It’s alive

 

 

starry nightVisual art attempts to go places that words and thought can’t reach. I couldn’t help but think of Blake, Van Gogh and Burchfield–and the “everliving fire” of Heraclitus, for that matter–while reading this skeptical atheist scientist’s account in the New York Times of when the whole world seemed to be come alive around her. It was a harrowing experience that she now can’t find words to describe and was consistent with mystical experience described in most cultures. Her rediscovery of this experience many years later in her journal enabled her to reach “a truce with God”:

Fortunately, science itself has been changing. It was simply overwhelmed by the empirical evidence, starting with quantum mechanics and the realization that even the most austere vacuum is a happening place, bursting with possibility and giving birth to bits of something, even if they’re only fleeting particles of matter and antimatter. Without invoking anything supernatural, we may be ready to acknowledge that we are not, after all, alone in the universe . . . it could be that the universe is itself pulsing with a kind of life, and capable of bursting into something that looks to us momentarily like the flame.

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