I Grok It


A few years ago, I bought the book “Stranger in a Strange Land”, Rober Heinlein.  I started reading it but couldn’t get into it.  Recently, I have.  There are definitely some things in there that date it.  But there are other things that resonate.

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

So very true.

“Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy – in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.”

“I’ve found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting.” <– yes.

“Consider the black widow spider. It’s a timid little beastie, useful and, for my taste, the prettiest of the arachnids, with its shiny, patent-leather finish and its red hourglass trademark. But the poor thing has the fatal misfortune of possessing enormously too much power for its size. So everybody kills it on sight.” <— definitely makes sense.

“But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.” <– That one reminds me of Machiavelli.

“I do know that the slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth–then shut up.” <– truth.

“There is no safety this side of the grave” <– Truth.

“Government! Three fourths parasitic and the other fourth Stupid fumbling.” <– fuck yes.

“In the twentieth century, nowhere on Earth was sex so vigorously suppressed as in America—and nowhere else was there such a deep interest in it.” <— and in the 21st century too.

“Like every living thing its prime characteristic is a blind, unreasoned instinct to survive.”

“Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn’t give up, Ben; she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She’s a father working while cancer eats away his insides, to bring home one more pay check. She’s a twelve-year-old trying to mother her brothers and sisters because mama had to go to Heaven. She’s a switchboard operator sticking to her post while smoke chokes her and fire cuts off her escape. She’s all the unsung heroes who couldn’t make it but never quit.” <— love his perspective on the art.

“I see the beauty of Mike’s attempt to devise an ideal ethic and applaud his recognition that such must start by junking the present sexual code and starting fresh. Most philosophers haven’t the courage for this; they swallow the basics of the present code–monogamy, family pattern, continence, body taboos, conventional restrictions on intercourse, and so forth–then fiddle with details…even such piffle as discussing whether the female breast is an obscene sight!”

“You have to give an editor something to change, or he gets frustrated. After he pees in it himself, he likes the flavor much better, so he buys it.” <– Lord, not just editors!

“God made alcohol and he made feet – and he made ’em so you could put ’em together and be happy!”

I told someone recently that I have lots of books that I start to read, find I cannot, but later can read.  I explain it is because I am ready later.  This is definitely one of those books.

What do you think?

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