Alan Lightman Quotes.
I consider myself a spiritual atheist. I certainly believe there are forces bigger than ourselves, and that we should be searching, individually, for meaning in our lives. But I don’t believe there’s a supreme being, an intelligence that created everything.
Music is, of course, a universal emotional experience, cutting across cultures and languages. I studied piano for ten years as a child and consider that experience one of the most valuable in my life.
-But rational thoughts lead only to rational thoughts, whereas irrational thoughts lead to new experiences.
Novels aren’t pedagogical instruments, or instructions in law or physics or any other discipline. A novel has to be an emotional experience, a trip of the imagination, and because science has raised so many issues that concern and affect humans, it’s a good starting place for me.
The world is moving faster and faster, but where are we going?
If a person holds no ambitions in this world, he suffers unknowingly. If a person holds ambitions, he suffers knowingly, but very slowly.
I have always loved magic realism as a form of writing. I have also been fascinated for a long time with the intersection of science and religion.
If I were not a writer, I would spend more time doing the things that I am already doing, which include doing research in physics, teaching, and running a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower women in Cambodia.
Except for a God who sits down after the universe begins, all other gods conflict with the assumptions of science.
I’ve taken a philosophical position on e-mail. Although I think it’s a wonderful communication technology, and it has a lot of good uses, it is abused quite a lot.
All writers have roots they draw from – travel, work, family. My roots are in science and it is fertile ground for fiction.
No one knows the nature of God, or even if God exists. In a sense, all of our religions are literary works of the imagination.
As long as God does not intervene in the contemporary universe in such a way as to violate physical laws, science has no way of knowing whether God exists or not. The belief or disbelief in such a Being is therefore a matter of faith.
With a background in science I am extremely interested in the meeting ground of science, theology, and philosophy, especially the ethical questions at the border of science and theology.
It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.
For me, consciousness is the most interesting unsolved problem of science, and, in fact, we may never know what it is about a particular arrangement of neurons that gives rise to consciousness. Our consciousness, like the air we breathe or like the passage of time, is central to our existence as intelligent beings.
While people brood, time skips ahead without looking back.
Such is the cost of immortality. No person is whole. No person is free. Over time, some have determined that the only way to live is to die. In death, a man or a woman is free of the weight of the past [and the future].
I have for a long time loved fabulist, imaginative fiction, such as the writing of Italo Calvino, Jose Saramago, Michael Bulgakov, and Salman Rushdie. I also like the magic realist writers, such as Borges and Marquez, and feel that interesting truths can be learned about our world by exploring highly distorted worlds.
I still will sit down at the piano and play when I am wrestling with something emotionally or just want to move into the musical world.
As both a scientist and a humanist myself, I have struggled to understand different claims to knowledge, and I have eventually come to a formulation of the kind of religious belief that would, in my view, be compatible with science.
Faith is the ability to honor stillness at some moments, and at others to ride the passion and exuberance.