„Matter and all else that is in the physical world have been reduced to a shadowy symbolism.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington, Context: Matter and all else that is in the physical world have been reduced to a shadowy symbolism.<!--III, p.33
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Arthur Stanley Eddington photo

„To understand the phenomena of the physical world it is necessary to know the equations which the symbols obey but not the nature of that which is being symbolised.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington British astrophysicist 1882 - 1944
Context: If to-day you ask a physicist what he has finally made out the æther or the electron to be, the answer will not be a description in terms of billiard balls or fly-wheels or anything concrete; he will point instead to a number of symbols and a set of mathematical equations which they satisfy. What do the symbols stand for? The mysterious reply is given that physics is indifferent to that; it has no means of probing beneath the symbolism. To understand the phenomena of the physical world it is necessary to know the equations which the symbols obey but not the nature of that which is being symbolised.... this newer outlook has modified the challenge from the material to the spiritual world.<!--III, p.30

Nicholas Roerich photo

„I was asked to collect information where the symbols of our Banner of Peace could be found. It turned out that the symbol of the Holy Trinity has been scattered all over the world. This has been explained in various ways.“

—  Nicholas Roerich Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist, enlightener, philosopher 1874 - 1947
Context: I was asked to collect information where the symbols of our Banner of Peace could be found. It turned out that the symbol of the Holy Trinity has been scattered all over the world. This has been explained in various ways. Some say it means the past, present and future, bound by the ring of eternity. Others find it more palatable to explain it as religion, knowledge and art in the ring of Culture. Obviously there were various explanations already in the ancient times, but the symbol, the sign itself had become fixed all over the world. … You can find it on the ancient icon in Bar depicting St. Nicholas. The same is on the centuries-old image of St. Sergius. It is on the image of Holy Trinity. It is on the coat of arms of Samarkand. It is on ancient Ethiopian and Coptic antiquities. It is on Mongolian rocks. It is on Tibetan rings. The steed of happiness on the Himalayan Mountains passes bears the same flaming sign. It is on all the brooches of Lahuli, Ladakhi and Himalayan Mountains. It is on Buddhist banners. Going back to the Neolithic depths we can find the same sign in the ornaments decorating their pottery. … And that is why the symbol was chose for all uniting Banner as the symbol that has passed through centuries, more exactly — millennia. The symbol was not a mere decorating ornament all over, it bore a very special meaning. Collecting all its images together, we might prove that it is the most extensively spread and ancient one among all the symbols of mankind. No one can claim that it belongs but to one religion or is based on the only one folk-lore. It would be very beneficial to glance at the evolution of human consciousness in its variegated forms. Notes on the Banner of Peace (24 May 1939)

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Jane Yolen photo
Arthur Stanley Eddington photo

„The exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating.“

—  Arthur Stanley Eddington British astrophysicist 1882 - 1944
Context: The exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating.<!--VII, p.73

Bertrand Russell photo

„A spoken word is a process in the physical world, having an essential time-order; a written word is a series of pieces of matter, having an essential space-order.“

—  Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
Context: Written words differ from spoken words in being material structures. A spoken word is a process in the physical world, having an essential time-order; a written word is a series of pieces of matter, having an essential space-order. An Outline of Philosophy Ch.4 Language (1927)

„A symbol is first of all a finite reality of this world.“

—  Roger Haight American theologian 1936
Chapter Seven, The Symbolic Structure of Religion, p. 133

R. A. Lafferty photo

„Science Fiction has long been babbling about cosmic destructions and the ending of either physical or civilized worlds, but it has all been displaced babble.“

—  R. A. Lafferty American writer 1914 - 2002
Context: Science Fiction has long been babbling about cosmic destructions and the ending of either physical or civilized worlds, but it has all been displaced babble. SF has been carrying on about near-future or far-future destructions and its mind-set will not allow it to realize that the destruction of our world has already happened in the quite recent past, that today is "The Day After The World Ended". … I am speaking literally about a real happening, the end of the world in which we lived till fairly recent years. The destruction or unstructuring of that world, which is still sometimes referred to as "Western Civilization" or "Modern Civilization", happened suddenly, some time in the half century between 1912 and 1962. That world, which was "The World" for a few centuries, is gone. Though it ended quite recently, the amnesia concerning its ending is general. Several historiographers have given the opinion that these amnesias are features common to all "ends of worlds". Nobody now remembers our late world very clearly, and nobody will ever remember it clearly in the natural order of things. It can't be recollected because recollection is one of the things it took with it when it went... The Day After the World Ended, notes for a speech at DeepSouthCon'79, New Orleans (21 July 1979), later published in It's Down the Slippery Cellar Stairs (1995)

Arthur Stanley Eddington photo
Albert Camus photo

„Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you don’t help us, who else in the world can help us do this?“

—  Albert Camus French author and journalist 1913 - 1960
Said at the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg (1948); reported in Resistance, Rebellion and Death (translation by Justin O'Brien, 1961), p. 73

Halldór Laxness photo
Fritjof Capra photo
Martha Graham photo
Chuck Palahniuk photo
Robert Grosseteste photo

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