John Muir

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“I’m in the woods and they are in me ... I’ve taken the sacrament with the douglas squirrel, drunk Sequoia wine, Sequoia blood, and with it’s rosy purple drops I am writing [a] woody gospel letter.”
-John Muir

No amount of word-making will ever make a single soul to know these mountains. As well seek to warm the naked by lectures on caloric and pictures of flame. One day's exposure to the mountains is better than a cartload of books. See how willing Nature poses herself to the photographer's plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul. All that is required is exposure and purity of soul. -John Muir

This I may say is the first time I have been at church in California, led here at last, every door graciously opened up for the poor lonely worshiper. In our best times everything turns into religion, all the world seems a church and the mountains altars. And lo, here at last in front of the cathedral is blessed cassiope, ringing her thousand of sweet toned bells, the sweetest church music I ever enjoyed. Listening, admiring, until late in the afternoon I compelled myself to hasten away.... -John Muir

You are going on a strange journey this time, my friend. I don't envy you. You'll have a hard time keeping your heart light and simple in the midst of this crowd of madmen. Instead of the music of the wind among the spruce-tops and the tinkling of the waterfalls, your ears will be filled with the oaths and groans of these poor, deluded, self-burdened people. Keep close to Natures heart, yourself; and break clear away, once and a while and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean from the earth-stains of this sordid, gold seeking crowd in god's pure air. It will help in your efforts to bring to these people something better than gold. Don't loose your freedom and your love of the earth as god made it. -John Muir

All that is necessary to make any landscape visible and there-fore impressive is to regard it from a new point of view, or from an and old one with our heads up side down. Then we behold a new heaven and earth and are born again, as if we had gone on a pilgrimage to some far off holy-land and had become new creatures with bodies inverted; The scales fall from our eyes, and in like manner we are made to see when we go on excursions into fields and pastures new.... -John Muir

I was so proud of my skills as a climber that when I first heard of hell from a servant girl who loved to tell its horrors and warn us that if we did anything wrong that we would be cast into it. I always insisted that I could climb out of it. I imagined it was only a sooty pit with stone walls like those of the castle, and felt sure there must be chinks and cracks in the masonry for fingers and toes. Any how the terrors of the horrible place seldom lasted long beyond the telling; For natural faith casts out all fear. -Muir

If you are traveling for health, play truants to doctors and friends, fill your pockets with biscuits, and hide in the hills of the hollow, lave in it's waters, tan in it's golds, bask in it's flower-shine, and your baptism will make you a new creature indeed. Or chocked in the sediment of society, so tired of the world, here will your hard doubts disappear, your carnal incrustation melt off, and your soul breath deep and free in God's shoreless atmosphere of beauty and love. -John Muir

A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But thought to the out ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the father off and dimmer seems the Lord. The same may be said of stone temples. Yonder, to the eastward of our grove, stand one of Nature's cathedrals, hewn from the living rock, almost conventional in form, about two thousand feet high, nobly adorned with spires and pinnacles, thrilling under floods of sunshine as if alive like a grove-temple, and well named "Cathedral Peak". -John Muir

The light shines not on us but through us.- John Muir (see Emerson)

We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pour and cell of us ... How glorious a conversion, so complete and wholesome it is, scarce memory enough of old bondage days left as a standpoint to view it from! In this newness of life we we seem to have been so always. -John Muir pb8

I’m in the woods and they are in me ... I’ve taken the sacrament with the douglas squirrel, drunk Sequoia wine, Sequoia blood, and with it’s rosy purple drops I am writing [a] woody gospel letter.-John Muir

Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter. -John Muir


324: ...Surely all God's people, however serious and savage, great or small, like to play. Whales and elephants, dancing, humming gnats, and invisibly small mischievous microbes- all are warm with divine radium and must have lots of fun in them.
-John Muir

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           ©            Updated: July 22, 2013 8:00 AM