they must indefinitely be apart, and what had been sure and unshakable was now fragile and insubstantial; for the moment we are not together, [he] is a stranger, for he has a life now that will be no part of mine, and that means that when I see him we will not know each other.
    • I fear that I also underestimate the stupidity of the rest of mankind.
    • How kind of them. I wish, and they deliver.
    • I will remember this, when I am defeated. To keep dignity, and give honor where it's due, so that defeat is not a disgrace. And I hope I don't have to do it often.
    • He was commander every moment they were together. He never had to remind them of it; he simply was.
    • Ender mentally added him to his private list of people who also qualified as human beings.
    • There were many, too, who hated him. Hated him for being young, for being excellent, for having made their victories look paltry and weak.
    • He was a solider, and if anyone had asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he wouldn't have known what they meant.
    • He isn't a killer. He just wins - thoroughly.
    • I don't care how much you eat, Ender, self-cannibalism won't get you out of this school.
    • I'm very good at that. Understanding what other people think.
    • In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them. I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again. I grind them and grind them until they don't exist.
    • Oh well it's only the fate of the world.
    • He believes that he doesn't want to leave here, but there is still too much of peter in him. Or too much of me. None of us could be happy for long, doing nothing. Or perhaps it's just that none of us could be happy living with no other company than ourself.
    • It had to be a trick or you couldn't have done it. It's the bind we were in. We had to have a commander with so much empathy that he would think like [them], understand them and anticipate them. So much compassion that he would win the love of his underlings and work with them like a perfect machine... But somebody with that much compassion could never be the killer we needed. Could never go into battle willing to win at all costs. If you knew, you couldn't do it. If you were the kind of person who would do it even if you knew, you could never have understood [them] well enough.
    • You were reckless, brilliant and young.
    • Whether he likes it or not, [he] cannot remain incognito forever. He has outraged too many wise men and pleased too many fools to hide behind his too-appropriate order to assume leadership of the forces of stupidity he has marshaled, or his enemies will unmask him in order to better understand the disease that has produced such a warped and twisted mind.
    • Remember: the enemy's gate is down.
    • Because I won't let them do it to me. I can't belive you haven't seen through all this crap yet, Ender. But I guess you're young. These other armies, they aren't the enemy. It's the teachers, they're the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other. The game is everything. Win, win, win. It amounts to nothing. We kill ourselves, go crazy trying to beat each other, and all the time the old bastards are watching us, studying us, discovering our weak points, deciding whether we're good enough or not. Well, good enough for what? I was six years old when they decided I was right for the program, but nobody ever asked if the program was right for me
    • A great rabbi stands teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultry, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death. (There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine, a Speaker for the Dead, has told me of two other rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you.) The rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him, the mob forbears, and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there anyone here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?' They murmer and say, 'We all know the desire. But, Rabbi, none of us has acted on it.' The rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the lord magistrate who saved his mistress. Then he'll know I'm his loyal servant.' So the woman lives, because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder. Another rabbi, another city. He goes to her and stops the mob, as in the other story, and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.' The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. Someday, they think, I may be like this woman, and I'll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her the way I wish to be treated. As they open their hands and let the stones fall to the ground, the rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman's head, and throws it straight down with all his might. It crushes her skull and dashes her brains onto the cobblestones. 'Nor am I without sin,' he says to the people. 'But if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead, and our city with it.' So the women died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance. The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis, and when they veer too far, they die. Only one rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So, of course, we killed him.
    • Tangents. The best parts of my intellectual life are tangential, in areas outside my expertise. I supposed because within my area of expertise the regulations they have placed upon me make it impossible to know or understand anything
    • Do you like her? I think that I understood that she didn't want to be liked. As if she were a visitor who expected to go back home any day.
    • She didn't know [him], so she thought it was the look she had seen in so many eyes, the desire to dominate, to rule her, the desire to cut through her determination and break her independence, the desire to make her submit
    • So he wasn't like the adults who always believed lies as long as they made her seem to be the child they wanted her to be
    • That's me insane to the root Not insane. Driven by a sense of purpose that is frightening
    • So you chose not to be part of the bands of children who group together for the sole purpose of excluding others, and people look at you and say, poor girl, she's so isolated, but you know a secret, you know who you really are. You are the one human being who is capable of understanding the alien mind, because you are the alien mind; you know what it is to be unhuman because there's never been any human group that gave you credentials as a bona fide homo sapien:
    • [He] wondered if it was already too late to teach her how to be a human
    • Anthropology is never an exact science; the observer never experiences the same culture as the participant. But there are natural limitations inherent to the science. It is the artificial limitations that hamper us - and, through us, you
    • It frightened him to have this girl need something from him so desperately
    • You silent boy, you have found such eloquence now that you can't be a mere boy anymore
    • How could he not know that children had minds of their own, and resisted taming?
    • It was me You were a tool It was me We forgive you
    • [This] isn't my home [she] felt his words like an accusation: you rooted yourself here without thought of whether I could live in this soil. But it's not my fault, she wanted to answer - you're the one who's leaving, not me.
    • I followed you gladly to two dozen worlds, but you wouldn't even stay two weeks when I asked you Listen to yourself and then see why I have to leave now, before you tear me to pieces
    • I wanted to hurry because I have a work to do there, and every day here is marking time, and because it hurts me every time I see you and [he] growing closer and you and me growing more distant, even though I know it's exactly as it should be, so when I decided to go, I thought that going quickly was better, and I was right; you know I'm right. I never thought you'd hate me for it I don't hate you, I love you, you're part of myself, you're my heart and when you go it's my heart torn out and carried away
    • Not that they talked - [they] knew each other so well that there was often nothing to say. But without her there, [he] grew impatient with his own thoughts; they never came to a point, because there was no one to tell them to
    • I only disbelieve the unbelievable
    • You never cease to amaze me, the way you turn people into plasma
    • Order and disorder, they each have their beauty
    • His eyes were seductive with understanding
    • They are too cruel a god for me to worship anymore
    • I wish I had died before seeing him, he will surely undo me before he's through
    • Marriage is not a covenant between a man and a woman; even the beasts cleave together and produce their young. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman on one side and their community on the other
    • He is innocent of wrong-doing, and so am I. We shall forgive each other and go on. It was a good decision, and [she] was proud of it. The trouble was, she couldn't carry it out
    • Time, time is such a fleeting, insubstantial thing. As Shakespeare said, 'I wasted time, and now doth time waste me'
    • [He] always seemed to take it so personally that the universe didn't always work the way he wanted it to
    • Don't condescend to me mother But Quim, it seems so natural, considering how you always condescend to me
    • Don't ever try to teach me about good and evil. I've been there; you've seen nothing but the map
    • My, but I miss the days when we never talked to each other for weeks at a time
    • Ignorance and deception can't save anybody. Knowing saves them:
    • You don't seem to understand that you don't have the right to put blinders on other people's eyes
    • Don't even admit that you doubt their religion
    • A strange thing happened then. The speaker agreed with her that she had made a mistake that night, and she knew when he said the words that it was true, that his judgment was correct. And yet she felt strangely healed, as if simply speaking her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn't a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate.
    • I speak to everyone in the language they understand. That isn't being slick. It's being clear
    • In your judgment I have no one else's judgment to use
    • Miro expected him to be wise. He had not expected him to be so intrusive, so dangerous. Yes, he was wise, all right, he kept seeing past pretense, kept saying or doing outrageous things that were, when you thought about it, exactly right. It was as if he was so familiar with the human mind that he could see, right on your face, the desires so deep, the truths so well-disguised that you didn't even know yourself that you had them in you
    • There's so much that we don't understand. And so much more that you don't understand. We should tell each other more
    • You're a fool. If people only react to the way that others treat them, then nobody is responsible for anything. If your sins are not your own to choose, then how can you repent?
    • Your dream is a good one. It's the dream of every living creature. The desire that is the very root of life itself: to grow until all the space you can see is part of you, under your control. It's the desire for greatness. There are two ways, though, to fulfill is. One way is to kill anything that is not yourself, to swallow it up or destroy it, until nothing is left to oppose you. But that way is evil. You say to all the universe, only I will be great, and to make room for me the rest of you must give up even what you already have, and become nothing
    • I'm not one to despise other people for their sins. I haven't found one yet, that I didn't say to myself, I've done worse than this
    • When you really know somebody you can't hate them Or maybe it's just that you can't really know them until you stop hating them Is that a circular paradox? Dom Cristao says that most truth can only be expressed in circular paradoxes I don't think it has anything to do with truth, it's just cause and effect. We can never sort them out. Science refuses to admit any cause except the first cause - knock down one domino, the one next to it also falls. But when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is the final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you know what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart.
    • As long as you keep getting born, it's ok to die sometimes
    • There are worse reasons to die, than to die because you cannot bear to kill What about someone who can't kill, and can't die, and can't live, either? Don't deceive yourself. You'll do all three someday
    • You're afraid of the stranger, whether he's utlanning or framling. When you think of killing a man that you know of and value, then it doesn't matter what his shape is. He's varalese then, or worse - djur, the dire beast, that comes in the night with slavering jaws. If you had the only gun in your village, and the beasts that has torn apart one of your people was coming again, would you stop to ask if they also had the right to live, or would you act to save your village, the people that you knew, the people who depended on you?
    • A question isn't an argument, unless you think you know my answer.
    • Was it something unavoidable, when strangers met, that the meeting had to be marked with blood?
    • How clever of me. I have found such a pathway into hell that I can never get back out.
    • He would go to minister the girl ... For in her brilliance, her isolation, her pain, her guilt, he saw his own stolen childhood and the seeds of pain that lived with him still.
    • She's your other self. Will you really leave her for us?
    • In all [my] life, you are the first person [I've] known that wasn't [myself]. [I] never had to be understanding because [I] always understood.
    • I never thought id lose you again But I knew we had lost each other on the day you first loved [him]. Then you should have told me! I wouldn't have done it That's why I didn't tell you. But it isn't true ... You would have done it anyway. And I wanted you to. You've never been happier.
    • For he loved her, as you can only love someone who is an echo of yourself at your time of deepest sorrow.
    • Sitting there in paranoid fantasy You can't read minds You always get morose and speculate about the destruction of the universe whenever you come out of starflight. It's your peculiar manifestation of motion sickness.
    • When someone dies, a loved one, and your last contact with them was angry or spiteful, then you begin to blame yourself. If only I hadn't said this, if only I hadn't said that.
    • That's right. I want all the secrets opened up. I want all the files unlocked. I don't want anything hidden You don't know what you're asking. You don't know how much pain it will cause if all the secrets come out Take a look at my family. How can the truth cause anymore pain than the secrets have already caused?
    • Why are they so stupid? Not to know the truth when they hear it? This is how humans are: we question all our beliefs, except the ones we really believe, and those we never think to question.
    • He wasn't telling the truth, with trumpets; he was telling the truth, the story you wouldn't think to doubt because it's taken for granted.
    • I think you can't possibly know the truth about somebody unless you love them.
    • I knew her so well that I loved her, or maybe I loved her so well that I knew her.
    • Be the best at whatever you do.
    • Life, so long waited for, and not until today could she be sure that she would be, not the last of her tribe, but the first.
    • He is dangerous, he is beautiful, I could drown in his understanding.
    • He is dangerous, the infidel, the anti-Christ, he walks brazenly into places in my heart that I had kept as holy ground, where no one else was ever permitted to stand.
    • Sickness and healing are in every heart. Death and deliverance are in every hand.
    • When you strike, your aim will be deadly. These people came for entertainment, but they're your targets; you will pierce them to the hearts.
    • It told us that death means something completely different to them. If you really believed that someone was perfect in heart... So righteous that to live another day could only cause them to be less perfect, then wouldn't it be a good thing for them if they were killed and taken directly into heaven?
    • How suddenly we find the flesh of god within us after all, when we thought we were only made of dust
    • Never mind that the rules are stupid and counterproductive. I broke them.
    • Are you ready to reveal yourself to the rest of humanity? I've always been ready. The question is, are they ready to know me?
    • I carry the seeds of death with me and plant them wherever I linger long enough to love. My parents died so others could live; now I live, so others must die.
    • When have you ever seen someone who had no doubts who was also correct about anything?'
    • The strangest thing about humans is the way they pair up, males and females. Constantly at war with each other, never content to leave each other alone. They never seem to grasp the idea that males and females are separate species with completely different needs and desires, forced to come together only to reproduce.
    • Those who know each other only through symbolic representations are forced to imagine each other. And because their imagination is imperfect, they are often wrong.
    • He had the decency to be appalled by his own brutality.
    • If you asked me to marry you all over again today, I'd say yes. And if I'd only met you for the first time today, I'd ask. They had said the same words many, many times before. Yet they still smiled to hear them, because they were still true.
    • Why did I come? I didn't come. I went. I wasn't coming here, to meet these people. I was leaving there. Getting away. Only I tricked myself.
    • She had passed his test. She had listened to him the way no one else did - without impatience, without finishing his sentences, without letting her gaze waver from his face. He had spoken to her, not with careful precision, but with great emotion... He could talk to this woman as naturally as he had ever talked to anyone before... Yes, she was opinionated, headstrong, bossy, and quick to reach conclusions. But she could also listen to an opposing view, change her mind when she needed to. She could listen, and so he could speak. Perhaps with her he could still be [himself].
    • You've done all this thinking, you've seen all the possibilities for the future - good ones and bad ones alike - and yet the only ones you are willing to believe in, the imagined future that you seize upon as the foundation for all your moral judgments, is the only future in which everyone that you and I have ever loved and everything we'd ever hoped for must be obliterated.
    • I choose to live in a universe that has some hope in it.
    • I desire [belief] enough to act as if I believed, maybe that's what faith is. Or deliberate insanity.
    • Before I do it, I have to know: is it a cause worth dying for?
    • How can I figure out something that isn't just the logical conclusion of things that human beings have already figured out and written somewhere? You think of things all the time I'm trying to conceive of something inconceivable. I'm trying to find answers to questions that humans beings have never even tried to ask.
    • She did not understand all of human nature, but [he] had taught her this: to stop a human being from doing something, you must find a way to make this person stop wanting to do it.
    • That was how human beings satisfied their sense of responsibility - checking again even when they knew it was unnecessary
    • I have too many secrets.
    • I no longer tell anyone half of what I know, because if I told the whole truth there would be fear, hatred, brutality, murder, war.
    • Who is more cursed, the one who dies, unknowing until the very moment of his death or the one who watched his destruction as it approached, step by step, for days and weeks and years?
    • Maybe they didn't have to discuss things like this. Maybe they had spent so many years together that they knew how to cooperate so smooth things for other people without even thinking about it. Like actors who have performed the same roles together so often that they can improvise without the slightest confusion.
    • I just don't what to face her again. Because I love her and I fear her. Because I'm not sure whether I should help her or try to destroy her.
    • She believed that people revealed themselves most when they were vaguely anxious, and few things brought out nonspecific anxieties like being in the presence of a person who never speaks.
    • Is it possible she had lost her soul inside his?
    • No matter how well you know what a person has done and what he thought of what he was doing when he did it and what he now thinks of what he did, it is impossible to be certain of what he will do next.
    • She probably knew this, intellectually. But like all other human beings, she did not always act accordingly to her understanding. She had lost too many of the people that she loved; when she felt one more of them slipping away, her response was emotional, not intellectual. [he] had come into her life as a healer, a protector. It was his job to keep her from being afraid, and now she was afraid, and she was angry at him for having failed her.
    • She might be protective and possessive with her children whom she thought of as needing her, but with the people she needed, she was the opposite. If she feared they would be taken from her, she withdrew from them; she stopped permitting herself to need them.
    • She's too tough to die. No. She's so fragile right now that any blow might kill her. Not her body. Her - trust. Her hope. Don't give her any reason to think you're not with her, no matter what.
    • He had no shred of fear or hatred in him.
    • I really don't fear death. I never knew that.
    • How do they manage it, these humans - beginning each time so innocently, yet always sending up with the most blood on their hands?
    • We pretend to be whatever we must in order to survive.
    • Don't call the speaker of truth a liar.
    • You don't love him, you don't know how to love people. You only know how to own them. And because people will never act just like you want them too... You'll always feel betrayed. And because everybody dies, you'll always feel cheated. But you're the cheat... You're the one who uses our love for you to try to control us.
    • You don't understand how devastating fear and rage can be, and how quickly religion and civilization and human decency are forgotten when a mob forms.
    • I thought: if I could just make a good family, if I could just learn to be to a mother to the children, their whole lives, what [he] was, coming so late into ours, then that would mean more in the long run, it would be a finer accomplishment than anything I could ever do with my mind or my hands.
    • I blame on you only what you did. You started a fire on a hot, dry, windy day, despite all the warnings. I blame you for that, and if you hold yourself responsible for all the consequences of your own acts, then you are truly unworthy of human society and I hope you lose your freedom forever.
    • The mob still had anger in it, some of them at least. Yet there were so many who were sick of it all, many who were already ashamed, already discovering in their hearts the terrible acts they had performed tonight, when their souls were given over to the will of the mob.
    • We never forbid where we do not also have the power to prevent.
    • If you act as the enemy of life, then life will become your enemy.
    • Happiness can depend as easily on useless things as on useful ones.
    • I think you were always pretending. Maybe you even fooled yourself. But one thing is certain. You were never an ordinary girl, and you could never had lead an ordinary life.
    • She's just being a martyr no I'm not I'm being practical. You're being a fool.
    • You don't know that you're right. And you don't know that I'm wrong. It's my life. The hell it is.
    • Simple food but it tasted good and they were satisfied.
    • If you treat me this way, then I will treat you like a great lord, and if you do not detect the irony in my actions, then who of the two of us is the fool?
    • Some will hate you for telling them, but some will be glad for it.
    • He laughs, you cry... What strange animals we are.
    • A male does his best, reproductively, if he wanders and copulates as widely as possible. I've done the wandering. Somehow I missed out on the copulating.
    • In [his] mind, madness. Thousands of competing contradictory impossible visions that make no sense all because they can't all fit together but they do fit together, he makes them fit together, this way today, that way tomorrow, as they're needed. As if he can make a new idea-machine inside his head for every new problem he faces. As if he conceives of a new universe to live in, every hour a new one, often hopelessly wrong and he ends up making mistakes and bad judgments, but sometimes so perfectly right that it opens things up like a miracle and I look through his eyes and see the world his new way and it changes everything. Madness, and then illumination. We knew everything there was to know before... Now we discover that there are so many ways of knowing the same things that we'll never find them all.
    • You're only so sure you're right because they're so sure you're wrong.
    • The wise are not wise because they make no mistakes. They are wise because they correct their mistakes as soon as they recognize them.
    • I looked for perfection, and I found something better.
    • Sometimes I thought I was the only one who understood, even though half the time I didn't know what it was that I was understanding. I withdrew and watched, and because I didn't have any personal ego on the line... I could see more clearly than any of them.
    • She thinks she's the only one in the would to ever suffer. I say that without rancor. I have simply observed that she's so full of pain, she's incapable of taking anyone else's pain seriously.
    • I saw that he came in and listened and watched and understood who we were, each individual one of us. He tried to discover our need and then supply it. He took responsibility for other people and it didn't seem to matter to him how much it cost him.
    • That means you, more than any of the others, stand to lose something truly beautiful and fine if we don't succeed in our endeavors.
    • We realized that you were truly alive and beautiful in your perverse and tragic lonely way.
    • Part of you but also not-you. Other. Outside but inside. Bound to you but free. It couldn't control you and you couldn't control it.
    • You're making us very tired, with all your thinking of stupid imaginary impossible things.
    • Failing to try and stop a murder that you might easily stop - how is that not murder?
    • You both refuse to listen to anybody else. You know better about everything. And when you're both done, many many innocent people are dead.
    • If you tell what you know, everyone is wiser. If you keep a secret, then everyone is a fool.
    • Only you have the power to kill me completely. Only you have the power to make it so my death means nothing, so that all my people die after me and there is no one left to remember. Why shouldn't I leave my testament with you alone? Only you will decide whether or not it has any worth.
    • Lets say I'm a suspector. I suspect there may be someone who cares what happens to us. That's one step better than merely wishing. And one step below hoping.
    • Us or them.
    • It's the worst thing you'll ever do in your life, helping the people you love to something that in your heart you know is deeply wrong.
    • He's not as smart as he thinks he is Yes he is. And if you doubt it, you're not as smart as you think you are.
    • When you don't understand the consequences of your acts, how can you be blamed for them? You don't take the blame. But you still take the responsibility. For healing the wounds you caused.
    • Changing the world is good for those who want their names in books. But being happy, that is for those who write their names in the lives of others, and hold the hearts of others as the treasure most dear.
    • You're very smart. Smarter than I am, I hope. Though of course I have such incredible vanity that I can't really believe that anyone is actually smarter than I am. Which means that I'm all the more in need of good advice, since I can't actually conceive of needing any. You talk in circles That's just part of my cruelty. To torment you with conversation
    • Do I think you actually care? It's a good thing I have no soul. That's the only thing that stops you from devouring it If I ever had your soul in my mouth I would spit it out.
    • If only we were wiser or better people perhaps the gods would explain the mad, unbearable things they do
    • How I wish you could have kept on living a life of joy. But no one can. Language comes to us, and with it lies and threats, cruelty and disappointment. You walk, and those steps lead you outside the shelter of your home. To keep the joy of childhood you would have to die as a child, or live as one, never becoming a man, never growing. So I can grieve for the lost child, and yet not regret the good man braced with pain and riven with guilt, who yet was kind to me and many others, and whom I loved, and whom I also almost knew. Almost, almost knew
    • All the stories are fictions. What matters is which fiction you believe.
    • 'This emotion I'm feeling now, this is love, right?' 'I don't know. Is it a longing? Is it a giddy stupid happiness just because you're with me?' 'Yes,' she said. 'That's influenza,' said Miro. 'Watch for nausea or diarrhea within a few hours.'
    • Your trust in rationality makes you irrational.
    • Isn't that the sweetest little well-balanced undergraduate-level philosophy of life.
    • I know it as much as anyone knows anything. Knowledge is just opinion that you trust enough to act upon.
    • Doesn't it make you wonder about your own sexual identity, not to mention your sanity, that the two women you love are, respectively, a virtual woman existing only in the transient ansible connections between computers and a woman whose soul is in fact that of a man who is the husband of your mother?
    • You don't believe that for a second. But I believe that I believe it. And for me that's pretty good. Please don't disillusion me. I haven't had breakfast yet.
    • Religion is tied to the deepest feelings people have. The love that arises from that stewing pot is the sweetest and strongest, but the hate is the hottest, and the anger is the most violent.
    • I know something of how he feels. I know something of having to submerge your will in someone else's. To live for them, as if they were the star of the story of your life, and you merely a supporting player. I have been a slave. But at least in all that time I knew my own heart. I knew what I truly thought even as I did what they wanted, whatever it took to get what I wanted from them.
    • What does it matter, to tell yourself that the thing controlling you comes from outside, if in fact you only experience it inside your own heart? Where can you run from it? How can you hide?
    • They would not meet, but they would pass close to each other. She would notice him or not. He would speak to her or not. She still loved and needed him. Or not.
    • [She] was not one to bend to anyone else's will.
    • You'd think she'd learn something from that. But she still does the same thing. Making decisions that deform other people's lives, without consulting them, without ever conceiving that perhaps they don't want her to save them from whatever supposed misery she's saving them from.
    • But he did love her, with all his heart he loved her. All his heart? All of it he knew about.
    • You aren't very good at determining what other people want and need from you... No one is. We're all as likely to hurt as help.
    • There's no meaning of life if I've lost you.
    • I'm not interested in my own life anymore. Do you understand? The only life I care about in the world is yours. If I lose you, what is there to hold me here?
    • Obstacles? Men like you don't have obstacles. Just steppingstones. Men like me? Yes, men like you. Just because I've never met any others. Just because no matter how much I loved [him] he was never for one day as alive as you are every minute. Just because I found myself loving as an adult for the first time when I loved you. Just because I have missed you more than I miss even my children, even my parents, even the lost loves of my life. Just because I can't dream of anyone but you, that doesn't mean that there isn't somebody else just like you somewhere else. The universe is a big place. You can't be all that special. Can you? You do still love me, then? Oh, is that what you came for? To find out if I loved you? Partly I do.
    • Brilliant young people who were nevertheless silly with love-or youth, as if it made a difference.
    • Nobody's rational. We all act because we're sure of what we want, and we believe that the actions we perform will get us what we want, but we never know anything for sure, and so all our rationalities are invented to justify what we were going to do anyway before we thought of any reasons.
    • No matter what they say they all intend to live Except the suicides? They intended to live, too. Suicide is a desperate attempt to get rid of unbearable agony.
    • You imagine that I love you, but I do not. I don't love anyone.
    • Even gentle people recognize that sometimes the decision not to kill is a decision to die.
    • Love was the genes of all creatures demanding that they be replicated, replicated, replicated.
    • Life is a suicide mission.
    • How do we remember? Is the brain a jar that holds our memories? Then when we die, does the jar break? Are our memories spilled on the ground and lost? Or is the brain a map that leads down twisted paths and into hidden corners? Then when we die, the map is lost but perhaps some explorer could wander through that strange landscape and find out the hiding places of our misplaced memories.
    • When did I first start wanting him to love me?
    • Have I lost my mind? Or have I, finally, found my heart?
    • I left because I couldn't....... Because you couldn't bear to let him leave you. You felt it, didn't you? You felt him fading even then. You knew that he needed to go away, to end this life, and you couldn't bear to let another man leave you so you left him first.
    • What had been lost was found again. And those who had been hungry without knowing the name of their hunger, were fed.
    • That's life. It hurts, it's dirty, and it feels very very good.
    • I have a sense of comfortableness in love; it isn't grand sweeping passions that I expected to feel.
    • Will the love I have for you be enough....? To reach out to you when I'm in need, and to try to be here for you when you need me back. And to feel such tenderness when I look at you that I want to stand between you and all the world: and yet also lift you up and carry you above the strong currents of life; and at the same time, I would be glad to stand always like this, at a distance watching you, the beauty of you, your energy as you look up at these [people], speaking to them as an equal even though every movement of your hands, every fluttering syllable of your speech cries out that you're a child - is it enough for you that I feel these loves for you? Because it's enough for me. And enough for me that when my hand touched your shoulder, you leaned on me; and when you felt me slip away, you called my name.
    • I'm Mr. Scared-from-Ass-to-Ankles. Whereas you are just plain old miss ass.
    • You really can't do it can you? Can't what? Can't bow down and kiss your feet? Can't shut up to save your life.
    • That's what civilized people do - they avoid circumstances that enrage them. Or if they can't avoid it, they detach.
    • You are only human. I mean it. The price of having these emotions, these passions, is that you have to control them, you have to bear them when they're too strong to bear. You're only human now. You'll never make these feelings go away. You just have to learn not to act on them.
    • I've had your tears with mine, and you've had mine with yours. I think that's more intimate than even a kiss. Maybe. But not as fun.
    • She wants what everybody wants - to be loved and cared for, to be part of something beautiful and fine, to have the respect of those she admires.
    • You don't fight with minimum force, you fight with maximum force at endurable cost. You don't just pink your enemy, you don't even bloody him, you destroy his capability to fight back.
    • I once heard a tale of a man who split himself in two. The one part never changed at all; the other grew and grew. The changeless part was always true, the growing part was always new, and I wondered, when the tale was through, which part was me, and which was you.
    • [He], who was a stranger in every land, belonging nowhere, serving everywhere, until he chose this world as his home, not just because there was a family that needed him, but also because in this place he did not have to be entirely a member of the human race... He could be part of something larger than mere humanity
    • Would I tame this great being and make her so much my slave that every moment of her time belongs to me? Would I focus her eyes so they can see nothing but my face? I should rejoice that I am part of her, instead of resenting I'm not more of her.
    • 'Why do people act as if war and murder were unnatural? What's unnatural is to go your whole life without ever raising your hand in violence.' from The God Whispers of Han Qing-jao
    • Bean was tired of talking about this. She looked so happy when she talked about god, but he hadn't figured it out yet, what god even was. It was like, she wanted to give god credit for every good thing, but when it was bad, then she didn't mention god or had some reason why it was a good thing after all
    • Sister Carlotta is a nun. You'll never find a more honest person Honest people have been known to deceive themselves
    • He dreamed, as human beings always dreamed - random firings of memory and imagination that the unconscious mind tries to put together into coherent stories.
    • You speak in theological terms, and yet I thought you were an unbeliever' theology is a joke to me. Amusing! I laugh at it. I can tell amusing stories about theology, to jest with believers
    • An eye for an eye? How Christian of you Unbelievers always want other people to act like Christians
    • That's why bean never fully trusted his own guesses. He acted on them, but always kept himself open to the possibility that his interpretations might be wrong
    • Unlike you, Wiggin, I do give the other guy a chance to learn what he's doing before I insist on perfection
    • I didn't know Christians got so angry
    • Because these fools always look up for power. People above you, they never want to share power with you. Why you look to them? They give you nothing. People below you, you give them hope, you give them respect, they give you power, cause they don't think they have any, so they don't mind giving it up.
    • We'll consider what you've told us. We wont be foolish You've already been foolish. I have no high expectations for you now.
    • The only thing a commander ever truly controls is his own army - training, morale, trust, initiative, command and, to a lesser degree, supply, placement, movement, loyalty, and courage in battle. The commander must be able to change his plans abruptly when obstacles or opportunities appear. If his army isn't ready and willing to respond to his will, his cleverness comes to nothing
    • Somebody has to roll the dice. Mine are the hands that hold those dice. I'm not a bureaucrat, placing my career above the larger purposes I was put here to serve. I will not put the dice in someone else's hands, or pretend that I don't have the choice I have.
    • Come in, kidnapped child, hostage of fate. Come and talk to the fates, who are playing such clever little games with your life
    • He knew that bean's powers of analysis were extraordinary. So, also, were his powers of deception. Some of bean's guesses weren't right - but was that because he didn't know the truth, or because he simply didn't want them to know how much he knew, or how much he guessed
    • I never wanted you here, because you're too dangerous
    • Now I have second-guess all my future decisions wondering how much my choices are influenced by the fact that this kid really pisses me off
    • He knows how to form a group into the shape he wants it to have. He knows how to get people to work together. And he does it by the most minimal means possible
    • Either she was a perfect actress or she was oblivious.
    • Ender Wiggin was not larger than life, Bean knew. He was exactly life-sized, and so his larger-than-life burden was too much for him. And yet he was bearing it. So far.
    • All those months when bean refused to see Ender, hid from him, it was because he couldn't bear to face the fact that Ender was what bean only wished to be - the kind of person on whom you could put all your hopes, who could carry all your fears, and he would not let you down, would not betray you. I want to be the kind of boy you are, thought bean. But I don't want to go through what you've been through to get there
    • Even if that's just bullshit, sir, it's first-rate bullshit. I'll pass it on.
    • There were times for absolute honesty between friends, but this wasn't one of them.
    • Damn, but they've got us brainwashed, haven't they!
    • As if the universe were created to serve him, with all the people in it tuned to resonate his desires
    • Nobody was going to wait for you strike. Because here's the thing - we don't give a shit about fairness here. We're soldiers. Soldiers do not give the other guy a sporting chance. Soldiers shoot in the back, lay traps and ambushes, lie to the enemy and outnumber the other bastard every chance they get. Your kind of murder only works among civilians. And you were too cocky, too stupid, too insane to realize that.
    • You ready to command a fleet? I don't know. It depends on whether they want to win. Here's the thing, Bean. Soldiers don't like to lose And that is why losing is a much more powerful teacher than winning.
    • Please stop reassuring me of how respectful you are whenever you're about to tell me that I'm an idiot.
    • You can't rule out the impossible, because you never know which of your assumptions about what was possible might turn out, in the real universe, to be false
    • So I have to fake it. No, I have to disbelieve it. I have to forget it's true. It isn't true. The truth is what they've been telling us
    • Doesn't it occur to you that the very fact that you're asking me this question tells me there's something else for me to figure out, and therefore greatly increases the chance that I will figure it out?
    • It was as if Graff had read his heart and found the lie that would penetrate most deeply into his soul and told it to him.
    • He hadn't realized how much he needed the honor of others until he finally got it
    • What you don't seem to understand is, sometimes you have to tell people the truth and ask them to do the thing you want, instead of trying to trick them into it.
    • Sometimes the other side is irresistibly strong, and then the only sensible course of action is to retreat in order to save your force to fight another day.
    • But he held his tongue, because, in the back of his mind, in the deepest corner of his heart, he still had hope that Ender might do what could not be done.
    • Yet throughout history, great victories had come as much because of the losing army's errors as because of the winner's brilliance in battle.
    • They've never seen us make a move like that. They don't understand that, yes, humans will always act to preserve their own lives - except for the times when they don't. In the bugger's experience, autonomous beings do not sacrifice themselves. Once they understood our autonomy, the seed of their defeat was sown.
    • He pretended all this time that humans were rational human beings, when we are really the most terrible monsters these poor aliens could ever have conceived of in their nightmares.
    • For we humans do, when the cause is sufficient, spend our own lives. We throw ourselves onto the grenade to save our buddies in the foxhole. We rise out of the trenches and charge the enemy and die like maggots under a blowtorch. We strap bombs on our bodies and blow ourselves up in the midst of our enemies. We are, when the cause is sufficient, insane. He pretended all this time that humans were rational beings, when we are really the most terrible monsters these poor creatures could ever have conceived of in their nightmares. They had no way of knowing the story of blind Samson, who pulled down the temple on his own head to slay his enemies.
    • Is that what passes for humor with you?
    • Isn't that what it means to be civilized? That you can wait to get what you want?
    • He luxuriated in the sound of high language well spoken.
    • Analyzing things was fine, but good reflexes could save your life.
    • You frighten me when you say there isn't time. I don't see why. Christians have been expecting the imminent end of the world for millennia. But it keeps not ending. So far, so good.
    • Trying to shock nuns is not much sport. There is no trophy.
    • God made us with death inside, and also with intelligence. We have our seventy years or so - perhaps ninety, with care - in the mountains of GA, a 130 is not unheard of, though I personally believe they are all liars. They would claim to be immortal if they thought they could get away with it. We could live forever, if we were willing to be stupid the whole time. Surely you're not saying that god had to choose between long life and intelligence for human beings! It's there in your own bible, Carlotta. Two trees of knowledge and life. You eat of the tree of knowledge, and you will surely die. You eat of the tree of life, and you remain a child in the garden forever, undying.
    • And then he thought: is this how idiots rationalize their stupidity to themselves?
    • These other kids didn't know love when they saw it.
    • Know, think, choose, do.
    • I'm not stupid!' in [his] experience, that was a sentence never uttered except to prove it's own inaccuracy.
    • She was sure of that. Or at least she hoped it with such fervor that it felt like certainty.
    • You are so intent that you believe only what you believe that you believe, that you remain utterly blind to what you rely believe without believing that you believe it.
    • My hands are clean, but not because I wasn't prepared to bloody them.
    • If I have to choose between an omnipotent God who leaves the world in this condition, and a God who has only a little bit of power but really cares and tries to make things better, I'll take you every time. Go on playing God, Hyrum. You're not bad at it. Sometimes you kind of get it right.
    • Such fools they were in Battle School, to let so few girls in. It left the boys completely helpless against a woman when they returned to Earth.
    • 'And you actually were cuddly,' said Carn. 'No offense, but you were spunky.' 'If that's your word for 'bratty little asshole,' said Dink mildly.
    • I don't care how loyal you think you're going to be, Dink. It's not in you. You're a brat and you always will be. So admit what a lousy follower you are, and go ahead and LEAD.
    • I've always loved you. But no woman in her right mind would ever marry you and have your babies because NOBODY COULD STAND TO RAISE THEM. You will have the most hellish children. So have them in a colony where there'll be somplace for them to go when they run away from home about fifteen times before they're ten.
    • ''Waterloo was won,'' quoted Rackham, ''on the playing fields of Eton.'' 'What the hell does that mean?' asked Carn Carby. 'You never even went to Eton.' 'It was an analogy,' said Rackham. 'If you hadn't spent your entire childhood playing war games, you'd actually know something. You're all so uneducated.'
    • I've seen Austratlia and I've lived on an asteroid and I'd take the asteroid.
    • Besides, you only like the asteroid because it was named Eros and that's as close to sex as you've ever gotten.
    • Petra,' said Rackham, 'don't you understand that we love you children? All of you? We already had to send Ender away. We're sending them all away, except for you. Because we love you. Because we don't want any harm to you.
    • Nafi knew the rule: when a man acts like a child, he's boyish, and everyone's delighted; when a boy acts the same way, he's childish, and everyone tells him to be a man
    • I think that I say those things that make people so angry, not because I really mean them, but because I simply thought of a clever way to say them. It's a kind of art, to think of the perfect way to say and idea, and when you think of it then you have to say it, because words don't exist until you say them A pretty feeble kind of art, Nyef, and I say you should give it up before it gets you killed
    • Why wont anyone ever answer my questions? Because you never stop asking them and especially because you keep asking them even when it's clear that nobody knows the answers Well how do I know that they don't know the answer unless I ask?
    • 'I'm not in love with [her] because she's the most beautiful young woman [here] and therefore quite possibly in the entire world. I'm in love with her because we can talk together, because of the way she thinks, the sound of her voice, the way she cocks her head to listen to an idea that she doesn't agree with, the way she rests her hand on mine when she's trying to persuade me.
    • In the end...oneself is the only person anyone can convince.
    • On the beach he had been able to run for the shore. Where do you run to get away from the oversoul? You didn't. You couldn't hide, either - how could you disguise your own thoughts so even you didn't know what you were thinking?
    • If she had the power to make him cry because of his love for her, then there was only one possible solution for him: cease loving her. This was the last time she would ever be able to do this to him.
    • The picture that emerged was beautiful and terrible at once.
    • Here's my throat. I carry no weapon. You could have killed me at any time, even when I knew you were my enemy. Why did you need to deceive me into trusting you first? Were you afraid that death wouldn't bother me enough, unless I felt betrayed?
    • There's nothing between them anymore. I could see it fall, the last tie of love or even of concern. If he died tonight, she would be content. to Luet this seemed the most terrible of tragedies. Once these two had been joined together in love, or something like love... And yet the last tie between them was broken now. All lost, all gone. Nothing lasted, nothing.
    • Permanence was always an illusion, and love was just the disguise that lovers wore to hide the death of their union from each other for a while.
    • I will not be tamed, only persuaded. I will not be coerced or led blindly or tricked or bullied - I am willing only to be convinced. If you don't trust your own basic goodness enough to tell me what you're trying to do... Then you're confessing your own moral weakness and I'll never serve you.
    • Wouldn't it have been better to change humanity so it no longer desired to destroy itself?
    • If I had taken away the desire for violence then humanity would not have been humanity. Not that human beings need to be violent in order to be human, but if you ever lose the will to control, the will to destroy, then it must be because you choose to lose it. My role was not to force you to be gentle and kind; it was to keep you alive while you decided for yourselves what kind of people you wanted to be.
    • He saw them with such better understanding that they took on power and meaning beyond anything in his experience before.
    • It all spoke of the willingness of people to hurt each other, the burning passion to control what other people thought and did. So many people, in secret, subtle ways, acted to destroy people - and not just their enemies, either, but also their friends. Destroying them for the pleasure of knowing that they had the power to cause pain. And so few who devoted their lived to building other peoples strength and confidence. So few who were true teachers, genuine mates.
    • Is this earth? So beautiful and monstrous? Is this what we were?
    • You think my apology means I'm weak. But it doesn't. It means I am trying to learn how to be strong.
    • No place is comfortable, when you are waiting for someone else to do a job you think of as your own.
    • [He] didn't know what to say. He didn't even know the name for what he was feeling. 'I think that I don't know you.' she looked at him, a little perplexed. 'No that's wrong. I think that I didn't know you before, even though I thought I knew you, and know that I finally know you, I don't really know you at all.'
    • I was forgetting how it really was, I was remembering it through common, ordinary eyes, I was remembering it as the boy I was before, but now I remember that it wasn't me being weak or me being naked, or anything else that I should be ashamed of.
    • Just because you're a fatalist doesn't mean I want to die.
    • I believed in my own heart that it was necessary. But I also hated him. Will I ever be sure that I didn't do it because of that hatred, that longing for vengeance? I fear that I will always suspect that I am an assassin in my heart.
    • ...'The story the oversoul tells me fit's all the facts that I see. Your story, in which I'm endlessly deceived, can also explain all those facts. I have no way of knowing that your story is not true-but you have no way of knowing that my story isn't true. So I will choose the one that I love. I will close the one that, if it's true, makes this reality one worth living in. I'll act as if the life I hope for is real life, and the life that disgusts me-your life, your view of life-is the lie.'
    • Most men were like this - relatively unconnected, unbound, alone. But these men were particularly untrusting and ungiving, and so the bonds that held them to each other was fragile indeed. It was not love at all, really, but rather a yearning for the honor and respect of the other men that held them. Pride, then... Indeed, all their connection with each other at this moment was tied up with the respect they felt they were earning by their actions.
    • Is that who I am? A boy who is so weak that he can't imagine loving a woman who is strong?
    • Keep me alive. Keep me alive long enough for me to conquer the animal within myself. Long enough for me to learn to partner myself with a woman who is better and stronger than me. Long enough for me to reconcile myself with my brothers. Long enough to be as good a man as my father, and as good as my mother, too.
    • Coincidence is just the word we use when we have not yet discovered the cause. It's an illusion of the human mind, a way of saying, 'I don't know why this happened this was, and I have no intention of finding out.'
    • I only exist in this place. I am only human in this place.
    • How does he do it? How does he master people without bluster or bullying? How does he make people fear him or love him, not in spite of his ruthlessness but because of it?
    • This is love. This is the kind of love that songs and stories are made of.
    • We are all fools when one wise man appears.
    • You know nothing about me at all. Which is almost certainly true. I know nothing about you. No one knows anything about you.
    • Better to listen than speak at a time like this.
    • You are truly a monster. You speak of sacrilege and massacre of innocents, and then you ask me to trust you. I speak of necessity, and ask you to help me keep from being a monster.
    • Are men's lives nothing but the secretions of overactive glands?
    • [He] was young, too young to see the consequences of his actions, too young to contain his feelings.
    • Has life left you so hungry that you'll swallow even the poor imitation of love?
    • It's tragic isn't it, that we don't always get what we want in this world.
    • Stop threatening me... I've lived in terror and I've come out of it. Kill me or not, torture me or not, it doesn't matter to me. Just decide what to do.
    • Will I be coming to you as husband or a child? A partner or a student?
    • In all his life, [he] had never spoken with such brutal frankness about his own fear; he had never felt so exposed and vulnerable in front of anyone.
    • That was all she needed - was for him to tell her he didn't expect her to be the waterseer all the time, that he was marrying the fragile, imperfect human being, and not the overpowering image she inadvertently put on.
    • She never finished the sentence, because at that moment [he] began to learn how to kiss a woman, and she, though she had never kissed a man before, became his tutor.
    • How do you know you're right and were wrong? I don't know
    • Real power does not demonstrate itself in anything that can be purchased in mere money. Money only buys the illusion of power. Real power is in the force of will - will strong enough that others bend to it for it's own sake, and follow it willingly. Power that is won through deception will evaporate under the hot light of truth, as more closely you look at it, even when it resides only in a single person, without armies, without servants, without friends, but with indomitable will.
    • If I wanted to doubt then I could doubt endlessly. But at some point a person has to stop questioning and act, and at that point you have to trust something to be true. You have to act as if something is true, and so you choose the thing you have the most reason to believe in, you have to live in the world that you have the most hope in.
    • Don't force the issue, don't force Nafai to humiliate you in front of the others. Instead work with him, and he will gladly let you take as much of the leadership as the oversoul will let him surrender to you. I don't think you've ever realize how Nafai worships you. How he has always wished he could be like you. How he has longed for your love and respect more than that of any other person' 'get out of my house' Very well. I see that you are a person who refuses to revise his view of the world. You can only bear to live in a world where all the bad things that happen to you are someone else's fault, where everyone must have conspired against you to deprive you of what is your due. Unfortunately, that world happens not to be the real world
    • I hate it when you back away from a quarrel like that. I don't like conflict. But you always back off at the exact moment when you're about to tell the other person exactly what she needs to hear.
    • If there's one thing our group is too small to endure, it's sexual tension
    • The others are even more likely to obey their god Which is? It dangles between their legs
    • It isn't a question of what you need. It never is. It's a question of what he needs. He needs to feel superior to you.
    • Odd isn't it, that physically plain people are perfectly able to see physical beauty in others, while people who are morally maimed are blind to goodness and decency. They honestly think it doesn't exist Oh they know it exists all right. They just never know which people have it.
    • You're so certain that you can hold people to their commitments. No ones ever made them do that before. Can you now?
    • He fears his own murderous heart so much that he won't let himself think of his whole plan openly
    • She understands my heart better than you do, and I can speak her thoughts almost before she speaks them
    • Does [he] imagine that I could desire a mere woman, when [she] is my wife?
    • Love and respect have nothing to do with controlling what other people do
    • To face death, that's nothing much. But to feel really stupid when you die, well, that would be insufferable.
    • The old fear and strangeness remained as an undercurrent, despite all her attempts to reassure herself. Until now, seeing him, she realized she was not afraid of him..... No she was afraid of what he would think of her - an even older and darker fear
    • Show him who I am, help him to see that even though I am no beauty, I'm still a woman, I still long to love, to be loved, to make a family with a man who is bound into my heart
    • Show him who I am, so he will pity me instead of fearing me. And then we can turn pity into compassion, and compassion into understanding, and understanding into affection, and affection into love, and love into life, the life of our children, the life of the new self we will become together
    • Could she help it that she has been given a combination of genes that gave her an extraordinary memory, an enormous capacity for grasping and understanding ideas, and a mind that was able to make connections that no one else could see?
    • It's not as if she chose to do mental gymnastics beyond the reach of anyone she had ever met in person.
    • You take responsibility for us all. Without ever waiting to be told. So do all good people. That's what it means to be a good person. And I am a good person.
    • I interpreted all you did as weakness - but I should have known that it was wisdom and strength, freely shared with all of us, even the ones who don't deserve it.
    • Never mind. Put it back where it belongs, in memory, not in the forefront of thought
    • Doesn't love show it's face when it satisfies the need of the loved one, for the loved one's sake alone?
    • Nature had no scheme. Only a series of accidents.
    • I'm not a very demanding man. I don't expect perfection from others. I get along and do my part. But when someone treats me like a worm, as if I didn't exist, as if I didn't matter, then I don't forget, no, I never forget, I never forgive, I simply bide my time and then they see: I do matter, and despising me was the gravest error of their lives
    • Such children. So young, so playful. I'm glad they can still be that way. Someday, when the real adult responsibilities settle on them, they'll lose that. It will be replaces by a slower, quieter kind of play. But for now, they can cast away care and remember how good it is to be alive.... That's what happiness means, isn't it?
    • Maybe he's growing up Or maybe he just needed the right circumstances to discover the best in himself.
    • Maybe we're like the baboons. When we're stable and civilized, the women decide things, establish the households, the connections between them, create the neighborhoods and the friendships. But when we're nomadic, living lives on the edge of survival, men rule, and brook no interference from the women. Perhaps that's what civilization means - is the dominance of the female over the male/ and wherever that lapses, we call the result uncivilized, barbarian ... Manly.
    • Any unhappiness that they might harbor in their hearts was kept in check, buried under the hard work that marked the rhythms of their lives, and then dissolved in the moments when joy was bountiful and love unstinted
    • She began to understand things she had never understood before. The world was not as clear and simple a place as she had thought till now.
    • Adults [are] so strange
    • Individual people have always been more important to her than to me. It's my weakness, that I don't have her awareness of other people's feelings
    • Maybe what we really want is for our children to be the dominant ones! Maybe I'm trying to see my own ambitions fulfilled in them, and that would be wrong, so I should be content with what they are.
    • Wasting our time? This is a waste of time, to live in peace and plenty with my wife and children? May I waste the rest of my life, then.
    • I acted like a human male. When I act like a human male it doesn't make me less human, it just makes me less female. Don't you ever tell me again that just because I don't act like a woman wants me to act, that makes me an animal.
    • She of all people should have known that it was his desire to be a hero that impelled him now, it was his passion to find out what would happen next, to make the next thing happen. She, if she loved him, should have understood
    • The barrier was only in my mind - which is true of this barrier as well. The more firmly I try to cross the barrier, the more firmly I'm rejected. Well, maybe it's the intention to cross the boundary that pushes me away
    • I see that you are a person who refuses to revise his view of the would. You can only bear to live in a world where all the bad things happen to you are someone else's fault, where everyone must have conspired against you to deprive you of your due. Unfortunately, that world happens not to be the real world
    • He hated you for being yourself, because you were so similar to him, and yet so different. The only way you could have kept him from hating you would have been to die young
    • Just because you live every waking moment with dreams of controlling other people doesn't mean the rest of us do
    • Let there be no barrier between us... My love. I never want to be alone again
    • Don't lie to me! Don't seem so normal when I know you have cut yourself off from me in your heart! If you can put on our affectionate closeness like a mask, then I'll never be able to take joy in it again.
    • I knew you'd say that, that's why I hate you
    • You're still young so you still think the whole universe revolves around you. But the fact is that it doesn't
    • You don't understand everything, but you still make decisions. Well, we don't understand everything, either. But we decided didn't we? And we made the right choice, didn't we?
    • Frozen, right? But to others, it looks like you're calm as could be. That's why some of the others tease you so mercilessly sometimes. They thing you're made of stone, and they want to break in and touch the human feelings. They just don't know that when you seem most stony, that's when you're the most frightened and breakable.
    • Like when you wake up in the middle of the night with a very important idea from a dream, and you writed it down and then in the morning it says 'Not the food! The dog!' and you have no idea what that could possibly mean or why you once thought it was important.
    • People can be happy together
    • That proves you're a decent person who would never tell a lie.
    • That's what survival means, for me. I thought it was a matter of staying alive, but it isn't. Nobody lives forever anyway. It's how you're remembered. It's what your children thought of you, what they think of you after you're dead. That's survival. And if there's one thing that can truly be said about me, it's this: I survive.
    • May the day when you need courage never come even as she said it, though, she knew the day would come.
    • You're the only one that I would be glad to be close to forever, because all your secrets are bright and good and I love you for them
    • Those bonds aren't bondage at all... They're freedom
    • Religion isn't always pretty. Especially viewed from the outside, by an unbeliever.
    • He realized now he simply hated them, even when by chance they were silent. He hated the way they treated women. He hated the way they treated men. He hated the way they thought. He hated the way they didn't think. It was hard to imagine which of them he hated more.
    • We all had a better idea. We all knew that you were wrong. We knew it from the beginning
    • We never know when you will stop. And so we obey you when you're angry and irrational, because we're afraid of you. And if you think about it without letting rage cloud your reason, you'll realize that we have cause to be afraid
    • He knew she meant it. Everyone knew she meant it, and everyone knew what she said was true. Everyone had know it for years.
    • Maybe I took the first step toward healing him
    • Smart, but not smart-mouthed; obedient, but willing to take the initiative; courageous, but not foolish; confident, but not boastful.
    • What cannot be healed has been healed. What was lost forever has been found. Therefore let that which cannot be forgiven be forgiven.
    • People are what they want to be
    • You'd think, from the way you talk, that people were responsible for their own behavior And they're not? Haven't you ever seen a 3 year old when he makes a foolish blunder? He looks at whatever child or adult is nearby and screams at him 'look at what you made me do!' that's the moral universe that [they] always lived in
    • Sometimes those who care for the whole community must act in a way that harms the individual. For a good man it never becomes easy and he avoids it when he can; but when people need him to be harsh, he will be harsh indeed, and he won't shrink from it, he'll do it with his own hand and let it be known what he does.
    • Wishful thinking gives false gods to people who hunger for gods, but those who yearn for a world with no gods are no less likely to fall victim to their own wishful thinking
    • He simply learned how to be patient. How to bide his time.
    • [They] aren't humans When it comes to hate and rage and envy, yes they are And love and generosity, too. And trust and wisdom and dignity and - Yes, they're humans in all those ways
    • Why has my life turned out to be so worthless?
    • All it did was let her step off that brink into the dark unknown with a smile on her face and pride in her heart. It made death sweet to her.
    • I don't think what they made between them was what you or I would understand as friendship
    • In another time, he would have flown into a rage at those words, would have blustered and threatened, or lashed out in fury. But he was a different man now, a tempered man, a man of discipline and quiet, ruthless wisdom.
    • Don't you know... That I love you? Don't you know that I don't want to live without you?
    • I don't mind dying before you do. In fact, I rather prefer it that way
    • Men seemed to find an obscene amount of pleasure in having the upper hand, in winning
    • We're going to have to have a long talk about priorities before long
    • You were such a promising boy. Of all the tragedies this lifelong war between brothers has caused, you are the saddest one of all
    • [He] never claims to know what he doesn't know. When he's unsure, he says so. When he's sure, he's always right
    • How can we ever know what's true? We can't. That's what I figured out a long time ago. So you don't believe in anything? I believe in everything that seems true to me right now. I just refuse to be surprised when some of those things I believe in now turn out to be false later. It helps keep me from being upset
    • To remember is real. To imagine is nothing That's silly... Most of the things people say they remember they only imagine anyways
    • We all choose our own teachers, don't we? I wonder if our choice of teacher shows anything about what our lives will be
    • You have a will of steel And a heart of glass. Brittle and cold
    • Today, I saw a spark of decency. Lets blow on that spark and give it fuel
    • We can wash people in the water all we want, but we can never wash their parents out of their hearts
    • Out of respect for custom he treats me as if all women were equally worthless. He gives custom more respect than he gives me
    • He isn't insane, he's simply as trapped in his life as I am in mine. That makes us friends
    • Friends, a man and a woman. It was possible
    • What difference does it make, whether we keep our silence because [they] force us or because we're afraid they might force us?
    • I'll be dead and you'll think about this day and wonder which of us was more the slave, you or me!
    • Humans feel compassion primarily for those they conceive of as being part of themselves
    • Humans had to evolve what no other primate had: a sense of identity with a group so powerful that it could swallow up the individual identity, at least to a large degree. Humans couldn't have the deep, self-sacrificing loyalty to more than one or two communities at a time. Thus communities were inevitably in conflict with each other, competing for the loyalty of their members. The tribe had to break down the solidarity of the family; religion had to compete with nation for loyalty. But once a community had that loyalty, the most ardent members would gladly die for it. Not for the other individuals directly, but for the interests of the group as a whole, because in the human mind, that group was the self, and the individual was able to regard himself as merely one iteration of the pattern of the whole
    • Humans, in order to rise above the animals, had learned how to convert themselves into nothing more than organs or limbs or even disposable fingernails and hair of a larger metaphorical organism
    • Everything I ever felt myself to be a part of is dead
    • Again, as so many times before, [he] felt tears come to his eyes. But he fought them off - he was getting better at that, hiding his true feelings. Though of course sitting up here... Certainly made it plain that he wasn't happy about something
    • Will you shut up about your envy of [them]? For one day, for one hour, for one minute will you just stop and give a thought to reality?
    • Maybe if I could bear my life as it is for one day, for one hour, for one minute, I could forget my wish to be something else
    • I have no secret thoughts... Or rather, they're not secret because I've withheld them - if they're unknown, it's because no one asked
    • You smile. Why, because you succeeded in provoking me?
    • You're the teacher, you're the master, you know everything, I am your puppet
    • Because you're really, really sure doesn't that mean you're right?
    • Boys always argued as if they knew then had the forces of logic on their side, even when they were being completely irrational. Even when their 'Logic' defied the evidence
    • After discussions like this, the boys would turn around and talk about how girls weren't reasonable, they were emotional, you couldn't even have an intelligent conversation with them - but it was the boys who fled from the evidence and constantly shifted their arguments to fit what they wanted to believe. And it was [she] who was ruthlessly realistic, refusing to deny her own feelings or the facts that she observed around her. And refusing to deny that she reached her conclusions first, because of her inmost desires, and only afterward constructed the arguments to support them. Only boys were so foolish that they actually believed their arguments were their reasons
    • If you don't want to control what I think, why did you raise your voice? Why did you argue with me at all?
    • He would know what was right. Yet with his marvelous gift of knowing right from wrong, why couldn't he realize that his yearning to be something other than himself was hopelessly wrong, was wasting his life and poisoning his heart?
    • Does a son betray his father? If a father commands a son to commit a crime so terrible that the son can't do it and live with himself, then is it betrayal for the son to disobey his father?
    • You always do that. Make all the questions harder I make them truer
    • I don't care if it's the whole world that everything in it, on it, and above it. I...will...not...bend.
    • It was a mark of their naivete, to think that such a revolution could be accomplished so easily
    • Children are nothing but tools of their parents
    • In their ignorance, they were happy
    • Don't be too anxious to control other people's ideas
    • There are many things that men and women do not say, because to say them would only bring unhappiness
    • Law can change how people behave when others are watching - that's all
    • I know how it feels to have driven all compassion out of my heart and laugh at the pain of someone else
    • False modesty is still false, no matter how charming it might seem
    • [He] smiled at once, his most winning and charming smile, and it worked as it always worked, suggesting as it did a sort of self-effacing humility, a believable protests of innocence, and a promise of friendship - whatever good thing the other person wish to read into it
    • [He] always wondered at that smile even as it triumphed over his own anger or envy. Where could such a power over others come from?
    • How does he do that?
    • I think that many things can come into someone's mind out of hysteria
    • I want you to discover the truth for yourself. I don't ram it down your throats like some do
    • Clever boys. They'll do it, if we give them half a chance. They will do it
    • Don't you hate it when somebody knows you better than you know yourself?
    • There was once a man who knew me better than I knew myself. Who saw strength in me that I didn't know was there
    • I realized it wouldn't do [him] any good to have a bunch of puppets doing his will. What he wants is companions. Do you see? He wants us to become like him, to want the same things he wants. To work towards the same goals, freely and willingly, because we want to
    • That's one of those questions, whether human beings are really capable of change, or if all seeming changes are really a matter of framing the existing character in a different moral situation...you know
    • So we can discuss things as equals. That would never be possible with them - they're too young. They haven't lived
    • Which is the greater wrong? To hurt the unforgiving one, or hurt the one who has forgiven all?
    • Why don't you say what you're thinking? What makes you think you want to hear it? Because the way you looked at me... I knew what you were thinking was, I love her, I want her beside me forever, I want her to be my wife, and ... I tell you honestly, I'm sick and tired of waiting for you to say it outloud What! Why should I tell you what you already know? Because I need to hear it
    • It occurred to me that if my friends were loathsome, perhaps I needed to learn from my enemies
    • I want to change me heart and I don't know how
    • Wanting to is the whole lesson; all the rest is practice
    • For 2 people to love each other, they have to meet, don't they? And 2 people who live in utterly different worlds have no chance of meeting
    • What you call intellectual honesty I call self-deception
    • [He] had no illusions - the doctrine he was going to be teaching, starting tonight, was not the sort of ideology that would stir souls; no one would die for this religion. It would only attracts converts by promising a return to old tradition and by seeming to be the religion of the future
    • It seems that the more I learn, the less I know. While the more ignorant remain absolutely certain of their convictions
    • Hatred and anger aren't rational
    • Just because you know I had no other choice doesn't make the anger go away. I understand that. But you're a man now. You can put away these childish things
    • Make sure the people understand they won't be required to sacrifice anything in order to belong to your assembly. A religion that is all sweetness, but no light; all form, but no substance; all tradition, but no precept
    • Someone has to be an audience for the play you people are always improvising. All of you trying for the center stage. All of you trying to get the audience to notice you, to declare you the star, so that when you die, the curtain will come down and the show will end. But it never does. No one was the star after all That's the difference between life and art, of course. Life has no frames, no curtains, no beginnings and no endings Which should imply that it has no meaning I mean my own life. I mean what I do
    • I know what you do... I know why you do it. I can name you more truly than you can name yourself
    • Everything possible to be believed is an image of the truth.
    • So if the evil he had done wasn't the death of the roaches, what was it? The power he had? His knack for making things go just where he wanted, making them break just in the right place, understanding how things ought to be and helping them get that way?
    • That kiss and all it held - hope, forgiveness, love - let me never forget that
    • [He] put a great deal of trust in the sort of man who spoke his mind to all men, even strangers, even enemies
    • I always tell what I believe. Whether it's true, I'm no more sure than any man
    • A man always assumes that others are as virtuous as himself
    • Don't ask me questions when I don't even know the answer myself
    • Hiding from your enemy is the same as letting him win
    • Sunday morning, he decided, is designed to let sinners have a sample of the first day of eternity in hell
    • Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth' and the words did pierce him, and he understood them, though he could not have put in words what it was he understood. Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth. If it feels true to me, then there is something true in it, even if it isn't all true. And if I study it out in my mind, then maybe I can find what parts of it are true, and what parts are false, and - and Alvin realized something else. That all his arguments with thrower came down to this : that if something just plain didn't make sense to Alvin, he didn't believe it, and no amount of quoting from the bible would convince him. Now Taleswapper was telling him that he was right to refuse to believe things that make no sense 'Taleswapper, does that mean that what I don't believe can't be true? 'Truth can never be told as to be understood, and not be believed
    • To my way of thinking, a duel is just two murderers who agree to take turns trying to kill each other
    • Their thoughts were remarkably alike, as they worked silently toghether. This is what I want to do forever, each one thought. Rise in the morning, come to the mill, and work all day with him beside me. Never mind that the wish was impossible. Never mind that they might never see each other again, once the boy left for his apprenticeship back in the place of his birth. That only added to the sweetness of the moment, which would soon become a memory, would soon become a dream.
    • And it came into hooch's mind that when both parties are lying and they both know the other party's lying, it comes powerfully close to being the same thing as telling the truth.
    • But the fear of death in the one place was not as strong as another kind of fear, the fear of a world gone crazy, a place where anything could happen, where nothing could be trusted, where nothing was certain. A terrible place.
    • It was like a bunch of children, doing something they knew they shouldn't ought to, and then their pa comes along and catches them at it. Having been caught in such mischief himself sometimes, he almost felt a little sympathy
    • The funny thing was, you see, that Mike Fink didn't think of himself as a murderer. He thought of life as a contest, and dying was what happened to those who came out second best, but it wasn't the same as murder, it was a fair fight
    • We've seen the worst that men can do, pa, and been the worst that men can be. But that don't mean that someday we wont see the best, too. And if we can never be perfect after this, well, we can still be pretty good, can't we?
    • They didn't have to believe in you. They didn't have to choose to die. But they didn't know that's what they was choosing They knew. We always know. We don't admit it to ourselves, not until the very moment of death, but in that moment, we see all the life before us and we understand how we chose, every day of our lives, the manner of our death
    • Peggy couldn't tell the truth. She knew these folks too well. She knew what they all were scared of, what they all wanted, what they all had done that they'd kill her or theirself if they once got a notion that she knew. Even the ones who never done a bad thing, they'd be so ashamed to think she knew their secret dreams or private craziness. So she never could speak frankly to these folks, or something would slip out, not even a word maybe, it might be just the way she turned her head, the way she sidestepped some line of talk, and they'd know that she knew, or just fear that she knew, or just fear. Just fear alone, without even naming what it was, and it could undo them, some of them, the weakest of them
    • Perhaps all that some men need from a woman is for her to be loving and wise and careful, like a field of flowers where he can play the butterfly, drawing sweetness from her blossoms
    • A woman's wisdom is her gift to women. Her beauty is her gift to men. Her love is her gift to god
    • So why do you intend to inflict your wisdom on this poor unfortunate man you say you love? Because some men are great enough that they can love a whole woman, and not just part of her
    • Was it worth it? To lose part of who he had been in order to live free? Perhaps this new self was better than the old
    • No one is the same person today that he was yesterday. No one had a body as young as it was, or a heart so naive, or a head so ignorant as it was
    • In a way, he lost some of himself, some of his knack, and therefore some of the choices he might have had in life. But in losing those, he gained so much more freedom, so much more power, that he was clear winner in the bargain
    • He'd find out soon enough what losing everything could mean
    • Alvin saw how measure was with Delphi. She wasn't a noticeably pretty girl, though not particular ugly either; she was strong and stout and laughed loud as a donkey. But Alvin saw how measure had a way of looking at her like the most beautiful sight he ever could see. She'd look up and there he'd be, watching her with a kind of dreamy smile on his face, and shed laugh or blush or look away, but for a minute or two she'd move more graceful, walking partly on her toes maybe, like she was dancing, or getting set to fly. Alvin wondered then if he could ever give such a look to Miss. Larner as would make her so full of joy that she couldn't hardly stay connected to the earth
    • Who is she? Who? The one you love till it takes your breath away just remembering
    • Somewhere there was a woman he could love and live with till he died
    • ...All of a sudden they both felt their arms pretty near wrenched right out of their sockets and then they were dragged around, grabbed by the collars, and smacked together so hard their noses bled and they saw stars.
    • You're lucky I took me a vow of nonviolence,' said mike fink, 'Or you'd be suffering some pain right now.
    • Where do you draw the line between a humble man who knows his own weaknesses but tries to act out virtues he hasn't quite mastered yet, and a proud man who pretends to have those virtues without the slightest intention of acquiring them?
    • I knew you could shed that folksy talk the minute you wanted to Yes, I can do that. Just as I can speak French to a Frenchman and Spanish to a Spaniard and four kinds of red talk depending on which tribe I'm with. But you, do you speak scorn and mockery to everyone? Or just to your betters?
    • A liar sees lies, even when they aren't there. Just as a hypocrite sees hypocrites whenever he runs across good people. Can't stand to think that anyone might really be what you only pretend to be
    • Perhaps I'm hiding from myself. Perhaps I don't want to be what I'm supposed to be. Or perhaps I don't want to keep living the life I already started to live
    • When people say perhaps its cause they're lying. Either they don't believe the thing they're saying, or they do believe it only they don't want to admit they do
    • You spend you're whole life grieving for those who haven't died yet
    • Alvin wondered if it was true - if all men had evil in their hearts, and those men as were good, maybe they were simply the ones who controlled theirselves so well they could act contrary to their heart's desire. But if that were so, then no man was good, not one
    • Our savior is guard enough for us all Our savior will resurrect us, but I haven't noticed that Christians end up any less dead at the end of life than heathens
    • 'Always take me with you, damnit!'
    • Was she being ironic? Vanya had never been able to guess about mother
    • In Vanya's family, silence had never meant surrender, only tactical retreat
    • Is there any hope that you can explain to me why this makes sense?
    • Before the story he refused to even think about it; after the story, it became conceivable to him, and, once he could conceive of it, it soon became inevitable
    • You're not losing me, mother. I'm in love. I never had you, not since you escaped from the womb
    • More than likely, mother would simply go enigmatic on him, give him one of her inscrutable smiles, and tell him that if he didn't already understand, he never would
    • Women always said things like that, and it made him crazy. It's as if every conversation with a woman was a test, and men always failed it, because they always lacked the key to the code and so they never quite understood what the conversation was really about. If, just once, the man could understand, really comprehend the whole of the conversation, then the perfect union between male and female would be possible. But instead men and women continued to cohabit, even to love each other, without ever quite crossing over the chasm of misunderstanding between them
    • Esther tuned out their conversation and thought about Vanya, about how strange it was that this other woman, this girl-child, should speak of her son so possessively, should speak of his future as if it were her own future
    • There was majesty in the child, and only banality in this marriage:marriage is about banality. Its purpose is banality, to create an environment of surpassing safety and predictability for young children to grow up in, the foundation of life, the root of inner peace. What do I want for him, a troublesome, restless woman? A queen?
    • This is why so many knights have died. This is why troy fell, for a woman like this
    • I don't know you, ma'am, and apparently I'm expected to die for you
    • Was his very boyishness the reason he was chosen? In that case, was it not a virtue to be admired, and not a failing to be despised?
    • You know nothing at all about men like me
    • Living with a god is not what it's cracked up to be. They think their women should be grateful just to have them around
    • He was not happy. And, if Ivan was any judge of character, neither was Katerina. Relieved, yes, she seemed to be relieved. As if one great hurdle had been passed. But Ivan knew that this was nothing to her but a marriage for reasons of the state. She had grown up knowing such a thing would be needed. He had not. He always expected to marry for love, or at least by his own choice. He had hoped for a bride who would be proud to say the vows with him. This was dismal indeed, to know that she was merely doing her duty to king and country, to god and daddy
    • Numb - that's just the feeling you hope for on your wedding night
    • Why are you raising your voice to me, if not to command?
    • Don't hurt each other any more, children How could I hurt her? She'd have to love me before I could do that
    • Don't you love her? This beauty, this bright and powerful woman?
    • When he offered to annul the marriage, he realized now, he had been half-hoping that she'd refuse, that she'd insist that she wanted to be his wife. Instead, he had provoked this outburst, in which she had exposed the full measure of her contempt for him
    • I hurt him again. I meant to pretend to love him, but in the moment I simply told the truth, which is my habit. And I don't know that I want to change that habit. You can tell a lie now and then. But what happens to you when you try to live your whole life inside a lie?
    • She focused completely, almost smolderingly, on Ruth. But there was a sense of amusement in everything she said. A sense of irony. I know something you don't know
    • But charm, intelligence, and good looks, did they add up to love?
    • The embarrassment on all their faces. How inconvenient of her, to lay it on the line like this. To demand they face up to whatever was obvious to all of them. Oh, is this making you uncomfortable? You poor dears
    • If he wants you, then I don't want him. The man I loved wouldn't have gotten married without bothering to break off his previous engagement. So whatever you've got there with his arm attached to your back. It's not a man I ever knew or ever wanted. Somebody else, somebody faithless. I deserve better. So save your tears for yourself. Bitch
    • Some memories don't fade, some physical memories are forever. The feel of your fathers hand, the sound of your mothers voice. Only, father's hand was smaller now. No, Ivan's was larger, but to him, it was his father who had shrunk, who no longer had the power of the giant, of the god, to enfold him and keep him safe.
    • I don't like the thought of you being married to a woman who always thinks she married down That's a problem isn't it? But the truth is, she did No. No, that's not true. There is no woman alive who, marrying you, would be marrying down I thought - that's a thing that mother would say Yes. Mothers say things like that more than fathers do
    • He was close to her hour after hour, the smell of her, the touch of her breath on the hairs of his arms or on his ears as she leaned over his shoulder to watch. He thought sometimes he might go insane with desire for her; but he could not think of a way to change what lay between them, and though he thought she liked him well enough now, he still didn't know if their friendship was yet the thing a marriage should be made of. Do you love me? He wanted to ask her, to demand of her. But fearing the answer would be a wan 'I'm sorry, Ivan,' he did not speak
    • I trust you because I've come to know you, and coming to know you, I've learned to love you. I've fallen in love with your boldness, your humility, your innocence, your kindness, your willingness. I know that you will stand by me as best you can. But you don't know what my husband needs to know. You can't do what my husband needs to do. I can trust your heart, your king's heart, but your mind doesn't know what it needs to know, your hands don't have in them the skills they need to have. I had no choice but to marry you. But little by little I have come to long for you to include me within the circle of your arms, of your mind, of your pure love. To embrace me, to give me babies I was born to have, to help me raise them. And I don't care which world we raise them in, yours or mine or some other we haven't seen yet
    • All I could think of was how close I came to losing you not close enough. How could you lose me, when you've never had me, never wanted me?
    • As long as no one said anything, he could pretend that it was love. That she felt about him as he felt about her
    • And then [he] wondered why he would think of such a useless question at a time like this
    • Gloating is a great joy, isn't it? To have your enemy in your power - there's nothing sweeter is there?
    • Your mother surrounds you every moment,' she said. 'I know, because I feel her love for you in my own arms, around you now.
    • Having never been in control of his own life, his idea of freedom was simply to break free
    • In the absence of understanding, that was a good a reason as any for living together and making babies and raising them up and throwing them out of the house and then going through the long slow decline together until one of them died and left the other alone again, understanding as little as ever about what their spouses really wanted, who they really were. Was that tragedy? Or was that comedy? Was there really any difference?
    • That was the way communication was among women, most of the time; few women realized it, but they all depended on it. 'Women's intuition' wasn't intuition at all, it was heightened observation, unconscious registration of subtle clues
    • The smooth, white skin of a boy who had never worked or fought in his life, and yet a posture of utter boldness, as if he had never met an equal, let alone a superior
    • There was beauty to him that for just a moment stirred in her a kind of recognition, perhaps a desire; the thought passed through her mind, is this how angels look, beneath their robes, shed of their wings?
    • I took the leap, yes, but I didn't like the ledge where I landed - I fought the bear, I kissed the princess, but now I don't want to be king. Well, where in the fairy tales did it ever say Cinderella had to like being queen?
    • Am I a liar, or is he mistaken? I am the only fit judge of what is in my heart, I think
    • She still felt, or at least feared, that Ivan was a good man and she had lost a prize. But if he was a good man, how could he leave me? So he must not be a good man. But if he isn't good, then why does it hurt so much to lose him? Is it just my pride that's wounded?
    • I have to trust everyone and yet there's no one I can really be sure of You can be sure of me she looked at him, searching his face. I've known you so little time. The others I knew all my life. The others are my own people. You are a stranger, from a strange time and place. I know what they can do, what they will do. I have no idea of what you are or what is in your hands and heart and mind. And yet when you tell me I can be sure of you, I am sure
    • They say that love conquers all. They say that because they're idiots. Love can't conquer anything. Love can't make a scholar into a warrior. Loving her can't make her love me.
    • Like running hurdles. Work so hard, jump over every one, fast, high enough but no higher, because you can't afford to hang in the air. And then, when the race is over, you're dripping with sweat, either they beat you or you beat them...and then a couple of guys come out and move the hurdles out of the way. Turns out they were nothing. All that work to jump over them, but now they're gone
    • He would have had a bad five minutes there, but by now it would be over. He wouldn't have this dull ache in his heart, the sharp yearning in his throat, the words trying to escape
    • It makes people willing to act according to what they believe. To say what's in their hearts, regardless of shame. It doesn't change what they feel, what they want. It just helps...loosen them up
    • Right, of course, you're the only person in history who is completely immune to her religious upbringing.
    • I had the deal in writing. Since when has that ever stopped a determined government?
    • What does it matter if, by following my heart, I also fulfill someone else's plan?
    • Even in cultures where marriages are arranged by parents, you're never actually forbidden to fall in love with your mate.
    • They never noticed that he was in fact what they only pretended to be
    • [She] learned that justice could be cruel, and crueler yet necessity, but mercy was the cruelest thing of all. That would be useful to her
    • Children are resilient. No matter how they are battered, they have a way of thriving
    • [He] had somehow grown up with a belief that unfairness was to be, not endured, but corrected. So when he saw injustice, he corrected it
    • He thought he was miserable, but he would look back on this as the happiest of times
    • A dagger has only a single point, but a traitor cuts from anywhere
    • His eyes cannot be closed except by his own weeping and his own trust
    • Do you begrudge her this: that once in her life she had a man who loved her with his whole heart, if only for that moment?
    • Is that why you hate him so...? Because he knows the woman as she might have been?
    • It was then that [he] first loved [her]. Not for her flesh - [he] had known the body of the queen. Not out of pity - he knew her too well to see her from the distance that pity requires. He loved her because he admired her. For bearing without complaint the burden the queen put on her. For still being gentle and loving when she had ample reason to be bitter: does that surprise you? That of all people, your son could look at [her] and see beauty?
    • If only we could stand outside our lives and look at what we do, we might repair so many injuries before they're done.
    • Some people are so right they never learn a thing.
    • He will know someday who is little, and who is great. Are you the strongest of all men, so strong that you can be merciful to me, a weak woman? Here is the undoing of your strength: I am not a weak woman. I am not a little queen. And your mercy will be your undoing. You will regret leaving me alive, and someday you will remember possessing me, and yearn to possess me again
    • Asking a man if he could be trusted was like asking an unwed girl if she was a virgin. The question mattered, but the asking of it was a gross insult
    • He had been a shark trying to gnaw away at the shore, sharp-toothed and dangerous, yet unworthy of his adversary
    • And if it tortures you to know that another man was with her in her life, console yourself with this: he only knew her but the once
    • What [he] felt for her was genuine, and not just for love of her perfect flesh. I know [him] truly, and I know that when he loved his bride it was not a queen he loved, but rather the girl as she might have been if she had not been destroyed in her childhood
    • Still the girl had found her lover - a dreamer, a good man, a kind man who cared less for his plan than for the people in it. That is how he was unlike you, and that was why she loved him
    • Poor beauty. May I not pity her, of all people? She loved him, but she had only learned one way to show her love - through cruelty and abuse
    • That was what she knew of love. No wonder [he] never recognized her love when she gave it to him. Even now, if he knew that she had loved him, it would break his heart
    • [He] did not understand it, and I did not tell him then, but you know, don't you? She began to love him then. And part of why she loved him was because he looked like you. Does it make you laugh?
    • Not that she meant to free you. Never that. But it still ought to flatter you. You're the sort of enemy your enemy must love
    • This is the way the paths of our lives entwine and cross and go apart: if she sent for him the day before, even then he might have loved her. But she did not send for him until she was afraid; she was not afraid until he undid her work; he did not undo her work until he was past loving her. If only we could stand outside our lives and look at what we do, we might repair so many injuries before they're done
    • You just don't let up do you? It's my most endearing trait. After a while it grows on you
    • You only got away with that because you're a woman
    • He doesn't care about making a good impression. He doesn't hurry to ingratiate himself with people. He takes his time sizing up a situation and then finds the least troublesome way to his goal.
    • This man, though, was of that rare type that knew what he wanted but didn't want anything badly enough to demand it or beg for it or hurt anyone else in the process of getting it
    • I like to consider myself a sleep disorder
    • At least her hormones liked it
    • Take upon themselves the burden of the world. Have to save everybody, help everybody, provide for everybody. And when they can't do it, they can't think of any other reason to live. Was that [him]? Probably. A man who had forgotten, not how to live, but why.
    • He was wild the way a mistreated dog becomes wild, not because it loves freedom, but because it has lost trust
    • She got out of the car in a smooth motion that [he] found attractive precisely because it did not seem designed to make men watch her do it
    • I'm always cheerful and polite. But when it matters I say what I think - cheerfully and politely
    • [He] didn't like dreams because they were even worse than his real life.
    • That was the most terrible thing that a woman could to a decent man: look vulnerable and ask him for mercy. If he refused her he'd be denying all his instincts as a provider and protector
    • He'd suppose she was looking at him with hurt and longing, that sort of dreamy-eyed look that he remembered very well from high school, the look that girls eventually realized they probably shouldn't use with guys unless they really meant something it, because it had the power to make them hover but then they were pretty hard to get rid of
    • Maybe she just wanted to be the one to decide when things happened between them. Then again, what women didn't want to decide that?
    • She knew exactly what she had done to him. And yet she couldn't quite believe that she was jerking him around
    • How could you tell, when utter honesty and cynical manipulation would each account completely for the things she said and did?
    • Solitary isn't necessarily lonely
    • Damn her for forcing him to discover things like this about himself
    • Yeah, that's why my mama taught me to say yes sir and no ma'am and please and thank you. So I could show grateful courtesy to a lawyer who's helping somebody take away my independence
    • The kind of man that's the one kind worth loving, when I tell him that story, he'll never be able to love me
    • There's a lot of guys around who are better for you than I am
    • Rage at the death of his daughter and all the things that had gone wrong and the people who had screwed up. He needed to kill somebody, to tear them apart, only there wasn't anybody to kill.
    • It was like he attacked sleep, a frontal assault, took it by the throat and forced it to yield him the rest he needed. Rest, but no peace
    • Embarrassing as it had been to break down like that in front of [her], he knew that it had been a good thing. A wall inside himself had been broken
    • Something had been given back to him. And because [she] had been a part of it, there was something between them now. A bond of loss, if loss could bind
    • That's right, hide from me, that's mature of you. Don't face up to anything. Isn't that what your life in this house is all about? Hiding!
    • Why do you bother asking, when you know the answer and you also know that you don't intend to believe it?
    • I'm not your daughter! I'm not your sister! I'm not your anything!
    • He ought to have his safety glasses on, but he was too mad and it felt too good to be tearing at something
    • If he hadn't been so angry...he would have stopped and thought about it...
    • Why am I so certain of my doubt? What? why is doubt the one thing we're never skeptical of? We question other peoples' beliefs, and the more sure they are the more we doubt them. But it never occurs to us to doubt our own doubt. Question our own questions. We think our questions are answers
    • We're not a family. We're the opposite of a family. We're people so lonely that when we're together we make a black hole of loneliness and everything else gets sucked down into it and is never seen again
    • Some of us don't suffer from completion anxiety
    • There would be no compromise, no sweet-talking, no tears that could soften the hardest heart. It's not my heart that's hard, anyway. It's hers. Having no concern for what she's doing to me, the risks she's making me take against my will. My whole future down the toilet
    • She never seemed to get near the edge. She lived on other people's edges. And when they fell off, she'd admire how pretty they looked as they fell
    • I couldn't bear to go out there and ... Be alive. When I had killed her.
    • Imitation of life. Mimesis. That's all I am. Plato said we were all shadows. Me more than most
    • If I don't do anything that also ruins lives Beginning with your own Maybe Because you need children. Don't you? I don't know if I could ever do that again. Now that I know what it does to you when you lose one. Is it worse than losing a parent? Yes Worse than losing yourself? I've never lost myself
    • So I believed all that stuff about pleasing myself. Can't be done. You can't please yourself by doing what you want. Because it doesn't mean anything if it's just you. There has to be somebody it matters to. I think... I think that in my heart I needed that to be [her]. I needed her to care about what I did
    • Is there really some balance in the universe? Some scale of justice that will bring her here and find some way to set things to rights?
    • That's what's eating you alive. That you aren't the kind of guy who takes the law into his own hands. You left the law in other hands and it screwed you over pretty badly
    • I'm nobody's child You're mine now. Not my child, but mine, to miss you when you go, to look out for you, to hope you'll be careful
    • I wasn't a believer' I was raised that way, but when [she] died I decided that was all the proof I needed that god didn't exist or if he did he didn't care about us at all
    • They were good eyes. Kind eyes. Weary, but well-meaning.
    • You may think you ashamed, but you not. Deep down in your heart. You know you done it all You don't know what I feel
    • I found her and then I lost her
    • Why you sad about that? She going to be free now. She can go home to Jesus Call me selfish, but I wanted her to go home with me
    • Knowing was better than not knowing. But not by much.
    • I think I wont sleep tonight.... I'll stay awake. I'll watch you all night. I'll hold your hand
    • Damn, what happened to me? I used to be a lot stronger than this Fat lot of good it did you
    • You as stupid as they come. Of course, I say this with your best interests at heart. Most people are stupid. I don't hold it against them
    • Don't it ever occur to you that only good people are afraid of paying for their sins?' No ma'am. I've known some bad people and some good people in my life, and it's the bad ones who live in fear, all the time. Cause they know their own hearts.. And they think everyone else is just waiting to pull the same moves on them that they've got planned to pull on somebody else
    • Good people can't out-think evil, cause evil think of things good folks can't think of. Can't enter your head what evil do
    • The good heart, now it can think of things that evil can't imagine, cause it has no heart
    • Either it was too deep for [him], or not deep enough, he couldn't be sure either way
    • He looked away to hide his face from her. By habit, really, his old habit of hiding his emotions. There was nothing she hadn't seen of his emotions by now. No weakness she didn't already know
    • Death isn't the worst thing in the world Yes it is, you lose everything You keep your memories, in the end that's all we have
    • Only when she stopped being dead, only these few weeks with [him] in the house did she understand how dead she had been. Lost in her guilt, her shame, her pain, her losses. Now that she had learned again to love and hope, now that she was no longer as ashamed or guilty, of course it was the very joy that was killing her again.
    • Whoever set up the universe, it really sucks. If you ever get around to making another one, change the rules a little. Lighten up on your creatures. Give us a break now and then
    • He'll remember me. And I'll feel it. I'll know that I was known, that I am known. That someone holds me in his heart
    • Some folks just can't figure out when to shut up and say thank you I feel sorry for folks like that
    • We're both damaged property, I guess Plenty of time for renovation
    • They're going to be a bunch of little jerks, because that's the way kids are at that age, except you, because you were born not knowing how to hurt anybody else, you were born with compassion, only that also means that when people are cruel to you it cuts you deep. You wont understand that you have to walk right up to the ones who are being hateful and laugh in their faces and earn their respect. Instead you'll try to figure out what you did to make them mad at you
    • She watched him go into the building. He as striding boldly, almost jauntily. She liked the look of him, always had. He exuded confidence without ever looking as is he wanted to make sure everyone else knew how confident he was
    • Even step - she knew that she didn't really know him, that always there was the chance that someday he would surprise her, that she would turn to face her husband and find a stranger in his place, a stranger who didn't approve of her and didn't want her in his life anymore
    • The word does not exist, except in the mouths of those who are pretending to be educated but in fact are not
    • It was a terrible thing to know about himself, that he could feel such lust to punish a submissive enemy
    • In contemporary American culture, going to the psychiatrist means you're crazy. But going to a therapist means you're rich and stylishly uptight. I hate it when you talk about 'contemporary American culture' this and 'contemporary American culture' that.
    • Step hated feeling such rage toward the person he loved most. And it wasn't the yearning love of young romance, but rather the kind of love that made her feel like part of his own self, so that he couldn't imagine a future without her beside him. To be so savagely angry at her was terrible
    • My life is still good because you're in it. Everything good in my life comes from you. Step shook his head. He knew she meant it, but in fact he knew that it wasn't true. Even the goof she found in him was really the goodness she had put in him, the goodness he had put on himself as a disguise in order to get her to marry him. He had known that she could only be happy with a husband who was good in certain distinct ways.... She never realized that it was a sacrifice he was making out of love for her, in order to be part of her. She thought it was his own desire, and she loved him for it. But what she was really loving was herself, reflected back at her
    • This is what love is, he thought. Doing what you don't want to do, because she needs it so much. And it isn't that bad. And it isn't that hard
    • What I'm telling you is, there's some people who do things so bad it tears the fabric of the world, and then there's some people so sweet and good that they can feel it when the world gets torn. They see things, they know things, only they're so good and pure that they don't understand what it is that they're seeing
    • [Her] love for the girls was real, and they had always adored this strange creature who had no children to love but them
    • [He] said nothing, but nodded to [her] as he shook her hand, as if to say that he understood her grief and approved of the strength of her commitment, even if he didn't share her faith
    • It was nice to be reminded that she was looking out for me almost as certainly as I always looked out for her
    • I didn't wish [her] dead, actually. I just wished her gone.
    • I think the secret to [her] skill at lying is that she never tells a lie that she doesn't believe with all her heart, at least for the moment it takes to tell it
    • I don't care what you do to a box, it's still a box
    • Even the most 'Rational' people - the ones who claimed not to have a religion - were just as chauvinistic about their irreligion, sneering at and ostracizing the believers just the way the believers treated nonmembers of their own groups. It's a human universal
    • We were all victims of an oppressive system, but that mattered far less to us than our deep bonding with our owners
    • It was from her that I drew my identity, it was around her that I built my hopes, it was in her that I had my life.... She was deeply good, brilliant of mind and generous of heart, and she loved me. Our bond was stronger than blood, than religion, than language, than marriage. It was the bond of self-hood. I saw the world through her eyes, and she through mine. We - almost - were the same person
    • I'm hungry and thirsty No, I'm hungry and thirsty No, me. I said it first No, me did they really think that only one of them would be permitted to eat?
    • [Her] every movement betrayed the fact that she thought she was even uglier than in fact she was. Her shoulders slumped and she seemed to shrink as she walked, as if she hoped that if she became very unobtrusive enough she would entirely disappear. Of course her very ungainliness served only to call more attention to her, but I have learned that human adolescents never understand that the best way to avoid notice is to behave normally.
    • She sounded how you'd expect talking to a tree to sound - bored out of her mind
    • There are depths to me that no one has glimpsed, not even me
    • This is a really terrible dream, and I really ought to wake up and end it. And so I did
    • Keeping secrets was the beginning of freedom
    • At that point, if I had consciously realized what I was already planning to do, if I had admitted my rage, my feelings of betrayal, then my conditioning would have kicked in and I would have either suppressed those feelings or gone mad
    • They gave me powers of thought and memory far beyond anything natural evolution would have given me, but that doesn't give them the right to decide the meaning of my life as if I were some dream. I decide the meaning. If my life is a dream then it's my dream, I'm the dreamer.
    • As long as my body did their bidding, what did it matter what I thought?
    • Sometimes when people mess up their lives and want to make a fresh start, the way they do it is to go somewhere nobody knows them. You can be a different person, because nobody remembers the mistakes you made or how nasty you used to be. It's just like erasing a computer's memory. Once you reformat the memory drive, nobody knows what used to be there; all they care is what's on the drive now
    • Wishes are a waste of time... They only make you unhappy
    • You took sides!' So did you. The difference is that I sided with a man who was asking nothing more than to live with dignity... And you were siding with a woman who was using her connection with me as a way of raising herself above other people, which is foolish and self-destructive and I kept waiting for you to say something, for you to do anything to get [her] under control and you never did, not even when [he] was walking out on her because he couldn't take her psychotic hunger for control any longer
    • What I am seeing right now is a man who is so dominated by his mother that he is willing to throw away his marriage in order to protect her from the trauma of growing up and acting like an adult. So please do keep on shielding her from any chance of ever becoming a mature, productive, empathic human being... I knew that was a facet of your life when I married you. But don't you dare to accuse me of being envious of the sickness that you call motherlove.
    • No one had known him. No one knows me. No one knows who I am or what I can do.
    • I knew [her] better than any living soul. Better than she knew herself. So I knew right then, long before she understood it herself, that she was in love with [him]
    • I think if you left grownups to do what the really actually wanted most in the world to do, every single one of them would lie down and take a nap for the rest of their life. I know this because that's what every grownup does as soon as they're alone
    • I'm not the kind of woman that has affairs' That is such pure, high-minded sounding bullshit, my love, my darling, thou object of my erotic imaginations. You are precisely the kind of woman who has affairs - you are miserable with your unloving, disloyal, self-serving, manipulative son-of-a-bitch of a husband, and you are in love with a caring, sensitive... Guy
    • I want the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear it.
    • She was more fragile than anyone expected. Her outer toughness was a protective device.
    • What does she think we are, idiots? Well, yes, actually. Brilliant, but idiots. It's not as if she didn't have plenty of evidence of absentmindedness from everyone of them.
    • She did love him, you know... It was a selfish, possessive love, but it was all she knew how to give
    • Why can you be so deeply understanding of her, and so completely incapable of understanding me? ... You never needed me the was [she] needs me. You never needed anybody. If you had ever bothered to come to know me, you'd know that that is the exact opposite of the truth. Well, well. So we part in utter ignorance of each other.
    • As a matter of fact, Rice Krispies are favored by solitary people.
    • Oops, I thought. Oops is an all-purpose word standing for every bit of profanity, blasphemy, and pornographic and scatological execration I could think of.
    • [He] made a little whimpering noise that meant everything she wanted it to mean.
    • She didn't sound glad. It irritated him a little. Hurt his feelings. But instead of going off to nurse his wounds, he merely noticed his emotions as if he were a dispassionate observer. He saw himself; important self-made man, yet at home a little boy who can be hurt, not even by a word, but by a short pause of indecision. Sensitive, sensitive, and he was amused at himself: for a moment he almost saw himself standing a few inches away, could observe even the bemused expression on his own face
    • What bothered him was that he didn't exactly care. He didn't not care either. He was just going through the motions as he had a thousand times before, and this time, suddenly, it all seemed so silly
    • Surely a balance between two hungers leaves both satisfied.
    • What a clear world you live in. All the lines neatly drawn
    • All the causes or purposes of all our acts are just stories we tell ourselves, stories we believe or disbelieve, changing all the time. But still we live, still we act, and all those acts have some kind of cause. The patterns all fit together into a web that connects everyone who's ever lived with everyone else. And every new person changes the web, adds to it, changes the connections, makes it all different. That's what I find with this program, how you believe you fit into the web Not how I really fit? How can I know? How can I measure it? I discover the stories that you believe most secretly, the stories that control your acts. But the very telling of the story changes the way you believe. Moves some things into the open, changes who you are. I undo my work by doing it
    • A way to make it respond to who a person really is. Cut through all the: Yes? Just wondering Cut through all the ? Stories we tell ourselves. All the lies that we believe about ourselves. About who we really are
    • What an ugly world you choose to live in Not neat and pretty like yours, not bound about by rules the way yours is. Laws and principals, theories and hypotheses, may they cover your eyes and keep you happy
    • I think you need help Don't we all
    • What kind of animal are you? Can't you make up a lie and believe it?
    • I think god stopped paying attention long ago
    • How is it less bearable than that beautiful boy who wanted so badly to do the right thing that he did it all wrong, lost his chance, and now is caught in the sum of all his wrong turns? I got on the road they all wanted to take, and I reached the top, but it wasn't where I should have gone, I'm still that boy. I did not have to lie when I went home to her
    • You have no sex life whatsoever. Don't you realize how dangerous that is? You don't even masturbate. The tension and hostility inside you must be tremendous.
    • To him, their marriage was his very soul. To [her], their marriage was just a friendship with sex.
    • Her soul belong as much to [them] as to him. By dividing her loyalties, she fragmented them; none were strong enough to sway her deepest desires. Thus he discovered what he supposed all faithful men eventually discover - that no human relationship is ever anything but tentative. There is no such thing as an unbreakable bond between people.
    • Nothing can last. Nothing is, finally, what it once seemed to be. [she] and he had the perfect marriage until there came a stress that exposed it's imperfection. Anyone who thinks he has a perfect marriage, a perfect friendship, a perfect trust of any kind, he only believes this because the stress that will break it has not yet come. He might die with the illusion of happiness, but all he has proven is that sometimes death comes before betrayal. If you live long enough, betrayal will inevitably come
    • I don't ever want to see you again. You've made me regret the one unregretable decision of my life - [her]. You've made me wish, somewhere in my heart, that id never married her. Which is like making me wish id never been born
    • But could he blame her for being glad that she didn't have to choose? Glad that she could have both?
    • Once I thought [he] was god. Now I know he's much less powerful than that. He's merely fate. No. Don't say that. Not even fate. Just out guide through it. He sees the future and points the way.
    • At last he was what he had always pretended to be. An ordinary, powerless man. He hated it.
    • You have just described the relationship between males and females. Two completely different species, completely unintelligible to each other, living side by side and thinking they're really the same. The fascinating thing is that the two species persist in marrying each other and having babies, sometimes of one species, sometimes of other, and the whole time they can't understand why they can't understand each other.
    • It's all right to love him I know that I mean, it's all right to love him more than you love us. More than you love any of us. More than you love all of us
    • How do you understand me so well? 'I only know what you show me and what you tell me. It's all we ever know about each other. The only thing that helps is that nobody can ever lie for long about who they really are. Not even to themselves
    • He wanted to talk to her. Right now, at this moment, he wanted to tell her what he was thinking, wanted her to question him and argue with him until she made him come up with an answer, or lots of answers. He needed her to see what he wasn't seeing. He needed her a lot more than they needed her
    • The greatest work of all is the one that will die with us, the one that no one else will ever know of, because they remain perpetually outside. We can't even explain it to them. They don't have the language to understand us. We can only speak I to each other
    • He lived in one frozen, perfect moment - the moment when his heart was so full of love - no, not love. The moment when he decided, without love, that it would be better for his life, such as it was, to end than to have to watch [her] life end. It's is a moment that can be lived with for eternity
    • She had the sort of beauty that started wars
    • What do you mean, 'ah'? Just 'ah.' does every 'ah' have to mean something?
    • I am filled with all the truth that was discarded by men when they chose their lies and died for them. I am in constant pain, and now that I have met a man who does not add to my treasury of falsehood, you are the cruelest of them all.
    • Then [she] wept with all her heart. Not for the cruel and greedy man who had warred and killed and savaged everywhere he could. But for the boy who had somehow turned into that man, the boy whose gentle hand had comforted her childhood hurts, the boy whose frightened voice had cried out to her at the end of his life, as if he wondered why he had gotten lost inside himself, as if he realized that it was too, too late to get out again
    • The combination was irresistible even if he hadn't loved her desperately. (more than she loves me, he sometimes admitted to himself.) He did love her desperately, however, and while this did not mean that he utterly lost his own will, it did mean that he would go along with her, for a while at least, in almost anything. Even if she was a damned fool sometimes 'You're a damned fool sometimes I love you too'
    • All that you do is mortal - it is all born. It all dies. And yet you struggle against mortality and have overcome it, building up tremendous stores of shared knowledge through your finite books and your finite words. You put frames on everything Mass insanity, then. But it explains nothing about why you worship. You must come here to mock us. Not to mock you. To envy you Then die
    • We have found a race that builds for the sheer joy of building, that creates beauty, that writes books, that invents the lives of never-known people to delight other who know they are being lied to, a race that devises immortal gods to worship and celebrates it's own mortality with immense pomp and glory. Death is the foundation of all that is great about humanity
    • They were gnawed within by the grief of knowing that this greatest gift of all gifts was forever out of their reach.
    • God destroyed the world before. Once in a flood, when Noah rode it out in the ark. And once the tower of the worlds pride was destroyed in the confusion of tongues. The other times, if there were any other times, those times are all forgotten.
    • There was other folks who had a way of sucking you to them, without saying a thing, without doing a thing, you just went into a room and couldn't take your eyes off them, you wanted to be close - I saw that other kids felt the same way, just automatically liked them, you know? But I could feel it like they was on fire, and suddenly I was cold and needed to warm myself. And id say something about it and people would look at me like I was crazy enough to lock right up, and I finally caught on that I was the only one who had those feelings
    • The world will probably be destroyed again, unless we repent. And don't think you can hide from the angels. They start out as ordinary people, and you never know which ones. Suddenly god put the power of destruction in their hands, and they destroy. And just as suddenly, when all the destruction is done, the angels leaves them, and they're ordinary people
    • She was sure [he] would follow her. [he] would bend to her as he had always bent, resilient and accommodating
    • I realized that to [him], at least, cowardice was not something to be loathed, it was something to be cast out, to be exorcised, to be killed
    • He asked me quietly as we walked the next day, 'What have you done to the young soldier? Put the fear of god into him' I had meant to be funny. Odd, how a man can be careful in all his pronouncements, and then forget everything he knows as a joke comes to mind and he impulsively tells it
    • At last I was able to explain that I hadn't understood the implications of my statement in their language, that I was transliterating and certain words had different meanings and so on and so on
    • How is it possible that stupidity should end our lives when our enemies' cleverest stratagems had not
    • I'll never make a mess like that again in my whole life. It took hours! You guys may think being a messy kid is easy, but I can tell you it is really hard work!
    • Some people called it 'The time of undoing; ' some, wishing to be more positive, spoke of it as 'The replanting' or 'The restoring' or even 'The resurrection' of the earth. All these names were accurate. Something had been done, and now it was being undone. Much had died or been broken or killed, and now it was coming back to life
    • Why had he told her? Perhaps because he knew implicitly that he could trust her with his life. Or perhaps because she looked at him with such piercing intelligence that he knew that no other explanation than the truth could convince her. Even so, he had not told her half of it, for even she would have thought him mad
    • The vision of the gods without the power of the gods. What a terrible gift A glorious gift
    • When we intended to enjoy being cruel, we must transform our victim into either a beast or a god
    • They were right even though there was no way, no sensible way, no logical way they could be right
    • His vices were the vices of his time and culture, but his virtues transcended the milieu of his life
    • She felt a dizzying vertigo, as if she stood on the edge of a great chasm, and the ground had just shifted a little under her feet. What sort of arrogance did she have, even to imagine reaching back into the past and making changes? Who am I, she thought, if I dare to answer prayers intended for the gods?
    • You're very good at this. Practice a little more, so it doesn't sound memorized, and speeches like that will make your fortune, I promise you
    • What I hypocrite I am. To pretend that my motives are pure
    • Wreaking blood and carnage in the normal European Christian manner?
    • Most people, brought much more than this when they traveled. Perhaps because they were insecure, and needed to surround themselves with familiar things, or to feel that they had many choices to make each day when they dressed, so they didn't have to be so frightened or feel so powerless. Obviously that was not Hunahpuh's problem. He apparently never felt fear at all, or perhaps never regarded himself as a stranger. How remarkable it would be to feel at home in any place. I wish I had that gift
    • She will look at you as women look at men, and she will judge you as women judge men - not on the strength of their arguments, and not on their cleverness or prowess in battle, but rather on the force of their character, the intensity of their passion, the strength of their soul, their compassion, and - ah, this above all - their conversation
    • He shuddered at his own fragility. He had thought he was a stronger man than that
    • How is clean, painless nonexistence any worse than I clean, painless death?
    • The only perspective that matters is the human one, Tagiri knew. We are the only ones who care; we are the actors and the audience as well, all of us. And the critics. We are also the critics
    • Individual people always sacrifice for the sake of the community. When it matters enough, people sometimes even die, willingly, for the good of the community that they feel themselves to be a part of. As well as a thousand sacrifices short of death. And why? Why do we give up out individual desires, leave them unfulfilled, or work hard at tasks we hate or fear because others need us to do them?
    • First we try to preserve ourselves, until we see that we can't. Then we try to preserve our children, until we see we can't. Then we act to preserve our kin, and then our village or tribe, and when we see we can't preserve even them, then we act in order to preserve our memory. And if we can't do that, what is left? We finally have the perspective of trying to act for the good of humanity as a whole Or despairing
    • Is he really a believer? Father thinks so. He says the older you get, the more you believe in god, whatever face he wears
    • My head hurts. Don't you think we could get more drugs?
    • And this is not hypocrisy?:' Hypocrisy? No. The hypocrite knows what he really is, and labors to conceal it from others in order to gain from their misplaced faith in him
    • Tagiri fears the moral ambiguity in something that she knows she must do. She cannot live with not doing it, and yet fears she cannot live with doing it, either. So conceals it from herself in order to proceed with what she must do
    • Are they blind? They don't know how to watch things. They don't know how to see anything but what the expect to see
    • I'd be afraid to be your enemy. But I'd be even more afraid to be your friend in battle. You are sure your enemy is stupid because he doesn't do things as you would do them. It will make you careless, and your enemy will surprise you, and your friend will die
    • Cristoforo smiled, held out his arms, and embraced the lying bastard
    • He may be white, but he's still a man. Men always think they know the right thing, and so they don't listen
    • I don't like making people do things against their will No, sees-in-the-dark. You just refuse to leave them alone until they change their minds. Of their own free will
    • Gradually he began to realize that despite all the secrets she knew and all the strange powers that she seemed to have, she was not an angel or any other kind of supernatural being. She was a woman, still young, yet with a great deal of pain and wisdom in her eyes. She was a woman, and she was his friend. Why should that have surprised him? It was always from the love of strong women that he had found whatever joy had been granted him in his life
    • Was that disloyal of me? To look forward to the day when I could show you my work? Who else but you would understand what I achieved? Who else but me could know how far beyond our dreams you succeeded? We changed the world
    • I hoped for your company. For many conversations' she thought about it, but in the end she shook her head. 'It would be too:hard for me. This is too hard for me. Seeing you brings back another life. A time when I was another person maybe now and then. Every few years
    • She could never have been the woman of his dreams; there were times when he suspected she had once loved another man, too, that was as lost to her as both his Beatrice's were to him. Diko had been his teacher, his partner, his lover, his companion, the mother of many children, his true queen when they had shaped a great kingdom out of a thousand villages on fifty islands and two continents. He loved her. He was grateful to her. She had been a gift of god to him
    • There is no good thing that does not cost a dear price. That is what Cristoforo learned by looking back upon his life. Happiness is not a life without pain, but rather a life in which the pain is traded for a worthy price. That is what you gave me, lord.
    • If they were servants by nature,' said colon, ' you wouldn't have to beat them to get them to obey.
    • It's a brave man who beats a little child. They'll no doubt write songs about your courage.
    • Love is random; fear is inevitable.
    • Good people do not let others suffer needlessly
    • Damn this girl for her silence, for her seeing eyes
    • Matthew did not measure her bosom or her buttocks with his gaze. Rather he worshiped. But adoration - that laid upon her an obligation she did not know how to pay. At least, not in any coin she was willing to offer him
    • She had to forgive him, because Jesus would have. Well, Jesus ended up dead. That was the way it was with all gentle, weak people. And damn few of them got resurrected, either. It was only beneficent power - law, money, prestige - that kept trusting fools alive
    • There's always hope:.even when there isn't faith. And sometimes, without hope or faith, there must be charity
    • I was prepared for him to have human failings, but I did not know he would own me with his eyes as if he had a right
    • Afraid because his eyes still looked at her and said, mine, and because somewhere in her was something that answered, impossibly, yours
    • My aim is not to corrupt the weak, but to exalt the strong
    • There are 2 kinds of women a man can marry. The kind that's stronger than he is, and the kind that's weaker. I've lived with both, Charlie. It's hard to live with a strong woman, because she can make you afraid sometimes, and sometimes you feel like you aren't in control of your life. But let me tell you, boy, it's a damn sight better than living with a weak woman, because many a man isn't as good as his woman, but I never knew a husband who was better than his wife
    • I hate you for knowing my heart and using it against me
    • I don't know you You don't know anything
    • What games was god playing with her life?
    • How dare they suppress the truth, I thought. But in the months since then I have come to understand that there are different kinds of truth
    • To me, the truth is what actually happened. Yet it is impossible to know anything approaching the whole truth about past events. Even the people living them could not possibly understand. That truth is always out of reach
    • What do I tell him? Tell him that I will see him. She was startled. She was confused. She abandoned words, and sang her confusion. The song was meek and uncontrolled, for she would never be a master, not even a teacher, but wordlessly she asked Nniv why he would even listen to such a man, why he would risk have the rest of mankind think, the songhouse treats all men alike, judging only on merit, not on power - except for Mikal.
    • Ansset did not understand the words, but the tone of voice was clear. He understood the tone of voice instinctively, as he always had; it was his greatest gift, to know emotions even better than the person feeling them
    • He had expected many things. But not to have a 9 year old boy, however beautiful, speak with more command than an admiral of the fleet. Yet the boy's voice was an admirable lesson in strength. The chamberlain, who was never confused, was thrown into confusion
    • Don't try it with me. I can't be fooled Only a fool can't be fooled. You pretend not to like Mikal. But of all the people here, you're the one most like him
    • One of the dangers of being so close to the center of power - one had to accept the whims of the powerful
    • Ansset could clearly hear the fear singing through the back of his brave words. Well, why not? Death was certain now, and Ansset knew of no one, except perhaps an old man like Mikal, who could look at death, especially death that also meant failure, without some fear
    • Ansset watched, keeping his promise but wishing with all his heart that somewhere in his mind there was a wall he could hide behind. Unfortunately, he was too sane.
    • That when Bant left it was the end of the world for Josif, because when he attached to somebody he didn't know how to let go
    • He is so young He was never young
    • Kyaren, I don't want to leave you Then don't It's because I love you that I want to leave If you love me, you'll stay' he had known it, from the moment she appeared in the door. He couldn't leave her. When the change came, it would come, and then it would be irreversible, and then he would leave because he loved someone else and there was something in him that made it impossible for him to love 2 people at once. But not the one person was Kyaren, and he could not leave her because she wanted him to stay. 'Ill hurt you You could not hurt me worse than leaving me now, for no reason
    • She thinks it's all better now, Josif thought bitterly. She thinks she's kept me. She would have kept me better if she had let me go now.
    • Now I will never let go of you in my heart, Josif thought. I will love you forever, he thought. I am lying, he thought, and this time he was right
    • Why are you at war with yourself? I want things that I do not want to want. Please leave me But why shouldn't you have what you want?
    • He was growing up. Soon he would be a man. He wondered what that would mean. Surely he could not have more required of him as an adult that had been required of him as a child. There could not be more
    • Josif told me. That he thought he was going to fall in love with you. Did you mind? Why should I mind? There's plenty of love, what should I care? I love both you and him, you know, and you love both of us, but he kept talking as if it were something that could only - as if once he loved you, he would have to stop loving me. He said that. He said that if he ever made love to you it would be. It would be what? It would be after he stopped loving me
    • I was sad to see you go Anywhere. To anyone. I was yours, is that it? I had to love you most, is that it? If I thought of the songhouse as home, you couldn't bear that, could you? If I love the songhouse more than I loved this palace, then you'd take away the songhouse from me, wouldn't you? Only you had to twist it, so I'd hate them in the process, and not you at all. You couldn't have me hate you. I wanted your songs You wanted my songs more than you wanted my happiness. So you took my happiness, and stole my songs.
    • I want Josif. Now No Aren't you through? Do you think you can still save something? Or are you determined that if you can't have my love, and you can't, Riktors, you can't - then no one can. If you ever loved me, Riktors, you will let me have Josif. Now
    • You know that you still love him No Ansset, your love was never slight. You gave without bar, and received without caution, and just because it brought pain doesn't mean that it is gone
    • You are mine, but you are not mine. I am yours, but you hardly know it. He was not unhappy but he wasn't happy, either
    • Contempt is so easy
    • [he] looked death in the eye and did not seem disappointed
    • She needed his gentle hands and quiet tears, his lies and his affection. And so she pretended to believe that he really did need her
    • [He] then discovered what he had not known about himself. That when he trusted, he held nothing back. That when he loved, he could not love anyone else
    • She did not try to persuade him. Just hoped that, before she left, she could see a change in his view
    • Tuthmose heard this in silence. Because the idea comforted him? Or because he hated hearing from her, once again, that he was wrong?
    • The river was pure treachery, so smooth on top, the water so cool on a hot day, and yet there was death in it, murder in it's heart. Like the Egyptians. Such a darling child, they would say, and pat her head. And Miriam would answer in her heart : you made my father a slave. You want us all dead. You are the river, you and all of Egypt. You are the river and as long as we stay beside you we are in danger of drowning
    • Do you talk to your mistress like this? Like what? With utter honesty? Yes Impudently? Honesty always sounds like impudence to the vain and stupid
    • A mans dignity is never upheld by losing his self-control
    • No man can bear to live with a woman who speaks nothing but the truth to him. My mistress has often told me that no man could endure me for more than an hour
    • I think you underestimate the ability of some men to bear the truth No you underestimate the ability of some men to believe that when they are told what they want to hear, it must be true
    • You don't burn the house you want to dwell in. You don't sink the boat on which you ride
    • But she could see that she had wounded him. He had been stupid, but he was smart enough to recognize the fact
    • You really are children. You have no idea how power works, or who has it, or what you can actually do with it
    • A true leader finds out what will be good for his people and then shapes laws that will help achieve that good purpose. If the people don't understand what he's doing, he persuades them if he can. If they refuse to be persuaded, then he acts for their good anyway. And if doing this costs him power, then he would rather lose his power for doing right, than keep his power by doing wrong. Because he loves his people more than he loves his office
    • This is your obsession, he's your god, you do it
    • Admit it, Aaron. We're two of a kind. We both think we're leader of a mighty nation
    • Each incapable of knowing the others virtue, because like all children they only wanted to be known, and cared little about giving that gift to others
    • God's hand is strange to us. He cares nothing for the moment, nothing for the feeble ambitions of men and women. He sees the road that flows onward forever
    • Well here's some news for you, god, or gods: you can kill me, but until you do, you don't own me. I make my own choices, I go my own way. The storm will pass. The sand drops back down to the floor of the desert. And then you'll find out I was never sand at all, but a seed, and out of death I'll make life. You can't break me. And whatever plan you have in mind, you can't make me
    • I wish I was as smart as Zeforah,' said Hamar, her voice drippingly sweet. 'She always knows just how much is enough
    • Am I a sacred calf, and you a pagan to dance around me? I'm no pagan, papa. I'm just : exuberant I should have never taught Zeforah to read, if she's going to teach you words that the village boys don't understand
    • Clearly this stranger was the most interesting thing that had happened to Keturah in her entire life
    • What a heavy burden to bear Heaviest because there's nothing I can do Then it's not your burden, is it? The opposite is true. The burden is heavier precisely because I can't do anything about it
    • The man who has an intelligent child is doomed to spend his life justifying every decision he makes
    • Why bother coming up with more excuses when she knew the truth : that god had answered her prayer, not with the thing she asked for, but rather the thing she wanted most in her heart
    • So it was his own will, not gods, he wanted you to submit to? I don't think it ever occurred to him that there might be a difference between the two
    • Stop talking and kiss her, Moses With all due respect, Jethro, that's not for you to decide Stop talking and kiss me Now you, you get a vote
    • She wants to die, Aaron. Please try to constrain her so she doesn't take the rest of us with her' I don't want to die! I wasn't to live in freedom, like any of you!
    • Self-knowledge can be painful, but not half so damaging as self-ignorance
    • To be cut off from the land of the living, and yet not to be dead. How could I bear that? That's how most men live, and don't even know it
    • That's fine for you to say. But when does the miracle start? Some people can't see miracles when they're right in the middle of them Better than seeing miracles that don't exist You're determined to stand entirely alone, aren't you? That's where I've always stood
    • That was as childish as I've ever seen you act Shut up Envy is so ugly, especially when it's so nakedly expressed While your envy is all dressed up as loyalty. But some of us can see through the costume
    • I feel like such a fool Honest people are the easiest to fool, Elisheba. I never occurred to you that they might be flattering you, because you don't lie
    • It is the downfall of evil, that it never sees far enough ahead.
    • I was the last to know what was happening to me. Or at least I was the last to know that I knew
    • She never touched me, at least not as she had before, not with the promise of decades of passion in out future. She knew, but I did not yet know
    • We feel pain; what we don't feel is fear. Or rather, we've learned to separate pain and fear
    • It made me wonder if perhaps our ancestors' crimes were not in fact far more terrible than they claimed. After all, the only histories we possessed told their version of what happened, and in their accounts they were completely innocent. But aren't all monstrous criminals innocent in their own eyes? Don't all their victims somehow deserve to die, in their imagination at least?
    • From man to woman to angel. Next transformation, please?
    • I'm also vain. But I believe that true humility consists of recognizing the truth about yourself
    • I want to see the king Wonderful. I'm glad for you. Why are you so glad? Because it's good for every human being to have an unfulfilled wish. It makes all of life so poignant
    • Beside me was Savanna, her robe falling open carelessly (though I knew she was aware of just how much arousal each centimeter of her exposure produced), her finger tickling me unbearably while I pretended not to feel it
    • They were alive and so I was and I had no objections
    • Of all the traitors who have ever lived, Lanik Mueller, there must be a special place in hell reserved for you I've been to hell. It's a better place than this
    • We'll die heroically I'd rather live
    • Are we the only sane people in the world?
    • Maybe I'm worried because she seems to care less about the things that I care about You care about everything! How can anybody care so much! My father cares even more On the contrary, tight-gut, your father cares as little as we do. It's just that he tends to despair, while we are full of hope
    • I'm losing Savanna That's good. No one should own someone else
    • What are you laughing at? Life. And you' : 'It has no meaning for me. But it means something to you. We say that we are happy because we have hope, but it's a lie. We have no hope. You're the only person I've known in my life who had hope, lake-drinker. So leave here. This is a cemetery, leave here and you can save the world. You can, you know. Or if you can't, no one can
    • I walked down the hill, forgot philosophy, and joined the human race again. Nobody was particularly glad to see me
    • I immediately felt so comfortable there. Or if not comfortable, at least willing to bear the discomforts because they fit the awkward places in my heart
    • You are not what you seem So many people have said that that I'm beginning to think that's precisely how I do seem. What is it I seem to be that you have now discovered that I'm not?
    • There's a sort of rage a man feels when he's been deceived where he most trusted. It compares to no other anger
    • He deserved to die except that nothing deserves death
    • It would strip the structure of my soul forever. I had never believed I had a soul until then, when it laid bear a hurt more deep than any part of me could bear
    • For once, I could look forward to the relief of talking to someone to whom I didn't have to lie, someone who might be able to understand what I had done, who might not condemn me for it
    • I know what warfare is and I reject it Of course you reject it. Who can kill you? You'll never die. But out there are millions of people who can die
    • You hold freedom like a prize, and it's in your power to help others be free, but you're too selfish to reach out and give them freedom, too. Keep your freedom, keep your immortality, but somewhere along the line I hope you figure out what you're living forever for. What noble purpose you mean to achieve. Because you're no good to anyone here, not even yourselves
    • I hadn't know that. I hadn't known what price they would pay 'I'll do my best without your help'
    • Heroes and victims are the product of the mood they were in when opportunity came or when circumstances were at their worst
    • There was no distinction between the innocent and the guilty, between those whose deaths achieved no purpose and those who had to die if mankind on treason was to mean anything
    • For the first time I understood the haunting beauty of the song. It was the song of a killer who longer to die. It was the song of justice yearned for but not yet done
    • Even those regarded as evil want their deeds to be known
    • People's beliefs don't exist in isolation. Everyone's firmly held beliefs exert an enormous pressure on everyone else
    • Once someone honestly believes something to be a fact, he'll never doubt it without pretty convincing evidence
    • I wondered for a frightening moment how I dared to make such a decision for the whole world, without consulting anyone else. Then I laughed at myself. It was a little too late to wonder if I ought to play god. The game was already over
    • Savanna had said, 'Come back soon. Come back while you're still young enough to want me. For I'm going to be young forever' I wasn't young anymore, not by any definition of the word. But I wanted her. Perhaps I only wanted the innocence of the children we had been, making love beside the river, oblivious to the pain that could and surely would come to them. Still, I wanted her more than I wanted anyone else in the world, not because my passion was so overwhelming, but because all the other things I wanted were either painfully accomplished or so hopeless that I had given up on them. Only she was left
    • You looked so intense. Whatever you were saying, you seemed to mean it, and it wasn't amusing at all. Started quite a fashion. People keep looking for purpose now. Complicates everything
    • You don't exist, you can't be real she means it one way, but I believe it another
    • For all the planning and plotting that I did before I acted, I know that I was shaped more by circumstance that by my own will I wonder sometimes if I'm not, after all, a piece in some other players game, following blindly his grand designs without ever knowing that my path along the board is only a feint, while the important matters are played out elsewhere by other men
    • But whether there's some grand design really matters little to me. My only hope was this: to see what might be, to believe that it should be, and then to do all I could to bring it to pass, whatever the cost. When a life spins out as joyfully as mine has done, then the price, once paid so painfully, is now recalled in gladness. I have received full value
    • A strange people, at once cruel and kind, strong and weak, and so quick to change from one extreme to the other that I could not predict what they would do.
    • Even the devil gives some justice to his victims, when they're beyond all help.
    • A year ago? It was yesterday. It was forever.
    • I'm old. I can't cope with all this.' Can you cope with survival? Maybe we'll all survive, after all.
    • Faithfulness had taken me by surprise. I wondered how long the phase would last.
    • Unfree as the world was. They didn't really know it, and they were at peace. Who was I to think that this peace was worse than war?
    • We haven't the power to change men's hearts. We're not responsible. It isn't our fault. Your hands are clean aren't they? Out here where the sun keeps everything pure. But you're not pure! Because if you could stop the suffering and dying, and didn't stop it, the you are guilty. It is your fault. We kill no one. We do not let them kill us. We have nothing to do with them
    • How would we be different from them, killing those whose actions we don't like? I don't know! Maybe there's a measuring rod somewhere in the universe where men's' acts are judged, and those who kill other men for the sake of power will be judged more harshly than those who kill those power-hungry men for the sake of freedom. But if there's no place in the universe for a man to resist the thieves of freedom and still be called a good man, then I don't think there is any good or evil in the universe, and it all means nothing and it wouldn't make any difference, there comes a time when you have to take lives in order to - listen to me - in order to -
    • They're afraid of death! Can you at least imagine what that means? We fear death, too No... You resent death. You regret death. But as for your own life, you know perfectly well that no one can threaten it at all. Death is something that happens to someone else.
    • You have so little love for your own life?' You don't know, you've never been alone like I have, but in my solitude I've discovered something. That I'm passing through the world invisibly. Even when people see or speak to me it's as if I didn't exist, as if I had no right to exist. I tread across their lands and they don't see me. I act and act and act and nothing makes any difference in the world. But they touch me.
    • I thought that when I trusted you, that meant you would always act the way I wanted you to.
    • I began to suspect that the ultimate sacrifice isn't death after all; the ultimate sacrifice is willingly bearing the fullest penalty for your own actions.
    • [He] wanted to die. Not die too, because he wasn't going to think of [her] dying to especially of her already being dead. No, he wanted to die instead. A swap, a trade. Oh god, let me die instead. Put me on this bed and let her go on home... Let it be me they give up on. Let it be my plug they pull. Not [hers]
    • What [he] saw in his dream of her was the old [her], his best friend... Whose body was as lean as a boy's, [she] who was really his brother and sister, his teacher and his confidante. [she] who always understood everything and guided him past the really dumb mistakes of life and made him feel like everything was safe, if you were just smart enough and careful enough.
    • Deep inside himself, in a place he didn't often go, where he kept the things he didn't like to think about but dared not forget, he knew that [she] was still alive somewhere, and somehow she was watching what he did, or at least looking in on him from time to time
    • Everybody dies. What matters is what you do between now and when it happens to you. It was especially important for [him], because he was living for two
    • What is this thing between women, like men are a joke that woman all told each other long ago but men never get it.
    • Only maybe he did get it. The joke wasn't men, the joke was people who didn't know what they wanted to give or get and so kept disappointing and being disappointed.
    • [He] didn't know what he wanted, but he did know what he didn't want. What he didn't want was any of the girls at school. He had lots of friends who were girls. He liked them. Nice girls. Just not for him.
    • Yesterday it was a challenge. Today it wasn't
    • So there he was with... No career, and, to put it candidly, no life. It was as if he had been running a long, long race and finally realized that there was nobody else in it with him, he had crossed the finish line years ago and didn't notice it because not a soul was there to cheek for him and clap him on the back and say 'Good run... Good run!' Or come to think of it, maybe they were there, only [he] himself didn't care what they thought of him and so he sloughed off their praise and their friendship because he was waiting for the one voice he'd never hear again.
    • Then he thought, is my life so empty that this is the best thing I can think of to think about?
    • It doesn't have as much fat as the Haagen-Dazs, does it?
    • All children are manipulators
    • She had that irony in her eyes. Knowledge without wisdom. Power without purpose. Like me.
    • The one thing I can't have in all this world is [her]. But she's what I've wanted, all day, all month, all these years
    • Grownup men don't share their lives with their sisters, they share them with their wives
    • He felt sick with the sense of loss. What have I been doing all these years? How stupid can a reasonably bright guy be?
    • Why have I made myself as solitary as the dead?
    • Hello, I'm a multimillionaire who is pathologically lonely and so filled with pent-up longings that you have only to think of a desire and I'll satisfy it. Mind if I come in?
    • Did any of these lines actually work? And even if they did, what came of it? One-night stands? Quick torrid affairs? Did any of these deliberate encounters lead to something that cured loneliness instead of simply easing the symptoms for an hour or two? [he] wasn't interested in meeting the kind of women who would come to one of those places looking for the kind of man who hoped to meet a woman there
    • I might have been on the outside looking in; at the bottom looking up. Now I'm on the outside, all right, but above, looking down. I don't need anything these people have to offer. What I need, they don't even care about. Some of them probably even have it, and are wasting it, losing it.
    • It's in the nature of young men to be lonely. Did you think you were unique?
    • I will call I've heard that line before No you haven't. That's the guy's line, so I know you haven't heard it, and I don't think you've even said it
    • Power was my dream. You're real
    • Of course she wasn't going to call, he knew that.
    • It was the first time he had actually enjoyed the company of a woman as a woman. It was possible. That's what this evening meant. There was hope for him to find someone. There really were interesting women out there and there were even some who might find him interesting, not for his money, but for his conversation, his company. He refused to be disappointed that this particular encounter hadn't lead anywhere.
    • With [her] in his life [he] was beginning to realize how deeply unhappy he had been all these years. It took such small things, just her smile, her hand resting on his, and he would get this glow inside and he'd find himself wearing this goofy grin and nodding at everything she said and he'd realize: this is pretty good! This is what other people have known about all these years and tried to tell me!
    • He wouldn't mind a bit if it kept going like this pretty much for the rest of his life
    • Sometimes people aren't what they seem I know that... No you don't... Because you are exactly what you seem, and so you always assume that other people are, too
    • I'm very happy for you... True love is rare
    • If there's one thing I've learned, it's that when you have enough money the law is a reed that will always bend your way
    • He just has no sense of tact, he never has
    • That's what I love most about you... You have no ambition what so ever
    • The answer was so obvious to her that she clearly didn't understand a word he was saying
    • It's cold You should have put your jammies back on last night After you went to all the trouble of pulling them off with your teeth? In your dreams You mean I was dreaming?
    • Husbands are usually so overrated
    • He felt something touch him, warm and deep, like a candle burst inside his heart. Like a soft breath of joy that swept through him, and he looked up to ask her what it was she did to him, how she could give him such a gift of life. But she was gone.
    • I once thought you were the only island of sanity in a screwed-up world. You had no connections except your parents. You didn't get emotionally involved... No waste. No lies. No illusions. Then you fall in love with a woman and she leaves you and you come to me with this story and I swear... I've lost all faith in the human race
    • Young love is so hard
    • I've been loving a lie
    • I am the truth. I am the deepest truth in the most secret places of your heart. I am all your dreams come true.
    • Pretending to be happy with each other when they're both so desperately lonely because along week three of their marriage they realized they didn't really know each other and they never would, they'd be strangers together for the rest of their lives. But they couldn't live with that, nobody can, I've seen thousands of marriages and they can't face it that they're paired up with a stranger and so the decent ones, the ones who want to be good, they pretend to be whatever their partner wants them to be, and then they pretend to believe in their partners pretense
    • The only difference between them and me is that I'm so good at it
    • What is reality?
    • If I believe it she can kill me with my own fear
    • Aren't you the strong one. Aren't you brave, to insist on reality. You never could face your own dreams.
    • Please, someday if I'm real good, can't I be a real girl?
    • His eyes stayed open. Seeing nothing. Seeing everything
    • Why are you here? Because when I get the answers to my questions, I want to be able to act on them immediately
    • The ways of love are strange and hard: the love you want is always barred; the love you have you want to change. The ways of love are hard and strange
    • Am I really that stupid looking?
    • Why give you answers you wont believe? Well, answers I don't believe would be a step forward
    • There are stranger things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy
    • Please open your mind to the possibility that I might be an honest man who was himself deceived
    • I always think of books as being like people. Even the dull ones are worthy of decent respect, but you don't have to seek them out and spend time with them The disadvantage with people is that you can't put bookmarks in them and set them aside till you want them again
    • Was he simply too tired to care what he said?
    • He liked [her] and so he didn't want to be polite with her, he wanted to be honest and so he said what he believed
    • Was this a flirtatious conversation for it's own sake? Or did he unconsciously mean something by it?
    • You're thinking of your wife Yeah, well, I was thinking that I still feel married I'm glad to hear it. I've known too many men who never quite felt married no matter how many wives they'd been through. Their own and otherwise
    • He liked a woman who knew how to spell out the rules. He also like it that she had the same rules as he did
    • She's not ignorant, she's just stupider than I ever imagined
    • I know absolutely nothing about anything
    • Dangerous people... As dangerous when they loved you as they were when they hated you. That is, if you ever really loved anybody, instead of just using them
    • A man who has loved the perfect lover isn't likely to find a substitute very soon
    • But was there really any place on earth where he could be free of this?
    • Do what I want. Well, that's great advice. But what if the thing I want most in all the world can't be done?
    • Home is where the people who live there need me to come home to them, and worry about me when I'm gone. There's no such place on this earth, no matter how far I drive
    • What's so wrong with feeling sorry for myself? Better that than trying to get other people to feel sorry for me. And somebody sure ought to, because my life is definitely in the pitiful range, if it hasn't already dropped on down into disastrous
    • Death's alright. But not worth going through any extra trouble to get here. You miss everything when you're here... Even the pain. Even the despair.
    • The message seemed to be, you can't change anything and you'll end up dead so why try?
    • A little learning is a dangerous thing
    • Absolute power corrupts absolutely
    • You're not as smart as you think you are You're not smart enough to judge
    • I wasn't crazy to love her was I? ...we're all crazy to love anybody. But it drives us even crazier if we don't
    • Once you duct-tape a Ziploc bag to a man's chest, there's no going back.
    • [He] had never been beaten up. He had, however, seen the Rodney king tape.
    • Sometimes it was very nice to have monsters and lawyers. Why ordinary people didn't strangle arrogant bureaucrats more often, [he] didn't know.
    • Whenever I hear you saying, rise and shine, rise and shine, it makes me think how lucky dead people are!
    • Do you realize what you're saying? You're saying, please take me out of heaven, god, and send me to hell
    • It's no challenge to destroy the weak
    • I love only life. But life can only continue in the face of death.
    • Something was bitterly wrong with the world, they could see that; they had all felt anger in the past, but till now something had always come between the thought and the act, and calmed them. Now, tonight, that calm was gone. They could feel it in themselves, nothing soothing their fear, nothing telling them wordlessly, all is well.
    • Have you come to take away the pain again?' The man shook his head. The hope had been brief, but the disappointment was no less deep because of that. 'If you can't do that then what good are you to us?
    • They speak in my mind. Like' - and he hesitated before saying the childhood word - 'Angels.
    • You would turn away one who comes teaching the name of god? The wicked can use god's name as well as god How can we ever know, then, unless we try them? Or should we cast away all men who use the name of god, for fear they're blasphemers? What name will god use, then?
    • What are they afraid of? 'Dying first But they still die don't they?
    • There is nothing so stupid or dangerous or painful that people wont eagerly do it, if by doing it they will make others believe that they are better or stronger or more honorable. I've seen people poison themselves, destroy their children, abandon their mates, cut themselves off from the world, all so that others would think that they were a better sort of person.
    • Justice hates it when I make people obey me out of fear. She thinks it's ugly and not nice. She always used to make people obey her by changing what they wanted, so it didn't occur to them to disobey. I think that's degrading and turns people into animals
    • Who were they to play god with his life? They had been playing god with his life from the beginning
    • The truth was that neither the first nor the second test proved anything. But if they thought it proved something, he was just as dead.
    • You must be careful. You must never know things you couldn't possibly know. It makes people upset
    • It's the only way to save your life Did you ever ask me if I wanted my life to be saved?
    • Who are you, god? You decide who's supposed to live and how?
    • Who are you? A question I've been trying to answer since adolescence. I finally decided that I was neither god nor Satan. I was so disappointed that I didn't try to narrow it down any further
    • Doon is the devil, isn't he? Was. He's dead now. At least, he promised me that he'd die But was he? The devil? Satan. The adversary. The enemy of the plan of god. The undoer. The destroyer. Yes. He definitely was. But he meant well
    • I wish I had been like you I wish I had been like you
    • People always believer things were better - before
    • You had no choice No, but you'd be amazed at how often people who have no choice act as if they had one, and lose everything because they could not bear to do what had to be done
    • The puppet, wishes to be free You are free. Stay and die, go and live - you have your choice What choice is that! What do you expect, an infinite selection? To have a choice at all is to be free - even when the choice is between two terrible things. Which is the most terrible, Jason? Which do you hate the most? Then choose the other and be glad
    • To be without Doon, that was what frightened Jason the most. Doon was the foundation for his life, for good or ill; ever since Doon had found him, Jason had known nothing could go wrong in his life - Doon was watching. Now when he stumbled, who would lift him up? This was freedom after all, Jason realized, because from now on no one would save him from the consequences of his own acts. It wasn't freedom that I yearned for, was it? It was childhood that I wanted, and Doon is barring me from my refuge; he has been my father all these years, and now he's thrusting me away. 'Ill never forgive you for this'
    • I'm so much like you that to love me is purest narcissism
    • It's what isn't me in you that I most love. Where I have torn down, you will build up. I have made chaos for you, and the world is without form, and void. You are the light that will shine on the face of the deep
    • I hate it when you say things you've been practicing up to say
    • My strongest memories are yours
    • I found out from their memories just what kind of person each was. Some were haters, the sort of people you'd expect to find in any conspiracy to kill. Others were merely afraid, others were dedicated to a cause - but I didn't care that much why they had wanted me dead. I needed to know more the purposes of their lives, what made them choose their choices
    • If you don't hold on with at least one hand while you're balancing on only one foot up here, I'm going to throw you down myself to end the suspense
    • He had an overdeveloped sense of empathy. He could imagine other peoples suffering, and felt it himself. His mother had used that against him all his life, torturing him with guilt for all the suffering of her life
    • They had no use for a god who couldn't save them from everything
    • This time he saw himself more clearly than before. He no longer believed the happiness, of course, but neither did he believe the scorn. He saw himself as if from a distance of years.
    • He saw that he was young, but he did not hold it against himself. He also saw that he was happy, but he did not wish that he still felt that way. He remembered too well the pain of discovering how foolish he had been. He saw himself more as father had seen him, as a boy on a path of years, echoing childhood with every move, promising manhood also.
    • And that combination of foolish happiness, shame, and love - meant something. Until then, the memories had meant nothing. But these visions of today had taken on a powerful resonance; his whole life trembled with it
    • I've been wounded and you're using the bloody place to teach me, and if that's what gods are supposed to do, then I wish there were no gods at all
    • A house of your own soon enough It was this house I wanted to belong in. He hates me now,, and ill never have a chance again to make it right Give him time to see you as a man on your own, and he'll come around, you'll see. Now me. He wont forgive me. I look too much like grandfather, don't you see? I never had a chance here
    • I never knew I love father till he lay there at the brink of death. Perhaps I never did love him, until he was nearly gone. It seemed a very powerful thought, until it occurred to him that justice probably put it into his mind
    • People aren't individuals, even though we all think we are. Even before I came, what did you know of yourself, except what your family told you? Their tales of your childhood became your vision of yourself; you imitated your father and mother both, learned what it means to be a human being from them. Every pattern of your life has been bent and shaped by what other people do and what other people say
    • He had only filled himself with anger, and he could not cease to hate just because he was asked to; not even because he wanted to
    • She is god, not you She was the least of the gods, if you want to call them that. But then, at the end she was the greatest
    • Hypocrites, I said to them. You dare to rob mankind of all it's pain, yet treasure your own agonies. Who watches you?
    • Did you ever think that however much they railed against the universe or fate or god or whatever else, that they might not thank you for stealing from them all that makes them human?
    • For the first time Lared did not fear her and did not hate her, for the first time he understood what lay behind her choice, and though he thought that it was wrong, he realized it was not justice's fault
    • No child can be understood without knowing the parents; no revolution can be understood without knowing the ancient regime; no colony can be understood without knowing the mother country; no new world can be understood without knowing the old world that went before.
    • I don't believe that there are aliens. I believe there are really different people.
    • Catholics will see anything that can talk as a baptizable person.
    • We're still struggling to find a significant amount of intelligence here, so no.
    • I don't know a soul who doesn't maintain two separate lists of doctrines - the ones that they believe that they believe; and the ones that they actually try to live by. (Shadow of the Hegemon) Spoken by Sister Carlotta
    • Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to be controlled by good people, by people who love you. (Ender's Game) Valentine to Ender
    • Which is why she knew that her feelings toward Bean were completely different. No such dreams and fantasies. Just a sense of complete acceptance. She belonged with Bean, not the way that a wife belonged with a husband or, God forbid, a girlfriend with a boyfriend, but rather way the left hand belonged to the right. They simply fit. Nothing exciting about it, nothing to write home about. But it could be counted on. (Shadow of the Hegemon) Petra
    • Many who were listening felt a vague disquiet. They had expected oration. Instead the Speaker's voice was nothing remarkable. And his words had none of the formality of religious speech. Plain, simple, almost conversational. Only a few of them noticed that its very simplicity made his voice, his speech utterly believable. He wasn't telling the Truth, with trumpets; he was telling the truth, the story that you wouldn't think to doubt because it's taken for granted.
    • But you tell me that you loved her, though she was an adulteress. Isn't she the same person tonight? Has she changed between yesterday and today? Or is it only you who have changed?
    • I loved Libo, the way everybody in Milagre loved him. But he was willing to be a hypocrite, and so were you, and without anybody even guessing, the poison of your lies hurt us all. I don't blame you, Mother, or him. But I thank God for the Speaker. He was willing to tell us the truth, and it set us free.
    • I thought you said you liked this kid. 'If the buggers get him, they'll make me look like his favorite uncle.' 'All right. We're saving the world, after all. Take him.'
    • 'I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. -Ender's Game
    • Ender would be pleased - every one of them was stupid.
    • 'At last he came to a door, with these words in glowing emeralds: THE END OF THE WORLD He did not hesitate. He opened the door and stepped through.'
    • Well, I'm your man. I'm the bloody bastard you wanted when you had me spawned. I'm your tool, and what difference does it make if I hate the part of me that you most need? What difference does it make that when the little serpents killed me in the game, I agreed with them, and was glad.
    • Forget it, Mazer. I don't care if I pass your test, I don't care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won't let you beat me unfairly - I'll beat you unfairly first.
    • Isn't that what it means to be civilized? That you can wait to get what you want? -Ender's Shadow
    • Once you duct-tape a Ziploc bag to a man's chest, there's no going back. -Treasure Box
    • There are worse reasons to die...than to die because you cannot bear to kill. (Speaker for the Dead)
    • The opposite. I love only life. But life can only continue in the face of death. (The Worthing Saga)
    • Everybody dies. What matters is what you do between now and when it happens to you. (Treasure Box)
    • Please don't disillusion me. I haven't had breakfast yet. -Children of the Mind
    • Good people can't out-think evil, cause evil thinks of things good folks can't think of. -Homebody
    • Fiction is a very poor tool for conversion, because if I label it as fiction then I'm telling you it's a pack of lies from the very start.
    • Well, I wish I could tell you that Ender is like me, but Ender is very, very smart.
    • When you really know somebody, you can't hate them...or maybe it's just that you can't really know them until you stop hating them.
    • ...But when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart. Speaker for the Dead
    • The great forces of history were real, after a fashion. But when you examined them closely, those great forces always came down to the dreams and hungers and judgments of individuals. The choices they made were real. They mattered. Atlantis
    • When you decide to hide something from me, will you at least tell me that aren't going to tell me?
    • 'If human beings are all monsters, why should I sacrifice anything for them?'
    • 'Because they are beautiful monsters..., And when they live in a network of peace and hope, when they trust the world and their deepest hungers are fulfilled, then within that system, that delicate web, there is joy. That is what we live for, to bind the monsters together, to murder their fear and give birth to their beauty.'' (Wyrms)
    • No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.
    • Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be. -Ender's Game
    • Knowledge is just opinion that you trust enough to act upon. -Children of the Mind
    • 'I'm not stupid!' In Bean's experience, that was a sentence never uttered except to prove its own inaccuracy. -Ender's Shadow
    • I am going to write you into a story someday, my friend. Remember that the ultimate power is mine. You may decide what you will do in this life, up to the point. But I will decide what others think of you, and not just now but long after you're dead. (The Tales of Alvin Maker)
    • This emotion I'm feeling now, this is love, right?
    • That's influenza,' said Miro. 'Watch for nausea or diarrhea within a few hours.
    • ... if he was a good man, how could he leave me? So he must not be a good man. But if he isn't good, then why does it hurt so much to lose him? -Enchantment
    • If I read it in the newspapers, it's probably wrong. If I read it in the major news magazines, it's hopelessly wrong.
    • We care about moral issues, nobility, decency, happiness, goodness-the issues that matter in the real world, but which can only be addressed, in their purity, in fiction.
    • Every action of Al-Qaeda is part of Osama's cynical plan to become the Caliph of Islam. He is persuading young Muslim men to kill themselves in order to further his own climb to absolute power over all Muslims, and then (he hopes) over the whole world. These young Muslim men, Osama says, are 'martyrs, but every Muslim knows that martyrs are killed by the enemy, not self-murdered in order to kill innocents. Because they believe Osama's teachings, these young men cut themselves off from a lifetime of service to God, a lifetime of fathering children who would grow up to serve God. Instead they die in service of Osama's ambition. They are, in effect, suffering the same fate as the eunuchs who served as loyal slaves in the court of the Sultan in Istanbul. Cut off from the hope of having families of their own, their lives were spent in the service of Sultans who claimed to be religious leaders but were really nothing more than vicious exploiters and oppressors of the Muslim
    • I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it. -Ender's Game
    • Her action ... meant one thing to him and something quite different to her; it was so different that it was not even the same event.
    • If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.
    • Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be. (Ender's Game)
    • Isn't that the sweetest little well-balanced undergraduate-level philosophy of life. -Children of the Mind
    • (Regarding humans.) They never know anything. They don't have enough years in their little lives to come to an understanding of anything at all. And yet they think they understand. From earliest childhood, they delude themselves into thinking they comprehend the world, while all that's really going on is that they've got some primitive assumptions and prejudices. As they get older they learn a more elevated vocabulary in which to express their mindless pseudo-knowledge and bully other people into accepting their prejudices as if they were truth, but it all amounts to the same thing. Individually, human beings are all dolts.
    • Your trust in rationality makes you irrational. (Children of the Mind)
    • And it came into Hooch's mind that when both parties are lying and they both know the other party's lying, it comes powerful close to being the same thing as telling the truth. -Red Prophet
    • Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth. -Ender's Game
    • And then he thought: Is this how idiots rationalize their stupidity to themselves? -Ender's Shadow
    • Only one rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So, of course, we killed him. (Speaker for the Dead)
    • Everyone you say who says that they have no religious beliefs is just so certain about their belief that they accept it as truth. If you just start asking probing questions, and they start getting mad, then you've found their religion.
    • Religion is tied to the deepest feelings people have. The love that arises from that stewing pot is the sweetest and strongest, but the hate is the hottest, and the anger is the most violent. -Children of the Mind
    • It is the downfall of evil, that it never sees far enough ahead. -Stone Tables
    • Faster than light travel - do I think it could happen in the way I describe? [snort] No.
    • There are science fiction readers and science fiction convention attenders, and they are very different groups.
    • Doesn't it make you wonder about your own sexual identity, not to mention your sanity, that the two women you love are, respectively, a virtual woman existing only in the transient ansible connections between computers and a woman whose soul is in fact that of a man who is the husband of your mother? (Children of the Mind)
    • Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. [...] So it is a flat lie to say that homosexuals are deprived of any civil right pertaining to marriage. To get those civil rights, all homosexuals have to do is find someone of the opposite sex willing to join them in marriage. (writing in the Rhinoceros Times)
    • The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally. (writing for The Ornery American)
    • Oddly enough, even as I am attacked by some as a homophobe, I am attacked by others as being too supportive of homosexuality, simply because I cannot see individual homosexuals, in or out of my books, as anything other than human beings with as complex a combination of good and evil in them as I find within myself. (writing for Nauvoo)
    • I want to understand everything,' said Miro. 'I want to know everything and put it all together to see what it means.' 'Excellent project,' she [Jane] said. 'It will look very good on your resume. (Speaker for the Dead) Conversation between Miro and Jane.
    • ...But when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart. (Speaker for the Dead)
    • I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. '(Ender's Game) Spoken by Ender
    • We become one tribe because we say we're one tribe.
    • You can't defeat a powerful enemy unless you understand him completely, and you can't understand him unless you know the desires of his heart, and you can't know the desires of his heart until you truly love him.
    • I am your enemy, the first one you've ever had who was smarter than you. There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will ever tell you what the enemy is going to do. No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong. And the rules of the game are what you can do to him and what you can stop him from doing to you. I am your enemy from now on. From now on, I am your teacher. -Ender's Game
    • War triggers human inventiveness at the most brilliant, because if you don't win your wars, your civilization disappears -Empire
    • The great irony of war is this: While war is the ultimate expression of mistrust, it cannot be waged without absolute trust. A soldier trusts his comrades to stand beside him and his commander to lead him wisely, so that he will not be led to a meaningless death. And the commander trusts his subordinates and soldiers to act with wisdom and courage in order to compensate for his own ignorance, stupidity, incompetence, and fear, which all commanders possess in ample measure. -Empire
    • There are hard wars and easy wars. It's easy to conquer a country whose people hate their own government more than they hate the invaders. It's hard to fight a war when your army knows that back home, their families are rooting for the other side. -Empire
    • 'The wise are not wise because they make no mistakes. They are wise because they correct their mistakes as soon as they recognize them. -Xenocide
    • Only stupid men trying to seem smart need to be with dumb women. Only weak men trying to look strong are attracted to compliant women.
    • If you write like James Joyce, you will have an audience of twenty. The other nineteen - besides your mother, because your father won't read it - will only be reading it to find out how on earth you got published.
    • You need to remember that what you're dealing with here is the ideas I had when I was 16 that I'm putting in my fiction now.
    • Tell the story plainly and clearly.
    • I wonder sometimes if the motivation for writers ought to be contempt, not admiration. (from the introduction to the story collection Future on Fire, where he discusses writers he considers to be hacks.)
    • If it isn't a wonderful story first, who cares how 'important' it is? (Ibid.)
    • Among my most prized possessions are the words that I have never spoken.
    • Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf. Survival first, then happiness as we can manage it.
    • It's the middle class that feels the luxury of being able to have causes.
    • Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.
    • The criminal misuse of time was pointing out the mistakes. Catching them - noticing them - that was essential. If you did not in your own mind distinguish between useful and erroneous information, then you were not learning at all, you were merely replacing ignorance with false belief, which was no improvement.
    • [They] have a higher allegiance to their own conscience than to the rules others set down for them. It's a failing, if your object is to maintain order, but if your goal is to learn and adapt, it's a virtue.
    • Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden.
    • Your work is first, learning is first, winning is everything because without it there is nothing.
    • Ender's Game
    • Speaker for the Dead
    • Xenocide
    • Children of the Mind
    • Ender's Shadow
    • orson scott card

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