For Whom the Bell Tolls

It rained today; enticing me to delve into the philosophical space.I was gazing through the dampened bus window.As the rain drops seeped over the scene of fleeting landscape,I suddenly remembered this line.

Mostly remembered as the title of the popular book by Earnest Hemingway,my reason of admiration for this phrase comes from the primeval reason- the philosophy behind this sentence.

I quote here the piece of writing in the original words used by Donne.I find the description very sublime,compassionate and soothing.

“For Whom the Bell Tolls?”

“No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

– Devotions upon Emergent Occasions(Meditation XVII) by John Donne,1664.

churchyard-in-the-rain-1883(1).jpg!Blog

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To the Edge of the Universe-I

“Journey to the Edge of the Universe” is one of my favorite documentaries.Not just because of the stark visual details with which it has explored the Universe but also because of the sheer brilliance of its script narrated by Alec Baldwin.Covering the historical accounts of all the major discoveries done in space exploration till the time this documentary was made, it weaves the facts with a fascinating journey like experience.I present here some of the lines which have been crafted par excellence in this documentary and spark a vivid imagination about the mysteries in space.

1

“Our journey through time and space begins with a single step-at the edge of space-only sixty miles up-just an hour’s drive from home.Down there life continues.Traffic is awful,stocks go on trading,and Star Trek is still showing.

When we return home- if we return home… will it be the same?…Will we be the same?”

2

“Neil Armstrong’s foot prints…looks like they were made yesterday.There is no air to change them.They can survive for millions of years..may be longer than us”

3

“Out of the darkness, a friendly face..the Goddess of love- Venus.

The Morning Star…. the Evening Star- She can welcome a new day in the east..say goodnight in the west.A sister to our planet she is about the same size and gravity as Earth.We should be safe here..But the Venus Express Space probe is setting off alarms.It’s telling us that these dazzling clouds,they are made of deadly sulfuric acid-the atmosphere is choking with carbon dioxide.

Never expected this! Venus is one angry goddess! The air is noxious,pressure unbearable,and it’s hot-approaching nine hundred degrees.Stick around and we will be corroded,suffocated,crushed and baked.Nothing can survive here.So lovely from Earth,up close..this goddess is hideous! She’s the sister from hell, pockmarked by thousands of volcanoes..all that carbon dioxide that is trapping the sun’s heat,Venus is burning up..It’s global warming gone wild”

4

“There is something about the sun,something hypnotic..like the Medusa… too terrible to look at..too powerful to resist.Blowing us onward,on,like a moth to a flame.

Everything we do is controlled by the Sun- depends on it.It is the Greek God Helios driving His chariot across the sky.The Egyptian God Ra,reborn everyday.The summer solstice sun rising at Stonehenge.For millions of years this was as close as a God, to staring into the face of God.This God creates life- destroys life-and demands we keep our distance.”

5

“[Mercury]It’s a huge ball of iron covered with a thin veneer of rock,the core of what was once a more larger planet…So, where’s the rest of it?May be a stray planet slammed into Mercury;blasting away its outer layers in a deadly game of Cosmic Pinball.

Whole worlds on the loose careening wildly across the cosmos- destroying anything in their path-and we are in the middle of it-vulnerable,exposed,small.Everything is telling us to turn back..but who can defy this..”