Ishmael Quotes


All of these quotes are by Daniel Quinn... obviously. In the book, Ishmael is a gorilla that communicates telepathically with a man, so his quotes are sort of from a gorilla's point of view... obviously again.

"If I understood what made us animals (and I thought I did), I couldn’t understand what made them not animals" - (p.15)

"If you can’t understand what’s keeping you in, the will to get out soon becomes confused and in effectual" - (p.26)

"I’m telling you this because the people of your culture are in much the same situation. Like the people of Nazi Germany, they are the captives of a story." - (p.35)

"No creation story is a myth to the people who tell it. It’s just the story." - (p.52)

"And in spite of all the mastery we’ve attained, we don’t have enough mastery to stop devastating the world – or to repair the devastation we’ve already wrought." - (p.82)

"All the life processes of this planet will be where they belong – where the gods meant them to be – in our hands. And we’ll manipulate them the way a programmer manipulates a computer." - (p.83)

"But why? Why do you need prophets to tell you how you ought to live? Why do you need anyone to tell you how you ought to live?" - (p.88)

"Perhaps the flaw in man is exactly this: that he doesn’t know how he ought to live." - (p91)

"I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely." - (p.101)

"That’s what their agricultural system is designed to support: not just settlement – growth. Unlimited growth." - (p.136)

"Increasing food production to feed an increased population results in yet another increase in population." - (p.139)

"The law itself is beyond argument. It’s there, plainly in place in the community of life. What the takers will deny is that it applies to mankind." - (p.145)

"The rule of that law was and is sufficient. Mankind was not needed to bring order to the world." - (p.147)

"The world of the Takers is one vast prison, and except for a handful of Leavers scattered across the world, the entire human race is now inside that prison." - (p.254)



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