Wilderness Quotes

A definition is the enclosing a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.

Samuel Butler

The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir

We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.

John Hope Franklin

To live without an aim is to wander in a wilderness

Shri Radhe Maa

Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.

Henry David Thoreau

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as "wild." Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness" and only to him was the land "infested" with "wild" animals and "savage" people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it "wild" for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the "Wild West" began.

Luther Standing Bear

However, there are all sorts of behaviours in the Bible that might be called mad now, but aren't designated as insanity by the text itself. People see visions of angels going up and down ladders, of fiery chariots and, like Moses, who hears a bush talking, and Balaam the prophet who has a conversation with his donkey, they hear voices of those who cannot be said to be present in any usual sense of the word. They also speak in tongues, as the disciples do at Pentecost. Like madness, the visions, the voices and the speaking in tongues are due to external and usually divine agencies. In a world so permeated with supernatural powers, there are no accidents, and in one so riddled with prophets who went into a frenzy while prophesying many more kinds of behaviour were accepted as normal, at least for a prophet or an inspired person, than would be the case now. John the Baptist, dressed in animal skins and wandering around in the wilderness denouncing his social superiors, was not thought of as a de-institutionalized street person who's gone off his medications, but as a saint. And this was the pattern for mediaeval views of aberrant behaviour if you were acting crazy it was a divine punishment, or else you were possessed, by powers either divine or demonic perhaps aided, in the latter case, by witches.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience

Howard Zahnhiser

There is in every American, I think, something of the old Daniel Boone - who, when he could see the smoke from another chimney, felt himself too crowded and moved further out into the wilderness.

Hubert H. Humphrey

No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.

Garrett Hardin

Working to preserve in perpetuity is a great inspiration. We are not fighting a rear-guard action, we are facing a frontier. We are not slowing down a force that inevitably will destroy all the wilderness there is. We are generating another force, never to be wholly spent, that, renewed generation after generation, will be always effective in preserving wilderness. We are not fighting progress. We are making it. We are not dealing with a vanishing wilderness. We are working for a wilderness forever.

Howard Zahniser

We are part of the wilderness of the universe. Some of us think we see this so clearly that for ourselves, for our childrenís, our continuing posterity, and our fellow men we covet with a consuming intensity the fullness of human development that keeps its contact with wildness

Howard Zahniser

The wilderness that has come to us from the eternity of the past we have the boldness to project into the eternity of the future.

Howard Zahniser

It is not long since man thought of himself as the center of the universe, thought even of the Sun - the very source of all our life - as a light by day revolving about the Earth. As our new understanding has come - through science - science also has brought us many other new and wonderful discoveries, and the new knowledge of what we are has been overlooked by many of us in our eagerness for the new knowledge of what we can do. We have become as proud over what we can do as ever our ancestors could have been over themselves as the center of the universe. We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience. Without the gagets, the inventions, the contrivances whereby men have seemed to establish among themselves an independence of nature, without these distractions, to know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize oneís littleness, to sense dependence and interdependence, indebtedness, and responsibility. Perhaps, indeed, this is the distinctive ministration of wilderness to modern man, the characteristic effect of an area which we most deeply need to provide for in our preservation programs.

Howard Zahniser

Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.

Stuart Udall
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