John Varady > John's Quotes

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  • #1
    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

  • #2
    “Compared to forest or aquatic ecosystems, grassland is unstable. It requires rather precise geological and climatic conditions, and if these conditions are not maintained--if too much rain falls, or too little--it quickly turns into forest or desert, both of which are dominated by woody plants. This instability is reflected in the spectacular but brief careers of various grassland faunas. Humanity, with its dazzling symbioses, preadaptations, and neoteny, is the most spectacular of these--and may well be the briefest.”
    David Rains Wallace, The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution

  • #3
    Celso Cukierkorn
    “Poverty is a result of poor choices not of poor luck”
    Celso Cukierkorn, Secrets of Jewish Wealth Revealed!

  • #4
    Edward Abbey
    “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
    Edward Abbey, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West

  • #5
    Edward Abbey
    “Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.”
    Edward Abbey

  • #6
    Edward Abbey
    “If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers.”
    Edward Abbey

  • #7
    Edward Abbey
    “If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.”
    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

  • #8
    Edward Abbey
    “Whatever we cannot understand easily we call God; this saves wear and tear on the brain tissues.”
    Edward Abbey

  • #9
    Marina Tsvetaeva
    “And soon all of us will sleep under the earth, we who never let each other sleep above it.”
    Marina Tsvetaeva, Selected Poems

  • #10
    Marina Tsvetaeva
    “However much you feed a wolf, it always looks to the forest. We are all wolves of the dense forest of Eternity.”
    Marina Tsvetaeva

  • #11
    Marina Tsvetaeva
    “No one has ever stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?”
    Marina Tsvetaeva

  • #12
    H.L. Mencken
    “Where is the graveyard of dead gods? What lingering mourner waters their mounds? There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter today? And who of Huitzilopochtli? In one year - and it is no more than five hundred years ago - 50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is only by some vagrant savage in the depths of the Mexican forest. Huitzilopochtli, like many other gods, had no human father; his mother was a virtuous widow; he was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that she carried out with the sun.

    When he frowned, his father, the sun, stood still. When he roared with rage, earthquakes engulfed whole cities. When he thirsted he was watered with 10,000 gallons of human blood. But today Huitzilopochtli is as magnificently forgotten as Allen G. Thurman. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha and Wotan, he is now the peer of Richmond P. Hobson, Alton B. Parker, Adelina Patti, General Weyler and Tom Sharkey.

    Speaking of Huitzilopochtli recalls his brother Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca was almost as powerful; he consumed 25,000 virgins a year.

    Lead me to his tomb: I would weep, and hang a couronne des perles. But who knows where it is? Or where the grave of Quetzalcoatl is? Or Xiuhtecuhtli? Or Centeotl, that sweet one? Or Tlazolteotl, the goddess of love? Of Mictlan? Or Xipe? Or all the host of Tzitzimitl? Where are their bones? Where is the willow on which they hung their harps? In what forlorn and unheard-of Hell do they await their resurrection morn? Who enjoys their residuary estates? Or that of Dis, whom Caesar found to be the chief god of the Celts? Of that of Tarves, the bull? Or that of Moccos, the pig? Or that of Epona, the mare? Or that of Mullo, the celestial jackass? There was a time when the Irish revered all these gods, but today even the drunkest Irishman laughs at them.

    But they have company in oblivion: the Hell of dead gods is as crowded
    as the Presbyterian Hell for babies. Damona is there, and Esus, and
    Drunemeton, and Silvana, and Dervones, and Adsullata, and Deva, and
    Bellisima, and Uxellimus, and Borvo, and Grannos, and Mogons. All mighty gods in their day, worshipped by millions, full of demands and impositions, able to bind and loose - all gods of the first class. Men labored for generations to build vast temples to them - temples with stones as large as hay-wagons.

    The business of interpreting their whims occupied thousands of priests,
    bishops, archbishops. To doubt them was to die, usually at the stake.
    Armies took to the field to defend them against infidels; villages were burned, women and children butchered, cattle were driven off. Yet in the end they all withered and died, and today there is none so poor to do them reverence.

    What has become of Sutekh, once the high god of the whole Nile Valley? What has become of:

    All there were gods of the highest eminence. Many of them are mentioned with fear and trembling in the Old Testament. They ranked, five or six thousand years ago, with Yahweh Himself; the worst of them stood far higher than Thor. Yet they have all gone down the chute, and with them the following:

    You may think I spoof. That I invent the names. I do not. Ask the rector to lend you any good treatise on comparative religion: You will find them all listed. They were gods of the highest standing and dignity-gods of civilized peoples-worshiped and believed in by millions. All were omnipotent, omniscient and immortal.

    And all are dead.”
    H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

  • #13
    H.L. Mencken
    “Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure.”
    H.L. Mencken

  • #14
    H.L. Mencken
    “Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.”
    H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: Third Series

  • #15
    H.L. Mencken
    “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”
    H. L. Mencken

  • #16
    Edward Abbey
    “Water, water, water....There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.”
    Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness

  • #17
    George Sterling
    “And fragile is thy tenure of this world
    Still haunted by the monstrous ghost of God.
    ("To Science")”
    George Sterling, The Thirst of Satan: Poems of Fantasy and Terror

  • #18
    Joris-Karl Huysmans
    “Already, he was dreaming of a refined solitude, a comfortable desert, a motionless ark in which to seek refuge from the unending deluge of human stupidity.”
    Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature

  • #19
    W.S. Merwin
    “On the last day of the world
    I would want to plant a tree”
    W. S. Merwin

  • #20
    Noam Chomsky
    “Amusing and perfectly self-conscious charlatans.”
    Noam Chomsky