Olaf Stapledon Famous Quotes & Sayings

100 Olaf Stapledon Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

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To say that the cosmos was expanding is equally to say that its members were contracting. The ultimate centers of power, each at first coincident ... themselves generated the cosmical space by their disengagement from each other. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: To say that the cosmos was expanding is equally to say that its members were
My soul, sir? I haven't got one. The management doesn't allow them. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: My soul, sir? I haven't got one. The management doesn't allow them.
Last night, walking on the heath, she and I, alive, condescended toward the stars.
For then we knew quite surely that all the pother of the universe was but a prelude to that summer night and our uniting, and all the ages to come but a cadence after our loving.
Nestled down into the heather, we laughed, and took joy of one another, justifying the cosmic enterprise for ever by the moments of our caressing, while the simple stars watched unseeing.
Thus lovers, nations, worlds, nay galaxies, conceive themselves the crest of all that is.
Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Last night, walking on the heath, she and I, alive, condescended toward the stars.For then
Myriads of individuals, each one unique, live out their lives in rapt intercourse with one another, contribute their heart's pulses to the universal music, and presently vanish, giving place to others. All this age-long sequence of private living, which is the actual tissue of humanity's flesh, I cannot describe. I can only trace, as it were, the disembodied form of its growth. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Myriads of individuals, each one unique, live out their lives in rapt intercourse with one
He was sitting in front of the kitchen fire, and after Elizabeth's taunt he cocked up a hind leg and carefully, ostentatiously, groomed his private parts, a habit which he often used with great effect to annoy his women folk. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: He was sitting in front of the kitchen fire, and after Elizabeth's taunt he cocked
Homo sapiens is a spider trying to crawl out of a basin. The higher he crawls, the steeper the hill. Sooner or later, down he goes. So long as he's on the bottom, he can get along quite nicely, but as soon as he starts climbing, he begins to slip. And the higher he climbs the farther he falls. It doesn't matter which direction he tries. He can make civilization after civilization, but every time, long before he begins to be really civilized, skid! Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Homo sapiens is a spider trying to crawl out of a basin. The higher he
I see, indeed I know, that in some sense God is love, and God is wisdom, and God is creative action, yes and God is beauty; but what God actually is, whether the maker of all things, or the fragrance of all things, or just a dream in our own hearts, I have not the art to know. Neither have you, I believe; nor any man, nor any spirit of our humble stature. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: I see, indeed I know, that in some sense God is love, and God is
All this long human story, most passionate and tragic in the living, was but an unimportant, a seemingly barren and negligible effort, lasting only for a few moments in the life of the galaxy. When it was over, the host of the planetary systems still lived on, with here and there a casualty, and here and there among the stars a new planetary birth, and here and there a fresh disaster. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: All this long human story, most passionate and tragic in the living, was but an
The one reasonable goal of social life was affirmed to be the creation of a world of awakened, of sensitive, intelligent, and mutually understanding personalities, banded together for the common purpose of exploring the universe and developing the human spirit's manifold potentialities. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The one reasonable goal of social life was affirmed to be the creation of a
But why," he said with animation, "do the English not read their own great literature?"
Victor laughed triumphantly, and said, "Because at school they are made to hate it.
Olaf Stapledon Sayings: But why," he said with animation, "do the English not read their own great literature?"Victor
The actual individual, in whom this myth of the Favourite Son was founded, was indeed remarkable. Born of shepherd parents among the Southern Andes, he had first become famous as the leader of a romantic "youth movement"; and it was this early stage of his career that won him followers. He urged the young to set an example to the old, to live their own life undaunted by conventions, to enjoy, to work hard but briefly, to be loyal comrades. Above all, he preached the religious duty of remaining young in spirit. No one, he said, need grow old, if he willed earnestly not to do so, if he would but keep his soul from falling asleep, his heart open to all rejuvenating influences and shut to every breath of senility. The delight of soul in soul, he said, was the great rejuvenator; it re-created both lover and beloved. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The actual individual, in whom this myth of the Favourite Son was founded, was indeed
In you, humanity is precarious; and so, in dread and in shame, you kill the animal in you. And its slaughter poisons you. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In you, humanity is precarious; and so, in dread and in shame, you kill the
We have no government and no laws, if by law is meant a stereotyped convention supported by force, and not to be altered without the aid of cumbersome machinery. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: We have no government and no laws, if by law is meant a stereotyped convention
Men endured so much for war, but for peace they dared nothing. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Men endured so much for war, but for peace they dared nothing.
For in a declining civilization it is often the old who see furthest and see with youngest eyes. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: For in a declining civilization it is often the old who see furthest and see
We are bound to hurt one another so much, again and again. we are so terribly different.'Yes,' he said, 'But the more different, the more lovely the loving. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: We are bound to hurt one another so much, again and again. we are so
In a sick world even the hale are sick. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In a sick world even the hale are sick.
If one could know whether among that glittering host there were here and there other spirit-inhabited grains of rock and metal, whether man's blundering search for wisdom and for love was a sole and insignificant tremor, or part of a universal movement! Olaf Stapledon Sayings: If one could know whether among that glittering host there were here and there other
Once more I struck out into the ocean of space, heading for another near star. Once more I was disappointed. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Once more I struck out into the ocean of space, heading for another near star.
Sooner or later for good or ill, a united mankind, equipped with science and power, will probably turn its attention to the other planets, not only for economic exploitation, but also as possible homes for man ... The goal for the solar system would seem to be that it should become an interplanetary community of very diverse worlds ... Through the pooling of this wealth of experience, through this 'commonwealth of worlds,' new levels of mental and spiritual development should become possible, levels at present quite inconceivable to man. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Sooner or later for good or ill, a united mankind, equipped with science and power,
Strange that in my remoteness I seemed to feel, as never before, the vital presence of Earth as of a creature alive but tranced and obscurely yearning to wake. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Strange that in my remoteness I seemed to feel, as never before, the vital presence
With characteristic lack of false modesty, John once said to me, My looks are a rough test of people. If they don't begin to see me beautiful when they have had a chance to learn, I know they're dead inside, and dangerous. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: With characteristic lack of false modesty, John once said to me, My looks are a
This microcosm was pregnant with the germ of a proper time and space, and all the kinds of cosmical beings. Within this punctual cosmos the myriad but not unnumbered physical centers of power, which men conceive vaguely as electrons, protons, and the rest, were at first coincident with one another. And they were dormant. The matter of ten million galaxies lay dormant in a point. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: This microcosm was pregnant with the germ of a proper time and space, and all
The cosmos exploded, actualizing its potentiality of space and time. The centers of power, like fragments of a bursting bomb, were hurled apart. But each one retained in itself, as a memory and a longing, the single point of the whole; and each mirrored in itself aspects of all the others throughout all the cosmical space and time. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The cosmos exploded, actualizing its potentiality of space and time. The centers of power, like
...the whole of American life was organized around the cult of the powerful individual, that phantom ideal which Europe herself had only begun to outgrow in her last phase. Those Americans who wholly failed to realize this ideal, who remained at the bottom of the social ladder, either consoled themselves with hopes for the future, or stole symbolical satisfaction by identifying themselves with some popular star, or gloated upon their American citizenship, and applauded the arrogant foreign policy of their government. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: ...the whole of American life was organized around the cult of the powerful individual, that
Unless he was one of the furiously successful minority, he was apt to be haunted by moments of brooding, too formless to be called meditation, and of yearning, too blind to be called desire. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Unless he was one of the furiously successful minority, he was apt to be haunted
Is the beauty of the Whole really enhanced by our agony? And is the Whole really beautiful? And what is beauty? Throughout all his existence man has been striving to hear the music of the spheres, and has seemed to himself once and again to catch some phrase of it, or even a hint of the whole form of it. Yet he can never be sure that he has truly heard it, nor even that there is any such perfect music at all to be heard. Inevitably so, for if it exists, it is not for him in his littleness. But one thing is certain. Man himself, at the very least, is music, a brave theme that makes music also of its vast accompaniment, its matrix of storms and stars. Man himself in his degree is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things. It is very good to have been man. And so we may go forward together with laughter in our hearts, and peace, thankful for the past, and for our own courage. For we shall make after all a fair conclusion to this brief music that is man. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Is the beauty of the Whole really enhanced by our agony? And is the Whole
The true goal of human activity was the creation of a world-wide community of awakened and intelligently creative persons, related by mutual insight and respect, and by the common task of fulfilling the potentiality of the human spirit on earth. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The true goal of human activity was the creation of a world-wide community of awakened
They grew up, moulded by the harsh or kindly pressure of their fellows, to be either well nurtured, generous, sound, or mentally crippled, bitter, unwittingly vindictive. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: They grew up, moulded by the harsh or kindly pressure of their fellows, to be
For the former, activity, any kind of activity, was an end in itself; for the latter, activity was but a progress toward the true end, which was rest, and peace of mind. Action was to be undertaken only when equilibrium was disturbed. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: For the former, activity, any kind of activity, was an end in itself; for the
Why did you make only one of me? It's going to be lonely being me. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Why did you make only one of me? It's going to be lonely being me.
In fact man's career has been less like a mountain torrent hurtling from rock to rock, than a great sluggish river, broken very seldom by rapids. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In fact man's career has been less like a mountain torrent hurtling from rock to
They were a remarkable company, each one of them a unique person, yet characterized to some extent by his particular national type. And all were distinctively "scientists" of the period. Formerly this would have implied a rather uncritical leaning towards materialism, and an affectation of cynicism; but by now it was fashionable to profess an equally uncritical belief that all natural phenomena were manifestations of the cosmic mind. In both periods, when a man passed beyond the sphere of his own serious scientific work he chose his beliefs irresponsibly, according to his taste, much as he chose his recreation or his food. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: They were a remarkable company, each one of them a unique person, yet characterized to
In the tide of these wild thoughts we checked our fancy, remembering that only on the rare grains called planets can life gain foothold, and that all this wealth of restless jewels was but a waste of fire. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In the tide of these wild thoughts we checked our fancy, remembering that only on
The universe now appeared to me as a void wherein floated rare flakes of snow, each flake a universe. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The universe now appeared to me as a void wherein floated rare flakes of snow,
We of today must conceive our relation to the rest of the universe as best we can; and even if our images must seem fantastic to future men, they may none the less serve their purpose today. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: We of today must conceive our relation to the rest of the universe as best
The creator, if he should love his creature, would be loving only a part of himself; but the creature, praising the creator, praises an infinity beyond himself. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The creator, if he should love his creature, would be loving only a part of
In man, social intercourse has centred mainly on the process of absorbing fluid into the organism, but in the domestic dog and to a lesser extent among all wild canine species, the act charged with most social significance is the excretion of fluid. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In man, social intercourse has centred mainly on the process of absorbing fluid into the
In general the Star Maker, once he had ordained the basic principles of a cosmos and created its initial state, was content to watch the issue; but sometimes he chose to interfere, either by infringing the natural laws that he himself had ordained, or by introducing new emergent formative principles, or by influencing the minds of the creatures by direct revelation. This according to my dream, was sometimes done to improve a cosmical design; but, more often, interference was included in his original plan. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In general the Star Maker, once he had ordained the basic principles of a cosmos
Bvalltu, for such approximately was the philosopher's name, the "11" being pronounced more or less as in 27 Welsh, Bvalltu effected a "cure" by merely inviting Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Bvalltu, for such approximately was the philosopher's name, the "11" being pronounced more or less
We must achieve neither mere history, nor mere fiction, but myth. A true myth is one which, within the universe of a certain culture (living or dead), expresses richly, and often perhaps tragically, the highest admirations possible within that culture. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: We must achieve neither mere history, nor mere fiction, but myth. A true myth is
The truth of the matter was something much more subtle and tremendous than any plain physical miracle could ever be. But never mind that. The important thing was that, when I did see the stars (riotously darting in all directions according to the caprice of their own wild natures, yet in every movement confirming the law), the whole tangled horror that had tormented me finally presented itself to me in its truth and beautiful shape. And I knew that the first, blind stage of my childhood had ended. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The truth of the matter was something much more subtle and tremendous than any plain
How should the little creatures, the awakened worlds, reach out to knowledge of the whole cosmos, and of the divine? Instead they must play their own part in the drama, and appreciate their own tragic end with godlike detachment and relish. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: How should the little creatures, the awakened worlds, reach out to knowledge of the whole
We all desire the future to turn out more happily than I have figured it. In particular we desire our present civilization to advance steadily toward some kind of Utopia. The thought that it may decay and collapse, and that all its spiritual treasure may be lost irrevocably, is repugnant to us. Yet this must be faced as at least a possibility. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: We all desire the future to turn out more happily than I have figured it.
I am the scent that he will follow always, hunting for God. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: I am the scent that he will follow always, hunting for God.
The Tibetan missionaries in their mood of bright confidence disconcerted the imperial governments by laughing the new movement into frustration. For a sham faith cannot stand ridicule. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The Tibetan missionaries in their mood of bright confidence disconcerted the imperial governments by laughing
No influence of ours can save your species from destruction. Nothing could save it but a profound change in your own nature; and that cannot be. Wandering among you, we move always with fore-knowledge of the doom which your own imperfection imposes on you. Even if we could, we would not change it; for it is a theme required in the strange music of the spheres. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: No influence of ours can save your species from destruction. Nothing could save it but
A nation ... is just a society for hating foreigners. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: A nation ... is just a society for hating foreigners.
Animals that were fashioned for hunting and fighting in the wild were suddenly called upon to be citizens, and moreover citizens of a world-community. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Animals that were fashioned for hunting and fighting in the wild were suddenly called upon
But the very success which had intoxicated them rendered them also too complacent to learn from less prosperous competitors. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: But the very success which had intoxicated them rendered them also too complacent to learn
It was strange to us that none of these three victims made any attempt to resist the attack. Indeed, not one inhabitant in any of these worlds considered for a moment the possibility of resistance. In every case the attitude to disaster seemed to express itself in such terms as these:
To retaliate would be to wound our communal spirit beyond cure. We choose rather to die. The theme of spirit that we have created must inevitably be broken short, whether by the ruthlessness of the invader or by our own resort to arms. It is better to be destroyed than to triumph in slaying the spirit. Such as it is, the spirit that we have achieved is fair; and it is indestructibly woven into the tissue of the cosmos. We die praising the universe in which at least such an achievement as ours can be. We die knowing that the promise of further glory outlives us in other galaxies. We die praising the Star Maker, the Star Destroyer.
Olaf Stapledon Sayings: It was strange to us that none of these three victims made any attempt to
But in spite of this material prosperity he was a slave. His work and his leisure consisted of feverish activity, punctuated by moments of listless idleness which he regarded as both sinful and unpleasant. Unless he was one of the furiously successful minority, he was apt to be haunted by moments of brooding, too formless to be called meditation, and of yearning, too blind to be called desire. For he and all his contemporaries were ruled by certain ideas which prevented them from living a fully human life. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: But in spite of this material prosperity he was a slave. His work and his
I'm afraid I'm not working out according to plan," he said. "But if I am really a person you shouldn't expect me to. Why did you make me without making a world for me to live in. It's as though God had made Adam and not bothered to make Eden, nor Eve. I think it's going to be frightfully difficult being me. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: I'm afraid I'm not working out according to plan," he said. "But if I am
Without Satan, with God only, how poor a universe, how trite a music! Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Without Satan, with God only, how poor a universe, how trite a music!
In this passionately social world, loneliness dogged the spirit. People were constantly "getting together," but they never really got there. Everyone was terrified of being alone with himself; yet in company, in spite of the universal assumption of comradeship, these strange beings remained as remote from one another as the stars. For everyone searched his neighbour's eyes for the image of himself, and never saw anything else. Or if he did, he was outraged and terrified. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In this passionately social world, loneliness dogged the spirit. People were constantly "getting together," but
The expansion of the whole cosmos was but the shrinkage of all its physical units and of the wavelengths of light. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The expansion of the whole cosmos was but the shrinkage of all its physical units
The older Puritans had trampled down all fleshly impulses; these newer Puritans trampled no less self-righteously upon the spiritual cravings. But in the increasingly spiritistic inclination of physics itself, Behaviorism and Fundamentalism had found a meeting place. Since the ultimate stuff of the physical universe was now said to be multitudinous and arbitrary "quanta" of the activity "spirits", how easy was it for the materialistic and the spiritistic to agree? At heart, indeed, they were never very far apart in mood, though opposed in doctrine. The real cleavage was between the truly spiritual view on the one hand, and the spiritistic and materialistic on the other. Thus the most materialistic of Christian sects and the most doctrinaire of scientific sects were not long in finding a formula to express their unity, their denial of all those finer capacities which had emerged to be the spirit of man. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The older Puritans had trampled down all fleshly impulses; these newer Puritans trampled no less
When humanitarianism came into vogue, and the unsound were tended at public expense, this natural selection ceased. And since these unfortunates were incapable alike of prudence and of social responsibility, they procreated without restraint, and threatened to infect the whole species with their rottenness. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: When humanitarianism came into vogue, and the unsound were tended at public expense, this natural
There is much in this vision that will remind you of your mystics; yet between them and us there is far more difference than similarity, in respect both of the matter and the manner of our thought. For while they are confident that the cosmos is perfect, we are sure only that it is very beautiful. While they pass to their conclusion without the aid of intellect, we have used that staff every step of the way. Thus, even when in respect of conclusions we agree with your mystics rather than your plodding intellectuals, in respect of method we applaud most your intellectuals; for they scorned to deceive themselves with comfortable fantasies. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: There is much in this vision that will remind you of your mystics; yet between
We should not for a moment consider even our best-established knowledge of existence as true. It is awareness only of the colors that our own vision paints on the film of one bubble in one strand of foam on the ocean of being. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: We should not for a moment consider even our best-established knowledge of existence as true.
Thus and thus is the world. Seeing the depth, we shall see also the height, and praise both. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Thus and thus is the world. Seeing the depth, we shall see also the height,
So great was the mass of information forced upon the student, that he had no time to think of the mutual implications of the various branches of his knowledge. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: So great was the mass of information forced upon the student, that he had no
Had God,then,peopled the whole universe with our kind?Did he perhaps in very truth make us in his image?It was incredible.To ask such questions proved that I had lost mental balance. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Had God,then,peopled the whole universe with our kind?Did he perhaps in very truth make us
Barren, barren and trivial are these words. But not barren the experience. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Barren, barren and trivial are these words. But not barren the experience.
Distrust, not merely the old distrust of nation for nation, but a devastating distrust of human nature, gripped men like the dread of insanity. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Distrust, not merely the old distrust of nation for nation, but a devastating distrust of
It is enough to have been created, to have embodied for a moment the infinite and tumultuously creative spirit. It is infinitely more than enough to have been used, to have been the rough sketch for some perfected creation. Looking into the future, I saw without sorrow, rather with quiet interest, my own decline and fall. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: It is enough to have been created, to have embodied for a moment the infinite
So might we ourselves look down into some rock-pool where lowly creatures repeat with naive zest dramas learned by their ancestors aeons ago. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: So might we ourselves look down into some rock-pool where lowly creatures repeat with naive
He should avail himself of their resources in such ways as to advance the expression of the spirit in the life of mankind. He should use them so as to afford to every human being the greatest possible opportunity for developing and expressing his distinctively human capacity as an instrument of the spirit, as a centre of sensitive and intelligent awareness of the objective universe, as a centre of love of all lovely things, and of creative action for the spirit. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: He should avail himself of their resources in such ways as to advance the expression
This kind of internal "telepathic" intercourse, which was to serve me in all my wanderings, was at first difficult, innefective, and painful. But in time I came to be able to live through the experiences of my host with vividness and accuracy, while yet preserving my own individuality, my own critical intelligence, my own desires and fears. Only when the other had come to realize my presence within him could he, by a special act of volition, keep particular thoughts secret from me. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: This kind of internal "telepathic" intercourse, which was to serve me in all my wanderings,
It is better to be destroyed than to triumph in slaying the spirit ... We die praising the universe in which at least such an achievement as ours can be. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: It is better to be destroyed than to triumph in slaying the spirit ... We
I perceived that I was on a little round grain of rock and metal, filmed with water and with air, whirling in sunlight and darkness. And on the skin of that little grain all the swarms of men, generation by generation, had lived in labour and blindness, with intermittent joy and intermittent lucidity of spirit. And all their history, with its folk-wanderings, its empires, its philosophies, its proud sciences, its social revolutions, its increasing hunger for community, was but a flicker in one day of the lives of the stars. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: I perceived that I was on a little round grain of rock and metal, filmed
Even thus imprisoned in an instant, the spirit of man might yet plumb the whole extent of space, and also the whole past and the whole future; and so from behind his prison bars, he might render the universe that intelligent worship which, they felt, it demanded of him. Better so, they said, than that he should fret himself with puny efforts to escape. He is dignified by his very weakness, and the cosmos by its very indifference. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Even thus imprisoned in an instant, the spirit of man might yet plumb the whole
Individuals of the earlier species had suffered from an almost insurmountable spiritual isolation from one another. Not even lovers, and scarcely even the geniuses with special insight into personality, ever had anything like accurate vision of one another. [T]he most precious gift that a lover could bring to the beloved was not virginity but sexual experience. The union, it was felt, was the more pregnant the more each party could contribute from previous sexual and spiritual intimacy with others. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Individuals of the earlier species had suffered from an almost insurmountable spiritual isolation from one
Socrates woke to the ideal of dispassionate intelligence, Jesus to the ideal of passionate yet self-oblivious worship. Socrates urged intellectual integrity, Jesus integrity of will. Each, of course, though starting with a different emphasis, involved the other. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Socrates woke to the ideal of dispassionate intelligence, Jesus to the ideal of passionate yet
Very soon the heavens presented an extraordinary appearance, for all the stars directly behind me were now deep red, while those directly ahead were violet. Rubies lay behind me, amethysts ahead of me. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Very soon the heavens presented an extraordinary appearance, for all the stars directly behind me
Prick the bubble of thought at any point," it was said, "and you shatter the whole of it. And since thought is one of the necessities of human life, it must be preserved." Natural Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Prick the bubble of thought at any point," it was said, "and you shatter the
That strange blend of the commercial traveller, the missionary and the barbarian conqueror, which was the American abroad. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: That strange blend of the commercial traveller, the missionary and the barbarian conqueror, which was
My dear, it is a great strength to have faced the worst and to have *felt* it a feature of beauty. Nothing ever after can shake one. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: My dear, it is a great strength to have faced the worst and to have
I spent on the Other Earth many "other years," wandering from mind to mind and country to country, but I did not gain any clear understanding of the psychology of the Other Men and the significance of their history till I encountered one of their philosophers, an aging but still vigorous man whose eccentric and unpalatable views had prevented him from attaining eminence. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: I spent on the Other Earth many "other years," wandering from mind to mind and
No visiting angel, or explorer from another planet could have guessed that this bland orb teemed with vermin, with world-mastering, self-torturing, incipiently angelic beasts. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: No visiting angel, or explorer from another planet could have guessed that this bland orb
Wealth was the power to set things and people in motion; and in America, therefore, wealth came to be frankly regarded as the breath of God, the divine spirit immanent in man. God was the supreme Boss, the universal Employer. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Wealth was the power to set things and people in motion; and in America, therefore,
Men with sound eyes need not concern themselves with the arguments of blind men to prove that seeing cannot occur. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Men with sound eyes need not concern themselves with the arguments of blind men to
Humanity also suffered; though, save in the regions near the seat of war, it was in general only the children and the old people who suffered greatly. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Humanity also suffered; though, save in the regions near the seat of war, it was
The Chinese, taking off his air-helmet, uncoiled his pigtail with a certain emphasis, stripped off his heavy coverings, and revealed a sky-blue silk pyjama suit, embroidered with golden dragons. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The Chinese, taking off his air-helmet, uncoiled his pigtail with a certain emphasis, stripped off
Our outworn economic system dooms millions to frustration. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Our outworn economic system dooms millions to frustration.
Philosophy is an amazing tissue of really fine thinking and incredible, puerile mistakes. It's like one of those rubber 'bones' they give dogs to chew, damned good for the mind's teeth, but as food - no bloody good at all. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Philosophy is an amazing tissue of really fine thinking and incredible, puerile mistakes. It's like
Henceforth the cosmos, once a swarm of blazing galaxies, each a swarm of stars, was composed wholly of star-corpses. These dark grains drifted through the dark void, like an infinitely tenuous smoke rising from an extinguished fire. Upon these motes, these gigantic worlds, the ultimate populations had created here and there with their artificial lighting a pale glow, invisible even from the innermost ring of lifeless planets. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Henceforth the cosmos, once a swarm of blazing galaxies, each a swarm of stars, was
[S]ervants of darkness had no lasting joy in their service. In all of them the will for darkness was a perversion of the will for the light. In all but a few maniacs the satisfaction of the will for darkness was at all times countered by a revulsion which the unhappy spirit either dared not confess even to itself, or else rejected as cowardly and evil. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: [S]ervants of darkness had no lasting joy in their service. In all of them the
Yet though time is cyclic, it is not repetitive; there is no other time within which it can repeat itself. For time is but an abstraction from the successive-ness of events that pass; and since all events whatsoever form together a cycle of successive-ness, there is nothing constant in relation to which there can be repetition. And so the succession of events is cyclic, yet not repetitive. The birth of the all-pervading gas in the so-called Beginning is not merely similar to another such birth to occur long after us and long after the cosmic End, so-called; the past Beginning is the future Beginning.

When we are in full possession of our faculties, we are not distressed by this fate. For we know that though our fair community must cease, it has also indestructible being. We have at least carved into one region of the eternal real a form which has beauty of no mean order.
Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Yet though time is cyclic, it is not repetitive; there is no other time within
It seemed to me that I, the spirit of so many worlds, the flower of so many ages, was the Church Cosmical, fit at last to be the bride of God. But instead I was blinded and seared and struck down by terrible light. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: It seemed to me that I, the spirit of so many worlds, the flower of
I loathe the urchin's cruelty to the cat, but I will not loathe the urchin. I loathe Hitler's mass-torturing, but not Hitler; and the money-man's heartlessness, but not the man. I love the swallow's flight, and I love the swallow; the urchin's gleam of tenderness, and the urchin. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: I loathe the urchin's cruelty to the cat, but I will not loathe the urchin.
The future needed service, not pity, not piety; but in the past lay darkness, confusion, waste, and all the cramped primitive minds, bewildered, torturing one another in their stupidity, yet one and all in some unique manner, beautiful. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: The future needed service, not pity, not piety; but in the past lay darkness, confusion,
How could I describe our relationship even to myself without either disparaging it or insulting it with the tawdry decoration of sentimentality? Olaf Stapledon Sayings: How could I describe our relationship even to myself without either disparaging it or insulting
[T]he individual in whom the will for the light is strong and clear finds his heart inextricably bound up with the struggle of the forces of light in his native place and time. Much as he may long for the opportunity of fuller self- expression in a happier world, he knows that for him self-expression is impossible save in the world in which his mind is rooted. The individual in whom the will for the light is weak soon persuades himself that his opportunity lies elsewhere. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: [T]he individual in whom the will for the light is strong and clear finds his
In that instant when I had seen ... the Star Maker, I had glimpsed, in the very eye of that splendor, strange vistas of being; as though in the depths of the hypercosmical past and the hypercosmical future also, yet coexistent in eternity, lay cosmos beyond cosmos ... Olaf Stapledon Sayings: In that instant when I had seen ... the Star Maker, I had glimpsed, in
I was a disembodied, wandering view-point. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: I was a disembodied, wandering view-point.
Sitting there on the heather, on our planetary grain, I shrank from the abysses that opened up on every side, and in the future. The silent darkness, the featureless unknown, were more dread than all the terrors that imagination had mustered. Peering, the mind could see nothing sure, nothing in all human experience to be grasped as certain, except uncertainty itself; nothing but obscurity gendered by a thick haze of theories. Man's science was a mere mist of numbers; his philosophy but a fog of words. His very perception of this rocky grain and all its wonders was but a shifting and a lying apparition. Even oneself, that seeming-central fact, was a mere phantom, so deceptive, that the most honest of men must question his own honesty, so insubstantial that he must even doubt his very existence. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Sitting there on the heather, on our planetary grain, I shrank from the abysses that
Great are the stars, and man is of no account to them. But man is a fair spirit, whom a star conceived and a star kills. He is greater than those bright blind companies. For though in them there is incalculable potentiality, in him there is achievement, small, but actual. Too soon, seemingly, he comes to his end. But when he is done he will not be nothing, not as though he had never been; for he is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Great are the stars, and man is of no account to them. But man is
Science now held a position of unique honour among the First Men. This was not so much because it was in this field that the race long ago during its high noon had thought most rigorously, nor because it was through science that men had gained some insight into the nature of the physical world, but rather because the application of scientific principles had revolutionized their material circumstances. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Science now held a position of unique honour among the First Men. This was not
Those who achieved power were satisfied so long as they could merely retain it, and advertise it uncritically in the conventionally self-assertive manners. Olaf Stapledon Sayings: Those who achieved power were satisfied so long as they could merely retain it, and