What I’d like to say to all of you is that you are all going to die. … You have, in fact, already begun to die. You look great. Don’t get me wrong. And you are youth and beauty. You are at the physical peak. Your bodies have just gotten off the ski slope on the peak of growth, potential, and now comes the black diamond mogul run to the grave. And the weird thing is your body wants to die. On a cellular level, that’s what it wants. And that’s probably not what you want.
I’m confronted by a great deal of grand and worthy ambition from this student body. You want to be a politician, a social worker. You want to be an artist. Your body’s ambition: Mulch. Your body wants to make some babies and then go in the ground and fertilize things. That’s it. And that seems like a bit of a contradiction. It doesn’t seem fair. For one thing, we’re telling you, “Go out into the world!” exactly when your body is saying, “Hey, let’s bring it down a notch. Let’s take it down.”
And that’s actually what I’d like to talk to you about. The contradiction between your body and your mind, between your mind and itself. I believe these contradictions and these tensions are the greatest gift that we have.
I don’t mind skulls and bones", said Marie. "There’s nothing even vaguely human to them. I’m not scared of skulls and bones. They’re like something insectile. If a child was raised and didn’t know he had a skeleton in him, he would’t think anything of bones, would he? That’s how it is with me. Everything human has been scraped off these. There’s nothing familiar left to be horrible. In order for a thing to be horrible it has to suffer a change you can recognize. This isn’t changed. They’re still skeletons like they always were. The part that changed is gone and so there is nothing to show for it. Isn’t that interesting?"The Next In Line", Ray Bradbury