Alan Lightman

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Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman

In a world without future, each moment is the end of the world.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I consider myself a spiritual atheist. I certainly believe there are forces bigger than ourselves, and that we should be searching, individually, for meaning in our lives. But I don't believe there's a supreme being, an intelligence that created everything.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Time is a rigid, bonelike structure, extending infinitely ahead and behind, fossilizing the future as well as the past.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
A world in which time is absolute is a world of consolation. For while the movements of people are unpredictable, the movement of time is predictable. While people can be doubted, time cannot be doubted. While people brood, time skips ahead without looking back.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
One cannot walk down an avenue, converse with a friend, enter a building, browse beneath the sandstone arches of an old arcade without meeting an instrument of time. Time is visible in all places. Clock towers, wristwatches, church bells divide years into months, months into days, days into hours, hours into seconds, each increment of time marching after the other in perfect succession. And beyond any particular clock, a vast scaffold of time, stretching across the universe, lays down the law of time equally for all.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
In a world in which time is a circle, every handshake, every kiss, every birth, every word, will be repeated precisely.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
A life is a moment in season. A life is one snowfall. A life is one autumn day. A life is the delicate, rapid edge of a closing door's shadow. A life is a brief movement of arms and of legs.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
So many little lives, amounting to nothing. I ask you: What is infinity multiplied by zero? It is hardly worth our discussion.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Thoughts are no more than electrical surges in the brain. Sexual arousal is no more than a flow of chemicals to certain nerve endings. Sadness is no more than a bit of acid transfixed in the cerebellum. In short, the body is a machine, subject to the same laws of electricity and mechanics as an electron or clock.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The relationship between science and the humanities is two-way. Science changes our view of the world and our place in it. In the other direction, the humanities provide the store of ideas and images and language available to us in understanding the world. The exploding star of A.D. 1054, the Crab Nebula, was sighted and documented by the Chinese, but nowhere mentioned in the West, where the Aristotelian notion of the immortality of stars still held sway. We often do not see what we do not expect to see.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Order is the law of nature, the universal trend, the cosmic direction. If time is an arrow, that arrow points toward order. The future is pattern, organization, union, intensification; the past, randomness, confusion, disintegration, dissipation.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Everyone shares the same fate.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
People are content to live in contradictory worlds, so long as they know the reason for each.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
That has been the great achievement of our age: to so thoroughly flood the planet with megabits that every image and fact has become a digitized disembodied nothingness. With magnificent determination, our species has advanced from Stone Age to Industrial Revolution to Digital Emptiness. We've become weightless, in the bad sense of the word.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The history of science can be viewed as the recasting of phenomena that were once thought to be accidents as phenomena that can be understood in terms of fundamental causes and principles.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The target of power is more interesting than its quantity.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The world is moving faster and faster, but where are we going?More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
No one knows the nature of God, or even if God exists. In a sense, all of our religions are literary works of the imagination.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
It's not necessarily a large number of people that affect the culture. You don't count the number of influential voices, you weigh them. A hundred people can affect the culture.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
In our constant search for meaning in this baffling and temporary existence, trapped as we are within our three pounds of neurons, it is sometimes hard to tell what is real. We often invent what isn't there. Or ignore what is. We try to impose order, both in our minds and in our conceptions of external reality. We try to connect. We try to find truth. We dream and we hope. And underneath all of these strivings, we are haunted by the suspicion that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the wholMore Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I should have written books instead of reading them.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
If you over-plot your book you strangle your characters. Your characters have to have enough freedom and life to be able to surprise you.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
For me, spirituality includes the belief in things larger than ourselves, an appreciation of nature and beauty, a sensitivity to the world, a feeling of shared connection with other living things, a desire to help people less fortunate than ourselves. All of these things can occur with or without God. I do not believe in the existence of God, but I consider myself a spiritual person in the manner I have just described. I call myself a spiritual atheist. I would imagine that many people are spiritual atheists.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I would think that you are more fluent with the rational. It has its appeal. But the irrational permits a greater exercise of ... shall we say, power.More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
As human beings, don't we need questions without answers as well as questions with answers, questions that we might someday answer and questions that we can never answer?More Alan Lightman [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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