Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.
ALBERT EINSTEIN, remark made during Einstein's visit to Princeton University, May 1921
Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.
FRANCIS BACON, "Of Nature in Men," Essays
Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks to amend.
ARISTOTLE, On the Generation of Animals
Nature, the vicar of the Almighty Lord.
GEOFFREY CHAUCER, "Parliament of Fowls"
Nature is astonishingly prolific, but it is a prodigal process going nowhere special, sponsored by destruction and suffering. What is wonderful and inspiring is the possibility of infinite variation and exquisite adaptation; what is daunting and terrible is the cost. Nature is abundant and unremittingly cruel from, as it were, a personal point of view.
ADAM PHILLIPS, Darwin's Worms On Life Stories and Death Stories
We cannot command nature except by obeying her.
FRANCIS BACON, Novum Organum
Nature does nothing uselessly.
Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
HENRY ADAMS, The Education of Henry Adams
What human beings seek to learn from nature is how to use it to dominate wholly both it and human beings. Nothing else counts.
THEODOR W. ADORNO, Dialectic of Enlightenment
- We know great Nature's pow'r,
- Mother of things, whose vast unbounded sway
- From the deep centre all around extends
- Wide to the flaming barriers of the world.
- We feel her power; we strive not to repress
- (Vainly repress'd, or to deformity)
- Her lawful growth: ours be the task alone
- To check her rude excrescencies, to prune
- Her wanton overgrowth, and where she strays
- In uncouth shapes, to lead her gently back,
- With prudent hand, to form and better use.
JOHN ARMSTRONG, "The Oeconomy Of Love"
Thus the men whom nature's works can charm, with God himself hold converse; grow familiar, day by day, with his conceptions; act upon his plan; and form to his, the relish of their souls.
MARK AKENSIDE, The Pleasures of Imagination
Nature does at least what she can to translate into visible form the wealth of the creative formula. By the vastness of the abysses into which she penetrates, in the effort--the unsuccessful effort--to house and contain the eternal thought, we may measure the greatness of the divine mind.
HENRI-FREDERIC AMIEL, Journal Intime
- If Nature built by rule and square,
- Than man what wiser would she be?
- What wins us is her careless care,
- And sweet unpunctuality.
ALFRED AUSTIN, "Nature and the Book", At the Gate of the Convent and Other Poems
The course of Nature is the art of God.
EDWARD YOUNG, Night Thoughts
Nature insists on whatever benefits the whole.
MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditations
The line of Nature is crooked ... though we dig the canal beds as straight as we can, the rivers run hither and thither in their wildness.
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, Ideas of Good and Evil
All nature is the temple; earth the altar.
ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE, "Prayer", Poetical Meditations
Nature does not make leaps.
GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Nouveaux essais sur l'entendement humain
The noble simplicity in the works of nature only too often originates in the noble shortsightedness of him who observes it.
GEORG CHRISTOPH LICHTENBERG, "Notebook H", Aphorisms
Despite our strongly felt kinship and oneness with nature, all the evidence suggests that nature doesn't care one whit about us. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen without the slightest consideration for human inhabitants.
ALAN LIGHTMAN, "Our Lonely Home in Nature", The New York Times, May 2, 2014
We reduce things to mere Nature in order that we may "conquer" them.
C. S. LEWIS, The Abolition of Man
All the time nature is trying to tell us things and we blur her greatness with our little thoughts, our feebleness and flesh.
JENNETTE LEE, The Symphony Play