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Altered States (1980) Poster

Quotes

Eddie Jessup: Emily's quite content to go on with this life. She insists she's in love with me - whatever that is. What she means is she prefers the senseless pain we inflict on each other to the pain we would otherwise inflict on ourselves. But I'm not afraid of that solitary pain. In fact, if I don't strip myself of all this clatter and clutter and ridiculous ritual, I shall go out of my fucking mind. Does that answer your question, Arthur?

Arthur Rosenberg: What question was that?

Eddie Jessup: You asked me why I was getting divorced.

Arthur Rosenberg: Oh, listen, it's your life. I'm sorry I even asked.

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Eddie Jessup: What dignifies the Yogic practices is that the belief system itself is not truly religious. There is no Buddhist God per se. It is the Self, the individual Mind, that contains immortality and ultimate truth.

Emily Jessup: What the hell is not religious about that? You've simply replaced God with the Original Self.

Eddie Jessup: Yes, but we've localized it. Now I know where the Self is. It's in our own minds. It's a form of human energy. Our atoms are six billion years old. We've got six billion years of memory in our minds.

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Eddie Jessup: The purpose of our suffering is only more suffering.

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Arthur Rosenberg: The way I feel, I don't expect to go to sleep for a year. I'm on fucking fire!

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Eddie Jessup: Memory is energy! It doesn't disappear - it's still in there. There's a physiological pathway to our earlier consciousnesses. There has to be; and I'm telling you it's in the goddamned limbic system.

Mason Parrish: You're a whacko!

Eddie Jessup: What's whacko about it, Mason? I'm a man in search of his true self. How archetypically American can you get? We're all trying to fulfill ourselves, understand ourselves, get in touch with ourselves, face the reality of ourselves, explore ourselves, expand ourselves. Ever since we dispensed with God we've got nothing but ourselves to explain this meaningless horror of life.

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Eddie Jessup: You saved me. You redeemed me from the pit. I was in it, Emily. I was *in* that ultimate moment of terror that is the beginning of life. It is nothing. Simple, hideous nothing. The final truth of all things is that there is no final Truth. Truth is what's transitory. It's human life that is real. I don't want to frighten you, Emily, but what I'm trying to tell you is that moment of terror is a real and living horror, living and growing within me now, and the only thing that keeps it from devouring me is you.

Emily Jessup: Why don't you just come back to us?

Eddie Jessup: It's too late. I don't think I can get it out of me anymore. I can't live with it. The pain is too great.

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[Last line]

Eddie Jessup: I love you Emily.

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[First line]

Arthur Rosenberg: The tank itself was unusual in that it was vertical, and looked like an old boiler.

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Eddie Jessup: I haven't told anyone this in ten years. I'm telling you now because I think you have a right to know what kind of a nut you might be getting mixed up with here.

Emily Jessup: Arthur was right. You are a fascinating bastard.

[kisses him]

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Emily Jessup: [crying] He doesn't love me. He never loved me. I was never real to him. Nothing in the human experience is real to him.

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Emily Jessup: Fight it, Eddie. You made it real, you can make it unreal.

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Emily Jessup: Defy it, Eddie. You made it real. You can make it unreal. If you love me... If you love me, Eddie, DEFY IT!

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Mason Parrish: I want someone to look at those X-Rays who can read them.

Eddie Jessup: I'd rather not have everyone in the Brigham in on this. It's bad enough we've got this nosy x-ray technician.

Mason Parrish: Are you all right?

Eddie Jessup: I'm fine, Mason. I tried to indicate this was just a transient thing.

Mason Parrish: Transient ischemic attack, that's what it was.

[Addressing Arthur]

Mason Parrish: He's got his voice back.

Eddie Jessup: It wasn't an ischemic attack! It wasn't a seizure. You saw the x-rays, Mason. There was clearly something anterior to the larynx that looked like a laryngal sack. That's strictly simian! I obviously regressed! To some quasi-simian creature.

Mason Parrish: I'm gonna show these to someone who can read them right, 'cause you're reading them wrong, that's all there is to it. Because no one is gonna tell me you de-differentiated your goddamn genetic structure for four goddamn hours and then reconstitued! I'm a professor of endocrinology at the Harvard Medical School. I'm an attending physician at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital! I'm a contributing editor to the American Journal of Endocrinology and a I am a fellow and vice-president of the Eastern Association of Endocrinologists and president of the Journal Club! And I'm not going to listen to any more of your kabbalistic, quantum, friggin' dumb limbo mumbo jumbo! I'm gonna show these to a radiologist!

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Mason Parrish: You're supposed to be reputable scientists! Not two dorm kids freaking on Mexican mushrooms!

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Mason Parrish: It looks to me like the architecture is slightly abnormal.

Dr. Wissenschaft: Somewhat? This guy's a fucking gorilla!

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Sylvia Rosenberg: [Talking about Eddie and Emily] She's still crazy about him. He's still crazy.

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Eddie Jessup: I can't live with it Emily, the pain is unbearable.

Emily Jessup: We all live with it. That unbearable terror is what makes us such singular creatures. We hide from it, we succumb to it, mostly we defy it! We build fragile little structures to keep it out. We love, we raise families, we work, we make friends. We write poems...

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Arthur Rosenberg: What we saw tonight was a physical phenomenon, an inexplicable physical phenomenon!

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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