All over the ancient world populations were now set against populations, as men were set against women and against other men. Wandering over the width and breadth of this disintegrating world, masses of refugees were everywhere fleeing their homelands, desperately searching for a haven, for a safe place to go. But there was no such place left in their new world. For this was now a world where, having violently deprived the Goddess and the female half of humanity of all power, gods and men of war ruled. It was a world in which the Blade, and not the Chalice, would henceforth be supreme, a world in which peace and harmony would be found only in the myths and legends of a long lost past.

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.

It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).

So to the book's provocation, the statement that nearly half the people in the United States don't believe in evolution. Not just any people but powerful people, people who should know better, people with too much influence over educational policy. We are not talking about Darwin's particular theory of natural selection. It is still (just) possible for a biologist to doubt its importance, and a few claim to. No, we are here talking about the fact of evolution itself, a fact that is proved utterly beyond reasonable doubt. To claim equal time for creation science in biology classes is about as sensible as to claim equal time for the flat-earth theory in astronomy classes. Or, as someone has pointed out, you might as well claim equal time in sex education classes for the stork theory. It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).

Was there to be any end to the gradual improvement in the techniques and artifices used by the replicators to ensure their own continuation in the world? There would be plenty of time for their improvement. What weird engines of self-preservation would the millennia bring forth? Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators? They did not die out, for they are the past masters of the survival arts. But do not look for them floating loose in the sea; they gave up that cavalier freedom long ago. Now they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control. They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rational for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines.

God takes a safe course with His children, that they may not be condemned with the world. He permits the world to condemn them, that they may not love the world. The world hates them, that they may not love the world; that they may be crucified to it, the world is to be crucified to them. Therefore they meet with such crosses and abuses and wrongs in the world. Because He will not suffer them to perish with the world, He sends them afflictions in and by the world.

If we succeed, generations to come will say of us now living that we mastered our moment, that we helped make the world safe for mankind.

Let us build a structure of peace in the world in which the weak are as safe as the strong

Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward.

We will not rest until we reach a permanent agreement [with the Palestinians] that would secure a safe future for our children and that would provide us with renewed hope to live in a region where people lead a life of co-operation and not, God forbid, where blood is shed.

O God, my Sun, up now and rise, I pray thee,
And be as the moon to illumine my darkness:
Wherefore wilt Thou play the passing wayfarer
And vanish like the fleeing gazelle?
When shall the bud come to blossom,
And the tender grape yield its sweet savour?
How long wilt Thou cast off the remnants of Joseph?
I was as a lamb led to the slaughter,
One man drawing me from the fold and another performing the sacrifice.
The lion rose murderous against me,
And the wild ass breaketh my bones.
The wild boar tore me, breathing fury,
Pushing westwards and northwards.

Dread God, who hast stretched out the heavens,
Who closest and none can open,
Now at last reprove kings for my sake—
For far be it from Thee to be forgetful!—
Thou shalt bring forth my prisoners from the pit:
For the sake of our hero-ancestor’s righteousness,
And shalt cleave the crown of the woman of Uz
And shave off the hair of Esau.

Take the young brood and prosper them,
But do not let go the mother.
O restore the maiden in her beautiful freshness,
And fill with moisture all that is withered.
Renew the Temple and the altar
And establish singing men for Thy praise;
One to glow with a song of loves,
And one to make melody for the chief musician.
Thus wilt Thou cause the horn of the Messiah to shoot up,
And I shall be wholly joyful.

You may write it on his tombstone, You may cut it on his card, That a young man married is a young man marred

We always love those who admire us; we do not always love those whom we admire.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far place.

The trouble with life isn't that there is no answer; it's that there are so many answers.

Oysters are more beautiful than any religion . . . there's nothing in Christianity or Buddhism that quite matches the sympathetic unselfishness of an oyster.

The seeds of knowledge may be planted in solitude, but must be cultivated in public.

There is certainly no greater happiness than to be able to look back on a life usefully and virtuously employed, to trace our own progress in existence by such tokens as excite neither shame nor sorrow.

Never value the valueless. The trick is to know how to recognize it.

I was very fond of Lagneau’s phrase: I have no comfort but in my absolute despair.