Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mountains Simply Exist

"The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day."

- Peter Matthiessen (1927 - 2014)

Monday, September 26, 2016


"My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear — a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. The 'I' in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable."

- Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Patchwork Quilt

"Our aesthetic sense, whether in works of art or in lives, has overfocused on the stubborn struggle toward a single goal rather than on the fluid, the protean, the improvisatory. We see achievement as purposeful and monolithic, like the sculpting of a massive tree trunk that has first to be brought from the forest and then shaped by long labor to assert the artist’s vision, rather than something crafted from odds and ends, like a patchwork quilt, and lovingly used to warm different nights and bodies."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Network of Perceptions

"A world of evanescent impressions; a world without matter or spirit, neither objective nor subjective, a world without the ideal architecture of space; a world made of time, of the absolute uniform time of [Newton’s] Principia; a tireless labyrinth, a chaos, a dream.

"Once matter and spirit — which are continuities — are negated, once space too is negated, I do not know with what right we retain that continuity which is time. Outside each perception (real or conjectural) matter does not exist; outside each mental state spirit does not exist; neither does time exist outside the present moment.

"And yet, and yet… Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations. Our destiny … is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad.

Time is the substance
I am made of.
Time is a river which
sweeps me along
but I am the river;
it is a tiger which
destroys me,
but I am the tiger;
it is a fire which
consumes me,
but I am the fire.
The world, unfortunately, is real;
I, unfortunately, am Borges."

- Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986)
"A New Refutation of Time," Labyrinths

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Amidst the Mystery

"To know objects only through dissecting and
cataloguing them is to miss their full reality.
It is to fall asleep amidst the mystery
and to become numb to the wonder
of this great Earth"

(1931 - 2009)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Distant Memories

"The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us - there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries."

- Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Unfathomable Mystery

"The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend."

- Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hypostatized Information

"We hypostatize information into objects. Rearrangement of objects is change in the content of the information; the message has changed. This is a language which we have lost the ability to read. We ourselves are a part of this language; changes in us are changes in the content of the information. We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outward once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing."

- Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Receiving the World

"Paradoxical as it may seem,
the purposeful life has no content,
no point. It hurries on and on,
and misses everything. Not hurrying,
the purposeless life misses nothing,
for it is only when there is
no goal and no rush that
the human senses are
fully open to receive the world."

(1915 - 1973)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mind and Matter

"Whole and unity; thing or entity or being. Every whole is a unity and every unity that is divisible is a whole. For example, the primitive concepts, the monads, the empty set, and the unit sets are unities but not wholes. Every unity is something and not nothing. Any unity is a thing or an entity or a being. Objects and concepts are unities and beings... In materialism all elements behave the same. It is mysterious to think of them as spread out and automatically united. For something to be a whole, it has to have an additional object, say, a soul or a mind. 'Matter' refers to one way of perceiving things, and elementary particles are a lower form of mind. Mind is separate from matter... Classes and concepts may, however, also be conceived as real objects, namely classes as 'pluralities of things' or as structures consisting of a plurality of things and concepts as the properties and relations of things existing independently of our definitions and constructions. It seems to me that the assumption of such objects is quite as legitimate as the assumption of physical bodies and there is quite as much reason to believe in their existence. They are in the same sense necessary to obtain a satisfactory system of mathematics as physical bodies are necessary for a satisfactory theory of our sense perceptions."

- Kurt Godel (1906 - 1978)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nothing Normal About Nature

"The truth is, however,
that there is nothing very
“normal” about nature.
Once upon a time
there were no flowers at all"

- Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

Friday, September 09, 2016

Immanent Dialectic

"Absolute trust in the reality of things begins to be shaken as the problem of truth enters upon the scene. The moment man ceases merely to live in and with reality and demands a knowledge of this reality, he moves into a new and fundamentally different relation to it. At first, to be sure, the question of truth seems to apply only to particular parts and not to the whole of reality. Within this whole different strata of validity begin to be marked off, reality seems to separate sharply from appearance. But it lies in the very nature of the problem of truth that once it arises it never comes to rest. The concept of truth conceals an immanent dialectic that drives it inexorably forward, forever extending its limits."

- Ernst Cassirer (1874 - 1945)

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Metaphysical Angst

"There are people ... who fill their time, or what they believe to be their spare time, by collecting stamps, coins, medals, vases, postcards, matchboxes, books, clocks, sport shirts, autographs, stones, clay figurines, empty beverage cans, little angels, cacti, opera programmes, lighters, pens, owls, music boxes, bottles, bonsai trees, paintings, mugs, pipes, glass obelisks, ceramic ducks, old toys, carnival masks, and they probably do so out of something that we might call metaphysical angst, perhaps because they cannot bear the idea of chaos being the one ruler of the universe, which is why, using their limited powers and with no divine help, they attempt to impose some order on the world, and for a short while they manage it, but only as long as they are there to defend their collection, because when the day comes when it must be dispersed, and that day always comes, either with their death or when the collector grows weary, everything goes back to its beginnings, everything returns to chaos."

- José Saramago (1922 - 2010)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Essential Unity of the World

"We try to realize the
essential unity of the world
with the conscious soul of man;
we learn to perceive
the unity held together
by the one Eternal Spirit,
whose power creates the earth,
the sky, and the stars,
and at the same time
irradiates our mind."

- Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Science and Art

"Science and art sometimes
can touch one another,
like two pieces of the jigsaw puzzle
which is our human life,
and that contact may be
made across the borderline
between the two
respective domains."

- M. C. Escher (1898 - 1972)

Monday, September 05, 2016

Structure of Reality

"The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day."

- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Sunday, September 04, 2016

There Are No Boundaries

"That all opposites—such as mass and energy, subject and object, life and death—are so much each other that they are perfectly inseparable, still strikes most of us as hard to believe. But this is only because we accept as real the boundary line between the opposites. It is, recall, the boundaries themselves which create the seeming existence of separate opposites. To put it plainly, to say that 'ultimate reality is a unity of opposites' is actually to say that in ultimate reality there are no boundaries. Anywhere."

- Ken Wilber (1949 - )

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Delight of the Senses

"Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses. By thy might, there return into us treasures that we had abandoned. By thy grace, there are released in us all the dried-up runnels of our heart. Of the riches that exist in the world, thou art the rarest and also the most delicate - thou so pure within the bowels of the earth! A man may die of thirst lying beside a magnesian spring. He may die within reach of a salt lake. He may die though he hold in his hand a jug of dew, if it be inhabited by evil salts. For thou, water, art a proud divinity, allowing no alteration, no foreignness in thy being. And the joy that thou spreadest is an infinitely simple joy."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900 - 1944)