Sunday, June 10, 2012
Jumping Off a Cliff with Ray Bradbury
Science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, died this last week at the age of 91. Go here to read a brief but very inspiring article about him.
What immediately struck me, while reading this article, was Bradbury's deep knowing that what he wrote about were possibilities. Perhaps, though, even more than writing about possibilities, his writings inspired others to pursue possibilities, to reach for horizons yet unknown, to quest. What interests me, and is inspiring to me about Bradbury is less about space exploration, but about that innate core in humankind through which we quest for what is Great.
From a poem in Bradbury's "Mars and the Mind of Man" are the lines:
"I send my rockets forth between my ears, hoping an inch of will is worth a pound of years, aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal mall: We've reached Alpha Centauri. We're tall, oh God, we're tall."
Reading about Bradbury led me to consider Allama Iqbal's writings on the creation and birthing of Ideals. Iqbal states (in the article, "Our Prophet's Criticism of Contemporary Arabian Poetry"):
"The highest art is that which awakens our dormant will-force, and nerves us to face the trials of life manfully."
"Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science. The whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction."
I propose that Bradbury is an example of an artist (writer) through which Truth exposed itself, exemplifying an awakening of dormant life-force of which Iqbal speaks. What is best in humans showed Itself through Bradbury, a man whose writings inspired many others to make manifest the depths and heights of the organ of imagination.
Iqbal wrote that "The ultimate aim of all human activity is Life-glorious, powerful, exuberant." Bradbury is quoted as saying: "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down." Both of these quotes speak to me that Life is lived from the inside out, and that belief in mankind is itself Faith.