Quasaric Quotes


“People do not grow old no matter how long we live. We never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born.” -Albert Einstein

“We believe that heaven is within us, and that we experience it to the degree that we become conscious of it.” -East Bay Church of Religious Science

“Science wants to know the mechanism of the universe, religion the meaning. The two cannot be separated. Many scientists feel there is no place in research for discussion of anything that sounds mystical. But it is unreasonable to think we already know enough about the natural world to be confident about the totality of forces.” -Charles Townes, Nobel laureate

“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it?” -Richard Dawkins

“I had an experience I can’t prove, I can’t even explain it, but everything I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real. I was part of something wonderful, something that changed me forever; a vision of the universe that tells us undeniably how tiny, and insignificant, and how rare and precious we are all. A vision that tells us we belong to something that is greater than ourselves. That we are not, that none of us, are alone.” -Carl Sagan

“If we have not had moments of genuine confusion, perplexity, and doubt, chances are we are simply living on automatic pilot.” -James Hollis

“If the universe were rerun a second time, there would be no solar system, no Earth, and no people. But the emergence of life and consciousness somewhere and somewhen in the cosmos is, I believe, assured by the underlying laws of nature.” -Paul Davies

“The [human] capacity for pain is an inescapable concomitant of the greater awareness and intensity of experience [brought forth from evolution]. Greater capacity to hurt others is a concomitant of the new forms of interdependence present at higher levels of life. In an evolutionary world, struggle, death, and conflicting goals are integral to the realization of greater value.” -Ian Barbour

“But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.” -Richard Feynman

“[Only] a remarkably thin blue line separates us from the inky emptiness of space.” -Kjell Lindgren

“100 miles up and you’re halfway to anywhere.” -Robert Heinlein

“Inherently you cannot be commercial and artistic… There is a suggestion made by many people that you can’t have public acceptance and still be artistic. And this I have to reject.” -Rod Serling

“It’s nice to know that if we ever have a nuclear war, there will be three people in space going, ‘What was that noise?'” -Robin Williams

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein

“Original sin is not an inheritance from Adam, then, but an acknowledgement that we are born into evil social structures, such as those that perpetuate racism, oppression, and violence.” -Ian Barbour

“Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was.” -Theodore von Karman

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” -Michelangelo

“There is today a kind of philosophical hunger, a need to know who we are and how we got here. There is an ongoing search, often unconscious, for a cosmic perspective for humanity.” -Carl Sagan

“All beings in the great sea of energy released by the Big Bang are interrelated, just as all living organisms are descended from common ancestors and thus effectively kin to each other… All object-like entities in the universe are vortices or whirlpools in a vast cosmic river of free energy that flows through them and simultaneously creates them.” -David Toolan

“We always imagine that there’s got to be somewhere else better than where we are right now; this is the great Somewhere Else we all carry around in our heads. We believe Somewhere Else is out there for us if only we could find it. But there’s no Somewhere Else. Everything is right here.” -Brad Warner Hardcore Zen

“It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species.” -Stephen Hawking

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.” -Albert Einstein

“It is indeed a feeble light that reaches us from the starry sky. But what would human thought have achieved if we could not see the stars?” -Jean Perrin

“As the ancient myth makers knew, we are children equally of the earth and the sky. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” -Carl Sagan

“What man can conceive man can achieve.” -Jules Verne

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“We seep carbon dioxide to the plants, which seep oxygen to us. We all swap our stuff. Life is a vast Monopoly game, with energy the ultimate currency, and the sun our banker of last resort.” -Stuart Kauffman

“Man is related inextricably to all reality, known and unknowable… plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again.” -Martin Rees

“Being is mystery, not because it is hidden or because it hides something but, on the contrary, because self-evidence and mystery are the same thing, because the mystery is being itself.” -Andre Comte-Sponville The Atheist Spirituality

“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.” -Steven Wienberg

“Technology, despite all its pitfalls, enables life to begin to control matter, much as matter evolved to control radiation 10 billion years ago.” -Eric Chaisson Cosmic Evolution

“Without your mind, what do you have? Photons of different energies and wavelengths, chemicals containing distinctive groups of atoms, physical objects with certain surface properties, and compressions and rarefactions in the air. All producing electrical stimulation in your brain. In none of this physics and chemistry can we find color, taste, scent, softness, or melody. All are secondary qualities produced in your mind… and exist only in our minds… As such, it can be argued, none of them are real.”  -Jim Baggott A Beginner’s Guide to Reality 

“To wish for what does not depend on us (to hope) is to condemn ourselves to powerlessness and resentment.” -Andre Comte-Sponville The Atheist Spirituality

“I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egotism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life with a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.” -Albert Einstein

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“There are signs of a kind of misfit between human beings, persons, and their environment which is not apparent in other creatures… Human beings seek to come to terms with death, pain, and suffering and they need to realize their own potentialities and learn how to steer their paths through life. The natural environment is not capable of satisfying such aspirations- nor can the natural sciences describe, accurately discern, or satisfy them. So our presence in the biological world raises questions outside the scope of the natural sciences to answer. For we are capable of happinesses and miseries quite unknown to other creatures, thereby evidencing a dis-ease with our evolved state, a lack of fit which calls for explanation, and if possible, cure. ‘Has something gone wrong?’  we cannot help asking, as we contemplate human history and the ravaging of this planet by human activity.” -Arthur Peacocke

“In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is.” -Richard Dawkins

“The nonexistence of God does not diminish human beings’ spiritual need: mortal, finite human beings, unable to be satisfied in what is mortal and finite, long for the infinite, [which is the universe].” -Steve Antinoff Spiritual Atheism

“When I have a terrible need of –shall I say the word?– religion, then I go out and paint the stars.” -Vincent Van Gogh

“Place three grains of sand inside of a cathedral, and the cathedral will be more closely packed with sand than space is with stars.” -James Hopwood Jeans

“Life is an eminently active enterprise aimed at acquiring both a fund of energy and a stock of knowledge, the possession of one being instrumental to the acquisition of the other. The immense effectiveness of these two feedback cycles, coupled in multiplying interaction, is the pre-condition, indeed the explanation, for the fact that life had the power to assert itself against the superior strength of the pitiless inorganic world.” -Konrad Lorenz 

“The faraway reassures me: It puts my anxieties in perspective. When I contemplate [the] immensity [of the cosmos], the ego seems laughable by comparison. It makes my egocentricity, and thus my worries, a little less intense, a little less powerful.” -Andre Comte-Sponville The Atheist Spirituality

“All the harm with which this world is rife, all fear and suffering that there is, clinging to the “I” has caused it! What am I to do with this great demon? If this “I” is not relinquished wholly, sorrow likewise cannot be avoided. For if he does not keep away from fire, a man cannot escape from being burned.” -Santideva; Bodhicaryavatara 8.134 – 8.135

“The whole of civilization is aimed at producing distractions from the thought of death. While death on the surface is depressing, facing it is the most vital, positive ecstatic experience for a human being because it awakens us to our reality and pushes us to strive for meaning.” -David Ulansey

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.” -John F. Kennedy

“Our technology is allowing us the chance to take life and spread it through the universe, to bring it to planets now dark.” -Rick Tumlinson

“The self that I attempted to take out into the world was rejected over and over again. And my panic at not having a self that fit and the confusion that came from myself being rejected created anxiety, shame, and hopelessness. But in retrospect, the destruction of myself was so repetitive that I started to see a pattern. The self changed – got affected, broken, destroyed. But another one would evolve. Sometimes stronger, sometimes hateful, sometimes not wanting to be there at all. The self was not constant. And how many times would my self have to die before I realized that it was never alive in the first place?… The self is a projection which our clever brains create in order to cheat ourselves from the reality of death.” -Thandie Newton

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?'” -George Bernard Shaw

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“If a cleverly designed robot could tell us of its inner life (could utter all the appropriate noises in the appropriate contexts), would we be right to admit it to the charmed circle? We might be, but how could we ever tell we were not being fooled? Here the question seems to be: is that special inner light [of consciousness] really turned on, or is there nothing but darkness inside? And this question looks unanswerable.” -Daniel Dennett

“Ironically, our relatively peripheral position on the spiral arm of a rather ordinary galaxy is indeed rather fortunate. If we had been stationed in a more central position -say near the galactic hub- it is likely that our knowledge of the universe and of other galaxies, for example, might not have been as extensive. Perhaps in such a position the light from surrounding stars could well have blocked our view of intergalactic and interstellar space. Perhaps astronomy and cosmology as we know these subjects would have never developed.” -Michael Denton

“Neither manifestly new science nor appeals to non-science are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic-evolutionary scenario, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind. Cosmic evolution… is a story about the awe and majesty of twirling galaxies and shining stars, of redwood trees and buzzing bees, of a Universe that has come to know itself.” -Eric Chaisson Cosmic Evolution

“Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas which, given enough time, changes into people.” –Cosmic Evolution (Eric Chaisson)

“Why is it that simple particles obeying simple rules will sometimes engage in the most astonishing, unpredictable behavior? And why is it that simple particles will spontaneously organize themselves into complex structures like stars, galaxies, snowflakes, and hurricanes—almost as if they were obeying a hidden yearning for organization and order?” -Mitchell Waldrop

“Was all of the unfolding of the universe in space and time written out in the play of interactions between particles? The flight of a swallow, Beethoven’s last sonatas, or your next weekend at the beach- were they already composed in parts that quarks, electrons, and protons prepared for reading and performance 15 billion years ago?” -Hubert Reeves

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another which states that this has already happened.” -Douglas Adams

“The true value of a man is not determined by his possession, supposed or real, of Truth, but rather by his sincere exertion to get to the Truth. It is not the possession of the Truth, but rather the pursuit of Truth by which he extends his powers and in which his ever-growing perfectibility is to be found. Possession makes one passive, indolent, and proud. If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his left hand only the steady and diligent drive for Truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err in the process, and to offer me the choice, I would with all humanity take the left hand.” -Gotthold Lessing

“Do your best; you will ultimately slip into history along with the trilobites and other proud personae in this unfolding pageant. If we must eventually fail, what an adventure to be players at all.” -Stuart Kauffman

“A tiny blue dot set in a sunbeam. Here it is. That’s where we live. That’s home. We humans are one species and this is our world. It is our responsibility to cherish it.” -Carl Sagan

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.” -Rod Serling

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One thought on “Quasaric Quotes

  1. This is a brilliant set of quotes. What could be more powerful for the future survivant of humanity than sensing deeply our connections to the universe, literally and emotionally.

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