Into the Wild Quotes
Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.
I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong... to measure yourself at least once.
I'm going to paraphrase Thoreau here... rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth.
We like companionship, see, but we can't stand to be around people for very long. So we go get ourselves lost, come back for a while, then get the hell out again.
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.
You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.
It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty...
He read a lot. He used a lot of big words. I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often. A couple of times I tried to tell him it was a mistake to get too deep into that kind of stuff, but Alex got stuck on things. He always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on to the next thing.
The sea's only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong. Now I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.
Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often.
Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and wilful and wildhearted, alone amid a waste of wild air and brackish waters and the seaharvest of shells and tangle and veiled grey sunlight.
I understood what he was doing, that he had spent four years fulfilling the absurd and tedious duty of graduating from college and now he was emancipated from that world of abstraction, false security, parents, and material excess.
It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it's great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you.
The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word, an epic journey that would change everything.
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.
According to the moral absolutism that characterizes McCandless's beliefs, a challenge in which a successful outcome is assured isn't a challenge at all.
I don’t want to know what time it is. I don’t want to know what day it is or where I am. None of that matters.
At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence.
I thought climbing the Devil's 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.
I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often.
I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.
Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th Century invention and I don't want one. You don’t need to worry about me; I have a college education. I’m not destitute. I'm living like this by choice.
But [Everett] and McCandless, at least they tried to follow their dream. That’s what was great about them. They tried. Not many do.
Chris would use the spiritual aspect to try to motivate us. "He'd tell us to think about all the evil in the world, all the hatred, and imagine ourselves running against the forces of darkness, the evil wall that was trying to keep us from running our best. He believed that doing well was all mental, a simple matter of harnessing whatever energy was available.
The desert sharpened the sweet ache of his longing, amplified it, gave shape to it in sere geology and clean slant of light.
My reasoning, if one can call it that, was inflamed by the scatter shot passions of youth and a literary diet overly rich in the works of Nietzshe, Kerouac, and John Menlove Edwards...
Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why they write symphonies..
Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence — the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes — all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.
Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.
though he found that if you are stupid enough to bury a camera underground you won't be taking many pictures with it afterwards. Thus the story has no picture book for the period May 10, 1991 - January 7, 1992. But this is not important. It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it's great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you.
At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage. I didn't yet appreciate its terrible finality or the havoc it could wreak on those who'd entrusted the deceased with their hearts.
Unlike Muir and Thoreau, McCandless went into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature or the world at large but, rather, to explore the inner country of his own soul.
Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. -Chris McCandless.
In coming to Alaska, McCandless yearned to wander uncharted country, to find a blank spot on the map. In 1992, however, there were no more blank spots on the map—-not in Alaska, not anywhere. But Chris, with his idiosyncratic logic, came up with an elegant solution to this dilemma: He simply got rid of the map. In his own mind, if nowhere else, the terra would thereby remain incognita.
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 had some terrific experiences in the wilderness since I wrote you last - overpowering, overwhelming," he gushed to his friend Cornel Tengel. "But since then I am always being overwhelmed. I require it to sustain life. Everett Ruess.
To the desert go prophets and hermits; through deserts go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality.
When Alex left for Alaska," Franz remembers, "I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn't believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex.
The pursuit of knowledge, he maintained, was a worthy objective in its own right and needed no external validation.
Immediately after graduating, with honors, from Emory University in the summer of 1990, McCandless dropped out of sight. He changed his name, gave the entire balance of a twenty-four-thousand-dollar savings account to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet. And then he invented a new life for himself, taking up residence at the ragged margin of our society, wandering across North America in search of raw, transcendent experience.