„All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other—
Only the mountain and I.“
„We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.“
— Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
Context: There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.
„The yellow sand rises as high as white cloud;
The lonely town is lost amid the mountains proud.
Why should the Mongol flute complain no willows grow?
Beyond the Jade Gate vernal wind will never blow!“
— Wang Zhihuan Chinese poet 688 - 742
"Out Of The Great Wall" (《出塞》), trans. Yuanchong Xu
„In the Gates of the Mountains there have been many blowups. Now there are many rattlesnakes and nothing more fragile than mountain goats, themselves tougher than the mountains they disdain, although at a distance they are white wings of butterflies floating up and down and sideways across the faces of fragments of arches and cliffs, touching but never becoming attached to them.“
— Norman Maclean American author and scholar 1902 - 1990
„What is this thing called the existence? Is it all the things that we perceive it to be? Or is it something else? It's a gift. One of my favorite examples is the bird in the cage. You may think that you own the bird inside the cage, but you're wrong. You only own the cage. People think that they need to have a very fancy cage, that the more incredible the cage, the more incredible the bird will look. But the cage and the bird are really two different things. When the bird is gone, all that will be left is the cage.“
— Prem Rawat controversial spiritual leader 1957
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, April 6, 1991
— Czeslaw Milosz Polish, poet, diplomat, prosaist, writer, and translator 1911 - 2004
— Mark Tobey American abstract expressionist painter 1890 - 1976
„One does not care for the cage when the bird has flown away from it. and when the bird of life flies away, no one cares for the body left behind.“
— Ramakrishna Indian mystic and religious preacher 1836 - 1886
„I also think living in the country gives you faith. All you have to do is get up and look at the mountains and look at the other animals to realize that your problems are mostly made up or exacerbated by humans. But human life isn't necessarily life. There's so much more out there.“
— Rita Mae Brown Novelist, poet, screenwriter, activist 1944
Interview in OutSmart magazine https://web.archive.org/web/20080727021104/http://home.houston.rr.com/blase/Root%20Folder/ritamae.html (January 1998)
„This is how we go on: one day a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time, one breath at a time. Dentists go on one root canal at a time; boat builders go on one hull at a time. If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things - fish and unicorns and men on horseback - but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightning flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.“
— Stephen King American author 1947