Mankind's Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 38 quotes )
Dreaming is not merely an act of communication (or coded communication, if you like); it is also an aesthetic activity, a game of the imagination, a game that is a value in itself. Our dreams prove that to imagine--to dream about things that have not happened--is among mankind's deepest needs. Herein lies the danger. If dreams were not beautiful, they would be quickly forgotten.
To feel our character, our personality, and our personal, hard-won history fade from being is to be exposed to whatever lies beneath these comforting, operational conveniences. What remains when the conscious and functioning self has been erased is mankind's fundamental condition? irrational, violent, guilt-wracked, despairing, and mad.
I had started out as an outright 'debunker,' taking great joy in cracking what seemed at first to be puzzling cases. I was the arch enemy of those 'flying saucer groups and enthusiasts' who very dearly wanted UFOs to be interplanetary. My own knowledge of those groups came almost entirely from what I heard from Blue Book personnel: they were all 'crackpots and visionaries.' My transformation was gradual but by the late sixties it was complete. Today I would not spend one further moment on the subject of UFOs if I didn't seriously feel that the UFO phenomenon is real and that efforts to investigate and understand it, and eventually to solve it, could have a profound effect -- perhaps even be the springboard to mankind's outlook on the universe.
Some Americans appear to believe that there would be no arts in America were it not for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an institution created in 1965. They cannot imagine things being done any other way, even though they were done another way throughout our country's existence, and throughout most of mankind's history. While the government requested $121 million for the NEA in 2006, private donations to the arts totaled $2.5 billion that year, dwarfing the NEA budget. The NEA represents a tiny fraction of all arts funding, a fact few Americans realize. Freedom works after all. And that money is almost certainly better spent than government money: NEA funds go not necessarily to the best artists, but to people who happen to be good at filling out government grant applications. I have my doubts that the same people populate both categories.
Not thou alone, but all humanity doth in its progress fable emulate. Whence came thy rocket-ships and submarine if not from Nautilus, from Cavorite? Your trustiest companions since the cave, we apparitions guided mankind's tread, our planet, unseen counterpart to thine, as permanent, as ven'rable, as true. On dream's foundation matter's mudyards rest. Two sketching hands, each one the other draws: the fantasies thou've fashioned fashion thee.
Baseball, football, basketball - these quintessentially American pastimes are recognizably sports because they involve play: they are games. One plays football, one doesn't play boxing...The boxing match is the very image, the more terrifying for being so stylized, of mankind's collective aggression; its ongoing historical madness.
As Solomon himself had remarked, 'We can be sure of talent, we can only pray for genius.' But it was a reasonable hope that in such concentrated society some interesting reactions would take place. Few artists thrive in solitude and nothing is more stimulating than the conflict of minds with similar interests. So far, the conflict had produced worthwhile results in sculpture, music, literary criticism and film making. It was still too early to see if the group working on historical research would fulfil the hopes of its instigators, who were frankly hoping to restore mankind's pride in its own achievements. Painting still languished which supported the views of those who considered that static, two dimensional forms of art had no further possibilities. It was noticeable, though a satisfactory explanation for this had not yet been produced that time played an essential part in the colony's achievements.
Here is the essence of mankind's creative genius: not the edifices of civilization nor the bang-flash weapons which can end it, but the words which fertilize new concepts like spermatoza attacking an ovum. It might be argued that the Siamese-twin infants of word/idea are the only contribution the human species can, will, or should make to the reveling cosmos. (Yes, our DNA is unique, but so is a salamander's. Yes, we construct artifacts, but so have species ranging from beavers to the architecture ants... Yes, we weave real fabric things from the dreamstuff of mathematics, but the universe is hardwired with arithmetic. Scratch a circle and pi peeps out. Enter a new solar system and Tycho Brahe's formulae lie waiting under the black velvet cloak of space/time. But where has the universe hidden a word under its outer layer of biology, geometry, or insensate rock?)