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"We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." —Carl Sagan
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    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.

    "Lyell was right: [mountains] grow barely perceptively, the product of thousands of tiny rises... over the aeons. Time, unimaginable time, that was the key; given it, anything could be achieved. Darwin now understood. He plotted the quake's epicenter and pinned down its cause to incipient volcanic action. Hot springs and 'bubbles of gas & discoloured water' percolating into the sea proved beyond doubt that 'the earth is a mere crust over a fluid melted mass of rock.'

    Earthquakes and volcanoes had revealed Nature's awesome power, its driving force. But where did man — puny man — fit into her picture? It was 'bitter & humiliating' to contemplate his vulnerability, 'skating over very thin ice,' a crustal sheet, above a fiery furnace. Yet accept it he must." —Adrian Desmond & James Moore, Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist. P. 162. Emphasis added.
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    Part One: Elation

    The city seemed to move—swelling, as though engrossed and enraptured by its own primal rhythm. People, shapes—figures and cascading blurs wrapped among themselves—drifted and were shook apart as though figments of some imaginary lightplay, distant memories of a fleeting and forgotten past. His mind lingered and fell into the crowd. Shapeless figures, structures, bodies, minds; a ceaseless intermingling of beginnings and ends, of unspoken thoughts and voiceless passions, the epicenter of some distant sanctuary, the birthplace of idols of that vastest of pantheons, the workings and doings of creation.

    And from this place, he woke.

    Under the arid sky of the metropolis, a network of winding tributaries buzzes with the frantic energy of humanity and its works. Man-made shadows drift over the figures of nameless forms, who fall into the cracks and passage ways of this self-containing sprawl, cast in the all-enveloping shadow of immense and brooding forms. Inside, a man sits waking in a chair. He stares forward, his face in his palms, gripping at himself with the inward fascination of a man still dreaming. His tactile senses point him to the imagining of a distant world, a lifeless planet on which his facial features mark the contours of a barren land—his nose: great ridges; his cheeks: an empty plane. He can feel the light of its distant sun, illuminating its arid fields, its lifeless deserts, warming and stirring the planet within. Above him, the still-closed window stands brimming with the conductive sheen of frigid glass, illuminating the blue-lit room with the blurred shapes and contours of an imaginary Beyond.

    Beyond the window, vast columns pierce the sky in tight-knit regiments, a phalanx of metal and glass stretching outwardly beyond the comprehension of the eye. Beneath them, a vast maze-work of streets and pathways roar with the cumulative rush of feverish motions.

    The coldness of the glass runs through his cheek and down his spine, sending a nervous pulse of energy running outward through his body. The noise of city is muffled through the glass, its constant bass-tones resting in the space within his chest, a sinking presence, everywhere, rippling from the core. His mind echoes inwardly with the rippling of ceaseless machinations.

    Hours later, he walked among the labyrinthine passageways of the city’s streets. Dazzling lightplay reflected from the sunlit husks of the monolithic buildings, as a cold flux of movement enveloped the fast-moving grounds. People, everywhere, rushed in accelerating movements, their bodies in unison—a network of transient forms. He watched these figures with an unreflecting gaze, his mind staring blankly at the ceaseless flow of moving bodies. He watched their forms meld into one another—trading spaces and occupying moments—until he could no longer trace the lines connecting the beginnings and the endings of their movements; all had become a blur of simple motion. Something, invisibly, had occupied his thoughts. He stopped moving. A subtle sound, of sands lifted and rising, whispered outwardly from the surroundings as though spurred by the warming influence of a distant sun. There was no visible source, no identifiable force of agency on which to attach the sound. Just the rhythm, which—building upon itself as though swept by a gust of spontaneity, of vacancy of form—was punctuated by a central point of sonic pressure erupting into a singular multitude, a divergent evolution of sounds. He stood transfixed and watching the fast-moving forms.

    That night, the city commenced its descent into an uneasy slumber. Faceless shadows stalked the streets, the exhausted dregs of the day’s activities, lost in the kaleidoscopic matrix of their wandering minds. This was the sleepless nightmare, the side effect of the chronic pace of the city’s movements. He watched at a distance as the ceaseless energy of their elongated days slowly gave way to the encroaching tide of madness and decay. Their broken minds wandered the streets, pursued by their bodies. This was the breaking point, populated by those who no longer sought the dawn, but instead paced evenly through the city streets, their dormant memories weighing heavily on their still-born minds, marching helplessly amidst the darkness.

    He observed one of them in a park overlooking a large body of water which stretched out and reached the blackened horizon. Its surface glistened with a multitude of miniscule, moonlit flourishes, rising and falling in cyclical motions atop the still, rolling waves, which drifted easefully amongst themselves—unmoved by the silent forces whose currents swirled dormant and invisible beneath their depths. Something old and powerful—direct and inevitable—lingered stalkingly behind the stunning symmetry of his eyes. And yet, buried deep within the powers of its reaching grasp, its wrestless longing to be felt and heard, beat the heart and soul of non-power itself. With these eyes, he stared ever-forward, passing slowly and evenly over the horizon, illuminated by the lightplay of distant waves, the ink-black darkness of the sky whose star-lit luminescence bore the portent mystery of an infinite expanse, an unceasing frontier beyond which there can be no further imagination: the boundary-point of ponderings, of measurements, of Knowing itself. His gray eyes danced with the quantum interplay of innumerable photons, as he sat transfixedly, staring into the beyond.

    Part Two: Elegance

    He awoke once more to the sound of that undying pulse. The light of the sky—cold, but not dim—cast a softened halo atop the streets’ blue shadows. Waking, he stirred. His eyes caught the soft glow reaching outward from the window. In the shower, water poured over him in sheets and layers, clusters of moist particles, self-containing harbingers of a vastness of prospective tomorrows, fusing and exploding in pockets of energy—an accelerating symphony of matter, manifest. The walls, tiles, fabrics of discarded clothing, all carriers of that sacred message, expressions of that pulse whose sound holds the birth-weight of innumerable worlds.

    He sat and gathered his thoughts. Beneath the surface, his home was founded on a bedrock of faceless artefacts: photographs, human records—shadows and distant dignitaries of a bygone world. He sought solace in their shadows, their fleeting gaze and displaced meanings, which floated, groundless, deprived of a world. They are lost seeds with no soil to bear witness to their relevance: formless apparitions devoid of a context, place, or time.

    He started at the photographs, and his eyelids quivered as though swayed by a distant wind.

    Part Three: Exaltation

    That night he dreamed of spectral illuminations, images bursting through the floodgates of his fast-opening mind. Fire, fire, coaxed by wood and rock, by scraps of shrubbery, dried wood fragments, leaves, crushed with boulders, moulded by hands, twisted and raised, sputtering from the smouldering Earth; he saw animals slain by men and scarred fields interspersed with rows of pooling water; he saw stones being stripped from the sides of colossal mountains, the movement of boulders by great lines of forms; he saw cities of wood and cities of stone, cities of marble heat-warped beneath the searing energy of a vibrant sun; he saw steam rising from the banks of rivers; vast migrations, their ranks stretched for miles; he saw the movements of millions as though driven by a sound, marching in unison, coordinated movement, driven by the pulse.

    He was caught in the elementary graspings of that all-encompassing sound, echoing and resounding in the corridors of perception.

    His ears filled with the formation of words, distant utterances heralding the genesis of language, as the birth-song of evolution rushed powerfully through his veins. He heard voices in unison, rising and falling, but converging on the pulse. He felt it ricocheting and rebounding off of figures, thoughts, and dreams: a unifying message articulated in a single, all-pervading sound whose body seemed to move and glisten—perpetually shifting, eternally in flux—with all the motion and energy of creation itself.

    From the unknowable ether of his mind’s eye, his city appeared. It breathed with a life and energy unknown to itself. Its people, broken and darting through its thoughtless streets, appeared hopeless and unknowing beneath an immensity of sky, permeated by wind. This sky, this wind, the colour of their eyes as they paced unseeingly about the city’s long passageways—all combined to illuminate what had been a shallow armour, the unloving resemblance of a civilization which had once arisen—with passion and sacrifice—from the fertile soils of the Earth.

    Their presence carried with it the semblance of a bygone time, of a force of energy whose workings transcended the boundaries of rational forms. Their bodies—moving, unmoving—traced the contours of a once-vibrant paradigm whose structure had collapsed under the weight of its own creation, its own deliberations and wrongdoings, its excesses and secret passions and the hidden weight and terror of its vast, internal void.

    The city stood radiant beneath an open sky.

    And from this place, he woke.
    Mon, Aug 29, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: creative writing
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    I have seen
    The sunken mysteries of my own mind
    spread out before me,
    enveloping everything,
    breathing sunlight from their ephemeral dew.

    I have heard
    the silent rumblings of a desire yet unborn
    the faint, pitching melody of longing,
    as it wakes

    And I have felt,
    The myriad images brush against my skin,
    brush up against my eyes, still closed
    and beat great rhythms into my
    closed and stirring eyes.

    Yes, I have known
    The soft line which breathes within the
    narrows of necessity
    The wisdom which whispers through
    the mouth of restless fantasy,

    And the thought—which knows
    no boundary, but which
    flows and speaks out endlessly
    as it illuminates

    the dream.
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    A time of revolution and of change, of both the catastrophic collapse and the meteoric rise of empires, the 19th century bore witness to a series of profound advances in both the natural and social sciences. Among the many highly influential figures of the 19th century, however, the ideas of two thinkers stand apart for the depth and extent of their impact: those of Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. In his 1848 publication of The Communist Manifesto, Marx placed the existence of class struggle into a long-term historical perspective, arguing that—by proliferating social inequality and thus class warfare—Capitalism would lead to its own disintegration. In light of these circumstances, Marx called for the unification of the global working class under the banner of Communism. While Marx sparked a revolution of perspective in human social history, Darwin sparked a revolution of perspective in biological history. In his publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, Darwin challenged once and for all the prevailing notions relating to the origin and development of life. By positing natural selection as the force behind biological change, Darwin opened up a mode of thinking about nature which did not depend on the existence of supernatural forces. This proposition opened up a new paradigm of scientific inquiry into biological history, while also introducing profound philosophical and theological implications which continue to challenge structures of thought well into the 21st century. The new avenues of inquiry into biological history which were opened by Darwin’s work helped extend the reach of scientific inquiry into areas which had previously been inaccessible to science, including the exploration of existential questions which had until then been restricted to theological and philosophical interpretations. The expanded scope of scientific questioning heralded by Darwin has also served as a catalyst for the subsequent emergence of secular forms of spirituality, which are rooted not in organized religious dogmas but in a combination of Western scientific and Eastern spiritual traditions. By pursuing lines of inquiry into both social and biological history, Marx and Darwin permanently widened the scope of human intellectual exploration.

    The publication of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 irreversibly altered the course of Western thought in relation to the social sciences. In it, Marx argues that Capitalism as a means of organizing society will invariably result in social inequality and class struggle, and that this social inequality is inherently unsustainable. Based on these key premises, Marx concludes that Capitalism will thus invariably lead to its own collapse, only to be replaced by Socialism, which in turn will develop naturally and necessarily into Communism. The true source of Marx’s influence, however, stems from his assertion in The Communist Manifesto that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” By arguing that class struggle is not an isolated problem arising from his particular 19th-century social conditions, but rather the consequence of a long series of social structures which have perpetuated social inequality throughout the course of human history, Marx succeeded establishing an awareness of how conditions such as inequality and social strife are but symptoms caused by the workings of a broader social structure. In simpler terms: Marx catalyzed the belief that social systems—such as Capitalism—are the vehicles through which wealth is allocated and inequality is assured. One of the most significant impacts of this intellectual contribution lies in its role in inspiring a newfound-sense of unity among the 19th-century working class. Marx argued that workers the world over are united in that they occupy a position in society in which the only form of capital which they possess lies in their own labour—their capacity to produce. Marx believed that the only means of ensuring the emancipation of the working class from this position of disempowerment was through the unification of the workers themselves, a view encapsulated in the singular appeal which concludes The Communist Manifesto: “The workers have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

    This diagram shows the distribution of power among several key multinational financial institutions. Courtesy of TheyRule.

    Darwin’s theory of natural selection represents a milestone of singular importance in the scientific and intellectual development of the human species. Just as the discovery of Newtonian physics extended the realm of scientific inquiry into the investigation of natural laws, Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection extended scientific inquiry into the most fundamental and essential questions of biology: the formulation and development of life. This newly-expanded scope of scientific inquiry was not only of interest to scientists, however. By attributing biological change to natural environmental processes, Darwin confronted the people of the 19th century with the revelation that the human species is itself involved in this process of gradual change, and is in fact continuously evolving over time, along with all other species. From this new vantage point of biological history, inquiring individuals the world over were given a theoretical foundation on which to ponder the ongoing evolution of the human species. Through Darwin’s theory of natural selection, a precedent had been set: for a growing number of people, the human species could no longer be considered separate from the diverse natural processes which surround it. We had found our place in the community of species, our chapter in the history of life. Since its initial publication in 1859, Darwin’s theory of evolution (along with its more modernized forms) has become a widely-used framework through which to understand the universe, the human species, and the intersection of the two. In this way, one of the most significant and under-emphasized aspects of the legacy of Darwin’s work lies in its influence on the development of secular spirituality—that is, concepts of spiritual experience which lie outside the parameters of organized religion and theology. In the legacy of Darwin’s work, we see the development of a science which—through the empiricism of the scientific method—has arrived upon an understanding of the interconnectedness of all life: a notion which is entirely consistent with certain non-empirical traditions such as Taoism and Zen Buddhism. In this way, evolution serves as a scientific bridging-point between Eastern and Western philosophies and methodologies. In the post-Darwinian era, the fusion of traditionally ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ perspectives has incorporated itself into the discourse of disciplines throughout the Arts and Sciences. It is in this context of intellectual cross-fertilization that Albert Einstein, in his 1931 essay The World as I See It, held that “the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.”

    The phylogenetic tree shows the evolutionary interrelationships of species and the way in which they are linked by common ancestors.

    The propagation of Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection led to a permanent expansion of mankind’s perception of itself and its place in relation to the whole of biological history. The effects of this widened influence can be seen in some form across a wide variety of disciplines. Perhaps most notably, it has contributed to the development of non-dogmatic forms of secular spirituality which incorporate elements derived from both Western and Eastern outlooks and methodologies. By extending the reach of scientific inquiry into the farthest expanses of biological history, Darwin’s theory of evolution helped expand the time-frame through which human observers approach questions relating to the origins and ongoing development of life. A similar phenomenon occurred under the influence of Marx: by analyzing the perpetuation of class struggle and inequality across a vast historical timescale, Marx introduced a new perspective of time to the social sciences. Marx’s analysis contributed to a sense of unity among the workers of the 19th century by placing the struggle of the working class into a long-term historical context. Through the lens of Marx’s historical perspective, the worker of the 19th century was not an isolated individual but rather the inheritor of a historical injustice which has been changing hands throughout history, since the earliest recorded instances of human social organization. In effect, by developing his thesis across an immense historical time-frame, Marx did to social history what Darwin did to biological history. In his writings, Marx gave the workers of the world a past, and—in so doing—ensured them of the promise of a future. While the 19th century is renowned for its high pace of intellectual innovation and social change, the contributions of Marx and Darwin stand apart for the unique role they played in expanding the parameters of human inquiry in both the natural and social sciences. Marx succeeded in introducing a belief in social systems as the catalysts for grassroots social conditions, while Darwin widened humanity’s perception of biological change by defining it as the product of complex interrelationships and interactions across all aspects of the natural world. In both cases, each pioneered a new mentality of looking at the world which have today become all but self-evident in our culture, engrained—perhaps irreversibly—in our institutions, our societies, and—most notably—in our minds.

    “Which aspects of our nature will prevail… is uncertain,
    particularly when our visions and prospects are bound to one small part
    of the small planet Earth. But up there in the Cosmos, an inescapable perspective awaits. National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space.
    Fanatic ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.”

    - Carl Sagan, Cosmos
    Wed, Apr 20, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: biology, Essay, history, Carl Sagan, marx, Darwin
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    Tonight, I see the Internet as a sort of controlled state of dreaming: directed, curated... semi-lucid, like a dream.

    Vague interests, inklings, compel us to a certain place of knowledge, a node of interest amid seas of information. This place, though unique, is not independent or separate from the rest of the network of which it is one; instead, it exists only within the context of the network as a whole, in relation to the complementary, surrounding, and otherwise-relevant nodes with which it is connected.

    So in this way, to use the Internet is to enter into a group network, one which compliments and interacts with your own individual node. Your ideas, preferences and interests determine the course of your interaction within the network, yet there is always some degree of separation distancing you, a whole person, from the content and concepts with which you are interacting.

    Is not the use of the Internet, then, akin to a state of dreaming?

    In both realms, we play a role which is both active and passive; we exist in a state which is both reactive and proactive.

    We read, and we write.

    To what extent can we suspend our individuality in favour of a more networked experience?

    Should we, in fact, do so?

    Do we want to do so?

    These are brave questions, which I expect will be met with brave answers in the years and decades ahead.

    Humanity’s future, though uncertain, is ever-changing.

    We know this much is true.
    Sat, Apr 2, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: freewriting, thoughts, Internet
    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    An antenna dish, large and unwavering, sits in a valley of old-growth trees whose bark foretells the legacy of layering and unlayering, whose silent constructions shape and determine the confines and apparent boundary-points of the natural world. Long live the flow of boundless energies: that focal point of nature whose gift predates the workings of nature herself. You are that all-empowering Infinity, that point beyond which there are no further horizons, being, as you are, at the very center of things. Outwards and inwards, as energies we flow. The constructors and constructions of a world we call our own. Our musings are born of the same impulse that gave birth to ourselves.

    An inkwell sits patiently, buoyant in an ocean of inarticulate possibility. Inexpressible sadness, inextricable joy—you are the twin musings of all creation. You are fingers, pointing at the moon.
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    (The following is an excerpt from 'Contact' by Carl Sagan)

    “Do Buddhists believe in God, or not?” Ellie asked on their way to have dinner with the Abbot.
    “Their position seems to be,” Vaygay replied dryly, “that their God is so great he doesn’t even have to exist.”
    As they sped through the countryside, they talked about Utsumi, the Abbot of the most famous Zen Buddhist monastery in Japan. A few years before, at ceremonies marking the fiftieth anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima, Utsumi had delivered a speech that commanded worldwide attention. He was well connected in Japanese political life and served as a kind of spiritual adviser to the ruling political party, but he spent most of his time in monastic and devotional activities.
    “His father was also the Abbot of a Buddhist monastery,” Sukhavati mentioned.
    Ellie raised her eyebrows.
    “Don’t look so surprised. Marriage was permitted to them, like the Russian Orthodox clergy. Isn’t that right, Vaygay?”
    “That was before my time,” he said, a little distractedly.
    The restaurant was set in a grove of bamboo and was called Ungetsu—the Clouded Moon; and indeed there was a clouded moon in the early evening sky. Their Japanese hosts had arranged that there be no other guests. Ellie and her companions removed their shoes and, padding in their stocking feet, entered a small dining room which looked out on stalks of bamboo.
    The Abbot’s head was shaved, his garment a robe of black and silver. He greeted them in perfect colloquial English, and his Chinese, Xi later told her, turned out to be passable as well. The surroundings were restful, the conversation lighthearted. Each course was a small work of art, edible jewels. She understood how nouvelle cuisine had its origins in the Japanese culinary tradition. If the custom were to eat the food blindfolded, she would have been content. If, instead, the delicacies were brought out only to be admired and never to be eaten, she would also have been content. To look and eat both was an intimation of heaven.
    Ellie was seated across from the Abbot and next to Lunacharsky. Others inquired about the species—or at least the kingdom—of this or that morsel. Between the sushi and the gingko nuts, the conversation turned, after a fashion, to the mission.
    “But why do we communicate?” the Abbot asked.
    “To exchange information,” replied Lunacharsky, seemingly devoting full attention to his recalcitrant chopsticks.
    “But why do we wish to exchange information?”
    “Because we feed on information. Information is necessary for our survival. Without information we die.”
    Lunarcharsky was intent on a ginkgo nut that slipped off his chopsticks each time he attempted to raise it to his mouth. He lowered his head to meet the chopsticks half-way.
    “I believe,” continued the Abbot, “that we communicate out of love or compassion.” He reached with his fingers for one of his own ginkgo nuts and placed it squarely in his mouth.
    “Then you think, she asked, “that the Machine is an instrument of compassion? You think there is no risk?”
    “I can communicate with a flower,” he went on as if in response. “I can talk to a stone. You would have no difficulty understanding the beings—that is the proper word?—of some other world.”
    “I am perfectly prepared to believe that the stone communicates to you,” Lunacharsky said, chewing on the ginkgo nut. He had followed the Abbot’s example. “But I wonder about you communicating to the stone. How would you convince us that you can communicate with a stone? The world is full of error. How do you know you are not deceiving yourself?”
    “Ah, scientific scepticism.” The Abbot flashed a smile that Ellie found absolutely winning; it was innocent, almost childlike.
    “To communicate with a stone, you must become much less… preoccupied. You must not do so much thinking, so much talking. When I say I communicate with a stone, I am not talking about words. The Christians say, ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ But I am talking about a communication much earlier, much more fundamental than that.”
    “It’s only the Gospel of Saint John that talks about the Word,” Ellie commented—a little pedantically, she thought as soon as the words were out of her mouth. “The earlier Synoptic Gospels say nothing about it. It’s really an accretion from Greek philosophy. What kind of preverbal communication do you mean?”
    “Your question is made of words. You ask me to use words to describe what has nothing to do with words. Let me see. There is a Japanese story called ‘The Dream of the Ants.” It is set in the Kingdom of the Ants. It is a long story, and I will not tell it to you now. But the point of the story is this: To understand the language of the ants, you must become an ant.”
    “The language of the ants is in fact a chemical language,” said Lunacharsky, eyeing the Abbot keenly. “They lay down specific molecular traces to indicate the path they have taken to find food. To understand the language of the ants, I need a gas chromatograph, or a mass spectrometer. I do not need to become an ant.”
    “Probably, that is the only way you know to become an ant,” returned the Abbot, looking to no one in particular. “Tell me, why do people study the signs left by ants?”
    “Well,” Ellie offered, “I guess an entomologist would say it’s to understand the ants and ant society. Scientists take pleasure in understanding.”
    “That is another way of saying that they love the ants.”
    She suppressed a small shudder.
    “Yes, but those who fund the entomologists say something else. They say it’s to control the behaviour of ants, to make them leave a house they’ve infested, say, or to understand the biology of soil for agriculture. It might provide an alternative to pesticides. I guess you could say there’s some love of the ants in hat,” Ellie mused.
    “But it’s also in our self-interest,” said Lunacharsky.
    “The pesticides are poisonous to us as well.”
    “Why are you talking about pesticides in the midst of such a dinner?” shot Sukhavati from across the table.
    “We will dream the dream of the ants another time,” the Abbot said softly to Ellie, flashing again that perfect, untroubled smile.
    Reshod with the aid of meter-long shoehorns, they approached their small fleet of automobiles, while the serving women and proprietress smiled and bowed ceremoniously. Ellie and Xi watched the Abbot enter a limousine with some of their Japanese hosts.
    “I asked him, If he could talk with a stone, could he communicate with the dead?” Xi told her.
    “And what did he say?”
    “He said the dead were easy. His difficulties were with the living.”
    Mon, Mar 28, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: Books, Carl Sagan, excerpts
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    There is a lingering humour, a taunting presence in the mundane scenery of sensory experience. The glamour and appeal of natural sounds, and—sadly, misguidedly—the sacredness of human utterances—are all too often robbed of their magic and immediacy by the bullet-train of ceaseless categorization which takes place, as though driven by an unassailable force of agency, in that all-pervasive engine-room of the mind.

    Let me try to re-phrase this obscurity:

    The sound that resonates through our ears and into our hearts and minds owes its existence to the atmosphere. Meaning: sound cannot exist in a vacuum, due to the fact that it depends on the ability of unseen particles to vibrate in waveform harmonies amongst themselves. Our atmosphere allows for the existence of these particles’ vibrations by distancing us ever so delicately from the mute blackness in which we are framed. Our language hinges on the borders of soundlessness; our meaning floats atop an ocean of inarticulate possibility.

    We are ghosts within the machine, fragile emissaries of a cosmic imagination, whose silent searchings echo the poetry of soundless forms.

    { What is emptiness but the home of possibility?
    What is fullness but the offspring of a void?

    Silence is the root of exposition
    While expression is the heartbeat of the unseen and unheard }
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    He sat heavily on the cushioned surface, eyes jittering out the window. Inside, a warm room, its low-lit scenery accented by the blue-cold glare emanating from beyond café windows, those moderating view-panes and embassies to the external. Outside, cool air shifted imperceptibly in convective motions, as visibly all was still and unmoving as morning air. Coffee cups lay on the tables. The mugs and juice bottles—empty, half-empty—containing worlds. His mind was a labyrinth. His eyes, spinning and scanning over printed words—pages, flickering—were hailed by a singular image emerging from the mist.


    Alligator became the central focal point of his sensory universe. The mind is its own place, and in itself can make of a man a fish, a star, an alligator. And so it was. Reptilemind. Crocodylidade sapien sapien, crawling on four ambidextrous limbs over the porous waves and sub-waves of biological perception.

    Who's to say what a reptile feels?
    The stark immediacy of physical form?
    The weightlessness of freeform imagination?
    The omnipotent macro-actualization of non-doing?
    The infinite polyverse of the mind?

    Or is it, rather, rapt only in that unspoken, underlying imperative that drives the evolutionary process? That singular verb that underpins the biological experience?

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    When we exhale, we are reliving the moment which birthed the Cosmos, the moment which signaled the semi-instant transition from unfathomable density to near-infinite expanse.

    When we breathe, we relive the life cycle of the Universe: in exhaling, we witness its birth; in inhaling, we witness its death, its re-collectivization into hyper-density—the return to the sub-atomic universe. Breathe in: the universe in a grain of sand. Breathe out: there are more stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand in all the beaches of our world.

    We breathe the life cycle of the Universe—its construction and its destruction; its synthesis and its dissemination; exhaling its birth, inhaling its death.

    We are, each of us, the creators and destroyers of worlds—the living manifestations of the Cosmos. Our articulations are the expressions of the star stuff which spurred our creation.
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