Monday, December 11, 2006

David Byrne on belief, imagination and cognition:

The Secret Commonwealth

I could imagine that somewhere in the unconscious of Thompson, Watt, Doyle and others lay a buried belief, or non-denial, of sprits, forces and entities lurking in the barren misty glens to the north. Could these irrational suspicions have allowed the leaps of faith that are required in a scientific and engineering revolution? To imagine a concept like entropy or absolute zero must surely have seemed just as far fetched as the existence of wee folk. (I'm not saying these guys were literally Fairie believers, but that the deep cultural marinating soaks all parts.)

Who knew the former Talking Heads frontman was a closet Fortean?

1 comment:

W.M. Bear said...

Byrne seems totally ignorant of the science/occult tradition that runs from Jack Parsons (rocket scientist/JPL founder/Crowleyan mage) back through Flammarion (astronomer/occultist) to Newton (physicist/alchemist) to Kepler (astronomer/astrologer) and includes many lesser lights who CONSCIOUSLY embraced the occult dimension of reality along with the physical one. Both realms were their objects of study and they evidently saw no essential contradiction in studying (and making discoveries -- Kepler was a highly innovative astrologer) in both. And even as late as the close of the 19th century -- before it became intellectually unfashionable -- many reputable scientists studied the occult and, in fact, founded the systematic study of the paranormal (which is simply the occult realm viewed from a "scientific" perspective). Unfortunately, the field is now consider intellectually disreputable, especially in America (with England being something of an exception) with things like the fairy photos being pointed to as somehow constituting conclusive evidence that it is ALL a fraud (ala the Amazingly Randy & Co.)