If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.

— Loren Eiseley

The most attractive Loren Eiseley quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

We are rag dolls made out of many ages and skins, changelings who have slept in wood nests, and hissed in the uncouth guise of waddling amphibians. We have played such roles for infinitely longer ages than we have been human. Our identity is a dream. We are process, not reality.

177

When the human mind exists in the light of reason and no more than reason, we may say with absolute certainty that Man and all that made him will be in that instant gone.

80

It has been said repeatedly that one can never, try as he will, get around to the front of the universe. Man is destined to see only its far side, to realize nature only in retreat.

61

The great artist, whether he be musician, painter, or poet, is known for this absolute unexpectedness.

55

The need is not really for more brains, the need is now for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those who won for us against the ice, the tiger and the bear. The hand that hefted the ax, out of some old blind allegiance to the past fondles the machine gun as lovingly. It is a habit man will have to break to survive, but the roots go very deep.

54

Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.

41

Each one of us is a statistical impossibility around which hover a million other lives that were never destined to be born.

35

It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man.

30

Man would not be man if his dreams did not exceed his grasp.

.. If I remember the sunflower forest it is because from its hidden reaches man arose. The green world is his sacred center. In moments of sanity he must still seek refuge there.

25

Once in a lifetime, perhaps, one escapes the actual confines of the flesh.

Once in a lifetime, if one is lucky, one so merges with sunlight and air and running water that whole eons, the eons that mountains and deserts know, might pass in a single afternoon without discomfort.

24

Man is always marveling at what he has blown apart, never at what the universe has put together, and this is his limitation.

23

Great minds have always seen it. That is why man has survived his journey this long. When we fail to wish any longer to be otherwise than what we are, we will have ceased to evolve. Evolution has to be lived forward. I say this as one who has stood above the bones of much that has vanished, and at midnight has examined his own face.

15

About Loren Eiseley

Quotes 85 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

If you cannot bear the silence and the darkness, do not go there;

if you dislike black night and yawning chasms, never make them your profession. If you fear the sound of water hurrying through crevices toward unknown and mysterious destinations, do not consider it. Seek out the sunshine. It is a simple prescription. Avoid the darkness.

12

What if I am, in some way, only a sophisticated fire that has acquired an ability to regulate its rate of combustion and to hoard its fuel in order to see and walk?

11

In the desert, an old monk had once advised a traveler, the voices of God and the Devil are scarcely distinguishable.

11

A man who has once looked with the archaeological eye will never see quite normally. He will be wounded by what other men call trifles. It is possible to refine the sense of time until an old shoe in the bunch grass or a pile of nineteenth century beer bottles in an abandoned mining town tolls in one's head like a hall clock.

10

One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human.

10

[On common water.] Its substance reaches everywhere; it touches the past and prepares the future; it moves under the poles and wanders thinly in the heights of air. It can assume forms of exquisite perfection in a snowflake, or strip the living to a single shining bone cast up by the sea.

10

Like the herd animals we are, we sniff warily at the strange one among us.

9

After chiding the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past.

9

For the first time in four billion years a living creature had contemplated himself and heard with a sudden, unaccountable loneliness, the whisper of the wind in the night reeds.

8

It has been asserted that we are destined to know the dark beyond the stars before we comprehend the nature of our own journey.

7

Some degree of withdrawal serves to nurture man's creative powers.

The artist and the scientist bring out of the dark void, like the mysterious universe itself, the unique, the strange, the unexpected. Numerous observers have testified upon the loneliness of the process.

6

Mind is locked in matter like the spirit Ariel in a cloven pine.

Like Ariel, men struggle to escape the drag of the matter they inhabit, yet it is the spirit that they fear.

5

Primitives of our own species, even today are historically shallow in their knowledge of the past. Only the poet who writes speaks his message across the millennia to other hearts.

4

The creature called man has a strange history.

He is not of one piece, nor was he born of a single moment in time. His elementary substance is stardust almost as old as the universe.

4

Life, unlike the inanimate, will take the long way round to circumvent barrenness. A kind of desperate will resides even in a root.

4

The freedom to create is somehow linked with facility of access to those obscure regions below the conscious mind.

3

Man is dragged hither and thither, at one moment by the blind instincts of the forest, at the next by the strange intuitions of a higher self whose rationale he doubts and does not understand.

3

Over the whole earth- this infinitely small globe that possesses all we know of sunshine and bird song- an unfamiliar blight is creeping: man- man, who has become at last a planetary disease and who would, if his technology yet permitted, pass this infection to another star.

3

I was a shadow among shadows brooding over the fate of other shadows that I alone strove to summon up out of the all-pervading dusk.

3

I am not nearly so interested in what monkey man was derived from as I am in what kind of monkey he is to become.

3

One (practitioner of science) is the educated man who still has a controlled sense of wonder before the universal mystery, whether it hides in a snail's eye or within the light that impinges on that delicate organ.

3

Each man deciphers from the ancient alphabets of nature only those secrets that his own deeps possess the power to endow with meaning.

2

Many of us who walk to and fro upon our usual tasks are prisoners drawing mental maps of escape.

2

Subconsciously the genius is feared as an image breaker;

frequently he does not accept the opinions of the mass, or man's opinion of himself.

2

I once saw, on a flower pot in my own living room, the efforts of a field mouse to build a remembered field. I have lived to see this episode repeated in a thousand guises, and since I have spent a large portion of my life in the shade of a nonexistent tree I think I am entitled to speak for the field mouse.

1

The secret, if one may paraphrase a savage vocabulary, lies in the egg of night.

1

At the core of the universe, the face of God wears a smile

0

Each and all, we are riding into the dark.

Even living, we cannot remember half the events of our own days.

0

The journey is difficult, immense. We will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in one lifetime see all that we would like to see or to learn all that we hunger to know.

0

In the days of the frost seek an minor sun.

0

Of all the unexpected qualities of an unexpected universe, the sheer organizing power of animal and plant metabolism is one of the most remarkable. . . . Where it reaches its highest development, in the human mind, we forget it completely. . . . So important does nature regard this unseen combustion . . . that a starving man's brain will be protected to the last while his body is steadily consumed.

0

This is the most enormous extension of vision of which life is capable: the projection of itself into other lives. This is the lonely, magnificent power of humanity. It is . . . the supreme epitome of the reaching out.

0

The creative element in the mind of man .

. . emerges in as mysterious a fashion as those elementary particles which leap into momentary existence in great cyclotrons, only to vanish again like infinitesimal ghosts.

0

Without the gift of flowers and the infinite diversity of their fruits, man and bird, if they had continued to exist at all, would be today unrecognizable.

0

You think that way as you begin to get grayer and you see pretty plainly that the game is not going to end as you planned.

0

It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science which professionally has little to do with faith, owes its origins to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted, and that science today is sustained by that assumption.

0

From the solitude of the wood, (Man) has passed to the more dreadful solitude of the heart.

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