Zitate von Charles Lindbergh

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Charles Lindbergh

Geburtstag: 4. Februar 1902
Todesdatum: 26. August 1974

Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. war ein US-amerikanischer Pilot, Schriftsteller und Träger der Medal of Honor. Ihm gelang vom 20. bis 21. Mai 1927 der Nonstopflug von New York nach Paris, für den 1919 der Orteig-Preis von Raymond Orteig gestiftet worden war, und quasi nebenbei die erste Alleinüberquerung des Atlantiks, wodurch er zu einer der bekanntesten Personen der Luftfahrt wurde. Lindbergh schrieb mehrere Bücher über seinen Flug, darunter The Spirit of St. Louis . Für dieses Werk erhielt er 1954 den Pulitzer-Preis.

Die erste Nonstop-Atlantiküberquerung von Amerika nach Europa mit einem Flugzeug war bereits im Juni 1919 John Alcock und Arthur Whitten Brown gelungen, und die erste Atlantiküberquerung mit Zwischenstopps wurde wiederum einige Wochen davor im Mai 1919 von Albert C. Read beendet. Wikipedia

Photo: Harris & Ewing / Public domain

Zitate Charles Lindbergh

„The wild world is the human world.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

"The Wisdom of Wilderness" in LIFE (22 December 1967)
Kontext: The wild world is the human world. Having evolved in it for millions of centuries, we are not far removed by a cloth of civilization. It is packed into our genes. In fact, the more power-driven, complex and delicate our civilization becomes, the more likelihood arises that a collapse will force us back to wildness. There is in wildness a natural wisdom that shapes all Earth's experiments with life. Can we tap this wisdom without experiencing the agony of reverting to wildness? Can we combine it with intellectual developments of which we feel so proud, use it to redirect our modern trends before they lead to a worse breakdown than past civilizations have experienced? I believe we can, and that to do so we must learn from the primitive.

„It is not the willingness to kill on the part of our soldiers which most concerns me. That is an inherent part of war. It is our lack of respect for even the admirable characteristics of our enemy — for courage, for suffering, for death, for his willingness to die for his beliefs, for his companies and squadrons which go forth, one after another, to annihilation against our superior training and equipment. What is courage for us is fanaticism for him. We hold his examples of atrocity screamingly to the heavens while we cover up our own and condone them as just retribution for his acts.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Journal entry (21 July 1944); later published in The Wartime Journals (1970)
Kontext: The intense artillery fire has stripped the trees of leaves and branches so that the outline of the coral ridge itself can be seen silhouetted against the sky. Since I have been on Owi Island, at irregular intervals through the night and day, the sound of our artillery bombarding this Japanese stronghold has floated in across the water. This afternoon, I stood on the cliff outside our quarters (not daring to sit on the ground because of the danger of typhus) and watched the shells bursting on the ridge. For weeks that handful of Japanese soldiers, variously estimated at between 250 and 700 men, has been holding out against overwhelming odds and the heaviest bombardment our well-supplied guns can give them.
If positions were reversed and our troops held out so courageously and well, their defense would be recorded as one of the most glorious examples of tenacity, bravery, and sacrifice in the history of our nation. But, sitting in the security and relative luxury of our quarters, I listen to American Army officers refer to these Japanese soldiers as "yellow sons of bitches." Their desire is to exterminate the Jap ruthlessly, even cruelly. I have not heard a word of respect or compassion spoken of our enemy since I came here.
It is not the willingness to kill on the part of our soldiers which most concerns me. That is an inherent part of war. It is our lack of respect for even the admirable characteristics of our enemy — for courage, for suffering, for death, for his willingness to die for his beliefs, for his companies and squadrons which go forth, one after another, to annihilation against our superior training and equipment. What is courage for us is fanaticism for him. We hold his examples of atrocity screamingly to the heavens while we cover up our own and condone them as just retribution for his acts.

„I know myself as mortal, but this raises the question: "What is I?" Am I an individual, or am I an evolving life stream composed of countless selves?“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: I know myself as mortal, but this raises the question: "What is I?" Am I an individual, or am I an evolving life stream composed of countless selves? … As one identity, I was born in AD 1902. But as AD twentieth-century man, I am billions of years old. The life I consider as myself has existed though past eons with unbroken continuity. Individuals are custodians of the life stream — temporal manifestations of far greater being, forming from and returning to their essence like so many dreams. … I recall standing on the edge of a deep valley in the Hawaiian island of Maui, thinking that the life stream is like a mountain river — springing from hidden sources, born out of the earth, touched by stars, merging, blending, evolving in the shape momentarily seen. It is molecules probing through time, found smooth-flowing, adjusted to shaped and shaping banks, roiled by rocks and tree trunks — composed again. Now it ends, apparently, at a lava brink, a precipitous fall.
Near the fall's brink, I saw death as death cannot be seen. I stared at the very end of life, and at life that forms beyond, at the fact of immortality. Dark water bent, broke, disintegrated, transformed to apparition — a tall, stately ghost soul emerged from body, and the finite individuality of the whole becomes the infinite individuality of particles. Mist drifted, disappeared in air, a vanishing of spirit. Far below in the valley, I saw another river, reincarnated from the first, its particles reorganized to form a second body. It carried the same name. It was similar in appearance. It also ended at a lava brink. Flow followed fall, and fall followed flow as I descended the mountainside. The river was mortal and immortal as life, as becoming.

„Air power is new to all our countries. It brings advantages to some and weakens others; it calls for readjustment everywhere.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Aviation, Geography, and Race (1939)
Kontext: Air power is new to all our countries. It brings advantages to some and weakens others; it calls for readjustment everywhere.
If only there were some way to measure the changing character of men, some yardstick to reapportion influence among the nations, some way to demonstrate in peace the strength of arms in war. But with all of its dimensions, its clocks, and weights, and figures, science fails us when we ask a measure for the rights of men. They cannot be judged by numbers, by distance, weight, or time; or by counting heads without a thought of what may lie within. Those intangible qualities of character, such as courage, faith, and skill, evade all systems, slip through the bars of every cage. They can be recognized, but not measured.

„The readiness to blame a dead pilot for an accident is nauseating, but it has been the tendency ever since I can remember. What pilot has not been in positions where he was in danger and where perfect judgment would have advised against going?“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Journal entry (26 August 1938); later published in The Wartime Journals (1970)
Kontext: The readiness to blame a dead pilot for an accident is nauseating, but it has been the tendency ever since I can remember. What pilot has not been in positions where he was in danger and where perfect judgment would have advised against going? But when a man is caught in such a position he is judged only by his error and seldom given credit for the times he has extricated himself from worse situations. Worst of all, blame is heaped upon him by other pilots, all of whom have been in parallel situations themselves, but without being caught in them. If one took no chances, one would not fly at all. Safety lies in the judgment of the chances one takes. That judgment, in turn, must rest upon one's outlook on life. Any coward can sit in his home and criticize a pilot for flying into a mountain in fog. But I would rather, by far, die on a mountainside than in bed. Why should we look for his errors when a brave man dies? Unless we can learn from his experience, there is no need to look for weakness. Rather, we should admire the courage and spirit in his life. What kind of man would live where there is no daring? And is life so dear that we should blame men for dying in adventure? Is there a better way to die?

„I stared at the very end of life, and at life that forms beyond, at the fact of immortality.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: I know myself as mortal, but this raises the question: "What is I?" Am I an individual, or am I an evolving life stream composed of countless selves? … As one identity, I was born in AD 1902. But as AD twentieth-century man, I am billions of years old. The life I consider as myself has existed though past eons with unbroken continuity. Individuals are custodians of the life stream — temporal manifestations of far greater being, forming from and returning to their essence like so many dreams. … I recall standing on the edge of a deep valley in the Hawaiian island of Maui, thinking that the life stream is like a mountain river — springing from hidden sources, born out of the earth, touched by stars, merging, blending, evolving in the shape momentarily seen. It is molecules probing through time, found smooth-flowing, adjusted to shaped and shaping banks, roiled by rocks and tree trunks — composed again. Now it ends, apparently, at a lava brink, a precipitous fall.
Near the fall's brink, I saw death as death cannot be seen. I stared at the very end of life, and at life that forms beyond, at the fact of immortality. Dark water bent, broke, disintegrated, transformed to apparition — a tall, stately ghost soul emerged from body, and the finite individuality of the whole becomes the infinite individuality of particles. Mist drifted, disappeared in air, a vanishing of spirit. Far below in the valley, I saw another river, reincarnated from the first, its particles reorganized to form a second body. It carried the same name. It was similar in appearance. It also ended at a lava brink. Flow followed fall, and fall followed flow as I descended the mountainside. The river was mortal and immortal as life, as becoming.

„The growing knowledge of science does not refute man's intuition of the mystical. Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or in time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: In some future incarnation from our life stream, we may even understand the reason for our existence in forms of earthly life. The growing knowledge of science does not refute man's intuition of the mystical. Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or in time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes. Only in the twentieth century do we realize that space is not empty, that it is packed with energy; it may be existence's source. Then, if space has produced existence and the form of man, can we deduce from it a form for God?

„After my death, the molecules of my being will return to the earth and sky. They came from the stars. I am of the stars.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: I grow aware of various forms of man and of myself. I am form and I am formless, I am life and I am matter, mortal and immortal. I am one and many — myself and humanity in flux. I extend a multiple of ways in experience in space. I am myself now, lying on my back in the jungle grass, passing through the ether between satellites and stars. My aging body transmits an ageless life stream. Molecular and atomic replacement change life's composition. Molecules take part in structure and in training, countless trillions of them. After my death, the molecules of my being will return to the earth and sky. They came from the stars. I am of the stars.

„There may be a series of wars, one after another, going on indefinitely.
Possibly the world will come to its senses sooner than I expect. But, as I have often said, the environment of human life has changed more rapidly and more extensively in recent years than it has ever changed before. When environment changes, there must be a corresponding change in life. That change must be so great that it is not likely to be completed in a decade or in a generation.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Journal entry (11 December 1941); later published in The Wartime Journals (1970)
Kontext: We talk about spreading democracy and freedom all over the world, but they are to us words rather than conditions. We haven't even got them here in America, and the farther we get into this war the farther we get away from democracy and freedom. Where is it leading us to, and when will it end? The war might stop this winter, but that is improbable. It may go on for fifty years or more. That also is improbable. The elements are too conflicting and confused to form any accurate judgment of its length. There may be a series of wars, one after another, going on indefinitely.
Possibly the world will come to its senses sooner than I expect. But, as I have often said, the environment of human life has changed more rapidly and more extensively in recent years than it has ever changed before. When environment changes, there must be a corresponding change in life. That change must be so great that it is not likely to be completed in a decade or in a generation.

„The river was mortal and immortal as life, as becoming.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: I know myself as mortal, but this raises the question: "What is I?" Am I an individual, or am I an evolving life stream composed of countless selves? … As one identity, I was born in AD 1902. But as AD twentieth-century man, I am billions of years old. The life I consider as myself has existed though past eons with unbroken continuity. Individuals are custodians of the life stream — temporal manifestations of far greater being, forming from and returning to their essence like so many dreams. … I recall standing on the edge of a deep valley in the Hawaiian island of Maui, thinking that the life stream is like a mountain river — springing from hidden sources, born out of the earth, touched by stars, merging, blending, evolving in the shape momentarily seen. It is molecules probing through time, found smooth-flowing, adjusted to shaped and shaping banks, roiled by rocks and tree trunks — composed again. Now it ends, apparently, at a lava brink, a precipitous fall.
Near the fall's brink, I saw death as death cannot be seen. I stared at the very end of life, and at life that forms beyond, at the fact of immortality. Dark water bent, broke, disintegrated, transformed to apparition — a tall, stately ghost soul emerged from body, and the finite individuality of the whole becomes the infinite individuality of particles. Mist drifted, disappeared in air, a vanishing of spirit. Far below in the valley, I saw another river, reincarnated from the first, its particles reorganized to form a second body. It carried the same name. It was similar in appearance. It also ended at a lava brink. Flow followed fall, and fall followed flow as I descended the mountainside. The river was mortal and immortal as life, as becoming.

„If one took no chances, one would not fly at all. Safety lies in the judgment of the chances one takes. That judgment, in turn, must rest upon one's outlook on life. Any coward can sit in his home and criticize a pilot for flying into a mountain in fog. But I would rather, by far, die on a mountainside than in bed. Why should we look for his errors when a brave man dies? Unless we can learn from his experience, there is no need to look for weakness. Rather, we should admire the courage and spirit in his life. What kind of man would live where there is no daring? And is life so dear that we should blame men for dying in adventure? Is there a better way to die?“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Journal entry (26 August 1938); later published in The Wartime Journals (1970)
Kontext: The readiness to blame a dead pilot for an accident is nauseating, but it has been the tendency ever since I can remember. What pilot has not been in positions where he was in danger and where perfect judgment would have advised against going? But when a man is caught in such a position he is judged only by his error and seldom given credit for the times he has extricated himself from worse situations. Worst of all, blame is heaped upon him by other pilots, all of whom have been in parallel situations themselves, but without being caught in them. If one took no chances, one would not fly at all. Safety lies in the judgment of the chances one takes. That judgment, in turn, must rest upon one's outlook on life. Any coward can sit in his home and criticize a pilot for flying into a mountain in fog. But I would rather, by far, die on a mountainside than in bed. Why should we look for his errors when a brave man dies? Unless we can learn from his experience, there is no need to look for weakness. Rather, we should admire the courage and spirit in his life. What kind of man would live where there is no daring? And is life so dear that we should blame men for dying in adventure? Is there a better way to die?

„How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Aviation, Geography, and Race (1939)
Kontext: A great industrial nation may conquer the world in the span of a single life, but its Achilles' heel is time. Its children, what of them? The second and third generations, of what numbers and stuff will they be? How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life. This is our modern danger — one of the waxen wings of flight. It may cause our civilization to fall unless we act quickly to counteract it, unless we realize that human character is more important than efficiency, that education consists of more than the mere accumulation of knowledge.

„I grow aware of various forms of man and of myself. I am form and I am formless, I am life and I am matter, mortal and immortal. I am one and many — myself and humanity in flux.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: I grow aware of various forms of man and of myself. I am form and I am formless, I am life and I am matter, mortal and immortal. I am one and many — myself and humanity in flux. I extend a multiple of ways in experience in space. I am myself now, lying on my back in the jungle grass, passing through the ether between satellites and stars. My aging body transmits an ageless life stream. Molecular and atomic replacement change life's composition. Molecules take part in structure and in training, countless trillions of them. After my death, the molecules of my being will return to the earth and sky. They came from the stars. I am of the stars.

„In fact, the more power-driven, complex and delicate our civilization becomes, the more likelihood arises that a collapse will force us back to wildness.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

"The Wisdom of Wilderness" in LIFE (22 December 1967)
Kontext: The wild world is the human world. Having evolved in it for millions of centuries, we are not far removed by a cloth of civilization. It is packed into our genes. In fact, the more power-driven, complex and delicate our civilization becomes, the more likelihood arises that a collapse will force us back to wildness. There is in wildness a natural wisdom that shapes all Earth's experiments with life. Can we tap this wisdom without experiencing the agony of reverting to wildness? Can we combine it with intellectual developments of which we feel so proud, use it to redirect our modern trends before they lead to a worse breakdown than past civilizations have experienced? I believe we can, and that to do so we must learn from the primitive.

„My aging body transmits an ageless life stream.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: I grow aware of various forms of man and of myself. I am form and I am formless, I am life and I am matter, mortal and immortal. I am one and many — myself and humanity in flux. I extend a multiple of ways in experience in space. I am myself now, lying on my back in the jungle grass, passing through the ether between satellites and stars. My aging body transmits an ageless life stream. Molecular and atomic replacement change life's composition. Molecules take part in structure and in training, countless trillions of them. After my death, the molecules of my being will return to the earth and sky. They came from the stars. I am of the stars.

„The forces of Hannibal, Drake and Napoleon moved at best with the horses' gallop or the speed of wind on sail. Now, aviation brings a new concept of time and distance to the affairs of men. It demands adaptability to change, places a premium on quickness of thought and speed of action.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Aviation, Geography, and Race (1939)
Kontext: The forces of Hannibal, Drake and Napoleon moved at best with the horses' gallop or the speed of wind on sail. Now, aviation brings a new concept of time and distance to the affairs of men. It demands adaptability to change, places a premium on quickness of thought and speed of action.
Military strength has become more dynamic and less tangible. A new alignment of power has taken place, and there is no adequate peacetime measure for its effect on the influence of nations. There seems no way to agree on the rights it brings to some and takes from others.

„Now, all that I feared would happen has happened. We are at war all over the world, and we are unprepared for it from either a spiritual or a material standpoint. Fortunately, in spite of all that has been said, the oceans are still difficult to cross; and we have the time to adjust and prepare…“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Journal entry (11 December 1941); later published in The Wartime Journals (1970)
Kontext: Now, all that I feared would happen has happened. We are at war all over the world, and we are unprepared for it from either a spiritual or a material standpoint. Fortunately, in spite of all that has been said, the oceans are still difficult to cross; and we have the time to adjust and prepare... We can, of course, be raided; but unless we let ourselves go completely to pieces internally, we cannot be invaded successfully.
But this is only one part of the picture. We are in a war which requires us to attack if we are to win it. We must attack in Asia and in Europe, in fact, all over the world. That means raising and equipping an army of many millions and building shipping, which we have not now got. And after that, if we are to carry through our present war aims, it probably means the bloodiest and most devastating war of all history.

„It carried the same name. It was similar in appearance. It also ended at a lava brink.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

Autobiography of Values (1978)
Kontext: I know myself as mortal, but this raises the question: "What is I?" Am I an individual, or am I an evolving life stream composed of countless selves? … As one identity, I was born in AD 1902. But as AD twentieth-century man, I am billions of years old. The life I consider as myself has existed though past eons with unbroken continuity. Individuals are custodians of the life stream — temporal manifestations of far greater being, forming from and returning to their essence like so many dreams. … I recall standing on the edge of a deep valley in the Hawaiian island of Maui, thinking that the life stream is like a mountain river — springing from hidden sources, born out of the earth, touched by stars, merging, blending, evolving in the shape momentarily seen. It is molecules probing through time, found smooth-flowing, adjusted to shaped and shaping banks, roiled by rocks and tree trunks — composed again. Now it ends, apparently, at a lava brink, a precipitous fall.
Near the fall's brink, I saw death as death cannot be seen. I stared at the very end of life, and at life that forms beyond, at the fact of immortality. Dark water bent, broke, disintegrated, transformed to apparition — a tall, stately ghost soul emerged from body, and the finite individuality of the whole becomes the infinite individuality of particles. Mist drifted, disappeared in air, a vanishing of spirit. Far below in the valley, I saw another river, reincarnated from the first, its particles reorganized to form a second body. It carried the same name. It was similar in appearance. It also ended at a lava brink. Flow followed fall, and fall followed flow as I descended the mountainside. The river was mortal and immortal as life, as becoming.

„Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.“

—  Charles Lindbergh

As quoted in Lindbergh: Flight's Enigmatic Hero (2002) by Von Hardesty

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