Monday, February 20, 2012

For those of us who are not physicists, some excerpts
considering the theory of relativity,
from the book,
Einstein: His Live and Universe
, by Walter Isaacson:

"Einstein...had produced one of history's most imaginative and dramatic revisions of our concepts about the universe. The general theory of relativity was not merely the interpretation of some experimental data or the discovery of a more accurate set of laws. It was a whole new way of regarding reality" (p. 223).

"Space and time become players in the evolving cosmos. They come alive. Matter here causes space to warp there, which causes matter over here to move, which causes space way over there to warp even more, and so on. General relativity provides the choreography for an entwined cosmic dance of space, time, matter, and energy" (physicist, Brian Greene, quoted on p. 220).

"For some people, miracles serve as evidence of God's existence. For Einstein it was the absence of miracles that reflected divine providence. The fact that the cosmos is comprehensible, that it follows laws, is worthy of awe. This is the defining quality of a 'God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists.'

"Einstein considered this feeling of reverence, this cosmic religion, to be the wellspring of all true art and science. It was what guided him. 'When I am judging a theory,' he said, 'I ask myself whether, if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way.' It is also what graced him with his beautiful mix of confidence and awe" (p. 551).

Monday, February 6, 2012

True sanctity does not consist in trying to live without...[possessions]. It consists in using the goods of life in order to do the will of God. It consists in using God's creation in such a way that everything we touch and see and use and love gives new glory to God.

Thomas Merton. Seasons of Celebration. (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1950): 137
"In his Autobiography (1951), [William Carlos] Williams explains that his goal as a writer is to capture the 'immediacy' of experience: 'It is an identifiable thing, and its characteristic, its chief character is that it is sure, all of a piece and, as I have said, instant and perfect: it comes, it is there, and it vanishes. But I have seen it, clearly. I have seen it.'”

(Adam Kirsch in a New York Review of Books review of three Williams biographies, February 2012)