Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Embodied Network


"We’re all—trees, humans, insects, birds, bacteria—pluralities. Life is embodied network. These living networks are not places of omnibenevolent Oneness. Instead, they are where ecological and evolutionary tensions between cooperation and conflict are negotiated and resolved. These struggles often result not in the evolution of stronger, more disconnected selves but in the dissolution of the self into relationship. Because life is network, there is no 'nature' or 'environment,' separate and apart from humans. We are part of the community of life, composed of relationships with “others,” so the human/nature duality that lives near the heart of many philosophies is, from a biological perspective, illusory."

- David George Haskell (1969 - )
The Songs of Trees 

Friday, December 31, 2021

A Vast Pattern


"Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination - stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one - million - year - old light. A vast pattern - of which I am a part... What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?"

- Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988)

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Universal Spark


"Like an explosive awaiting a spark, unimaginably numerous environments in the universe are waiting out there, for aeons on end, doing nothing at all or blindly generating evidence and storing it up or pouring it out into space. Almost any of them would, if the right knowledge ever reached it, instantly and irrevocably burst into a radically different type of physical activity: intense knowledge-creation, displaying all the various kinds of complexity, universality and reach that are inherent in the laws of nature, and transforming that environment from what is typical today into what could become typical in the future. If we want to, we could be that spark."

- David Deutsch (1953 - )
The Beginning of Infinity 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Limits of Comprehension


"Man is not born to solve
the problem of the universe,
but to find out what he has to do;
and to restrain himself within
the limits of his comprehension."

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Perceive the Inconceivable


"What dreaming does is
give us the fluidity to
enter into other worlds by
destroying our sense of
knowing this world.
He called dreaming a journey
of unthinkable dimensions,
a journey that, after making us
perceive everything we
can humanly perceive,
makes the assemblage point
jump out side the
human domain and
perceive the inconceivable. "

- Carlos Castaneda (1925 - 1998)
The Art of Dreaming

Friday, December 24, 2021

Curious Air of Hyper-Reality

"I suppose it is submerged realities that give to dreams their curious air of hyper-reality. But perhaps there is something else as well, something nebulous, gauze-like, through which everything one sees in a dream seems, paradoxically, much clearer. A pond becomes a lake, a breeze becomes a storm, a handful of dust is a desert, a grain of sulphur in the blood is a volcanic inferno. What manner of theater is it, in which we are at once playwright, actor, stage manager, scene painter and audience?"

 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Between Immensity and Eternity


"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky."

 - Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)
Cosmos