“the dim awareness that we are alive for a moment on this planet as it spins, meaninglessly, around the cold and infinite galaxy—gives human beings “the status of a small god in nature,”
“Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms.
This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still has the gill marks to prove it …
Man is literally split in two: he has awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with”.