I love a good quote. Whether a two-liner or a whole paragraph, I adore vivid minds that can make me laugh or push me to take a critical look at my own beliefs.
I am especially fond of quotes that bring clarity to a vague thought... that finally place words on a hovering cloud of personal thoughts. Derrick Jensen grabs the honor as first in my new "Quotes" category with this gem from his book, "Endgame Volume 1: The Problem of Civilization." I haven't read the book, but this is enough appetizer to browse my way to Amazon.com:
We can’t have it all. The belief that we can is one of the
things that has driven us to this awful place. If insanity could be defined as
having lost functional connection with physical reality, to believe that we can
have it all—to believe that we can simultaneously dismantle a world and live on
it; to believe we can perpetually use more energy than arrives from the sun; to
believe we can take more than the world gives willingly; to believe a finite
world can support infinite growth, much less infinite economic growth, where
economic growth consists of converting ever larger numbers of living beings
into dead objects (industrial production, at it’s core, is conversion of the
living—trees or mountains—into the dead—two-by-fours and beer cans)—is
grotesquely insane. …To pretend that civilization can exist without destroying
its own landbase and the landbases and cultures of others is to be entirely
ignorant of history, biology, thermodynamics, morality, and self-preservation.
And it is to have paid absolutely no attention to the past 6000 years. ...
One of the reasons we fail to perceive all of this is that we—the civilized—have been inculcated to believe that belongings are more important than belonging, and that relationships are based on dominance—violence and exploitation. Having come to believe that, and having come to believe the acquisition of material possessions is good (or even more abstractly, that the accumulation of money is good) and in fact the primary goal of life, we then have come to perceive ourselves as the primary beneficiaries of all this insanity and injustice.
Worldwide chaos (violence. blantant corporate greed, crumbling economic structures, the prevalence of depression drugs, etc.) point to deep truth in this statement... yet the average person will continue to block this reality from their conscious.