29+ quotes from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness by Mark Rowlands

Quotes from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness

Mark Rowlands ·  256 pages

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“In the end, it is our defiance that redeems us. If wolves had a religion – if there was a religion of the wolf – that it is what it would tell us.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“What is best about our lives -the moments when we are, as we would put it, at our happiest- is both pleasant and deeply unpleasant. Happiness is not a feeling; it is a way of being. If we focus on the feelings, we will miss the point.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Civilization is only possible for deeply unpleasant animals. It is only an ape that can be truly civilized.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Philosophers should be offered condolences rather than encouragement.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Cheaters never prosper, we tell ourselves. But the ape in us knows it's not true. Clumsy, untutored, cheats never prosper. They are discovered and suffer the consequences [...]But what we apes despise is the clumsiness of their effort, the ineptness, the gaucherie. The ape in us does not despise the cheating itself; [...]”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“When you play each point as it comes, or play each delivery on its own merits, you are doing just that: playing. But when the value of each point or delivery becomes instrumental, what you are doing is work.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“It is consciousness that brings both suffering and enjoyment to the world.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“It is a common misconception — pervasive and tenacious, but a misconception nonetheless — that arses are made for sitting on. It seems, instead, they are made for running.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“On every long run that has gone right, there comes a point where thinking stops and thoughts begin.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“It is therefore not implausible that there is a connection between the rhythm of the body involved in running and the presence of the brain activity involved in higher cognitive functions.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“You choke when your focus switches from the individual point you are playing or delivery you are facing and start worrying about your situation in the wider context of the game — or, indeed, how you fared on previous points or even in previous games.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“antidote to choking or the yips is always the same: focus on this moment, this point, this delivery and nothing else.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“The function of religion is to make us feel better, by peddling a lie. The function of philosophy, and a carefully chosen birthday card, is to make us feel worse, by telling the truth. And the truth is of course: we get worse.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“In a similar vein, Taoism identifies freedom with wu wei: acting without acting.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“The key to building distance in the long run is the ability of the mind to lie to the body — and be convincing.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“We do other creatures an injustice and ourselves a disservice when we forget from where our intelligence came. It did not come for free. In our distant evolutionary past we went down a certain road, a road that wolves, for whatever reason, did not travel. We can be neither blamed nor congratulated for the road we took. There was no choice involved. In evolution, there never is. But while there is no choice involved, there are consequences. Our complexity, our sophistication, our art, our culture, our science, our truths—our, as we like to see it, greatness: all of this we purchased, and the coin was schemes and deception. Machination and mendacity lie at the core of our superior intelligence, like worms coiled at the core of an apple.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Love has many faces. And if you love, you have to be strong enough to look upon all of them. The essence of philia is, I think, far harsher, far crueller, than we care to admit. There is one thing without which philia cannot exist; and this is not a matter of feeling but of the will. Philia—the love appropriate to your pack—is the will to do something for those who are of your pack, even though you desperately don’t want to do it, even though it horrifies and sickens you, and even though you may ultimately have to pay a very high price for it, perhaps heavier than you can bear. You do this because that is what is best for them. You do this because you must. You may never have to do this. But you must always be ready to do it. Love is sometimes sickening. Love can damn you for all eternity. Love will take you to hell. But if you are lucky, if you are very lucky, it will bring you back again.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“A zoologist from another universe, where we can suppose the two laws do not apply, might justifiably classify most earthly fauna as subspecies of worm. We are superstructures built on and around our alimentary canal — on and around the worm that we once were.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Bad things need to be addressed, but good things do not. That is why consciousness will tend to focus on the bad.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“The marathon lane is largely empty, mostly silent: the road of the damned rather than the saved.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“A hole is defined by its edges, and these are not part of the hole. So a hole can exist only if there is something that is not a hole.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“In tutte le corse lunghe ben riuscite, arriva il punto in cui smetto di pensare, e a quel punto cominciano i pensieri. A volte sono insignificanti, a volte no. Correre è lo spazio aperto dove vanno a giocare i pensieri. Non corro per pensare. Ma quando corro, i pensieri arrivano. Non sono esterni alla corsa, come una sorta di premio o di valore aggiunto. Fanno parte di quel che è la corsa stessa, della sua essenza. Quando il mio corpo corre, anche i miei pensieri corrono e in un modo che ha ben poco a che fare con i miei stratagemmi o le mie scelte.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Running, in other words, removed an important constraint on our development as a species.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“The meaning of life — that is something for a simpler time.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Nietzsche tells us: be strong. What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Running, I shall argue, is a way of understanding what is important or valuable in life.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“On the long run, there is an experience of freedom, of a certain sort — the freedom of spending time with the mind.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“Pheidippides ran twenty-six miles from Marathon to Athens with news of the Greek victory.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


“The place that gave us the marathon also gave us philosophy. That place was the city-state of Athens in the fourth and fifth centuries BCE.”
― Mark Rowlands, quote from The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness


About the author

Mark Rowlands
Born place: in Newport
Born date January 1, 1962
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