Ancestors Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ancestors" (showing 1-30 of 140)
Suzanne Collins
“Frankly, our ancestors don't seem much to brag about. I mean, look at the state they left us in, with the wars, the broken planet. Clearly, they didn't care about what would happen to the people who came after them.”
Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Liam Callanan
“We're all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.”
Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas

Edmund Burke
“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

Norman Doidge
“Psychoanalysis is often about turning our ghosts into ancestors, even for patients who have not lost loved ones to death. We are often haunted by important relationships from the past that influence us unconsciously in the present. As we work them through, they go from haunting us to becoming simply part of our history.”
Norman Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

Sanober  Khan
“it was the kind of moon
that I would want to
send back to my ancestors
and gift to my descendants

so they know that I too,
have been bruised...by beauty.”
Sanober Khan, Turquoise Silence

John O'Donohue
“When you steal a people's language, you leave their soul bewildered.”
John O'Donohue

Christopher Hitchens
“So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Toba Beta
“You are the fairy tale told by your ancestors.”
Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

Philip Carr-Gomm
“The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children”
Philip Carr-Gomm

Raquel Cepeda
“Individually, every grain of sand brushing against my hands represents a story, an experience, and a block for me to build upon for the next generation.”
Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

Daniel J. Levitin
“Music may be the activity that prepared our pre-human ancestors for speech communication and for the very cognitive, representational flexibility necessary to become humans.”
Daniel J. Levitin, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

Raquel Cepeda
“When we illuminate the road back to our ancestors, they have a way of reaching out, of manifesting themselves...sometimes even physically.”
Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

Tad Williams
“Whatever my ancestors did to you, none of them consulted me.”
Tad Williams, Shadowrise

James W. Loewen
“Many African societies divide humans into three categories: those still alive on the earth, the sasha, and the zamani. The recently departed whose time on earth overlapped with people still here are the sasha, the living-dead. They are not wholly dead, for they still live in the memories of the living, who can call them to mind, create their likeness in art, and bring them to life in anecdote. When the last person to know an ancestor dies, that ancestor leaves the sasha for the zamani, the dead. As generalised ancestors, the zamani are not forgotten but revered. Many … can be recalled by name. But they are not the living-dead. There is a difference.”
James W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Henry Wiencek
“Genealogy becomes a mania, an obsessive struggle to penetrate the past and snatch meaning from an infinity of names. At some point the search becomes futile – there is nothing left to find, no meaning to be dredged out of old receipts, newspaper articles, letters, accounts of events that seemed so important fifty or seventy years ago. All that remains is the insane urge to keep looking, insane because the searcher has no idea what he seeks. What will it be? A photograph? A will? A fragment of a letter? The only way to find out is to look at everything, because it is often when the searcher has gone far beyond the border of futility that he finds the object he never knew he was looking for.”
Henry Wiencek, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White

Criss Jami
“I respect traditional people - they have the eyes which see value in the tarnished. This is a gift in itself. Tradition requires a wealth of discipline in order to be adhered to, hence it is rarely found in youth.”
Criss Jami, Healology

L.M. Montgomery
“No one can be free who has a thousand ancestors.”
L.M. Montgomery, Emily Climbs

Amin Maalouf
“Our ancestors derived less from life than we do, but they also expected much less and were less intent on controlling the future. We are of the arrogant generations who believe a lasting happiness was promised to us at birth. Promised? By whom?”
Amin Maalouf, Orígenes

“Every creature was designed to serve a purpose. Learn from animals for they are there to teach you the way of life. There is a wealth of knowledge that is openly accessible in nature. Our ancestors knew this and embraced the natural cures found in the bosoms of the earth. Their classroom was nature. They studied the lessons to be learned from animals. Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe, but most people are too blind to watch and listen.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Leviak B. Kelly
“Our Ancestors came to Australia, foraged for food in a rain forest where AM grew, ate the AM, and suffered the effects of muscimol hallucinations in a cave and drew paintings of a religious nature and these paintings were confirmed at 50,000 years ago, at the exact inception of religion. This was done by a species that never had religion before that. Since the species would therefore have no religious content until they ate the hallucinogens, it follows that these AM were the start of religion.”
Leviak B. Kelly, Religion: The Ultimate STD: Living a Spiritual Life without Dogmatics or Cultural Destruction

Amit Kalantri
“Our ancestors have invented, we can at least innovate.”
Amit Kalantri

Horton Deakins
“Dychwelyd i wlad eich hynafiaid; gwaed yn galw i waed.
Return to the land of your fathers; blood calls to blood.”
Horton Deakins

We’re all immortal, as long as our stories are told.
“We’re all immortal, as long as our stories are told.”
Elizabeth Hunter, The Scribe

Helen Oyeyemi
“He honestly expected her to believe that she could make a bad offering and her ancestors wouldn't mind.”
Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox

Lewis Spence
“Here it is necessary briefly to consider the question of the cult of ancestors before venturing farther. The spirits of the departed are believed to be possessed of supernatural powers which they did not enjoy in the flesh. They may also be dissatisfied or malignant in consequence of being suddenly deprived of life, and if they are neglected by the living, are apt to be revengeful. Therefore they must be cajoled and propitiated. Fear of beings belonging to a mysterious state or sphere of which he knew nothing continually haunted and terrified primitive man and induced in him what is known as" the dread of the sacred." It was every man's personal duty to attend to the demands or requirements of his deceased ancestors. At first he would succour his own immediate forebears with food and gifts; but it must have been borne in upon him that when his parents joined the great majority, the care of the spirits of their parents likewise devolved upon him... and, by degrees, he might even come to regard himself as responsible for the well-being of a line of spirit ancestors of quite formidable genealogy. These, through his neglect, might starve in their tombs; or, alternatively, they might crave his company. Because of vengeance or loneliness they might send disease upon him, for the savage almost invariably believes illness to be brought about by the action of jealous or neglected ancestors. The loneliness of the spirit-world is the dead man's greatest excuse for desiring the company of his descendants.”
Lewis Spence, British Fairy Origins

Elizabeth Knox
“Books can be the people we never get to meet, ancestors or far neighbors.”
Elizabeth Knox, The Vintner's Luck

“The first to wave the white flag was America when they elected a new president.
The second was the American people for forgetting where their ancestors came from.
The third was congress for letting racism rule the roost.”
Anthony T. Hincks

Joris-Karl Huysmans
“An aunt, who though not a midwife was expert in that kind of work, helped bring forth the child, cleaning his face with butter and, to save money, powdering his thighs with some flour scraped from a crust of bread in lieu of talcum. "So you see, my boy, you come from humble stock," his Aunt Eudore would say, acquainting him of these petty details, and from an early age Jean didn't dare hope for any kind of good fortune in the future.”
Joris-Karl Huysmans, Downstream

“When we listen to those stories, not only are we hearing tales of days gone by, we are also hearing the voices of all of those who lived before us. Those ancestors are not gone from our lives. They live in the stories, and they linger in our environments. They come to us in dreams and during ceremonies. They whisper to us in quiet moments and bring us comfort. One of my favorite stories is about a friend's experience with the ancestors. She was doing repatriation work, which involves caring for the remains of an ancestor until they can be properly buried with their people. In this instance, the ancestor that she was caring for had been part of a gruesome display in a museum. During her time with him, she remained in prayer when he came to her and gave her a message. First, he thanked her for bringing him back home. Then, he told her, "we dreamed you into the future." Our ancestors lived for us; they died for us; and they dreamed for us. Through their collective imaginings, we were all brought into being. What an incredible honor it is for us to carry their life forward through our own.”
Sherri Mitchell, Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change

Sonia Sanchez
“I write to keep in contact with our ancestors and to spread truth to people.”
Sonia Sanchez

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