Unknowable Quotes

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Unknowable Quotes

It seems to me to be true that heavens are placed in the sky because it is the unreachable. The unreachable and therefore the unknowable always seems divine hence, religion. People need religion because the great masses fear life and its consequences. Its responsibilities weigh heavy. Feeling a weakness in the face of great forces, men seek an alliance with omnipotence to bolster up their feeling of weakness, even though the omnipotence they rely upon is a creature of their own minds. It gives them a feeling of security.
— Zora Neale Hurston —

Maybe the Truth of the Meaning of Life, Ancient and Arcane Knowledge of the Great Unknowable Universe is handed down only to persons presenting with the correct brand-name footwear. If you turn up wearing Shoe City knock-offs, you don't get to pass Go and collect Infinite Enlightenment.

— Tracy Engelbrecht

The dream world is the last wilderness, vast and unknowable.

— J.J. Brown

He would not let her go. Even though, staring into her open eyes in the swirling salt-filled water, with sun flashing though each wave, he thought he would like this moment to be forever: the dark-haired woman on shore calling for their safety, the girl who had once jumped rope like a queen, now holding him with a fierceness that matched the power of the ocean-oh, insane, ludicrous, unknowable world! Look how she wanted to live, look how she wanted to hold on.

— Elizabeth Strout

[ ... ] it is a strange thing that most of the feeling we call religious, most of the mystical outcrying which is one of the most prized and used and desired reactions of our species, is really the understanding and the attempt to say that man is related to the whole thing, related inextricably to all reality, known and unknowable. This is a simple thing to say, but the profound feeling of it made a Jesus, a St. Augustine, a St. Francis, a Roger Bacon, a Charles Darwin, and an Einstein. Each of them in his own tempo and with his own voice discovered and reaffirmed with astonishment the knowledge that all things are one thing and that one thing is all things-plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again.

— John Steinbeck

That was the nature of history, of course: notional, partial, unknowable, a record made by the victors.

— Kate Morton

If one has given oneself utterly, watching the beloved sleep can be a vile experience. Perhaps some of you have known that paralysis, staring down at features closed to your enquiry, locked away from you where you can never, ever go, into the other's mind. As I say, for us who have given ourselves, that is a horror. One knows, in those moments, that one does not exist, except in relation to that face, that personality. Therefore, when that face is closed down, that personality is lost in its own unknowable world, one feels completely without purpose. A planet without a sun, revolving in darkness.

— Clive Barker

The exact science of one molecule transformed into another
that Mabel could not explain, but then again she couldn't explain how a fetus formed in the womb, cells becoming beating heart and hoping soul. She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from clouds, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting even as they strike. How did such force and beauty come to be in something so small and fleeting and unknowable?

— Eowyn Ivey

One of my own stray childhood fears had been to wonder what a whale might feel like had it been born and bred in captivity, then released into the wild-into its ancestral sea-its limited world instantly blowing up when cast into the unknowable depths, seeing strange fish and tasting new waters, not even having a concept of depth, not knowing the language of any whale pods it might meet. It was my fear of a world that would expand suddenly, violently, and without rules or laws: bubbles and seaweed and storms and frightening volumes of dark blue that never end

— Douglas Coupland

Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and these sinners died with him. To sin against the earth is now the most dreadful thing, and to esteem the entrails of the unknowable higher than the meaning of the earth.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

You can't rationalize suffering - it's indeterminate - the real unknowable variable God substitutes in ...

— John Geddes

The opposing barristers were in tactical agreement (because it was plainly the judge's view) that the issue was not merely a matter of education. The court must choose, on behalf of the children, between total religion and something a little less. Between cultures, identities, states of mind, aspirations, sets of family relations, fundamental definitions, basic loyalties, unknowable futures. In such matters there lurked an innate predisposition in favor of the status quo, as long as it appeared benign.

— Ian McEwan

I want to tell you about the God that actually showed up and healed my heart. Not the God I grew up, because the God I grew up was fundamentally, and I use the word advisedly, fundamentally untrustworthy
schizophrenic, narcissistic, unreachable, unknowable, and my concept within which I grew up was that Jesus
He likes me
but He came to save me from God the Father
who was the one who was angry and distant, and unreachable, unknowable. All of that had to come crashing down.

— William P. Young

The desert wears ... a veil of mystery. Motionless and silent it evokes in us an elusive hint of something unknown, unknowable, about to be revealed. Since the desert does not act it seems to be waiting
but waiting for what?

— Edward Abbey

The meaning and the purpose behind some events are unknowable. This is the ultimate test of our faith. We must trust that everyone in life is here to learn different lessons at different times, that good and bad experiences are only the perceptions of man. After all, some of your worst experiences have truly been your best. They've sculpted you, trained you, developed within you a sensitivity and set you in a direction that reaches out to impact your ultimate destiny.

— Tony Robbins

Art is not a substitute religion: it is a religion (in the true sense of the word: 'binding back', 'binding' to the unknowable, transcending reason, transcendent being). But the church is no longer adequate as a means of affording experience of the transcendental, and of making religion real - and so art has been transformed from a means into the sole provider of religion: which means religion itself.

— Gerhard Richter

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