Provocative Aphorisms for
the Thoughtful Realist

- or -
Platitudes for Grannies NOT!



New Querulous Quotations
Volume 1: Nature, Travel, Spirit

Updated 24 March 2008
Like these "Nature,Travel, Sprit" quotes?
You can order the entire Volume 1 HERE.


Arias-Misson, Alain
The purpose of art is not a rarified, intellectual distillate - it is life, intensified, brilliant life.

McLuhan, Herbert Marshall
Art is anything you can get away with.

Picasso, Pablo Ruiz
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.


Anonymous Scientist
I admit that there's no evidence. There's a reason why it's called faith.

Buck, Pearl S.
I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.

Buddha, Gautama
Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Dawkins, Clinton Richard
Fundamentalists know they are right because they have read the truth in a holy book and they know, in advance, that nothing will budge them from their belief. The truth of the holy book is an axiom, not the end product of a process of reasoning. The book is true, and if the evidence seems to contradict it, it is the evidence that must be thrown out, not the book.

Satir, Virginia
All meaning is self-created.

Seaton, Nick
To present all faiths as equally valid is wrong. Everybody is entitled to think their faith is superior to others, be they Hindus, Jews, Muslims or Christians - otherwise what's the point in having faith?

Shaw, George Bernard
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

Shumsky, Susan
Your conscious beliefs are what you think you believe. Your subconscious beliefs and deepest convictions are what you really believe.

Simon, Julian Lincoln
All of us necessarily hold many casual opinions that are ludicrously wrong simply because life is far too short for us to think through even a small fraction of the topics that we come across.

Sweeney, Julia
I think that my parents had been mildly disappointed when I'd said I didn't believe in God any more, but being an atheist was another thing altogether.

Swinburne, Richard G.
There is quite a lot of evidence anyway of God's existence, and too much might not be good for us.


Einstein, Albert
The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don't know how or why.

Roosevelt, Theodore
All the resources we need are in the mind.


Cameron, Julia
Creativity is an act of faith, and we must be faithful to that faith, willing to share it to help others, and to be helped in return.

Copeland, Aaron
Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.

Jung, Carl Gustav
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Pearce, John Chilton
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Pearce, John Chilton
We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God's creative pulse itself.


Nin, Anais [Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell]
People living deeply have no fear of death.

Twain, Mark [Samuel Langhorne Clemens]
I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.


Vitale, Joe
… there's always something to be grateful for. Always. It's a matter of choosing to see it.


Di Marsico, Bruce
Although it may not seem obvious at first, people are actually unhappy because they want or choose to be.


Byron, Lord George Gordon
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.


Brennan, Gerald
Intellectuals are people who believe that ideas are of more importance than values. That is to say, their own ideas and other people's values.


Dawkins, Clinton Richard
What are those questions in whose presence religion is an honoured guest and science must respectfully slink away?

Einstein, Albert
I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.

Planck, Max Karl Ernst Ludwig
Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith.


Allen, James
Nature gives all, without reservation, and loses nothing; man or woman, grasping all, loses everything.

Carson, Rachel Louise
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo
The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.

Galilei, Galileo
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.

Lawrence, David Herbert Richards
When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don't know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.

Morrison, Toni [Chloe Anthony Wofford]
Birth, life, and death - each took place on the hidden side of a leaf.

Muir, John
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.

Muir, John
In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.

Muir, John
Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.

Muir, John
Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail.

Pascal, Blaise
Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.

Thoreau, Henry David
Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.

Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.
If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy.


Dawkins, Clinton Richard
That you cannot prove Gods' non-existence is accepted and trivial, if only in the sense that we can never absolutely prove the non-existence of anything.

Hume, David
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous that the fact which it endeavors to establish.


Augustine, St. [Aurelius Augustinus]
There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. It is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn.

Sagan, Carl Edward
We are torn between the craving to know and the despair of having known.

Watterson, William B. II [Calvin]
That's the whole problem with science. You've got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.


West, Dame Rebecca
It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.


Bryson, William McGuire "Bill"
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.

Buber, Martin
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

Chesterton, Gilbert Keith
The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land.

Conroy, Pat
Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.

Disraeli, Benjamin
Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.

Drew, Elizabeth
Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.

Fadiman, Clifton
When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.

France, Anatole [François-Anatole Thibault]
Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe …

Goldoni, Carlo
A wise traveler never despises his own country.

Huxley, Aldous Leonard
Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.

Jenkins, Mark
Adventure is a path. Real adventure - self-determined, self-motivated, often risky - forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind - and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.

Kipling, Rudyard
The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.

Least Heat Moon, William
What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do - especially in other people's minds. When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.

Mansfield, Katherine
Whenever I prepare for a journey I prepare as though for death. Should I never return, all is in order.

Michener, James Albert
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.

Miller, Henry Valentine
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

Pavese, Cesare
Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things - air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.

Moorish Proverb
He who does not travel does not know the value of men.

Runes, Dagobert D.
People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.

Stevenson, Robert Louis
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.

Theroux, Paul Edward
Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.

Twain, Mark [Samuel Langhorne Clemens]
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.


Adams, Douglas Nöel
Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

Adams, Douglas Nöel
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas-covered planet going around a nuclear fireball ninety million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.

Pearl S. Buck
I am comforted by life's stability, by earth's unchangeableness. What has seemed new and frightening assumes its place in the unfolding of knowledge. It is good to know our universe. What is new is only new to us.

Dickinson, Emily
That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.

Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose.

Nin, Anais [Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell]
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.

Shermer, Michael Brant
What can be more soul shaking than peering through a 100-inch telescope at a distant galaxy, holding a 100-million-year-old fossil or a 500,000-year-old stone tool in one's hand, standing before the immense chasm of space and time that is the Grand Canyon, or listening to a scientist who gazed upon the face of the universe's creation and did not blink? That is deep and sacred science.

Steindl-Rast, David
Wherever we may come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual.

Like these "Nature, Travel, Spirit" quotes?
You can order the entire Volume 1 HERE.

© 2008 Montague Media