Once I returned to the Church and began to see the universe as a place that really did incorporate redemption and really tried to understand the implications of there being a God, my identification with the vampires as outcasts, as outsiders and lost souls began to totally wane. It no longer worked for me. I had done it. It had led me to this point.
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There is a horrifying loneliness at work in this time. No, listen to me. We lived six and seven to a room in those days, when I was still among the living. The city streets were seas of humanity; and now in these high buildings dim-witted souls hover in luxurious privacy, gazing through the television window at a faraway world of kissing and touching. It is bound to produce some great fund of common knowledge, some new level of human awareness, a curious skepticism, to be so alone.
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I saw the Light,saw the myriad spirits flying loose up the Tunnel towards the celestial blaze, the Tunnel perfectly round and widening as they rose and for one blessed moment, one blessed tiny instant, the songs of Heaven resounded down the tunnel as if its curves were not made of wind but of something solid that could echo these ethereal songs, and their organized rhythm, their heartbreaking beauty piercing the catastrophic suffering of this place-Lestat
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I didn't look to the shore much after this first long and memorable glimpse. I looked up at Heaven and her court of mythical creatures fixed forever in the all powerful and inscrutable stars. Ink black was the night beyond them, and they so like jewels that old poetry came back to me, the sound even of hymns sung only by men.
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I knelt and prayed, and the strongest truth came over me. Didn't matter if God in his heaven was a Catholic or a Protestant God, or the God of the Hindus. What mattered was something deeper and older and more powerful than any such image - it was a concept of goodness based upon the affirmation of life, the turning away from destruction, from the perverse, from man using and abusing man. It was the affirmation of the human and the natural.
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And then it was, that grief and pain made themselves known to me as never before. Note this, because I knew the full absurdity of Fate and Fortune and Nature more truly than a human can bear to know it. And perhaps the description of this, brief as it is, may give consolation to another. The worst takes its time to come, and then to pass. The truth is, you cannot prepare anyone for this, nor convey an understanding of it through language. It must be known. And this I would wish on no one in the world.
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Oh, my darling, wish you were here! And my dark soul is happy again, because it does not know how to be anything else for very long, and because the pain is a deep dark sea in which I would drown if I did not sail my little craft steadily over the surface, steadily towards a sun which will never rise.
Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Only if you do that can you hope to make the reader feel every particle of what you, the writer, have known and feel compelled to share."---Forward to Kafka's Short stories
My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.
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I think this is a very important thing to understand about Christianity. It was from its very beginnings, it seems, a religion of great quarrels and wars, and it wooed the power of temporal authorities, and made them part of itself in the hope of resolving through sheer force its many arguments.
As the Roman Empire came to its close, all the old gods of the pagan world were seen as demons by the Christians who rose. It was useless to tell them as the centuries passed that their Christ was but another God of the Wood, dying and rising, as Dionysus or Osiris had done before him, and that the Virgin Mary was in fact the Good Mother again enshrined. Theirs was a new age of belief and conviction, and in it we became devils, detached from what they believed, as old knowledge was forgotten or misunderstood.
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I realized aloud in the midst of saying it that even when we die we probably don't find out the answer as to why we were ever alive. Even the avowed atheist probably thinks that in death he'll get some answer. I mean God will be there, or there won't be anything at all. 'But that's just it, ' I said, 'we don't make any discovery at that moment! We merely stop! We pass into nonexistence without ever knowing a thing.' I saw the universe, a vision of the sun, the planets, the stars, black night going on forever. And I began to laugh. 'Do you realize that! We'll never know why the hell any of it happened, not even when it's over!' I shouted at Nicolas, who was sitting back on the bed, nodding and drinking his wine out of a flagon. 'We're going to die and not even know. We'll never know, and all this meaninglessness will just go on and on and on. And we won't any longer be witness to it. We won't have even that little bit of power to give meaning to it in our minds. We'll just be gone, dead, dead, dead, without ever knowing!
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I didn't want to be in hell, even for a moment. I sure as hell wasn't going there just to spit in the face of the Prince of Darkness, whoever he might be! On the contrary, if I was a damned thing, then let the son of a bitch come for me! Let him tell me why I was mean to suffer. I would truly like to know. As for oblivion, well, we can wait a little while for that.
You are the son of the Lord God! She said. That's why you can kill and bring back to life, that's why you can heal a blind man as Joseph saw you do, that's why you can pray for snow and there will be snow, that's why you can dispute with your uncle Cleopas when he forgets you're a boy, that's why you make sparrows from clay and bring them to life. Keep your power inside you. Guard it until your Father in Heaven shows you the time to use it. If he's made you a child, then he's made you a child to grow in wisdom as well as in everything else.
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Evil is a point of view. We are immortal. And what we have before us are the rich feasts that conscience cannot appreciate and mortal men cannot know without regret. God kills, and so shall we; indiscriminately He takes the richest and the poorest, and so shall we; for no creatures under God are as we are, none so like Him as ourselves, dark angels not confined to the stinking limits of hell but wandering His earth and all its kingdoms.
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Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets-as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her-and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.
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And this lesson about mortal peace of mind I never forgot. Even if a ghost is ripping a house to pieces, throwing in pans all over, pouring water of pillows, making clocks chime at all hours, mortal will accept almost any "natural explanation" offered, no matter how absurd, rather than the obvious supernatural one, for what is going on.
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Ah, but prophecies have a way of fulfilling themselves, ' Khayman said. 'That's the magic of it. We all understood it in ancient times. The power of charms is the power of the will; you might say that we were all geniuses of psychology in those dark days, that we could be slain by the power of another's designs. And the dreams, Marius, the dreams are but a part of the great design.
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Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds - justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can't go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.
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I am in love with you', I responded. He laughed the most beguiling and gentle laugh. 'Of course you are, ' he replied. 'I understand perfectly because I'm in love with myself. The fact that I'm not transfixed in front of the nearest mirror takes a great deal of self-control.' It was my turn to laugh.
And oh, how she pitched herself into things. She would draw pictures all day long for weeks on end, then throw out the pencils and never draw another thing. Then it was embroidery with her, she had to learn it, and she'd make the most beautiful thing, fussing at herself for the least little mistake, then throw down the needles and be done with that forevermore. I never saw a child so changeable. It was as though she was looking for something to which she could give herself, and she never found it. Least ways not while she was a little girl.
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Knowledge drifts in and out of my mind", said Lestat with a little look of honest distress and a shake of his head. "I devour it and then I lose it and sometimes I can't reach for any knowledge that I ought to possess. I feel desolate, but then knowledge returns or I seek it out in a knew source." (...) "But you love books, then", Aunt Queen was saying. I had to listen. "Oh, yes, " Lestat said. "Sometimes they're the only thing that keeps me alive." "What a thing to say at your age", she laughed. "No, but one can feel desperate at any age, don't you think? The young are eternally desperate, " he said frankly. "And books, they offer one hope - that a whole universe might open up from between the covers, and falling into that universe, one is saved.
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I hear the birds singing. Listen. I hear them in their cage. The others-all our kind who know of her-they think of her as heartless, but she wasn't heartless. She was only aware of things which I didn't learn till so many decades had passed. She knew secrets that only suffering can teach...
Let tears gather in your eyes. You haven't tears enough for what you've done to me. Six more mortal years, seven, eight... I might have had that shape!' Her pointed finger flew at Madeleine, whose hands had risen to her face, whose eyes were clouded over. Her moan was almost Claudia's name. But Claudia did not hear her. 'Yes, that shape, I might have known what it was to walk at your side.
I never changed after that. I sought for nothing in the one great source of change which is humanity. And even in my love and absorption with the beauty of the world, I sought to learn nothing that could be given back to humanity. I drank of the beauty of the world as a vampire drinks. I was satisfied. I was filled to the brim. But I was dead. And I was changeless.
I wanted to kiss her, she was beautiful again to me. But I dared not risk it. It wasn't only that I would have frightened her, it was that the desire to kill her was almost overpowering. Some fierce purely male instinct in me wanted to claim her now simply because I had claimed her in another way before.