To the creative mind there is no right or wrong.
Every action is an experiment, and every experiment yields its fruit in knowledge.
"Very few humans consider themselves sinners nowadays," said George. "But everyone is afraid of
"All human beings consider themselves sinners. It's just about the deepest, oldest, and most universal human hangup there is. In fact, it's almost impossible to speak of it in terms that don't confirm it. To say that human beings have a universal hangup, as I just did, is to restate the belief that all men are sinners in different languages. In that sense, the Book of Genesis— which was written by early Semitic opponents of the Illuminati— is quite right. To arrive at a cultural turning point where you decide that all human conduct can be classified in one of two categories, good and evil, is what creates all sin— plus anxiety, hatred, guilt, depression, all the peculiarly human emotions. And, of course, such a classification is the very antithesis of creativity. To the creative mind there is no right or wrong. Every action is an experiment, and every experiment yields its fruit in knowledge. To the
moralist, every action can be judged as right or wrong— and, mind you, in advance— without knowing what its consequences are going to be— depending upon the mental disposition of the
actor. Thus the men who burned Giordano Bruno at the stake knew they were doing good, even
though the consequence of their actions was to deprive the world of a great scientist."
"If you can never be sure whether what you are doing is good or bad," said George, "aren't you liable
to be pretty Hamlet-like?" He was feeling much better now, much less afraid, even though the enemy
was still presumably out there trying to kill him. Maybe he was getting darshan from Hagbard.
"What's so bad about being Hamlet-like?" said Hagbard. "Anyway, the answer is no, because you only become hesitant when you believe there is such a thing as good and evil, and that your action may be one or the other, and you're not sure which. That was the whole point about Hamlet, if you remember the play. It was his conscience that made him indecisive."
"So he should have murdered a whole lot of people in the first act?"
Hagbard laughed. "Not necessarily. He might have decisively killed his uncle at the earliest opportunity, thus saving the lives of everyone else. Or he might have said, 'Hey, am I really obligated to avenge my father's death?' and done nothing. He was due to succeed to the throne anyway. If he had just bided his time everyone would have been a lot better off, there would have been no deaths, and the Norwegians would not have conquered the Danes, as they did in the last scene of the last act. Though being Norwegian myself I would hardly begrudge Fortinbras his triumph."
The Hour of the Evil Eye— the catastrophe that destroyed High Atlantis.
"Basically, two. One leading up to the Hour, and one afterward. Before the Hour, there was a civilization of about a million human beings on this continent. Technically, they were further advanced than the human race is today. They had atomic power, space travel, genetic technology and much else. This civilization was struck a death blow in the Hour of the Evil Eye. Two-thirds of them were killed —almost half the human population of the planet at that time. After the Hour, something made it impossible for them to make a comeback. The cities that came through the first catastrophe relatively undamaged were destroyed in later disasters. The inhabitants of Atlantis were reduced to savagery in a generation. Part of the continent sank under the sea, which was the beginning of the process that ended when all of Atlantis was under water, as it is today."
"Was this the earthquakes and tidal waves that you always read about?" George asked. "No," said Hagbard with a curious closed expression.
"It was manmade. High Atlantis was destroyed in a kind of war. Probably a civil war, since there was no other power on the planet that could have matched them."
"Anyway, if there'd been a victor, they'd still be around now," said George.
"They are," said Mavis. "The victors are still around. Only they're not what you might visualize. Not a conquering nation. And we are the descendants of the defeated."
The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.