Can you imagine how incredibly quiet it was everywhere, when the gentlemen from this world” — he made a vague circular gesture towards the battalions of meditating Asians behind him — “were hatching and proclaiming their ideas? Anyone who now tries to follow these ideas in order to find the road back to what they were talking about, is faced with obstacles that would have driven an entire tribe of oriental ascetics into the ravine. The world from which they felt it so necessary to retreat would have seemed idyllic to us. We live in a vision of hell, and we have actually got used to it.” He looked at his statues and continued, “We have become different people. We still look the same, but we have nothing in common with them any more. We are differently programmed. Anyone who now wants to become like them must acquire a big dose of madness first; otherwise he will no longer be able to bear the life of our world. We are not designed for their kind of life. — Cees Nooteboom
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