Wednesday, July 08, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Alan Moore

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It strikes me that self, not just my self, but all self, the phenomenon of self, is perhaps one field, one consciousness – perhaps there is only one ‘I’, perhaps our brains, our selves, our entire identity is little more than a label on a waveband. We are only us when we are here. At this particular moment in space and time, this particular locus, the overall awareness of the entire continuum happens to believe it is Alan Moore. Over there – [he points to another table in the pizza restaurant] – it happens to believe it is something else.
I get the sense that if you can pull back from this particular locus, this web-site if you like, then you could be the whole net. All of us could be. That there is only one awareness here, that is trying out different patterns. We are going to have to come to some resolution about a lot of things in the next twenty years time, our notions of time, space, identity.

Alan Moore

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And then there is all this highly improper manipulation of time, these indecent dealings, sneaking into its mechanism at the back and tampering dangerously with its precarious secrets. Sometimes, one wants to bang on the table and shout at the top of one’s voice, “Enough of this! Keep your hands off time! Time is untouchable! It is not permissible to aggravate time! Space is for man. In space you may go where you please; you may turn somersaults, fall head over heels, leap from star to star... But for the love of God, leave time alone!”

Bruno Schulz

Then the theory of relativity came and explained the cause of the failure. Electric action requires time to travel from one point of space to another, the simplest instance of this being the finite speed of travel of light... Thus electromagnetic action may be said to travel through space and time jointly. But by filling space and space alone [excluding time] with an ether, the pictorial representations had all supposed a clear-cut distinction between space and time.

James Jeans

In my time I’ve been very fortunate to see many of my dreams come true! Growing up in the 1920s and 1930s, I never expected to see so much happen in the span of a few decades. We "space cadets" of the British Interplanetary Society spent all our spare time discussing space travel — but we didn’t imagine that it lay in our own near future… I still can't quite believe that we've just marked the 50th anniversary of the Space Age! We’ve accomplished a great deal in that time, but the "Golden Age of Space" is only just beginning. Over the next 50 years, thousands of people will travel to Earth orbit — and then, to the Moon and beyond. Space travel — and space tourism — will one day become almost as commonplace as flying to exotic destinations on our own planet.

Arthur C. Clarke

Some philosophers have believed that a philosophical clarification of space also provided a solution of the problem of time. Kant presented space and time as analogous forms of visualization and treated them in a common chapter in his major epistemological work. Time therefore seems to be much less problematic since it has none of the difficulties resulting from multidimensionality. Time does not have the problem of mirror-image congruence, i.e., the problem of equal and similarly shaped figures that cannot be superimposed, a problem that has played some role in Kant's philosophy. Furthermore, time has no problem analogous to non-Euclidean geometry. In a one-dimensional schema it is impossible to distinguish between straightness and curvature. ...A line may have external curvature but never an internal one, since this possibility exists only for a two-dimensional or higher continuum. Thus time lacks, because of its one-dimensionality, all those problems which have led to philosophical analysis of the problems of space.

Hans Reichenbach

Like Freud and Jung and Rudolf Otto, all of whom contributed deep strands to his work, Eliade argued boldly for universals where he might more safely have argued for widely prevalent patterns. Yet many of the patterns that he identified in religions that spanned the entire globe and the whole of human history — a span that no one has ever known as well as he did — inspired an entire generation of both scholars and amateurs of the study of religion, and they still prove useful as starting points for the comparative study of religion and still hold water even after the challenges posed by new data to which Eliade did not have access. His concept of hierophany, the sudden irruption of the sacred in the profane world, sacred time opening to the transcendent, resulting in radical discontinuities, has proved a far more widely applicable and heuristic term than the older, narrower term "theophany," denoting the manifestation of a god. And his argument that religious forms, particularly myths, are usefully studied in popular culture as well as in the great scriptures is a postmodern idea that he formulated long before postmodernism. He taught us that myths (and, to a great extent, rituals) retold and reenacted in the present transport the worshipper back to the world of origins, the world of events that took place in illo tempore, "in that time"; this basic idea of what he called (after Nietzsche) "the eternal return" has become a truism in the study of religion and does, I think, apply to many mythologies, though not, as Eliade claimed, to all. His ideas about the alternation and interaction of cosmos and chaos, and cyclical/mythical time and linear/historical time, the sacred and the profane, are similarly fruitful starting points for many, if not all, cultures. Above all, his insistence that it is possible to find meaningful synchronic patterns of symbolism in addition to the phenomena that are unique to each time and place--this is the foundation on which the entire field of comparative religion still stands, and Eliade laid the cornerstone.

Mircea Eliade
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