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Cloud Atlas Quotes

My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?.
A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.
Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.
Books don't offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.
I believe there is another world waiting for us. A better world. And I'll be waiting for you there.
People pontificate, "Suicide is selfishness." Career churchmen like Pater go a step further and call in a cowardly assault on the living. Oafs argue this specious line for varying reason: to evade fingers of blame, to impress one's audience with one's mental fiber, to vent anger, or just because one lacks the necessary suffering to sympathize. Cowardice is nothing to do with it - suicide takes considerable courage. Japanese have the right idea. No, what's selfish is to demand another to endure an intolerable existence, just to spare families, friends, and enemies a bit of soul-searching.
You say you're 'depressed' - all i see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective - it just means you're human.
Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible.
Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.
Fantasy. Lunacy. All revolutions are, until they happen, then they are historical inevitabilities.
...there ain't no journey what don't change you some.
We are only what we know, and I wished to be so much more than I was, sorely.
We looked at each other for the last time; nothing is as eloquent as nothing.
What wouldn't I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.
What is any ocean but a multitude of drops?.
. . .my dreams are the single unpredictable factor in my zoned days and nights. Nobody allots them, or censors them. Dreams are all I have ever truly owned.
I understand now that boundaries between noise and sound are conventions. All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention if only one can first conceive of doing so.
I believe death is only a door. One closes, and another opens. If I were to imagine heaven, I would imagine a door opening. And he would be waiting for me there.
Whoever opined "Money can't buy you happiness" obviously had far too much of the stuff.
One fine day a predatory world shall consume itself.
& only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean! Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?.
Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides... I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life's voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn't I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.
History admits no rules; only outcomes.
How vulgar, this hankering after immortality, how vain, how false. Composers are merely scribblers of cave paintings. One writes music because winter is eternal and because, if one didn't, the wolves and blizzards would be at one's throat all the sooner.
Anticipating the end of the world is humanity's oldest pastime.
By each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.
Strip back the beliefs pasted on by governesses, schools, and states, you find indelible truths at one's core. Rome'll decline and fall again, Cortés'll lay Tenochtitlán to waste again, and later, Ewing will sail again, Adrian'll be blown to pieces again, you and I'll sleep under the Corsican stars again, I'll come to Bruges again, fall in and out of love with Eva again, you'll read this letter again, the sun'll grow cold again. Nietzsche's gramophone record. When it ends, the Old One plays it again, for an eternity of eternities.
The healthy can't understand the emptied, the broken.
She was widely read enough to appreciate my literary wit but not so widely read that she knew my sources. I like that in a woman.
It's a small world. It keeps recrossing itself.
Why does any martyr cooperate with his judases?...We see a game beyond the endgame...As Seneca warned Nero: No matter how many of us you kill, you will never kill your successor.
If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth and claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass.
Faith, the least exclusive club on Earth, has the craftiest doorman. Every time I've stepped through its wide-open doorway, I find myself stepping out on the street again.
As many truths as men. Occasionally, I glimpse a truer Truth, hiding in imperfect simulacrums of itself, but as I approach, it bestirs itself & moves deeper into the thorny swamp of dissent.
Lying's wrong, but when the world spins backwards, a small wrong may be a big right.
Why fight the 'natural' (oh, weaselly word!) order of things? Why? Because of this--one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.
... in a cycle as old as tribalism, ignorance of the Other engenders fear; fear engenders hatred; hatred engenders violence; violence engenders further violence until the only "rights", the only law, are whatever is willed by the most powerful.
People are obscenities. Would rather be music than be a mass of tubes squeezing semisolids around itself for a few decades before becoming so dribblesome it'll no longer function.
Nothing is as eloquent as nothing.
Sometimes the fluffy bunny of incredulity zooms round the bend so rapidly that the greyhound of language is left, agog, in the starting cage.
Times are you say a person's b'liefs ain't true, they think you're sayin' their lifes ain't true an' their truth ain't true.
Do," said Louisa finally, "whatever you can't not do.
Peace, though beloved of our Lord, is a cardinal virtue only if your neighbors share your conscience.
To enslave an individual troubles your consciences, Archivist, but to enslave a clone is no more troubling than owning the latest six-wheeler ford, ethically. Because you cannot discern our differences, you assume we have none. But make no mistake: even same-stem fabricants cultured in the same wombtank are as singular as snowflakes.
Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword.
It's true, reading too many novels makes you go blind.
Mother used to say escape is never further than the nearest book.
You can maintain power over people, as long as you give them something. Rob a man of everything, and that man will no longer be in your power.
Men invented money Women invented mutual aid.
Spent the fortnight gone in the music room reworking my year's fragments into a 'sextet for overlapping soloists': piano, clarinet, 'cello, flute, oboe, and violin, each in its own language of key, scale, and color. In the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor; in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order. Revolutionary or gimmicky? Shan't know until it's finished, and by then it'll be too late.
Once any tyranny becomes accepted as ordinary, its victory is assured.
The Ghost of Sir Felix Finch whines, "But it's been done a hundred times before!"--as if there could be anything not done a hundred thousand times between Aristophanes and Andrew Void-Webber! As if Art is the What, not the How!.
What sparks wars? The will to power, the backbone of human nature. The threat of violence, the fear of violence, or actual violence, is the instrument of this dreadful will. You can see the will to power in bedrooms, kitchens, factories, unions and the borders of states. Listen to this and remember it. The nation state is merely human nature inflated to monstrous proportions. QED, nations are entities whose laws are written by violence. Thus it ever was, so ever shall it be.
Freedom!- is the fatuous jingle of our civilization, but only those deprived of it have the barest inkling re: what the stuff actually is.
I...asked why purebloods despised me so. He replied, 'What if the difference between social strata stem not from genomics or inherent xcellence or even dollars, but merely differences in knowledge? Would this not mean the whole Pyramid is built on shifting sands?... fabricants are mirrors held up to purebloods' consciences; what purebloods see reflected there sickens them. So they blame you for holding up the mirror.
Women, oh, women! They'll find the baddest meanin' in your words an' hold it up, sayin', Look what you attacked me with!.
I elbowed my way into the grubby café, bought a pie that tasted of shoe polish and a pot of tea with cork crumbs floating in it, and eavesdropped on a pair of Shetland pony breeders. Despondency makes one hanker after lives one never led. Why have you given your life to books, TC? Dull, dull, dull! The memoirs are bad enough, but all that ruddy fiction! Hero goes on a journey, stranger comes to town, somebody wants something, they get it or they don't, will is pitted against will. "Admire me, for I am a metaphor.
I remain thankful to God for all his mercies.
Mother used to say escape is never further than the nearest book. Well, Mumsy, no, not really. Your beloved large-print sagas of rags, riches, and heartbreak were no camouflage against the miseries trained on you by the tennis ball launcher of life, were they? But, yes, Mum, there again, you have a point. Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.
Try this for deviancy: fabricants are mirrors held up to purebloods' conscience; what purebloods see reflected there sickens them. So they blame you for holding the mirror." I hid my shock by asking when purebloods might blame themselves. Mephi replied, "History suggests, not until they are made to.
I lost my balance when the train pulled away, but a human crumple zone buffered my fall. We stayed like that, half fallen. Diagonal People.
Perhaps those deprived of beauty perceive it most instinctively.
Wars are never cured, they just go into remission for a few years.
One cannot pass by without thinking of the density of men in the ground.
Time is the speed at which the past decays.
So winners, Hae-Joo proposed, are the real losers because they learn nothing? What, then, are losers? Winners?.
…and there, in the background, the sky’s sediment had sunk to a place where all the woe of the words ‘I am’ dissolved into blue peace. He said it. ‘The ocean.