Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Torch of Our Passions

Much has been said about passion by many of the world's finest thinkers:

"The will to overcome a passion is in the end merely the will of another or several other passions." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Our passions are the true phoenixes; when the old one is burnt out, a new one rises from its ashes." - Goethe

"Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafairing soul, if either your sails or your redder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in the mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction." - Kahlil Gibran

Passion is the fire that burns inside you. It is the driving force that keeps you going. It is a high! It is contagious! We are multi-faceted beings. Most people have many passions. What are YOU passionate about? Take a moment, daydream, tell us what sparks your passion.

56 comments:

Harmony said...

Passion is not just a vibrant expression. (even tho I am half italian and certainly know vibrant expression.:-) I find the deepest passion when I am at my deepest center...it pulsates with life.
Thank you Molly.

veryheaven said...

GOETHE is unbeatable - GOETHE was and is wonderful.
NIETSCHE - in terms of love and trust and commitment - was highly depressive, even bipolar (my personal opinion), and he was a nihilist (that´s fact) just as SCHOPENHAUER und BRAHMS (musican) were.
*
oh passion, what a feeling if the light once ´s lit no loving couple could split. if passion is in flow, you´ll just fly high and over the golden bow seeing the land arkadia - landing, home. passion flames are eternal flames ...whoa, i am sooo happy today, i am singing and jumping around kissing everyone.

Scott said...

My music. Touching someones heart when it is hurting and lost. Listening to my daughters sing. Looking at my wife . . . looking at my wife

Lee said...

Music. There is some unknown (by me) quality that just grabs ahold of my soul anytime that music comes into the equation.

Sometimes I feel that music, and my wife and my kids are really all I care about, heh at other times though God creeps through.

Neil said...

Not a bad way to be living Lee. Much around me makes me sad - musak instead of music - gormless advertising noise - Warrington's underachieving team - the bastards who have engineered world food shortage and the ones I have to work for too often. I sense passion is beaten down, and that literature, always romaticised, is as dead as the gods.

Ian Pollard said...

I share Lee's passion for music. I've been addicted since I was about 7 or 8 years old and have been buying music ever since. Almost every week. Sometimes there's new music that I want, but even if there's not then there will always be holes in my collection's back catalogue that need filling. It never ends.

It's funny what our passions can do to us as well. My love of music can make be behave rather erratically. For example, if a song comes on the radio that I don't like, I'm often overcome with hatred and can't turn the thing off quickly enough! A bad song in the morning, I have discovered, can ruin my entire day. Music charts? They send me over the blood edge. What idiots buy the crap that tops the charts?! To me, they must really HATE music and HATE themselves even more. And, as things like Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time...

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5938174/the_rs_500_greatest_al...

I could rant. For decades. Seriously.

Grrr... you got me started now!

Craig said...

This is an interesting topic to bring up. I hope and pray that your quote from Goethe is true, but sometimes I worry that it is not. I think Nietzsche himself worried that it is not always true that a new phoenix rises from the ashes of the old. Plato (I think) talked about two horses running side by side pulling a wagon, one was reason and the other was passion, and they both had to run in step or the wagon would not run straight. I think that is often what happens with the human mind. I think Nihilism is the result of reason over running the passions. I find that my own problem is that reason often over runs my passion. Sometimes I get to the point that I don't care or feel about anything. I try to correct this, but it takes an amazing amount of out witting yourself.

Pat said...

I suppose I'll third this motion for music, just so we remain in concert. My own history of it began so early I can't remember. My father has his BA in music, majoring in voice and minoring in piano. While my mother is, essentially, self-taught, both in voice and keyboards (predominantly organ). They met, unsurprisingly, in church choir, both being soloists (mum's a soprano and dad's a baritone). I'd mentioned before that my father had also played trombone but never got to grips with stringed, woodwind instruments or percussion. My sister played clarinet for a few years and can sing alto better than she thinks she can; IMO, she sounds a bit like Cher.
I began with trombone (at 8) and then moved on to drums (at 12). Since then I've picked up bass guitar, a bit of keyboards (couldn't really avoid them as there was a piano and organ at right-angles in our basement at home), flute and, recently, classical guitar. While I believe myself to be a reasonable (big-up chuckle) singer (tenor), I don't have the confidence for public display, although I have no problem backing anyone else. Sometimes, when unduly stressed, I'll take a drive in the car and let loose, though. I've found that music, whether singing or playing instruments, really brings me back to an even keel emotionally.

anthromatters said...

Knowledge sparks my passions. I love to learn and enjoy teaching others as well. Philosophy itself IS my one true passion over all. I'm currently a college student working on one becoming a college Professor of Philosophy.

Evita said...

What a great post and so nice of you to ask!

I too believe passion is the driving force of life! If you kill passion you kill life - you need to have something to get out of bed for every morning, besides chores, etc. and actually look forward to!

So my passion is ....hmmm... let me see where do I start, just kidding

1) My husband (in every way possible)

2) Health - mine and everybody elses - hence why I started evolvingwellness.com
(if you have health, then you can truly enjoy everything else life offers)

3) The Environment - the best home I will ever inhabit

4) Wisdom - yes I am passionate about wisdom

5) Travelling - so many beautiful places to see!

That was fun - Thanks again for asking

Sherer said...

Molly, where do you think passions come from? Do we decide our own passions or do they rise out of the infinite?

Molly Brogan said...

That is an interesting question, Jim, and it dropped into my email just after I read the article on your blog about the Infinite. Perhaps we are in tune with the Infinite, you and I. I am reading a book now entitled, In Tune With the Infinite by Ralph Waldo Trine. I found a 1897 edition in a used bookseller in Detroit and felt it a real find. As I researched it online, I see that there were several editions after 1897 that were changed by the publisher, so the original edition is much sought after. I also discovered that here in the Detroit area, this book was given as mandated reading by Henry Ford to all of his managers. So interesting.

I think that an ecstatic feeling comes with our alignment with the Infinite. Each of us learns this process by trial and error, according to their own internal make up. But we certainly know it when we feel it, and we often feel it when we are passionate about something. We can decide intellectually that we are passionate about, say, music, because many of our friends have a passion for it. We can spend our time and money exploring and learning about music. But unless it brings us the feeling of unequivocal joy (bliss, ecstasy etc.) I would say it is not truly a passion and we will eventually become distracted by it.

So, to answer your question, do our passions arise out of the infinite? We may recognize our true passions because of the feelings that arise from being in tune with the Infinite. Is the the passion that arises, or the feeling of attunement? Our passions may change as we mature. The feeling allows us to recognize the alignment with the Infinite.

Thanks for the great post.

Bijou said...

Passion is a personal thing it differs from one individual to another and is shaped by peoples expectations and goals in life.The source of motivation is an individuals passion.

Neil said...

Passion is good. I guess it only goes to ratshit because of
desperation and abuse.

Ashok said...

What is passion without the potential of desperation and abuse ? !

Why else is passion good ? One answer : It concentrates the entire being of man to one focus. Good or Bad ?

Pat said...

Well, it seems to me that focus, without an object, is pointless. A perception of good or bad could only spring from the context of the object of focus. Therefore, it is the object of one's passion that demonstrates its potential for abuse, or, more properly, our perception of the object of our passion. Good or bad still springs from our perceptions rather than from the thing itself.

ornamentalmind said...

Back to a pseudo-mind only view. When one's attention is on mind itself (bare attention), only an attachment to some past meme would cause the good/bad notion to arise let alone passions. Thus, since memory is not a material 'thing' in and of itself, no thing causes passion.

More to Pat's post, I'll assume that when you said "...our perception of the object of our passion. Good or bad still springs from our perceptions rather than from the thing itself...", I'll guess that by 'perceptions' you mean memory, no?

Vamadevananda said...

What about the intent, Pat ? !

And, what about the effects of one's passion, upon oneself and upon others ? !

ornamentalmind said...

So, does anyone have some insight into the connection between passions and theosis?

Neil said...

Salvation? We could all use some! Entirety is very difficult with galaxies apparently speeding away from us at more than the speed of light and considerations of the speed of space. We talk of being consumed by passion and I suspect one can make salvation a passion - even achieving total relief from them can be seen from the outside as individuated. Very difficult stuff Orn. I'd like to be humping food and water around in Burma in a passionate way.

Molly Brogan said...

I think that on the level of cause and effect, passion may have an object. Here, Vam, passion can be viewed as good or bad, depending on one's system of value. But on a transrational level I think that passion is a process that allows becoming. More like the feeling of rapture that allows the awareness of connection and detachment from limitation. Mother Teresa certainly did not see one person as more valuable than another, or judge their life circumstances. She was not afraid of illness, pain or poverty, so the passion expressed in her life was a complete generosity of spirit.

Vamadevananda said...

I know what you said, Molly !

It is but a blessing; few bring it upon themselves. You've done well to express it though...

Pat said...

> Back to a pseudo-mind only view. When one's attention is on mind
> itself (bare attention), only an attachment to some past meme would > cause the good/bad notion to arise let alone passions. Thus, since
> memory is not a material 'thing' in and of itself, no thing causes
> passion.

> More to Pat's post, I'll assume that when you said "...our perception
> of the object of our passion. Good or bad still springs from our
> perceptions rather than from the thing itself...", I'll guess that by
> 'perceptions' you mean memory, no?

Well, it would encompass memory together with current perceptions. Memory may not hold a perfect copy of actual events yet, when 'in the moment', current perceptions may be more reliable. Of course, when we compare current events to past events, there's almost always differences; memories are better guides than they are maps.

Pat said...

> What about the intent, Pat ? !

A big question, for sure. There are many angles from which to look at it. Should intent matter more to oneself than to others? Can another truly perceive the intent of another perfectly? And, if we are, in a sense, vectors for the intent of 'The One', does our perception of our own intent as separate individuals honestly reflect the intent of 'The One' for us? And, how can we be sure?

> And, what about the effects of one's passion, upon oneself and upon
> others ? !

Yes, another good question. This brings into question our beliefs regarding our intent and the actual results of our actions. I may intend to grab an apple from a tree but, if I'm in a citrus grove, it won't happen. To achieve one's intended effects, one has to have a strong grasp of a multitude of interactions, some physical, others social, psychological and emotional.
Yet, passion in itself is neither good nor bad. All I was saying was that the context of passion is what flavours it. Although you rightly point out that the context is larger than just the object of said passion, as there is intent and effect; but those are always present in any conscious act.

Vamadevananda said...

The intent is yours and you not only know it but are also ' defined ' by it, in ways that ' forms ' and qualifies your further intent.

The effects of one's passion over oneself and others are not so logical or rational, especially when seen in summation over a period of time. It definitely spins out of the intent; but, while it manifests and apparently comes to be, there may be a lot many other factors into the dynamics. Thus it is said : it is ' Karma ' or it is as ' God ' wills !

But there is no denying the intent is crucial to the idea one has of himself.

ornamentalmind said...

Pat, by "...memories are better guides than they are maps. ..." I guess you are attempting to say something along the line of memories are not to be entirely trusted for their accuracy?

Pat said...

Yes. But also that they pertain to past events that may only be similar to current events and not equal to them. So they can guide us but a firm grasp of the current situation cannot be made by referring to memories of 'other' events no matter how similar they may seem.

ornamentalmind said...

Pat, thanks!
Now, one more question...you say "...a firm grasp of the current situation cannot be made by referring to memories of 'other' events no matter how similar they may seem...".

I agree fully. Now I ask what you suggest that people can/do/should use for "a firm grasp of the current situation".

Neil said...

I've been noticing of late that I am often in agreement with books and authors I have never really had much chance to read. I have generally liked what I have discovered in American pragmatism, which for me was best expressed in Sidney Hook. Hook had argued that Deweyan pragmatism did not represent an excessively optimistic faith in human perfectibility, on the model of Condorcé, and distanced itself from a logically dialectical faith in the inevitable historical progress along the lines of Hegel or Marx. Hook and the pragmatic philosophy recognized that there have been innumerable sites of human failure, self-destructive action and tragic defeat in history. Hook recognized the empirical phenomena of historical evil while believing that a philosophical or theological emphasis upon these phenomena as representing the essence of mankind or determining with historical inevitability the end of civilization could be identified as a “failure of nerve” which went beyond the required acceptance of the facts about the human condition. Rather, Hook's thesis was that it was necessary to appreciate those enduring features of the human condition that rendered utopian thought untenable and incoherent even as they made possible progress through scientific method and an increase in human freedom that could occur at any particular time and place.

Accordingly, Hook's conclusion recognized the recurrence of tragedy throughout human history and throughout the careers of individuals. Hook argued that this recognition of a tragic sense was compatible with the humanistic naturalism that Deweyan pragmatism had fostered. The tragic sense of this pragmatic naturalism did not require the acceptance of the inevitability of the triumph of fateful “Necessity” on the model of Greek tragedy or within the framework of an Ionian metaphysical perspective in which human achievement is unavoidably dwarfed and overwhelmed by the immense magnitudes of natural phenomena. Similarly, the tragic sense of pragmatic naturalism did not require the acceptance of the inevitability of human self-destruction because of the flawed constitution of human nature, as in the religious metaphors of original sin or the Freudian metaphor of the death instinct. So pragmatic naturalism could sustain the recognition of a tragic sense while retaining the Deweyan optimistic realism that human nature, interacting with the environing processes of Nature, could survive and develop a free society of free human beings, with the use of human reason and the methods of the sciences.

The more I know of Dewey, the more I agree and the more I am annoyed by the way much of my time was wasted in classrooms where there was no intent to allow and encourage thinking for oneself. I have genuinely reached Hook's position without previous reference to him or much to Dewey and yet reading them now feels like old memory. In a rather different way, Craig and Ian often make me feel I am hearing my own memories of being younger - I should go on and say something cynical like 'and the tosh I used to come out with then' - but I really don't mean it like that. I am working on the concept of the 'future memory'.

ornamentalmind said...

*** notes the natural hierarchy when it comes to the ability to
cogently arrange associations and what is meant to represent original
thought ***

Neil said...

We certainly seem to have some relevant tools to use in this evolution we only begin to understand!

Pat said...

Every bit of one's wits, wiles and intuitions together with the input of one's senses. Basically, use all the information available to you at the time. And that would include memories, if relevant.

ornamentalmind said...

Thanks....interesting that, so far, I haven't found courses to teach this. Apparently people either don't know how to do this and/or just assume that it is an inate talent.

Pat said...

It seems to me that, in order to teach someone how to best use their own abilities, one would beed to know the student very well-- certainly far better than any of my teachers knew me. I think it probably requires a guru-shishya type relationship.

ornamentalmind said...

If so, that may be the main reason so few have the ability.

Molly Brogan said...

I think that this is what Ken Wilber attempts to do, as so many before him in their own way: Rudolph Steiner, Thomas Troward...all the way back to Hermes Trismegistus which was really the name of all teachers who taught the secret mystic philosophy to ancient Egyptian priests and royalty. The only way to teach this is to teach the broad overview of all states and stages, along with the process of the evolution of life and the involution of spirit. As Pat said, we are all at different states and stages of the processes in the moment, and in each moment we bring our own ingredients into creation on the way to becoming more.

One of the critical teachings is the recognition that everything that comes into your awareness is a reflection of who YOU are in the moment, along with signposts on your path to becoming. "Your own abilities" would then include not only behaviors and thinking modalities already integrated, but learning to recognize and integrate all that is previously considered external or "other" as part of "me" or I AM. This shift in thinking really transcends teaching. At best, the coach or guru might be possible because at this point, dialogue or an exchange of spirit is all that is necessary or possible.

ornamentalmind said...

I believe a lot of this dialogue started with Neil's post: "...Passion is good. I guess it only goes to ratshit because of desperation and abuse.". With this in mind, I'll suggest yet another apparent semantical issue here with the hope for clarification. I'm guessing that Neil was seeing 'passion' in the sense of enthusiasm in the most common useage of the term. IF so, I'm merely suggesting that on one level, this may be the case.

However, looking for more of the rarefied sense and goals here, I'll suggest it is something to transcend in order for more clarity to be able to arise.

Again, IF all of this...then, I'm rather skeptical as to the probability of humanity 'makeing it'. It seems way too late for a 1:1 teacher/student method. While there are a number of more 'enlightened' ones around, most still seem to have difficulty finding unity.

And, Molly, I do appreciate your and Pat's posts. And, IF one sees how critical very rapid change is for the survival of humanity, then I'll suggest a more active paradigm is needed.

Neil said...

I sometimes sense people are passionless amidst some nasty stuff that is irrational and emotional - any passion for truth is clearly missing. I particularly feel this from some sorts of bureaucrat. There may be better words to describe what I mean.

Neil said...

I can appreciate the stolid and the stoic - the 'shit' I perceive leads to our kids being tested to death, cops retreating from the streets and those vile politicians and TV pundits playing stupid games of cat and mouse of non-admission and feeding prepared scripts into what appears live. It ain't 'passion' but does seem to entail chronic egoism.

Molly Brogan said...

We, each on our own path, pull in the information necessary to show us the next step and provide signposts for the following steps. This is the true nature of divine will and attraction, not the trendy money making schemes that sell you "the law of attraction." If we fear change, or have an emotional charge that keeps us from moving, we look away. But the information will keep presenting itself again and again until we finally catch on. And we will always have access to the information we seek honestly, and with an open heart. Such is the nature of spirit.

I applaud your desire to provide the way for others to follow, Orn. There are people, contemporary to us now, who have spent a lifetime trying to achieve this. Ken Wilber is one, Gregg Braden another. I am sure each one in this group could offer up a handful of folks to study that would come close to meeting your goals. I have a different calling, and so don't have original material to draw on other than the occasional dialogue.

I don't know if you are interested in the bible. I recently have come to see it as a mystical teaching into the nature of consciousness. Corinthians 1 chapter 12 gives 8 levels of development and calls them spiritual gifts:

Various kinds of languages: - babel - all speaking a different language so that little is understood governments - order imposed from outside - in
helps - compassionate helping, the green meme in spiral dynamics, true community
gifts of healings - those that heal by agent
miracle workers - healing through spirit
teachers - gurus and others that teach us to recognize our own path prophets - those that have integrated all levels of being and can create their reality in peace
apostles - those that can testify to prophesy and the testimony is heard each at their own level

In this ancient model, we are called to the level of the Christ, to own all gifts and become the integration of all apostles.

In this model, what upsets Neil would be what goes on in the tower of babel - each of us speaking from our own viewpoint and none hearing until we are willing to feel the spirit in language and understand the value in all viewpoints. "There's a blaze of light in every word, it doesn't matter which you heard, the holy or the broken, Hallelujah." - Leonard Cohen

I see it a bit differently than you do Orn. I am hopeful. In this model, the Christ in us has already been resurrected and there are those of us already walking the path - and all paths outlined here. This shows the model to be working on all levels, and evolving! Woohoo! I'm not talking about any born again crap. I am saying that "enlightenment" as you call it is available to everyone. More an more people filled with this light come into my experience. This is how I know it can be, and is.

Vamadevananda said...

Passion is a form of love, for ' others ' and for our self, and how best the two relate. It is lived, experienced, learnt from and grown up with. Wuthering Heights is about all - consuming passion !

Passion fills one with energy and vests one with the capacity to make things happen - to experience others and know oneself.

Molly Brogan said...

Yes! And this occurs on every level. Even the transcendent.

Keith said...

I really liked the concept I heard on The History Channel when they were doing a documentary on the afterlife and Buddhism in Tibet (if memory serves). They said the gods are in the same predicament as we humans are. And the most noble life form to be born as is human.

Mustatok said...

what next after passion? every one wants do passion, but not really that passion is nor needed proccess. passion on itself is the hard way after do anything and we lost it.
the really passion is doing never less.

Vamadevananda said...

After passion - the happenning, achieving, attaining, experiencing, knowing ... there is freedom from passion, freedom from others, freedom from one's desiring self !

ornamentalmind said...

Welcome Keith!

As to Tibetan Buddhism, I believe the God realm is where the gods live almost forever. However, they don't have much chance to learn/change. Different in the human realm. I think the similarity is the common notion about ancient Greek gods, no?

Keith said...

I think the gods (demigods) are a lot like humans except they live a very long time as you suggest, but I do think they are different from us in that they have the power to really indulge themselves and can create realities like playgrounds just for themselves. It is difficult to pursue other things when you don't feel much incentive to, and especially when you have a near eternity to do as you please. Just something I imagine could be. I think it is important to emphasize that even the gods are not actually eternally gods, however. I believe even the gods are reincarnated into humans or
perhaps even other life forms. I do believe there is one Almighty God, of whom there is none greater than, and he is eternal. Even being the source of being.

Neil said...

Hi Keith and welcome. I'm fairly godless. We obviously agree a lot on 'passion' Vam. I'd say yours is quite a 'socialised' view - but then the 'individual' is rather different once on takes a view of 'one'. I tend to prefer your way of putting this to the material I was taught with - 'self in social context' and such loses a lot in translation in comparison. Molly - you're a treasure - if I can say that without patronising gender based intent. There is a lot in what you say that could be really integrative and leave plenty of room for constructive criticism in practical action. The very criticism and 'confict' we need for creativity also needs the 'control' of hope. We've had a series in the UK called 'blood, sweat and T-shirts' which was reviewed on Newsnight last night. Some pretty ordinary 'shoppers' went to India to work picking, processing and living with Indian workers, including the Mumbai slums. They have clearly been shocked. It reminded me a bit of taking management students down mines and into foundaries years back and the shock they had concerning the conditions of work. Last semester I tried to get a class containing a real-life Barbie to look into such issues - reactions were very mixed. It's deeply concerning that people don't seem to be able to learn what is really going on without sending them into the real experience.

Molly Brogan said...

I clearly remember the heaviness of working in the slums of North Chicago, driving to a clients home and hearing the gun shots all around me. Having to get a signature from a mother who was passed out drunk so her daughter, a teen parent, could go back to school. Moving through this experience in grace was a challenge and did get the better of me from time to time. The passion I felt at this time was the same passion for life that I feel now. But I will say that at that time, I also had a passion for social design that has been replaced with something more peaceful - a passion for being perhaps. The role of the reclusive writer is more like the role of the Tibetan monk - yet is it less valuable than the social worker?

Brian Weiss was on Oprah yesterday and gave a wonderful analogy of the separation and the oneness, saying that we each are as much of God as we are our individual selves, and have lived every life there is to life. I think we do this to learn, express God and create.) He said that we are like ice cubes floating in a glass of water, bumping into other ice cubes, thinking we are separate. But with heat, (love) the cubes melt into the water and become one with it (humanity), and with more heat, the water evaporates and becomes vapor (god). Yet it always has been and can be again - the one or the many.

Perhaps passion - with the love - moves us through the states and stages.

Keith said...

I'm not godless, but I am on a quest to at least be a fairy nice guy. I think the universe makes more sense with a God then without one.

Neil said...

My "social work" was sometimes done at the point of a gun and I now seek to be a recluse! Times and abilities change - I would have been a useless recluse when younger. There's a lot in the notion of a clamour of voices or an insurrection of local knowledges if there is going to be a point of reconcilliation. Quite a number of us hear differently - something obvious in satirical shows and what some of us laugh at and with. Yet the politicos still churn out the old pap.

There are Brogans down the road in Wigan Molly and one who sounds rather like you - just out of interest.

Molly Brogan said...

How wonderful, Neil! I would love to connect. Let me know if you need my email address to pass along. I think that there is something to the natural course of the evolution of a life. I watched Steal This Movie last night and had to admire the passion of Abbe Hoffman, if not his methods. This kind of loud, form shattering passion for community is indeed something for the young. Us older folks are much more comfortable holding the space with a smile, which we have earned.

Neil said...

The kind of community stuff I relish has a lot to do with work and people mixing in ways that don't seem to happen these days. There was something about digging a trench or footings and the bloke you were working with offering a cigarette at the end. We need communities and shared toil back.

ornamentalmind said...

Perhaps one step to that goal is for people to know that we are, in fact, one?

Molly Brogan said...

I think that every community is a mixture of people who are reaching for the oneness, people who are bring the oneness into their experience, and people who live in a state of integration of the one and the many. Communicating, finding a common semantic level, and moving such a group forward along a particular goal or goals is certainly a challenge. But it can be done, the human race is a testament to that. My life us much different for me than my grandmother's was for her. I also think that the farther along we are on our path to integration, the more we realize that a good portion of the world has been waiting for us to catch up, we just couldn't see it, because we weren't quite ready to see it. Let those with eyes see.

Neil said...

This is a bit off the current beam, but I find some of what I mean by passion in it. 'The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery even if mixed with fear - that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man'. It's from one of Einstein's books.