Log24

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hope of Heaven, Oslo Style

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 PM

The previous post deals with the theory, now becoming widely known,
that the musical "Grease" is really about Sandy's dying dream of heaven.

Another such dream in Oslo, described by the Vigeland Museum —

The Monolith

"The Monolith was carved from one single granite block, hence the name (mono: one, litho: stone). Whereas the melancholy theme in the fountain is the eternal life cycle, the column gives room to a totally different interpretation: Man's longing and yearning for the spiritual and divine. Is the column to be understood as man's resurrection? The people are drawn towards heaven, not only characterised by sadness and controlled despair, but also delight and hope, next to a feeling of togetherness, carefully holding one another tight in this strange sense of salvation."

I prefer a different monolith.

Monday, January 4, 2016

After Wallace Stevens

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM

Looking

IMAGE- 'Hope of Heaven,' by John O'Hara, 1947 Avon paperback

For what was

Where it used to be

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hopefully

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

The previous post, More To Be Done, quotes an
opera lyric by physicist Lisa Randall :

The opera, about a physics of hidden dimensions,
may of course be given a theological spin —

IMAGE- 'Hope of Heaven,' by John O'Hara, 1947 Avon paperback 

See Hope of Heaven in this journal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hope and Pope

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:59 AM

IMAGE- 'Hope of Heaven,' by John O'Hara, 1947 Avon paperback

Hope of Heaven , by John O'Hara
Avon paperback edition, 1947

   Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
All but the page prescribed, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.
Oh, blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle, marked by Heaven:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurled,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
   Hope humbly, then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, He gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

— Alexander Pope in An Essay on Man

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Generation Lost in Space

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:29 AM

or, Deja Vu All Over Again

Top two obituaries in this morning's NY Times list–

David Simons, Who Flew High
on Eve of Space Age, Dies at 87

Dr. Simons, a physician turned Air Force officer, had sent animals aloft for several years before his record-breaking flight.

James Aubrey, who Portrayed the Hero
in ‘Lord of the Flies’, Is Dead at 62

Mr. Aubrey portrayed Ralph in the film version of the William Golding novel and had a busy career on stage and television in England.

Simons reportedly died on April 5,
Aubrey on April 6.

This journal on those dates–

April 5 —

Monday, April 5, 2010

Space Cowboys

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM Edit This

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100405-Eastwood.jpg

Google News, 11:32 AM ET today–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100405-SpaceCowboysSm.jpg

Related material:

Yesterday's Easter message,
film notes from March 13,
and Dagger Definitions.

April 6 —

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Clue

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM Edit This

Excerpt from 'Cosmic Trigger'
 by Robert Anton Wilson

See also Leary on Cuernavaca,
John O'Hara's fleeting reference
to Cuernavaca in Hope of Heaven,
and Cuernavaca in this journal.

Team Daedalus

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM Edit This

"Concept (scholastics' verbum mentis)– theological analogy of Son's procession as Verbum Patris, 111-12" –Index to Joyce and Aquinas, by William T. Noon, Society of Jesus, Yale University Press 1957, second printing 1963, page 162

"Back in 1958… [four] Air Force pilots were Team Daedalus, the best of the best." –Summary of the film "Space Cowboys"

"Man is nothing if not labyrinthine." –The Vicar in Trevanian's The Loo Sanction\

 

Commentary by T.S. Eliot

"At the moment which is not of action or inaction
You can receive this: 'on whatever sphere of being
The mind of a man may be intent
At the time of death'—that is the one action
(And the time of death is every moment)
Which shall fructify in the lives of others:
And do not think of the fruit of action.
Fare forward."

 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Clue

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Excerpt from 'Cosmic Trigger' by Robert Anton Wilson

See also Leary on Cuernavaca,
John O'Hara's fleeting reference
to Cuernavaca in Hope of Heaven,
and Cuernavaca in this journal.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday December 13, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

The Shining
of Dec. 13

continued from
Dec. 13, 2003

“There is a place for a hint
somewhere of a big agent
to complete the picture.”

Notes for an unfinished novel,
The Last Tycoon,
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Internet Movie Database
Filmography:William Grady

The Good Earth (1937)
casting: Chinese extras
(uncredited)

A Place for a Hint:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix08A/081213-Tea2.jpg(From the book Tangram)

See also
yesterday’s entries
as well as…

Serpent’s Eyes Shine,
Alice’s Tea Party,
Janet’s Tea Party,
Hollywood Memory,
and
Hope of Heaven.

“… it’s going to be
accomplished in steps,
this establishment of
the Talented
in the scheme of things.”

Anne McCaffrey

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday April 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
“LegacyPlus™:
 
The Class,
 Without the Classes”

The New York Times
on the date of
Charlton Heston’s death

Leave a space.”
 — Tom Stoppard      
in “Jumpers”

NY Times obituaries April 7, 2008: Charlton Heston, Helen Yglesias, George Switzer

“Heaven is a state, a sort of
   metaphysical state.”
— John O’Hara,
Hope of Heaven

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Wednesday August 2, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM
Final Arrangements,
continued

Ontology Alignment is
the process of determining
correspondences between concepts.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060802-Deaths.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Online New York Times today

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050326-Garden.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“With a little effort,
anything can be shown to
connect with anything else:
existence is infinitely
cross-referenced.”

— Opening sentence of
Martha Cooley’s The Archivist

“Frere Jacques, Cuernavaca,
ach du lieber August.”

— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, 1938

And now I was beginning to surmise:
Here was the library of Paradise.

Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi 

(For Hesse in another context,
see the Log24 entries of
  Nov. 4-6, 2003.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday February 27, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:26 AM

Sudden View

From John O’Hara’s Birthday:

“We stopped at the Trocadero and there was hardly anyone there.  We had Lanson 1926.  ‘Drink up, sweet.  You gotta go some.  How I love music.  Frère Jacques, Cuernavaca, ach du lieber August.  All languages.  A walking Berlitz.  Berlitz sounds like you with that champagne, my sweet, or how you’re gonna sound.'”

— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, Chapter 11, 1938

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 4

“Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the

PARIS,
1922-1939.”

— James Joyce, conclusion of Finnegans Wake

“Using illustrative material from religion, myth, and culture, he starts with the descent of the dove on Jesus and ends with the poetic ramblings of James Joyce.”

Review of a biography of the Holy Spirit

Monica Potts in today’s New York Times on Sybille Bedford:

“Though her works were not always widely popular, they inspired a deeply fervent following of committed admirers, starting with her first published work, A Sudden View, in 1953. Later retitled A Visit to Don Otavio, it was an account of her journey through Mexico.”

… “I addressed him.  ‘Is Cuernavaca not below Mexico City?’
    ‘It is low.’
    ‘Then what is this?’  Another summit had sprung up above a curve.
    ‘At your orders, the Three Marias.’
    ‘What are the Three Marias?’
    ‘These.’
    Later, I learned from Terry that they were the three peaks by the La Cima Pass which is indeed one of the highest passes in the Republic; and still later from experience, that before running down to anywhere in this country one must first run up some six or seven thousand feet.  The descents are more alarming than the climbs.  We hurtled towards Cuernavaca down unparapeted slopes with the speed and angle, if not the precision, of a scenic railway– cacti flashed past like telegraph poles, the sun was brilliant, the air like laughing gas, below an enchanting valley, and the lack of brakes became part of a general allegro accelerando.”

— Sybille Bedford, A Sudden View, Counterpoint Press, Counterpoint edition (April 2003), page 77

“How continually, how startlingly, the landscape changed!  Now the fields were full of stones: there was a row of dead trees.  An abandoned plough, silhouetted against the sky, raised its arms to heaven in mute supplication; another planet, he reflected again, a strange planet where, if you looked a little further, beyond the Tres Marias, you would find every sort of landscape at once, the Cotswolds, Windermere, New Hampshire, the meadows of the Eure-et-Loire, even the grey dunes of Cheshire, even the Sahara, a planet upon which, in the twinkling of an eye, you could change climates, and, if you cared to think so, in the crossing of a highway, three civilizations; but beautiful, there was no denying its beauty, fatal or cleansing as it happened to be, the beauty of the Earthly Paradise itself.”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1st Perennial Classics edition (May 1, 2000), page 10

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday February 11, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 PM
ART WARS
(Continued from
April 6-7, 2004)

Blue Dream
For Ray Charles
 
http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Symm-axes.jpg

(Spider Web)

and Jay Dee
(Donuts)

From Dogma Part II: Amores Perros:

"Do Catholics believe that when you die your soul goes up in the sky? To heaven, if they go to heaven?"
 — Hope of Heaven, by John O'Hara (1938), Carroll & Graf paperback, 1985, page 162

"My blue dream of being in a basket like a kite held by a rope against the wind…. It's fun to stretch and see the blue heavens spreading once more, spreading azure thighs for adventure."
 — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon (1941), Collier paperback, 1986, page 162

The following work of art
illustrates the above remarks.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log06/saved/060211-Garfield3.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Thursday April 7, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Nine is a Vine

“Heaven is a state,
a sort of metaphysical state.”
— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, 1938

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/HopeOfHeaven1938.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 “Mathematical realism holds that mathematical entities exist independently of the human mind.  Thus humans do not invent mathematics, but rather discover it, and any other intelligent beings in the universe would presumably do the same. The term Platonism is used because such a view is seen to parallel Plato’s belief in a “heaven of ideas”, an unchanging ultimate reality that the everyday world can only imperfectly approximate. Plato’s view probably derives from Pythagoras, and his followers the Pythagoreans, who believed that the world was, quite literally, built up by the numbers. This idea may have even older origins that are unknown to us.” — Wikipedia

Amen.

Related material:

In memory of Jesus of Nazareth,
the “true vine,”
who, some historians believe,
died on this date:

The Crucifixion of John O’Hara.

In memory of the Anti-Vine:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/DayOfTheLocust.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

See Dogma and
Heaven, Hell,
and Hollywood.
 
Related material:

The Usual Suspects

and

Thursday, December 26, 2002:

Holly for Miss Quinn 

Tonight’s site music is for Stephen Dedalus
and Miss Quinn, courtesy of Eithne Ní Bhraonáin. 

Miss Quinn

Holly

Eithne

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Saturday April 2, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Lucky (?) Numbers

From a Log24 post of April 2, 2005

From Dogma, a link in yesterday's noon entry:

"Sky is high and so am I,
If you're a viper — a vi-paah."

— The Day of the Locust, by Nathanael West (1939),
    New Directions paperback, 1969, page 162

"Mystery surrounds the death of young actor River Phoenix…. The actor… was declared dead at 1:51 a.m. PT Sunday. Phoenix died about 50 minutes after collapsing in front of the Viper Room, a new club on the Sunset Strip…."
— Karen Thomas, USA Today,
    Monday, November 1, 1993

On the night of October 30-31, 1993, also known as Devil's Night, there was a full Hunter's Moon and the Pennsylvania Lottery number was 666.
— Steven H. Cullinane, 03/20/01

"Do Catholics believe that when you die your soul goes up in the sky? To heaven, if they go to heaven?"
Hope of Heaven, by John O'Hara (1938),
    Carroll & Graf paperback, 1985, page 162

Pennsylvania Lottery Daily Number,
April 1, 2005:
666.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sunday February 13, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM
Eight is a Gate

“The old men know
when an old man dies.”
— Ogden Nash

“Heaven is a state,
a sort of metaphysical state.”
— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, 1938

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050213-Three.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

But in a larger sense…

Mais il y a un autre sens dans la dédicace que je trouve plus profond encore. Il s’agit de se dédier soi-même. Le terme que l’on traduit par dédicace est en japonais ekô, littéralement “se tourner vers”. Il est composé de deux idéogrammes, e qui signifie “tourner le dos, se tourner, revenir en arrière” et , “faire face, s’adresser à”.

Dans l’école Tendai, on explique que ce terme possède trois sens:

– tourner le dos (e) aux phénomènes et faire face () au principe;
– tourner le dos (e) au soi et faire face () aux autres;
– tourner le dos (e) aux causes et faire face () aux effets.

On pourrait dire regarder l’essentiel, regarder autrui et regarder le futur. Le terme évoque un retournement. Il s’agit d’aller à rebours de nos fonctionnements habituels, de bouleverser nos attitudes, se détourner de l’égocentrisme pour aller dans le sens de l’ouverture, ne plus se fourvoyer dans l’erreur mais s’ouvrir à la clarté.

Ekô a bien dans les textes bouddhistes un double sens, c’est à la fois dédier quelque chose comme la récitation d’un texte mais également se dédier soi-même. Dans cette deuxième attitude, c’est soi-même, tout entier, corps et esprit, qui est l’objet de la dédicace. Plus qu’on donne, on se donne. On trouve les deux sens chez Dôgen qui n’ignore pas le “transfert des mérites” mais qui sait que ekô se confond avec la voie de l’éveil. Il y a par exemple ce passage dans le Shôbôgenzô Zuimonki:

“Dans le bouddhisme, il y a ceux qui sont foncièrement doués d’amour et de compassion, de connaissance et de sagesse. Pour peu qu’ils étudient, ceux qui en sont dépourvus les réaliseront. Ils n’ont qu’à abandonner le corps et l’esprit, se dédier (ekô) dans le grand océan du bouddhisme, se reposer sur les enseignements du bouddhisme et ne pas rester dans les préjugés personnels.”
[Buppô ni wa, jihi chie mo yori sonawaru hito mo ari. Tatoi naki hito mo gaku sureba uru nari. Tada shinjin o tomoni hôge shite, buppô no daikai ni ekô shite, buppô no kyô ni makasete, shikiyoku o son zuru koto nakare.]
(Shôbôgenzô zuimonki, Edition populaire, cinquième cahier, première causerie)

Le français ne peut véritablement rendre la subtilité du choix des mots de Dôgen qui utilise des figures de style typiquement chinoises comme le chiasme, l’opposition et l’appariement. Il emploie des verbes d’état d’une part : se reposer, rester, de l’autre des verbes d’action, abandonner (hôge su, lit. “laisser choir”), se dédier (ekô su, lit. “se tourner vers”, qui a presque ici le sens de “se jeter”). Réaliser l’amour, la compassion, la connaissance et la sagesse nécessite une transformation, une conversion, un saut dans l’ailleurs. Ce dynamisme permet de quitter le soi égocentré pour entrer dans la dimension de l’éveil, ce que Dôgen appelle ici le bouddhisme.

Ce retournement, ekô, possède une double dimension, à la fois interne et externe. D’un point de vue intérieur, nous nous dédions à l’éveil, d’un point de vue extérieur, nous nous dédions aux autres. Mais l’intérieur et l’extérieur sont comme les deux faces d’une même feuille de papier.

La dédicace universelle:
une causerie d’Eric Rommeluère

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Thursday January 13, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:57 AM

Hope of Heaven

“Heaven is a state,
a sort of metaphysical state.”
— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, 1938

“The old men know
when an old man dies.”
— Ogden Nash

See also the five Log24 entries
ending with the 9 PM entry of
Tuesday, December 10, 2002.

From today’s New York Times:

“Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, whose memoir, Passages to Freedom, chronicled his escape from a prison camp in Italy during World War II, died on Saturday in Morristown, N.J. He was 92.”

A web page on the Indiantown Gap army camp quotes Frelinghuysen’s Passages to Freedom… He is describing July 1942, just before Frelinghuysen’s unit was sent overseas:

“In the last week of July, his wife Emily came to Indiantown to stay at the old Hershey Hotel so they could steal a few of the remaining hours together. He explained, ‘On my last night with Emily, she wore an evening dress with a full green and rose colored skirt, and I put on my best garrison uniform …. we had California champagne, lobster, and flaming crepes with ice cream. We danced to some old tunes; Cole Porter’s ‘Night and Day’ and Irving Berlin’s tunes from ‘Top Hat.’ Then they played a new one slowly, and a young girl sang the lyrics to ‘The White Cliffs of Dover.’ Noting that England had been at war for three years, he reminisced that it was a song that speaks of ‘love and laughter’ and ‘peace ever after.’ Nostalgically, he said, ‘We finished the dance in an embrace. She took my hand and we walked out through the lobby onto the terrace for a last look at the gardens in the pale light of a quarter moon.’ “

“Darkness and light,
the old man thought.
It is what every hero legend is about.
The darkness which is more than death,
the light which is love….”

Prince Ombra, quoted here on
the date of Frelinghuysen’s death,
Saturday, January 8, 2005.

Friday, January 2, 2004

Friday January 2, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:28 PM

Music for Dunne’s Wake

Heaven was kind of a hat on the universe,
a lid that kept everything underneath it
where it belonged.”

 — Carrie Fisher,
Postcards from the Edge

     

720 in  
the Book”

and
Paradise

Musical Note: A Star is Born

Natalie Wood played a six-year-old
in “Miracle on 34th Street,”
six factorial equals 720,
and Wood was born on 7/20, 1938.

“How I love music.”

— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, 1938

For related metaphors, see
Immortal Diamond,
The Diamond Archetype, and
the first log24.net entry
for July 20, 2002.

Friday January 2, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:14 PM

Dunne's Wake:

What, and Give Up Show Biz?

"Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."

— Saying attributed to Edmund Gwenn, star of "Miracle on 34th Street," and also attributed to "Noel Coward, David Garrick, William Holden, Edmund Kean, Marcel Marceau, Groucho Marx, and Oscar Wilde."

See also yesterday's entry on the Dark Lady.  For more on Santa and the Dark Lady, see my archive for Aug.-Sept. 2002.

"Drink up, sweet.  You gotta go some.  How I love music.  Frère Jacques, Cuernavaca, ach du lieber August.  All languages.  A walking Berlitz.  Berlitz sounds like you with that champagne, my sweet, or how you're gonna sound."

Hope of Heaven, by John O'Hara,
"another acidic writer to whom he
[John Gregory Dunne]
was often compared"
(Adam Bernstein, Washington Post)

For some context for the Hope of Heaven quotation, see Immortal Diamond: O'Hara, Hopkins, and Joyce, or click on the adding machine in yesterday's entry.

For more on miracles and the afterlife, see my archive for September 2002.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Monday October 27, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:20 AM

Dream of Heaven

“Heaven is a state, a sort of
metaphysical state.”

— John O’Hara,
Hope of Heaven, 1938

“Frère Jacques, Cuernavaca,
ach du lieber August.”

— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven 

Frère Jacques
is a
  “canon à quatre voix.”

For another, purely visual,
four-part canon, see the
owl-like picture

in the web page
Poetry’s Bones.

See, too, the Wallace Stevens poem
The Owl in the Sarcophagus,”
and hear Stevie Nicks as the voice
of The Wizard Owl in a story titled
 Frère Jacques.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Thursday August 28, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:35 PM

Feast

of Saint Augustine

"Frère Jacques, Cuernavaca,
 ach du lieber August."

— John O'Hara, Hope of Heaven

 

"anticipate
 the
 happiness
 of heaven"
= "himmlisches
 Glück
 vorweg
 empfinden"

Englisch/Deutsch Wörterbuch

See also today's previous entries.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Friday January 31, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:20 AM

John O'Hara's Birthday

"We stopped at the Trocadero and there was hardly anyone there.  We had Lanson 1926.  'Drink up, sweet.  You gotta go some.  How I love music.  Frère Jacques, Cuernavaca, ach du lieber August.  All languages.  A walking Berlitz.  Berlitz sounds like you with that champagne, my sweet, or how you're gonna sound.'"

— John O'Hara, Hope of Heaven, Chapter 11, 1938

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 4

"Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the

PARIS,
1922-1939."

— James Joyce, conclusion of Finnegans Wake

"Using illustrative material from religion, myth, and culture, he starts with the descent of the dove on Jesus and ends with the poetic ramblings of James Joyce."

Review of a biography of the Holy Spirit

Illustration added at 3:21 AM Feb. 3, 2003:

Firefall

Available for $220 from
 Worship Banners
 

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Sunday December 22, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

State of Morelos

“Heaven is a state, a sort of metaphysical state.”

— John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, 1938

In memory of soldier-priest José Morelos, producer Darryl Zanuck (“Viva Zapata!”), and actress Helene Stanley (“Holiday in Mexico” and action model for “Cinderella“), each of whom died on a December 22, tonight’s midnight midi is “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”

See also

Heaven, Hell, and Hollywood and
 
Trifecta.

Monday, December 9, 2002

Monday December 9, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:27 PM

ART WARS: 

A Metaphysical State

Diane Keaton

Frank Sinatra

“Heaven is a state, a sort of metaphysical state.”

 — John O’Hara, Hope of Heaven, 1938

“I’ve always been enthralled by the notion that Time is an illusion, a trick our minds play in an attempt to keep things separate, without any reality of its own. My experience suggests that this is literally true, but not the kind of truth that can be acted upon….

I’m always sad and always happy. As someone says in Diane Keaton’s film ‘Heaven,’ ‘It’s kind of a lost cause, but it’s a great experience.'”

 — Charles Small, Harvard ’64 25th Anniv. Report, 1989

“As a child she would wait out her naptime like a prison sentence.  She would lie in bed and stare at the wallpaper pattern and wonder what would happen if there were no heaven.  She thought the universe would probably go on and on, spilling all over everything.  Heaven was kind of a hat on the universe, a lid that kept everything underneath it where it belonged.”

 — Carrie Fisher, Postcards from the Edge, 1987

Today’s site music illustrates 
the above philosophical remarks.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Friday November 22, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:23 PM

In memory of Arthur T. Winfree:
Time, Eternity, and Grace

Professor Arthur T. Winfree died on November 5, 2002. 
He was the author of “The Geometry of Biological Time.”

  • Charles Small (see the earlier entry “Hope of Heaven,” November 21):

“I’ve always been enthralled by the notion that Time is an illusion, a trick our minds play in an attempt to keep things separate, without any reality of its own. My experience suggests that this is literally true….”

“Time disappears with Tequila.
It goes elastic, then vanishes.”

(Nobel Prize lecture):

“All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence.”

  • A colleague on Professor Winfree:

“He just wanted to get to the truth.”

“Gracias.”

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Thursday November 21, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 PM

Hope of Heaven

This title is taken from a John O’Hara novel I like very much. It seems appropriate because today is the birthday of three admirable public figures:

“No one can top Eleanor Powell – not even Fred Astaire.” — A fellow professional.  Reportedly, “Astaire himself said she was better than him.” 

That’s as good as it gets.

Let us hope that Powell, Hawkins, and Q are enjoying a place that Q, quoting Plato’s Phaedrus, described as follows:

“a fair resting-place, full of summer sounds and scents!”

This is a rather different, and more pleasant, approach to the Phaedrus than the one most familiar to later generations — that of Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance.  Both approaches, however, display what Pirsig calls “Quality.”

One of my own generation’s closest approaches to Quality is found in the 25th Anniversary Report of the Harvard Class of 1964.  Charles Small remarks,

“A lot of other stuff has gone down the drain since 1964, of course, besides my giving up being a mathematician and settling into my first retirement.  My love-hate relationship with the language has intensified, and my despair with words as instruments of communion is often near total.  I read a little, but not systematically. I’ve always been enthralled by the notion that Time is an illusion, a trick our minds play in an attempt to keep things separate, without any reality of its own. My experience suggests that this is literally true, but not the kind of truth that can be acted upon….

I’m always sad and always happy. As someone says in Diane Keaton’s film ‘Heaven,’ ‘It’s kind of a lost cause, but it’s a great experience.'”

I agree.  Here are two links to some work of what is apparently this same Charles Small:

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