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The Witness
:credits_core_team
= 0.1
The core development team of The Witness
was comprised more or less as follows:
= 5.7
Design and Generally Steering the Ship,
Jonathan Blow
= 10.0
Programming:
Ignacio Castaño
Salvador Bel Murciano
Andrew Smith
= 17.1
Modeling and Texturing:
Luis Antonio
Orsolya Spanyol
Eric A Anderson
: credits_additional
Additional contributions in modeling by
= 2.8
Shannon Galvin
Alex Haworth
= 5.9
Andrea Blasich
Eric Urquhart
= 9.0
and David Hellman
= 11.0
Additional contributions in programming by
= 14.0
Casey Muratori
Andrew Hynek
and Nicholas Ray
: credits_audio
= 0.0
Audio by Wabi Sabi Sound:
= 2.57
Andrew Lackey
Beau Anthony Jimenez
= 6.5
Geoff Garnett, Luca Fusi,
Eric Lorenz
= 10.5
: credits_voicework_story
= 0.0
Voice Performances by:
= 2.7
Ashley Johnson,
Phil LaMarr,
= 6.0
Terra Deva, and
Matthew Waterson.
= 9.4
Voicework recorded at Warner Bros. Studios
= 12.7
Project Manager: Emma Weston
Casting Director: Pierce O’Toole
Voice Over Director: Liam O’Brien
= 22.5
Sound Engineers:
Alan Freedman, C.A.S.
R. Dutch Hill
= 28.9
Dialogue Editor – Goeun Lee
= 32.2
Director of Photography for the office shoot:
Caroline Harrison
= 36.5
Early placeholder voicework by
Trisha Miller, Andrew Burlinson, and Daniel Van Thomas.
= 43.8
Tom Bissell served as an early story consultant.
= 47.2
The quote from Augustine of Hippo
was translated by Michael Nagler,
and can be found in Eknath Easwaran's book
“God Makes the Rivers to Flow”.
: credits_architecture
= 0.0
Architecture:
FOURM Design Studio:
Deanna Van Buren, Rodrigo Lima
= 7.2
Fletcher Studio:
David Fletcher, Nicolaus Wright, Beth Bokulich
: credits_thanks
Special thanks to
Jeff Roberts
and Daniel Maciel
: credits_testing
= 0.0
In-House playtesting by:
= 2.7
Francis Dooling
= 4.5
Michael Calandra
= 6.1
Timothy Steen
= 8.4
Thanks to our friends who helped playtest:
= 11.7
Daniel Benmergui, Marc ten Bosch,
= 15.7
Vi Hart, Chris Hecker,
= 19.5
Brian Moriarty, Chris Butcher,
= 23.7
Erin Robinson, Jeff Roberts,
Won Chun
: credits_sony
= 0.2
Special thanks to our friends at Sony,
= 3.0
Nick Suttner,
Adam Boyes,
= 6.8
Justin Massongill,
Alessandro Bovenzi
: feynman
= 0.5
And so,
by a backhanded, upside-down argument,
= 5.0
was predicted that there is in carbon
a level at 7.82 million volts;
= 10.2
and then experiments in the laboratory with carbon
show indeed that there is.
= 14.8
And therefore the existence in the world of all these other elements
is very closely related to the fact
that there is this particular level in carbon.
= 23.5
But the position of this particular level in carbon seems to us,
after knowing the physical laws,
= 28.8
to be a very complicated accident
of twelve complicated particles interacting.
= 33.3
So I use to illustrate, by this example,
that an understanding of the physical laws
= 39.5
doesn’t give an understanding in a sense of a —
understanding significance of the world in any way.
= 48.2
The details of real experience are very far, often,
from the fundamental laws.
= 56.4
There are, in a way of speaking in the world —
= 59.1
We have a way of discussing the world,
which you could call a,
we discuss it at various hierarchies, or levels.
= 65.5
Now I don’t mean to be very precise,
there’s a level, there’s another level, and another level,
= 70.0
but I will indicate, by describing a set of ideas to you,
just one after the other,
what I mean by hierarchies of ideas.
= 81.0
For example, at one end, we have the fundamental laws of physics.
= 85.5
Then we invent other terms for concepts which are approximate,
who have, we believe, their ultimate explanation
in terms of the fundamental laws.
= 93.7
For instance, ‘heat’. Heat is supposed to be the jiggling,
and it’s just a word for — a hot thing is just a word
for a mass of atoms which are jiggling.
= 101.9
Thought out fundamentally, we should think of the atoms jiggling.
= 105.0
But for a while, if we’re talking about heat,
we sometimes forget about the atoms jiggling —
= 109.7
just like when we talk about the glacier
we don’t always think of the hexagonal ice
snowflakes which originally fell.
= 117.5
Another example of the same thing is a salt crystal.
Looked at fundamentally,
it’s a lot of protons, neutrons, and electrons;
= 123.5
but we have this concept ’salt crystal’,
which carries a whole pattern, already,
of fundamental interactions.
= 130.2
Or an idea like pressure.
= 133.7
Now if we go higher up from this,
in another level, we have properties of substances —
= 139.2
like ’refractive index’,
how light is bent when it goes through something;
= 142.8
or ’surface tension’,
the fact that the water tends to pull itself together,
= 146.8
is described by a number.
= 148.4
I remind you that we have to go through several laws down
to find out that it’s the pull of the atoms, and so on.
= 155.2
But we still say it’s ’surface tension’, and don’t worry,
when we’re discussing surface tension, of the inner workings —
always — sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t.
= 161.8
Go on — up — in the hierarchy.
= 164.9
With the water we have the waves
and we have a thing like a storm,
we have a word ’storm’ which represents
an enormous mass of phenomena,
= 173.0
or ’sunspot’ or ’star’, which is an accumulation of things.
And it’s not worthwhile always to think of it way back.
= 181.9
In fact we can’t, because the higher up we go,
we have too many steps in between,
each one of which is a little weak,
and we haven’t thought them all through yet.
= 190.4
As we go up in this hierarchy of complexity,
we get to things like frog, or nerve impulse,
= 199.1
which, you see, is an enormously complicated thing
in the physical world, involving an organization of matter
in a very elaborate complexity.
= 208.3
And then we go on, we come to things, words and concepts
like ’man’, and ’history’, or ’political expediency’,
and so forth,
= 219.9
which is a series of concepts
that we use to understand things at an ever-higher level.
= 224.7
And going on, we come to things like evil, and beauty, and hope...
= 232.0
Now which end is nearer to the ultimate creator, or the ultimate?
So if I make a religious metaphor, which end is nearer to God?
= 244.8
Beauty and hope, or the fundamental laws?
= 248.4
I think that the right way, of course, is to say
the whole structural interconnections of the thing
is the thing that we have to look at,
= 257.8
and that the sequence of hierar —
= 259.0
that all the sciences and all the efforts,
not just the sciences but all the efforts of intellectual kinds,
= 265.1
are to see the connections of the hierarchies,
to connect beauty to history,
to connect history to man’s psychology,
= 271.8
man’s psychology to the working of the brain,
the brain to the neural impulse,
= 275.7
the neural impulse to the chemistry,
and so forth, up and down, both ways.
= 279.8
And today we cannot,
and there’s no use making believe we can,
draw carefully a line all the way
from one end of this thing to the other,
= 286.7
in fact we’ve just begun to see
that there is this relative hierarchy.
= 293.0
And so I don’t think either end is nearer to God’s.
= 295.8
And that to stand at either end,
and to walk out off the end of the pier only,
hoping out in that direction is the complete understanding,
is a mistake.
= 305.3
And to stand with evil and beauty and hope,
or to stand with the fundamental laws,
= 312.0
hoping that way to get a deep understanding of the whole world,
with that aspect alone, is a mistake.
= 318.7
And it is not sensible either,
for the ones who specialize at one end,
and the ones who specialize at the other end,
= 326.2
to have such disregard for each other.
(They don’t actually, but the people say they do. Sorry.)
= 334.9
But that actually,
the great mass of workers in between,
= 338.7
connecting one step to another,
are improving all the time our understanding of the world,
= 343.4
both from working at the ends and working in the middle.
= 347.0
And in that way
we are gradually understanding this connection,
this tremendous world of interconnecting hierarchies.
= 356.4
= 357.5
If you expected science to give all the answers
to the wonderful questions about what we are,
= 361.5
where we’re going,
what the meaning of the universe is and so on,
= 366.0
then I think you could easily become disillusioned
and then look for some mystic answer to these problems.
= 371.5
How a scientist can take a mystic answer I don’t know
because the whole spirit is to understand —
= 377.0
well, never mind that. Anyhow, I don’t understand that,
but anyhow if you think of it,
= 383.0
the way I think of what we’re doing is we’re exploring,
we’re trying to find out as much as we can about the world.
= 388.7
People say to me, "Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?"
No, I’m not, I’m just looking to find out more about the world
= 396.0
and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law
that explains everything,
so be it, that would be very nice to discover.
= 401.8
If it turns out it’s like an onion with millions of layers
and we’re just sick and tired of looking at the layers,
then that’s the way it is,
= 407.9
but whatever way it comes out its nature is there
and she’s going to come out the way she is,
= 413.0
and therefore when we go to investigate it we shouldn’t pre-decide
what it is we’re trying to do
except to find out more about it.
= 420.2
If you said your problem is,
why do you find out more about it,
= 423.4
if you thought you were trying to find out more about it
because you’re going to get an answer
to some deep philosophical question,
you may be wrong.
= 430.7
It may be that you can’t get an answer to that particular question
by finding out more about the character of nature,
= 436.3
but I don’t look at it —
= 438.8
My interest in science is to simply find out about the world,
and the more I find out the better it is.
= 444.5
I like to find out.
= 446.8
There are very remarkable mysteries
about the fact that we’re able to do so many more things
than apparently animals can do, and other questions like that,
= 454.5
but those are mysteries I want to investigate
without knowing the answer to them.
= 459.0
And so altogether I can’t believe the special stories
that have been made up
about our relationship to the universe at large
= 467.0
because —
= 469.9
they seem to be —
= 473.5
too simple, too connected to —
= 477.0
Too local! Too provincial!
The earth, he came to the earth!
= 480.8
One of the aspects of God came to the earth, mind you,
= 485.3
and look at what’s out there. How can you —
It isn’t in proportion.
= 492.5
Anyway, it’s no use arguing, I can’t argue it,
= 495.0
I’m just trying to tell you why the scientific views that I have
do have some effect on my beliefs. And also another thing
= 504.8
has to do with the question
of how you find out if something’s true,
= 509.5
and if you have all these theories,
the different religions
have all different theories about the thing,
= 515.2
then you begin to wonder. Once you start doubting,
just like you’re supposed to doubt, you ask me is the science true.
= 520.0
We say no no, we don’t know what’s true,
we’re trying to find out, everything is possibly wrong.
= 523.7
Start out understanding religion by saying
everything is possibly wrong; let us see.
= 527.9
As soon as you do that, you start sliding down an edge
which is hard to recover from.
= 534.0
And so with the scientific view, well, my father’s view,
that we should look to see what’s true
and what may not be true,
= 541.4
once you start doubting, which I think to me
is a very fundamental part of my soul,
is to doubt and to ask,
= 550.3
and when you doubt and ask it gets a little harder to believe.
= 555.5
You see, one thing is,
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.
I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing
than to have answers which might be wrong.
= 570.2
I have approximate answers and possible beliefs
and different degrees of certainty about different things,
= 575.0
but I’m not absolutely sure of anything
and there are many things I don’t know anything about,
= 579.1
such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here,
and what the question might mean.
= 585.0
I might think about it a little bit,
if I can’t figure it out, then I go to something else,
= 590.2
but I don’t have to know an answer.
I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things,
= 596.5
by being lost in the mysterious universe
without having any purpose,
= 600.8
which is the way it really is so far as I can tell.
Possibly.
= 604.0
It doesn’t frighten me.
= 606.0
: burke
= 5.9
Well, that’s no better a solution than any of the others, is it?
= 11.1
So, in the end, have we learned anything
from this look at why the world turned out the way it did
= 19.4
that’s of any use to us in our future?
Something, I think.
= 25.2
That the key to why things change is the key to everything.
How easy is it for knowledge to spread?
= 35.4
And that, in the past, the people who made change happen
were the people who had that knowledge,
whether they were craftsmen or kings.
= 45.8
Today, the people who make things change,
the people who have that knowledge,
= 51.8
are the scientists and the technologists
who are the true driving force of humanity.
= 56.8
And before you say,
"What about the Beethovens and the Michelangeloes,"
let me suggest something with which you may disagree violently:
= 65.7
that at best the products of human emotion:
art — philosophy — politics — music — literature,
= 73.3
are interpretations of the world,
= 76.7
that tell you more about the guy who’s talking
than about the world he’s talking about.
= 81.0
= 82.9
Secondhand views of the world
made thirdhand by your interpretation of them.
= 90.0
Things like that:
= 91.5
As opposed to
= 92.3
this:
= 93.5
Know what it is?
= 95.0
It’s a bunch of amino acids,
the stuff that goes to build up a —
= 99.3
a worm,
or a geranium,
= 101.7
= 102.2
or you.
= 104.6
This stuff’s easier to take, isn’t it?
= 106.7
Understandable; got people in it.
= 110.4
This, scientific knowledge,
is hard to take
= 114.3
because it removes the reassuring crutches of opinion, ideology,
and leaves only what is demonstrably true about the world.
= 125.4
And the reason why so many people
may be thinking about throwing away those crutches
= 130.7
is because, thanks to science and technology,
they have begun to know that they don’t know so much
= 138.5
and that if they’re to have
more say in what happens to their lives,
= 142.4
more freedom to develop their abilities to the full,
= 145.6
they have to be helped towards that knowledge
that they know exists and that they don’t possess.
= 151.8
And by "helped towards that knowledge", I don’t mean
give everybody a computer and say "help yourself!"
= 157.6
Where would you even start?
= 159.0
No, I mean,
trying to find ways to translate the knowledge,
to teach us to ask the right questions.
= 167.9
See, we’re on the edge of a revolution
in communications technology
that is going to make that more possible than ever before.
= 175.4
Or, if that’s not done,
to cause an explosion of knowledge
= 180.8
that will leave those of us who don’t have access to it
as powerless as if we were deaf, dumb and blind.
= 187.5
And I don’t think most people want that.
= 190.0
So what do we do about it?
I don’t know.
= 194.4
But maybe a good start
would be to recognize, within yourself,
the ability to understand anything
= 200.6
because that ability’s there,
as long as it’s explained clearly enough.
= 205.3
And then go and ask for explanations.
= 209.4
And if you’re thinking right now, "What do I ask for?"
= 213.3
Ask yourself if there’s anything in your life
that you want changed.
= 219.65
That’s where to start.
= 221.4
: psalm46
= 23.0
How many of you here have personally witnessed
a total eclipse of the sun?
= 29.7
To stand one day in the shadow of the moon
is one of my humble goals in life.
= 36.4
The closest I ever came was over thirty years ago.
= 40.2
On February 26, 1979,
a solar eclipse passed directly over the city of Portland.
= 48.2
I bought my bus tickets and found a place to stay.
But in the end, I couldn’t get the time off work.
= 55.4
Well, anyone who lives in Portland can tell you
that the chances of catching the sun in February
are pretty slim.
= 62.3
And sure enough, the skies over the city that day
were completely overcast. I wouldn’t have seen a thing.
= 70.4
That work I couldn’t get out of
was my first job out of college:
= 74.8
A sales clerk at an old Radio Shack store
in beautiful downtown Worcester, Massachusetts.
= 82.6
On my very first day behind the counter,
a delivery truck pulled up to the front of the store.
= 88.7
They carried in a big carton,
upon which was printed the legend TRS-80.
= 95.8
It was our floor sample
of the world’s first mass-market microcomputer.
= 102.3
The TRS-80 Model I
had a Z80 processor clocked at 1.7 megahertz,
= 108.2
4,096 bytes of memory,
and a 64-character black-and-white text display.
= 114.8
The only storage was a cassette recorder.
All this could be yours for the low, low price of $599.
= 123.7
This store I was working in had seen better days.
= 128.2
At one time, it had been near the center
of a thriving commercial district.
= 133.1
But like so many other New England cities,
the advent of shopping malls had, by the early ‘70s,
turned it into a ghost town.
= 142.3
Worcester’s solution to this problem was decisive,
to say the least.
= 147.3
The city’s elders apparently decided
that if they couldn’t beat them, they would join them.
= 152.8
And so several square blocks at the heart of the city
were bulldozed into oblivion,
destroying dozens of family businesses,
= 161.2
including the site of a pharmacy
once operated by my great-grandfather.
= 166.8
In their place was erected
a vast three-level shopping complex,
with cinemas and a food court.
= 173.4
When the dust settled,
only a few forlorn blocks of the old Worcester remained standing.
= 179.8
My Radio Shack store was in one of those blocks.
= 185.6
Then, to add insult to injury,
Radio Shack opened a brand-new location inside the shopping center,
less than 500 feet from my store.
= 195.9
So now patrons has a choice between a clean,
well-lighted establishment with uniformed security
and acres of convenient parking,
= 204.3
or a shadowy hole in a seedy old office building
next to an adult movie theater.
= 211.0
Consequently, I had plenty of time to fool around
with the new computer.
= 219.4
I taught myself BASIC programming.
Then I learned Z80 assembly.
Both, of course, so that I could write games.
= 225.7
I also created self-running animated demos
which ran all night in the store window
for the edification of the winos who peed in our doorway.
= 235.6
Strangely enough, the few customers we had
didn’t seem to be interested in our new computer,
even after the 16K memory upgrade.
= 244.1
In fact, most of the people who set off the buzzer
on their way through the front door
weren’t there to buy anything at all.
= 250.9
They were there to exploit a free promotion
which was the bane of Radio Shack employees for over forty years:
The Battery of the Month Club.
= 261.7
The idea of this promotion was simple.
= 264.9
Customers got a little red card
upon which was printed a square for each month.
= 270.2
Twelve times a year, the lucky sales clerk
got to punch out a square and give the customer
one brand new triple-A, double-A, C, D or 9-volt battery.
= 281.5
Of course, customers weren’t allowed to choose
just any grade of battery.
= 286.5
At the time of my employment,
Radio Shack offered three different levels of battery excellence.
= 293.3
First were the alkalines, powerful, long-lasting and expensive,
hanging behind the counter like prescription medication
in gold-embossed blister packs.
= 304.1
These were most certainly not available
through the Battery of the Month Club.
= 309.3
Next were the high-end lead batteries,
sturdy, dependable batteries, moderately priced,
and prominently displayed near the front of the store.
= 318.5
These were also not available
through the Battery of the Month Club.
= 323.0
Finally, at the bottom of the barrel,
were the standard lead batteries.
= 327.9
These were literally piled in barrels,
cunningly located way at the back of the store,
in a dark corner near the TV antennas.
= 337.4
Remember TV antennas?
= 341.0
Customers who came in looking
for their free Battery of the Month
had to walk the entire length of the premises,
= 346.4
past the CB radios and stereo headphones
and remote-controlled racing cars.
= 352.5
Nothing would stop them.
= 355.4
On the first day of every month, like clockwork,
those customers come in waving their little red cards.
= 362.5
I would look up from my programming
and wave them to the back of the store.
= 367.0
It didn’t matter that the batteries
were only worth twenty-nine cents.
= 371.0
It didn’t matter that most of them
were already half dead.
= 374.3
They came. They grabbed.
And, as far as I can remember,
not one of them ever paid for a damned thing.
= 383.2
I was such a crappy salesman. I was young and foolish.
= 389.1
I thought my education in game design
was happening at the keyboard.
= 394.4
I almost missed the lesson coming through the front door.
= 400.0
Fortunately, I wasn’t the only person
fooling around with games on micros.
= 405.3
All over the country, people like me were experimenting.
= 409.7
Scott Adams was coding what would soon become
the world’s first commercial adventure game.
= 415.3
Remember adventure games?
= 418.6
My future employer, Infocom, was being founded,
along with other legendary companies
like On-Line Systems, Sirius, Personal Software and SSI.
= 430.6
Those were exciting times.
= 433.0
Teenagers were making fortunes.
= 436.2
Games were cheap and easy to build.
The slate was clean.
= 444.3
But in 1979, the biggest news in gaming had nothing to do with computers.
= 452.5
On the morning of the autumn equinox, September 20th,
a new children’s picture book appeared in the stores of Great Britain.
= 461.7
This picture book was rather peculiar.
= 464.8
It consisted of 15 meticulously detailed color paintings,
illustrating a slight, whimsical tale
about a rabbit delivering a jewel to the moon.
= 477.3
On the back jacket of the book was a color photograph
of a real jewel shaped like a running rabbit, five inches long,
= 485.3
fashioned of 18-karat gold, suspended with ornaments and bells,
together with a sun and moon of blue quartz.
= 494.8
According to the blurb underneath,
this very jewel had been buried somewhere in England.
= 501.8
Clues pointing to its location were concealed in the text
and in the pictures of the book.
= 509.0
The treasure would belong to whoever found it first.
= 513.9
The book was called Masquerade.
It was created by an eccentric little man with divergent eyes
and a talent for mischief named Kit Williams.
= 525.4
Within days, the first printing was sold out.
And the Empire That Never Sleeps
found itself in the grip of Rabbit Fever.
= 535.2
Excited readers attacked the paintings with rulers,
compasses and protractors.
= 540.4
Magazine articles and TV specials dissected the clues,
floated theories, and followed with keen delight
the reckless exploits of the fanatics.
= 550.8
One obscure park, unfortunately known by the nickname Rabbit Hill,
was so riddled with holes excavated by misguided treasure seekers
= 561.2
that the authorities had to erect signs assuring the public
that no gold rabbits were to be found there.
= 568.8
Some hunters ended up seeking psychological counseling for their obsession.
= 574.0
The craze lept over the Atlantic Ocean and invaded
America, France, Italy and Germany.
= 581.7
It sold over a million copies in a few months,
a record unrivalled by any children’s title
until the advent of Harry Potter.
= 590.9
Over 150,000 copies were sold in foreign translations,
including 80,000 copies in Japanese,
despite the fact that the puzzle was only solvable in English.
= 604.0
It didn’t matter that the Masquerade jewel
was only worth a few thousand dollars.
= 609.0
Many seekers spent far more than that
in their months of exploration and travel.
= 614.7
It was the thrill of the chase.
The possibility of being The One.
= 621.8
Treasure hunts, secret messages and hidden things
seem to exert an irresistible appeal.
= 629.9
They’re fun to look for, and to talk about.
= 632.8
And this fact of human psychology
has been exploited in computer games since the earliest days.
= 640.8
It finds expression in the hidden surprises we call Easter eggs.
= 648.4
Atari’s Steven Wright is credited with coining this term
in the first issue of Electronic Games magazine.
= 658.4
The first Easter egg in a commercial computer game
appeared in an early Atari 2600 cartridge
called, simply enough, Adventure.
= 667.6
By a sequence of unlikely movements and obscure manipulations,
players could discover a secret room where the words
“Created by Warren Robinet” appeared in flashing letters.
= 680.5
Over the decades, Easter eggs and their evil twin, cheat codes,
have become an industry within an industry.
= 688.2
Entire magazines and Web sites are now devoted
to their carefully orchestrated discovery and dissemination.
= 696.0
They’re part of our toolkit, our basic vocabulary,
the language of computer game design.
= 703.1
Computer gamers may have been the first to refer
to hidden surprises as Easter eggs,
but we certainly weren’t the first to use them.
= 711.4
Painters, composers and artists of every discipline
have been hiding stuff in their works for centuries.
= 719.0
The recent advent of VCRs
and laserdisc players with freeze-frame capability
exposed decades of secret Disney erotica.
= 728.8
Thomas Kinkade, the self-appointed “Painter of Light,”
amuses himself by hiding the letter N in his works.
= 736.8
A number beside his signature indicates how many Ns
are hidden in each painting.
= 742.9
Picasso, Dali, Raphael, Poussin and dozens of other painters
concealed all kinds of stuff in their paintings.
= 751.3
A favorite trick was hiding portraits of themselves,
their families, friends and fellow artists in crowd scenes.
= 759.5
El Greco loved dogs. But the Catholic Church forbid him
from including any in his sacred paintings.
= 766.7
So he hid them, usually within the outlines of celestial clouds.
= 772.7
Composer Dmitri Shostakovich chafed under the political censorship
imposed by the Soviet Ministry of Culture.
= 780.7
His symphonies and chamber works are loaded with hidden signatures
and subversive subtexts which, had they been recognized,
would have sent him to Siberia.
= 791.9
Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute is filled with musical allusions
to the rituals of the Freemasons, the ancient secret society
of which he and his mentor Haydn were members.
= 805.5
But the most famous purveyor of Easter eggs is that champion
of the late Baroque, the ultimate musical nerd, Johann Sebastian Bach.
= 816.6
Bach was a student of gematria, the art of assigning numeric values
to letters of the alphabet: A=1, B=2, C=3, et cetera.
= 829.1
By comparing, sequencing or otherwise manipulating these numbers,
secret messages can be concealed.
= 836.8
Bach took particular delight in the gematriacal numbers 14 and 41.
= 844.0
14 is the sum of the initials of his last name: B=2, A=1, C=3 and H=8.
= 854.5
41 is the sum of his expanded initials, J S BACH.
= 860.2
These two numbers show up over and over again in Bach’s compositions.
= 866.4
One of the better-known examples is his setting
of the chorale “Vor deinen Thron.”
= 871.6
The first line of the melody contains exactly 14 notes,
and the entire melody from start to finish contains 41.
= 881.0
Another of Bach’s favorite games was the puzzle canon.
= 885.4
A canon is a melody that sounds good when you play it
on top of itself, a little bit out of sync.
= 891.8
“Frère Jacques” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
are familiar examples of simple, two-voice canons.
= 898.6
But a canon can employ any number of voices.
= 902.4
And you don’t have to play each voice the same way, either.
= 905.7
You can change the octave, transpose the key,
invert the pitch, play it backwards, or any combination.
= 913.3
Finding melodies that make good multi-voice canons
is a fussy and difficult art, of which Bach was an undisputed master.
= 923.5
Now, in a puzzle canon,
the composer specifies the basic melody and the number of voices,
but not the relationship of the voices.
= 932.5
The student has to figure out the position and key of each voice,
and whether to perform them inverted and/or backwards.
= 941.1
Bach wrote quite a number of puzzle canons.
The most famous, BWV 1076, is part of a fascinating story.
= 950.8
One of Bach’s students was a fellow by the name of Lorenz Mizler,
founder of The Society of Musical Science.
= 958.5
This elite, invitation-only institution
devoted itself to the study of Pythagorean philosophy,
and the union of music and mathematics.
= 969.4
Its distinguished membership reads like a Who’s Who of German composers,
including Handel, Telemann and eventually Mozart.
= 979.0
Applicants for membership in the Society
were required to submit an oil portrait of themselves,
along with a specimen of original music.
= 988.4
With nerdly efficiency, society member number 14 decided
to combine these admission requirements into a single work.
= 997.9
He sat for a portrait with Elias Haussmann,
official artist at the court of Dresden.
= 1004.0
This portrait, which now hangs in the gallery
of the Town Hall in Leipzig,
is the only indisputably authentic image of Bach in existence.
= 1016.7
The Haussman portrait shows Bach dressed in a formal coat
with exactly 14 buttons. In his hand is a sheet of music paper
upon which is written a puzzle canon for six simultaneous voices.
= 1034.5
In 1974, a manuscript was discovered which proved
that this canon was the thirteenth in a series of exactly 14 canons
based on the ground theme of the famous Goldberg Variations.
= 1049.5
As if these musical gymnastics weren’t enough,
Bach liked to hide messages in his compositions
by assigning notes to the letters.
= 1059.0
His initials B-A-C-H correspond to the pitch sequence
B-flat, A, C and B-natural in German letter notation.
= 1070.1
This theme makes its most memorable appearance
in the last bars of his final composition,
The Art of Fugue, published soon after his death in 1750.
= 1081.8
The word “fugue” comes from the Latin fuga,
which means flight (as in running away).
= 1089.0
So the art of fugue is the art of flight,
the art of taking a theme and running with it.
= 1096.0
Bach wrote hundreds of fugues,
but none as sublime as this sequence of 14.
= 1103.3
In the last and most complicated fugue in the series,
the first and second sections develop normally.
= 1109.8
This is followed by the B-A-C-H signature,
and then suddenly, without any warning or structural justification,
the fugue stops dead in its tracks.
= 1122.0
One of the composer’s 20 children,
his son Carl Philipp Emanuel,
claimed that Bach died moments after those last few notes were written.
= 1132.0
This story is probably apocryphal.
= 1135.6
The Easter eggs in Bach’s music are a pleasant obscurity,
known chiefly to professors and students of Baroque music.
= 1144.4
But in March of 2002, when this lecture was first delivered,
those Easter eggs were the talk of the entire classical music industry.
= 1154.6
Sitting near the top of the classical music charts that month
was a compact disc on the ECM label called Morimur.
= 1162.7
It is performed by the Hilliard choral ensemble
together with a talented but, until then,
little-known violinist, Christoph Poppen.
= 1171.9
The music on Morimur is based on a gematriacal analysis
of Bach’s Partita in D Minor for solo violin.
= 1180.4
This analysis, by German professor Helga Thoene,
assigns numeric values to the duration of notes,
the number of bars, and the German letter notation of the Partita.
= 1192.2
In doing so, she claims to have discovered the complete text
of several liturgical ceremonies encoded in the notes.
= 1200.6
The CD presents these hidden texts,
superimposed over the original music.
= 1206.8
The result was strangely melancholy,
dark, haunting, and very, very popular.
= 1214.3
Quite a few music critics attacked this disc.
= 1217.8
They didn’t buy Professor Thoene’s analysis,
dismissing it as a combination of numerology and canny marketing.
= 1225.5
Their caution was not without basis.
= 1228.8
Numerology is a slippery slope
down which many a fine mind has slid to its doom.
= 1236.3
Allow me to offer an amusing anecdote from my own experience.
= 1241.0
Back in the early ‘90s, before the Internet took off,
one of the more popular online bulletin board systems
was a service called Prodigy.
= 1250.7
I bought an account on Prodigy
so I could join a fraternal interest group,
and gossip with fellow members around the country.
= 1258.4
One day, a stranger appeared on our bulletin board.
Right away, I knew we were in trouble.
= 1267.0
This fellow, whose name was Gary,
began spouting all kinds of apocalyptic nonsense
about worldwide conspiracies, secret societies and devil worship.
= 1280.1
At first we tried to be polite.
= 1282.4
We questioned his sources, corrected his histories,
logically refuted his claims, and tried to behave in a civilized manner.
= 1291.3
But instead of soothing him, our attention only made him worse.
= 1295.7
His conspiratorial warnings became urgent, approaching hysteria.
He began to threaten people who disagreed with him.
To coin a phrase, Gary went All Upper Case.
= 1307.5
But his most urgent warnings weren’t about the gays,
the Jews, the Rockefellers or the Illuminati.
= 1314.3
According to Gary, the greatest enemy of mankind was Santa Claus.
= 1320.8
Gary claimed to possess a secret numerical formula
that “proved” beyond a shadow of a doubt
that Santa Claus was an avatar of the Antichrist.
= 1332.1
Intrigued, we pressed Gary to reveal his formula.
In doing so, we walked right into his trap.
We should have known he had a book to sell.
= 1343.4
I fell for it. I sent him the fifteen bucks.
Less than a week later the book arrived.
= 1349.5
Above an ominous photograph of the Washington monument
was emblazoned the title: 666: The Final Warning!
= 1359.5
Inside this privately printed 494-page monster,
Gary reveals a simple gematriacal formula
which he claims was developed by the ancient Sumerians.
= 1372.2
This formula assigns successive products of 6
to each letter of the alphabet: A=6, B=12, C=18, etc.
= 1384.3
Imagine my dismay when I applied this ancient formula
to the name “Santa Claus,” and obtained the blasphemous sum of 666,
the Biblical Number of the Beast!
= 1397.8
I went on Prodigy and reported
to the stunned members of our interest group
that Gary was right, after all.
= 1405.3
There could be no doubt that,
according to the unimpeachable wisdom of ancient Sumeria,
Santa Claus was the AntiChrist.
= 1414.0
I then went on to point out several other names which,
when submitted to Gary’s formula, also produced the sum 666.
= 1422.6
Names like “Saint James,” “New York” and “New Mexico.”
= 1428.8
Soon the bulletin board was filled with discoveries
like “computer,” “Boston tea” and, most sinister of all, “sing karaoke.”
= 1440.5
Gary left us alone after that. I got my $15 worth.
= 1445.8
But Gary is hardly the first person
to connect secret codes to the Bible.
= 1451.7
People have been looking for Easter eggs in the Bible
for hundreds of years.
= 1457.2
The Hebrew mystical tradition of kabbalah
can be described as a gematriacal meditation on the Pentateuch,
the first five books of the Old Testament.
= 1467.7
The advent of computers
has made the application of numerology to the Bible
fast and efficient.
= 1474.7
The latest spate of Bible-searching
was instigated by a book published in 1998 by Michael Drosnin,
a former Wall Street Journal reporter.
= 1485.2
His book, The Bible Code, applied a skip-cypher,
in which every nth character in a text is combined to form a message.
= 1497.2
By applying his skip-cypher to the Hebrew text of the Old Testament,
Drosnin claimed to have discovered predictions of World War II,
the Holocaust, Hiroshima,
the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and both Kennedys,
= 1511.6
the moon landing, Watergate, the Oklahoma City bombing,
the election of Bill Clinton, the death of Princess Di
and the comet that collided with Jupiter.
= 1522.8
He also found predictions of a giant earthquake in LA,
a meteor hitting the earth, and nuclear armageddon,
all scheduled to occur before the end of the last decade.
= 1534.6
The Bible Code spent many weeks on the bestseller lists,
spawning several sequels and dozens of imitators.
= 1542.9
The Bible has certainly attracted its share of crackpots.
= 1546.9
But for the real hardcore egg hunters,
nothing can rival the ingenuity, the tenacious scholarship,
the stubborn zeal of those who seek the answer
to the ultimate literary puzzle.
= 1560.9
A poisonous conundrum that has squandered fortunes,
destroyed careers, and driven healthy,
intelligent scholars to the brink of madness, and beyond.
= 1574.4
Who wrote Shakespeare?
= 1578.6
The essays and books devoted to the Shakespeare authorship problem
are sufficient to fill a large library.
= 1587.0
Several such libraries actually exist.
= 1590.9
Not even a day-long tutorial, much less an hour lecture,
can begin to do justice to this complex,
bizarre and dangerously tantalizing story.
= 1603.1
Nevertheless, for the unacquainted,
I will attempt to summarize the issue in a few paragraphs.
= 1610.4
The undisputed facts of Shakespeare’s life and career
could be scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin.
= 1618.0
We know for a fact that a man named William Shakespeare
was born in 1564 in or around the village of Stratford-upon-Avon.
= 1628.8
We know that he had a wife and at least three children.
We know he bought property in Stratford,
= 1635.3
was involved in several lawsuits with his neighbors,
and died there in 1616, aged 52.
= 1643.3
We also know that during those same years,
a man with a last name similar to Shakespeare
worked as an actor on the London stage,
eventually becoming co-owner of some of the theaters there.
= 1656.3
We also know that, about the same time,
a number of most excellent poems and plays
were published in London under the name Shakespeare.
= 1666.3
We do not know for a fact
that the landowner in Stratford
and the actor in London with a similar last name
were one and the same man.
= 1675.9
We do not know for a fact
that either man had anything to do
with the poems and the plays.
= 1682.5
All we know is that those poems and plays have,
in the four hundred years since their composition,
come to be regarded as a pinnacle of Western culture.
= 1695.7
The works attributed to Shakespeare
appear to have been written by a man or woman
who knew something about just about everything.
= 1704.5
They’re filled with references to mythology and
classic literature, games and sports, war and weapons of war,
= 1712.4
ships and sailing, the law and legal terminology,
court etiquette, statesmanship, horticulture,
= 1719.6
music, astronomy, medicine, falconry and, of course, theater.
= 1726.0
Therein lies the problem.
= 1728.9
How could a farmer’s son of uncertain schooling
from a mostly illiterate country village,
= 1735.6
a man of practically no account at all,
wield such encyclopedic learning
= 1741.7
with so much eloquence and wit,
so much wisdom and human understanding?
= 1747.8
For the first 150 years,
nobody questioned the traditional history of the Bard.
= 1754.5
Then, in the late eighteenth century, Reverend James Wilmot,
a distinguished scholar who lived just a few miles north of Stratford,
decided to write a biography of the famous playwright.
= 1766.7
Dr. Wilmot believed that a man as well-educated as Shakespeare
must have owned a fairly extensive library,
despite the fact that not a single book or manuscript is mentioned in his will.
= 1779.8
Over the years, he speculated,
some of those books must have found their way into local collections.
= 1786.6
And so the good Reverend Doctor scoured the British countryside,
taking inventory of literally every bookshelf within 50 miles of Stratford.
= 1797.7
Not a single book from the library of William Shakespeare was discovered.
= 1803.3
Neither were there found any letters to, from or about Shakespeare.
= 1808.9
Furthermore, no references to the folklore,
local sayings or distinctive dialect of the Stratford area
could be found in any of Shakespeare’s writings.
= 1820.2
After four years of painstaking research,
Dr. Wilmot concluded, to his own dismay,
= 1826.7
that only one person contemporary with Shakespeare of Stratford
had ever demonstrated the wide-ranging education and expressive talent
needed to compose those poems and plays.
= 1840.8
That man was the multilingual author, philosopher and statesman,
inventor of the Scientific Method, Chancellor to the Courts
of Queen Elizabeth and King James, Sir Francis Bacon.
= 1854.6
Dr. Wilmot never dared to publish his theory.
But before he died he confided it to a friend, James Cowell,
who, in 1805, repeated it to a meeting of the Ipswich Philosophical Society.
= 1869.1
The members of the society were suitably outraged,
and the scandalous matter was quickly forgotten.
= 1875.8
Then in 1857, a lady from Stratford — Stratford, Connecticut —
published a book called The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare Unfolded.
= 1887.2
In this book, Miss Delia Bacon, no relation to Francis,
claimed that the works of Shakespeare were written
by a secret cabal of British nobility
= 1897.4
including Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Philip Sidney
as well as Sir Francis Bacon.
= 1903.3
Delia Bacon’s book electrified the world of letters.
= 1907.7
Battle lines were drawn
between the orthodox Stratfordians and the heretical Baconians.
= 1913.7
Literary societies and scholarly journals were formed to debate the evidence.
= 1918.9
Hundreds of pamphlets, newspaper articles and essays
were published defending each side,
and ridiculing the opposition with that self-aggrandizing viciousness
peculiar to tenured academics.
= 1932.5
Armed with her explosive book,
Delia Bacon journeyed to Stratford-upon-Avon and, unbelievably,
obtained official permission to open Shakespeare’s grave.
= 1945.5
However, when the moment came to actually lift the stone,
Delia’s self-doubt precipitated a catastrophic nervous breakdown.
= 1956.6
She later died penniless in a madhouse.
= 1960.6
Around 1888, things began to get a bit out of hand.
= 1965.3
U.S. Congressman Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota
became interested in the Shakespeare controversy.
= 1972.0
One day, browsing through his facsimile copy of the First Folio of 1623,
he noted that the word “bacon” appeared on page 53 of the Histories
and also on page 53 of the Comedies.
= 1987.7
He also noted that Sir Francis Bacon
had written extensively on the subject of cryptography.
= 1995.0
Donnelly began counting line and page numbers,
adding and subtracting letters,
drawing lines over sentences,
circling words and crossing them out.
= 2005.3
The result was a complex and virtually incomprehensible algorithm
which he claimed was invented by Bacon
to hide secret messages inside the First Folio.
= 2017.2
The greatest Easter egg hunt in the history of Western civilization had begun.
= 2023.4
Here are just a couple of the sillier highlights.
= 2027.1
A doctor named Orville Owen of Detroit
constructed a bizarre research tool he called the Wheel of Fortune.
= 2035.9
This wheel consisted of two giant wooden spools
wrapped with a strip of canvas two feet wide and a thousand feet long.
= 2045.4
Onto this canvas he glued the separate pages of the complete works
of Bacon, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Greene, Peele and Spenser,
together with Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy.
= 2059.8
By cranking the spools back and forth,
Dr. Owen could quickly zip across the pages
in search of clues and cross-references.
= 2068.1
Employing a large team of secretaries and stenographers,
Owen claimed to have uncovered
a complete alternative history of Elizabethan England,
= 2078.4
as well as several entirely new Shakespeare plays and sonnets.
= 2083.5
Listen to this hidden verse,
supposedly penned by the mighty Bard himself,
which inspired Dr. Owen to build his Wheel of Fortune.
= 2094.4
Take your knife and cut all our books asunder
And set the leaves on a great firm wheel
= 2102.6
Which rolls and rolls, and turning the fickle rolling wheel
Throw your eyes upon Fortune
= 2110.8
That goddess blind, that stands upon a spherical stone
that, turning and inconstant, rolls
in restless variation.
= 2122.9
After publishing five thick volumes of this rubbish,
Owen announced the discovery of an anagram indicating
that Bacon’s original manuscripts were buried
near Chepstow Castle on the river Wye.
= 2137.3
Owen spent the next fifteen years and thousands of dollars
excavating the bed of the river with boat crews and high explosives.
= 2147.8
He died before anything was found.
= 2150.95
A fellow named Arensburg wrote an entire book
based on the analysis of the significance of a suspicious crack
in the tomb of Bacon’s mother.
= 2162.5
A ray of sanity finally appeared in 1957.
= 2167.8
To those familiar with the science of cryptology,
the name William Friedman needs little introduction.
= 2174.4
During World War II, Colonel Friedman was the head
of the US Army’s cryptoanalytic bureau.
= 2180.2
He is credited with cracking the Japanese Empire’s
most sensitive cipher.
= 2185.7
After the war, the Colonel decided to apply his expertise to the study
of the Shakespeare ciphers.
= 2192.6
He interviewed several of the experts in the field,
and prepared a detailed scientific analysis,
which he published under the title The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined.
= 2203.3
His conclusion? In a word, bunk.
= 2207.3
According to the standards of cryptologic science,
not one of the hidden messages purportedly discovered in Shakespeare’s works
was plausible.
= 2216.2
The rules used to extract these messages from the texts were non-rigorous,
wildly subjective, and unrepeatable by anyone except the original decypherer.
= 2227.4
The people involved were not being dishonest.
= 2230.8
They were channeling their preconceptions.
= 2233.9
They were trapped in a labyrinth of delusion, mining order from chaos,
“Angler[s] in a lake of darkness.” Lear III.6.
= 2246.7
You would think that Friedman’s cold and ruthless exposure
would be enough to silence the heretics once and for all.
= 2254.9
Not a chance. The books and TV specials and Web sites
and conferences and doctoral dissertations keep right on coming.
= 2265.7
I should point out that the Shakespeare authorship issue
is not only the preoccupation of cranks and weirdos.
= 2272.9
A substantial number of respected authors and Shakespeareans
have expressed serious doubts about the traditional origin of the plays.
= 2283.2
The list includes Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Walt Whitman, Henry James, Sam Clemens, Sigmund Freud,
Orson Welles and Sir John Gielgud.
= 2297.7
Living skeptics include the artistic director of the New Globe Theater,
Mark Rylance; Michael York, Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh,
= 2307.1
and even that most revered and scholarly
of contemporary Shakespearean actors, Keanu Reeves.
= 2314.7
The current leading candidate for the authorship is Edward de Vere,
the seventeenth Earl of Oxford,
= 2321.5
a theory first proposed in 1920 by an English schoolmaster
with the unfortunate name J. Thomas Looney.
= 2331.6
What is it about Bach, the Bible and the works of Shakespeare
that inspires this intense scrutiny?
= 2340.3
Nobody’s looking for acrostics in Chaucer or Keats.
= 2344.8
There are no hit CDs of the secret chorales of Wagner or Beethoven.
= 2351.2
For the answer, we need to recognize the unique roles
which the Bible and Shakespeare have played
in the development of Western culture.
= 2361.0
No other single work of literature
has influenced Modern English
more than the translation of the Holy Bible published in 1611
under the auspices of King James I.
= 2374.4
The King James Bible exemplifies the meaning of the word classic.
= 2380.7
It has been called the noblest monument of English prose,
the very greatest achievement of the English language.
= 2389.5
It has served as an inspiration for generations
of poets, dramatists, musicians, politicians and orators.
= 2398.9
Countless people have learned to read by repeating the phrases in this,
the only book their family possessed.
= 2408.7
Our constitutions and our laws have been profoundly shaped
by its cadences and imagery.
= 2417.3
But even the glory of the King James Bible,
compiled by a committee of 46 editors over the course of a decade,
pales before the dazzling legacy of the Swan of Avon.
= 2431.8
The lowest estimate of Shakespeare’s working vocabulary
is 15,000 words, more than three times that of the King James Bible,
and twice the size of his nearest competitor, John Milton.
= 2446.2
His poems and plays were written without the aid of a dictionary
or a thesaurus. They didn’t exist yet. It was all in his head.
= 2456.9
When Shakespeare had a thought for which Elizabethan English had no word,
he invented one.
= 2463.5
The Oxford English Dictionary lists hundreds of everyday words and phrases
which made their first appearance in the pages of the Bard.
= 2473.9
Addiction. Alligator. Assassination. Bedroom. Critic. Dawn. Design.
= 2483.2
Dialogue. Employer. Film. Glow. Gloomy. Gossip. Hint. Hurry.
= 2492.8
Investment. Lonely. Luggage. Manager. Switch. Torture.
= 2499.6
Transcendence. Wormhole. Zany.
= 2504.7
Hamlet alone contains nearly forty of these neologisms.
= 2510.2
Who today would have this audacity, this giddy exuberance of invention?
= 2516.7
Only one other English author even approaches Shakespeare’s facility
for coining new words: Sir Francis Bacon.
= 2527.7
In the modern era, the record holder is Charles Dodgson,
better known as Lewis Carroll, who, interestingly,
also happens to be the second most quoted author in English, after Shakespeare.
= 2540.8
Everyone has been profoundly molded
by the influences of the King James Bible and Shakespeare.
= 2548.8
Like it or not, all of us peer at the world
through the lenses of these great works.
= 2556.4
They are the primary source documents of modern English thought,
the style guides of our minds.
= 2565.8
Contemplating these dazzling jewels of wisdom and eloquence
gives rise to an extraordinary feeling.
= 2574.4
A potent, rare and precious emotion
with the potential to completely upset your life.
= 2582.9
An emotion powerful enough to make a man abandon his wife and children,
forfeit career and reputation,
lay down his possessions and follow his heart without questioning.
= 2596.7
That sweet, sweet fusion of wonder and fear,
irresistible attraction and soul-numbing dread known as awe.
= 2610.8
Awe is the Grail of artistic achievement.
No other human emotion possesses such raw transformative power,
and none is more difficult to evoke.
= 2625.9
Few and far between are the works of man
that qualify as truly awesome.
= 2634.8
It is awe that convinces a rabbi
to spend a lifetime decoding Yahweh from the Pentateuch.
= 2644.2
Awe that sends millions of visitors each year
to the Pyramids of Giza, Guadalupe and Mecca.
= 2653.2
It was awe that drove poor Delia Bacon to her doom.
= 2659.8
Now, please don’t come away from this lecture thinking
that the key to awesome game design is the installation of Easter eggs!
= 2667.8
Ordinary games, with their contrived Easter eggs and cheat codes,
are like the Battery of the Month club.
= 2675.0
You have to trudge down to the back of the store
to get what you really came for.
= 2679.7
If super power is what people really want, why not just give it to them?
= 2684.8
Is our imagination so impoverished
that we have to resort to marketing gimmicks
to keep players interested in our games?
= 2692.9
Awesome things don’t hold anything back.
= 2696.9
Awesome things are rich and generous.
= 2701.2
The treasure is right there.
= 2705.7
One afternoon, I was sitting alone behind the counter
at that old Radio Shack store.
My boss had stepped out for some reason.
= 2715.5
An elderly woman walked through the front door.
= 2719.4
Like most of our customers, she was shabbily dressed.
Probably on a fixed income.
= 2726.1
I assumed she was there for her free battery.
= 2729.4
But instead, she placed a portable radio on the counter.
= 2734.7
This radio came from the days when they boasted
about the number of transitors inside on the case.
= 2742.2
It was completely wrapped in dirty white medical tape.
= 2747.4
The woman looked at me, and asked, “Can you fix this?”
= 2751.9
Slowly I unwrapped the medical tape,
peeling away the layers until the back cover of the radio fell off,
accompanied by a cloud of red dust.
= 2763.7
The interior of the radio was half eaten away by battery leakage and corrosion.
= 2770.8
I looked at the radio. I looked at the old woman.
I looked back at the radio.
= 2778.4
I reached behind me, where the expensive alkaline batteries
were hanging like prescription medication,
and removed a gleaming nine-volt cell from its gold blister pack.
= 2790.2
Then I pulled a brand-new transistor radio from a box,
installed the alkaline and helped the lady find her favorite station.
= 2799.6
No money changed hands. She left the store without saying a word.
= 2806.9
Awesome things are kind of like that.
= 2818.3
Bach offered his students very specific insight into the source of awe.
= 2827.4
In addition to B-A-C-H, two other sets of initials
are also associated with Bach’s music.
= 2836.0
These initials are not hidden in the notes.
Instead, they’re scrawled right across the top of his manuscripts
for the whole world to see.
= 2847.5
The initials are SDG and JJ.
= 2854.1
SDG stands for the Latin phrase Soli Deo Gloria, “To the glory of God alone.”
= 2864.6
JJ stands for Jesu Juva, “Help me, Jesus.”
= 2872.3
Bach wrote all of his great masterpieces sub specie aeternitatis,
“under the aspect of eternity.”
= 2882.9
He did not compose only to please his sponsors,
or to win the approval of an audience.
His work was his worship.
= 2894.8
Bach once wrote,
“Music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God
and the recreation of the soul.
= 2905.0
Where this is not kept in mind there is no true music,
but only an infernal clamour and ranting.”
= 2915.5
The name of the power that moves you is not important.
= 2921.2
What is important is that you are moved.
= 2926.6
Awe is the foundation of religion.
= 2931.0
No other motivation can free you from the limits of personal achievement.
= 2939.2
Nothing else can teach you the Art of Flight.
= 2945.8
Computer games are barely forty years old.
= 2950.9
Only a few words in our basic vocabulary have been established.
= 2956.8
A whole dictionary is waiting to be coined.
= 2961.8
The slate is clean.
= 2965.75
Someday soon, perhaps even in our lifetime,
a game design will appear
that will flash across our culture like lightning.
= 2977.9
It will be easy to recognize.
= 2980.8
It will be generous, giddy with exuberant inventiveness.
= 2985.7
Scholars will pick it apart for decades, perhaps centuries.
= 2991.4
It will be something wonderful.
= 2994.3
Something terrifying.
= 2997.4
Something awe-full.
= 3001.4
A few years ago I was invited to speak at a conference in London.
= 3007.0
My wife joined me, and we took a day off for some sightseeing.
= 3012.3
We decided to visit England’s second-biggest tourist attraction,
Stratford-upon-Avon.
= 3020.1
It was cold and rainy when our train arrived.
= 3023.9
Luckily, most of the attractions are just a short walk from the station.
= 3029.3
We visited Shakespeare’s birthplace, a charming old house
along the main street which attracts millions of pilgrims every year,
= 3038.5
despite the complete lack of any evidence that Shakespeare was born there,
or even lived anywhere near it.
= 3046.4
We went past the school where Shakespeare learned to read and write,
although no documents exist to prove his attendance.
= 3055.2
We visited Anne Hathaway’s cottage,
the rustic country farm where his wife spent her childhood,
although no record shows anyone by that name ever having lived there.
= 3068.0
Finally we came to the one location undeniably associated with Shakespeare:
Trinity Parish church, on the banks of the river Avon,
where a man by that name is buried.
= 3083.9
This beautiful church is approached by a long walkway,
between rows of ancient gravestones, shaded by tall trees.
= 3094.0
The entrance door is surprisingly tiny.
No cameras are allowed inside.
= 3100.8
The interior is dark and quiet.
Despite the presence of busloads of tourists,
the atmosphere is hushed and respectful.
= 3111.4
A few people are seated in the pews, deep in prayer.
= 3116.1
An aisle leads up the center of the church.
= 3120.0
The left side of the altar is brightly illuminated.
On the wall above is a famous bust of the Bard,
quill in hand, gazing serenely at the crowd of pilgrims.
= 3132.8
On the floor beneath, surrounded by bouquets of flowers,
at the very spot where Delia Bacon lost her mind,
the gravestone of William Shakespeare bears this dire warning:
= 3147.8
Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here
Blest be the man who spares these stones
And curst be he that moves my bones.
= 3166.7
Every year, three million pilgrims arrive from every nation on Earth
to approach this stone and consider the likeness of a man
whose body of work can only be described as awesome.
= 3185.5
By contrast, the right side of the altar is dark and featureless.
= 3191.8
Nobody of any consequence is buried there.
= 3195.4
The only point of interest is a wooden case, of simple design,
carved of dark oak.
= 3203.6
Inside the case, sealed beneath a thick sheet of glass,
lies a large open book.
= 3211.7
A plaque on the case identifies this book
as a first edition of the King James Bible,
published in 1611, when Shakespeare was forty-six.
= 3224.3
Not many pilgrims visit this side of the altar.
= 3228.0
Most of those that do simply glance at the book,
read the plaque and move along.
= 3234.3
A few, more observant, note that the Bible happens to be opened
to a page in the Old Testament: the Book of Psalms, chapter 46.
= 3246.5
No explanation is given for this particular choice of pages.
= 3252.2
For the initiated, none is necessary.
= 3256.7
If you are of inquisitive bent,
if you are intrigued by English history and literature,
if you value your peace of mind, cover your ears, now.
= 3272.9
In the year 1900, a scholar noticed something
about the King James translation of Psalm 46.
= 3283.5
Something terrifying. Something wonderful.
= 3291.8
The 46th word from the beginning of Psalm 46 is “shake.”
= 3299.8
The 46th word from the end is “spear.”
= 3307.1
There are only two possibilities here.
= 3311.0
Either this is the finest coincidence ever recorded
in the history of world literature.
= 3319.2
Or, it is not.
= 3322.0
= 3324.0
The Earth revolves around only one sun, and has only one moon.
= 3331.7
The moon happens to be four hundred times smaller than the sun.
= 3337.3
The sun happens to be four hundred times farther away.
= 3342.0
And the apparent paths of the moon and sun in our sky
happen to intersect exactly twice every month.
= 3351.1
Which means that every now and then,
at long yet precisely predictable intervals,
= 3357.9
the lunar disc slips across the face of the sun
and just barely conceals it for a few wonderful, terrible minutes.
= 3368.8
= 3369.9
A fine coincidence, no?
= 3373.0
= 3375.0
In June of 1977, a little man with divergent eyes and a talent for mischief
ascended a hilltop in the British village of Ampthill.
= 3389.4
At the summit of this hill is a tall, slender cross,
a memorial to Catherine of Aragorn, the first wife of Henry VIII.
= 3399.9
The sun, high in the south,
cast the shadow of the cross upon the grassy hillside.
= 3407.8
At exactly 12 noon, the man removed from his pocket a bar magnet.
He turned the magnet so its north pole was facing south,
and buried it under the shadow of the cross.
= 3425.0
Two years later, a few hours before the publication of his first book,
the man returned to that hillside, this time in the dead of night.
= 3437.8
He used a compass to locate the magnet he had buried.
= 3442.8
In that same place, he dug a hole in the ground
and placed inside a ceramic container inscribed with the following words:
= 3455.0
“I am the Keeper of the Jewel of MASQUERADE,
which lies waiting safe inside me
for You or Eternity.”
= 3470.0
: rupert
= 36.8
Know yourself as the open, empty, luminous presence of awareness.
= 51.5
= 58.0
Open because you say yes
unconditionally and indiscriminately
to all appearances of the mind, body, and world.
= 75.3
Like empty space, you have no mechanism inherent within you
that can resist any appearance.
= 95.8
We don’t have to make this the case;
it is already the case.
= 102.8
= 105.7
Empty because although you, I, this aware presence
is aware of thoughts, sensations, and perceptions
it is not made out of a thought, a sensation, or a perception.
= 136.5
It is made out of pure knowing or awareness.
= 142.5
= 151.5
And luminous because just like the sun, relatively speaking,
that renders all objects seeable
= 170.5
so you, I, this open empty presence
renders all experience knowable.
= 181.5
= 186.6
In fact we don’t really see objects, relatively speaking,
illumined by the sun;
we just see reflections or modulations of the sun’s light
appearing as a multiplicity and diversity of color.
= 208.3
In the same way, we don’t really know
the objects of the mind, body, and the world;
we just know our knowing of them.
= 222.0
= 223.3
All we know, all that is known, is the knowing of experience,
and you are that knowing.
= 236.5
= 242.4
All that is ever known is a modulation of our own knowing presence,
modulating itself in the form of thinking, sensing and perceiving,
and seeming to become a mind, a body, and a world.
= 264.4
But we never actually know a mind, a body, and a world
as they are normally conceived.
We just know our knowing of them.
= 275.3
And this knowing, this substance of our experience,
the only substance of our experience,
is our self. In other words, we know ourself alone.
Awareness knows nothing other than itself.
= 296.2
Be knowingly this open, empty, luminous presence of awareness.
= 306.8
We don’t need to do anything special to make this happen.
Above all, we don’t have to manipulate the mind
in any way whatsoever
to be this presence of awareness.
= 323.0
= 326.3
This presence of awareness which is simply our self, what we refer to
when we say "I", is ever-present.
= 336.5
= 345.9
Just check this in your own experience.
= 348.9
Nothing that I am saying this evening,
there is nothing that cannot be checked
in your own direct experience right now.
= 358.4
I bring no special knowledge to this meeting.
I don’t have a store of knowledge
which I am disseminating.
= 368.2
I’m just, within the limits of language, trying to describe
the current experience.
= 378.3
Ask yourself, do I know anything other than now?
= 385.0
= 392.3
Try to experience the not-now.
Try first to experience the past.
= 404.5
= 406.5
It’s easy to experience a thought about the past.
But what about the actual past
to which this thought refers?
= 416.7
Try to experience that.
= 420.0
= 423.0
Can you step into the past,
can you go one second into the past?
Or one second into the future?
= 430.9
Thought can go there,
but what about you?
= 436.5
= 443.3
Really try to go there, to make sure that this is
not just an interesting philosophical conversation,
= 451.7
but that it is actually your experience
that the past and the future are never experienced.
= 463.0
= 468.0
And if the past and the future are never actually experienced,
they are only thought about, and that thought
about the past and the future is always now,
= 480.3
if this past and future are never experienced,
what does that say about time?
= 488.0
= 491.3
Time is a movement between a nonexistent past
towards a nonexistent future.
= 498.3
It’s a theory. A necessary and valid theory,
but a theory that doesn’t refer to the reality of our experience.
= 509.3
Nobody has ever or could ever experience time.
When I say "nobody" I mean yourself, awareness,
the only one that knows or is aware.
= 522.0
= 537.7
When I arrived off the plane from London
in Washington D.C. last weekend before coming here
= 550.5
the friend who picked me up asked me how the flight was,
and she said, "How long did it take?"
= 560.2
and I experienced thought being cranked up like an old motor,
a little resistant to get going.
= 575.0
= 576.8
And for a moment I could feel the cogs of thought almost moving,
trying to work out how much time the flight had taken.
= 590.0
Because in my experience it had been now all the way.
= 596.0
= 600.6
I had never left London.
London had left me.
= 608.5
I had never got onto an aeroplane.
A flow of sensations and perceptions that thought abstracts,
and calls a body in an aeroplane,
flowed through me.
= 624.8
And I never arrived in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. arrived in me.
= 631.3
Or at least the cluster of perceptions
that thought calls Washington D.C.
arrived in me.
= 642.5
In the same way
nobody ever walked into this room
and nobody is sitting on a chair
and nobody is listening to a talk.
= 654.3
A colorful flow of sensations and perceptions appears in awareness,
but awareness never goes anywhere or does anything.
= 669.1
It is always here and now.
= 671.0
Not here a place and now a time. Here, this dimensionless,
now, this timeless presence of our own being.
= 682.5
That is our experience whether we recognise it or not.
= 690.0
= 699.0
Now the mind may feel a little rebellious when it hears this.
It may say yes, yes, yes, that’s true, but there is an undeniable
continuity to my experience.
= 719.4
And this undeniable continuity would seem to be evidence of time.
= 726.4
= 732.1
Where does this felt sense of continuity come from?
= 740.3
All we know of the mind is the current thought or image.
And thoughts and images are intermittent.
= 751.3
The body is known through sensation.
And all sensations are intermittent.
= 760.1
All we know of the world is perception,
that is sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and smells;
= 768.2
in fact nobody has ever experienced a world as such,
a world as it is normally conceived to be,
= 774.8
we just know the current perception.
And all perception is intermittent.
= 784.4
So if the so-called mind, body, are intermittent,
from where does this felt sense of continuity come from?
= 801.6
It comes from the only thing, if we can call it a thing,
that is truly continuous, or in fact not continuous but
ever-present now in our experience,
and that is our own being, the presence of awareness.
= 820.2
The presence of awareness is the only thing
that is known to be ever-present.
= 828.0
Now the mind knows nothing of awareness
because the mind only knows apparent objects.
= 835.7
So when the mind looks at experience to find
what it is that accounts for continuity,
= 844.6
it cannot see awareness,
and so it manufactures a substance called "time"
to account for the continuity of experience.
= 856.4
In other words, continuity in time is what eternity looks like
when viewed through the narrow slit of the mind.
= 868.0
= 875.5
Permanence in space
is what the infinite, unlimited nature of awareness looks like
when viewed through the narrow slit of the mind.
= 890.90
Continuity and permanence are pale reflections
at the level of the mind
of the true eternal and infinite nature of awareness,
that is, of our self.
= 908.8
= 930.6
What else can we say about our self from our actual experience?
Which means right now, what can we know for certain about our self?
= 942.6
Not what thought may tell us about our self,
but what we actually know, in this moment,
derived only from our experience of our self?
= 958.2
Ask yourself, "Can I, this open, empty, knowing presence,
can I be agitated?"
= 972.2
= 973.7
Thought can be agitated. Sensations, or the body, can be agitated.
The world can be agitated. But what about you, the one that knows
the apparent mind, body and world?
= 992.7
Can you, this open empty presence, be agitated?
= 998.5
= 1005.2
See, in your experience right now, that you are —
= 1012.7
and this of course is just an image —
are like an open, empty space such as the space of this room.
= 1019.7
Nothing that appears within this room
can agitate it.
= 1024.6
We are all sitting peacefully now, but if we were to stand up
and start dancing, or fighting,
would the space of this room become agitated?
= 1036.7
You are like that.
You, I, the presence of awareness, are undisturbable, imperturbable.
= 1049.0
= 1050.5
We don’t need to become imperturbable
and this undisturbability of ourself
is not dependant upon the condition of the mind.
= 1062.9
Right now you, awareness, are utterly imperturbable,
and for this reason another name for our self is "peace".
= 1077.5
Peace is not a quality that our self has,
it is what our self is.
= 1085.6
Not peace of mind. Minds are more or less agitated.
= 1095.1
This "peace that passeth understanding", that is not of the mind,
= 1103.3
it doesn’t have to be sought,
it is not hiding the background of experience,
= 1109.8
This very awareness that is seeing, hearing, knowing,
is pure peace itself shining in all experience,
however apparently agitated that experience may be.
= 1131.5
= 1138.3
Ask yourself,
"Can I, this presence of awareness, ever lack something?"
Thoughts can say that something is missing; feelings can say that
something is missing, but what about you?
= 1166.0
= 1173.0
Without referring to thought or feeling,
is there the slightest motive in you to avoid the now
and replace it with the not-now?
= 1185.0
= 1189.7
See that in yourself, this presence of awareness,
there is not the slightest impulse or possibility to avoid the now.
= 1203.0
= 1204.3
And what do we call this absolute absence
of resistance to the now?
= 1213.7
The absolute absence of resisting what is and seeking what is not?
What is the common name we give to this?
= 1225.3
= 1227.6
It is called happiness.
= 1232.6
We all know that when we are happy we are, by definition,
not resisting the now and seeking in the past or the future.
= 1244.7
By "happiness", of course, I do not mean
a pleasant state of the mind or the body.
= 1252.7
I mean this absolute impossibility of our self ever to resist or seek.
To resist what is and to seek what is not.
= 1270.7
So happiness, like peace, is just another name for our self.
= 1278.4
It is not a quality that our self has; it is what our self is.
= 1286.0
= 1291.7
What else can we say for certain
based on this current experience about our self?
= 1303.0
= 1311.9
When I was driving here, or being driven here,
the day before yesterday, from the airport in San Francisco,
= 1322.9
I was looking in the wing mirror of the passenger’s seat,
and I noticed the words inscribed at the bottom of the wing mirror,
= 1340.5
and they said:
"OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK."
= 1347.5
A statement of pure nonduality.
= 1352.0
= 1358.0
Objects that appear in the mirror of consciousness
are closer than we think.
= 1367.5
How close to a mirror are the objects that appear in it?
= 1373.5
= 1378.7
Are there in fact two things,
one, the objects that appear in the mirror,
and two, the mirror?
= 1388.8
Or is it all just mirror?
= 1395.0
= 1399.7
All we know of the apparent mind
is the experience of thinking,
and thinking is just a modulation of your self,
a modulation of knowing or awareness.
= 1412.4
All we know of the apparent body
is the experience of sensing,
and sensing is a modulation of your self, awareness.
= 1424.4
All we know of the apparent world
is the experience of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling.
These are all modulations of knowing,
modulations of our self.
= 1441.5
In other words,
we never truly know a mind, or a body, or a world.
These labels are just abstractions that thought superimposes
on the intimacy of our experience.
= 1456.1
From the point of view of experience,
which is the only real point of view,
experience is much closer, much more intimate.
= 1466.8
So close as to not admit the possibility of two things,
one, myself, awareness,
and two, the object that I know.
= 1483.4
Even that is an abstraction.
It may be a useful stepping-stone, a halfway understanding
= 1492.8
to conceive of thoughts, sensations, and perceptions
arising in awareness, but nothing arises in awareness.
= 1502.8
The only substance of all experience, the only substance
of thinking, sensing, and perceiving, is already awareness.
= 1514.0
= 1518.3
What do we call this absolute absence of two things?
= 1527.4
A subject that knows and an object that is known?
= 1534.0
= 1538.4
Take now the experience of hearing.
Go to the sound of the air conditioning.
= 1546.5
Forget about the labels "sound" and "air conditioning".
Our only knowledge of the apparent air conditioning
is the experience of hearing.
= 1556.8
How close does hearing take place to you?
Five meters away? Ten meters away?
= 1568.4
Refer only to your experience,
not to what thought tells you about sound.
Where is hearing?
= 1577.0
= 1578.2
Is it close? Intimate?
= 1584.7
And in the experience of hearing,
can you find two parts,
one part that hears,
and another part that is heard?
= 1596.4
Or is it just one seamless, intimate substance called my self?
= 1603.0
= 1610.8
And what about this room?
Thought says I, the inside self in here,
sees the room, the outside world, out there.
= 1624.4
But what does experience say?
All we know of the apparent room is the experience of seeing.
= 1634.6
Remove seeing and the room vanishes.
In other words, we don’t know a room.
We just know the experience of seeing.
= 1649.5
Does seeing take place five, ten, fifteen meters away from your self?
Or is seeing utterly intimate?
= 1662.5
= 1664.8
And can you find two parts to the experience of seeing,
one part that sees, and another part that is seen?
= 1675.5
Or is it just one seamless, intimate substance?
= 1681.2
= 1688.1
And what is the name, the common name we give to the absolute
intimacy of all experience? It is called love.
= 1704.4
Love is the most familiar experience that we all know,
the collapse or dissolution of the sense of a self in here
and an object, other, or world out there.
= 1724.8
The collapse of this sense of separateness, distance, otherness,
not-me-ness, is what we call love.
= 1738.0
= 1742.2
Love is just another name for nonduality.
= 1746.9
If we call it nonduality, there’s just a few thousand of us in the world
that are interested in it.
= 1757.8
But if we call it love, or peace, or happiness,
then all seven billion of us are interested in it.
= 1768.0
= 1772.4
So why is it, if love, peace, happiness are the natural condition
of all experience, the substance out of which all experience is made,
how is it that it seems not to be experienced?
= 1793.5
= 1797.3
It is because of a single thought that rises in awareness,
made only of awareness,
= 1805.7
which imagines that awareness shares the limits
of the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that appear within it.
= 1819.8
It is like imagining that a mirror shares the limits
of the objects that appear in it.
= 1827.3
With that thought alone,
the ever-present, unlimited awareness, which is what we are,
seems, seems, to aquire or take on the apparent limits
of the body and the mind,
= 1849.5
just as the screen seems to take on the limits of an image
when a film begins.
= 1860.7
As a result of this imaginary collapse or contraction of our self,
unlimited, eternal awareness, into a body and a mind,
these qualities of love, peace and happiness are seemingly veiled,
= 1884.7
and it is for this reason that the self,
the separate self that thought imagines us to be,
= 1893.7
is always by definition on a search
in the imaginary outside world
for the apparently lost love, peace, and happiness.
= 1910.0
= 1911.8
However, this imaginary inside self cannot, by definition,
find the love that it seeks because its very presence,
its apparent presence, is the veiling of that love.
= 1936.3
All the separate self seeks is love; in fact, the separate self
is not an entity that searches, it is the activity
of resisting the now and seeking the not-now.
= 1951.7
All this seeking ever wants is love,
but love is the dissolution of this seeking,
the dissolution of this imaginary self.
= 1966.5
In other words, the separate self that seeks love
is like a moth that seeks a flame.
= 1977.2
The flame is all the moth wants,
but it is the only thing it cannot have,
= 1985.4
because as the moth touches the flame, it dies.
That is its way of knowing the flame.
= 1996.0
= 1999.4
It becomes the flame as it touches it.
That is the separate self’s way of finding love,
by dying in it.
= 2011.9
The death or dissolution of the separate self
is the experience of love.
= 2023.0
= 2044.9
So, simply be knowingly
this open, empty, luminous presence of awareness
whose nature, whose inherent nature, is love, peace, and happiness.
= 2066.4
Not a love, peace, and happiness
that is in the background of experience,
that has to be sought,
= 2075.6
but that is shining in full view at the heart of all experience.
In fact experience is made out of
this substance called peace or happiness.
= 2094.5
: gangaji
= 2.6
So it’s absolutely simple
what I have to say to you.
= 10.6
It’s what my teacher said to me.
And I’m still deeply discovering the reverberation of that.
= 21.9
And it’s simply, "Stop looking for what you want."
= 29.8
Not cynically stop looking for what you want,
because there’s a way of stopping looking for what you want
in resignation and cynicism and closing down.
= 43.0
But innocently, openly, stop looking for what you want,
in this moment, not tomorrow when you have it;
= 53.4
but in this moment, to take one moment,
= 57.6
whatever it is you want, however mundane or profound,
and just stop looking for it.
= 67.6
= 68.7
And you will find more than what you could ever want.
Because more than what can be wanted is already who you are.
= 82.3
= 84.9
Too simple to be grasped,
but absolutely, completely realizable.
= 94.5
= 95.8
If, and it is a huge ’if’ of course,
you are willing to give up your hope
= 103.1
that what you want will be found
in the next thought, or the next activity, or the next day,
= 112.8
or the next man, or the next woman,
or the next teaching, or the next experience.
So that’s huge. That’s the challenge.
= 125.4
= 127.3
And I’ve blessedly travelled to Australia to challenge you
in that direction. That directionless direction.
= 143.6
= 146.8
It’s so simple that it has to be said over and over
because it just slips right by the mind
= 153.5
and if it’s said over and over and in enough ways
and then not said ...
= 161.0
it can just be revealed.
Not as something new, but as something absolutely fresh.
Not new but fresh.
= 177.5
= 179.7
Who you are is not new,
but it is always fresh.
= 187.1
= 189.5
Who you think you are is old and dead.
We just keep trying to think, think it a little better,
squeeze some life.
= 206.0
= 212.9
Is that clear?
= 215.0
= 216.8
It is?
Because that’s really the basis of what I have to say.
= 222.5
= 225.3
It’s not a teaching.
It’s not a belief system.
= 233.5
It’s not a way to live your life.
It’s not a ’should stop’.
= 244.5
It’s not an "if you stop, you will
be rich and famous and universally loved
and never have a sad moment."
= 254.8
None of that, I promise.
= 258.4
= 260.6
If you’re willing to investigate for yourself
without believing it, or learning it,
or hoping to get something from it,
= 269.3
just a pure investigation
out of the natural curiosity of the human mind,
= 276.7
just to investigate for yourself,
"What is here when I stop trying to get anything?"
= 286.5
"And how much of that is here?
And where does that begin and where does that end?"
= 298.6
= 299.5
And then the question, "Am I willing to trust that?"
Then the challenges get very big.
= 309.3
But we’ll get to that later.
= 312.0
= 316.5
Any questions about what I just said?
Want me to say it again?
= 325.9
= 326.8
You already are everything you want,
only maybe not in the way you imagine what you want.
= 336.6
And it’s that imagination itself
that keeps you from discovering that you already are
everything you want.
= 344.5
So if you just take this evening as an experiment
to give up any imagination, any image of what you need
to be totally fulfilled —
= 360.5
just give it up!
It’s just an image, just a thought.
= 364.0
Maybe a spiritual thought, maybe a worldly thought,
a relationship thought, a career thought, just give it up.
= 373.5
= 373.8
And directly discover what’s here unthought, unimagined.
= 381.0
How’s that?
Good. Good.
: cusa_clock
= 0.9
The concept of a clock enfolds all succession in time.
= 5.8
In the concept the sixth hour is not earlier
than the seventh or eighth,
= 11.1
although the clock never strikes the hour,
save when the concept biddeth.
= 16.0
= 17.8
Nicholas of Cusa, 1450
: abbad_wine
= 0.5
The glass is transparent,
the wine transparent —
= 5.0
the two are similar,
the affair confused.
= 10.0
There seems to be wine
and no glass,
or glass
and no wine.
= 16.9
= 18.7
Sahib bin Abbad, circa 990
: einstein_cosmic_religious_feeling
= 0.7
I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling
is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.
= 8.8
Only those who realize the immense efforts
and, above all, the devotion
= 14.4
without which pioneer work in theoretical science
cannot be achieved
= 19.2
are able to grasp the strength of the emotion
out of which alone such work,
remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue.
= 30.5
What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe
and what a yearning to understand,
= 37.0
were it but a feeble reflection
of the mind revealed in this world,
= 40.8
Kepler and Newton must have had
to enable them to spend years of solitary labor
in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics!
= 50.4
Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived
chiefly from its practical results
= 55.8
easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality
of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world,
= 62.3
have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide
through the world and through the centuries.
= 69.0
Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends
can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men
= 77.1
and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose
in spite of countless failures.
= 84.4
It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength.
= 88.8
A contemporary has said, not unjustly,
that in this materialistic age of ours
= 93.8
the serious scientific workers
are the only profoundly religious people.
= 99.8
= 100.9
Albert Einstein, 1930
: augustine_silence
= 0.1
Imagine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down,
along with all our busy thoughts about earth, sea, and air;
= 8.7
if the very world should stop, and the mind cease thinking about itself,
go beyond itself, and be quite still;
= 18.2
if all the fantasies that appear in dreams and imagination should cease,
and there be no speech, no sign:
= 27.8
Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still –
for if we listen they are saying,
= 36.3
We did not make ourselves; he made us who abides forever –
imagine, then, that they should say this and fall silent,
= 46.9
listening to the very voice of him who made them
and not to that of his creation;
= 53.0
so that we should hear not his word through the tongues of men,
= 56.8
nor the voice of angels,
nor the clouds’ thunder,
nor any symbol,
= 62.8
but the very Self which in these things we love,
= 67.4
and go beyond ourselves to attain a flash
of that eternal wisdom which abides above all things:
= 74.8
And imagine if that moment were to go on and on,
leaving behind all other sights and sounds
= 81.0
but this one vision which ravishes and absorbs
and fixes the beholder in joy;
= 89.44
so that the rest of eternal life
were like that moment of illumination
which leaves us breathless:
= 97.0
Would this not be what is bidden in scripture,
Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord?
= 103.0
= 105.0
Augustine of Hippo, circa 400
: tashih_gate
= 1.0
One nature, perfect and pervading,
circulates in all natures;
= 6.8
One reality, all-comprehensive,
contains within itself all realities.
= 13.2
The one Moon reflects itself
wherever there is a sheet of water,
= 18.1
And all the moons in the waters
are embraced within the one Moon.
= 23.4
The Absolute of all the Buddhas
enters into my own being,
= 28.0
And my own being is found
in union with theirs....
= 32.8
The Inner Light is beyond praise and blame;
Like space it knows no boundaries,
= 40.4
Yet it is even here, within us,
ever retaining its serenity and fullness.
= 47.7
It is only when you hunt for it that you lose it;
= 52.0
You cannot take hold of it,
but equally you cannot get rid of it,
= 56.8
And while you can do neither,
it goes on its own way.
= 62.85
You remain silent and it speaks;
you speak, and it is dumb.
= 69.5
The great gate of charity is wide open,
with no obstacles before it.
= 75.0
= 76.5
Yung-chia Ta-shih, circa 700
: ryonen_autumn
= 1.2
Sixty-six times have these eyes beheld the changing
scene of autumn
= 5.8
I have said enough about moonlight,
Ask no more.
= 9.8
Only listen to the voice of pines and cedars when no
wind stirs.
= 15.0
= 16.5
Ryonen, 1711
: dhamma_153
= 1.1
Through many births
I have wandered on and on,
= 5.6
Searching for, but never finding,
The builder of this house.
= 12.3
: einstein_library
= 1.0
Your question is the most difficult in the world.
= 4.4
It is not a question I can answer
simply with yes or no.
= 8.5
I am not an Atheist.
I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist.
= 14.4
The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds.
= 19.5
May I not reply with a parable?
= 23.2
The human mind, no matter how highly trained,
cannot grasp the universe.
= 30.6
We are in the position of a little child
entering a huge library filled with books
in many languages.
= 37.9
The child knows someone must have written those books.
It does not know how.
= 43.7
It does not understand
the languages in which they are written.
= 47.5
The child dimly suspects a mysterious order
in the arrangement of the books
but doesn’t know what that is.
= 55.2
That, it seems to me,
is the attitude of the most intelligent human
toward God.
= 63.0
= 64.7
Albert Einstein, 1930
: einstein_mystical
= 1.0
The most beautiful experience we can have
is the mysterious.
= 5.9
It is the fundamental emotion
that stands at the cradle
of true art and true science.
= 12.2
Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder,
no longer marvel,
= 17.2
is as good as dead,
and his eyes are dimmed.
= 21.4
It was the experience of mystery —
even if mixed with fear —
that engendered religion.
= 27.8
A knowledge of the existence
of something we cannot penetrate,
= 31.4
our perceptions of the profoundest reason
and the most radiant beauty,
= 36.0
which only in their most primitive forms
are accessible to our minds —
= 40.8
it is this knowledge and this emotion
that constitute true religiosity;
= 47.0
in this sense, and in this alone,
I am a deeply religious man.
= 53.0
I cannot conceive of a God
who rewards and punishes his creatures,
= 56.8
or has a will of the kind
that we experience in ourselves.
= 60.1
Neither can I nor would I want to conceive
of an individual that survives
his physical death;
= 65.8
let feeble souls,
from fear or absurd egoism,
cherish such thoughts.
= 71.3
I am satisfied with the mystery
of the eternity of life
= 75.8
and with the awareness
and a glimpse of the marvelous structure
of the existing world,
= 81.3
together with the devoted striving
to comprehend a portion,
= 85.0
be it ever so tiny,
= 87.8
of the Reason
that manifests itself in nature.
= 91.3
= 92.9
Albert Einstein, 1931
: jeans_eos_1
= 1.0
Looked at on the astronomical time-scale,
humanity is at the very beginning of its existence —
= 8.4
a new-born babe,
with all the unexplored potentialities of babyhood;
= 13.8
and until the last few moments
its interest has been centred,
= 17.5
absolutely and exclusively,
on its cradle and feeding-bottle.
= 23.1
It has just become conscious of the vast world
existing outside itself and its cradle;
= 28.9
it is learning to focus its eyes on distant objects,
and its awakening brain is beginning to wonder,
= 34.8
in a vague, dreamy way, what they are
and what purpose they serve.
= 40.9
Its interest in this external world
is not much developed yet,
= 45.9
so that the main part of its faculties
is still engrossed with the cradle and feeding-bottle,
= 52.6
but a little corner of its
brain is beginning to wonder.
= 57.6
= 59.3
James Jeans, 1928
: jeans_eos_2
= 1.0
In any case, our three-days-old infant
cannot be very confident of any interpretation
= 6.9
it puts on a universe which it only
discovered a minute or two ago.
= 10.9
We have said it has seventy years of life before it,
but in truth its expectation of life
= 16.1
would seem to be nearer to 70,000 years.
= 19.5
It may be puzzled, distressed, and often irritated
at the apparent meaninglessness
and incomprehensibility of the world
= 27.1
to which it has suddenly wakened up.
But it is still very young;
= 32.8
it might travel half the world over
before finding another baby
as young and inexperienced as itself.
= 38.9
It has before it time enough and to spare
in which it may understand everything.
= 46.0
Sooner or later the pieces of the puzzle
must begin to fit together,
= 51.4
although it may reasonably be doubted
whether the whole picture can ever be comprehensible
= 57.3
to one small, and apparently quite
insignificant, part of the picture.
= 63.0
= 64.4
James Jeans, 1928
: niffari_sea
= 0.55
God bade me behold the sea,
and I saw the ships sinking
and the planks floating;
= 7.7
then the planks too were submerged.
= 11.2
And God said to me,
“Those who voyage are not saved.”
= 17.3
And He said to me, “Those who, instead of voyaging,
cast themselves into the sea, take a risk.”
= 26.6
And He said to me,
“Those who voyage and take no risk shall perish.”
= 34.5
And He said to me,
“In taking the risk there is a part of salvation.”
= 42.3
And the wave came
and lifted those beneath it
and overran the shore.
= 47.3
= 47.4
= 48.5
And He said to me,
“The surface of the sea is a gleam that cannot be reached.
= 54.8
“And the bottom is a darkness impenetrable. And between
the two are great fishes, which are to be feared.”
= 63.8
= 64.9
Niffari, circa 970
= 73.8
What?
: sandwich
= 0.55
God bade me behold the sea,
and I saw the ships sinking
and the planks floating;
= 7.7
then the planks too were submerged.
= 11.2
And God said to me,
“Those who voyage are not saved.”
= 17.3
And He said to me, “Those who, instead of voyaging,
cast themselves into the sea, take a risk.”
= 26.6
And He said to me,
“Those who voyage and take no risk shall perish.”
= 34.5
And He said to me,
“In taking the risk there is a part of salvation.”
= 42.3
And the wave came
and lifted those beneath it
and overran the shore.
= 47.3
= 47.4
= 48.5
And He said to me,
“The surface of the sea is a gleam that cannot be reached.
= 54.8
“And the bottom is a darkness impenetrable. And between
the two are great fishes, which are to be feared.”
= 63.8
= 64.9
Niffari, circa 970
= 73.8
What?
= 75.4
I'm going to the store, do you want a sandwich or something?
= 80.3
You've been standing there for like an hour.
= 83.2
I didn't want to interrupt.
= 84.5
And I don't like sandwiches. Have you ever seen me with a sandwich?
Why would you think I'd want a sandwich?
= 91.9
Sorry.
= 97.0
I need some sleep.
= 99.1
It's okay, we're all working hard.
= 102.3
I just want to read it right.
We're going to be hearing this _a lot_ of times.
Every little thing matters because it gets so multiplied.
= 113.0
It's good. It's already good.
= 117.9
Thanks. Yeah. But we've kind of picked high goal posts.
Every little bit matters.
= 130.4
Can you get me a coffee?
: arabi_veils
= 0.8
There is nothing in existence but veils hung down.
= 6.2
Acts of perception attach themselves
only to veils,
= 9.954
which leave traces in the owner
of the eye that perceives them.
= 14.9
= 16.1
ibn Arabi, 1231
: tagore_voyage
= 1.0
I thought my voyage had come to its end
at the last limit of my power —
= 6.7
that the path before me was closed,
the provisions exhausted,
and the time come to take shelter in silent obscurity.
= 17.3
But I find that thy will knows no end in me
= 21.3
And when words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
= 27.2
And where old tracks are lost,
New country is revealed with its wonders.
= 32.7
= 32.71
: tagore_end
= 1.0
Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs.
It was they who led me from door to door,