Niels bohr
Understanding entails being able to detect an internal contradiction: a paradox. Are paradoxes “all in our heads” or are they built into the universal structure of logic? At first sight the idea of knowing what the universe is like, is absurd. American-Canadian neurosurgeon Penfield expanded brain surgery’s methods and techniques, including mapping the functions of various regions of the brain. Penfield’s experiments demonstrated that memories occupy engrams, specific physical sites in the brain. To know about...
brain conscious mind
Penfield’s classic brain experiments of the 1930s inspired a certain famous riddle, long since dubbed “brains in vats” by philosophy students. It goes like this: You think you’re sitting there reading this post. Actually, you could be a disembodied brain in a laboratory somewhere, soaking in a vat of nutrients. Electrodes are attached to the brain. And a mad scientist feeds it with a stream of electrical impulses that exactly simulates the experience of reading...
parallel dimensions
The hidden Reality and Parallel Universes. Space and time capture the imagination like no other scientific subject. For good reason. They form the arena of reality, the very fabric of the cosmos. Our entire existence-everything we do, think, and experience takes place in some region of space during some interval of time. Yet science is still struggling to understand what space and time actually are. Are they real physical entities or simply useful ideas? If...
Ishtar
It was Rodin who stated that “Man never invented anything new, only discovered things.” Although it’s correct to say that certain symbols have been man-made for a particular purpose, it’s just as correct to argue that everything is somehow inspired by the natural world around us, by the forms of nature, plants, animals, the elements. Even a reaction against the fluid forms of nature is usually inspired by a desire to offer an alternative. Occasionally...
Faust
The secret teachings of Goethe. That Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), Germany’s greatest poet, had an interest in the occult and alchemy is clear from Faust. Based on an historical character, the original Faust legend goes back to medieval times and prior to Goethe‘s there were earlier dramatic renditions of the tale, notably Christopher Marlowe’s. Yet it is to Goethe’s Faust (Part I 1808; Part II 1833) that most of us turn when we think...
Language and Runes
If we knew how the words in our native language were made and what they have meant to successive generations of the men and women who have used them, we should have a new and very interesting kind of history to read. For words, like all other creations of man, were not deliberately manufactured to meet a need, as are the various parts of a bicycle or of an automobile; but grew gradually and slowly...
Descartes
If you have been the proverbial fly on the wall in Descartes’s bed-room in La Flèche, in southern France, in 1636, you may have watched Descartes laying in bed observing you. His most remarkable idea came to him while observing a fly crawl along a curved path, which he thought about illustrating in terms of its distance from the walls. A revolution in thought was in the making; mathematics would certainly never be similar. The...
Otto Maier Truth
Reveries on the search for Veritas … It is really crystal clear that the concept of dangerous truths has, for a very long time, been widespread, not to say a cliché. “𝐀 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐢𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠.” “𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐭.” “𝐈𝐠𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐬.” “𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮.” On a much deeper level, one need simply reflect on the story of the Tree of Knowledge and the Tower of...