You shouldn't have to settle for rabbits if what you want is deer
If the world was made for us, then it BELONGS to us and we can do what we damn well please with it.
You're captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live. … You are captives-and you have made a captive of the world itself. That's what's at stake, isn't it?-your captivity and the captivity of the world.
If you alone found out what the lie was, then you're probably right-it would make no great difference. But if you ALL found out what the lie was, it might conceivably make a very great difference indeed.
The first time I read the ad, I choked and cursed and spat and threw the paper to the floor.
The mythology of your culture hums in your ears so constantly that no one pays the slightest bit of attention to it. Of course man is conquering space and the atom and the deserts and the oceans and the elements. According to your mythology, this is what he was BORN to do.
The sign stopped me-- or rather, this text stopped me. Words are my profession; I seized these and demanded that they explain themselves, that they cease to be ambiguous.
And every time the Takers stamp out a Leaver culture, a wisdom ultimately tested since the birth of mankind disappears from the world beyond recall.
The world of the Takers is one vast prison, and except for a handful of Leavers scattered across the world, the entire human race is now inside that prison.
But why? Why do you need prophets to tell you how you ought to live? Why do you need anyone to tell you how you ought to live
Do you see the slightest evidence anywhere in the universe that creation came to an end with the birth of man? Do you see the slightest evidence anywhere out there that man was the climax toward which creation had been straining from the beginning? ...Very far from it. The universe went on as before, the planet went on as before. Man's appearance caused no more stir than the appearance of jellyfish.
There is no secret knowledge; no one knows anything that can't be found on a shelf in the public library.
Everyone in your culture knows this. Man was born to turn the world into paradise, but tragically he was born flawed. And so his paradise has always been spoiled by stupidty, greed, destructiveness, and shortsightedness.
This law … defines the limits of competition in the community of life. You may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down your competitors or destroy their food or deny them access to food. In other words, you may compete but you may not wage war.
Exactly. That's what's been happening here for the past ten thousand years: You've been doing what you damn well please with the world. And of course you mean to go right on doing what you damn well please with it, because the whole damn thing belongs to you.
I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely.
Its the idea that people living close to nature tend to be noble. Its seeing all those sunsets that does it. You cant watch a sunset and then go off and set fire to your neighbors tepee. Living close to nature is wonderful for your mental health.
The story the Leavers have been enacting for the past three million years isnt a story of conquest and rule. Enacting it doesnt give them power. Enacting it gives them lives that are satisfying and meaningful to them. This is what youll find if you go amo
The people of your culture cling with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man. They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation. This mythology of human superiority justifies their doing whatever they please with the world, just the way Hitlers mythology of Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe. But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying. The Takers are a profoundly lonely people. The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation, alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness.
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- Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
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