Philip K. Dick · 259 pages
Rating: (123.1K votes)
“A weird time in which we are alive. We can travel anywhere we want, even to other planets. And for what? To sit day after day, declining in morale and hope.”
“Truth, she thought. As terrible as death. But harder to find.”
“They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archtype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshipped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.”
“What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small… and you will escape the jealousy of the great.”
“Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally. Waking up.”
“On some other world, possibly it is different. Better. There are clear good and evil alternatives. Not these obscure admixtures, these blends, with no proper tool by which to untangle the components.”
“When I was a child, I thought as a child. But now I have put away childish things. ... I must be scientific.”
“We are all insects. Groping towards something terrible or divine.”
“There is evil! It's actual, like cement.
I can't believe it. I can't stand it.
Evil is not a view ... it's an ingredient in us. In the world. Poured over us, filtering into our bodies, minds, hearts, into the pavement itself.”
“What profit it a man if he gain the whole world but in this enterprise lose his soul?”
“We do not have the ideal world, such as we would like, where morality is easy because cognition is easy. Where one can do right with no effort because he can detect the obvious.”
“Dilemma of civilized man; body mobilized, but danger obscure.”
“Can anyone alter fate? All of us combined... or one great figure... or someone strategically placed, who happens to be in the right spot. Chance. Accident. And our lives, our world, hanging on it.”
“The universe will never be extinguished because just when the darkness seems to have smothered all, to be truly transcendent, the new seeds of light are reborn in the very depths. That is the Way. When the seed falls, it falls into the earth, into the soil. And beneath, out of sight, it comes to life.”
“I feel the hot winds of karma driving me.”
“Am I racially kin to this man? Baynes wondered. So closely so that for all intents and purposes it is the same? Then it is in me, too, the psychotic streak. A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this? And—how many of us do know it?”
“One cannot judge by book being best seller. We all know that. Many best sellers are terrible trash.”
“They know a million tricks, those novelists. Take Doctor Goebbels; that's how he started out, writing fiction. Appeals to the base lusts that hide in everyone no matter how respectable on the surface. Yes, the novelist knows humanity, how worthless they are, ruled by their testicles, swayed by cowardice, selling out every cause because of their greed - all he's got to do is thump on the drum, and there's his response. And he's laughing, of course, behind his hand at the effect he gets.”
“We're blind moles. Creeping through the soil, feeling with our snoots. We know nothing. I perceived this . . . now I don't know where to go. Screech with fear, only. Run away.”
“It goes on, he thought. The internecine hate. Perhaps the seeds are there, in that. They will eat one another at last, and leave the rest of us here and there in the world, still alive. Still enough of us once more to build and hope and make a few simple plans.”
“Send that," he told her. "Sign it, et cetera. Work the sentences, if you wish, so that they will mean something." As she started from the office he added, "Or so that they mean nothing. Whichever you prefer.”
“Philosophical involvement blinded me to authentic human fact.”
“But we cannot do it all at once; it is a sequence. An unfolding process. We can only control the end by making a choice at each step.”
“A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this?-And-how many of us do know it? Not Lotze. Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally. Waking up. I suppose only a few are aware of all this. Isolated persons here and there. But the broad masses...what do they think? All these hundreds of thousands in this city, here. Do they imagine that they live in a sane world? Or do they guess, glimpse the truth...?
But, he thought, what does it mean, insane? A legal definition. What do I mean? I feel it, see it, but what is it?
He thought, it is something they do, something they are. It is their unconsciousness. Their lack of knowledge about others. Their not being aware of what they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing. No, he thought. That isn't it. I don't know; I sense it, inuit it. But-they are purposely cruel...is that it? No. God, he thought, I can't find it, make it clear. Do they ignore parts of reality? Yes. But it is more. It is their plans. Yes, their plans. The conquering of the planets. Something frenzied and demented, as was their conquering of Africa, and before that, Europe and Asia.
Their view; it is cosmic. Not of man here, a child there, but an abstraction: race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honorable men but of Ehre itself, honor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Gute, but not good men, this good man. It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life. Because eventually there will be no life; there was once only the dust particles in space, the hot hydrogen gases, nothing more, and it will come again. This is an interval, ein Augenblick. The cosmic process is hurrying on, crushing life back into the granite and methane; the wheel turns for all life. It is all temporary. And they-these madmen-respond to the granite, the dust, the longing of the inanimate; they want to aid Natur.
And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. it is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate-confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.
What they do not comprehend is man's helplessness. I am weak, small, of no consequence to the universe. It does not notice me; I live on unseen. But why is that bad? Isn't it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy. Be small...and you will escape the jealousy of the great.”
“Life is short, he thought. Art, or something not life, is long, stretching out endless, like concrete worm. Flat, white, unsmoothed by any passage over or across it. Here I stand. But no longer.”
“Nothing. Heart pounding. Respiration and all somatic processes including all manner of diencephalic-controlled autonomic responses to crises: adrenalin greater heartbeat pulse rate glands pouring throat paralysed eyes staring bowels loose et al. Stomach queasy and sex instinct suppressed.
And yet nothing to see nothing for body to do. Run All in preparation for panic flight. But where to and why Mr Tagomi asked himself. No clue. Therefore impossible. Dilemma of civilized man body mobilized but danger obscure.”
“We really do see astigmatically, in fundamental sense: our space and time creations of our own psyche and when these momentarily falter - like acute disturbance of middle ear.
Occasionally we list eccentrically, all sense of balance gone.”
“It will end, Childan thought. Someday. The very idea of place. Not governed and governing, but people.”
“Watching him, Juliana thought, It's idealism that makes him that bitter. Asking too much out of life. Always moving on, restless and griped.”
“Perché non rilassarsi un po'? Magari una passeggiata in macchina fino al Golden Gate Park, con lo zoo e i pesci? Fare una visita dove le cose che non possono pensare provano comunque gioia.”
“Plenty of time for a close friendship to turn to hate. As only a good friendship could. The conduit to the heart was already created.”
“One cannot refute Christianity; one cannot refute a disease of the eye.”
“Science is a grand thing when you can get it; in its real sense one of the grandest words in the world. But what do these men mean, nine times out of ten, when they use it nowadays? When they say detection is a science? When they say criminology is a science? They mean getting outside a man and studying him as if he were a gigantic insect; in what they would call a dry impartial light; in what I should call a dead and dehumanized light. They mean getting a long way off him, as if he were a distant prehistoric monster; staring at the shape of his “criminal skull” as if it were a sort of eerie growth, like the horn on a rhinoceros’s nose. When the scientist talks about a type, he never means himself, but always his neighbour; probably his poorer neighbour. I don’t deny the dry light may sometimes do good; though in one sense it’s the very reverse of science. So far from being knowledge, it’s actually suppression of what we know. It’s treating a friend as a stranger, and pretending that something familiar is really remote and mysterious. It’s like saying that a man has a proboscis between the eyes, or that he falls down in a fit of insensibility once every twenty-four hours. Well, what you call “the secret” is exactly the opposite. I don’t try to get outside the man. I try to get inside.”
“The militants of ethnicity contend that a main objective of public education should be the protection, strengthening, celebration, and perpetuation of ethnic origins and identities. Separatism, however, nourishes prejudices, magnifies differences, and stirs antagonisms. The consequent increase in ethnic and racial conflict lies behind the hullabaloo over "multiculturalism" and "political correctness", over the inequities of the "Eurocentric" curriculum, and over the notion that history and literature should be taught not as intellectual disciplines but as therapies whose function is to raise minority self-esteem.”
“I now realize what Dorothy means in the final scene from The Wizard of Oz, when she says that if you have to look beyond your front door for your heart's desire, perhapsit was never there to begin with. Maybe, like Dorothy, I should embrace the love right in front of me and not search for some elusive dream that never mattered in the first place.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.