Monday, September 10, 2007

The Star Thrower. Loren Eiseley. Significant Sentences 02

Significant sentences from Loren Eiseley's The Star Thrower, a collection of Eiseley's essays on nature.

Title of Essay: "The Long Loneliness."

"There is nothing more alone in the universe than man." p. 37.

"Only in acts of inarticulate compassion, in rare and hidden moments of communion with nature, does man briefly escape his solitary destiny." p. 37.

" is so locked in his own type of intelligence--an intelligence that is linked to a prehensile, grasping hand giving him power over his environment...." p. 38.

"Unless we are specialists in the study of communication and its relation to intelligence, however, we are apt to oversimplify or define poorly what intelligence is, what communication and language are and thus confuse and mystify both ourselves and others." p. 39.

"Man without writing cannot long retain his history in his head." p. 41.

"Man's greatest epic, his four long battles with the advancing ice of the great continental glaciers, has vanished from human memory without a trace." p. 41.

"Only the poet who writes speaks his message across the millennia to other hearts." p. 41.

"It is difficult for us to visualize another kind of lonely, almost disembodied intelligence floating in the wavering green fairyland of the sea--an intelligence possibly near or comparable to our own but without hands to build, to transmit knowledge by writing, or to alter by one hairsbreadth the planet's surface." p. 43.

"If man had sacrificed his hands for flukes, the moral might run, he would still be a philosopher, but there would have been taken from him the devastating power to wreak his thought upon the body of the world." p. 43.

"It is worth at least a wistful thought that someday the porpoise may talk to us and we to him." p. 44.

Reflections: There may be intelligences in nature comparable to our own, but without the opposable thumb that enables man to control his environment. Some day we might be able to communicate with those intelligences. The porpoise is a possibility. Ray S.

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