„You imagine that what you can't understand is either spiritual or does not exist. The conclusion is quite wrong; rather there are obviously a million things in the universe that we would need a million quite different organs to understand.“

—  Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, Context: You imagine that what you can't understand is either spiritual or does not exist. The conclusion is quite wrong; rather there are obviously a million things in the universe that we would need a million quite different organs to understand. For example, I perceive by my senses what makes a magnet point north, what makes tides rise and fall, and what becomes of an animal after death. Your people are not proportioned to perceive such miracles, just as someone blind from birth cannot imagine the beauty of a landscape, the colors of a painting or the shadings of an iris. He will imagine them as something palpable, edible, audible or olfactory. Likewise, if I were to explain to you what I perceive by the senses you do not have, you would interpret it as something that could be heard, seen, touched, smelled or tasted; but it is not like that.
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Context: As for The Mapp... I suspect it'll never get a US publication. It seemed to frighten US publishers. They don't seem to understand it. That seems to point up a significant difference between Europeans and Americans: A European says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with me? An American says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with him? I make no suggestion that one side or the other is right, but observation over many years leads me to believe it is true. Interview, quoted in "Words from the Master" http://www.co.uk.lspace.org/books/apf/words-from-the-master.html in The Annotated Pratchett File http://www.co.uk.lspace.org/books/apf/index.html

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