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“ The greatest secret, which appears in no religious doctrine and is found nowhere in the world's overburdened library of myths and fables nor receives the slightest mention in any philosopher's system or scientist's speculation... The greatest secret, perhaps the only secret, is that the universe, all of creation, owes its existence to a degenerate little town. ”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “This Degenerate Little Town”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #426

“ And if it were possible to strip away the scenery that surrounds us, to pull up the landscape of every planet, to rip away the skies and shove away the stars and sun, to tear from ourselves our own flesh and delve deep into our bones, we would find it standing their eternal, the origin of all things visible or invisible, the source of everything that is or can be, this degenerate little town. ”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “This Degenerate Little Town”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #427

“ And then we would discover it's twisted streets and titling houses. It's decaying ground and rotting sky. And with our own eyes we would see the diseased faces peeking from grimy windows. Then we would realize why it is such a secret. The greatest and most vile secret. This degenerate little town where everything began and from whose core of corruption everything seeps out... ”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “This Degenerate Little Town”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #428

“ There are those among us who claim to have seen this degenerate little town, although they may be unaware of it's true nature. There are those who have emerged from some painful ordeal of the body or of the mind, and then come speaking of how they saw in the distance an outline of crooked houses tilting this way or that, or walked along some twisted street, and felt the ground soft with decay beneath their steps, or even glimpsed those diseased faces, their skin rough and pale as plaster, peeking from behind grimy windows. But those who have claimed to have seen such things always tell a somewhat different story - failing to compose a consistent picture of what they may have seen, or imagine they have seen. And so we stare at them suspiciously for a moment, and then start to walk away, leaving them to their lies or their illusions, which of course are the very essence of this degenerate little town. ”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “This Degenerate Little Town”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #429

“ Yet how much slack do you give to what you believe is a lie, even a lie that holds steady the social order and braces up everything you have become accustomed to your most cherished image of yourself, your country, your loved ones, and the value you place on your work, your hobbies, your possessions, your "way of life"?

How much slack do you give to what you believe to be a lie before you say you have had it with lies, before you forsake everything to live with what you really think and feel about the way things are? How much slack? Answer: all the slack in the world.
”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #430

“ The earth is not our home. We came from nothing, and to that condition our nostalgia should turn. ”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #431

“ Depressing" is the adjective that ordinary persons affix to the life-perspectives expressed by men such as Zapffe, Schopenhauer, and Lovecraft. The doctrines of any world-class religion, dolorous as some of them are, will never be similarly defamed. The world dotes on its lunatics, whether saintly or sadistic, and commemorates their careers. Psychopaths make terrific material for news agencies and movie studios; their exploits always draw a crowd. But the moment a discouraging word is spoken, some depressing knowledge, that crowd either disperses or goes on the attack. It is depression not madness that cows us, demoralization not insanity that we dread, disillusionment of the mind not its derangement that imperils our culture of hope. ”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #432

“ Newsflash: anyone who must receive instruction in morality will not benefit from it. Those concerned with morality are not the ones who need concern themselves with morality. The ones who need to be concerned with morality are those who will never be concerned with morality.

Ask any sociopath, whose deficit of fellow-feeling is evened out by others with a hyper-developed, unhealthy sense of moral responsibility. The latter group will take on the guilt from which the remorseless are spared, blaming themselves for tragedies they cannot lawfully or logically be connected with. One is as helpless as the other to be anything but what they are, morally speaking. Everyone in between these groups will go with the wind.

The majority cannot be taught how to feel about their behavior, only bludgeoned or cajoled into doing one thing or another. Rewards and punishments may be effective, but there can never be a mathematics of morality. Either the chemistry and neurology are there or they are not.
”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #433

“ Effigies of ourselves made by our own hands and minds, puppets were created to be actors in a world of their own, one that exists inside of ours and reflects back upon it. What do we see in that reflection? Only what we want to see, what we can stand to see. Through the prophylactic of self-illusion, we hide from what we fear to let into our heads. But puppets have nothing to hide. They are more than willing to betray a secret too terrible for us to know.

Our lives are full of baffling questions that virtuosos of speculation trifle with and the rest of us forget about. Naked apes or embodied angels we perhaps may be, but not self-conscious nothings. We are somebodies who move freely about and think what we choose. Puppets are not like that. They have nothing in their heads. They are unreal. When they are in motion, we know they are moved by an outside force. When they speak, their voices come from elsewhere. Their orders come from somewhere behind and beyond them. And were they ever to become aware of that fact, they would collapse at the horror of it all, as would we.
”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #434

“ One gasps to hear scientists swooning over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls overheated by their first crush. (Albert Einstein, Karl Popper, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, many others.) From the studies of Krafft-Ebbing onward, we know that it is possible to become excited about anything - from shins to shoes. But it would be nice if just one of these gushing eggheads would step back and, as a concession to objectivity, speak the truth: THERE IS NOTHING INATELY IMPRESSIVE ABOUT THE UNIVERSE OR ANYTHING IN IT. ”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #435

“ While writing is a solitary business, few writers are solitaries. Most write as members of society and witnesses of the times in which they live. They respond to the heads around them and put their heads together with theirs. If their works seem bizarre to the general reader, it is because they are writing from within a social circle of bizarre heads. (Example: participants in literary movements with or without manifestos.) These are not solitaries, who write from inside their own heads and whose writing cannot be understood solely within the compass of a specific place or by the clock of a specific time.

Solitary writers come out of nowhere and do not belong anywhere. They are not domesticated or socialized, not as writers. Their subject is not the world about them but the one within them. From story to story or poem to poem, they repeat themselves because all they have to work with are themselves and their dreams, which are strange dreams and often bad dreams. As anyone knows, nothing is more troublesome to communicate than yourself and your dreams, the feelings and visions that have molded you into what you are. So solitaries such as Lovecraft and Poe had their work cut out for them . . . and only them.
”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”
Added by: Steve Dekorte on 03-01-2010 #436

“ For all practical purposes almost no one is concerned with THE BIG NEWS. They have other things, more urgent matters inscribed within their skulls and all kinds of business to carry out. Their heads are just too heavy with so many plans and schemes, thousands of tasks that will not allow them to focus on anything that is so strange, anything that is so uncertain. They have no time to confront some ultimate revelation. They have no desire to find out so incredibly BIG NEWS. Such a thing would take everything they know and arrange it in another way altogether, telling a story so different from the one that is already familiar to them. NO ONE KNOWS THE BIG NEWS.
Yet THE BIG NEWS is always there. Like a tiny voice on a radio it chatters away through heavy static in a darkened room where people are trying to sleep, filling their heads with plans and schemes, inscribing thousands of tasks and urgent matters inside of their skulls, all kinds of business to carry out - fools errands, odd jobs, atrocities both great and small - all of which when taken together arrange things a different way that compose a secret story that no one cares to make their concern, yet THE BIG NEWS is always there. And so few will ever seek to discover, and none of them will ever be allowed to tell, that we ourselves are the dark language in which THE BIG NEWS is forever being written.
”
   
  Thomas Ligotti - “NO ONE KNOWS THE BIG NEWS”
Added by: sundog on 02-11-2012 #437

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