„Left to ourselves, mechanistic and autonomic, we hanker for friends.“

—  Lewis Thomas, Context: We are endowed with genes which code out our reaction to beavers and otters, maybe our reaction to each other as well. We are stamped with stereotyped, unalterable patterns of response, ready to be released. And the behavior released in us, by such confrontations, is, essentially, a surprised affection. It is compulsory behavior and we can avoid it only by straining with the full power of our conscious minds, making up conscious excuses all the way. Left to ourselves, mechanistic and autonomic, we hanker for friends. "The Tucson Zoo", p. 9
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Lewis Thomas4
1913 - 1993

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Context: The noblest of men and friends has left the world, — Phillips Brooks. One month ago this morning he breathed his last. He, with whom it was impossible to associate the idea of death; — was? — is so, still! — the most living man I ever knew — physically, mentally, spiritually. It is almost like taking the sun out of the sky. He was such an illumination, such a warmth, such an inspiration! And he let us all come so near him, — just as Christ does! I felt that I knew Christ personally through him. He always spoke of Him as his dearest friend, and he always lived in perfect, loving allegiance to God in Him. Now I know him as I know Christ, — as a spirit only, and his sudden withdrawal is only an ascension to Him, in the immortal life. Shut into my sick-room, I have seen none of the gloom of the burial; I know him alive, with Christ, from the dead, forevermore. Where he is, life must be. He lived only in realities here, and he is entering into the heart of them now. "What a new splendor in heaven!" was my first thought of him, after one natural burst of sorrow. What great services he has found! How gloriously life, with its immortal opportunities, must be opening to him! He, — one week here, — the next there, — and seen no more here again. The very suddenness of his going makes the other life seem the real one, rather than this. And a man like this is the best proof God ever gives human beings of their own immortality. Journal entry (20 February 1893), Ch. 12 : Last Years.