My diary entries during this period constantly refer to the importance of learning how to take criticism. If you shut yourself in your own little world, that will be the death of your theory. On the other hand, many of the criticisms you receive are pointless and simply reflect the view that anything new is bad. In such a delicate situation it is crucial to tread gingerly and be careful to appreciate the difference between pertinent and idiotic comments.
Source: Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation, Pages: 197
Becoming a real researcher has been the ultimate humbling experience for me. Nature is the examiner from hell; if you find new things at all, you always find them the hard way, with sweat and tears. Only then do you notice that there was a really easy way to find them. But this insight rarely arrives before you have been utterly humiliated and reduced to despair.
Source: Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation, Pages: 177..178
I listen to a Bach partita in D minor and believe in Bach's God. I watch a raven hop about and I believe in the Tlingit creation story. I ski through a stand of trees and believe like the vikings that men and women were formed from two trees sprouted from the flesh of a dead giant. I look through Anton van Leeuwenhoek's eyes at microscopic life forms and believe in science. I feel the cold wind burning my face and I believe in the force of nature. I see a snap-spined vole flung from Gnomi's mouth and my father's gray skinned body in his coffin and I believe in death. I feel my heart beat and breathe in and I believe in life. I listen to the news on the radio and I believe in fear. I listen to Martin Luther King Jr and I believe in people. I remember the stories my father told (he was a minister of Bach's God) and I believe in trolls. Everything tells me to believe.
In scientific thought, the concept functions all the better for being cut off from all background images. In its full exercise, the scientific concept is free from all the delays of its genetic evolution, an evolution which is consequently explained by simple psychology. The virility of knowledge increases with each conquest of the constructive abstraction.
Nature is flexible and resilient. Nature likes redundancy and dispersion. It is approximate and deals in gradients. All boundaries are permeable. Nature nests small systems like molecules within larger systems like cells, which in turn are nested in systems called organs, organisms, ecosystems. We grew from ancient one-celled ancestors. Nature likes mergers: we contain multitudes of other life forms within us. We stand at the crest of four billion years, bacteria molded into wondrous form, burning with a slow fire and about to take the next step.
Source: Pusle: The Coming Age of Systems and Machines Inspired by Living Things
Here science helps us to understand the spiritual. As the concept is used in this book, to experience 'the spiritual' means to be in touch with some larger, deeper, richer whole that puts our present limited situation into a new perspective. It is to have a sense of 'something beyond', of 'something more' that confers added meaning and value on where we are now. That spiritual 'something more' may be a deeper social reality or social web of meaning. It may be an awareness of or attunement to the mythological, archetypal or religious dimensions of our situation. It may be a sense of some more profound level of truth or beauty. And/or it may be an attunement to some deeper, cosmic sense of wholeness, a sense that our actions are part of some greater universal process.
Source: SQ: Connecting With Our Spiritual Intelligence, Pages: 18-19
We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.