Into The Wild Quotes
These quotes were taken from Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; while checked against the text, secondary quotes weren't necessarily checked with primary sources. For more information on the book, read my commentary.
A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness -- a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.
Jack London, White Fang
I began my adult life with the hypothesis that it could be possible to become a Stone Age native. For over 30 years, I programmed and conditioned myself to this end. In the last 10 of it, I would say I realistically experienced the physical, mental, and emotional reality of the Stone Age. But to borrow a Buddhist phrase, eventually came a setting face-to-face with pure reality. I learned that it is not possible for human beings as we know them to live off the land.
It should not be denied. . . that being footloose has always exhilarated us. it is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led west.
--Wallace Stegner, The American West as Living Space
No man ever followed his genius till it misled him. Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles.. . . The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. . . The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
Said he didn't want to see a single person, no airplanes, no sign of civilization. He wanted to prove to himself that he could make it on his own, without anybody else's help.
It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough , it is your God-given right to have it. . . I was a raw youth who mistook passion for insight and acted according to an obscure, gap-ridden logic. I thought climbing the Devils Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. And I lived to tell my tale.
He soon discovered, however, what Muir and Thoreau already knew: An extended stay in the wilderness inevitably directs one's attention outward as much as inward, and it is impossible to live off the land without discovering both a subtle understanding of, and a strong emotional bond with, that land and all it holds.
I am reborn. This is my dawn. Real life has just begun.
Deliberate Living: Conscious attention to the basics of life, and a constant attention to your immediate environment and its concerns, example-> A job, a task, a book; anything requiring efficient concentration (Circumstance has no value. It is how one relates to a situation that has value. All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon, what it means to you).
I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!
--McCandless, final note.