Anthropology Quotes

 Like the herd animals we are, we sniff warily at the strange one among us.  
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 The skull lay tilted in such a manner that it stared, sightless, up at me as though I, too, were already caught a few feet above him in the strata and, in my turn, were staring upward at that strip of sky which the ages were carrying farther away from me. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one." I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 To have dragons one must have change; that is the first principle of dragon lore. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Perhaps a creature of so much ingenuity and deep memory is almost bound to grow alienated from his world, his fellows, and the objects around him. He suffers from a nostalgia for which there is no remedy upon earth except as it is to be found in the enlightenment of the spirit - some ability to have a perceptive rather than an exploitive relationship with his fellow creatures. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 I am what I am and cannot be otherwise because of the shadows. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Man would not be man if his dreams did not exceed his grasp. Like John Donne, man lies in a close prison, yet it is dear to him. Like Donne's, his thoughts at times overleap the sun and pace beyond the body. If I term humanity a slime mold organism it is because our present environment suggest it. 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. If I dream by contrast of the eventual drift of the star voyagers through the dilated time of the universe, it is because I have seen thistledown off to new worlds and am at heart a voyager who, in this modern time, still yearns for the lost country of his birth. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Since the first human eye saw a leaf in Devonian sandstone and a puzzled finger reached to touch it, sadness has lain over the heart of man. By this tenuous thread of living protoplasm, stretching backward into time, we are linked forever to lost beaches whose sands have long since hardened into stone. The stars that caught our blind amphibian stare have shifted far or vanished in their courses, but still that naked, glistening thread winds onward. No one knows the secret of its beginning or its end. Its forms are phantoms. The thread alone is real; the thread is life. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Perhaps he knew, there in the grass by the waters, that he had before him an immense journey. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 As we passed under a streetlamp I noticed, beside my own bobbing shadow, another great, leaping grotesquerie that had an uncanny suggestion of the frog world about it, judging from the shadow, it was soaring higher and more gaily than myself. 'Very well,' you will say, 'Why didnít you turn around. That would be the scientific thing to do.' But let me tell you it is not done - not on an empty road at midnight. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 A world like that is not really natural, or (the thought strikes one later) perhaps it really is, only more so. Parts of it are neither land nor sea and so everything is moving from one element to another, wearing uneasily the queer transitional bodies that life adopts in such places. Fish, some of them, come out and breathe air and sit about watching you. Plants take to eating insects, mammals go back to the water and grow elongate like fish, crabs climb trees. Nothing stays put where it began because everything is constantly climbing in, or climbing out, of its unstable environment. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 If it should turn out that we have mishandled our own lives as several civilizations before us have done, it seems a pity that we should involve the violet and the tree frog in our departure. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Lights come and go in the night sky. Men, troubled at last by the things they build, may toss in their sleep and dream bad dreams, or lie awake while the meteors whisper greenly overhead. But nowhere in all space or on a thousand worlds will there be men to share our loneliness. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 In the days of the frost seek an minor sun. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 We are one of many appearances of the thing called Life; we are not its perfect image, for it has no perfect image except Life, and life is multitudinous and emergent in the stream of time. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 There is nothing very 'normal' about nature. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 There is nothing more alone in the universe than man. He is alone because he has the intellectual capacity to know that he is separated by a vast gulf of social memory and experiment from the lives of his animal associates. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Though men in the mass forget the origins of their need, they still bring wolfhounds into city apartments, where dog and man both sit brooding in wistful discomfort. The magic that gleams an instant between Argos and Odysseus is both the recognition of diversity and the need for affection across the illusions of form. It is nature's cry to homeless, far-wandering, insatiable man: "Do not forget your brethren, nor the green wood from which you sprang. To do so is to invite disaster." 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 We have joined the caravan, you might say, at a certain point; we will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in a lifetime see all that we would like to see or learn all that we hunger to know. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and love for a time in the wilderness. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Out of the choked Devonian waters emerged sight and sound and the music that rolls invisible through the composer's brain. They are there still in the ooze along the tideline, though no one notices. The world is fixed, we say: fish in the sea, birds in the air. But in the mangrove swamps by the Niger, fish climb trees and ogle uneasy naturalists who try unsuccessfully to chase them back to the water. There are things still coming ashore. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 If one could run the story of that first human group like a speeded-up motion picture through a million years of time, one might see the stone in the hand change to the flint ax and the torch. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Already humanity is physically antique in this robot world he has created. All that sustains him is that small globe of grey matter through which spin his ever-changing conceptions of the universe. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 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. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 It was the failures who had always won, but by the time they won they had come to be called successes. This is the final paradox, which men call evolution. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Some lands are flat and grass-covered, and smile so evenly up at the sun that they seem forever youthful, untouched by man or time. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  
 Tyrannosaurs, enormous bipedal caricatures of men, would stalk mindlessly across the sites of future cities and go their slow way down into the dark of geologic time. 
Author: Loren Corey Eiseley
Nationality: American
b. 03 September 1907  - d. 09 July 1977
  




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