Thoughts

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No matter what you touch and you wish to know about, you end up in a sea of mystery. You see there’s no beginning or end, you can go back as far as you want, forward as far as you want, but you never got to it, it’s like the essence, it’s that right, it remains. This is the greatest damn thing about the universe. That we can know so much, recognize so much, dissect, do everything, and we can’t grasp it. And it’s meant to be that way, do y’know. And there’s where our reverence should come in. Before everything, the littlest thing as well as the greatest. The tiniest, the horseshit, as well as the angels, do y’know what I mean. It’s all mystery. All impenetrable, as it were, right?

--- Henry Miller

What are we here for if not to enjoy life eternal, solve what problems we can, give light, peace and joy to our fellow-man, and leave this dear fucked-up planet a little healthier than when we were born.

--- Henry Miller

Write hard and clear about what hurts.

--- Ernest Hemingway

In the deepest and most important things, we are unutterably alone, and for one person to be able to advise or even help another, a lot must happen, a lot must go well, a whole constellation of things must come right in order once to succeed.

--- Rainer Maria Rilke

We're all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. it is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more

--- Woody Allen


Writing Tips

Ernest Hemingway on Writing

  • To get started, write one true sentence.
    • Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.
  • Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.
    • The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.
  • Never think about the story when you’re not working.
    • When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing you were writing before you could go on with it the next day. It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. That was better than anything. But afterwards, when you were empty, it was necessary to read in order not to think or worry about your work until you could do it again. I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
  • When it’s time to work again, always start by reading what you’ve written so far.
    • The best way is to read it all every day from the start, correcting as you go along, then go on from where you stopped the day before. When it gets so long that you can’t do this every day read back two or three chapters each day; then each week read it all from the start. That’s how you make it all of one piece.
  • Don’t describe an emotion–make it.
    • I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced. In writing for a newspaper you told what happened and, with one trick and another, you communicated the emotion aided by the element of timeliness which gives a certain emotion to any account of something that has happened on that day; but the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always, was beyond me and I was working very hard to get it.
  • Use a pencil.
    • When you start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none. So you might as well use a typewriter because it is that much easier and you enjoy it that much more. After you learn to write your whole object is to convey everything, every sensation, sight, feeling, place and emotion to the reader. To do this you have to work over what you write. If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to. First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof. Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. That is .333 which is a damned good average for a hitter. It also keeps it fluid longer so you can better it easier.
  • Be Brief.
    • It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.


Kurt Vonnegut on Writing

  • Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  • Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  • Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  • Every sentence must do one or two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  • Start as close to the end as possible.
  • Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading character, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they’re made of.
  • Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  • Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.


Scientific Quotes That Blur The Boundaries Between Mysticism and Science

Max Planck

  • “…I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” – The Observer, London, January 25, 1931
  • “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

Where is Science Going? 1932

  • “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944)

David Bohm

  • “Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. This is a virtual certainty because even in the vacuum matter is one; and if we don’t see this, it’s because we are blinding ourselves to it.” – Statement of 1986, as quoted in Towards a Theory of Transpersonal Decision-Making in Human-Systems (2007) by Joseph Riggio, p. 66
  • “Consciousness is much more of the implicate order than is matter . . . Yet at a deeper level [matter and consciousness] are actually inseparable and interwoven , just as in the computer game the player and the screen are united by participation.” – Statement of 1987, as quoted in Towards a Theory of Transpersonal Decision-Making in Human-Systems (2007) by Joseph Riggio, p. 66
  • “The notion that all these fragments are separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it.” – Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980

Erwin Schrödinger

  • “Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge… It has nothing to do with the individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. Indeed in a certain sense two “I”‘s are identical namely when one disregards all special contents — their Karma. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further… when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier.” – Writings of July 1918, quoted in A Life of Erwin Schrödinger (1994) by Walter Moore
  • Schrodinger (1961) claims that the Vedic slogan “All in One and One in All” was an idea that led him to the creation of quantum mechanics.
  • “Although I think that life may be the result of an accident, I do not think that of consciousness. Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.” – As quoted in The Observer (11 January 1931); also in Psychic Research (1931)
  • “Consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular. Not only has none of us ever experienced more than one consciousness, but there is also no trace of circumstantial evidence of this ever happening anywhere in the world. If I say that there cannot be more than one consciousness in the same mind, this seems a blunt tautology — we are quite unable to imagine the contrary…” – The Oneness of Mind, as translated in Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World’s Great Physicists (1984) edited by Ken Wilber
  • “We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Our bodies belong to it. Not only my own body, but those of my friends, also of my dog and cat and horse, and of all the other people and animals. And this is my only means of communicating with them.” - Nature and the Greeks, 1954
  • “This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.” – Mein Leben, meine Weltansicht [My Life, My Worldview or My View of the World] (1961)
  • “Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves.” – Mein Leben, meine Weltansicht [My Life, My Worldview or My View of the World] (1961)

Hans-Peter Dürr

  • You are 78 years old. Do you believe in for afterlife? Is there existence after death? Professor Dürr: “That is an interesting question. What we consider the here and now, this world, it is actually just the material level that is comprehensible. The beyond is an infinite reality that is much bigger. Which this world is rooted in. In this way, our lifes in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already. When planning I imagine that I have written my existence in this world on a sort of hard drive on the tangible (the brain), that I have also transferred this data onto the spiritual quantum field, then I could say that when I die, I do not lose this information, this conscioiusness. The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal. “ – (P.M. Magazin 05/2007)

Freeman Dyson

  • “[Is mind] primary or an accidental consequence of something else? The prevailing view among biologists seems to be that the mind arose accidentally out of molecules of DNA or something. I find that very unlikely. It seems more reasonable to think that mind was a primary part of nature from the beginning and we are simply manifestations of it at the present stage of history. It’s not so much that mind has a life of its own but that mind is inherent in the way the universe is built.” – Interview with Freeman Dyson in U.S.News and World Report, April 18, 1988, 72.
  • “As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.” - The Argument from Design, in: Disturbing the Universe, Harper and Row New York 1979, p. 250

Roger Penrose

  • “…the contemporary understanding of material is very different now from the way it used to be. If we consider what matter really is, we now understand it as much more of a mathematical thing…But I think that matter itself is now much more of a mental substance…” – Journal of Consciousness Studies 1:24


Lost in Translation

  • Google translate is great, and I use it extensively while learning Spanish. But there's only so much it can do. There are some words of a language which remain untranslatable. Here are some of my favourites:
  • Duende (Spanish)- On a translator, it'll show "elf". It is actually the spark of divine inspiration, expressing itself out of one’s heart, or the involuntary feeling of awe, in reaction to an inspiring piece of art or music.
  • Tenalach (Gaeilge)- The relationship one has with the earth, the air, the water. A deep connection that makes you one with nature.
  • Gemütlich (German)- Translates as "comfortable", but it is the sort of comfortable exhibited by a warm house full of people who love you; when you are happy and relaxed.
  • Ya'aburnee (Arabic)- Literally translates as "You bury me."  The declaration of one's hope that they'll die before another person, because of how difficult it would be to live without them.
  • Koi No Yokan (Japanese)- The feeling you can get when meeting a person for the first time, that you will fall in love with them. Different from "love at first sight", as it does not say that love already exists, only the knowledge that it WILL happen later. 

Beautiful Word

  • Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are the happiest people in the world?


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