Light is a powerful substance. We have a primal connection to it. But, for something so powerful, situations for its felt presence are fragile. --James Turrell

An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth

An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth

Oct 6, 2020-- In 1926 Vladimir Vernadsky's pioneering book The Biosphere showed for the first time that the biosphere of the earth was an integral dynamic system controlled by life itself. The biosphere "receives from every part of celestial space an infinite number of other radiations... We have hardly begun to realize their fundamental importance in surrounding processes, an importance scarcely perceptible to our minds so accustomed to other pictures of the universe. These rays are being incessantly propagated around us, within us, everywhere..." As Jacob Needleman writes, "Why did these words of Vernadsky now, as before, send a chill down my spine?"He further pondered, "What was the sensibility of this pioneering Russian scientist that enabled him to offer straightforward information in a way that opened the heart even as it informed the mind? The text was touching something entirely different in me--and not only in me, but also in each one of the men and women working on the translation." Decades later these questions ripened into one of Needleman's own books, excerpted here. (1418 reads)

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