Sparks

Quotes and Resources

From: A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

They are here in our minds, Turing’s luminescent gems, Gödel’s Platonic forms. There are no social hierarchies to scale. No racial barriers. Given to us along with our brains. Built into the structure of our thoughts—no bullying into blind faith, no threats of eternal damnation—just honesty, truth, and reason.

I am here in the middle of an unfinished story. I used to believe that one day I would come to some kind of conclusion, some calming resolution, and the restlessness would end. But that will never happen. Even now, I am moving toward a train. My heart is thumping. My lungs are working. There is a man, a woman, a bench, the glasses, the smooth hair, an umbrella. We are all caught in the stream of a complicated legacy—a proof of the limits of human reason, a proof of our boundlessness. A declaration that we were down here on this crowded, lonely planet, a declaration that we mattered, we living clumps of ash, that each of us was once somebody, that we strove for what we could never have, that we could admit as much. That was us— funny and lousy and great all at once.

from: A Madman Dreams of Turning Machines 

 

Janna Levin

Author, Astro Physicist

Spirituality: On The Difference Between Belief and Knowledge

Why believe when you can know? I don’t believe in extraterrestrials; I am really curious. I want to find out. I’ll say I don’t believe in evolution; I’m more or less convinced by the evidence. I would like to put the whole idea of faith and belief away. Let’s try to find out things. …

The religions that fascinate me and could possibly tempt me are not the ones that involve faith or belief. They’re the ones that offer you the opportunity to know the spirit or deity. … I think most readily of West-African-derived religions which involve ecstatic rituals where people actually apprehend the spirit or the God or whatever that they are invoking and that they are trying to contact — I have respect for that. But don’t ask me to believe anything.

 

 

Barbara Ehrenreich

Author, Interview

Nature Loves Courage

Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.

 

 

Terence McKenna

Author, More Quotes

We Have to Create Culture

We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.

 

 

Terence McKenna

Author, More Quotes

We Are Not Only the Product of Our Biological Ancestors

“…we are the product of this universe and I think it can be argued that the entire cosmic code is imprinted in us. Just as our genes carry the memory of our biological ancestors, our logic carries the memory of our cosmological ancestry. We are not just imposing human-centric notions on a cosmos independent of us. We are progeny of this cosmos and our ability to understand it is an inheritance.”

Janna Levin, How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

Janna Levin

Author, Janna's Website

On Finding Richer Meaning

Let’s say somebody said that they had a belief system in which it was simply posited that carbon came out of, I don’t know, a blue sky one day. That wouldn’t make me feel any more meaning about who I was in the world. It feels much richer to me to imagine that a cold, empty cosmos collapses with stars, and stars burn and shine, and they make carbon in their cores and then they throw them out again. And that carbon collects and forms another planet and another star and then amino acids evolve and then human beings arise. I mean, that’s, to me, a really beautiful narrative.

(From a great interview with Krista Tippett)

Janna Levin

Astro Physicist, & Author, Her Website

A Good Love

They say a good love is one that sits you down, gives you a drink of water, and pats you on top of the head. But I say a good love is one that casts you into the wind, sets you ablaze, makes you burn through the skies and ignite the night like a phoenix; the kind that cuts you loose like a wildfire and you can’t stop running simply because you keep on burning everything that you touch! I say that’s a good love; one that burns and flies, and you run with it!”

C. Joybell C.

Author, Her Webiste

Absence of Good Ideas

 

You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.”

 

 

Terence McKenna

Author, More Quotes

The Edge

Edge.org is my favorite “big think” website. Thinkers from all disciplines contribute to discussions on a wide range of cutting edge topics.

It’s not for everyone! It’s heavy stuff!

The first article I read was the 2011 annual question WHAT SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT WOULD IMPROVE EVERYBODY’S COGNITIVE TOOLKIT? 

This article blew me away!  In it, 150 scientists, artists, technologists, writers, psychologists, designers and others, each wrote a short response.

The result was the most provacative article I’ve ever read! Having such a diverse group of thinkers weigh in on a challenging question each year is  a great idea and opportunity for cross-pollination!

The Edge

Resource, The Website