The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness

by

Ursula K. Le Guin

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A monotheistic Gethenian religion. The Yomeshta worship a single man named Meshe, who is said to be able to see the past, present, and future simultaneously. They value light, and scorn darkness.

Yomeshta Quotes in The Left Hand of Darkness

The The Left Hand of Darkness quotes below are all either spoken by Yomeshta or refer to Yomeshta. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ace Books edition of The Left Hand of Darkness published in 1987.
Chapter 12 Quotes

Darkness is only in the mortal eye, that thinks it sees, but sees not. In the Sight of Meshe there is no darkness.
Therefore those that call upon the darkness are made fools of and spat out from the mouth of Meshe, for they name what is not, calling it Source and End.
There is neither source nor end, for all things are in the Center of Time. As all the stars may be reflected in a round raindrop falling in the night: so too do all the stars reflect the raindrop. There is neither darkness nor death, for all things are, in the light of the Moment, and their end and their beginning are one.
One center, one seeing, one law, one light! Look now into the Eye of Meshe!

Related Characters: Meshe
Related Symbols: Shadows
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 19 Quotes

“Fear’s very useful. Like darkness; like shadows.” Estraven’s smile was an ugly split in a peeling, cracked brown mask, thatched with black fur and set with two flecks of black rock. “It’s queer that daylight’s not enough. We need the shadows, in order to walk.”
“Give me your notebook a moment.”
He had just noted down our day’s journey and done some calculation of mileage and rations. He pushed the little tablet and carbon-pencil around the Chabe stove to me. On the blank leaf glued to the inner back cover I drew the double curve within the circle, and blacked the yin half of the symbol, then pushed it back to my companion. “Do you know that sign?”
He looked at it a long time with a strange look, but he said, “No.”
“It’s found on Earth, and on Hain-Davenant, and on Chiffewar. It is yin and yang. Light is the left hand of darkness…how did it go? Light, dark. Fear, courage. Cold, warmth. Female, male. It is yourself, Therem. Both and one. A shadow on snow.”

Related Characters: Genly Ai (speaker), Therem Harth rem ir Estraven (Estraven) (speaker)
Related Symbols: Shadows
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire The Left Hand of Darkness LitChart as a printable PDF.
The left hand of darkness.pdf.medium

Yomeshta Term Timeline in The Left Hand of Darkness

The timeline below shows where the term Yomeshta appears in The Left Hand of Darkness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Light and Dark, Religion and Spirituality  Theme Icon
...Foretellers a good question. He cautions that “vagueness breeds vagueness,” and some questions are unanswerable. Yomeshta, the other Gethenian religion, famously began when someone asked a group of Foretellers the meaning... (full context)
Chapter 12
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
Light and Dark, Religion and Spirituality  Theme Icon
This chapter is from “The Sayings of Tuhulme the High Priest,” a Yomeshta religious text written nine hundred years ago. (full context)
Light and Dark, Religion and Spirituality  Theme Icon
In Yomeshta, there is no darkness. Darkness only exists for mortals. Meshe can See everything, and everything... (full context)
Chapter 15
Otherness and Connectedness Theme Icon
Light and Dark, Religion and Spirituality  Theme Icon
...talent of the Foretellers of the Handdara. He also thinks it is related to the Yomeshta belief in seeing “everything at once: seeing whole.” (full context)
Chapter 16
Sex, Gender, and Behavior Theme Icon
Otherness and Connectedness Theme Icon
Light and Dark, Religion and Spirituality  Theme Icon
Estraven remarks that the Yomeshta would argue “man’s singularity is his divinity.” Ai wonders what the Handdara would say, and... (full context)