Robert Ardrey Quotes
31 Sourced Quotes
Intelligence is no human sideshow but an evolutionary main event. The power to foresee, to call upon the past in terms of the future, to evaluate, to imagine solutions, is a power flowing from old time springs. The human mind may be denied the policeman's privilege of arresting this instinct or that. It may sit as no more than a moderator in the eternal instinctual debate. But it is a moderator with unlimited investigative powers.
We may agree, for example, that our societies must provide greater security for the individual; yet if all we succeed in producing is a providing increased anonymity and ever increasing boredom, then we should not wonder if ingenious man turns to such amusements as drugs, housebreaking, vandalism, mayhem, riots, or - at the most harmless - strange haircuts, costumes, standards of cleanliness, and sexual experiments.
I find myself frequently maintaining to any young passer-by upon whose attention I can force myself that a genuinely creative career must like a milking stool stand on three legs. There must be accident, there must be sweat, there must be dissatisfaction. That one must work hard is too obvious for comment here. That one must be endowed with native dissatisfaction is very nearly as obvious, for it is the engine that drives you: dissatisfaction with the world and the arts as you find them, dissatisfaction with your own best efforts to capture the uncapturable. What is not so obvious is the support which one must gain from accident, from those dispositions of wind and stars over which one has no control.
Man is a fraction of the animal world. Our history is an afterthought, no more, tacked to an infinite calender. We are not so unique as we should like to believe. And if man in a time of need seeks deeper knowledge concerning himself, then he must explore those animal horizons from which we have made our quick little march.
The philosophy of the impossible has been the dominant motive in human affairs for the past two centuries. We have pursued the mastery of nature as if we ourselves were not a portion of that nature. We have boasted of our command over our physical environment while we ourselves have done our urgent best to destroy it.