Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world

mysteries of the unseen world

 

We go on with our lives, constrained to our Euclidean boxes one day to another. Either we go to schools to study, or to offices to do our daily jobs, we oftentimes get a strong tedium about our boring, mundane world (sometimes I’ve got that feeling as well). Piles of jobs to complete, homework to finish, without even a single bit of time spent to observe our world.

Louie Schwartzberg, however, having persevered for years to capture photographs of daily glimpses of the nature in full details, wants us to break our mainstream perception; through his latest documentary, Mysteries of The Unseen World, the award-winning filmmaker wants us to realize that the universe itself, in essence, is not that mundane as we can imagine: in fact, it is composed of multitudinous, and even numberless, forms of dynamism, big or small, seen or unseen, visible or invisible. We hardly realize the daily, infinitesimal wonders surrounding us: of tiny creatures hiding in our hair, of birds flying around us, of trees and plants growing around our neighborhoods, of how insects fly, etc.

The world, indeed, has countless mysteries, with wonders and mind-shaking discoveries waiting to be unveiled, layer by layer.

Watch this 7-minute TED talk below, and get ready for some little surprises to our lives.

 

Life in a microcosm

Stephen_Jay_Gould_by_Kathy_Chapman

 

The human species has inhabited this planet for only 250,000 years or so-roughly.0015 percent of the history of life, the last inch of the cosmic mile. The world fared perfectly well without us for all but the last moment of earthly time–and this fact makes our appearance look more like an accidental afterthought than the culmination of a prefigured plan.

Moreover, the pathways that have led to our evolution are quirky, improbable, unrepeatable and utterly unpredictable. Human evolution is not random; it makes sense and can be explained after the fact. But wind back life’s tape to the dawn of time and let it play again–and you will never get humans a second time.

We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher’ answer — but none exists. This explanation, though superficially troubling, if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating. We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves — from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way. – Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), an American evolutionary scientist

 

Browse more for what cultural icons define about the meaning of life in Brain Pickings.

Anton Repponen : One Month Off – Indonesia

one month off indo

 

 

A New York-based photographer spent one month in traveling across various places in the archipelago, capturing the authentic beauty of the cultures, nature, and the pristine beaches the islands offer.

Finally, I could post something beautiful about Indonesia, long after I fill this section with quite numerous negative articles.

Access his photographs on Ready Magazine.

The ups and downs of solitude

A-Sarah-Maycock-illustration

 

 

Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature. – Albert Einstein

One should not confuse the notion of solitude with that of loneliness – solitude refers to a point when one chooses to refrain from being in the center of the crowds, or merely wants to keep oneself deeply tranquil, while loneliness is perceived as an acute lack of social contact. At times, solitude can help individuals to think more calmly, to envision ideas more obviously, and to get engaged in mind games more creatively. Most authors, painters, and other artists, for instance, are notable for having utilized solitude as a means of accomplishing their magnum opus. Solitude itself, in addition, helps to reconnect a person with the inner self one aspires to discover. Hermits, monks, or any other spiritually inclined individuals, get acquainted with the nature – mostly forests – as means of achieving inner peace for themselves. 

Nevertheless, solitude itself may have its own drawback. When one clings to this concept for too long, loneliness is the consequence, frequently, that may result. He or she, upon returning to the societies, is more likely to get detached throughout the circumstances. With a significantly distinct point of view, one may find oneself alienated by the dominant sense of ‘commonness’ prevailing among majority of the individuals. Or that he or she may be entrenched in guilt for having failed to trigger them to enter their own solitude, where the inner peace rests in. Or end up disappointed by societies’ unchanging flaws. It can be anything.

John Burnside, writing for Aeon Magazine, wants us to make an equipoise, regardless of how uneasy it sounds to be, about the fundamental concept of solitude by itself. Read the full article here

Excerpt:

For many of us, solitude is tempting because it is ‘the place of purification’, as the Israeli philosopher Martin Buber called it. Our aspiration for travelling to that place might be the simple pleasure of being away, unburdened by the pettiness and corruption of the day-to-day round. For me, being alone is about staying sane in a noisy and cluttered world – I have what the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould called a ‘high solitude quotient’ — but it is also a way of opening out a creative space, to give myself a chance to be quiet enough to see or hear what happens next.

There are those who are inclined to be purely temporary dwellers in the wilderness, who don’t stay long. As soon as they are renewed by a spell of lonely contemplation, they are eager to return to the everyday fray. Meanwhile, the committed wilderness dwellers are after something more. Yet, even if contemplative solitude gives them a glimpse of the sublime (or, if they are so disposed, the divine), questions arise immediately afterwards. What now? What is the purpose of this solitude? Whom does it serve?