If I had grown up in Iraq, I would go to a mosque… It seems to me that people who attack religion don’t really understand it.
Science and religion can coexist peacefully — although I don’t think they have much to say to each other.
Adding to the canon of these meditations is the celebrated English cosmologist and astrophysicist Sir Martin Rees — the last European court astronomer in his position as Astronomer Royal to the House of Windsor and science adviser to the Queen of England.
That dual enchantment is what artist Vija Celmins and writer Eliot Weinberger bring to life in the limited-edition MoMA book The Stars (public library) — an uncommonly poetic ode to the resplendence of the night sky.
What emerges is a quintilingual mythopoetic masterpiece, written in English and translated in Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, and Maori, accompanied by three stunning celestial etchings by Celmins, each months in the making.
Complement the contemplative splendor of The Topography of Tears with the science of why we cry, Mark Rothko on why people weep before his art, and William James’s revolutionary mind-body theory of emotion.
Tears are intellectual because they come from thoughts that spill over the body’s containing well; they are the secretion of excess we assign to emotion; perhaps emotion itself is simply caused by a surfeit of thought.
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