“High up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak.
When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by.”
“It became obvious that the notion of time, as our ancestors had transmitted it down the millennia, was in fact absurd claptrap.”
“In this world, time has three dimensions, like space. Just as an object may move in three perpendicular directions, corresponding to horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal, so an object may participate in three perpendicular futures. Each future moves in a different direction of time. Each future is real. At every point of decision, the world splits into three worlds, each with the same people, but different fates for those people. In time, there are an infinity of worlds.”
— Alan Lightman
, American physicist, writer, and social entrepreneur. He is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Einstein’s Dreams
, London, Vintage, 2004.
“Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. (…)
Each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or future, each kiss becomes a kiss of immediacy.”
— Alan Lightman
, American physicist, writer, and social entrepreneur. He is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Einstein’s dreams
, Pantheon Books, 1993, p. 38.
“Eternity is very long, especially towards the end.”
“Memory is the space in which a thing happens for a second time.”
— Paul Auster
, American author known for works blending absurdism, existentialism, crime fiction and the search for identity and personal meaning.
“The present is the only things that has no end.”
— Erwin Schrödinger
, Austrian physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, Nobel Prize laureate (1887-1961)
“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”
Levi-Strauss: Don’t let a yearning for the past get in the way of experiencing the present
“I wished I had lived in the days of real journeys, when it was still possible to see the full splendor of a spectacle that had not yet been blighted, polluted and spoiled. When was the best time to see India? At what time would the study of Brazilian savages have afforded the purest satisfaction, and revealed them in their least adulterated state?
I have only two possibilities: either I can be like some traveler of the olden days, who was faced with a stupendous spectacle, almost all of which eluded him, or worse still, filled him with scorn and disgust; or I can be a modern traveler, chasing after vestiges of a vanished reality. I lose on both counts, and more seriously than may at first appear, for, while I complain of being able to glimpse no more than the shadow of the past, I may be insensitive to reality as it is taking shape at this very moment, since I have not reached the stage of development at which I would be capable of perceiving it.
A few hundred years hence, in this same place, another traveler, as despairing as myself, will mourn the disappearance of what I might have seen, but failed to see. I am subject to a double infirmity: all that I perceive offends me, and I constantly reproach myself for not seeing as much as I should.”