"The years of imprisonment hardened me.... Perhaps if you have been given a moment to hold back and wait for the next blow, your emotions wouldn't be blunted as they have been in my case. When it happens every day of your life, when that pain becomes a way of life, I no longer have the emotion of fear. ... there is no longer anything I can fear. There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn't any pain I haven't known."
"As for the peasant populations of a great part of the world, they aren't so much anxious as hungry. They aren't anxious about whether they will get a salary raise, or which of the three colleges of their choice they will be admitted to, or whether to buy a Ford or Cadillac, or whether the kind of TV set they want is too expensive. They are hungry, cold and, in many parts of the world, they dread that local warfare, bandits, political coups may endanger their homes, their meager livelihoods and their lives. But surely they are not anxious. For anxiety, as we have come to use it to describe our characteristic state of mind, can be contrasted with the active fear of hunger, loss, violence and death. Anxiety is the appropriate emotion when the immediate personal terror--of a volcano, an arrow, the sorcerer's spell, a stab in the back and other calamities, all directed against one's self--disappears."
"There is nothing strange about fear: no matter in what guise it presents itself it is something with which we are all so familiarthat when a man appears who is without it we are at once enslaved by him."
"Water, earth, air, fire, and the other parts of this structure of mine are no more instruments of your life than instruments of your death. Why do you fear your last day? It contributes no more to your death than each of the others. The last step does not cause the fatigue, but reveals it. All days travel toward death, the last one reaches it."
"I had got away. That was my victory. The real quarrel with Ireland began to burgeon in me then; I thought of how it had warped me,and those around me, and their parents before them, all stooped by a variety of fears--fear of church, fear of gombeenism, fear of phantoms, fear of ridicule, fear of hunger, fear of annihilation, and fear of their own deeply ingrained aggression that can only strike a blow at each other, not having the innate authority to strike at those who are higher. Pity arose too, pity for a land so often denuded, pity for a people reluctant to admit that there is anything wrong. That is why we leave. Because we beg to differ. Because we dread the psychological choke. But leaving is only conditional. The person you are is anathema to the person you would like to be."
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched seabeams glitter in the dark near the Tennhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die."
"I exacted the most sacred oaths, that under no circumstances they would bury me until decomposition had so materially advanced asto render farther preservation impossible. And, even then, my mortal terrors would listen to no reason--would accept no consolation. I entered into a series of elaborate precautions."