Only now is the child finally divested of all that he has been. His origins are become remote as is his destiny and not again in all the world’s turning will there be terrains so wild and barbarous to try whether the stuff of creation may be shaped to man’s will or whether his own heart is not another kind of clay.
Lost ye way in the dark, said the old man. He stirred the fire, standing slender tusks of bone up out of the ashes.
The kid didn’t answer.
The old man swung his head back and forth. The way of the transgressor is hard. God made this world, but he didn’t make it to suit everybody, did he?
I don’t believe he much had me in mind.
Aye, said the old man. But where does a man come by his notions. What world’s he seen that he liked better?
I can think of better places and better ways.
Can ye make it be?
No. It’s a mystery. A man’s at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he don’t want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it. You believe that?
I dont know.
— Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian