One: A Novel

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  • What if you could find a way into those parallel worlds, it whispered. What if you could meet the Richard and Leslie you were before you made your worst mistakes and smartest moves? What if you could warn them, thank them, ask them any question you dared? What might they know about living, about youth and age and dying, about peace and war, responsibility, choices and consequences, about the world you think is real?

    Go away, I said.

    You think you don't belong in this world with its wars and destructions, its hatred and violence? Why do you live here?

    Let me sleep, I said.

    Good Night, it said.

    But ghost-minds never sleep, and I heard pages turning in my dreams.

    I'm awake now, and the questions remain. Do our choices really change our worlds? What if science turns out to be true?
  • A tiny change today brings us to a dramatically different tomorrow. There are grand rewards for those who pick the high hard roads, but those rewards are hidden by years. Every choice is made in the uncaring blind, no guarantees from the world around us.
  • The only way to avoid all frightening choices is to leave society and become a hermit, and that is a frightening choice.
  • Character comes from following our highest sense of right, from trusting ideals without being sure they'll work. One challenge of our adventure on earth is to rise above dead systems -- wars, religions, nations, destructions -- to refuse to be a part of them, and express instead the highest selves we know how to be.
  • No one can solve problems for someone whose problem is that they don't want problems solved.
  • No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.
  • Commerce is idea and choice expressed. Look about you this moment: Everything you see and touch was once invisible idea until someone chose to bring it into being.
  • We can't give money to a needy alternative us in other beliefs of space and time, but we can give ideas which they can turn to fortunes of they choose.
  • Bad things are not the worst thing that can happen to us. Nothing is the worst thing that can happen to us!
  • An easy life doesn't teach us anything. In the end it's the learning that matters: what we've learned and how we've grown.
  • We can have excuses, or we can have health, love, longevity, understanding, adventure, money, happiness. We design our lives through the power of our choices. We feel most helpless when we've made choices by default, when we haven't designed our lives on our own.
  • We are each given a block of marble when we begin a lifetime, and the tools to shape it into sculpture... We can drag it behind us untouched, we can pound it into gravel, we can shape it into glory.
  • We generate our own environment. We get exactly what we deserve. How can we resent the life we've created for ourselves? Who's to blame, who's to credit, but us? Who can change it, any time we wish, but us?
  • Any powerful idea is absolutely fascinating and absolutely useless until we choose to use it.
  • There's no disaster that can't become a blessing, and no blessing that can't become a disaster.
  • You are creatures of light. From light have you come, to light you shall go, and surrounding you through every step is the light of your infinite being.
  • By your choice dwell you now in the world which you have created. What you hold in your heart shall be true, and what you most admire, that shall you become.
  • Fear not, nor be dismayed at the appearance that is darkness, at the disguise that is evil, at the empty cloak that is death, for you have picked these for your challenges. They are the stones on which you choose to whet the keen edge of your spirit. Know that ever about you stands the reality of love, and each moment you have the power to transform your world by what you have learned.
  • You are life inventing form. No more can you die on sword or years than can you die on doorways through which you walk, one room into another. Every room gives its word for you to speak, every passage its song for you to sing.
  • What a blessed evening! How rarely are we given the chance to save the world from a new religion!
  • "We fly up high," I said trembling with insight, "and we have perspective!" We see every choice and fork and crossroad. But the lower we fly, the more we lose perspective. And when we land, our perspective on all the other choices is gone! We focus on detail: daily, hourly, minute-ly detail, alternate lifetimes forgotten!"
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