Maria Popova produces Brain Pickings a free Sunday digest of inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children’s books, and other strands of the search for truth, beauty, and meaning. There’s always something I find interesting and today’s newsletter was particularly so because it linked in with some of the other reading I’ve been doing.
One of the articles is about Brian Greene and his book Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (2020). His view is that human’s creativity stems from the knowledge that we will die and the world will go on without us – a search for meaning. I immediately linked this fear of nothingness with my readings of Brian Dillon’s book In the Dark Room (2019) which I have recently written about.
‘As we hurtle toward a cold and barren cosmos, we must accept that there is no grand design. Particles are not endowed with purpose. There is no final answer hovering in the depths of space awaiting discovery. Instead, certain special collections of particles can think and feel and reflect, and within these subjective worlds they can create purpose. And so , in our quest to fathom the human condition, the only direction to look is inward. That is the noble direction to look. It is a direction that forgoes ready-made answers and turns to the highly personal journey of constructing our own meaning.’
I now have the book so there may be more to come on this.