At one point, I began to think that I had a divine doorman. Lenny was the most unlikely incarnation of God I could imagine, and yet, I kept drifting irresistibly towards this absurd conclusion. Despite my staunchly atheistic inclinations, I couldn't explain Lenny any other way. But eventually I came to my senses and realized that he was just one of those game show freaks with an encyclopedic memory. That didn't make him God, did it? Would God proclaim so regularly how much he likes Patsy's Pizza?
Why should I blame her that she filled my daysWith misery, or that she would of late Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,Or hurled the little streets upon the great, Had they but courage equal to desire?What could have made her peaceful with a mindThat nobleness made simple as a fire,With beauty like a tightened bow, a kindThat is not natural in an age like thisBeing high and solitary and most stern?Why, what could she have done, being what she is?Was there another Troy for her to burn?
Sometimes I can feel my darkness, like a fragment of nerves inside of me somewhere, sparking my hate. I picture it moving throughout my body, the other cells letting it pass by, yielding to its master. It moves to my tongue when it wants me to spew beautiful, damaging words, it moves to my hands when it wants me to feel all it can take away, and it moves to my eyes to blind me from truly seeing the destruction I’ve done.
I grabbed hold of my Divergence like it was a hand outstretched to save me. I needed that word to tell me who I was when everything else was coming apart around me. But now I'm wondering if I need it anymore, if we ever really need these words, 'Dauntless,' 'Erudite,' 'Divergent,' "Allegiant,' or if we can just be friends or lovers or siblings, defined instead by the choices we make and the love and loyalty that binds us.
I have never met a person who possessed a privilege who did not exercise that privilege to the fullest extent that they possibly could. Say what you like of a belief...of a party...of a finance system..of a power. All I see is privilege and its consequences. States are not in my opinion composed of structures supporting privilege but of structures denying it...in other words deciding who is not invited to the table.
Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome into his house, so I might burn it down. But then his daughter takes my hand, and I feel all the lies fall heavy on my shoulders. They say a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. They made no mention of the heart.
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.