Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Years ago I used to read a lot, and made a record of interesting excerpts along the way - by hand, on paper. Now I've got several folders full of these quotations and they're all just sitting around, doing nothing. I'm thinking I should put the quotes online or at least get them onto the computer and organised, but haven't worked out a way to do this yet, mostly because the idea only occurred about an hour ago and I haven't actually tried to think about it yet.


Here's a dip into one of the folders, anyway:

In the course of this book I shall jump barriers, cross fences into other people's fields, trespass into areas I have no business to be in. But you cannot have a view of the world if you restrict yourself to one little valley; you cannot have a view of the universe if you turn your back on other people's planets. [...] Trespass, I'm afraid, is obligatory.
- Graham Dunstan Martin. Shadows in the cave: mapping the conscious universe. London: Arkana, 1990, p.2

There is something about us Australians that prefers to communicate in silences rather than words. Perhaps we are defeated by it all, tongue-tied in the presence of ultimate things. Perhaps we feel safer with the great things left unsaid, meaning them only in silence: we, the inarticulate, offering our homage to the ineffable.
- Tony Kelly. A new imagining: towards an Australian spirituality. Melbourne: Collins Dove, 1990, p.15

We are all on edge. Human beings feel safe and secure when they can stand confidently in the center of things, either in the center of an age or in the center of a class of people with a common world-view, but when they come to an edge, they feel nervous and unsettled.
As long as one operates in the middle of things, one can never really know the nature of the medium in which one moves.
- William Irwin Thompson. The time falling bodies take to light: mythology, sexuality, and the origins of culture. London: Hutchinson, 1981, pp.7,8.

If the Sun stopped producing energy today, we wouldn't know about it for ten million years. [...] the Sun is so big that heat and light from its centre take ten million years to filter up to the surface. Then it takes another eight minutes for the heat and light to travel across from the Sun to the Earth.
- Anthony Wilson. The Science Museum book of amazing facts: Space. London: Hodder Children's Books, 1996, p.82.

Until very recently the only method of communication was physical travel.
- Edward De Bono (ed.) Eureka! How and when the greatest inventions were made. London: Thames and Hudson, 1974, p.15.

The important frontiers of the future are spiritual, psychological and social, not technical and industrial. [...] Whereas the 'modern worldview' based on mechanistic science, technology and the Industrial Revolution is primarily about the development of things, the postmodern worldview is primarily about the development of people (Birch 1990).
Technology is not simply the use of tools. It is first a vision of reality. The use of tools follows.
- Charles Birch. Regaining compassion for humanity and nature. Kensington NSW: NSW University Press, 1993, pp.20,72.