Peter Noll: In the Face of Death

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Man has always praised himself as an extremely rational being. He ought to stop that.

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It is obviously impossible to live in the present. The brain-computer has no program for it. That we live in the past and in the future, in memories and hopes, in past accomplishments and plans for the future, is based on one of those odd laws of the human psyche.

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The thought of death ought to be a lifelong occupation for every man. But this would be too great a stress for the human psyche. We have to live as if we were immortal.

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Modesty of needs makes us freer than the fulfillment of all needs.

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It is always the experts who are most surprised by new knowledge.

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A terminal cancer patient`s unbearable pain is pointless; it`s as if one were to drive the dead to the cemetery in an ambulance with flashing lights and screaming sirens. Pain makes sense only as long as recovery is possible.

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Only music is abstract enough to express the transcendental.

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Death stays the same, but life becomes different.

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