To 'live', to be truly alive, it is not enough simply to breathe, to suffer, nor even to be happy; life is a secret that cannot be discovered on one’s own. True living is done in pairs.
They had spent a few years in Paris, but they had still to undergo a real education — one which no school, lycee or university could supply: they had still to undergo their education in suffering. Then they’d be ready to understand what this was all about.
Obstacles must not be placed in the way of pure and scientific research, whatever the consequences may be. The practical results do not matter. What counts is the free and disinterested disinterested of the genius of man.' 'In other words, if a scientist blew up the whole earth or poisoned it to the core, this would be a free and disinterested manifestation of the genius of man?' He refused to join his questioner in taking such a pessimistic view. Scientific research must remain completely free from any consideration of possible practical consequences.
I aimed as well as I could.' 'So as not to kill?' ''You never teach a man anything by killing him. On the contrary, you make him forget everything.
This was what he stood for: a world where there would be room enough even for such a mass of clumsy and cumbersome freedom. A margin of humanity, of tolerance, where some of life’s beauty could take refuge. His eyes narrowed a little, and an ironic, bitter smile came to his lips. I know you all, he thought. Today you say that elephants are archaic and cumbersome, that they interfere with roads and telegraph poles, and tomorrow you’ll begin to say that human rights too are obsolete and cumbersome, that they interfere with progress, and the temptation will be so great to let them fall by the road and not to burden ourselves with that extra load. And in the end man himself will become in your eyes a clumsy luxury, an archaic survival from the past, and you’ll dispense with him too, and the only thing left will be total efficiency and universal slavery and man himself will disappear under the weight of his material achievement. He had learned that much behind the barbed wire of the forced labor camp: it was our education, a lesson be was not prepared to forget.
A man lives on hope. He keeps thinking things will somehow straighten themselves out.