"One should identify with the universe itself, everything that is less than the universe is subjected to suffering."

Simone Weil


"The universe in which we live, or think we live, is mostly a world of our own making."

Edward Harrison

Masks of the Universe


Cosmos comes directly from the Greek Kosmos , 'meaning order, ornament, world, universe, It is a philosophical jewel that irradiates seventy-five English words."

Ingo Swann


"What is your cosmos but an instrument containing small bits of colored glass which, by an arrangement of mirrors, appear in a variety of symmetrical forms when rotated?"

-Vladimir Nabokov

Bend Sinister


"Why I came here, I know not; where I shall go it is useless to enquire-in the midst of myriads of the living & the dead worlds, stars, systems, infinity, why should I be anxious about an atom?"
-Lord Byron (1788-1824)


"The vastness of the cosmos is mind-boggling; if you visualize the Moon as a grain of sand, the Earth would be the size of an apple and about two inches away. On this scale the Sun would be a large pumpkin almost a quarter mile distant. The nearest stars would be smaller and larger pumpkins (some thousands of times bigger or smaller), each one more than thousand miles apart. In Real Universe terms, the closest star is more than 2 thousand billion miles from the Earth-about four light years.

If we imagine that these stars are now suddenly reduced to the size of atoms, the resulting "molecule" (composed of roughly a hundred billion "atoms"-the stars of the Galaxy) would be 25 million miles in diameter.

Now in your imagination, reduce this incredibly huge "molecule" (or weirdly small galaxy) To the size of a bee and visualize a swarm of these galaxy-bees (each of which are thousands of miles apart) speeding away from each other in all directions at millions of miles an hour. They’ve been exploding away from each other like this for 13 thousands million years!

Joseph F. Goodavage

Magic Science of the Future


"Like the human body, the cosmos is in part built up anew, every night, every day; by a process of unending regeneration it remains alive. But the manner of its growth is by abrupt occurrences, crises, surprising events and even mortifying accidents. Everything is forever going wrong; and yet, that is precisely the circumstance by which the miraculous developments come to pass. The great entirety jolts from the crisis to crisis; that is the precarious, hair-raising manner of self-transport by which it moves."

Heinrich Zimmer

   "Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole, its history and origin. It is usually (but not always) based on astronomy, along with religious and social beliefs. George P.Murdock an anthropologist, listed sixty-eight civilizations that have fashioned cosmologies. Some had little science and scant astronomy.  As soon as we humans identify a handful of stars, we construct a picture of the whole universe. Barbara C. sproul, director of the program in religion at Hunter College, City University of New York, takes issue with Murdock's figure of sixty-eight civilizations: "A;; civilizations have cosmologies of some sort that say how reality is structured. By 'reality' they mean their universe, which might only be the neighborhood, but it as far as they can see. " As we shall see, our present universe may not be much larger."

Dick Teresi

Lost Discoveries


"The word "cosmopolitan" comes from the Greek kosmopolites ("world citizen") it is associated with the Greek-based "urbane" (urbanus, "of the city"). "Cosmopolitan" is a political word implying transcendence of the narrower limits of politics: local fads, provincial fears. To be cosmopolitan is to be at ease in many situations and with many different sorts of people."

Robert Grudin

On Dialogue



Book: "Companion to the Cosmos" by John Gribbin

Book: "Fabric of the Cosmos: Spacetime and the Texture of Reality" by Brian Greene

Book: Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science-from the Babylonians to the Maya" by Dick Teresi

Book: "Mirror Mirror" by Mark Pendergrast

Book: "Ripples in the Cosmos" by Michael Rowan-Robinson

Book: "The Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking" Ed by Dennis Richard Danielson

Book: COSMOS: From Romanticism to the Avant-Garde" Ed. by Jean Clair

Book: "Heaven & Earth: Unseen by the Naked Eye" 

Book: "Cosmology: The Science of the Universe" by Edward Harrison

Book: "Blind Watchers of the Sky" by Rocky Kolb

Book: "Cosmology and Controversy: The Historical Development of Two Theories of the Universe" by Helge Kragh

Book: "Universes" by John Leslie

Book: "An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines" by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Book: "Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman's Path" by David Freidel & Linda Shele and Joy Parker

Book: "Origins: The Lives and Worlds of Modern Cosmologists" by Alan Lightman & Roberta Brawer

Book: "Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos" by Alan W. Hirsfeld

Book: "Goodbye Descartes: The End of Logic and the Search For a new Cosmology" by Keith Devlin



© 2001




Back to Chrestomathy          Next Page