“Like myself he’d rather go hungry in the West than flourish and fatten in the Siberian East.”

“The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgement.”

“I’m a humanist; I’d rather kill a man than a snake.”

“He was a pleasant-mannered, soft-spoken civil engineer with an unquestioning dedication to his work.  A very dangerous man.”

“We are preoccupied with time.  If we could learn to love space as deeply as we are now obsessed with time, we might discover a new meaning in the phrase to live like men.”

“They would never understand that an economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human.”

“Has joy any survival value in the operations of evolution?  I suspect that it does; I suspect that the morose and fearful are doomed to quick extinction.  Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless.”

“A man could be a lover and defender of the wilderness without ever in his lifetime leaving the boundaries of asphalt, powerlines, and right-angled surfaces.  We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it.  We need a refuge even though we may never need to go there.  I many never in my life get to Alaska, for example, but I am grateful that it’s there.  We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope; without it the life of the cities would drive all men into crime or drugs or psychoanalysis.”

“There are no vacant lots in nature.”

“Original sin, the true original sin, is the blind destruction for the sake of greed of this natural paradise which lies all around us – if only we were worthy of it.”

“No, wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.”

“If a man’s imagination were not so weak, so easily tired, if his capacity for wonder not so limited, he would abandon forever such fantasies of the supernal.   He would learn to perceive in water, leaves and silence more than sufficient of the absolute and marvelous, more than enough to console him for the loss of the ancient dreams.”

“I am not an atheist but an earthiest.  Be true to the earth.”

“Having indulged myself in a number of harsh judgments upon the Park Service, the tourist industry, and the motoring public, I now feel entitled to make some constructive, practical, sensible proposals for the salvation of both parks and people: 1. No more cars in national parks 2. No more new roads in national parks 3. Put the park rangers to work.” [much abbreviated]

“Turning Plato and Hegel on their heads I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real.  Rock and sun.”

“I stretched out in the coyote den, pillowed my head on my arm and suffered through the long long night, wet, cold, aching, hungry, wretched, dreaming claustrophobic nightmares.  It was one of the happiest nights of my life.”

“The desert says nothing.  Completely passive, acted upon but never acting, the desert lies there like the bare skeleton of Being, spare, sparse, austere, utterly worthless, inviting not love but contemplation.”

“With his help I discovered that I was not opposed to mankind but only to man-centeredness, anthropocentricity, the opinion that the world exists solely for the sake of man; not to science, which means simply knowledge, but to science misapplied, to the worship of technique and technology, and to that perversion of science properly called scientism; and not to civilization but to culture.”

copyright 1968 Edward Abbey

my thoughts on EA:  https://walkcheerfullyblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/writers-i-like

Abbey bio:  https://www.britannica.com/biography/Edward-Abbey

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