Olaf Stapledon, fully William Olaf Stapledon

Olaf
Stapledon, fully William Olaf Stapledon
1886
1950

British Philosopher and Author of Philosophical and Science Fiction Books

Author Quotes

When at last the dull-witted armies of Russia and China with their irresistible war machines attempted to cross the belt, their personnel was mysteriously reduced to infantilism.

While numbers were declining, the average level of intelligence was declining also. The more intelligent were more reluctant than the dullards to burden themselves with children in a hostile world.

Why did you make only one of me? It's going to be lonely being me.

With characteristic lack of false modesty, John once said to me, My looks are a rough test of people. If they don't begin to see me beautiful when they have had a chance to learn, I know they're dead inside, and dangerous.

With the aid of communal meals, communal nurseries and labor-saving devices within the home the mothers were freed and yet the home was preserved as the fundamental unit of social life.

Within a few generations this policy of fostering intelligence and integrity began to have surprising results.

Without Satan, with God only, how poor a universe, how trite a music!

Without the constant influence of the superhuman beings who were my fellow spectators even this would have been utterly impossible. But now even their presence could not sufficiently aid me.

World-wide commissions for transport, health, postal services, the regulation of industrial disputes, and so on, were gradually forming into a vast network of cosmopolitan organization.

Yes, we had one and all left our native planets in order to discover whether, regarding the cosmos as a whole, the spirit which we all in our hearts obscurely knew and haltingly prized, the spirit which on Earth we sometimes call humane, was Lord of the Universe, or outlaw; almighty, or crucified... For we cannot know whether the highest place for love is on the throne or on the cross. We cannot know what spirit rules, for on the throne sits darkness... Love and all that is humane we cherish in our hearts. Yet also we salute the throne and the darkness upon the throne. Whether it be Love or not Love, our hearts praise it, out-soaring reason.

Yet though time is cyclic, it is not repetitive; there is no other time within which it can repeat itself.

We are bound to hurt one another so much, again and again. we are so terribly different.''Yes,' he said, 'But the more different, the more lovely the loving.

We have no government and no laws, if by law is meant a stereotyped convention supported by force, and not to be altered without the aid of cumbersome machinery.

When a sudden rebellion broke out in the remote British Isles, and was supported by an attack by the Mountain Peoples against Russian forces in Iran, the Chinese government refrained from helping Russia by attacking Tibet from the east. This was a grave error, for Britain gained its independence, and Iran, Iraq, and Turkey joined the Federation. The economic resources of the Federation were still ridiculously small compared with those of the empires, whose sway covered all the rest of the earth save isolated Britain.

It might have been expected that the need for watchfulness and unity would have forced the Tibetans to sacrifice freedom to military dictatorship, and would set up the kind of deterioration which external danger had long ago caused in revolutionary Russia.

Nothing but man was really cruel, vindictive, except perhaps the loathly cat.

Sunsets in pictures are so tiresome, but only boors and half-wits are not stirred by real sunsets.

The individual in whom the will for the light is strong and clear finds his heart inextricably bound up with the struggle of the forces of light in his native place and time. Much as he may long for the opportunity of fuller self- expression in a happier world, he knows that for him self-expression is impossible save in the world in which his mind is rooted. The individual in whom the will for the light is weak soon persuades himself that his opportunity lies elsewhere.

The Tibetan missionaries in their mood of bright confidence disconcerted the imperial governments by laughing the new movement into frustration. For a sham faith cannot stand ridicule.

This kind of internal "telepathic" intercourse, which was to serve me in all my wanderings, was at first difficult, ineffective, and painful. But in time I came to be able to live through the experiences of my host with vividness and accuracy, while yet preserving my own individuality, my own critical intelligence, my own desires and fears. Only when the other had come to realize my presence within him could he, by a special act of volition, keep particular thoughts secret from me.

It seemed that he gazed down on me from the height of his divinity with the aloof though passionate attention of an artist judging his finished work; calmly rejoicing in his achievement, but recognizing at last the irrevocable flaws in his initial conception, and already lusting for fresh creation.

Of course I don't want the old religious dope. But I don't want just the new science dope either. I want the truth.

The age that now dawned was one of almost explosive progress, explosive, yet controlled. Unlike the industrial revolution, which is familiar to readers of this book, it was not dependent on licentious economic individualism.

The life of those future men is wholly beyond my range. I emerged from my vision in weariness but also in peace and joy, for it seemed that those new men, though I could not keep pace with the movement of their minds, were loyal to the light and well equipped to serve it, loyal to that same light which my own generation so vaguely sees and falteringly serves.

The universe now appeared to me as a void wherein floated rare flakes of snow, each flake a universe.

Author Picture
First Name
Olaf
Last Name
Stapledon, fully William Olaf Stapledon
Birth Date
1886
Death Date
1950
Bio

British Philosopher and Author of Philosophical and Science Fiction Books