Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #16

“The future does not stay open automatically; it has to be re-opened by your own inward death and renewal. Not steady movement in one direction but continual re-direction, breaking through old ruts, is the formula for progress. All routine, all secondary forms of life, all the organs of our body even, decay when they do not serve and are not keyed up again by the growth of a new leaf, the bursting of one new blossom, by the one step into the unknown and improbable which we experience when we ask ourselves where our heart really is.”

~from The Christian Future, page 83

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #15

“If the land is not to be lost to hordes from outside, we in all the Western World shall have to recover the power to build communities. It is quite worthless to map out programs of rehabilitation or resettlement since not one of the individuals thus resettled or rehabilitated has the stamina to partake in the revival of the community. First of all, before any planners can carry out any plan, we shall have to create opportunities in which men recover their power to found or re-found communities. This power is lost. The modern mind has lost the recipe.”

~from The Christian Future, page 198

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #14

“Man’s dignity lies not in producing private opinions but in timing public truth. His speech must not only be more than himself: it must come at the right moment, in the fullness of time. Then his words acquire a ‘once for ever’ meaning. All the sayings of Jesus were quite simple; they became important forever because they were spoken at the right moment, ‘when the time was fulfilled.’ A truth taught without the time element is abstract, therefore not vital. Truth is concrete at the lucky opportunity and hour. When we speak too late or too early we are out of luck; our truth remains abstract, and we fail to create a present in which people transcend mere past and future; we lack presence of mind.”

~from I Am an Impure Thinker: Teaching Too Late, Learning Too Early, page 95

I Am an Impure Thinker is available for free pdf download. Click here for that.

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #13

“A wounded heart does not recover in the spiritual world without a change in the visible world. Resurrection never does enthrone the spirit in the same place where it left one body, as though nothing had happened. Something has happened; death has intervened. When I experienced an infinitesimal fraction of resurrection, I learned to my amazement how severe the law was which made it impossible for me to continue among the same people in the same place.”

~from The Christian Future, page 145

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #12

“[E]very boy or girl in this country learns the three R’s. Now, perhaps they would have better minds if they learned the Greek letters and language instead, but they have no choice. This English is their heritage. Long before they could choose, their elders have moulded their minds and made them into English speakers, English readers, English writers, and accountants. The young depend on the choices made for them by their elders. An heir is not somebody who can choose what he shall inherit; if he could make his choice, he would be self-made. But, in so far as his inheritance is determined, he is an heir, and under the laws of heredity. And to his heredity a man may say either yes or no, but he is caught in this one alternative which is not creative. He does, however, determine the background of the next generation.

“Hence, one’s generation’s background is due to the previous generation’s foreground. My father’s values determined my education. And by no action of mine can I cancel out the fact that his education preceded my own judgements. I am more the product of his intent or his omissions than his own life was. I am his heir. Only my own son or students may fully reflect my own choices.”

~from The Christian Future, page 221