Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Associative Play

"The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be 'voluntarily' reproduced and combined.

There is, of course, a certain connection between those elements and relevant logical concepts. It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above-mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.

The above-mentioned elements are, in my case, of visual and some of muscular type. Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a secondary stage, when the mentioned associative play is sufficiently established and can be reproduced at will."

- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Rational Concepts

"The divine principle of unity has ever been that of an inner inter-relationship. This is revealed in some of its earliest stages in the evolution of multicellular life on this planet. The most perfect outward expression has been attained by man in his own body. But what is most important of all is the fact that man has also attained its realization in a more subtle body outside his physical system. He misses himself when isolated he finds his own larger and truer self in his wide human relationship. His multicellular body is born and it dies; his multi-personal humanity is immortal.

"...the impersonal aspect of truth dealt with by science belongs to the human Universe. But men of Science tell us that truth, unlike beauty, and goodness, is independent of our consciousness. They explain to us how the belief, that truth is independent of the human mind, is a mystical belief, natural to man but at the same time inexplicable. But may not the explanation be this, that ideal truth does not depend upon the individual mind of man but on the universal mind which comprehends the individual? For to say that truth, as we see it, exists apart from humanity is really to contradict science itself; because science can only organize into rational concepts those facts which man can know and understand, and logic is a machinery of thinking created by the mechanic man.

I do not imply that the final nature of the world depends upon the comprehension of the individual person. Its reality is associated with the universal human mind which comprehends all time and all possibilities of realization. And this is why for the accurate knowledge of things we depend upon science that represents the rational mind of the universal man and not upon that of the individual who dwells in a limited range of space and time, and the immediate needs of life."

- Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)

Monday, February 17, 2020


"You would measure time
the measureless and the immeasurable.
You would adjust your conduct
and even direct the course of your spirit
according to hours and seasons.
Of time you would make a stream
upon whose bank you would sit
and watch its flowing.
Yet the timeless in you
is aware of life’s timelessness,
And knows that yesterday
is but today’s memory
and tomorrow is today’s dream.
And that that which sings
and contemplates in you is still dwelling
within the bounds of that first moment
which scattered the stars into space."

- Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931) 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Autobiographical Memory

"When you summon up an autobiographical memory, you engage in a kind of mental time travel. You identify your current 'remembering self' with your past 'experiencing self'—like the self that was feeling apprehensive on the first day of school. These two selves are connected, not just through a continuously existing physical body but also through a somewhat discontinuous (because interrupted by dreamless sleep) stream of consciousness. The faculty of autobiographical memory allows us to understand ourselves as beings whose existence extends over time."

- Jim Holt (1954 - )

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Visible Delineations

"You see what the eye does teach; and yet it would never of itself have afforded this insight, without something that looks through the eyes and uses the data of the senses as mere guides to penetrate from the apparent to the unseen. It is needless to add the methods of geometry that lead us step by step through visible delineations to truths that lie out of sight, and countless other instances which all prove that apprehension is the work of an intellectual essence deeply seated in our nature, acting through the operation of our bodily senses."

- St. Gregory of Nyssa (335 – 395)

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Naive Realism

"We all start from “naive realism,” i.e., the doctrine that things are what they seem. We think that grass is green, that stones are hard, and that snow is cold. But physics assures us that the greenness of grass, the hardness of stones, and the coldness of snow are not the greenness of grass, the hardness of stones, and the coldness of snow that we know in our own experience, but something very different."

- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Monday, January 20, 2020

Mental Constructs

"Perhaps we all lose our sense of reality to the precise degree to which we are engrossed in our own work, and perhaps that is why we see in the increasing complexity of our mental constructs a means for greater understanding, even while intuitively we know that we shall never be able to fathom the imponderables that govern our course through life."

W.G. Sebald (1944 - 2001)