Pilgrim Quotes

Quotes tagged as "pilgrim" (showing 1-30 of 40)
G.K. Chesterton
“The simplest truth about man is that he is a very strange being; almost in the sense of being a stranger on the earth. In all sobriety, he has much more of the external appearance of one bringing alien habits from another land than of a mere growth of this one.

He cannot sleep in his own skin; he cannot trust his own instincts. He is at once a creator moving miraculous hands and fingers and a kind of cripple. He is wrapped in artificial bandages called clothes; he is propped on artificial crutches called furniture. His mind has the same doubtful liberties and the same wild limitations. Alone among the animals, he is shaken with the beautiful madness called laughter; as if he had caught sight of some secret in the very shape of the universe hidden from the universe itself. Alone among the animals he feels the need of averting his thought from the root realities of his own bodily being; of hiding them as in the presence of some higher possibility which creates the mystery of shame.”
G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

Malcolm X
“لقد اوسع الحج نطاق تفكيري وفتح بصيرتي فرأيت في أسبوعين ما لم أره في تسع وثلاثين سنة.”
Malcolm X

Oscar A. Romero
“Let us not forget: we are a pilgrim church, subject to misunderstanding, to persecution, but a church that walks serene, because it bears the force of love.”
Oscar A. Romero, The Violence of Love

Frédéric Gros
“None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Kurt Vonnegut
“Poo-tee-weet?”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Kurt Vonnegut
“Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Frédéric Gros
“Days of slow walking are very long: they make you live longer, because you have allowed every hour, every minute, every second to breathe, to deepen, instead of filling them up by straining the joints…”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“The Native Americans, whose wisdom Thoreau admired, regarded the Earth itself as a sacred source of energy. To stretch out on it brought repose, to sit on the ground ensured greater wisdom in councils, to walk in contact with its gravity gave strength and endurance. The Earth was an inexhaustible well of strength: because it was the original Mother, the feeder, but also because it enclosed in its bosom all the dead ancestors. It was the element in which transmission took place. Thus, instead of stretching their hands skyward to implore the mercy of celestial divinities, American Indians preferred to walk barefoot on the Earth: The Lakota was a true Naturist – a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest on the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him. Walking, by virtue of having the earth’s support, feeling its gravity, resting on it with every step, is very like a continuous breathing in of energy. But the earth’s force is not transmitted only in the manner of a radiation climbing through the legs. It is also through the coincidence of circulations: walking is movement, the heart beats more strongly, with a more ample beat, the blood circulates faster and more powerfully than when the body is at rest. And the earth’s rhythms draw that along, they echo and respond to each other. A last source of energy, after the heart and the Earth, is landscapes. They summon the walker and make him at home: the hills, the colours, the trees all confirm it. The charm of a twisting path among hills, the beauty of vine fields in autumn, like purple and gold scarves, the silvery glitter of olive leaves against a defining summer sky, the immensity of perfectly sliced glaciers … all these things support, transport and nourish us.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“Slowness means cleaving perfectly to time, so closely that the seconds fall one by one, drop by drop like the steady dripping of a tap on stone. This stretching of time deepens space. It is one of the secrets of walking: a slow approach to landscapes that gradually renders them familiar. Like the regular encounters that deepen friendship.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“Walking causes a repetitive, spontaneous poetry to rise naturally to the lips, words as simple as the sound of footsteps on the road. There also seems to be an echo of walking in the practice of two choruses singing a psalm in alternate verses, each on a single note, a practice that makes it possible to chant and listen by turns. Its main effect is one of repetition and alternation that St Ambrose compared to the sound of the sea: when a gentle surf is breaking quietly on the shore the regularity of the sound doesn’t break the silence, but structures it and renders it audible. Psalmody in the same way, in the to-and-fro of alternating responses, produces (Ambrose said) a happy tranquillity in the soul. The echoing chants, the ebb and flow of waves recall the alternating movement of walking legs: not to shatter but to make the world’s presence palpable and keep time with it. And just as Claudel said that sound renders silence accessible and useful, it ought to be said that walking renders presence accessible and useful.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“Think while walking, walk while thinking, and let writing be but the light pause, as the body on a walk rests in contemplation of wide open spaces.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“Walking: it hits you at first like an immense breathing in the ears. You feel the silence as if it were a great fresh wind blowing away clouds. There’s the silence of woodland. Clumps and groves of trees form shifting, uncertain walls around us. We walk along existing paths, narrow winding strips of beaten earth. We quickly lose our sense of direction. That silence is tremulous, uneasy. Then there’s the silence of tough summer afternoon walks across the flank of a mountain, stony paths, exposed to an uncompromising sun.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

“A true pilgrimage requires letting go of the very things most people try to hold onto. In seeking after what the soul desires, we become pilgrims with no home but the path the soul would have us follow.”
Michael Meade, Fate and Destiny, The Two Agreements of the Soul

Frédéric Gros
“Joy is not the satisfied contemplation of an accomplished result, the emotion of victory, the satisfaction of having succeeded. It is the sign of an energy that is deftly deployed, it is a free affirmation: everything comes easy. Joy is an activity: executing with ease something difficult that has taken time to master, asserting the faculties of the mind and the body. Joys of thought when it finds and discovers, joys of the body when it achieves without effort. That is why joy, unlike pleasure, increases with repetition, and is enriched. When you are walking, joy is a basso continuo. Locally, of course, you may run into effort and difficulty. You will also find immediate moments of contentment: a proud gaze backwards to contemplate the long steep plunge of the slope behind you. Those satisfactions, though, too often present an opportunity to reintroduce quantities, scores, figures (which track? how long? what altitude?). And walking becomes a competition. That is why expeditions in high mountain country (conquering peaks, each one a challenge) are always slightly impure: because they give rise to narcissistic gratification. What dominates in walking, away from ostentation and showing off, is the simple joy of feeling your body in the most primitively natural activity.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“This time, there’s no question of freeing yourself from artifice to taste simple joys. Instead there is the promise of meeting a freedom head-on as an outer limit of the self and of the human, an internal overflowing of a rebellious Nature that goes beyond you. Walking can provoke these excesses: surfeits of fatigue that make the mind wander, abundances of beauty that turn the soul over, excesses of drunkenness on the peaks, the high passes (where the body explodes). Walking ends by awakening this rebellious, archaic part of us: our appetites become rough and uncompromising, our impulses inspired. Because walking puts us on the vertical axis of life: swept along by the torrent that rushes just beneath us. What I mean is that by walking you are not going to meet yourself. By walking, you escape from the very idea of identity, the temptation to be someone, to have a name and a history. Being someone is all very well for smart parties where everyone is telling their story, it’s all very well for psychologists’ consulting rooms. But isn’t being someone also a social obligation which trails in its wake – for one has to be faithful to the self-portrait – a stupid and burdensome fiction? The freedom in walking lies in not being anyone; for the walking body has no history, it is just an eddy in the stream of immemorial life.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“Blinding, mineral, shattering silence. You hear nothing but the quiet crunch of stones underfoot. An implacable, definitive silence, like a transparent death. Sky of a perfectly detached blue. You advance with eyes down, reassuring yourself sometimes with a silent mumbling. Cloudless sky, limestone slabs filled with presence: silence nothing can sidestep. Silence fulfilled, vibrant immobility, tensed like a bow. There’s the silence of early morning. For long routes in autumn you have to start very early. Outside everything is violet, the dim light slanting through red and gold leaves. It is an expectant silence. You walk softly among huge dark trees, still swathed in traces of blue night. You are almost afraid of awakening. Everything whispering quietly. There’s the silence of walks through the snow, muffled footsteps under a white sky. All around you nothing moves. Things and even time itself are iced up, frozen solid in silent immobility. Everything is stopped, unified, thickly padded. A watching silence, white, fluffy, suspended as if in parentheses.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“In the history of walking, many experts considering him (Wordsworth) the authentic originator of the long expedition. He was the first – at a time (the late eighteenth century) when walking was the lot of the poor, vagabonds and highwaymen, not to mention travelling showmen and pedlars – to conceive of the walk as a poetic act, a communion with Nature, fulfilment of the body, contemplation of the landscape. Christopher Morley wrote of him that he was ‘one of the first to use his legs in the service of philosophy’.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“An author who composes while walking, on the other hand, is free from such bonds; his thought is not the slave of other volumes, not swollen with verifications, nor weighted with the thought of others. It contains no explanation owed to anyone: just thought, judgement, decision. It is thought born of a movement, an impulse. In it we can feel the body’s elasticity, the rhythm of a dance. It retains and expresses the energy, the springiness of the body. Here is thought about the thing itself, without the scrambling, the fogginess, the barriers, the customs clearances of culture and tradition. The result will not be long and meticulous exegesis, but thoughts that are light and profound. That is really the challenge: the lighter a thought, the more it rises, and becomes profound by rising – vertiginously – above the thick marshes of conviction, opinion, established thought. While books conceived in the library are on the contrary superficial and heavy. They remain on the level of recopying.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“When one has walked a long way to reach the turning in the path that discloses an anticipated view, and that view appears, there is always a vibration of the landscape. It is repeated in the walker’s body. The harmony of the two presences, like two strings in tune, each feeding off the vibration of the other, is like an endless relaunch. Eternal Recurrence is the unfolding in a continuous circle of the repetition of those two affirmations, the circular transformation of the vibration of the presences. The walker’s immobility facing that of the landscape … it is the very intensity of that co-presence that gives birth to an indefinite circularity of exchanges: I have always been here, tomorrow, contemplating this landscape.”
Frédéric Gros

Seth Adam Smith
“I believe each of us is a pilgrim in our own way; we are all lost souls, trying to find our way home.”
Seth Adam Smith, Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern

“One eye-witness reported that:
'...it seems more like the celebration of the orgies of Bacchus, than the memory of a pious saint, from the drunken quarrels and obscenities practised on these occasions. So little is there of devotion, or amendment of life or manners, that these places are frequently chosen for the scenes of pitched battles, fought with cudgels, by parties, not only of parishes, but of counties, set in formal array against each other, to revenge some real or supposed injury, and murders are not an unusual result of these meetings.

It is hard to believe that many of those who took part in the fighting had originally gone in a spirit of pilgrimage to a holy well. But very often the two went together, at least in Ireland, and a seriously intended pilgrimage was often followed by boisterous and aggressive behaviour. Dr. Patrick Logan, who has made a modern study of Irish pilgrimages, commented: 'Pilgrims in any age are not noted for their piety, the Canterbury Tales make that clear, but anyone who has ever gone on a pilgrimage knows it is a memorable and enjoyable experience, something which is part of the nature of man. These days pilgrims may be called tourists.”
Colin Bord, Sacred Waters

Frédéric Gros
“But walking causes absorption. Walking interminably, taking in through your pores the height of the mountains when you are confronting them at length, breathing in the shape of the hills for hours at a time during a slow descent. The body becomes steeped in the earth it treads. And thus, gradually, it stops being in the landscape: it becomes the landscape. That doesn’t have to mean dissolution, as if the walker were fading away to become a mere inflection, a footnote. It’s more a flashing moment: sudden flame, time catching fire. And here, the feeling of eternity is all at once that vibration between presences. Eternity, here, in a spark.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“Perhaps the itinerant monks called ‘Gyrovagues’ were especially responsible for promoting this view of our condition as eternal strangers. They journeyed ceaselessly from monastery to monastery, without fixed abode, and they haven’t quite disappeared, even today: it seems there are still a handful tramping Mount Athos. They walk for their entire lives on narrow mountain paths, back and forth on a long repeated round, sleeping at nightfall wherever their feet have taken them; they spend their lives murmuring prayers on foot, walk all day without destination or goal, this way or that, taking branching paths at random, turning, returning, without going anywhere, illustrating through endless wandering their condition as permanent strangers in this profane world.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“When walking in this mode we discover the immense vigour of starry night skies, elemental energies, and our appetites follow: they are enormous, and our bodies are satisfied. When you have slammed the world’s door, there is nothing left to hold you: pavements no longer guide your steps (the path, a hundred thousand times repeated, of the return to the fold). Crossroads shimmer like hesitant stars, you rediscover the tremulous fear of choosing, a vertiginous freedom.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“You lift your head, you’re on your way, but really just to be walking, to be out of doors. That’s it, that’s all, and you’re there. Outdoors is our element: the exact sensation of living there.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Frédéric Gros
“And as we know from the pilgrimage diaries of Swami Ramdas, it is when we renounce everything that everything is given to us, in abundance. Everything: meaning the intensity of presence itself.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Seth Adam Smith
“Every man, woman, and child on this earth is a wandering pilgrim in his or her own way—each searching for a belonging place. That sense of belonging is found only as we care for one another.”
Seth Adam Smith, Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern

“In seeking after what the soul desires we become pilgrims with no home but the path the soul would have us follow.”
Michael Meade, Fate and Destiny, The Two Agreements of the Soul

Evelyn Underhill
“Three deep cravings of the self, three great expressions of man's restlessness, which only mystic truth can fully satisfy. The first is the craving which makes him a pilgrim and a wanderer. It is the longing to go out from his normal world in search of a lost home, a 'better country'; an Eldorado, a Sarras, a Heavenly Syon. The next is the craving of heart for heart, of the Soul for its perfect mate, which makes him a lover. The third is the craving for inward purity and perfection, which makes him an ascetic, and in the last resort a saint.”
Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness

Charles Ringma
“Because we cannot repair the loss of years away, homecomings are almost always conflicted. We are not longer at "home" in our former familiar place. And we do not live between two or more cultures, but rather in both. We are neither fully away, nor fully home.

In the pain of this tension, there is a strange blessing, a nudge that helps us to realise the fundamental sojourner status of our human existence. Life moves towards death. And for the Christian, there is the sense that this world as it is now is not our final home. Having made the return, our pilgrim status in the journey of faith becomes even more evident. This reminds us that in some strange way we are too early for heaven and too late for this world.”
Charles Ringma, Sabbath Time: a hermitage journey of retreat, return & communion

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