.::..Nicholas Sagan..::. …:.::..artworks and experiments…::.:…nicholassagan@gmail.com

No one may ever have the same knowledge…

And for good reason, it seems… I just finished reading one of the books on my Thesis bibliography: No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again, released by the Museum of Jurassic Technology.  It really is a fascinating collection of letters sent to the Mt. Wilson Observatory around the year 1930, right when astronomers were really beginning to discover the universe at large.  Also during this time people were writing in to lay claim that they had intrinsic and verifiable knowledge as to the workings of the universe.  Some people claim that the moon is hollow and harbors life on it’s interior, some say the planets were captured by the Sun…there are even several letters from one individual stating that they know the truth, but cannot for some reason express it in a letter to the astronomers.  Really crazy stuff when you take into account what we actually know to this day.

But back then were they really far-fetched ideas?  Some of the “truths” that were being discovered have since been debunked, especially life on Mars, the Moon being made of pumice stone, etc…And there was one fellow who touted the claim that he knew the scientists were lying about everything.  While some people’s intuition may have been more correct than the scientific community at the time was willing to admit, there were some VERY unstable and “imaginative” individuals who contributed to the catalog of letters.  Take this one for instance, found on page 93:

“All branches of absent treatment through the mental airways in the abstract with applied phenomena must be checked up on irrespective of what name or alibi the process operate under for the real danger lies in the abstract with applied phenomena because the process itself is an invisible contact with mentality in the effects only are seen which leaves individual liberty of mentality and fought at the mercy of applied phenomena I am not surmising on theoryising”

Sure, some of it makes sense, kind of.  But a context beyond it being sent to the observatory seems elusive to the rest of us.  Now there is a chance Phillip K Dick had more of an understanding of what this letter is saying then the astronomers did.  There are of course other letters that claim our solar system originated in the Orion Nebula, as the case with ALL other stars.  Therefore, the Orion Nebula must be where God is.  Right?  All of these letters show how imagination can laugh in the face of facts and give us inklings into alternative realities (even if they are quite singular).  It even shows us how much science and astronomy in particular a) have no bearing on the way some people interpret our empirical world and b) how wrong science can be.  The latter can be especially true when we consider modern astronomy really began at the beginning of the 20th Century and was only able to glimpse a small portion of the universe around us.  Still, without the powers of imagination and drive to satisfy curiosity, we would still think galaxies are “spiral nebula” and that God lives in the Orion Nebula…

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