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April 4, 2013 at 1:38 PMComments: 2 Faves: 1

A Journal of Lost Perspectives

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This Author

"We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another." - J. Robert Oppenheimer

August 9th, 1945

As of 4 hours, 37 minutes, and 14 seconds ago, the second bomb fell upon the Japanese people.

I entered this project convinced that the work was necessary. Roosevelt's words ring true in my head even now, but my humanity has crept upon me. Countless lives have been extinguished these past four days and they cheer. They raise their hands in joy, in triumph, in utter exaltation over the ending of innocent breath. I hear their cups clang now, those politicians in uniform who stood broad-chested and proud, thousands of miles from grounds zero, secure in their new found nuclear super power. Indeed, they walk through these halls as though they had been gilded with the medals already, shrouded in the glitz of the bloodied masses.

OppenheimerI loved the work, perhaps I still do. The allure of innovative technologies is hard to ignore. Never has anyone accomplished what we have. Never. In all the years of human existence, never has anyone left such an indelible mark upon the face of reality. I was part of this. I thought I could wrap my head around the idea of a greater good because I loved the work and my country, but the greater good is not what I had expected. They had attacked us, no more motivation was needed, the "why" behind it was not needed, and now it is all I want. I love the work, but I despise the result.

If I knew the true intent of the Japanese people, and if that intent matched what I have been told, perhaps then I could sleep through the screams. I have seen far too much for that to be true. Fear is the sole proprietor of this, our house of human horror. Now, I am all shame and regret.

My blood, my sweat, my tears, all were part of that terrifyingly elegant solution that solved nothing. God forgive me for I will never forgive myself.

Alexander K. Deeps

United States Corps of Engineers

Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1945

"We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universe, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act." - Charles Darwin

June 30th, 1860

Upon returning from a lecture that I had anticipated would come from John William Draper, I now sit in my home afraid the very fabric of my reality may come apart at any moment.

I should have known Darwin would be the center of discussion when I observed both Huxley and Wilberforce upon my entry. Alas, intrigue pummeled reason and here I sit, flummoxed by our very creation. Every fiber of my being denies all that evolution may have me believe, but I still find my curiosity peaked.

Apes! Those great, dumb, aggressive beasts! Darwin states I may come from them and I want Darwinnothing more than to berate him publicly for such blasphemy, to make him feel the strength of my faith, the scorn of God almighty at this heresy.

It occurs to me, in this line of thought, that Darwin need not have made an appearance at all, since his hypothesis is proven the more it is rebuked. We have all grabbed our proverbial tools and set them upon anyone who would question our faith. We beat our chests as though the foundation of creation was any more credible than that of evolution. Who are we to say that either is a truth when both are based upon human supposition? Yet, as I just witnessed, the very actions of Wilberforce, laden with aggressive purpose, reminded any willing to acknowledge of a territory dispute betwixt wild animals.

Are we so far gone in our belief that we are unwilling to accept the possibility of alternate explanation as concerns the origin of our species? I fear this line of questioning may prove fatal to many in our academic circle. But is it any more than our very nature?

Winfred P. Haws

Professor of Biology, University of Oxford

Oxford, England, United Kingdom

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them." - Galileo Galilei

June 22nd, 1633

"Vehemently suspect of heresy." Never in my short years upon this Earth have those words felt less in touch with my soul, my inner being. The Inquisition has brought many into the light of God and punished them for their heresy, but Galileo was different.

Most trials fit a predestined path of fear or defiance, though I have come to see that both spawn from the same disparate place within all of us, fed by the unholy one. Even after the tortures laid upon them, some still choose to spit in the face of their God. In doing so, they accomplish nothing but to solidify the terrible fate that has always awaited them. His retribution is swift. His retribution is terrible. His retribution is just.

galileoBut Galileo was different. Initially I called him coward, for he so easily capitulated to the Inquisition and the belief that sustains them, but I was wrong to do so. His theory that science and religion could occupy the same space within the human mind, and actually work in harmony to answer the greatest questions of our age, incurred the ire of the Inquisition. There is little to be surprised of in this. The wrath of the Inquisition is rarely escaped by those placed before it.

Though his logic and reason may have escaped the minds of the Inquisition, they rang true in me. Long have I yearned for an explanation as to why we, as Christians, discount the heavens as little more than a triviality, though any sane mind could surmise the importance of the ether in which our orb sits. He spoke eloquently, clearly laying forth the ideas of what he referred to as a heliocentric universe, in which our planet was, in fact, part of a larger group of planets that rotate around the Sun, which is fixed in space. He went on to claim he had visual evidence in which to prove this. In this claim, he found my deeply seeded doubt.

Is it not the very nature of the human mind to doubt that which can not be experienced by the senses? Of course I could never breach the subject with my superiors, as their belief is as solid as the stone used to destroy heresy in all forms. But Galileo, he spoke with such certainty, such confidence in what he had seen. Never in my service of the Church had I heard such certainty from the soul of man not robed in garments befitting the purveyors of God's wisdom.

I sit here now, after witnessing the day give way to night, that glorious battle of celestial bodies struggling to maintain their hold upon my wonder, firmly convinced of Galileo's accuracy. The man has turned my soul inside out and I feel freedom. A freedom only seen in men of science. Yet I am struck with a great sense of grief, for I am free to walk this planet and view its every splendor, while the Great Man Galileo will spend the rest of his days confined to his home.

I do hope he continues to cast his gaze deeply in the night sky, daring to walk amongst the heavens in the pursuit of answers once unknown. In doing so, I hope he is granted with the peace that comes from changing the course of human history. Or, at the very least, this human's history.

Raphael Redi Sapienza

First Servant to the Grand Inquisitor

Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome

"The foolish man thinks he will live forever if he keeps away from fighting; but old age won't grant him a truce, even if the spears do." - Havamal (The Ballad of the High One)

First Days of Heyannir

A raid fit for Kings on this day! There I stood beside my lord Thor, ready to wipe clean the lesser beings that occupied this foreign land. Thor's hammer shown clean this day, but it would not end it thus. My war axe could not match might Mjolnir, but I would swing as though the Gods loved me just the same. We fell many a foe, Thor and I, and the plunder taken was worthy of the Gods!

Aye, the plunder was good, but I fear it will be my last. Over the last voyages, my thirst for the great battle and the equally great death have waned, leaving me isolated in mind from my brothers. Never before have I heard these doubts echoed by my kinsmen, so I dare not breath of it while the mead flows steady and they sing of our triumph.

What will become of me? A warrior of pure heritage turned from the courage that holds his clan together is no warrior at all, but my lust for death no longer consumes me as it once did. Today I vikinglaid waste to a village whose members numbered in the hundreds. I did this without question, but I find only questions in the aftermath of such gratuitous slaughter. I find doubt in the face of such certainty. I am scared and should not be so.

I long to create more than carnage, something that will echo through the ages. I want to understand the Gods power and where it comes from. I want more than a life of blood and death for my sons. I want more.

The world is changing and I can feel it. Whispers of a new, more powerful God come from the journeymen. I wonder if this God would allow me to cast aside the violence and pursue a life of knowledge? I wonder if he would strike down Odin so that I may live outside the gaze of his ravens.

But enough of this talk. The mead flows and my final victory should be sung true with my brethren! Tomorrow's dawn brings a new day and I will face it as I have countless times before, ready and willing to conquer all Odin has hidden from my sight!

Haraldr, Son of Gorm

First Sword of Thor the Thunderer

 32nd Voyage of The Conquest

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  • When I first read this blog, I thought it was about doubt. But the second time through, I came to the realization that all of the journal entries are about the thirst for knowledge and the awful burden that the pursuit of such usually entails.

    It seems that we're warned from a very young age to enter into an already established social contract to collect and accept facts, rather than create and explore possibilities. The Tree of Knowledge should never be eaten from... Indeed!!!

    Great blog, Wollof. I really enjoyed this one.

  • Thank you Kyle. I am always surprised to read through the accounts of these great events that have happened throughout our history and the resistance that each of the people involved met due the gravity of their ideas. Our natural inclination to resist those major changes, and the inevitability of change always throws me for a loop. Of course, it is easy to see now that the change was inevitable, but the turmoil that the initial ideas always cause is fascinating.

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