Tag Archives: Quotes

“Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.”

– Ezra Pound

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Loren Eiseley

Except from Wikipedia:

Richard Wentz, professor of religious studies, noted that The Christian Century magazine called attention to a study of Loren Eiseley by saying: “The religious chord did not sound in him, but he vibrated to many of the concerns historically related to religion.” Wentz adds, “Although Eiseley may not have considered his writing as an expression of American spiritually, one feels that he was quite mindful of its religious character. As an heir of Emerson and Thoreau, he is at home among the poets and philosophers and among those scientists whose observations also were a form of contemplation of the universe.”

But Wentz considered the inherent contradictions in the statements: “We do not really know what to do with religiousness when it expresses itself outside those enclosures which historians and social scientists have carefully labeled religions. What, after all, does it mean to say, “the religious chord does not sound in someone,” but that the person vibrates to the concerns historically related to religion? If the person vibrates to such concerns, the chord is religious whether or not it manages to resound in the temples and prayer houses of the devout.”[5]

Wentz quotes Eiseley, from All the Strange Hours and The Star Thrower, to indicate that he was, in fact, a religious thinker:

“I am treading deeper and deeper into leaves and silence. I see more faces watching, non-human faces. Ironically, I who profess no religion find the whole of my life a religious pilgrimage.”
“The religious forms of the present leave me unmoved. My eye is round, open, and undomesticated as an owl’s in a primeval forest — a world that for me has never truly departed.”
“Like the toad in my shirt we were in the hands of God, but we could not feel him; he was beyond us, totally and terribly beyond our limited- senses.”
“Man is not as other creatures and. . . without the sense of the holy, without compassion, his brain can become a gray stalking horror — the deviser of Belsen.”

Wentz encompasses such quotes in his partial conclusion: “He was indeed a scientist – a bone hunter, he called himself. Archaeologist, anthropologist and naturalist, he devoted a great deal of time and reflection to the detective work of scientific observation. However, if we are to take seriously his essays, we cannot ignore the evidence of his constant meditation on matters of ultimate order and meaning.”[5] Science writer Connie Barlow says Eiseley wrote eloquent books from a perspective that today would be called Religious Naturalism. [31]

When a man does not dwell in self, then things will of themselves reveal their forms to him. His movement is like that of water, his stillness like that of a mirror, his responses like those of an echo.

Zhuang Zhou

Great Sage of Daoism, The Inner Chapters of the Zhuang Zi