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[an evening heart-to-heart between Dr. Lao and Mike]
Mike, let me tell you something. The whole world is a circus if you know how to look at it. The way the sun goes down when you're tired, comes up when you want to be on the move. That's real magic. The way a leaf grows. The song of the birds. The way the desert looks at night, with the moon embracing it. Oh, my boy, that's... that's circus enough for anyone. Every time you watch a rainbow and feel wonder in your heart. Every time you pick up a handful of dust, and see not the dust, but a mystery, a marvel, there in your hand. Every time you stop and think, "I'm alive, and being alive is fantastic!" Every time such a thing happens, you're part of the Circus of Dr. Lao.
I don't understand.
Neither do I.
Mike, the whole world is a circus if you look at it the right way. Every time you pick up a handful of dust, and see not the dust, but a mystery, a marvel, there in your hand, every time you stop and think, "I'm alive, and being alive is fantastic!" Every time such a thing happens, Mike, you are part of the Circus of Dr. Lao.
Apollonius of Tyana:
Tomorrow will be like today, and the day after tomorrow will be like the day before yesterday. I see your remaining days as a tedious collection of hours full of useless vanities. You will think no new thoughts. You will forget what little you have known. Older you will become, but not wiser. Stiffer, but not more dignified. Childless you are, and childless you will remain. Of that suppleness you once commanded in your youth, of that strange simplicity which once attracted men to you, neither endures, nor shall you recapture them.
You're a mean, ugly man!
Apollonius of Tyana:
Mirrors are often ugly and mean. When you die, you will be buried and forgotten, and that is all. And for all the good or evil, creation or destruction, your living might have accomplished, you might just as well never have lived at all.
I was like you once, long time ago. I believed in the dignity of man. Decency. Humanity. But I was lucky. I found out the truth early, boy.
And what is the truth, Stark?
It's all very simple. There's no such thing as the dignity of man. Man is a base, pathetic and vulgar animal.
The Fall of the City.
The city’s name was Walderkan. It existed beyond the edge of the world, some years before the beginning of history. There are no records of Walderkan, no artifacts, no descendants of it’s people. In fact,, there is no real proof that there ever was such a place it was as real as pain. Citizens of Abalone, I give you Walderkan. It was a small city, a humble city. It's people had a little in the way of worldly goods and this little made for themselves by themselves or euchred from the stubborn soil or plucked from the cold and capricious heart of the sea. Yet the Walderanese were content for in the goods for the spirit they were rich. For them it was enough to partake of creation and to give thanks unto their God – enough and more. Then one day a Stranger appeared in Walderkan and he said to the people… Not enough! You are poor when you could be rich! You eat of humble fair when you could feast! You scratch at the ground. And the ground mocks you! You pray to your God and he laughs at you! Fools! Be gone from this blighted place! Fools! Fools! Fools! And suddenly, people were not content. They listened to the stranger and sold their souls for pieces of silver. And then a fearful thing happened. The God of all life looked down upon the people of Walderkan, and was displeased, and he said “Treasures I have given thy beyond compare yet thou didst spurn them, and for a handful of silver sold thy soul.” And because he had been angered, God pointed his finger and visited upon the city of Walderkan the greatest plague of all — oblivion.
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