Great Explorer Quotes

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Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn't women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?...Women, who struggle and suffer pain to ensure the continuation of the human race, make much tougher and more courageous soldiers than all those big-mouthed freedom-fighting heroes put together!
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Isn’t that what it means to be a scientist? To push the boundaries of the unknown? To bravely, actively explore the enormity of our universe ?
Robyn Mundell (Brainwalker)
I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love. For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Without struggle, success has no value.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
And really, how insulting is it that to suggest that the best thing women can do is raise other people to do incredible things? I'm betting some of those women would like to do great things of their own.
Jessica Valenti (Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness)
At some point, you just gotta forgive the past, your happiness hinges on it.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Explore, Experience, Then Push Beyond.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
How aware are we of our own inner life, our spirituality-something so intangible yet so priceless? How much effort do we make to perceive that which is not obvious, which can neither be seen nor heard? I believe the exploration and enrichment of the human spirit is what determines our very humanity. Such enrichment provides an inner compass that can lead civilizations to greatness.
Daisaku Ikeda
The only cure to all this madness; is too dream, far and wide, if possibility doesn't knock, create a damn door. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't make it. If the journey your travelling seems to far fetched and wild beyond your imagination; continue on it, great things come to the risk takers. And last but not least, live today; here, right now, you'll thank your future self for it later.
Nikki Rowe
A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet. One of the great revelations of the age of space exploration is the image of the earth finite and lonely, somehow vulnerable, bearing the entire human species through the oceans of space and time.
Carl Sagan
If you didn't earn something, it's not worth flaunting.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
It’s the ‘everyday’ experiences we encounter along the journey to who we wanna be that will define who we are when we get there.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I wish I were a poet. I've never confessed that to anyone, and I'm confessing it to you, because you've given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I've spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind's eye. It's been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I've been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers. But I wish I were a poet. Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, 'Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open.' I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is composed of dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we'll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What's real? What isn't real? Maybe those aren't the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on? I wish I had made things for life to depend on.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Who can really be faithful in great things if he has not learned to be faithful in the things of daily life?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
It occurred to me that the business of surviving precluded a great many things, exploring and falling in love not least among them.
Ransom Riggs (Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2))
Don’t dwell too much on the past. The lessons are useful for the present and a preparation for the future. Move on!
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
What you can imagine depends on what you know. Philosophers who know only philosophy consign themselves to a janitorial role in the great enterprises of exploration that are illuminating the mysteries of our lives.
Daniel C. Dennett
He is a great enough magician to tap our most common nightmares, daydreams and twilight fancies, but he never invented them either: he found them a place to live, a green alternative to each day's madness here in a poisoned world. We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams.
Peter S. Beagle (The Tolkien Reader)
The high road of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Death is the beginning of the last great adventure and exploration of humanity. Every person gets to go explore this thing that no living person knows about.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
Growing up and growing old. Playing. Exploring. Like Pooh and Piglet. And then like the Famous Five. And then like Heidi and Anne of Green Gables. And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.
M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl with All the Gifts, #1))
Christian community is like the Christian's sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
We love our partners for who they are, not for who they are not.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
God has prepared for Himself one great song of praise throughout eternity, and those who enter the community of God join in this song. It is the song that the “morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” at the creation of the world. (Job 38:7). It is the victory song of the children of Israel after passing through the Red Sea, the Magnificat of Mary after the annunciation, the song of Paul and Silas in the night of prison, the song of the singers on the sea of glass after their rescue, the “song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3) It is the song of the heavenly fellowship.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
Every great work of art has two faces: one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.
Daniel Barenboim (Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society)
Sometimes great possibilities are right in front of us but we don't see them because we choose not to. I think that we need to be open to exploring something new.
Barry Allen "The Flash"
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
As Henry David Thoreau, one of the great explorers of his time, reminded himself in his journal, “It matters not where or how far you travel—the farther commonly the worse—but how much alive you are.” Two
Pico Iyer (The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere (TED Books))
Life is full of endless possibilities. Explore your world.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. This is no fulfillment of our obligation, and it is certain that here too our attitude toward our brother only reflects our relationship to God. It is little wonder that we are no longer capable of the greatest service of listening that God has committed to us, that of hearing our brother's confession, if we refuse to give ear to our brother on lesser subjects. Secular education today is aware that often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to him seriously, and upon this insight it has constructed its own soul therapy, which has attracted great numbers of people, including Christians. But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
Like all motherless girls, Leni would become an emotional explorer, trying to uncover the lost part of her, the mother who carried and nurtured and loved her. Leni would become both mother and child; to her, mama would still grow and age. She would never be gone, not as long as Leni remembered her.
Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)
Real sex is as much about reciprocity as it is exploration and if you need a reason to resent a man later on, just consider the guy who doesn’t believe in cunnilingus...
Roberto Hogue (Real Secrets of Sex: A Women's Guide on How to Be Good in Bed)
To learn to play seriously is one of the great secrets of spiritual exploration.
Rachel Pollack (The Forest of Souls: A Walk Through the Tarot)
Horizons, cheap whisky straight from the bottle and your hands in mine.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
First is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills — against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. "Give me a place to stand," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world." These men moved the world, and so can we all.
Robert F. Kennedy
When you read as many books as Klaus Baudelaire, you are going to learn a great deal of information that might not become useful for a long time. You might read a book that would teach you all about the exploration of outer space, even if you do not become an astronaut until you are eighty years old. You might read a book about how to preform tricks on ice skates, and then not be forced to preform these tricks for a few weeks. You might read a book on how to have a successful marriage, when the only women you will ever love has married someone else and then perished one terrible afternoon.
Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
Travel is costly yes, but it pays dividends too.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Perhaps there is no thrill so great as that which comes with a walk in the freshness of morning air.
Hellen Keller
great things begin at the end of the comfort zone. It is all about exploring the bleeding edge in your own time or with someone who will not judge you for it being beyond your comfort zone
Andre Agassi (Open)
If you don’t mind my asking, why would a demon be concerned about appearances? Aren’t you all about killing, maiming, and torturing?” “That’s the kind of stereotyping that has afflicted demons for billions of years. Don’t you think some of us want to branch out, to explore other options?” “It never occurred to me.” “Yes, we obtain great satisfaction from killing and maiming and torturing. But there’s a lot of competition these days for the torturing thing. So many physical therapists around.”  
Steve Bates (Back To You)
The world doesn't extend in merely two dimensions. There exist profound depths within itself. This world could never be summarized by materialism or any single doctrine. Accept the great mysteries...and explore the universe from within your world. That is the way of magic.
Kentaro Miura (Berserk, Vol. 24)
Explore the wonders of different shades of colours. It is purely lovely.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Everyone I have spoken with about working with the Russians in space exploration believes that the United States has learned a great deal from Russia and that Russia has learned a great deal from the United States – and that the entire international space partnership is much better because of it.
Ron Garan (The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles)
the desire for perfection is that desire which always makes every pleasure appear incomplete, for there is no joy or pleasure so great in this life that it can quench the thirst in our soul.
Stanislav Grof (The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness (Suny Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology))
Stories serve multiple purposes. At a basic level they are great entertainment, which is essential for living a happy and healthy life, but on a deeper level stories help us explore issues that are otherwise difficult to address. On one hand a good book helps us escape our troubles, and on the other hand it can help us face up to those troubles by bringing real issues to the fore, often in a more manageable way, since the problems are experienced vicariously through the eyes of another.
Dean F. Wilson
Dare to explore the beautiful places of the world.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
We write, not because we claim to know more than others, but perhaps because we want to know more than others. Writers are explorers
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
Be a team player, not a bandwagon jumper.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
And so we must dig in to see where raw words and fundamental sounds are buried so that the great silence within can finally be decoded.
Raymond Federman (To Whom it May Concern)
She found herself secretly mapping his face, memorizing every ridge and hollow and valley, as if she were an explorer and he her discovery.
Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)
I may not have proved a great explorer but we have done the greatest march ever made and come very near to great success. -Robert Scott-
Robert Scott
How helpless they all looked in the ugliness of sleep. A third of life spent unconscious and corpselike. And some, the great majority, stumbled through their waking hours scarcely more awake, helpless in the face of destiny. They stumbled down a dark alley toward their deaths. They sent exploring feelers into the light and met fire and writhed back again into the darkness of their blind groping.
William Lindsay Gresham (Nightmare Alley)
Explore. Train your conscious mind and your subconscious mind to start working for you by getting those great powers to move in a new direction. Start creating your own good luck today.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure—the adventure into the unknown, an unknown that must be recognized as unknown in order to be explored, the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered, the attitude that all is uncertain. To summarize it: humility of the intellect.
Richard P. Feynman (The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist)
As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
The impulse is being called reactionary now, but lovers of Middle-earth want to go there. I would myself, like a shot. For in the end it is Middle-earth and its dwellers that we love, not Tolkien’s considerable gifts in showing it to us. I said once that the world he charts was there long before him, and I still believe it. He is a great enough magician to tap our most common nightmares, daydreams and twilight fancies, but he never invented them either: he found them a place to live, a green alternative to each day’s madness here in a poisoned world. We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers—thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams.
Peter S. Beagle (The Tolkien Reader)
I was destined for Great Things, confirmed by a physical welling of promise I couldn’t deny or explain. One just knows these things. Like good luck, you have it or you don’t. I always knew I had it.
Ernie Gammage (What Awaits?)
It is right that you should read according to your temperament, occupations, hobbies, and vocations. But it is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar, unwilling to explore the unfamiliar. In science, we respect the research worker. In literature, we should not always read the books blessed by the majority.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955)
In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things? If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
The weather here is windy, balmy, sometimes wet. Desert springtime, with flowers popping up all over the place, trees leafing out, streams gushing down from the mountains. Great time of year for hiking, camping, exploring, sleeping under the new moon and the old stars. At dawn and at evening we hear the coyotes howling with excitement - mating season. And lots of fresh rabbit meat hopping about to feed the young ones with.
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
Mathematics is not a careful march down a well cleared highway, but a journey into a strange wilderness, where the explorers often get lost.
Amir D. Aczel (A Strange Wilderness: The Lives of the Great Mathematicians)
When you shift conversations and explore the greatness of your team members, you're likely to be a person who creates opportunities for their strength to show up on the job.
John Yokoyama (When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market)
You feel ownership over your creation, your invention, and your ideas. But if you don’t legally claim them, you’re donating them to the public—or to competitors. Say you’ve come up with a solution to a problem. Protecting that potentially valuable IP creates a limited monopoly to keep people out. It’s like zone defense in basketball. IP rights help you own your zone—your competitive space where no one else can score. If the best offense is a great defense, then no offense is the worst.
JiNan George (The IP Miracle: How to Transform Ideas into Assets that Multiply Your Business)
It’s strange how what drives us may abandon us midstream, how what tickles our ears with lies one moment may tell us truths that knock us on our emotional ass the next. After all, it is an unbelievably real world, with Darwin scribbling his thoughts into books and telling us what monkeys we are. Each of us explores possibility, hungry for sustaining adoration, yet we know enough to render ourselves helpless. We strive and strain, bellow and believe, we learn, and everything we learn tells us the same thing: life is one great meaningful experience in a meaningless world. Brilliance has many parts, yet each part is incomplete. We live, heal and attempt to piece together a picture worth the price of our very lives. The picture I saw presented demonic executioners, who crippled those daring to look and consumed souls without defense. They’re everywhere. Some are people we know. Others are the great fears and addictions of our lives.
Christopher Hawke
The bond between book reader and book writer has always been a tightly symbiotic one, a means of intellectual and artistic cross-fertilization. The words of the writer act as a catalyst in the mind of the reader, inspiriting new insights, associations, and perceptions, sometimes even epiphanies. And the very existence of the attentive, critical reader provides the spur for the writer’s work. It gives the author confidence to explore new forms of expression, to blaze difficult and demanding paths of thought, to venture into uncharted and sometimes hazardous territory. “All great men have written proudly, nor cared to explain,” said Emerson. “They knew that the intelligent reader would come at last, and would thank them.
Nicholas Carr (What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight. We've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together. For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers. And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it." There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God." Thank you.
Ronald Reagan
The image of a wood has appeared often enough in English verse. It has indeed appeared so often that it has gathered a good deal of verse into itself; so that it has become a great forest where, with long leagues of changing green between them, strange episodes of poetry have taken place. Thus in one part there are lovers of a midsummer night, or by day a duke and his followers, and in another men behind branches so that the wood seems moving, and in another a girl separated from her two lordly young brothers, and in another a poet listening to a nightingale but rather dreaming richly of the grand art than there exploring it, and there are other inhabitants, belonging even more closely to the wood, dryads, fairies, an enchanter's rout. The forest itself has different names in different tongues- Westermain, Arden, Birnam, Broceliande; and in places there are separate trees named, such as that on the outskirts against which a young Northern poet saw a spectral wanderer leaning, or, in the unexplored centre of which only rumours reach even poetry, Igdrasil of one myth, or the Trees of Knowledge and Life of another. So that indeed the whole earth seems to become this one enormous forest, and our longest and most stable civilizations are only clearings in the midst of it.
Charles Williams (The Figure of Beatrice: A Study in Dante)
Decreasing the budget on the space exploration is nothing but a great treason to humanity! Space exploration is closely related to our very existence! Cut the budget on other things and increase the budget on the space exploration! Think great; if you do not think great, universe annihilates you!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Creativity is just about connecting things. A whole lot of nonsense put together, and diluted with a creative passion can eventually make sense. Keep thinking. Exploring. Keep trying out new ways and methods of doing things and just when you least expect, you may stumble on that next great world-changing idea that will make all the difference.
Chinonye J. Chidolue
Planetary exploration satisfies our inclination for great enterprises and wanderings and quests that has been with us since our days as hunters and gatherers on the East African savannahs a million years ago. By chance—it is possible, I say, to imagine many skeins of historical causality in which this would not have transpired—in our age we are able to begin again. Exploring other worlds employs precisely the same qualities of daring, planning, cooperative enterprise, and valor that mark the finest in military tradition. Never mind the night launch of an Apollo spacecraft bound for another world. That makes the conclusion foregone. Witness mere F-14s taking off from adjacent flight decks, gracefully canting left and right, afterburners flaming, and there’s something that sweeps you away—or at least it does me. And no amount of knowledge of the potential abuses of carrier task forces can affect the depth of that feeling. It simply speaks to another part of me. It doesn’t want recriminations or politics. It just wants to fly.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together. And as we break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace what we discover through the psychedelic experience is that in the body, IN THE BODY, there are Niagaras of beauty, alien beauty, alien dimensions that are part of the self, the richest part of life. I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature. What the Archaic Revival means is shamanism, ecstacy, orgiastic sexuality, and the defeat of the three enemies of the people. And the three enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy and monotony! And if you get them on the run you have the dominators sweating folks, because that means your getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind, and the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet. And without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set, and that's the idea; figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, sexuality, intelligence, INTELLIGENCE. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.
Terence McKenna
The life you live will be enrich with every journey you made.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Explore the colours. Each colour is uniquely beautiful.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Wherever you are, you have to be joyfully alive.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Pain is a spiritual wake-up call showing you that there are oceans you have not yet explored. Step beyond the world you know. Reach for heights that you never thought possible. Go to places you have deemed off limits. This is the time to take off the shell of your past and step into the rich possibilities of your future. God does not give us dreams that we cannot fulfill. If you want to do something great with your life-whether it's to fall madly in love, become a teacher, be a great parent-if you aspire to do something beyond what you are doing now, this is the time to begin. Trust yourself.
Debbie Ford (Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life)
We believe freedom is built upon the twin notions that God created every human in His image, and that human beings are capable of investigating and exploring God’s world. Those notions were born in Jerusalem and Athens, respectively.
Ben Shapiro (The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great)
And suddenly first one and then another began to sing as they played, deep-throated singing of the dwarves in the deep places of their ancient homes; and this is like a fragment of their song, if it can be like their song without their music. [...]As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick. He looked out of the window. The stars were out in a dark sky above the trees. He thought of the jewels of the dwarves shining in dark caverns. Suddenly in the wood beyond The Water a flame leapt up - probably somebody lighting a wood-fire-and he thought of plundering dragons settling on his quiet Hill and kindling it all to flames. He shuddered; and very quickly he was plain Mr. Baggins of Bag-End, Under-Hill, again. He got up trembling.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
Every morning in the middle of nowhere, without electricity or anyone to impress, I'd take great care in picking out my outfit and hover in front of a business card-size mirror to apply my lip gloss and check my eyebrows. I also felt I had a strong case for bringing a little black dress on expeditions. Village parties spring up more often than you might expect, and despite never having been a Girl Scout, I like to be prepared.
Mireya Mayor (Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey from NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer)
Humanity came out of hell, Darrow. Gold did not rise out of chance. We rose out of necessity. Out of chaos, born from a species that devoured its planet instead of investing in the future. Pleasure over all, damn the consequences. The brightest minds enslaved to an economy that demanded toys instead of space exploration or technologies that could revolutionize our race. They created robots, neutering the work ethic of mankind, creating generations of entitled locusts. Countries hoarded their resources, suspicious of one another. There grew to be twenty different factions with nuclear weapons. Twenty—each ruled by greed or zealotry. “So when we conquered mankind, it wasn’t for greed. It wasn’t for glory. It was to save our race. It was to still the chaos, to create order, to sharpen mankind to one purpose—ensuring our future. The Colors are the spine of that aim. Allow the hierarchies to shift and the order begins to crumble. Mankind will not aspire to be great. Men will aspire to be great.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
I find myself wondering how many other memories are hidden from me in the recesses of my own brain; indeed my own brain will seem to be the last great terra incognita, and I will be filled with wonder at the prospect of some day discovering new worlds there. Imagine the lost continent of Atlantis and all the submerged islands of childhood right there waiting to be found. The inner space we have never adequately explored. The worlds within worlds within worlds. And the marvelous thing is that they are waiting for us. If we fail to discover them, it is only because we haven't yet built the right vehicle - spaceship or submarine or poem - which will take us to them. It's for this, partly, that I write. How can I know what I think unless I see what I write? My writing is the submarine or spaceship which takes me to the unknown worlds within my head. And the adventure is endless and inexhaustible. If I learn to build the right vehicle, then I can discover even more territories. And each new poem is a new vehicle, designed to delve a little deeper (or fly a little higher) than the one before.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love. […] You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.
Anaïs Nin
The sky is but a looking glass into a pool of airless oceans, cast off into a dance of light and energy, leaving only a facet of guidance to navigate. Such an existence lays but within the mind man.
Indiana Lang
No English novelist is as great as Tolstoy –that is to say, has given so complete a picture of man’s life, both on its domestic and heroic side. No English novelist has explored man’s soul as deeply as Dostoyevsky. And no novelist anywhere has analysed the modern consciousness as successfully as Marcel Proust.
E.M. Forster (Aspects of the Novel)
This whole journey is a balancing act based on faith. We're all just hoping the The Infinity will eventually be able to reach somewhere safe. And for what? To satisfy the great human spirit of exploration? My life is a gambling chip thrown carelessly across the universe in the hope it'll land somewhere my descendants can survive.
Lauren James (The Loneliest Girl in the Universe)
My father, who lived to ninety-four, often said that the eighties had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’ too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and busts, revolutions and wars, great achievements and deep ambiguities. One has seen grand theories rise, only to be toppled by stubborn facts. One is more conscious of transience and, perhaps, of beauty. At eighty, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was forty or sixty. I do not think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together. I am looking forward to being eighty.
Oliver Sacks (Gratitude)
School is different. Pupils are usually not encouraged to follow their own learning paths, question and discuss everything the teacher is teaching and move on to another topic if something does not promise to generate interesting insight. The teacher is there for the pupils to learn. But, as Wilhelm von Humboldt, founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin and brother to the great explorer Alexander von Humboldt, put it, the professor is not there for the student and the student not for the professor. Both are only there for the truth. And truth is always a public matter.
Sönke Ahrens (How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers)
Keep exploring, you will discover new path.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Never stop exploring... with Mother Nature by your side, the possibilities are endless.
Cheryl Aguiar (Great Horned Owlets Rescue: Where There's a Will, There's a Way....)
If I don’t succeed, I will try again and never stop trying. When I succeed, I will again explore new opportunities.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
There is no such thing as loving a child too much.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
While I generally find that great myths are great precisely because they represent and embody great universal truths (and will explore several such myths later in this book), the myth of romantic love is a dreadful lie. Perhaps it is a necessary lie in that it ensures the survival of the species by its encouragement and seeming validation of the falling-in-love experience that traps us into marriage. But as a psychiatrist I weep in my heart almost daily for the ghastly confusion and suffering that this myth fosters. Millions of people waste vast amounts of energy desperately and futilely attempting to make the reality of their lives conform to the unreality of the myth.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Columbus's real achievement was managing to cross the ocean successfully in both directions. Though an accomplished enough mariner, he was not terribly good at a great deal else, especially geography, the skill that would seem most vital in an explorer. It would be hard to name any figure in history who has achieved more lasting fame with less competence. He spent large parts of eight years bouncing around Caribbean islands and coastal South America convinced that he was in the heart of the Orient and that Japan and China were at the edge of every sunset. He never worked out that Cuba is an island and never once set foot on, or even suspected the existence of, the landmass to the north that everyone thinks he discovered: the United States.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
Walking: it hits you at first like an immense breathing in the ears. You feel the silence as if it were a great fresh wind blowing away clouds. There’s the silence of woodland. Clumps and groves of trees form shifting, uncertain walls around us. We walk along existing paths, narrow winding strips of beaten earth. We quickly lose our sense of direction. That silence is tremulous, uneasy. Then there’s the silence of tough summer afternoon walks across the flank of a mountain, stony paths, exposed to an uncompromising sun.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
Death is the great disruptor; it thrusts us opposite life’s mirror, invites our truthful exploration, and reveals the naked truth; from which rebirth is possible and we are free to reinvent ourselves anew.
B.G. Bowers
Swallowing hard, she looked at him. He raised his eyes from the frothy concoction on his spoon at the precise moment she looked up, and their gazes locked over the length of the polished wood table. Where would you drip whipped cream on him, Lisa? The answer came with frightening swiftness and conviction: Everywhere. She wanted to explore his body, the hard ripples, the smooth skin. The candlelight bathed his olive skin with a golden hue, and his dark good looks were set off perfectly by his linen shirt and the splash of black and crimson draped across his chest. He was mesmerizing. "Are you hungry, lass?" He licked his spoon languidly. She couldn't tear her gaze away. "No. I've eaten quite enough," she managed. "You seem to be watching my dessert most intently. Are you certain there isn't something else you wish to sate your appetite?" Besides you to remove your clothing, lie on the table, and let me finger paint you with whipped cream, you mean? "Nope," she said casually. "Not a thing." She watched him for a moment; he still had a great deal of dessert left. How was she going to get through this?
Karen Marie Moning (The Highlander's Touch (Highlander, #3))
These days, there seems to be nowhere left to explore. Victims of their very success, the explorers now, pretty much, stay home. Maybe it's a little early- maybe the time is not quite yet- but those other worlds, promising untold opportunities, beckon. Just now, there a great many mattters that are pressing in on us that compete for the money it takes to send people to other worlds. Should we solve those problems first, or are they a reason for going? Our planet and our solar system are surrounded by a New World ocean: the depths of space. It is no more impassable than the last.
Carl Sagan
The explorers and the drifters and the spacehands are misfits mostly, and, therefore, men of imagination. The contrast between the rigid functionalism inside a spaceship and the immeasurable glories outside is too great not to have a name. So whenever you stand in a ship’s control room and look out into the bottomless dark where the blinding planets turn and the stars swim motionless in space, you are taking a walk down Paradise Street.
C.L. Moore (Judgment Night)
Remember when your curiosity inspired your investigative mind to explore and learn… you weren’t bogged down with resentment, cynicism, and emotional baggage… just think about how great it would be to return to that mindset of unencumbered learning and adventurous living… you are just one choice away from that life… choose to let go of the infertile past… go live your adventure!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Highly creative people have a gift for connecting supposedly unrelated elements and ideas. They cross borders without regard for customs posts or No Trespassing signs. They throw suspension bridges across great distances. These elegant and unexpected combinations flow together beautifully in the twilight zone, where metaphor and resemblance rules in place of logic and classification.
Robert Moss (Dreamgates: An Explorer's Guide to the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death)
Literature offers us a different way of seeing things. The reading of literature opens our eyes, offering us new perspectives on things that we can evaluate and adopt. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. . . . In reading great literature, I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see.[94]
Alister E. McGrath (If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life)
While Haw still had a great supply of Cheese, he often went out into the Maze and explored new areas to stay in touch with what was happening around him. He knew it was safer to be aware of his real choices than to isolate himself in his comfort zone.
Spencer Johnson (Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life)
The limitless mind lets us dream and examine and explore. It opens us up to opportunity. We come up with a desire, a clear, fresh perspective, and a potential goal to observe from afar. And we wonder, is this it, the right choice, the best choice to follow?
Lorii Myers (No Excuses, The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book (3 Off the Tee, #3))
Call it the Human Mission-to be all and do all God sent us here to do. And notice-the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. 'And God said to them...' Eve is standing right there when God gives the world over to us. She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure. All that human beings were intended to do here on earth-all the creativity and exploration, all the battle and rescue and nurture-we were intended to do together. In fact, not only is Eve needed, but she is desperately needed. When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him" The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
Stasi Eldredge (Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul)
It was a cold still afternoon with a hard steely sky overhead, when he slipped out of the warm parlour into the open air. The country lay bare and entirely leafless around him, and he thought that he had never seen so far and intimately into the insides of things as on that winter day when Nature was deep in her annual slumber and seemed to have kicked the clothes off. Copses, dells, quarries and all hidden places, which had been mysterious mines for exploration in leafy summer, now exposed themselves and their secrets pathetically, and seemed to ask him to overlook their shabby poverty for a while, til they could riot in rich masquerade as before, and trick and entice him with the old deceptions. It was pitiful in a way, and yet cheering-even exhilarating. He was glad that he liked the country undecorated, hard, and stripped of its finery. He had got down to the bare bones of it, and they were fine and strong and simple. He did not want the warm clover and the play of seeding grasses; the screens of quickset, the billowy drapery of beech and elm seemed best away; and with great cheerfulness of spirit he pushed on towards the Wild Wood, which lay before him low and threatening, like a black reef in some still southern sea.
Kenneth Grahame
That which interests most people leaves me without any interest at all. This includes a list of things such as: social dancing, riding roller coasters, going to zoos, picnics, movies, planetariums, watching tv, baseball games; going to funerals, weddings, parties, basketball games, auto races, poetry readings, museums, rallies, demonstrations, protests, children’s plays, adult plays … I am not interested in beaches, swimming, skiing, Christmas, New Year’s, the 4th of July, rock music, world history, space exploration, pet dogs, soccer, cathedrals and great works of Art. How can a man who is interested in almost nothing write about anything? Well, I do. I write and I write about what’s left over: a stray dog walking down the street, a wife murdering her husband, the thoughts and feelings of a rapist as he bites into a hamburger sandwich; life in the factory, life in the streets and rooms of the poor and mutilated and the insane, crap like that, I write a lot of crap like that
Charles Bukowski (Shakespeare Never Did This)
The truth is that exploration and enlargement make the world smaller. The telegraph and the steamboat make the world smaller. The telescope makes the world smaller; it is only the microscope that makes it larger. Before long the world will be cloven with a war between the telescopists and the microscopists. The first study large things and live in a small world; the second study small things and live in a large world. It is inspiriting without doubt to whizz in a motor-car round the earth, to feel Arabia as a whirl of sand or China as a flash of rice-fields. But Arabia is not a whirl of sand and China is not a flash of rice-fields. They are ancient civilizations with strange virtues buried like treasures. If we wish to understand them it must not be as tourists or inquirers, it must be with the loyalty of children and the great patience of poets. To conquer these places is to lose them.
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
And here we go creating great men out of artisans who happened to have stumbled on a way to improve electrical apparatus or pedal through Sweden on a bicycle! And we solicit great men to write books promoting the cult of other great men! It's really very funny, and worth the price of admission! It will all end up with every village having his own great man - a lawyer, a novelist, and a polar explorer of immense stature! And the world will become wonderfully flat and simple and easy to master . . .
Knut Hamsun
We have scholars galore, and kings and emperors, and statesmen and military leaders, and artists in profusion, and inventors, discoverers, explorers - but where are the great lovers? After a moment's reflection one is back to Abelard and Heloise, or Anthony and Cleopatra, or the story of the Taj Mahal. So much of it is fictive, expanded and glorified by the poverty-stricken lovers whose prayers are answered only by myth and legend.
Henry Miller
In our modern world, this elemental quality of storytelling is denied. We live today in a world in which everything has its place and function and nothing is left out of place. Storytelling is thus at a discount and like everything else in a world ruled by the laws of exchange value, literature is required to submit itself to the requirements of the market and must learn, like any other commodity, to adapt and serve needs that lie outside of itself and its concrete value. It is forced to stand not for itself but for an ideological cause of one sort or another, whether it be political, social or literary. It cannot exist for itself: like everything else it has to be justified. And for this very reason the power of storytelling is automatically devalued. Literature is reduced to the status of complimentary utilitarian functions: as a pastime to provide distraction and entertainment, or as a heightened activity that would claim to explore 'great truths' about the human condition.
Michael Richardson (Dedalus Book of Surrealism 2: The Myth of the World)
10 ways to raise a wild child. Not everyone wants to raise wild, free thinking children. But for those of you who do, here's my tips: 1. Create safe space for them to be outside for a least an hour a day. Preferable barefoot & muddy. 2. Provide them with toys made of natural materials. Silks, wood, wool, etc...Toys that encourage them to use their imagination. If you're looking for ideas, Google: 'Waldorf Toys'. Avoid noisy plastic toys. Yea, maybe they'll learn their alphabet from the talking toys, but at the expense of their own unique thoughts. Plastic toys that talk and iPads in cribs should be illegal. Seriously! 3. Limit screen time. If you think you can manage video game time and your kids will be the rare ones that don't get addicted, then go for it. I'm not that good so we just avoid them completely. There's no cable in our house and no video games. The result is that my kids like being outside cause it's boring inside...hah! Best plan ever! No kid is going to remember that great day of video games or TV. Send them outside! 4. Feed them foods that support life. Fluoride free water, GMO free organic foods, snacks free of harsh preservatives and refined sugars. Good oils that support healthy brain development. Eat to live! 5. Don't helicopter parent. Stay connected and tuned into their needs and safety, but don't hover. Kids like adults need space to roam and explore without the constant voice of an adult telling them what to do. Give them freedom! 6. Read to them. Kids don't do what they are told, they do what they see. If you're on your phone all the time, they will likely be doing the same thing some day. If you're reading, writing and creating your art (painting, cooking...whatever your art is) they will likely want to join you. It's like Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers in the laps of their parents (or guardians)." - it's so true! 7. Let them speak their truth. Don't assume that because they are young that you know more than them. They were born into a different time than you. Give them room to respectfully speak their mind and not feel like you're going to attack them. You'll be surprised what you might learn. 8. Freedom to learn. I realize that not everyone can homeschool, but damn, if you can, do it! Our current schools system is far from the best ever. Our kids deserve better. We simply can't expect our children to all learn the same things in the same way. Not every kid is the same. The current system does not support the unique gifts of our children. How can they with so many kids in one classroom. It's no fault of the teachers, they are doing the best they can. Too many kids and not enough parent involvement. If you send your kids to school and expect they are getting all they need, you are sadly mistaken. Don't let the public school system raise your kids, it's not their job, it's yours! 9. Skip the fear based parenting tactics. It may work short term. But the long term results will be devastating to the child's ability to be open and truthful with you. Children need guidance, but scaring them into listening is just lazy. Find new ways to get through to your kids. Be creative! 10. There's no perfect way to be a parent, but there's a million ways to be a good one. Just because every other parent is doing it, doesn't mean it's right for you and your child. Don't let other people's opinions and judgments influence how you're going to treat your kid. Be brave enough to question everything until you find what works for you. Don't be lazy! Fight your urge to be passive about the things that matter. Don't give up on your kid. This is the most important work you'll ever do. Give it everything you have.
Brooke Hampton
They thought of home, naturally, but there was no burning desire to be in civilization for its own sake. Worsley recorded: "Waking on a fine morning I feel a great longing for the smell of dewy wet grass and flowers of a Spring morning in New Zealand or England. One has very few other longings for civilization—good bread and butter, Munich beer, Coromandel rock oysters, apple pie and Devonshire cream are pleasant reminiscences rather than longings.
Alfred Lansing (Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage)
I was worried that all the corners of the earth had been explored, all the great battles fought. The famous people on TV were athletes and actresses and singers. What did they stand for? I wondered: Had the time for heroes passed?
Eric Greitens (The Warrior's Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage)
It is surprising to me that one of the great crimes of history has gone unnoticed; the abduction of god by religions. This slight-of-hand has been the cause of countless blood-shed and has been found at the root of innumerable acts of evil. The argument continues today, as to which religion the true god belongs, when what would be most healing and empowering is to free god from the shackles of religious limitation and judgment. It is by emancipating god from the ignorance of our ancestors that we become empowered to explore and express our own relationship with what god may or may not be.
Steve Maraboli
In other words there is something otherworldly about our existence here --something more than matter, more than the body and mind we have been discussing -- in short, something fundamentally and profoundly abstract. And I mention this aspect because it is not at all obvious, indeed scarcely notices by the great majority of us as we go about our daily lives.
Guy Murchie (The Seven Mysteries of Life: An Exploration of Science and Philosophy)
Only as he shut the door behind him, barricading Gwen inside lest she decide to risk bumping into one of his friends to explore, spy or even search for a phone to call the Hunters—she’s not working for them, damn it!—did he realize he was about to knowingly pair a Harpy with the goddess of Anarchy. Great. He’d be lucky if his head was still attached in the morning.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld, #4))
The basic recurring theme in Hindu mythology is the creation of the world by the self-sacrifice of God—"sacrifice" in the original sense of "making sacred"—whereby God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God. This creative activity of the Divine is called lila, the play of God, and the world is seen as the stage of the divine play. Like most of Hindu mythology, the myth of lila has a strong magical flavour. Brahman is the great magician who transforms himself into the world and then performs this feat with his "magic creative power", which is the original meaning of maya in the Rig Veda. The word maya—one of the most important terms in Indian philosophy—has changed its meaning over the centuries. From the might, or power, of the divine actor and magician, it came to signify the psychological state of anybody under the spell of the magic play. As long as we confuse the myriad forms of the divine lila with reality, without perceiving the unity of Brahman underlying all these forms, we are under the spell of maya. (...) In the Hindu view of nature, then, all forms are relative, fluid and ever-changing maya, conjured up by the great magician of the divine play. The world of maya changes continuously, because the divine lila is a rhythmic, dynamic play. The dynamic force of the play is karma, important concept of Indian thought. Karma means "action". It is the active principle of the play, the total universe in action, where everything is dynamically connected with everything else. In the words of the Gita Karma is the force of creation, wherefrom all things have their life.
Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism)
There were two things about this particular book (The Golden Book of Fairy Tales) that made it vital to the child I was. First, it contained a remarkable number of stories about courageous, active girls; and second, it portrayed the various evils they faced in unflinching terms. Just below their diamond surface, these were stories of great brutality and anguish, many of which had never been originally intended for children at all. (Although Ponsot included tales from the Brothers Grimm and Andersen, the majority of her selections were drawn from the French contes de fées tradition — stories created as part of the vogue for fairy tales in seventeenth century Paris, recounted in literary salons and published for adult readers.) I hungered for a narrative with which to make some sense of my life, but in schoolbooks and on television all I could find was the sugar water of Dick and Jane, Leave it to Beaver and the happy, wholesome Brady Bunch. Mine was not a Brady Bunch family; it was troubled, fractured, persistently violent, and I needed the stronger meat of wolves and witches, poisons and peril. In fairy tales, I had found a mirror held up to the world I knew — where adults were dangerous creatures, and Good and Evil were not abstract concepts. (…) There were in those days no shelves full of “self–help” books for people with pasts like mine. In retrospect, I’m glad it was myth and folklore I turned to instead. Too many books portray child abuse as though it’s an illness from which one must heal, like cancer . . .or malaria . . .or perhaps a broken leg. Eventually, this kind of book promises, the leg will be strong enough to use, despite a limp betraying deeper wounds that might never mend. Through fairy tales, however, I understood my past in different terms: not as an illness or weakness, but as a hero narrative. It was a story, my story, beginning with birth and ending only with death. Difficult challenges and trials, even those that come at a tender young age, can make us wiser, stronger, and braver; they can serve to transform us, rather than sending us limping into the future.
Terri Windling (Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales)
Welcome true believers, this is Stan Lee. We’re about to embark the exploration of a fantastic new universe and the best part is that you are gonna create it with me. You may know me as a storyteller, but hey on this journey consider me your guide. I provide the widy and wonderful worlds and you create the sights, sounds and adventures. All you need to take part is your brain. So take a listen and think big, no bigger, we make it an epic. Remember when I created characters like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men? We were fascinated by science and awed by the mysteries of the great beyond. Today we consider a nearer deeper unknown one inside ourselves. […] we asked: What is more real? A world that we are born into or the one we create ourselves. As we begin this story, we find humanity lost within is own techno bubble. With each citizen the star of their own digital fantasy. […] But the real conundrum is, just because we have the ability to recreated ourselves, should we? […] Excelsior!” 
Stan Lee
We succeeded in taking that picture from [deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideaologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitands of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity--in all this vastness-- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us... To my mind, there is perhaps no better demostration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
In the ancient and medieval world, the exploration of physical influences among heavenly bodies, and between the heavenly bodies and objects on earth, was generally called ‘astrology.’ But we must not confuse this with the current socially acceptable form of bigotry that seems to entitle the human beings who believe in it to prejudge the character of others based solely on their dates of birth.
Robert P. Crease (The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg)
The after-school specials of my youth seemed to be dedicated to exploring just these ideas. They brought us the mean boy who really just wanted to be included and the know-it-all girl who was showing off at school to hide her misery over her parents’ recent divorce.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
We found, before the hands of the dial had taught us the lapse of a week, that this would be something not to be endured. The sun sank lower every day behind the crags and silvery horns; the heavens grew to wear a hue of violet, almost black, and yet unbearably dazzling; as the notes of our voices fell upon the atmosphere they assumed a metallic tone, as if the air itself had become frozen from the beginning of the world and they tinkled against it; our sufferings had mounted in their intensity till they were too great to be resisted.
Harriet Prescott Spofford (The Moonstone Mass and Others)
I have spent much of my life exploring San Francisco. But perhaps it is better not to see everything. To let a small mystery stand in for the great one. To know that somewhere far below, down where the sea crashes endlessly into the land, is a rock that I will never climb.
Gary Kamiya (Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco)
What she thinks is: this could have been me. Why not? A real girl, in a real house, with a mother and a father and a brother and a sister and an aunt and an uncle and a nephew and a niece and a cousin and all those other words for the map of people who love each other and stay together. The map called family. Growing up and growing old. Playing. Exploring. Like Pooh and Piglet. And then like the Famous Five. And then like Heidi and Anne of Green Gables. And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.
M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl with All the Gifts, #1))
We know we're expecting a great deal of courage by suggesting that you start exploring polyamory without relying on rules to feel safe. It does seem that the secret to healthy, dynamic relationships keeps coming back to courage. Forget training wheels. Forget trying to figure the right rules that will keep you safe forever ; there is no safe forever. Instead, go into the world seeking to threat others with compassion whenever you touch them. Try to leave people better than when you found them. Communicate your needs. Understand and advocate for you boundaries. And look for other people who will do the same. Trust them when they say they love you; where communication and compassion exist, you don't need rules to keep you safe. We don't learn how to be compassionate by disenfranchising other people; we learn how to be compassionate by practicing compassion.
Franklin Veaux (More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory)
Not that I would not, if I could, be both handsome and fat and well-dressed, and a great athlete, and make a million a year, be a wit, a bon-vivant, and a lady-killer, as well as a philosopher; a philanthropist, statesman, warrior, and African explorer, as well as a ‘tone poet’ and saint. But the thing is simply impossible…[T]o make any one of them actual, the rest must more or less be suppressed. So the seeker of his truest, strongest, deepest self must review the list carefully, and pick out the one on which to stake his salvation. All other selves thereupon become unreal
William James (The Principles of Psychology)
Definitively categorizing oneself as a switch (or as anything, really) should only be done after accumulating considerable experience in the lifestyle, getting at least a few deep and lasting D/s relationships under your belt, and after a great deal of reflection and self-exploration. Adopting the label of a “Switch” should never be the result of a “default” classification for those who are simply unsure about their D/s orientation.
Michael Makai (The Warrior Princess Submissive)
The voyages of the great Chinese fleet were missions of exploration and commerce. They were not enterprises of conquest. No yearning for domination obliged Zheng to scorn or condemn what he found. What was not admirable was at least worthy of curiosity. And from trip to trip, the imperial library in Beijing continued growing until it held four thousand books that collected the wisdom of the world. At the time, the king of Portugal had six books.
Eduardo Galeano (Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone)
Before the man lost his sight, he read this story in a magazine: a group of explorers came upon a community of parrots speaking the language of a society that had been wiped out in a recent catastrophe. Astonished by their discovery, they put the parrots in cages and sent them home so that linguists could record what remained of the lost language. But the parrots, already traumatized by the devastation they had recently witnessed, died on the way. The man feels a great fraternity with those birds. He feels he carries, like them, a shredded inheritance, and he is too concussed to pass anything on.
Rana Dasgupta (Solo)
Put another way, the deepening difficulties also suggest the possibility that we may now be well into the prehistory of the next American revolution, that Option Six may ultimately involve longer-term changes much greater than many have contemplated. It is never possible to know in advance what may or may not occur. Nonetheless, such a time is a time when it is also our responsibility to begin to consider the fundamental question of how a "next system" might and should be organized, a time to begin to explore new ways to achieve the great American values that can no longer be achieved by the dying system.
Gar Alperovitz (What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution)
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
The people came out of their houses and smelled the hot stinging air and covered their noses from it. And the children came out of the houses, but they did not run or shout as they would have done after a rain. Men stood by their fences and looked at the ruined corn, drying fast now, only a little green showing through the film of dust. The men were silent and they did not move often. And the women came out of the houses to stand beside their men - to feel whether this time the men would break. The women studied the men's faces secretly, for the corn could go, as long as something else remained. The children stood near by drawing figures in the dust with bare toes, and the children sent exploring senses out to see whether men and women would break. The children peeked at the faces of the men and women, and then drew careful lines in the dust with their toes. Horses came to the watering troughs and nuzzled the water to clear the surface dust. After a while the faces of the watching men lost their bemused perplexity and became hard and angry and resistant. Then the women knew that they were safe and that there was no break. Then they asked, Whta'll we do? And the men replied, I don't know. but it was all right. The women knew it was all right, and the watching children knew it was all right. Women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole. The women went into the houses to their work, and the children began to play, but cautiously at first. As the day went forward the sun became less red. It flared down on the dust-blanketed land. The men sat in the doorways of their houses; their hands were busy with sticks and little rocks. The men sat still - thinking - figuring.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
The fun of talk is to explore, but much of it and all that is irresponsible should not be written. Once written you have to stand by it. You may have said it to see whether you believed it or not. On the question you raised, the effects of wounds vary greatly. Simple wounds which do not break bone are of little account. They sometimes give confidence. Wounds which do extensive bone and nerve damage are not good for writers, nor anybody else."-Interview for the Paris Review, 1956
Ernest Hemingway
Oh, don't get me started! I love fantasy, I read it for pleasure, even after all these years. Pat McKillip, Ursula Le Guin and John Crowley are probably my favorite writers in the field, in addition to all the writers in the Endicott Studio group - but there are many others I also admire. In children's fantasy, I'm particularly keen on Philip Pullman, Donna Jo Napoli, David Almond and Jane Yolen - though my favorite novels recently were Midori Snyder's Hannah's Garden, Holly Black's Tithe, and Neil Gaiman's Coraline. I read a lot of mainstream fiction as well - I particularly love Alice Hoffman, A.S. Byatt, Sara Maitland, Sarah Waters, Sebastian Faulks, and Elizabeth Knox. There's also a great deal of magical fiction by Native American authors being published these days - Louise Erdrich's Antelope Wife, Alfredo Vea Jr.'s Maravilla, Linda Hogan's Power, and Susan Power's Grass Dancer are a few recent favorites. I'm a big fan of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope - I re-read Jane Austen's novels in particular every year.Other fantasists say they read Tolkien every year, but for me it's Austen. I adore biographies, particularly biographies of artists and writers (and particularly those written by Michael Holroyd). And I love books that explore the philosophical side of art, such as Lewis Hyde's The Gift, Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life, or David Abram's Spell of the Sensuous. (from a 2002 interview)
Terri Windling
I don’t believe in boundaries, either for what we can do in our personal lives or for what life and intelligence can accomplish in our universe. We stand at a threshold of important discoveries in all areas of science. Without doubt, our world will change enormously in the next fifty years. We will find out what happened at the Big Bang. We will come to understand how life began on Earth. We may even discover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. While the chances of communicating with an intelligent extra-terrestrial species may be slim, the importance of such a discovery means we must not give up trying. We will continue to explore our cosmic habitat, sending robots and humans into space. We cannot continue to look inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. Through scientific endeavour and technological innovation, we must look outwards to the wider universe, while also striving to fix the problems on Earth. And I am optimistic that we will ultimately create viable habitats for the human race on other planets. We will transcend the Earth and learn to exist in space. This is not the end of the story, but just the beginning of what I hope will be billions of years of life flourishing in the cosmos. And one final point—we never really know where the next great scientific discovery will come from, nor who will make it. Opening up the thrill and wonder of scientific discovery, creating innovative and accessible ways to reach out to the widest young audience possible, greatly increases the chances of finding and inspiring the new Einstein. Wherever she might be. So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
First is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the worlds ills -­‐-­‐ against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the worlds great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-­‐year-­‐old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. 'Give me a place to stand,
Robert F. Kennedy
Fifteen years ago, the cultural critic Greil Marcus wrote of Jimi's performance of our national anthem as "his great NO to the war, to racism, to whatever you or he might think of and want gone. But then that discord shattered, and for more than four and a half long, complex minutes Hendrix pursued each invisible crack in a vessel that had once been whole, feeling out and exploring and testing himself and his music against anguish, rage, fear, hate, love offered, and love refused. When he finished, he had created an anthem that could never be summed up and that would never come to rest. In the end it was a great YES, both a threat and a beckoning, an invitation to America to match its danger, glamour, and freedom." ... In late 1969, Jimi Hendrix wrote a poem celebrating Woodstock, saying with words what his music had in August: "500,000 halos outshined the mud and history. We washed and drank in God's tears of joy. And for once, and for everyone, the truth was not still a mystery.
Michael Lang (The Road to Woodstock)
Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important. It's highly destructive...in, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have. What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.
Noam Chomsky
There is a difference between what I actually want and what I want to have fantasies about. (...) There is a part of my imagination which is a playground, a playground in which I am queen. It fulfils my need to have a fantasy land, and that need may be born of creativity as well as lack or repression. Our fantasies are about exploration and experimentation and the power of the imagination. Looked at intelligently, they can reveal a great deal. But there is a difference between fantasising and thinking about our hopes for the future.
Anna Sands (Falling For Therapy: Psychotherapy From A Client's Point Of View)
On Virtue O thou bright jewel in my aim I strive To comprehend thee. Thine own words declare Wisdom is higher than a fool can reach. I cease to wonder, and no more attempt Thine height t’explore, or fathom thy profound. But, O my soul, sink not into despair, Virtue is near thee, and with gentle hand Would now embrace thee, hovers o’er thine head. Fain would the heaven-born soul with her converse, Then seek, then court her for her promised bliss. Auspicious queen, thine heavenly pinions spread, And lead celestial Chastity along; Lo! now her sacred retinue descends, Arrayed in glory from the orbs above. Attend me, Virtue, thro’ my youthful years! O leave me not to the false joys of time! But guide my steps to endless life and bliss. Greatness, or Goodness, say what I shall call thee, To give an higher appellation still, Teach me a better strain, a nobler lay, O Thou, enthroned with Cherubs in the realms of day!
Phillis Wheatley
Like all great things which then become fashions, science, as now the universal stamp of approval, probably receives more abuse than any other field of study. Glaze the word itself over whatever vague ideology one may presume ratified, no matter the degree of pseudo-science or lack of scholarly credibility packaged within, and the many will consume it like gravy on a feast. My thought for the time is that as the promise of true science increases, so shall rise its many more superficial counterparts as provided by the agenda-bound trendies and hyper-ambitious laypersons to boot.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Floating in the tank after a busy day’s work brings a great relief. Suddenly all of the stimulation of holding one upright against gravity disappears. One realizes that a good deal of the fatigue accumulated during the day is caused by keeping one’s body upright in a gravitational field. From a neurophysiological standpoint, one has immediately freed up very large masses of neurons from the necessity of constant computations (as to the direction of gravity, the programming by visual and acoustic inputs, by temperature changes, etcetera). For example, one’s cerebellum is now freed for uses other than balancing the body. In summary, then,
John C. Lilly (The Deep Self: Consciousness Exploration in the Isolation Tank (Consciousness Classics))
Seeing the name Hillary in a headline last week—a headline about a life that had involved real achievement—I felt a mouse stirring in the attic of my memory. Eventually, I was able to recall how the two Hillarys had once been mentionable in the same breath. On a first-lady goodwill tour of Asia in April 1995—the kind of banal trip that she now claims as part of her foreign-policy 'experience'—Mrs. Clinton had been in Nepal and been briefly introduced to the late Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. Ever ready to milk the moment, she announced that her mother had actually named her for this famous and intrepid explorer. The claim 'worked' well enough to be repeated at other stops and even showed up in Bill Clinton's memoirs almost a decade later, as one more instance of the gutsy tradition that undergirds the junior senator from New York. Sen. Clinton was born in 1947, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay did not ascend Mount Everest until 1953, so the story was self-evidently untrue and eventually yielded to fact-checking. Indeed, a spokeswoman for Sen. Clinton named Jennifer Hanley phrased it like this in a statement in October 2006, conceding that the tale was untrue but nonetheless charming: 'It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add.' Perfect. It worked, in other words, having been coined long after Sir Edmund became a bankable celebrity, but now its usefulness is exhausted and its untruth can safely be blamed on Mummy.
Christopher Hitchens
We love the plays, the great characters, the fabulous speeches, the witty repartee even in times of duress. I hope never to be mortally stabbed, but if I am, I'd sure like to have the self-possession, when asked if it's bad, to answer, "No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve," as Mercutio does in Romeo and Juliet. I mean, to be dying and clever at the same time, how can you not love that?
Thomas C. Foster (How to Read Novels Like a Professor: A Jaunty Exploration of the World's Favorite Literary Form)
We may also conceive of the evolution of humanity as a vast army, toiling slowly along its line of march in a great column; and, scouting far ahead of the main body, solitary outriders, swift-mounted, light-armed and without baggage, exploring the way for the rest; spiritual guerrillas, whom Paul referred to as those born out of due season. From time to time we shall see some swift-footed soul draw ahead of the great army of mankind and push on alone into the wilderness. For a period his path is solitary, but presently he catches up with the far-flung line of the scouts, and if able to give the password that proves him to be of their body, is given his place in the ranks of that adventurous company, a boundary-rider of evolution, alone on patrol, yet not out of touch with his comrades, for there are signaling-points along the line, and at certain seasons all gather in to the council.
Dion Fortune (Esoteric Orders and Their Work)
Anyone who has ever canoed on the upper Missouri River knows what a welcome sight a grove of cottonoods can be. They provide shade, shelter, and fuel. For Indian ponies, they provide food. For the Corps of Discovery, they provided wheels, wagons, and canoes. Pioneering Lewis and Clark scholar Paul Russell Cutright pays the cottonwoods an appropriate tribute: 'Of all the wetern trees it contributed more to the success of the Expedition than any other. Lewis and Clark were men of great talent and resourcefulness, masters of ingenuity and improvisation. Though we think it probable that they would hae successfully crossed the continent without the cottonwood, don't as us how!
Stephen E. Ambrose (Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier)
One such individual was Amos Tutuola, who was a talented writer. His most famous novels, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, published in 1946, and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, in 1954, explore Yoruba traditions and folklore. He received a great deal of criticism from Nigerian literary critics for his use of “broken or Pidgin English.” Luckily for all of us, Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet and writer, was enthralled by Tutuola’s “bewitching literary prose” and wrote glowing reviews that helped Tutuola’s work attain international acclaim. I still believe that Tutuola’s critics in Nigeria missed the point. The beauty of his tales was fantastical expression of a form of an indigenous Yoruba, therefore African, magical realism. It is important to note that his books came out several decades before the brilliant Gabriel García Márquez published his own masterpieces of Latin American literature, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Chinua Achebe (There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra)
The last glow of sundown dims away. Stars appear in the east. Night encloses us. The ocean seems to enlarge. When you’re adrift at night, imagination and perception merge. They have to. You can’t see as well, as far, as deep. You tie knots by muscle memory, and you operate your reel mostly by feel. Your boat drifts, your thoughts drift. You sense the sweep of tide and water, and the boat gets rocked in turbulence just past each undersea ridgeline and boulder field. You, too, are looking up, searching constellations, dreaming. You fell again how flexible and expansive your mind can be when it’s working right. And you slip your leash to explore the vast vault of sky and great interior spaces.
Carl Safina (The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World)
Do you know, it seems to me that a great deal of nonsense is talked about the dignity of work. Work is a drug that dull people take to avoid the pangs of unmitigated boredom. It has been adorned with fine phrases, because it is a necessity to most men, and men always gild the pill they’re obliged to swallow. Work is a sedative. It keeps people quiet and contented. It makes them good material for their leaders. I think the greatest imposture of Christian times is the sanctification of labour. You see, the early Christians were slaves, and it was necessary to show them that their obligatory toil was noble and virtuous. But when all is said and done, a man works to earn his bread and to keep his wife and children; it is a painful necessity, but there is nothing heroic in it. If people choose to put a higher value on the means than on the end, I can only pass with a shrug of the shoulders, and regret the paucity of their intelligence.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Explorer)
The subject of karma is of great fascination to many cultural explorers, philosophers and mystics. Essentially the word karma means 'action' which includes both negative and positive effects. On the positive slant, when you help another, you help yourself. This is cause and effect, from attitudes, motivations and behavior. That which you do, you get back. And so, in the everyday world, when one exercises (action) and builds up muscle tone, this too is karma. Yes, this does not seem so esoteric. Studying is also action, and by focusing on a topic or skill one improves; Mental muscles are built up, and one graduates from the student to become a journeyman, and then an expert, and eventually a teacher.
Stephen Poplin (Inner Journeys, Cosmic Sojourns: Life transforming stories, adventures and messages from a spiritual hypnotherapist's casebook)
The army doctor who had patched up his hands and examined him after the rescue at Kayişdaği told him a story about the Mevlana, the great saint whose order built this tekke. The Mevlana had a friend, Şams of Tabriz, a spiritual friend, the other half of his soul, one spirit in two bodies. Together they explored the depth of God in ceaseless conversation. The dervishes grew jealous of the one-in-twoness and quietly killed Şams of Tabriz. When the Mevlana was unable to find his friend, the only possible conclusion was that they had merged and Şams was now part of him. Why should I seek? I am the same as he. His essence speaks through me. I have been looking for myself. Necdet knows how long Hızır will be with him.
Ian McDonald (The Dervish House)
I can't tell you how I felt when my father died. But I was able to write Song of Solomon and imagine, not him, and not his specific interior life, but the world that he inhabited and the private or interior life of the people in it. And I can't tell you how I felt reading to my grandmother while she was turning over and over in her bed (because she was dying, and she was not comfortable), but I could try to reconstruct the world that she lived in. And I have suspected, more often than not, that I know more than she did, that I know more than my grandfather and my great-grandmother did, but I also know that I'm no wiser than they were. And whenever I have tried earnestly to diminish their vision and prove to myself that I know more, and when I have tried to speculate on their interior life and match it up with my own, I have been overwhelmed every time by the richness of theirs compared to my own. Like Frederick Douglass talking about his grandmother, and James Baldwin talking about his father, and Simone de Beauvoir talking about her mother, these people are my access to me; they are my entrance into my own interior life. Which is why the images that float around them--the remains, so to speak, at hte archeological site--surface first, and they surface so vividly and so compellingly that I acknowledge them as my route to a reconstruction of a world, to an exploration of an interior life that was not written and to the revelation of a kind of truth.
Toni Morrison
In the seventeenth century, John Locke spoke of tolerance. Asking, ‘Where is the man that has incontestable evidence of the truth of all he holds?’ he asserted that nobody could ever be sure of what is true. How do we have the right, then, to proclaim our own infallible truth or judge others’ ideas as right or wrong? Once again Locke’s words support a fundamental concept within modern *Pagan thought, and one here that allows a circle of Pagans to gather together to share prayers of reverence and respect in ceremony, a Wiccan devotee of Demeter who sees her as one aspect of the Great Goddess she calls Isis, beside a Druid polytheist who lives in the service of his god Gwyn ap Nydd, a Witch who is a priestess of the horse goddess Epona, an animist honouring a power she calls Darkness, a Heathen who has struck a good deal with Odin, and a chaos magician who thinks they’re all completely mad, himself honouring the power that seethes within the patterns of all life. The harmony that allows them to stand in ceremony together comes from that acknowledgement that there is no one truth that can be shared. Each individual has questioned, studied, explored, experienced life and made choices of belief that are uniquely personal.
Emma Restall Orr (Living With Honour: A Pagan Ethics)
The national bourgeoisie discovers its historical mission as intermediary. As we have seen, its vocation is not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism, forced to camouflage itself behind the mask of neocolonialism. The national bourgeoisie, with no misgivings and with great pride, revels in the role of agent in its dealings with the Western bourgeoisie. This lucrative role, this function as small-time racketeer, this narrow-mindedness and lack of ambition are symptomatic of the incapacity of the national bourgeoisie to fulfil its historic role as bourgeoisie. The dynamic, pioneering aspect, the inventive, discoverer-of-new-worlds aspect common to every national bourgeoisie is here lamentably absent. At the core of the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries a hedonistic mentality prevails—because on a psychological level it identifies with the Western bourgeoisie from which it has slurped every lesson. It mimics the Western bourgeoisie in its negative and decadent aspects without having accomplished the initial phases of exploration and invention that are the assets of this Western bourgeoisie whatever the circumstances. In its early days the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries identifies with the last stages of the Western bourgeoisie. Don’t believe it is taking short cuts. In fact it starts at the end. It is already senile, having experienced neither the exuberance nor the brazen determination of youth and adolescence.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
In post-modern culture there is a deep hunger to belong. An increasing majority of people feel isolated and marginalised. Experience is haunted by fragmentation. Many of the traditional shelters are in ruins. Society is losing the art of fostering community. Consumerism is now propelling life towards the lonely isolation of individualism. Technology pretends to unite us, yet more often than not all it delivers are simulated images. The “global village” has no roads or neighbours; it is a faceless limbo from which all individuality has been abstracted. Politics seems devoid of the imagination that calls forth vision and ideals; it is becoming ever more synonymous with the functionalism of economic pragmatism. Many of the keepers of the great religious traditions now seem to be frightened functionaries; in a more uniform culture, their management skills would be efficient and successful. In a pluralistic and deeply fragmented culture, they seem unable to converse with the complexities and hungers of our longing. From this perspective, it seems that we are in the midst of a huge crisis of belonging. When the outer cultural shelters are in ruins, we need to explore and reawaken the depths of belonging in the human mind and soul; perhaps, the recognition of the depth of our hunger to belong may gradually assist us in awakening new and unexpected possibilities of community and friendship.
John O'Donohue (Eternal Echoes)
Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) was a profoundly important analysis of human states of mind - a kind of early philosophical/ psychological study. He sees 'melancholy' as part of the human condition, especially love melancholy and religious melancholy. His concerns are remarkably close to those which Shakespeare explores in his plays. Ambition, for example, Burton describes as 'a proud covetousness or a dry thirst of Honour, a great torture of the mind, composed of envy, pride and covetousness, a gallant madness' - words which could well be applied to Macbeth.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
We who are here to-night are here as the servants of the guests of a great University, a University of knowledge, scholarship, and intellect. You do well to be proud of it. But I have wondered whether there may not be colleges and faculties of other experiences than yours, and whether even now in the far corners of the continents powers not yours are being brought to fruition. I have myself been something of a traveller, and every time I return to England I wonder whether the games of those children do not hold more intense life than the talk of your learned men-- a more intense passion for discovery, a greater power of exploration, new raptures, unknown paths of glorious knowledge; whether you may not yet sit at the feet of the natives of the Amazon or the Zambesi: whether the fakirs and the herdsmen, the witch-doctors may not enter the kingdom of man before you
Charles Williams (Shadows of Ecstasy)
If you really want a child to thrive and blossom, lose the screens for the first few years of their lives. During those key developmental periods, let them engaging creative play. Legos are always great, as they encourage creativity and the hand-eye coordination nurtures synaptic growth. Let them explore their surroundings and allow them opportunities to experience nature. . Activities like cooking and playing music also have been shown to help young children thrive developmentally. But most importantly, let them experience boredom; there is nothing healthier for a child then to learn how to use their own interior resources to work through the challenges of being bored. This then acts as the fertile ground for developing their powers of observation, cultivating patience and developing an active imagination-- the most developmentally and neurosynaptically important skill that they can learn.
Nicholas Kardaras (Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids -- And How to Break the Trance)
Ecology is beginning to slowly shift focus with tentative explorations of what the world would look like if process, rather than matter were the basis for reality What if we defined a species in terms of its life processes? We might seriously doubt whether the California condor or the tall grass prairie can be 'saved' or even 'restored.' Perhaps we can re-create some local conditions that foster a few nests of condors or a few acres of prairie. But the life process of the condor ended with the urbanization of the California foothills and the living ebb and flow of the tall grass prairies died with the plowing of the Great Plains. What if we suggested that a thing is what it does? In this light, the Rocky Mountain locust was a immense aperiodic energy flow that linked life processes on a continental scale. This notion of life-as-process might seem unusual in a society in which material existence is primary. But such a perception informs our deepest understanding of life. Indeed, life-as-process underlies our notion of euthanasia. When loved ones are simply bodies, devoid of the capacity to care, respond, or relate again a away that we can recognize as being "them," we understand that they are gone even before they are dead.
Jeffrey A. Lockwood
As we advance in the spiritual life and in the practice of systematic self-examination we are often surprised by the discovery of vast unknown tracts of the inner life of the soul. They seem like great plains stretching out in mystery and wrapt in mists that sometimes for a moment lift, or sweep off and leave one looking for one brief instant upon great reaches of one’s own life, unknown, unmeasured, unexplored. Men stand at such moments breathless in wonder and in awe gazing upon these great tracts upon which they have never looked before, with kindling eyes and beating hearts; and while they look the mists steal back till all is lost to sight once more and they are left wondering if what they saw was reality, or the creation of their fancy. Or sometimes they see, not far-stretching plains which fill the soul with an awestruck sense of its expansiveness and of how much has been left absolutely uncultivated, not these plains but mountain peaks climbing and reaching upwards till lost in the heavens, echoing it may be with the voice of many streams whose waters fertilize and enrich those small tracts of the soul’s life which have been reclaimed and cultivated and which many a man has thought to be his whole inner self, though he never asked himself whence those rich streams had their source. Now he sees how their source lay in unmeasured heights of his own inner being whose existence he never dreamed of before. In one brief instant they have unveiled themselves. He looks again, and they are shut out from his eyes, there is no token visible that he possesses such reaches, such heights of life. The commonplaces of his existence gather in and crowd upon him, the ordinary routine of life settles down upon him, limiting and confining him on all sides, the same unbroken line measures his horizon, such as he has always known it, the same round of interests and occupations crowd in upon his hours and fill them, the pressure of the hard facts of life upon him are as unmistakable and as leveling as ever, bidding him forget his dreams and meet and obey the requirements of the world in which he lives. And yet the man who has caught but a momentary glimpse of that vast unknown inner life can never be the same as he was before; he must be better or worse, trying to explore and possess and cultivate that unknown world within him, or trying—oh, would that he could succeed!—to forget it. He has seen that alongside of, or far out beyond the reach of, the commonplace life of routine, another life stretches away whither he knows not, he feels that he has greater capacities for good or evil than he ever imagined. He has, in a word, awakened with tremulous awe to the discovery that his life which he has hitherto believed limited and confined to what he knew, reaches infinitely beyond his knowledge and is far greater than he ever dreamed.
Basil W. Maturin (Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline)
Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” Note the “I Am.” In the Greek it is the strongest possible form of expression – Ego Eimi. Both ego and eimi mean “I am” but the former puts the emphasis on the “I” while the latter puts it on the “am.” Taken together they are the strongest Greek form to express the name of God as the great “I AM.” That is how the risen Christ here refers to Himself. “Lo, I AM with you!” But there is a lovely feature in the Greek construction here which does not reveal itself in our English translation. It reads like this: “And lo, I with you AM…” You and I dear fellow believer, are in between the “I” and the “AM.” He is not only with us, He is all around us. Not only now and then, but “always” which literally translated is, “all the days” … this day, this hour, this moment. Why, when we reflect on it, were not our Lord’s sudden appearings & disappearings during the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension meant to teach those early disciples (and ourselves) this very thing, that even when He is invisible He is none the less present, hearing, watching, knowing, sympathizing, overruling? Let us never forget that the special promise of His presence is given in connection with our going forth as winners of others to Him.
J. Sidlow Baxter (Baxter's Explore the Book)
As Christians, I feel those of us in the creative community must seek to be more than scribes. If Diarmaid MacColloch is right in his immense history, The Reformation, we had plenty of Christian scribes on the eve of that enormous and painful upheaval. But it was the printing press that enabled the great thinkers of that time, both Reformer and Catholic, to transform our “assumptions about knowledge and originality of thought.” I suggest now that we must seize the revolutionary media of our age in the way that those earlier Christians and Catholics seized the printed book. We must truly use the realistic novel, the television drama, and the motion picture to tell the Christian story anew. It is our obligation to tell that story over and over and to use the best means that we have. In that spirit this novel was written—with the hope of exploring and celebrating the mystery of the Hypostatic Union as well as the mystery of the Incarnation—in a wholly fresh way.
Anne Rice (Out of Egypt (Christ the Lord, #1))
Practicing mindfulness calms down the sympathetic nervous system, so that you are less likely to be thrown into fight-or-flight.11 Learning to observe and tolerate your physical reactions is a prerequisite for safely revisiting the past. If you cannot tolerate what you are feeling right now, opening up the past will only compound the misery and retraumatize you further.12 We can tolerate a great deal of discomfort as long as we stay conscious of the fact that the body’s commotions constantly shift. One moment your chest tightens, but after you take a deep breath and exhale, that feeling softens and you may observe something else, perhaps a tension in your shoulder. Now you can start exploring what happens when you take a deeper breath and notice how your rib cage expands.13 Once you feel calmer and more curious, you can go back to that sensation in your shoulder. You should not be surprised if a memory spontaneously arises in which that shoulder was somehow involved.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
One way or another, I regard it as almost inevitable that either a nuclear confrontation or environmental catastrophe will cripple the Earth at some point in the next 1,000 years which, as geological time goes, is the mere blink of an eye. By then I hope and believe that our ingenious race will have found a way to slip the surly bonds of Earth and will therefore survive the disaster. The same of course may not be possible for the millions of other species that inhabit the Earth, and that will be on our conscience as a race. I think we are acting with reckless indifference to our future on planet Earth. At the moment, we have nowhere else to go, but in the long run the human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. I just hope we can avoid dropping the basket before we learn how to escape from Earth. But we are, by nature, explorers. Motivated by curiosity. This is a uniquely human quality. It is this driven curiosity that sent explorers to prove the Earth is not flat and it is the same instinct that sends us to the stars at the speed of thought, urging us to go there in reality. And whenever we make a great new leap, such as the Moon landings, we elevate humanity, bring people and nations together, usher in new discoveries and new technologies. To leave Earth demands a concerted global approach—everyone should join in. We need to rekindle the excitement of the early days of space travel in the 1960s. The technology is almost within our grasp. It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth. If we stay, we risk being annihilated.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Once I thought that to be human was the highest aim a man could have, but I see now that it was meant to destroy me. Today I am proud to say I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. . . . I belong to the earth! . . . And I join my slime, my excrement, my madness,my ecstasy to the great circuit which flows through the subterranean vaults of the flesh. . . . Side by side with the human race there runs another race of beings, the inhuman ones, the race of artists. . . . Out of the dead compost and the inert slag they breed a song that contaminates. . . . “I love everything that flows,” said the great blind Milton of our times [Joyce]. I was thinking of him this morning . . . of his rivers and trees and all that world of night that he is exploring. Yes, I said to myself, I too love everything that flows: rivers, sewers, lava, semen, blood, bile, words, sentences. I love the amniotic fluid when it spills out of the bag. . . . I love the urine that pours out scalding and the clap that runs endlessly.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Men, discouraged by their failure to accomplish exactly what they desire, often speak of their lives as purposeless, but it is idle talk, for, in fact, no intelligent life which concerns itself vigorously and properly with the things about it can be said to be purposeless. Such a life adheres, automatically, to the law of progression, and therefore moves toward a great destiny of supreme power and accompanying joys. The only purposeless life is the one that does not use its faculties. It matters little what tasks men perform in life, if only they do them well and will all their strength. In the eternal plan they are given progressive value. In an infinite universe, one cannot possibly learn all or do all, at once. A beginning must be made somewhere and corner by corner, department by department, space by space, all will be known and conquered. In the end, all must be explored, and whether one begins in the east or the west cannot matter much. The big concern is the extent to which a man offers himself, mind and body, to his worthwhile work. Upon that will growth depend.
John A. Widtsoe (Rational Theology)
Men presumably always have looked at flowers and been moved by their beauty and their smell: but only since the last century has it been possible to take a flower in your hand and know that you have between your fingers a complex association of organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and a great many other elements, in a complex structure of cells, all of which have evolved from a single cell; and to know something of the internal structure of these cells, and the processes by which they evolved, and the genetic process by which this flower was begun, and will produce other flowers; to know in detail how the light from it is reflected to your eye; and to know the details of those workings of your eye, and your nose, and your neurophysiological system, which enable you to see and smell and touch the flower. These inexhaustible and almost incredible realities which are all around us and within us are recent discoveries which are still being explored, while similar new discoveries continue to be made; and we have before us an endless vista of such new possibilities stretching into the future, all of it beyond man’s wildest dreams until almost the age we ourselves are living in. Popper’s ever present and vivid sense of this, and of the fact that every discovering opens up new problems for us, informs his theoretical methodology. He knows that our ignorance grows with our knowledge, and that we shall therefore always have more questions than answers.
Bryan Magee (Karl Popper)
How happily we explored our shiny new world! We lived like characters from the great books I curled up with in the big Draylon armchair. Like Jack Kerouak, like Gatsby, we created ourselves as we went along, a raggle-taggle of gypsies in old army overcoats and bell-bottoms, straggling through the fields that surrounded our granite farmhouse in search of firewood, which we dragged home and stacked in the living room. Ignorant and innocent, we acted as if the world belonged to us, as though we would ever have taken the time to hang the regency wallpaper we damaged so casually with half-rotten firewood, or would have known how to hang it straight, or smooth the seams. We broke logs against the massive tiled hearth and piled them against the sooty fire back, like the logs were tradition and we were burning it, like chimney fires could never happen, like the house didn't really belong to the poor divorcee who paid the rates and mortgage even as we sat around the flames like hunter gatherers, smoking Lebanese gold, chanting and playing the drums, dancing to the tortured music of Luke's guitar. Impelled by the rhythm, fortified by poorly digested scraps of Lao Tzu, we got up to dance, regardless of the coffee we knocked over onto the shag carpet. We sopped it up carelessly, or let it sit there as it would; later was time enough. We were committed to the moment. Everything was easy and beautiful if you looked at it right. If someone was angry, we walked down the other side of the street, sorry and amused at their loss of cool. We avoided newspapers and television. They were full of lies, and we knew all the stuff we needed. We spent our government grants on books, dope, acid, jug wine, and cheap food from the supermarket--variegated cheese scraps bundled roughly together, white cabbage and bacon ends, dented tins of tomatoes from the bargain bin. Everything was beautiful, the stars and the sunsets, the mold that someone discovered at the back of the fridge, the cows in the fields that kicked their giddy heels up in the air and fled as we ranged through the Yorkshire woods decked in daisy chains, necklaces made of melon seeds and tie-dye T-shirts whose colors stained the bath tub forever--an eternal reminder of the rainbow generation. [81-82]
Claire Robson (Love in Good Time: A Memoir)
Mimi talked about Mother, how at fifty, women wonder what they have done with their lives. What do they believe? What is of value? What should they do with the new freedom that is theirs now that their children are, for the most part, grown? “It’s a wonderful time in a woman’s life to really explore the possibilities. Your mother has changed a great deal over the years.” Mimi said. “And I think her cancer had a lot to do with it. During the early 1970s when many women were rethinking their roles within the home and confronting their own independence, I saw Diane focusing on her health, living, surviving, so she could raise you children. Along the way, she became much more philosophical. I admire how she protects her energy and understands her limitations.
Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place)
David and Goliath is a book about what happens when ordinary people confront giants. By “giants,” I mean powerful opponents of all kinds—from armies and mighty warriors to disability, misfortune, and oppression. Each chapter tells the story of a different person—famous or unknown, ordinary or brilliant—who has faced an outsize challenge and been forced to respond. Should I play by the rules or follow my own instincts? Shall I persevere or give up? Should I strike back or forgive? Through these stories, I want to explore two ideas. The first is that much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of these kinds of lopsided conflicts, because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty. And second, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong. We misread them. We misinterpret them. Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate: it can open doors and create opportunities and educate and enlighten and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable.
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)
Exploring Self-Compassion Through Letter Writing PART ONE Everybody has something about themselves that they don’t like; something that causes them to feel shame, to feel insecure or not “good enough.” It is the human condition to be imperfect, and feelings of failure and inadequacy are part of the experience of living. Try thinking about an issue that tends to make you feel inadequate or bad about yourself (physical appearance, work or relationship issues, etc.). How does this aspect of yourself make you feel inside—scared, sad, depressed, insecure, angry? What emotions come up for you when you think about this aspect of yourself? Please try to be as emotionally honest as possible and to avoid repressing any feelings, while at the same time not being melodramatic. Try to just feel your emotions exactly as they are—no more, no less. PART TWO Now think about an imaginary friend who is unconditionally loving, accepting, kind, and compassionate. Imagine that this friend can see all your strengths and all your weaknesses, including the aspect of yourself you have just been thinking about. Reflect upon what this friend feels toward you, and how you are loved and accepted exactly as you are, with all your very human imperfections. This friend recognizes the limits of human nature and is kind and forgiving toward you. In his/her great wisdom this friend understands your life history and the millions of things that have happened in your life to create you as you are in this moment. Your particular inadequacy is connected to so many things you didn’t necessarily choose: your genes, your family history, life circumstances—things that were outside of your control. Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend—focusing on the perceived inadequacy you tend to judge yourself for. What would this friend say to you about your “flaw” from the perspective of unlimited compassion? How would this friend convey the deep compassion he/she feels for you, especially for the discomfort you feel when you judge yourself so harshly? What would this friend write in order to remind you that you are only human, that all people have both strengths and weaknesses? And if you think this friend would suggest possible changes you should make, how would these suggestions embody feelings of unconditional understanding and compassion? As you write to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend, try to infuse your letter with a strong sense of the person’s acceptance, kindness, caring, and desire for your health and happiness. After writing the letter, put it down for a little while. Then come back and read it again, really letting the words sink in. Feel the compassion as it pours into you, soothing and comforting you like a cool breeze on a hot day. Love, connection, and acceptance are your birthright. To claim them you need only look within yourself.
Kristin Neff (Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself)
But the most part seemed to think that the mere fact of having contrived for themselves so much misery gave them a kind of superiority. ‘You have led a sheltered life!’ they bawled. ‘You don’t know the seamy side. We’ll tell you. We’ll give you some hard facts’—as if to tinge Heaven with infernal images and colours had been the only purpose for which they came. All alike, so far as I could judge from my own exploration of the lower world, were wholly unreliable, and all equally incurious about the country in which they had arrived. They repelled every attempt to teach them, and when they found that nobody listened to them they went back, one by one, to the bus. This curious wish to describe Hell turned out, however, to be only the mildest form of a desire very common among the Ghosts—the desire to extend Hell, to bring it bodily, if they could, into Heaven.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
at Dunkin’ Donuts, how did we move our anchor to Starbucks? This is where it gets really interesting. When Howard Shultz created Starbucks, he was as intuitive a businessman as Salvador Assael. He worked diligently to separate Starbucks from other coffee shops, not through price but through ambience. Accordingly, he designed Starbucks from the very beginning to feel like a continental coffeehouse. The early shops were fragrant with the smell of roasted beans (and better-quality roasted beans than those at Dunkin’ Donuts). They sold fancy French coffee presses. The showcases presented alluring snacks—almond croissants, biscotti, raspberry custard pastries, and others. Whereas Dunkin’ Donuts had small, medium, and large coffees, Starbucks offered Short, Tall, Grande, and Venti, as well as drinks with high-pedigree names like Caffè Americano, Caffè Misto, Macchiato, and Frappuccino. Starbucks did everything in its power, in other words, to make the experience feel different—so different that we would not use the prices at Dunkin’ Donuts as an anchor, but instead would be open to the new anchor that Starbucks was preparing for us. And that, to a great extent, is how Starbucks succeeded. GEORGE, DRAZEN, AND I were so excited with the experiments on coherent arbitrariness that we decided to push the idea one step farther. This time, we had a different twist to explore. Do you remember the famous episode in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the one in which Tom turned the whitewashing of Aunt Polly’s fence into an exercise in manipulating his friends? As I’m sure you recall, Tom applied the paint with gusto, pretending to enjoy the job. “Do you call this work?” Tom told his friends. “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” Armed with this new “information,” his friends discovered the joys of whitewashing a fence. Before long, Tom’s friends were not only paying him for the privilege, but deriving real pleasure from the task—a win-win outcome if there ever was one. From our perspective, Tom transformed a negative experience to a positive one—he transformed a situation in which compensation was required to one in which people (Tom’s friends) would pay to get in on the fun. Could we do the same? We
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
All my life I have wondered about the possibility of life elsewhere. What would it be like? Of what would it be made? All living things on our planet are constructed of organic molecules—complex microscopic architectures in which the carbon atom plays a central role. There was once a time before life, when the Earth was barren and utterly desolate. Our world is now overflowing with life. How did it come about? How, in the absence of life, were carbon-based organic molecules made? How did the first living things arise? How did life evolve to produce beings as elaborate and complex as we, able to explore the mystery of our own origins? And on the countless other planets that may circle other suns, is there life also? Is extraterrestrial life, if it exists, based on the same organic molecules as life on Earth? Do the beings of other worlds look much like life on Earth? Or are they stunningly different—other adaptations to other environments? What else is possible? The nature of life on Earth and the search for life elsewhere are two sides of the same question—the search for who we are. In the great dark between the stars there are clouds of gas and dust and organic matter. Dozens of different kinds of organic molecules have been found there by radio telescopes. The abundance of these molecules suggests that the stuff of life is everywhere. Perhaps the origin and evolution of life is, given enough time, a cosmic inevitability. On some of the billions of planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, life may never arise. On others, it may arise and die out, or never evolve beyond its simplest forms. And on some small fraction of worlds there may develop intelligences and civilizations more advanced than our own. Occasionally someone remarks on what a lucky coincidence it is that the Earth is perfectly suitable for life—moderate temperatures, liquid water, oxygen atmosphere, and so on. But this is, at least in part, a confusion of cause and effect. We earthlings are supremely well adapted to the environment of the Earth because we grew up here. Those earlier forms of life that were not well adapted died. We are descended from the organisms that did well. Organisms that evolve on a quite different world will doubtless sing its praises too. All life on Earth is closely related. We have a common organic chemistry and a common evolutionary heritage. As a result, our biologists are profoundly limited. They study only a single kind of biology, one lonely theme in the music of life. Is this faint and reedy tune the only voice for thousands of light-years? Or is there a kind of cosmic fugue, with themes and counterpoints, dissonances and harmonies, a billion different voices playing the life music of the Galaxy? Let
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
Buddhist Psychology You can use enlightening Buddhist practices to transform your life. Unfortunately, many people do not know it, but the Buddhist Dharma, or teaching, is actually a scientific system of psychology, developed in India and further refined in Tibet. It is a psychology that works. I call it a „joyous science of the heart“ because it is based on the idea that while unenlightened life is full of suffering, you are completely capable of escaping from that suffering. You can get well. In fact, you already are well; you just need to awaken to that fact. And how do you do this? By analyzing your thought patterns. When you do, you realize that you are full of „misknowledge“ - misunderstandings of yourself and the world that lead to anger, discontent, and fear. The target of Buddhist practice and the constant theme of this book is the primal misconception that you are the center of the universe, that your „self“ is a fixed, constant, and bounded entity. When you meditate on enlightened insights into the true nature of reality and the boundlessness of the self, you develop new habits of thinking. You free yourself from the constraints of your habitual mind. In other words, you teach yourself to think differently. This in turn leads you to act differently. And voila! You are on the path to happiness, fulfillment, and even enlightenment. The battle for happiness is fought and won or lost primarily within the mind. The mind is the absolute key, both to enlightenment and to life. When your mind is peaceful, aware, and under your command, you will be securely happy. When your mind is unaware of its true nature, constantly in turmoil, and in command of you, you will suffer endlessly. This is the whole secret of the Dharma. If you recognize delusion, greed, anger, envy, and pride as the main enemies of your well-being and learn to focus your mind on overcomming them, you can install wisdom, generosity, tolerance, love, and altruism in their place. This is where enlightened psychology can be most useful. Psychology and philosophy are really one entity in Buddhism. They are called the inner science, the science of the human interior. In the flow of Indian history, it is fair to say that the Buddha was a great explorer of the human interior rather than some sort of religious prophet. He came into the world at a time when people were just beginning to experiment with self-exploration, but mostly in an escapist way, using their focus on the inner world to run away from the sufferings of life by entering a supposed realm of absolute quiet far removed from everday existence. The Buddha started out exploring that way too, but then realized the futility of escapism and discovered instead a way of being happier here and now. (pp. 32-33)
Robert A.F. Thurman (Infinite Life)
In the moment all is dear to me, dear that in this logic there is no redemption, the city itself being the highest form of madness and each and every part, organic or inorganic, an expression of this same madness. I feel absurdly and humbly great, not as megalomaniac, but as human spore, as the dead sponge of life swollen to saturation. I no longer look into the eyes of the woman I hold in my arms but I swim through, head and arms and legs, and I see that behind the sockets of the eyes there is a region unexplored, the world of futurity, and here there is no logic whatever, just the still germination of events unbroken by night and day, by yesterday and tomorrow. The eye, accustomed to concentration on points in space, now concentrates on points in time; the eye sees forward and backward at will. The eye which was the I of the self no longer exists; this selfless eye neither reveals nor illuminates. It travels along the line of the horizon, a ceaseless, uninformed voyager. Trying to retain the lost body I grew in logic as the city, a point digit in the anatomy of perfection. I grew beyond my own death, spiritually bright and hard. I was divided into endless yesterdays, endless tomorrows, resting only on the cusp of the event, a wall with many windows, but the house gone. I must shatter the walls and windows, the last shell of the lost body, if I am to rejoin the present. That is why I no longer look into the eyes or through the eyes, but by the legerdemain of will swim through the eyes, head and arms and legs to explore the curve of vision. I see around myself as the mother who bore me once saw round the comers of time. I have broken the wall created by birth and the line of voyage is round and unbroken, even as the navel. No form, no image, no architecture, only concentric flights of sheer madness. I am the arrow of the dream's substantiality. I verify by flight. I nullify by dropping to earth.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
Woman lost (skin deep) like a damn fine thread in the fire Woman of the world caught up in your black machinations I was a woman who cried alone at night, who gave it all away when she saw the good heart of the man inside Woman caught standing up; her open parts are broken - Someone's armour broke right through, it was you, you For some reason I've been thinking about you, your light Today, you poured out all the tension, the ego underground Hibernating inside my heart. I was so close to it, to the flicker Of love in a lonely street and I turned my head and walked Away from the flame in your arms. As I put away the fun in A house of fight I came across you and a mechanism in My brain shifted chemically, walls caved in like the cadence In your words and I was lost in the darkness. Even now in Middle age I remember when desire was a popular drug And everyone was selling it but I don't live to explore to be Able to illuminate the proof of my existence, live to burn Vicariously though the diamond mouth of sleeping stars. From so much love, pictures of death arrived in black and White photographs and you're perfect, you always were - Illusions have no flaws; they're dangerous beings, smoke. Could I take the moon back and still live with my great Expectations of nostalgia, laughter, tears and suffering - But they are all a part of me not the people of the stars, Long dead videotape, the past has stained the symphony Of my soul (like the wind through the trees) throughout Me finding myself, my two left feet as a female poet The warning was there of the noise of eternity, signs That said, don't anger the sea, you have an ally in her. When men grow cold listen to their stories and bask in The glory of their genuine deaths, their winters, put Them away so you can read them like the newspaper. Once in a while you can go back to where you stood In youth with your afternoon tea, the sun of God in our Eyes - I am that kind of woman who lives in the past
Abigail George (Feeding The Beasts)
Not one of those worlds will be identical to Earth. A few will be hospitable; most will appear hostile. Many will be achingly beautiful. In some worlds there will be many suns in the daytime sky, many moons in the heavens at night, or great particle ring systems soaring from horizon to horizon. Some moons will be so close that their planet will loom high in the heavens, covering half the sky. And some worlds will look out onto a vast gaseous nebula, the remains of an ordinary star that once was and is no longer. In all those skies, rich in distant and exotic constellations, there will be a faint yellow star—perhaps barely seen by the naked eye, perhaps visible only through the telescope—the home star of the fleet of interstellar transports exploring this tiny region of the great Milky Way Galaxy. The themes of space and time are, as we have seen, intertwined. Worlds and stars, like people, are born, live and die. The lifetime of a human being is measured in decades; the lifetime of the Sun is a hundred million times longer. Compared to a star, we are like mayflies, fleeting ephemeral creatures who live out their whole lives in the course of a single day. From the point of view of a mayfly, human beings are stolid, boring, almost entirely immovable, offering hardly a hint that they ever do anything. From the point of view of a star, a human being is a tiny flash, one of billions of brief lives flickering tenuously on the surface of a strangely cold, anomalously solid, exotically remote sphere of silicate and iron. In all those other worlds in space there are events in progress, occurrences that will determine their futures. And on our small planet, this moment in history is a historical branch point as profound as the confrontation of the Ionian scientists with the mystics 2,500 years ago. What we do with our world in this time will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully determine the destiny of our descendants and their fate, if any, among the stars.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
In my view, the West is not a concept to be explored, analyzed, or enlarged through a study of the history and great ideals that created it; it has always been an instrument. It is when we use it as instrument that does not exist in our own history and culture because we see it in Europe, and we legitimize our demands with Europe's prestige. In our own country, the concept of Europe justifies the use of force, radical political change, the ruthless severing of tradition. From improvement of women's rights to violation of human rights, from democracy to military dictatorship, many things are justified by an idea of the West that stresses this concept of Europe and reflects a positivist utilitarianism. Throughout my life I've heard all our daily habits, from table manners to sexual ethics, criticized and changed because "that's how they do it in Europe." It is something I have heard over and over: on the radio, on television, from my mother. It is not an argument based on reason and indeed precludes reason.
Orhan Pamuk (Other Colours)
As long as there have been humans, we have searched for our place in the Cosmos. In the childhood of our species (when our ancestors gazed a little idly at the stars), among the Ionian scientists of ancient Greece, and in our own age, we have been transfixed by this question: Where are we? Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost between two spiral arms in the outskirts of a galaxy which is a member of a sparse cluster of galaxies, tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. This perspective is a courageous continuation of our penchant for constructing and testing mental models of the skies; the Sun as a red-hot stone, the stars as celestial flame, the Galaxy as the backbone of night. Since Aristarchus, every step in our quest has moved us farther from center stage in the cosmic drama. There has not been much time to assimilate these new findings. The discoveries of Shapley and Hubble were made within the lifetimes of many people still alive today. There are those who secretly deplore these great discoveries, who consider every step a demotion, who in their heart of hearts still pine for a universe whose center, focus and fulcrum is the Earth. But if we are to deal with the Cosmos we must first understand it, even if our hopes for some unearned preferential status are, in the process, contravened. Understanding where we live is an essential precondition for improving the neighborhood. Knowing what other neighborhoods are like also helps. If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. We embarked on our cosmic voyage with a question first framed in the childhood of our species and in each generation asked anew with undiminished wonder: What are the stars? Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
In the world of togas, sandals, the Parthenon, temples, and little white homes perched on hillsides overlooking the sea, discipleship permeated Greek life-from aristocrats to peasants, from philosophers to tradesmen. In the first century, the apostle Paul stood on Mars Hill and said, "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.... I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you" (Acts 17:22-23). Paul's speech demonstrates that the Greek philosophers were confused about God. But they were also astute in passing on their confusion as they lived out discipleship and even created some of its language and technique. The Greek masters' use of mathetes, or disciple: As explored in chapter 1, mathetes is translated "disciple." We can find the concept of disciple-a person following a master-among the great masters of Greece. Plato, Socrates, and Herodotus all used disciple to mean "learner" or "one who is a diligent student." These and other Greek philosophers generally understood that the disciple's life involved apprenticeship, a relationship of submission, and a life of demanding
Bill Hull (The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ)
It's not always a question of you changing your mind. I think very often your mind changes you. You suddenly realise that without having intended to think something, or while intending to think something, you can't quite do it anymore. It doesn't mean the same thing it used to. And you wonder why. And if you want to take an honest exploration of why that is, it may lead you in some alarming but fruitful directions. That's actually why I called this book Hitch-22, because it's a minor-key echo of the great Joe Heller paradox; but in a lifetime that's had quite a lot of commitment in it, and allegiance, I've now reached a point where I'm mainly associated with a group of people who I suppose could be described as adamant for skepticism, or resolve for uncertainty. And this pits us against the people who are completely sure they have all the answers - or modern totalitarians. The ones who have all the information they need, and who indeed have the truth as it's been revealed to them - they're already qualified to tell us what to do. Opposition to that lot is the cause of my life, always has been, in a way, and opposition to all forms of totalitarianism, not just as a system of thought but in the mind.
Christopher Hitchens
Say you could view a time-lapse film of our planet: what would you see? Transparent images moving through light, “an infinite storm of beauty.” The beginning is swaddled in mists, blasted by random blinding flashes. Lava pours and cools; seas boil and flood. Clouds materialize and shift; now you can see the earth’s face through only random patches of clarity. The land shudders and splits, like pack ice rent by a widening lead. Mountains burst up, jutting and dull and soften before your eyes, clothed in forests like felt. The ice rolls up, grinding green land under water forever; the ice rolls back. Forests erupt and disappear like fairy rings. The ice rolls up-mountains are mowed into lakes, land rises wet from the sea like a surfacing whale- the ice rolls back. A blue-green streaks the highest ridges, a yellow-green spreads from the south like a wave up a strand. A red dye seems to leak from the north down the ridges and into the valleys, seeping south; a white follows the red, then yellow-green washes north, then red spreads again, then white, over and over, making patterns of color too swift and intricate to follow. Slow the film. You see dust storms, locusts, floods, in dizzying flash frames. Zero in on a well-watered shore and see smoke from fires drifting. Stone cities rise, spread, and then crumble, like patches of alpine blossoms that flourish for a day an inch above the permafrost, that iced earth no root can suck, and wither in a hour. New cities appear, and rivers sift silt onto their rooftops; more cities emerge and spread in lobes like lichen on rock. The great human figures of history, those intricate, spirited tissues that roamed the earth’s surface, are a wavering blur whose split second in the light was too brief an exposure to yield any images. The great herds of caribou pour into the valleys and trickle back, and pour, a brown fluid. Slow it down more, come closer still. A dot appears, like a flesh-flake. It swells like a balloon; it moves, circles, slows, and vanishes. This is your life.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
SHAKESPEARE What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more (Hamlet) There is no one kind of Shakespearean hero, although in many ways Hamlet is the epitome of the Renaissance tragic hero, who reaches his perfection only to die. In Shakespeare's early plays, his heroes are mainly historical figures, kings of England, as he traces some of the historical background to the nation's glory. But character and motive are more vital to his work than praise for the dynasty, and Shakespeare's range expands considerably during the 1590s, as he and his company became the stars of London theatre. Although he never went to university, as Marlowe and Kyd had done, Shakespeare had a wider range of reference and allusion, theme and content than any of his contemporaries. His plays, written for performance rather than publication, were not only highly successful as entertainment, they were also at the cutting edge of the debate on a great many of the moral and philosophical issues of the time. Shakespeare's earliest concern was with kingship and history, with how 'this sceptr'd isle' came to its present glory. As his career progressed, the horizons of the world widened, and his explorations encompassed the geography of the human soul, just as the voyages of such travellers as Richard Hakluyt, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake expanded the horizons of the real world.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
When I was growing up it was still acceptable—not to me but in social terms—to say that one was not interested in science and did not see the point in bothering with it. This is no longer the case. Let me be clear. I am not promoting the idea that all young people should grow up to be scientists. I do not see that as an ideal situation, as the world needs people with a wide variety of skills. But I am advocating that all young people should be familiar with and confident around scientific subjects, whatever they choose to do. They need to be scientifically literate, and inspired to engage with developments in science and technology in order to learn more. A world where only a tiny super-elite are capable of understanding advanced science and technology and its applications would be, to my mind, a dangerous and limited one. I seriously doubt whether long-range beneficial projects such as cleaning up the oceans or curing diseases in the developing world would be given priority. Worse, we could find that technology is used against us and that we might have no power to stop it. I don’t believe in boundaries, either for what we can do in our personal lives or for what life and intelligence can accomplish in our universe. We stand at a threshold of important discoveries in all areas of science. Without doubt, our world will change enormously in the next fifty years. We will find out what happened at the Big Bang. We will come to understand how life began on Earth. We may even discover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. While the chances of communicating with an intelligent extra-terrestrial species may be slim, the importance of such a discovery means we must not give up trying. We will continue to explore our cosmic habitat, sending robots and humans into space. We cannot continue to look inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. Through scientific endeavour and technological innovation, we must look outwards to the wider universe, while also striving to fix the problems on Earth. And I am optimistic that we will ultimately create viable habitats for the human race on other planets. We will transcend the Earth and learn to exist in space. This is not the end of the story, but just the beginning of what I hope will be billions of years of life flourishing in the cosmos. And one final point—we never really know where the next great scientific discovery will come from, nor who will make it. Opening up the thrill and wonder of scientific discovery, creating innovative and accessible ways to reach out to the widest young audience possible, greatly increases the chances of finding and inspiring the new Einstein. Wherever she might be. So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Pham Nuwen spent years learning to program/explore. Programming went back to the beginning of time. It was a little like the midden out back of his father’s castle. Where the creek had worn that away, ten meters down, there were the crumpled hulks of machines—flying machines, the peasants said—from the great days of Canberra’s original colonial era. But the castle midden was clean and fresh compared to what lay within the Reprise’s local net. There were programs here that had been written five thousand years ago, before Humankind ever left Earth. The wonder of it—the horror of it, Sura said—was that unlike the useless wrecks of Canberra’s past, these programs still worked! And via a million million circuitous threads of inheritance, many of the oldest programs still ran in the bowels of the Qeng Ho system. Take the Traders’ method of timekeeping. The frame corrections were incredibly complex—and down at the very bottom of it was a little program that ran a counter. Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth’s moon. But if you looked at it still more closely. . .the starting instant was actually some hundred million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind’s first computer operating systems. So behind all the top-level interfaces was layer under layer of support. Some of that software had been designed for wildly different situations. Every so often, the inconsistencies caused fatal accidents. Despite the romance of spaceflight, the most common accidents were simply caused by ancient, misused programs finally getting their revenge. “We should rewrite it all,” said Pham. “It’s been done,” said Sura, not looking up. She was preparing to go off-Watch, and had spent the last four days trying to root a problem out of the coldsleep automation. “It’s been tried,” corrected Bret, just back from the freezers. “But even the top levels of fleet system code are enormous. You and a thousand of your friends would have to work for a century or so to reproduce it.” Trinli grinned evilly. “And guess what—even if you did, by the time you finished, you’d have your own set of inconsistencies. And you still wouldn’t be consistent with all the applications that might be needed now and then.” Sura gave up on her debugging for the moment. “The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more signicant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy—take the situation I have here.” She waved at the dependency chart she had been working on. “We are low on working fluid for the coffins. Like a million other things, there was none for sale on dear old Canberra. Well, the obvious thing is to move the coffins near the aft hull, and cool by direct radiation. We don’t have the proper equipment to support this—so lately, I’ve been doing my share of archeology. It seems that five hundred years ago, a similar thing happened after an in-system war at Torma. They hacked together a temperature maintenance package that is precisely what we need.” “Almost precisely.
Vernor Vinge (A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2))
committing suicide, both for your own sake and that of your companions. Both sexually and socially the polar explorer must make up his mind to be starved. To what extent can hard work, or what may be called dramatic imagination, provide a substitute? Compare our thoughts on the march; our food dreams at night; the primitive way in which the loss of a crumb of biscuit may give a lasting sense of grievance. Night after night I bought big buns and chocolate at a stall on the island platform at Hatfield station, but always woke before I got a mouthful to my lips; some companions who were not so highly strung were more fortunate, and ate their phantom meals. And the darkness, accompanied it may be almost continually by howling blizzards which prevent you seeing your hand before your face. Life in such surroundings is both mentally and physically cramped; open-air exercise is restricted and in blizzards quite impossible, and you realize how much you lose by your inability to see the world about you when you are out-of-doors. I am told that when confronted by a lunatic or one who under the influence of some great grief or shock contemplates suicide, you should take that man out-of-doors and walk him about: Nature will do the rest. To normal people like ourselves living under abnormal circumstances Nature could do much to lift our thoughts out of the rut of everyday affairs, but she loses much of her healing power when she cannot be seen, but only felt, and when that feeling is intensely uncomfortable. Somehow in judging polar life you must discount compulsory endurance; and find out what a man can shirk, remembering always that it is a sledging life which
Apsley Cherry-Garrard (The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913)
I've read every letter that you've sent me these past two years. In return, I've sent you many form letters, with the hope of one day being able to give you the proper response you deserve. But the more letters you wrote to me, and the more of yourself you gave, the more daunting my task became. I'm sitting beneath a pear tree as I dictate this to you, overlooking the orchards of a friend's estate. I've spent the past few days here, recovering from some medical treatment that has left me physically and emotionally depleted. As I moped about this morning, feeling sorry for myself, it occurred to me, like a simple solution to an impossible problem: today is the day I've been waiting for. You asked me in your first letter if you could be my protege. I don't know about that, but I would be happy to have you join me in Cambridge for a few days. I could introduce you to my colleagues, treat you to the best curry outside India, and show you just how boring the life of an astrophysicist can be. You can have a bright future in the sciences, Oskar. I would be happy to do anything possible to facilitate such a path. It's wonderful to think what would happen if you put your imagination toward scientific ends. But Oskar, intelligent people write to me all the time. In your fifth letter you asked, "What if I never stop inventing?" That question has stuck with me. I wish I were a poet. I've never confessed that to anyone, and I'm confessing it to you, because you've given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I've spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind's eye. It's been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I've been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers.But I wish I were a poet. Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, "Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open." I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is composed of dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we'll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What's real? What isn't real? Maybe those aren't the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on? I wish I had made things for life to depend on. What if you never stop inventing? Maybe you're not inventing at all. I'm being called in for breakfast, so I'll have to end this letter here. There's more I want to tell you, and more I want to hear from you. It's a shame we live on different continents. One shame of many. It's so beautiful at this hour. The sun is low, the shadows are long, the air is cold and clean. You won't be awake for another five hours, but I can't help feeling that we're sharing this clear and beautiful morning. Your friend, Stephen Hawking
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Tonight, however, Dickens struck him in a different light. Beneath the author’s sentimental pity for the weak and helpless, he could discern a revolting pleasure in cruelty and suffering, while the grotesque figures of the people in Cruikshank’s illustrations revealed too clearly the hideous distortions of their souls. What had seemed humorous now appeared diabolic, and in disgust at these two favourites he turned to Walter Pater for the repose and dignity of a classic spirit. But presently he wondered if this spirit were not in itself of a marble quality, frigid and lifeless, contrary to the purpose of nature. ‘I have often thought’, he said to himself, ‘that there is something evil in the austere worship of beauty for its own sake.’ He had never thought so before, but he liked to think that this impulse of fancy was the result of mature consideration, and with this satisfaction he composed himself for sleep. He woke two or three times in the night, an unusual occurrence, but he was glad of it, for each time he had been dreaming horribly of these blameless Victorian works… It turned out to be the Boy’s Gulliver’s Travels that Granny had given him, and Dicky had at last to explain his rage with the devil who wrote it to show that men were worse than beasts and the human race a washout. A boy who never had good school reports had no right to be so morbidly sensitive as to penetrate to the underlying cynicism of Swift’s delightful fable, and that moreover in the bright and carefully expurgated edition they bring out nowadays. Mr Corbett could not say he had ever noticed the cynicism himself, though he knew from the critical books it must be there, and with some annoyance he advised his son to take out a nice bright modern boy’s adventure story that could not depress anybody. Mr Corbett soon found that he too was ‘off reading’. Every new book seemed to him weak, tasteless and insipid; while his old and familiar books were depressing or even, in some obscure way, disgusting. Authors must all be filthy-minded; they probably wrote what they dared not express in their lives. Stevenson had said that literature was a morbid secretion; he read Stevenson again to discover his peculiar morbidity, and detected in his essays a self-pity masquerading as courage, and in Treasure Island an invalid’s sickly attraction to brutality. This gave him a zest to find out what he disliked so much, and his taste for reading revived as he explored with relish the hidden infirmities of minds that had been valued by fools as great and noble. He saw Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë as two unpleasant examples of spinsterhood; the one as a prying, sub-acid busybody in everyone else’s flirtations, the other as a raving, craving maenad seeking self-immolation on the altar of her frustrated passions. He compared Wordsworth’s love of nature to the monstrous egoism of an ancient bellwether, isolated from the flock.
Margaret Irwin (Bloodstock and Other Stories)
The world can be validly construed as a forum for action, as well as a place of things. We describe the world as a place of things, using the formal methods of science. The techniques of narrative, however – myth, literature, and drama – portray the world as a forum for action. The two forms of representation have been unnecessarily set at odds, because we have not yet formed a clear picture of their respective domains. The domain of the former is the 'objective world' – what is, from the perspective of intersubjective perception. The domain of the latter is 'the world of value' – what is and what should be, from the perspective of emotion and action. The world as forum for action is 'composed,' essentially, of three constituent elements, which tend to manifest themselves in typical patterns of metaphoric representation. First is unexplored territory – the Great Mother, nature, creative and destructive, source and final resting place of all determinate things. Second is explored territory – the Great Father, culture, protective and tyrannical, cumulative ancestral wisdom. Third is the process that mediates between unexplored and explored territory – the Divine Son, the archetypal individual, creative exploratory 'Word' and vengeful adversary. We are adapted to this 'world of divine characters,' much as the 'objective world.' The fact of this adaptation implies that the environment is in 'reality' a forum for action, as well as a place of things. Unprotected exposure to unexplored territory produces fear. The individual is protected from such fear as a consequence of 'ritual imitation of the Great Father' – as a consequence of the adoption of group identity, which restricts the meaning of things, and confers predictability on social interactions. When identification with the group is made absolute, however – when everything has to be controlled, when the unknown is no longer allowed to exist – the creative exploratory process that updates the group can no longer manifest itself. This 'restriction of adaptive capacity' dramatically increases the probability of social aggression and chaos. Rejection of the unknown is tantamount to 'identification with the devil,' the mythological counterpart and eternal adversary of the world-creating exploratory hero. Such rejection and identification is a consequence of Luciferian pride, which states: all that I know is all that is necessary to know. This pride is totalitarian assumption of omniscience – is adoption of 'God’s place' by 'reason' – is something that inevitably generates a state of personal and social being indistinguishable from hell. This hell develops because creative exploration – impossible, without (humble) acknowledgment of the unknown – constitutes the process that constructs and maintains the protective adaptive structure that gives life much of its acceptable meaning. 'Identification with the devil' amplifies the dangers inherent in group identification, which tends of its own accord towards pathological stultification. Loyalty to personal interest – subjective meaning – can serve as an antidote to the overwhelming temptation constantly posed by the possibility of denying anomaly. Personal interest – subjective meaning – reveals itself at the juncture of explored and unexplored territory, and is indicative of participation in the process that ensures continued healthy individual and societal adaptation. Loyalty to personal interest is equivalent to identification with the archetypal hero – the 'savior' – who upholds his association with the creative 'Word' in the face of death, and in spite of group pressure to conform. Identification with the hero serves to decrease the unbearable motivational valence of the unknown; furthermore, provides the individual with a standpoint that simultaneously transcends and maintains the group.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)