“Each one of us must find out for himself what is permitted and what is forbidden–forbidden for him. It’s possible for one to never transgress a single law and still be a bastard. And vice versa. Actually, it’s only a question of convenience. Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the law. Others sense their own laws within them; things are forbidden to them that any honorable man will do any day of the year and other things are allowed to him that are generally despised. Each person must stand on his own feet.”

“The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must destroy first a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas.”

“Just then I found a strange refuge–‘by chance’ as they say–though I believe there is no such thing. If you need something desperately and find it this is not an accident; your own craving and compulsion leads you to it.”

“Whether you and I and a few others will renew the world someday remains to be seen. But within ourselves we must renew it each day, otherwise we just aren’t serious.”

“I don’t know much about spirits. I live in my dreams–that’s what you sense. Other people live in dreams, but not their own. That’s the difference.”

“We aren’t pigs as you seem to think, but human beings. We create gods and struggle with them, and they bless us.”

“But where we have given of our love and respect not from habit but of our own fee will, where we have been disciples and friends out of our inmost hearts, it is a bitter and horrible moment when we suddenly recognize that the current within us wants to pull away from what is dearest to us…the frightened heart flees timidly back to the charmed valleys of childhood virtues, unable to believe that this beak, too, must be made, this bond also broken.”

“‘I believe I have been on my way my whole life–and now I have come home.’ She smiled like a mother. ‘One never reaches home,’ she said. ‘But where paths of affinity cross, there the whole world can seem like home for a time.'”

“Sinclair, you are a child! Your fate loves you. One day it will be entirely yours–just as you dream it–if you remain constant to it.”

“Our task was to represent an island in the world, a prototype perhaps, or at least a prospect of a different way of life. I, who had been isolated for so long, learned about the companionship which is possible between people who have tasted complete loneliness.”

“You must not give way to desires you do not believe in. I know what you desire. You should, however, either be capable of renouncing these desires or feel wholly justified in having them. Once you are able to make your request in such a way that you will be quite certain of its fulfillment, then the fulfillment will come.”

“Everything that has happened to me since has hurt. But sometimes when I find the key and climb deep into myself where the images of fate lie aslumber in the dark mirror, I need only bend over that dark mirror to behold my own image, now completely resembling him, my brother, my master.”

Read Demian, by Herman Hesse.

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