Henry Miller on the crippling distractions of the modern world

“We clutter the earth with our inventions, never dreaming that possibly they are unnecessary — or disadvantageous. We devise astounding means of communication, but do we communicate with one another? We move our bodies to and fro and incredible speeds, but do we really leave the spot we started from? Mentally, morally, spiritually, we are fettered. What have we achieved in mowing down mountain ranges, harnessing the energy of mighty rivers, or moving whole populations about like chess pieces, if we ourselves remain the same restless, miserable, frustrated creatures we were before? To call such activity progress is utter delusion. We may succeed in altering the face of the earth until it is unrecognizable even to the Creator, but if we are unaffected wherein lies the meaning?”
–Henry Miller, World of Sex (1940)

Posted by | Comments (2)  | February 6, 2004
Category: Travel Quote of the Day


2 Responses to “Henry Miller on the crippling distractions of the modern world”

  1. Cory Says:

    So Miller was a Luddite. Who knew? John Zerzan, Daniel Quinn, and Derrick Jensen (leaders of that movement today) would be proud of that quote.

  2. Rolf Says:

    I’m not sure if Miller meant to be a Luddite in saying this; I just think he was referring to the frequent spiritual emptiness of modernity and technology. His World of Sex, which I found in a used bookstore in Udaipur, India, is certainly worth a read. I personally liked it better than Tropic of Cancer.