Lapidarium RSS

Amira's favorite quotes

"Everything you can imagine is real."— Pablo Picasso

Lapidarium notes

Tags:

Ancient
Age of information
Anthropology
Art
Artificial intelligence
Astronomy
Atheism
Beauty
Biography
Books
Buddism
China
Christianity
Civilization
Cognition, relativity
Cognitive science
Collective intelligence
Communication
Consciousness
Creativity
Culture
Curiosity
Cyberspace
Definitions
Democracy
Documentary
Drawing
Earth
Economy
Evolution
Friendship
Funny
Genetics
Globalization
Greek & Latin
Happiness
History
Human being
Illustrations
Imagination
Individualism
Information
Inspiration
Internet
Knowledge
Language
Learning
Life
Literature
Logic
Love
Mathematics
Media
Metaphor
Mind & Brain
Morality
Multiculturalism
Music
Networks
Neuroscience
Painting
Paradoxes
Patterns
Philosophy
Poetry
Politics
Physics
Psychology
Rationalism
Reading
Religions
Science
Science & Art
Self improvement
Semantics
Singularity
Society
Sociology
Storytelling
Technology
The other
Time
Traveling
USA
Unconsciousness
Universe
Writing
Video
Violence
Visualization


Pensieri a caso
Photography
A Box Of Stories
Homepage

Twitter
Facebook

Contact

Archive

Aug
20th
Mon
permalink
“The road must eventually lead to the whole world.” “
Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet (1922-1969), On The Road, Viking Press, 1957.
Photo: Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” The poet typed on a scroll for three weeks in the spring of 1951, The Paris Review
Sep
5th
Mon
permalink
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.” “
Claude Levi-Strauss, French anthropologist and ethnologist (1908-2009), Tristes Tropiques (1955)
Aug
6th
Sat
permalink
Pico Iyer on traveling

“For if every true love affair can feel like a journey to a foreign country, where you can’t quite speak the language, and you don’t know where you’re going, and you’re pulled ever deeper into the inviting darkness, every trip to a foreign country can be a love affair, where you’re left puzzling over who you are and whom you’ve fallen in love with.

All the great travel books are love stories, by some reckoning—from the Odyssey and the Aeneid to the Divine Comedy and the New Testament—and all good trips are, like love, about being carried out of yourself and deposited in the midst of terror and wonder. (…)

All, in that sense, believed in “being moved” as one of the points of taking trips, and “being transported” by private as well as public means; all saw that “ecstasy” (“ex-stasis”) tells us that our highest moments come when we’re not stationary, and that epiphany can follow movement as much as it precipitates it. (…)

So travel, at heart, is just a quick way to keeping our minds mobile and awake. As Santayana, the heir to Emerson and Thoreau with whom I began, wrote, “There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar; it keeps the mind nimble; it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.”

Romantic poets inaugurated an era of travel because they were the great apostles of open eyes. Buddhist monks are often vagabonds, in part because they believe in wakefulness. And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” “
Pico Iyer, British-born essayist and novelist, Why We Travel, World Hum, 27 Apr 2009
permalink
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist and journalist (1819-1892), Song of the Open Road (55) from his 1856 collection Leaves of Grass
Aug
5th
Fri
permalink
Jul
31st
Sun
permalink
May
29th
Sun
permalink
Alain de Botton on traveling

Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves - that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. (…)

Instead of bringing back 1600 plants, we might return from our journeys with a collection of small unfêted but life-enhancing thoughts.” “
Alain de Botton, Swiss writer, television presenter, and entrepreneur, The Art of Travel, Pantheon, 2002
Feb
27th
Sun
permalink
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
Jack Kerouac, On The Road, Viking Press, 1957
Jan
26th
Wed
permalink
For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.
Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-born American anthropologist and author (1925-1998), Journey to Ixtlan, Simon & Schuster, 1972
permalink
We are men and our lot in life is to learn and to be hurled into inconceivable new worlds.
Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-born American anthropologist and author (1925-1998), A Separate Reality
permalink
You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. Each path is only one of a million paths. If you feel that you must now follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush of the Universe. The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use. (…)

For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length—and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.
Jul
5th
Mon
permalink
Italo Calvino on traveling

(Marco Polo travelling, Miniature from the Book The Travels of Marco Polo (“Il milione”), originally published during Polos lifetime c. 1254 - January 8, 1324)

Marco Polo imagined answering (or Kublai Khan imagined his answer) that the more one was lost in unfamiliar quarters of distant cities, the more one understood the other cities he had crossed to arrive there; and he retraced the stages of his journey, and he came to know the port from which he had set sail, and the familiar places of his youth, and the surroundings of home, and a little square of Venice where he gamboled as a child.

At this point Kublai Khan interrupted him or imagined interrupting him, or Marco Polo imagined himself interrupted, with a question such as: “You advance always with your head turned back?” or “Is what you see always behind you?” or rather “Does your journey take place only in the past?”

All this so that Marco Polo could explain or imagine explaining or be imagined explaining or succeed finally in explaining to himself that what he sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveler’s past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.

Marco enters a city; he sees someone in a square living a life or an instant that could be his; he could now be in that man’s place, if he had stopped in time, long ago; or if, long ago, at a crossroads, instead of taking one road he had taken the opposite one, and after long wandering he had come to be in the place of that man in that square. By now, from that real or hypothetical past of his, he is excluded; he cannot stop; he must go on to another city, where another of his pasts awaits him, or something perhaps that had been a possible future of his and is now someone else’s present. Futures not achieved are only branches of the past: dead branches.

“Journeys to relive your past?” was the Khan’s question at this point, a question which could also have been formulated: “Journeys to recover your future?
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (translated by William Weaver)
May
9th
Sun
permalink
We hold fast to a social identity that we believe lends us a name and a face, but equally fast we move from one definition of a society to another, alternating again and again that presumed identity. Like characters in a story that keeps changing, we find ourselves playing roles that others appear to have invented for us, in plots whose roots and consequences escape us… Even when declaring allegiance to one place, we seem to be always moving away from it, toward a nostalgic image of what we believe that place once was or might one day be… and yet, partly because of our nomad nature and partly due to fluctuations of history, our geography is less grounded in a physical than in a phantom landscape. Home is always an imaginary place.
— Doug Thompson, My Avatar is Not Me (tnx myserendipities)
Aug
31st
Mon
permalink
Paulo Freire on changing places to live

“I was born in Portugal, and have since lived in France, the UK, the United States and now in Germany (I am learning my fifth language now, German). I entirely agree with the points made here about traveling abroad being a great adventure. Traveling has been so engaging for me that I have started experiencing time in a different way than folks back home. To some of them 1999 was not too long ago. But for me 1999 was a very, very long time ago, mainly if I remember the places where I have been and lived, and all the experiences I went through since then. I think that by breaking with the daily routines of one place, by making myself adapt to new countries and places I have greatly increased the number of CPU cycles my brain had to go through, and therefore my subjective life-span. Many of the people that say 1999 was yesterday live in the same places, have the same jobs and know the same people they knew 10 years ago. Nothing could be further from the truth for me.

I agree very much with the idea of Nostalgia as well. I will never be able to visit the Portugal I left behind because that country simply does not exist anymore. But, alas, even if I had stayed there, I would still probably miss many things of that country that no longer exist. Like my grandparents, like the joys of my childhood. That is a country that everyone loses, whether they leave or stay at home.” “
Paulo Freire commented on Being foreign: The others | The Economist, Dec 17th 2009 ☞ See also: On living in a foreign country, Lapidarium