„We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us — that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence — then we don't like it any more.“

—  Stanisław Lem, book Solaris

Source: Solaris (1961), Ch. 6: "The Little Apocrypha", p. 72
Context: We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is. We are seaching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, of a civilisation superior to our own but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past. At the same time, there is something inside us which we don't like to face up to, from which we try to protect ourselves, but which nevertheless remains, since we don't leave Earth in a state of primal innocence. We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us — that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence — then we don't like it any more.

Last update June 4, 2020. History
Stanisław Lem photo
Stanisław Lem74
Polish science fiction author 1921 - 2006

Related quotes

Stanisław Lem photo
Ilya Prigogine photo

„Whatever we call reality, it is revealed to us only through the active construction in which we participate.“

—  Ilya Prigogine physical chemist 1917 - 2003

Source: Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature (1984), p. 293.

Jack McDevitt photo

„The reality is, we don’t want our kids to be smart. We want them to be like us. Only more so.“

—  Jack McDevitt American novelist, Short story writer 1935

Source: Academy Series - Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins, Odyssey (2006), Chapter 4 (p. 37)

Naum Gabo photo
Derek Parfit photo
Michelangelo Antonioni photo
Friedrich Nietzsche photo

„Underneath this reality in which we live and have our being, another and altogether different reality lies concealed…“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, book The Birth of Tragedy

Der philosophische Mensch hat sogar das Vorgefühl, dass auch unter dieser Wirklichkeit, in der wir leben und sind, eine zweite ganz andre verborgen liege...
Source: The Birth of Tragedy (1872), p. 23, William Haussmann translation

Ayn Rand photo

„We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.“

—  Ayn Rand Russian-American novelist and philosopher 1905 - 1982

Variant: We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality

Francisco Varela photo
Michael Roberts (writer) photo
Baltasar Gracián photo

„Honorable beginnings should serve to awaken curiosity, not to heighten people's expectations. We are much better off when reality surpasses our expectations, and something turns out better than we thought it would.“

—  Baltasar Gracián, book The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Maxim 19 (p. 12)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
Context: Honorable beginnings should serve to awaken curiosity, not to heighten people's expectations. We are much better off when reality surpasses our expectations, and something turns out better than we thought it would. This rule does not hold true for bad things: when an evil has been exaggerated, its reality makes people applaud. What was feared as ruinous comes to seem tolerable.

Rachel Carson photo

„The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.“

—  Rachel Carson American marine biologist and conservationist 1907 - 1964

Speech accepting the John Burroughs Medal (April 1952); also in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1999) edited by Linda Lear, p. 94
Context: Mankind has gone very far into an artificial world of his own creation. He has sought to insulate himself, in his cities of steel and concrete, from the realities of earth and water and the growing seed. Intoxicated with a sense of his own power, he seems to be going farther and farther into more experiments for the destruction of himself and his world.
There is certainly no single remedy for this condition and I am offering no panacea. But it seems reasonable to believe — and I do believe — that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.

Walt Disney photo

„When we do fantasy, we must not lose sight of reality.“

—  Walt Disney American film producer and businessman 1901 - 1966

As quoted in Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service (Disney Editions, 2001) p. 102

Alan Kay photo

„Our job is to remind us that there are more contexts than the one that we’re in — the one that we think is reality.“

—  Alan Kay computer scientist 1940

ACM Queue A Conversation with Alan Kay Vol. 2, No. 9 - Dec/Jan 2004-2005 http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=1039523
2000s
Context: Most creativity is a transition from one context into another where things are more surprising. There’s an element of surprise, and especially in science, there is often laughter that goes along with the “Aha.” Art also has this element. Our job is to remind us that there are more contexts than the one that we’re in — the one that we think is reality.

John Frusciante photo

„We have the ability to change our own reality.“

—  John Frusciante American guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer 1970

citation needed

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky photo

„Reality is the name we give to our disappointments.“

—  Mason Cooley American academic 1927 - 2002

City Aphorisms, Ninth Selection (1992)

Gerhard Richter photo

„When we describe a process, or make out an invoice, or photograph a tree, we create models; without them we would know nothing of reality and would be animals. Abstract pictures are fictive models, because they make visible a reality that we can neither see nor describe, but whose existence we can postulate.“

—  Gerhard Richter German visual artist, born 1932 1932

in text for catalogue of documenta 7, Kassel, 1982; as cited on collected quotes on the website of Gerhard Richter: on 'Abstract paintings' https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/quotes/subjects-2/abstract-paintings-7
1980's

R. A. Lafferty photo

„When we travel we find how greatly our boyhood dreams are outstripped by reality.“

—  R. A. Lafferty American writer 1914 - 2002

Captain Roadstrum, about the planet Lotophage, Ch. 1
Space Chantey (1968)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“