If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. If you’re going to try, go all the way. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs and maybe your mind. Go all the way. It could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail, it could mean derision, mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift, all the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And you’ll do it despite rejection and the worst odds and it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods and the nights will flame with fire. Do it, do it, do it. Do it. All the way. All the way. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter, It’s the only good fight there is.
Your parents gave their lives to keep you alive, Harry. A poor way to repay them — gambling their sacrifice for a bag of magic tricks.
They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God’s power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate—confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.
The best work is not the work that takes the most sacrifices. It’s the work in which you can best succeed.
Power revealed is power sacrificed. The truly powerful exert their influence in ways unseen, unfelt. Some would say that a thing visible is a thing vulnerable.
If our unhappiness were of use to someone, we could find consolation in the thought of sacrifice![Si nos douleurs pouvaient servir à quelqu’un, on se consolerait dans la pensée du sacrifice!]