Then what am I - the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside; a part of all existence, powerless but without need for power; immersed in solitude, yet in contact with all creation? There are moments when the two appear inseparable, and others when they could be cut apart by the merest flash of light.
I can't get used to the ease with which one covers the world today. It's no longer an effort--Pole--equator--oceans--continents--it's just a question of which way you point the nose of your plane. The pure joy of flight as an art has given way to the pure efficiency of flight as a science.... Science is insulating man from life -- separating his mind from his senses. The worst of it is that it soon anaesthetizes his senses so that he doesn't know what he's missing.
I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I... Read more »
True, the fragile bodies of his fellows do not weigh down his plane; true, the fretful minds of weaker men are missing from his crowded cabin; but as his airship keeps its course he holds communion with those rare spirits that inspire to intrepidity and by their sustaining potency give strength to arm, resource to mind, content to soul. Alone? With what other companions would man fly to whom the choice were given?
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?
By day, or on a cloudless night, a pilot may drink the wine of the gods, but it has an earthly taste; he's a god of the earth, like one of the Grecian deities who lives on worldly mountains and descended for intercourse with men. But at night, over a stratus layer, all sense of the planet may disappear. You know that down below, beneath that heavenly blanket is the earth, factual and hard. But it's an intellectual knowledge; it's a knowledge tucked away in the mind; not a feeling that penetrates the body.
It is about a period in aviation which is now gone, but which was probably more interesting than any the future will bring. As time passes, the perfection of machinery tends to insulate man from contact with the elements in which he lives. The 'stratosphere' planes of the future will cross the ocean without any sense of the water below. Like a train tunneling through a mountain, they will be aloof from both the problems and the beauty of the earth's surface.
The Jews are one of the principle forces attempting to lead the U.S. into the war. The Jews greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our Government. I am saying that the LEADERS of the Jewish race wish to involve us in the war for reasons that are NOT AMERICAN.
We are disturbed about the effect of the Jewish influence on our press, radio, and motion pictures. It may become very serious. (Fulton) Lewis told us of one instance where the Jewish advertising firms threatened to remove all their advertising from the Mutual System if a certain feature was permitted to go on the air. The threat was powerful enough to have the feature removed.
My father had been opposed to my flying from the first and had never flown himself. However, he had agreed to go up with me at the first opportunity, and one afternoon he climbed into the cockpit and we flew over the Redwood Falls together. From that day on I never heard a word against my flying and he never missed a chance to ride in the plane.
These phantoms speak with human voices . . . able to vanish or appear at will, to pass in and out through the walls of the fuselage as though no walls were there . . . familiar voices, conversing and advising on my flight, discussing problems of my navigation, reassuring me, giving me messages of importance unattainable in ordinary life.
Our emphasis on science has resulted in an alarming rise in world populations, the demand and ever-increasing emphasis of science to improve their standards and maintain their vigor. I have been forced to the conclusion that an over-emphasis of science weakens character and upsets life's essential balance.
I believe that for permanent survival, man must balance science with other qualities of life, qualities of body and spirit as well as those of mind - qualities he cannot develop when he lets mechanics and luxury insulate him too greatly from the earth to which he was born.
Wind, weather, power, load - gradually these elements stop churning in my mind. It's less a decision of logic than a feeling, the kind of feeling that comes when you gauge the distance to be jumped between two stones across a brook. Something within you disengages itself from your body and travels ahead with your vision to make the test. You can feel it try the jump as you stand looking. Then uncertainty gives way to the conviction that it can or can't be done.
If I were entering adulthood now instead of in the environment of fifty years ago, I would choose a career that kept me in touch with nature more than science. ... Too few natural areas remain; both by intent and by indifference we have insulated ourselves from the wilderness that produced us.