We have seen when the earth had to be prepared for the habitation of man, a veil, as it were, of intermediate being was spread between him and its darkness, in which were joined in a subdued measure, the stability and insensibility of the earth, and the passion and perishing of mankind.
—John Ruskin (1819–1900) English Writer, Art Critic
Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.
—Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) Spanish Painter, Sculptor, Artist
We can make inspired guesses, but we don’t know for certain what physical and chemical properties of the planet’s crust, its ocean, and its atmosphere made it so conducive to such a sudden appearance of life …
—Isaac Asimov (1920–92) Russian-born American Writer, Scientist
The metaphor is perhaps one of man’s most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.
—Jose Ortega y. Gasset (1883–1955) Spanish Critic, Journalist, Philosopher
The finiteness, the dependency, and the insufficiency of man.
—Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) American Christian Theologian
Man can hardly even recognize the devils of his own creation.
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) French Theologian, Musician, Philosopher, Physician
I no longer ask the young man’s question: How far will I go? My questions are now those of the mature person: When it is over, what will my life have been about? First as Martin Buber taught, life is meeting. We come alive only when we relate to others. Secondly, we are here to change the world with small acts of thoughtfulness done daily rather than with one great dramatic leap in results. Finally, we are here to finish god’s labors. One of the sages of the Talmud taught nearly two thousand years ago that God could have created a plant that would grow loaves of bread. Instead He created wheat for us to mill and bake into bread. Why? So that we could be His partners in completing the work of creation.
—Harold Kushner (b.1935) American Jewish Religious Leader, Priest
The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.
—James Baldwin (1924–87) American Novelist, Social Critic
Every man is as heaven made him, and sometimes a great deal worse.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
A life lived of choice is a life of conscious action. A life lived of chance is a life of unconscious creation.
—Neale Donald Walsch (b.1943) American Spiritual Writer
I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.
—Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–80) French Philosopher, Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter, Political Activist
The violence and obscenity are left unadulterated, as manifestation of the mystery and pain which ever accompanies the act of creation.
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist
In creating, the only hard thing is to begin: a grass-blade’s no easier to make than an oak.
—James Russell Lowell (1819–91) American Poet, Critic
Man was created a little lower than the angels, and has been getting lower ever since.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer
when god decided to invent everything he took one reath bigger than a circustent and everything began.
—e. e. cummings (1894–1962) American Poet, Writer, Painter
Imagine the Creator as a stand up comedian – and at once the world becomes explicable.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
I asked the whole frame of the world about my God; and he answered, “I am not He, but He made me.”
—Augustine of Hippo (354–430) Roman-African Christian Philosopher
Search not a Wound too deep, lest thou make a new one.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Consciousness is the glory of creation.
—James Broughton (1913–99) American Poet, Filmmaker
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something that one finds. It is something one creates.
—Thomas Szasz (1920–2012) Hungarian-American Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst
God’s first creature, which was light.
—Francis Bacon (1561–1626) English Philosopher
There are innumerable questions to which the inquisitive mind can, in this state, receive no answer; Why do you and I exist? Why was this world created? And since it was to be created, why was it not created sooner?
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Imagine spending four billion years stocking the oceans with seafood, filling the ground with fossil fuels, and drilling the bees in honey production—only to produce a race of bed-wetters!
—Barbara Ehrenreich (b.1941) American Social Critic, Essayist
What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth could come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster? To see rare effects, and no cause; a motion, without a mover; a circle, without a centre; a time, without an eternity; a second, without a first: these are things so against philosophy and natural reason, that he must be a beast in understanding who can believe in them. The thing formed, says that nothing formed it; and that which is made, is, while that which made it is not! This folly is infinite.
It’s a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn’t consult a decorator or he would still be picking colors.
—Sam Levenson (1911–80) American Humorist, Writer, TV Personality, Journalist
O Children of Men! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.
—Baha’u’llah (1817–92) Founder of the Islamic Baha’i Movement
Have We not made the earth as a cradle and the mountains as pegs? And We created you in pairs, and We appointed your sleep for a rest; and We appointed night for a garment, and We appointed day for a livelihood. And We have built above you seven strong ones, and We appointed a blazing lamp and have sent down out of the rain-clouds water cascading that We may bring forth thereby grain and plants, and gardens luxuriant.
—The Holy Quran Sacred Scripture of Islam
Choosing what you want to do, and when to do it, is an act of creation.
—Peter McWilliams (1949–2000) American Author, Activist
On certain mornings, as we turn a corner,
an exquisite dew falls on our heart
and then vanishes.
But the freshness lingers, and this, always,
is what the heart needs.
The earth must have risen in just such a light
the morning the world was born.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Why was the human race created? Or at least why wasn’t something creditable created in place of it? God had His opportunity. He could have made a reputation. But no, He must commit this grotesque folly—a lark which must have cost Him a regret or two when He came to think it over and observe effects.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Exchange is creation.
—Muriel Rukeyser (1913–80) American Poet, Writer
Any creator owes a debt to past creation.
—Lukas Foss (1922–2009) German-American Composer, Pianist, Conductor
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
—Cecil Frances Alexander (1818–95) Anglo-Irish Children’s Hymn Writer, Poet
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
—Carl Sagan (1934–96) American Astronomer
Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.
—Ansel Adams (1902–84) American Photographer
In the beginning was the Word. Man acts it out. He is the act, not the actor.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature’s mandates.
—Marquis de Sade (1740–1814) French Political leader, Revolutionary, Novelist, Poet, Critic
This most beautiful system [The Universe] could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.
—Isaac Newton (1643–1727) English Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Theologian
God made man merely to hear some praise of what he’d done on those Five Days.
—Christopher Morley (1890–1957) American Novelist, Essayist
A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Creation is a drug I can’t do without.
—Cecil B. DeMille (1881–1959) American Film Producer, Director