StanisЕ‚aw Lem

#7976 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

My pass had disappeared. Not that I believed for a moment that this was an accident; in fact, I had suspected for some time now that the Cosmic Command, obviously no longer able to supervise every assignment on an individual basis when there were literally trillions of matters in its charge, had switched over to a random system. The assumption would be that every document, circulating endlessly from desk to desk, must eventually hit upon the right one. A time-consuming procedure, perhaps, but one that would never fail. The Universe itself operated on the same principle. And for an institution as everlasting as the Universe — certainly our Building was such an institution — the speed at which these meanderings and perturbations took place was of no consequence. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about time
#7978 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Either something is authentic or it is unauthentic, it is either false or true, make-believe or spontaneous life; yet here we are faced with a prevaricated truth and an authentic fake, hence a thing that is at once the truth and a lie. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about life
#7979 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

He is no parasite on anything, whose work is real: a mechanic, a doctor, a builder, a tailor, a dishwasher. What, in comparison, does a writer produce? Semblances. This is a serious occupation? .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about work
#7980 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about time
#7981 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

The whole plan hinged upon the natural curiosity of potatoes. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about curiosity
#7982 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Not only does God play dice with the world—He does not let us see what He has rolled. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about world
#7983 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Good books tell the truth, even when they're about things that never have been and never will be. They're truthful in a different way. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about truth
#7984 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Oh, I read good books, too, but only Earthside. Why that is, I don't really know. Never stopped to analyze it. Good books tell the truth, even when they're about things that never have been and never will be. They're truthful in a different way. When they talk about outer space, they make you feel the silence, so unlike the Earthly kind — and the lifelessness. Whatever the adventures, the message is always the same: humans will never feel at home out there. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about life
#7985 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

"And do you believe in God?" "I do." "But you didn't think a robot would, right?" "Right." .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about believe
#7986 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

In an extreme instance, in which there is a Propervirt of less than 0.9%, the TEXT OF THE PRESENT PROSPECTUS may likewise undergo an ABRUPT change. If, while you are reading these sentences, the words begin to jump about, and the letters quiver and blur, please interrupt your reading for ten or twenty seconds to wipe your glasses, adjust your clothing, or the like, and then start reading AGAIN from the beginning, and NOT JUST from the place where your reading was interrupted, since such a TRANSFORMATION indicates that a correction of DEFICIENCIES is now taking place. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about art
#7987 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

For moral reasons I am an atheist — for moral reasons. I am of the opinion that you would recognize a creator by his creation, and the world appears to me to be put together in such a painful way that I prefer to believe that it was not created by anyone than to think that somebody created this intentionally. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about pain
#7988 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

It is not good for a man to be too cognizant of his physical and spiritual mechanisms. Complete knowledge reveals limits to human possibilities, and the less a man is by nature limited in his purposes, the less he can tolerate limits. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about knowledge
#7989 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

The war of good and evil present in all religions does not always end, in every faith, with the victory of good, but in every one it establishes a clear order of existence. The sacred as well as the profane rests on that universal order... .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about faith
#7990 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Even a fool could see that one didn't need a war, nuclear or otherwise, to destroy oneself; the rising cost of weaponry could do that quite nicely. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about war
#7991 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

The twentieth century had dispensed with the formal declaration of war and introduced the fifth column, sabotage, cold war, and war by proxy, but that was only the begining. Summit meetings for disarmament pursued mutual understanding and a balance of power but were also held to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy. The world of the war-or-peace alternative became a world in which war was peace and peace war. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about war
#7992 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

The number of one's possible fantasies is inversely proportional to the amount of one's liquid assets. For him who has everything dreams are no longer possible. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about dreams
#7993 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Staro .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem
#7994 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

A man who for an entire week does nothing but hit himself over the head has little reason to be proud. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about self
#7995 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox, 1970. Page numbers refer to the 1987 Harcourt Brace "Harvest" edition, .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about art
#7996 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Where there are no men, there cannot be motives accessible to men. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about men
#7997 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about god
#7998 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us — that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence — then we don't like it any more. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about art
#7999 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about art
#8000 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is. We are seaching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, of a civilisation superior to our own but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past. At the same time, there is something inside us which we don't like to face up to, from which we try to protect ourselves, but which nevertheless remains, since we don't leave Earth in a state of primal innocence. We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us — that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence — then we don't like it any more. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about time
#8001 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

The fate of a single man can be rich with significance, that of a few hundred less so, but the history of thousands and millions of men does not mean anything at all, in any adequate sense of the word. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about history
#8002 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

You are only a puppet. But you don't realize that you are. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about you
#8003 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Any attempt to understand the motivation of these occurrences is blocked by our own anthropomorphism. Where there are no men, there cannot be motives accessible to men. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about motivation
#8004 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Really, one of us ought to have the courage to call the experiment off and shoulder the responsibility for the decision, but the majority reckons that that kind of courage would be a sign of cowardice, and the first step in a retreat. They think it would mean an undignified surrender for mankind — as if there was any dignity in floundering and drowning in what we don't understand and never will. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about war
#8005 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

If man had more of a sense of humor, things might have turned out differently. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about humor
#8006 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Just you think, in a rocket a man takes the risk of bursting like a balloon, or freezing, or roasting, or sweating all his blood out in a single gush, before he can even cry out, and all that remains is bits of bone floating inside armored hulls, in accordance with the laws of Newton as corrected by Einstein, those two milestones in our progress. Down the road we go, all in good faith and see where it gets us. Think about our success Kelvin; think about our cabins, the unbreakable plates, the immortal sinks, legions of faithful wardobes devoted cupboards . . . .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about faith
#8007 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve his age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about god
#8008 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Everything is explicable in the terms of the behavior of a small child. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about child
#8009 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that Finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about love
#8010 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox . . . .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about self
#8011 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about hope
#8012 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age (1967), translation by Michael Kandel (1974), .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about age
#8013 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

One day Trurl the constructor put together a machine that could build anything beginning with the letter 'n'. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about wit
#8014 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Take a good look at this world, how riddled it is with huge, gaping holes, how full of Nothingness, the Nothingness that fills the bottomless void between the stars, how everything about us has become lined with it, how it darkly lurks behind each shred of matter. This is your work, envious one! And I hardly think the future generations will bless you for it... .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about work
#8015 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Cancel me not — for what then shall remain? Abscissas some mantissas, modules, modes, A root or two, a torus and a node: The inverse of my verse, a null domain. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about man
#8016 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Come, let us hasten to a higher plane Wheretread the , Their indices bedecked from one to n Commingled in an endless ! I'll grant thee random access to my heart, Thou'lt tell me all the constants of thy love; And so we two shall all love'sprove, And in our bound partition never part. Cancel me not — for what then shall remain? Abscissas some mantissas, modules, modes, A root or two, a torus and a node: The inverse of my verse, a null domain. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about love
#8017 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

He who has had, has been, but he who hasn't been, has been had. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem
#8018 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

He who must be what he is, may curse his fate, but cannot change it; on the other hand, he who can transform himself has no one in the world but himself to blame for his failings, no one but himself to hold responsible for his dissatisfaction. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about change
#8019 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Plentitude, when too plentitudinous, was worst than destitution, for—obviously—what could one do, if there was nothing one could not? .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem
#8020 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Each civilization may choose one of two roads to travel, that is, either fret itself to death, or pet itself to death. And in the course of doing one or the other, it eats its way into the Universe, turning cinders and flinders of stars into toilet seats, pegs, gears, cigarette holders and pillowcases, and it does this because, unable to fathom the Universe, it seeks to change that Fathomlessness into Something Fathomable. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about death
#8021 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Translation by Michael Kandel (1983), .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem
#8022 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Psychoanalysis provides truth in an infantile, that is, a schoolboy fashion: we learn from it, roughly and hurriedly, things that scandalize us and thereby command our attention. It sometimes happens, and such is the case here, that a simplification touching upon the truth, but cheaply, is of no more value than a lie. Once again we are shown the demon and the angel, the beast and the god locked in Manichean embrace, and once again man has been pronounced, by himself, not culpable. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about truth
#8023 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

is not so much a light as it is a constant awareness of the surrounding gloom. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about war
#8024 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Man's quest for knowledge is an expanding series whose limit is infinity, but philosophy seeks to attain that limit at one blow, by a short circuit providing the certainty of complete and inalterable truth. Science meanwhile advances at its gradual pace, often slowing to a crawl, and for periods it even walks in place, but eventually it reaches the various ultimate trenches dug by philosophical thought, and, quite heedless of the fact that it is not supposed to be able to cross those final barriers to the intellect, goes right on. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about truth
#8025 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Science is turning into a monastery for the Order of Capitulant Friars. Logical calculus is supposed to supersede man as moralist. We submit to the blackmail of the 'superior knowledge' that has the temerity to assert that nuclear war can be, by derivation, a good thing, because this follows from simple arithmetic. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about knowledge
#8026 StanisЕ‚aw Lem

Futurologists have been multiplying like flies since the daymade 's profession "scientific," yet somehow not one of them has come out with the clear statement that we have wholly abandoned ourselves to the mercy of technological progress. The roles are now reversed: humanity becomes, for technology, a means, an instrument for achieving a goal unknown and unknowable. .

StanisЕ‚aw Lem Quotes about humanity

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