Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Folded and Hidden

"The greatest lessons of nature are the lessons of the fresh, eternal qualities of being: The variety and freedom, the great amplitude, rectitude, impartiality—each toward all and nothing supersedes the rest;

That eternal tendency to perpetuate and preserve which is behind all nature; The indefinable hard something that is the old heroic stamina of nature, inexorable, onward, resistless, to proceed with single purpose toward the result necessitated, and for which the time has arrived.
What is nature but change, in all its visible, and still more its invisible processes? Nature keeps up her long and harmless throes, her vital, copious, eternal procession, An infinite number of currents and forces, and contributions, and temperatures, and cross-purposes, Whose ceaseless play of counterpart upon counterpart brings constant restoration and vitality
I fully believe in a clue and purpose in nature,
Enfolding itself all processes of growth,
effusing life and power, for hidden purposes.
The sun and stars that float in the open air,
The apple-shaped earth and we upon it,
Earth’s soil, trees, winds,
Waters that encompass us, tumultuous waves—
Surely the drift of them is something grand,
The purport of objective nature is doubtless folded, hidden, somewhere here;
I do not know what it is except that it is grand, and that it is happiness."

Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)
Nature, Containing All

Friday, April 12, 2024

Divisible Space

"We are not to consider the world as the body of God, or the several parts thereof as the parts of God. He is a uniform Being, void of organs, members or parts,...being everywhere present to the things themselves. And since space is divisible in infinitum, and matter is not necessarily in all places, it may also be allowed that God is able to create particles of matter of several sizes and figures, and in several proportions of space, and perhaps of different densities and forces, and thereby to vary the laws of Nature, and make worlds of several sorts in several parts of the Universe. At least I see nothing of contradiction in this."

- Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727)

Note. The triptych contains "quick grabs" (using my iPhone) of the skylights near Gate 4 of the Bangor, Maine airport while waiting for our plane to return back home (to Northern VA) after viewing the total eclipse on April 8. While I did not take any images of the eclipse (I just wanted to just "be in the moment"), the little black spheres in the skylight reminded me a little of that experience and caught my eye 😊 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Hallucinatory Character of the World

"Let us admit what all the idealists admit: the hallucinatory character of the world. Let us do what no idealist has done: let us look for unrealities that confirm that character. We will find them, I believe, in the antinomies of Kant and in the dialectic of Zeno.
We have dreamt the world. We have dreamt it resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time; but we have left in its architecture tenuous and eternal interstices of unreason, so that we know it is false."

Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986)

Monday, March 25, 2024

Sea of the Unreal

"Reality is, you know,
the tip of an iceberg of
irrationality that we've managed
to drag ourselves up onto for
a few panting moments before
we slip back into the sea
of the unreal."

Terence McKenna (1946 - 2000)

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Metaphors for Life

"A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, the longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home."

Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Self-Conscious Flow

"Great art and great science involve a leap of imagination into a world that is different from the present.
Many of the peculiarities attributed to creative persons are really just ways to protect the focus of concentration so that they may lose themselves in the creative process. Distractions interrupt flow, and it may take hours to recover the peace of mind one needs to get on with the work. The more ambitious the task, the longer it takes to lose oneself in it, and the easier it is to get distracted.
I mean, we’re only here for a short while. And I think it’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention. In some ways, this is getting far afield. I mean, we are—as far as we know—the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious. We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1934 - 2021)
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
(See "Unlocking Creative Flow: How the Brain Enters the Zone")

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Zen Drops

"In one drop of water are found
all the secrets of the oceans."

Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)