Mostly photography and some other musings.

Posts tagged Carl Sagan

Here goes another set of pictures I took some time ago, also in the summer of 2015. The weather was nice enough to do some visits to coastal places in Norfolk, a region here in England I like lots. This time was in Cley Next the Sea. I went there with a friend, and we walked a lot. I even felt I burnt my skin, a thing that rarely happens here in UK. We visited the marshes, the town, an old abandoned church. I’m not a believer myself, but I do enjoy taking pictures inside churches and similar places. The atmosphere, light, sense of peace and tranquility… I don’t need to believe in anything to actually feel… something. I don’t need either to invent strange reasons or imaginary friends to explain these feelings. Of course, we ended in a pub, having a nice meal and some beers. Simple pleasures are the best ones… 🙂

Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— The demon-haunted world: science as a candle in the dark, Carl Sagan.

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.

— The demon-haunted world: science as a candle in the dark, Carl Sagan.

“You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”

― Carl Sagan, Contact

“There is child abuse, and there are such things as repressed memories. But there are also such things as false memories and confabulations, and they are not rare at all. Misrememberings are the rule, not the exception. They occur all the time. They occur even in cases where the subject is absolutely confident – even when the memory is a seemingly unforgettable flashbulb, one of those metaphorical mental photographs.”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
And this is one of the reasons why I take pictures. This ones don’t lie…

“Dreams are associated with a state called REM sleep, the abbreviation standing for rapid eye movement. The REM state is strongly correlated with sexual arousal. Experiments have been performed in which sleeping subjects are awakened whenever REM state emerges, while members of a control group are awakened just as often each night but not when they’re dreaming. After some days, the control group is a little groggy, but the experimental group – the ones who are prevented from dreaming – is hallucinating in daytime. It’s not that a few people with a particular abnormality can be made to hallucinate in this way; anyone is capable of hallucinations.”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark