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"'A dog is born a dog and a bird is born a bird, but to become a human being is an achievement--you have to think about it. You have been thinking about it for the past three or four years at least, little Severian, even though you may never have thought about the thinking.'
'A dog just looks for things to eat,' the boy said.
'Exactly. But that raises the question of whether a person should be forced to do such thinking, and some people decided a long time ago that he should not. We may force a dog, sometimes, to act like a man--to walk on his hind legs and wear a collar and so forth. But we shouldn't and couldn't force a man to act like a man. Did youu ever want to fall asleep? When you weren't sleepy or even tired?'
'That was because you wanted ot put down the burden of being a boy, at least for a time. Sometimes I drink too much wine, and that is because for a while I would like to stop being a man. Sometimes people take their own lives for that reason. Did you konw that?'
'or thay do thins that might hurt them,' he said...
'Yes,' I told him. 'That can be the same thing. And sometimes certain men, and even women, come to hate the burden of thought, but without loving death. They see the animals and wish to become as they are, aswering only to instinct, and not thinking.'" pg 97
"'...until I saw the boats and the rounded curves of the thatched roofs of the village I had not known how solitary I had been...It was more than mere loneliness, I think. I have never had much need for companionship, unless it was the companionship of someone I could call a friend. Certainly I have seldom wished the conversation of starangers or the sight of strange faces. I believe rather that when I was alone I felt I had in some fashion lost my individuallity; to the thrush and the rabbit I had been not Severian, but Man. The many people who like to be utterly alone, and particularly to be utterly alone in a wilderness, do so, I believe, because they enjoy playing that part. But I wanted to be a particular person again, and so I sought the mirror of other persons, which would show me that I was not as they were.'" pg 150
"'Do you know what the trouble was with the bad uncle? With Gundulf?'
'I supose that he was in love.'
'No, that was what was right with him. Every person, you see, is like a plant. There is a beautiful green part, often with flowers or fruit, that grows upward toward the usn, toward the increate. There is also a dark part that grows away form it, tunneling where no light comes.'
I said, " I have nenver studied the wrtitings of the initiates, but even I am aware of the existence of good and evil in everyone.'
'Was I speaking of good and evil? It is the roots that give the plant the strength to climb toward the sun, thought they know nothing of it. Suppose that some scythe, whistling along the ground, should sever the stalk from it's roots. The stalk would fall and die, but the roots might put up a new stalk.'
'You are saying that evil is good.'
'No. I am saying that the things we love in others and admire in ourselves spring from things we do not see and seldom think about.'" pg 240
"There is no limit to stupidity. Space itself is said to be bounded by its own curvature, but stupidity continues beyond infinity." pg 327
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