Stanisław Lem Quotes

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1. “We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we think pretty well of ourselves. And yet, if we examine it more closely, our enthusiasm turns out to be all a sham. We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos. For us, such and such a planet is as arid as the Sahara, another as frozen as the North Pole, yet another as lush as the Amazon basin. We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don't want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values and take over their heritage in exchange. We think of ourselves as the Knights of the Holy Contact. This is another lie. We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is. We are searching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, a civilization 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 anymore.”

Tags : Fiction Sci Fi
Source : Solaris

2. “So one must be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? 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...”

Tags : Creationism Cycles Despair Emotion Fear Free Will Hopelessness Humanity Inevitability Life Love Mankind Repetition Resignation Science Time
Source : Solaris

3. “On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. 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. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? 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...Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? 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.”

Tags : Love Science Fiction Solaris
Source : Solaris

4. “And yet we knew, for a certainty, that when first emissaries of Earth went walking among the planets, Earth's other sons would be dreaming not about such expeditions but about a piece of bread.”

Tags : His Master S Voice Lem Planet Science
Source : His Master's Voice

5. “Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”

Tags : Aliens Closed Mindedness Discovery Humanity Ignorance Mankind Narrow Mindedness Self Discovery Space Exploration
Source : Solaris

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

Tags : Faith Irrationality Religion

7. “I had no hope. Yet expectation lived on in me, the last thing she had left behind. What further consummations, mockeries, torments did I still anticipate? I had no idea as I abided in the unshaken belief that the time of cruel wonders was not yet over.”

Tags : Belief Cruel Wonders Despair Expectation
Source : Solaris

8. “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.”

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9. “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.”

Tags : Humanity Morality World
Source : Solaris

10. “Furious and wild with fear, the potatoes flailed the air with their leaves and stamped their roots, but obviously this got them nowhere.”

Tags : Humour Sci Fi Science Fiction

11. “Tell me something. Do you believe in God?'Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?''It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?''What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...''No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.'Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks:'There was Manicheanism...''Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...'Snow pondered for a while:'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.'I kept on:'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...''We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.''If you're going to take what I say literally...'...Snow asked abruptly:'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?''I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.”

Tags : Belief Conversation Creationism Despair Emotion Evolution Existence Existentialism God Immortality Imperfection Mortality Mythology Philosophy Religion Science Space Space Exploration Theology Theory Time Truth
Source : Solaris

12. “Each of us is aware he's a material being, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and that the strength of all our emotions combined cannot counteract those laws. It can only hate them. The eternal belief of lovers and poets in the power of love which is more enduring that death, the finis vitae sed non amoris that has pursued us through the centuries is a lie. But this lie is not ridiculous, it's simply futile. To be a clock on the other hand, measuring the passage of time, one that is smashed and rebuilt over and again, one in whose mechanism despair and love are set in motion by the watchmaker along with the first movements of the cogs. To know one is a repeater of suffering felt ever more deeply as it becomes increasingly comical through a multiple repetitions. To replay human existence - fine. But to replay it in the way a drunk replays a corny tune pushing coins over and over into the jukebox?”

Tags : Drunk Futility God Jukebox Love Physics Time
Source : Solaris

13. “No one reads; if someone does read, he doesn't understand; if he understands, he immediately forgets.”

Tags : Books Culture Literacy Reading

14. “A man craves ultimate truths. Every mortal mind, I think, is that way. But what is ultimate truth? It's the end of the road, where there is no more mystery, no more hope. And no more questions to ask, since all the answers have been given. But there is no such place.The Universe is a labyrinth made of labyrinths. Each leads to another. And wherever we cannot go ourselves, we reach with mathematics. Out of mathematics we build wagons to carry us into the nonhuman realms of the world.”

Tags : Labyrinth Science Truth Universe
Source : Fiasco

15. “The night stared me in the face, amorphous, blind, infinite, without frontiers. Not a single start relieved the darkness behind the glass.”

Tags : Endlessness Fear Foreboding Infinity Life Night Staring Starless Night Stars Uneasiness
Source : Solaris

16. “A real tank now costs about a million dollars, while a hallucinated one amounts to less than one-hundredth of a cent per person, or centispecter per spectator. A destroyer costs a dime. Today you could fit the whole arsenal of the United States inside a single truck.”

Tags : Hallucination War
Source : The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

17. “We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we think pretty well of ourselves. And yet, if we examine it more closely, our enthusiasm turns out to be all sham. We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos.... We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don't want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values and take over their heritage in exchange. We think of ourselves as the Knights of the Holy Contact. This is another lie. We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. (1970 English translation)”

Tags : Chauvinism Imperialism Jingoism New Worlds Racism Science Fiction Self Image Space Exploration
Source : Solaris

18. “The horse respects and obeys man because its large eyes magnify everything, so man appears much larger than the horse itself.”

Tags : Eyes Size
Source : Highcastle: A Remembrance

19. “Wandering across the vast room, I stopped at a set of shelves as high as the ceiling, and holding about six hundred volumes - all classics on the history of Soalris, starting with the nine volumes of Giese's monumental and already relatively obsolescent monograph. Display for its own sake was improbable in these surroundings. The collection was a respective tribute to the memory of the pioneers. I took down the massive volumes of Giese and sat leafing through them. Rheya had also located som reading matter. Looking over her shoulder, I saw that she had picked one of the many books brought out by the first expedition, the Interplanetary Cookery Book, which could have been the personal property of Giese himself. She was pouring over the recipes adapted to the arduous conditions of interstellar flight. I said nothing, and returned to the book resting on my knees. Solaris - Ten Years of Exploration had appeared as volumes 4-12 of the Solariana collection whose most recent additions were numbered in the thousands.”

Tags : Cooking Knowledge Research
Source : Solaris

20. “I should acquaint the reader with the basic principles of the mythology I adhered to then. I believed . . . that inanimate objects were no less fallible than people. They, too, could be forgetful. And, if you had enough patience, you could catch them by surprise.”

Tags : Childhood Mythology
Source : Highcastle: A Remembrance

21. “In just the last issue of Science Today there had been an article on some new psychotropic agents of the group of so-called benignimizers (the N,N-dimethylpeptocryptomides), which induced states of undirected joy and beatitude. Yes, yes! I could practically see that article now. Hedonidil, Euphoril, Inebrium, Felicitine, Empathan, Ecstasine, Halcyonal and a whole spate of derivatives. Though by replacing an amino group with a hydroxyl, you obtained instead Furiol, Antagonil, Rabiditine, Sadistizine, Dementium, Flagellan, Juggernol and many other polyparanoidal stimulants of the group of so-called phrensobarbs (for these prompted the most vicious behavior, the lashing out at objects animate as well as inanimate—and especially powerful here were the cannibal-cannabinols and manicomimetics).”

Tags : Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmaceuticals
Source : The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

22. “I never read to kill time. Killing time is like killing someone's wife or a child. There is nothing more precious for me than time.”

Tags : Interview Science Fiction

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

Tags : Lem Science Solaris
Source : Solaris

24. “But what am I going to see?I don't know. In a certain sense, it depends on you.”

Tags : Introspection Lem Self Exploration Solaris
Source : Solaris

25. “We are only seeking Man. We have no need for 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 searching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, of a civilization superior of our own but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past." -Snow from Solaris by Stanislaw Lem”

Tags : Solaris

26. “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. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going?”

Tags : Solaris

27. “Uçsuz bucaksızlığın tam ortasında, yerden de gökten de uzaklarda, ne ayaklarımın altında toprak ne başımın üstünde gökten bir kemer, yalnızca hiçliğin olduğu bulanık bir boşluk. Yabancı bir maddenin tutsağıyım, ölü, biçimden yoksun bir tozle kaplı bedenim - daha doğrusu hiç bedenim yok, o yabanıl madde ben’im. Donuk pembe bulutsu kürecikler sarıyor her yanımı, havadan daha yoğun, daha geçirimsiz bir ortamda asılı duruyor. Nesnecikler ancak çok yakına gelince belirginleşiyor, daha da yaklaştı mı olağandışı biçimde seçikleşiyor, varlıkları doğaötesi bir canlılık, bir dirilik etkisi bırakıyor. Elle tutulur, sapasağlam bir gerçeklikleri olduğu inancı öylesine karşı konulmaz ki sonra, uyandığımda da, az önce gerçek bir algı durumundaymışım da gözlerimi açtıktan sonra gördüğüm her şey gerçekdışıy-mış, su götürürmüş izlenimi uyanıyor”

Tags : Bilimkurgu Solaris Stanislaw Lem

28. “Ci consideriamo i cavalieri del Santo Contatto, e questa è la menzogna numero due: la verità è che cerchiamo soltanto la gente. Non abbiamo bisogno di altri mondi, ma di specchi. Degli altri mondi non sappiamo che farcene, quello che abbiamo ci basta e ci avanza. In alcuni pianeti speriamo di trovare il modello ideale e civiltà migliori della nostra, in altri speriamo di scoprire l'immagine del nostro passato primigenio. Tuttavia, di quel mondo, c'è anche qualcosa che rifiutiamo, da cui ci difendiamo... Il fatto è che non arriviamo dalla Terra come campioni di virtù o come monumenti dell'eroismo umano: ci portiamo dietro esattamente quello che siamo e quando l'altra parte ci svela la nostra verità - il lato che ne teniamo nascosto - non riusciamo ad accettarla!- E cioè, che cosa? - chiesi dopo averlo pazientemente ascoltato.- Quello che volevamo: il contatto con un'altra civiltà. E adesso che ce l'abbiamo, vediamo che si tratta solo della nostra mostruosa bruttezza, della nostra follia e della nostra vergogna ingrandite al microscopio!”

Tags : Science Fiction Science Fiction Romance Solaris Stanislaw Lem

29. “Progress is a wonderful thing of course, and I can appreciate the lactiferins that are sprinkled on the pasture to turn the grass to cheese. And yet this lack of cows, however rational it may be, gives one the feeling that the fields and meadows, deprived of their phlegmatic, bemusedly ruminating presence, are pitifully empty.”

Tags : Cows Progress
Source : The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

30. “Is a mountain only a huge stone? Is a planet an enormous mountain?”

Tags : Existence Life Mountain Perception Reality Stone
Source : Solaris

31. “Siempre es más fácil confesar un hecho, que demostrar que no se ha cometido. En este caso particular, la presencia de un cifrado hubiera sido una cosa sencilla; en cambio, su ausencia debía provocar complicaciones [...]. Ocurre que para aclarar todo esto hay que hacer uso de unas explicaciones verdaderas pero muy complicadas”

Tags : Complejidad Injusticia Justicia Mentira Verdad
Source : The Cyberiad

32. “Aisles and aisles of absolventina, theopathine, genuflix, orisol. An enormous place; organ music in the background while you shop. All the faiths are represented too—there’s chistendine and antichristendine, ormuzal, arymanol, anabaptiban, methadone, brahmax, supralapsarian suppositories, and zoroaspics, quaker oats, yogart, mishnameal and apocryphal dip. Pills, tablets, syrups, elixirs, powders, gums—they even have lollipops for the children. Many of the boxes come with halos.”

Tags : Religious Humor
Source : The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

33. “How many extraordinary phenomena like this, so foreign to human comprehension, might lie concealed in space? Do we need to travel everywhere bringing destructive power on our ships, so as to smash anything that runs counter to our understanding?”

Tags : Colonization Exploration Science Space

34. “What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?''I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.”

Tags : Belief Existence Existentialism God Humanity Imperfection Mankind No Purpose Purpose Religion Theology
Source : Solaris

35. “I felt myself being invaded through and through, I crumbled, disintegrated, and only emptiness remained.”

Tags : Emptiness Existence
Source : Solaris by Stanislaw Lem | Summary & Study Guide

36. “These views were voiced by the school of 'optessimists', i.e. philosophers who derived optimism for the future from a pessimistic appraisal of the present." The 21st Voyage, The Star Diaries”

Tags : Lem Philosophy

37. “To torture a man you have to know his pleasures.”

Tags : Man Pleasure Torture

38. “So they rolled up their sleeves and sat down to experiment -- by simulation, that is mathematically and all on paper. And the mathematical models of King Krool and the beast did such fierce battle across the equation-covered table, that the constructors' pencils kept snapping. Furious, the beast writhed and wriggled its iterated integrals beneath the King's polynomial blows, collapsed into an infinite series of indeterminate terms, then got back up by raising itself to the nth power, but the King so belabored it with differentials and partial derivatives that its Fourier coefficients all canceled out (see Riemann's Lemma), and in the ensuing confusion the constructors completely lost sight of both King and beast. So they took a break, stretched their legs, had a swig from the Leyden jug to bolster their strength, then went back to work and tried it again from the beginning, this time unleashing their entire arsenal of tensor matrices and grand canonical ensembles, attacking the problem with such fervor that the very paper began to smoke. The King rushed forward with all his cruel coordinates and mean values, stumbled into a dark forest of roots and logarithms, had to backtrack, then encountered the beast on a field of irrational numbers (F_1) and smote it so grievously that it fell two decimal places and lost an epsilon, but the beast slid around an asymptote and hid in an n-dimensional orthogonal phase space, underwent expansion and came out fuming factorially, and fell upon the King and hurt him passing sore. But the King, nothing daunted, put on his Markov chain mail and all his impervious parameters, took his increment Δk to infinity and dealt the beast a truly Boolean blow, sent it reeling through an x-axis and several brackets—but the beast, prepared for this, lowered its horns and—wham!!—the pencils flew like mad through transcendental functions and double eigentransformations, and when at last the beast closed in and the King was down and out for the count, the constructors jumped up, danced a jig, laughed and sang as they tore all their papers to shreds, much to the amazement of the spies perched in the chandelier—perched in vain, for they were uninitiated into the niceties of higher mathematics and consequently had no idea why Trurl and Klapaucius were now shouting, over and over, "Hurrah! Victory!!”

Tags : Humor Mathematics Science Science Humor Simulation
Source : The Cyberiad

39. “Furious, the beast writhed and wriggled its iterated integrals beneath the King’s polynomial blows, collapsed into an infinite series of indeterminate terms, then got back up by raising itself to the nth power, but the King so belabored it with differentials and partial derivatives that its Fourier coefficients all canceled out (see Riemann’s Lemma), and in the ensuing confusion the constructors completely lost sight of both King and beast. So they took a break, stretched their legs, had a swig from the Leyden jug to bolster their strength, then went back to work and tried it again from the beginning, this time unleashing their entire arsenal of tensor matrices and grand canonical ensembles, attacking the problem with such fervor that the very paper began to smoke. The King rushed forward with all his cruel coordinates and mean values, stumbled into a dark forest of roots and logarithms, had to backtrack, then encountered the beast on a field of irrational numbers (F1) and smote it so grievously that it fell two decimal places and lost an epsilon, but the beast slid around an asymptote and hid in an n-dimensional orthogonal phase space, underwent expansion and came out, fuming factorially, and fell upon the King and hurt him passing sore. But the King, nothing daunted, put on his Markov chain mail and all his impervious parameters, took his increment Δk to infinity and dealt the beast a truly Boolean blow, sent it reeling through an x-axis and several brackets—but the beast, prepared for this, lowered its horns and—wham!!—the pencils flew like mad through transcendental functions and double eigentransformations, and when at last the beast closed in and the King was down and out for the count, the constructors jumped up, danced a jig, laughed and sang as they tore all their papers to shreds, much to the amazement of the spies perched in the chandelier-—perched in vain, for they were uninitiated into the niceties of higher mathematics and consequently had no idea why Trurl and Klapaucius were now shouting, over and over, “Hurrah! Victory!!”

Tags : Beast King Mathematics
Source : The Cyberiad

40. “And since no one any longer responds to things spontaneously-you take drugs to study, drugs to love, drugs to rise up in revolt, drugs to forget-the distinction between manipulated and natural feelings has ceased to exist.”

Tags : Prescription Drugs

41. “Suppose that which is taking place here and now is not reality, but only a tale, a tale of some higher order that contains within it the tale of the machine: a reader might well wonder why you and your companions are shaped like spheres, inasmuch as that sphericality serves no purpose in the narration and would appear to be a wholly superfluous embellishment...”

Tags : Humor Metafiction
Source : The Cyberiad

42. “Of the two powers, the two categories that take possession of us when we enter the world, space is by far the less mysterious. . . . Space is, after all, solid, monolithic. . . . Time, on the other hand, is a hostile element, truly treacherous, I would say even against human nature.”

Tags : Space Time
Source : Highcastle: A Remembrance

43. “Physics, my friend, is a narrow path drawn across a gulf that the human imagination cannot grasp. It is a set of answers to certain questions that we put to the world, and the world supplies the answers on the condition that we will not then ask it other questions, questions shouted out by common sense. And common sense? It is that which is understood by an intelligence using senses no different from those of a baboon. Such an intelligence wishes to know the world in terms that apply to its terrestrial, biological niche. But the world—outside that niche, that incubator of sapient apes—has properties that one cannot take in hand, see, sniff, gnaw, listen to, and in this way appropriate.”

Tags : Common Sense Science
Source : Fiasco

44. “Come now, Tichy. For half a century civilization hasn't been left to its own devices. A hundred years ago a certain Dior was dictating fashions in clothing. Today this sort of regulating has embraced all walks of life. If prostheticism is voted in, I assure you, in a couple of years everyone will consider the possession of a soft, hairy, sweating body to be shameful and indecent. A body needs washing, deodorizing, caring for, and even then it breaks down, while in a prostheticized society you can snap on the loveliest creations of modern engineering. What woman doesn't want to have silver iodide instead of eyes, telescoping breasts, angel's wings, iridescent legs, and feet that sing with every step?”

Tags : Fashion Transhumanism
Source : The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

45. “It would be indeed unusual if it turned out that the set of orders that our mind is able to construct and accept, having as it does a deep sense of “understanding the essence of things,” matches precisely the set of all possible orders to be detected in the Universe as a whole. We should admit that this is not impossible, yet it does seem highly improbable. This way of thinking, so modest in its assessment of our abilities, is probably the only way recommended, given our lack of knowledge, because we are not aware of our limitations.”

Tags : Limitations Mankind Mind Philosophy Science Universe
Source : Summa technologiae

46. “A writer should not run around with a mirror for his countrymen; he should tell his society and his times things no one ever thought before.”

Tags : Mirror Society Writer

47. “For what are myths if not the imposing of order on phenomena that do not possess order in themselves? And all myths, however they differ from philosophical systems and scientific theories, share this with them, that they negate the principle of randomness in the world.”

Tags : Myth Order Randomness
Source : Highcastle: A Remembrance

48. “...it is easy not to believe in monsters, considerably more difficult to escape their dread and loathsome clutches.”

Tags : Monsters
Source : The Cyberiad

49. “Pel motiu que a Tità res no presentava una finalitat (en cap moment i per a ningú), i pel motiu que no actuava cap guillotina de l'evolució, amputant de cada genotip el que no contribuïa a la supervivència, la natura, que no estava frenada ni per la vida que creés ni per la mort que provoqués, podia causar l'alliberament de la matèria, la natura podia mostrar la prodigalitat característica d'ella mateixa, una desolació il·limitada, una magnificència brutal que resultava inútil, un poder etern de creació sense objectiu, sense necessitat, sense significança. Aquesta veritat, que s'emparava gradualment de l'observador, era més pertorbadora que la impressió de ser testimoni d'un mimetisme còsmic de la mort, o la impressió que eren despulles d'éssers desconeguts situades per sota de l'horitzó curull de tempestes. Per tant, calia capgirar la manera tradicional de pensar, que només seguia una sola direcció: aquestes formes eren semblants a ossos, costelles, cranis i ullals no pas perquè haguessin tingut vida alguna vegada (mai no n'havien tinguda), sinó perquè els esquelets dels vertebrats terrestres i la seva pell, i la cuirassa quitinosa dels insectes, i les closques dels mol·luscs presentaven la mateixa disposició estructural, la mateixa simetria i gràcia, ja que la natura podia crear-les, tot i que manquessin i sempre haguessin de mancar la vida i la finalitat pròpia de la vida.”

Tags : Nature Philosophy Science Teleonomy
Source : Fiasco

50. “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.”

Tags : Critique Philosophy Psychoanalysis
Source : His Master's Voice

51. “It was not possible to think except with one’s brain, no one could stand outside himself in order to check the functioning of his inner processes.”

Tags : Aliens Impartiality The Other
Source : Solaris

52. “Giese was an unemotional man, but then in the study of Solaris emotion is a hindrance to the explorer. Imagination and premature theorizing are positive disadvantages in approaching a planet where—as has become clear—anything is possible... The fact is that in spite of his cautious nature the scrupulous Giese more than once jumped to premature conclusions. Even when on their guard, human beings inevitably theorize.”

Tags : Impartiality The Other
Source : Solaris

53. “Manufacturers these days have peculiar problems: a package may recommend the virtues of its product by voice only, for it is not allowed to grab the customer by the sleeve or collar.”

Tags : Advertising
Source : The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

54. “A bosszúnál is barbárabb lépés lett volna: elpusztítani valamit, mert nem tudjuk megérteni.”

Tags : Ethics Philosophy Science Tolerance
Source : Solaris

55. “And perhaps Solaris is the cradle of your divine child," Snow went on, with a widening grin that increased the number of lines round his eyes. Solaris could be the first phase of the despairing God. Perhaps its intelligence will grow enormously. All the contents of our Solarist libraries could be just a record of his teething troubles…”

Tags : Intresting Religion And Philoshophy
Source : Solaris

56. “How do you expect to communicate with the ocean, when you can’t even understand one another?”

Tags : Aliens The Other
Source : Solaris

57. “The human mind is only capable of absorbing a few things at a time. We see what is taking place in front of us in the here and now, and cannot envisage simultaneously a succession of processes, no matter how integrated and complementary. Our faculties of perception are consequently limited even as regards fairly simple phenomena. 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. The symmetriad is a million—a billion, rather—raised to the power of N: it is incomprehensible. We pass through vast halls, each with a capacity of ten Kronecker units, and creep like so many ants clinging to the folds of breathing vaults and craning to watch the flight of soaring girders, opalescent in the glare of searchlights, and elastic domes which criss-cross and balance each other unerringly, the perfection of a moment, since everything here passes and fades. The essence of this architecture is movement synchronized towards a precise objective. We observe a fraction of the process, like hearing the vibration of a single string in an orchestra of supergiants. We know, but cannot grasp, that above and below, beyond the limits of perception or imagination, thousands and millions of simultaneous transformations are at work, interlinked like a musical score by mathematical counterpoint. It has been described as a symphony in geometry, but we lack the ears to hear it.”

Tags : Aliens The Other
Source : Solaris

58. “Der Pessimismus der Vernunft verpflichtet zum Optimismus des Willens!”

Tags : Optimism Pessimism

59. “Everyone knows that dragons don’t exist. But while this simplistic formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific mind. The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned with what does exist. Indeed, the banality of existence has been so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further here. The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical, and the purely hypothetical. They were all, one might say, nonexistent, but each non-existed in an entirely different way.”

Tags : Dragons Existence Non Existence Philosophy Science
Source : The Cyberiad

60. “Dopóki nie skorzystałem z Internetu, nie wiedziałem, że na świecie jest tylu idiotów”

Tags : Humor Idiots Internet

61. “Omnipotence is most omnipotent when one does nothing!”

Tags : Fables For The Cybernetic Age Stanislaw Lem The Cyberiad

62. “Hay dos especies de sabiduría: una incita a la acción, la otra la frena. ¿No crees Trurl, que la segunda en más honda? Porque sólo el pensamiento de alcance infinito puede prever las remotas consecuencias de una acción emprendida, unas consecuencias que pueden convertir en problemática la acción que las había suscitado. Ergo, la perfección puede consistir en la renuncia a la acción. Y la diferencia entre la sabiduría y la razón estriba en la capacidad de aquélla para descubrir tal diferencia.”

Tags : Ciberiada Lem
Source : The Cyberiad