Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Star Thrower. Loren Eiseley. Significant Sentences 13.

Significant sentences from Loren Eiseley's The Star Thrower, a collection of Eiseley's essays on nature and humanity's relationship to it.

Title of Essay: "Thoreau's Vision of the Natural World."

"...a banal writer who somehow managed to produce a classic work of literature." p. 223.

"Neither science nor literature was his [Thoreau's] total concern." p. 224.

"He [Thoreau] was a fox at the wood's edge, regarding human preoccupations with doubt." p. 224.

"Behind nature is hidden the chaos as well as the regularities of the world." p. 225.

Alfred North Whitehead: "Science is concerned not with the causes but the coherence of nature." p. 229.

"Man is in process, as is the whole of life." p. 230.

Thoreau: "All change is a miracle to contemplate, but it is a miracle that is taking place every instant." p. 231.

"Thoreau views us all as mere potential." p. 231.

"As a somewhat heretical priest once observed, 'God asks nothing of the highest soul but attention.' " p. 232.

"He [Thoreau] had, in the end, learned that nature was not an enlarged version of the human ego." p. 233.

"Thoreau, as is evidenced by his final journals, had labored to lay the foundations of a then unnamed science--ecology." p. 234.

[Reflections: Clearest statement of Eiseley's belief that evolution means change and change means development and development is potential. We are all in process. Eiseley also reinforces his belief that nature and man must work together, the goal of ecology. "The Fox at the Wood's Edge" is the title of a biography of Eiseley by Gale Christiansen.]

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