“But obviously if there was no concept of ownership there’d be no concept of stealing, would there? As long as there’s one starving child in the world, all property is theft.”
“You're a pickpocket right? That's cool. But you don't do it for the money, do you?"
"Maybe the end." I said abruptly.
"What will happen to me in the end. What happens to people who live the way I do? That's what I'd like to know.”
“A wallet shows a person’s personality and lifestyle. Just like a cell phone, it is at the center, forming the nucleus of the owner’s secrets, everything he carries on him.”
“Life is a mystery. But listen. Why did I turn up in your life in the first place? Do you believe in fate? Was your fate controlled by me, or was being controlled by me your fate? But in the end, aren't they just two sides of the same coin?”
“I thought about how this banknote had witnessed a moment of each one of those people’s lives. Maybe it had been at the scene of a murder, then passed from the murderer to a shopkeeper somewhere, then to a good person somewhere else.”
“In this life, the proper way of living is to make use of both joy and suffering. They are both merely stimuli that the world presents to us. So by blending them skillfully within you, you can use them in a completely different way. If you want to be steeped in evil, you mustn’t forget good.”
“This woman Koharu could undo their coats and take the money from inside the purse. A technique called ‘nakanuki.’ What’s more, the story goes that after she emptied the purse she’d close it again and button up their coat. Incredible skill.”
“Surrounded by misery, those people laughed at the whole world.”
“When humans’ nerves detect big and small stimuli at the same time, they ignore the smaller one.”
“Fate is like the relationship between the strong and the weak, don’t you think? Look at religion, for example. The Israelites, who worshipped Jehovah—why were they afraid of him? Because their god was powerful, that’s why. Everyone who believes in gods fears them to some extent.”
“Why does the subconscious mind make people steal? Why does it have to be stealing? Don’t you think it’s something deep-rooted in our nature?”
“A Russian astronaut and a Russian brain surgeon were once discussing religion. The brain surgeon was a Christian but the astronaut was not. The astronaut said, 'I've been out in space many times but I've never seen God or angels.' And the brain surgeon said, 'And I've operated on many clever brains but I've never seen a single thought.”
“No. I cannot expect you to believe it. Take it as a lie--or a prophecy. Say I dreamed it in the workshop. Consider I have been speculating upon the destinies of our race until I have hatched this fiction. Treat my assertion of its truth as a mere stroke of art to enhance its interest. And taking it as a story, what do you think of it?”
“It's funny, but thinking back on it now, I realize that this particular point in time, as I stood there blinking in the deserted hall, was the one point at which I might have chosen to do something very much different from what I actually did. But of course I didn't see this crucial moment for what it actually was; I suppose we never do. Instead, I only yawned, and shook myself from the momentary daze that had come upon me, and went on my way down the stairs.”
“Simon rolled his eyes. “It’s a good thing we know the person who’s dating Magnus Bane,” he said. “Otherwise, I get the feeling we’d all just lie around all the time wondering what the hell to do next. Or trying to raise the money to hire him by selling lemonade or something.”
Alec looked merely irritated by this comment. “The only way you could raise enough money to hire Magnus by selling lemonade is if you put meth in it.”
“Rape is a crime against sleep and memory; it's afterimage imprints itself like an irreversible negative from the camera obscura of dreams.”
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