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Images from a Long Journey - Kai Woehler

Images from a Long Journey

Paperback

Published: 31st March 2010
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How This Book Came About This book is, in some sense, the soul, underlying an earlier book that I had written, a book about modern science, which had the title The Search for the Meaning of Space, Time and Matter. The book was written for people with interest in modern science. It had the subtitle Images from Many Travels. The subtitle of that earlier book and the final decision to write it had its origin in a restless wanderlust, which, in the last twenty years, has driven me irresistibly to travel to the most remote places on earth. I traveled into the Arctic, the waters between North Norway and Svalbard, to Tibet over the plateau to the foot of Mount Everest, to North India to the remote monasteries in the Ladakh, along the Silk Road around the Taklimakan Desert into Inner Asia, to Timbuktu at the edge of the Sahara, to the Antarctic, and to the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. These journeys were driven by the urge to somehow grasp the whole world and make it my own. It was the Brahma in me who is creating a world in himself, in his mind. It is Odysseus in me, Faustus, the restless, forever searching until his life dissolves. I had to wander the many roads that all led to the same place, that vastly complex unfolding essence of Being, in all its colors and textures and shapes. I had to go and see this wonderful tapestry of life that is of deep inner beauty, even in its squalor, its suffering and pain and the dirty ugliness that I saw on some of these travels. I had to wander to fully accept all that life is, into myself, to feel at home on the earth. That same kind of yearning had driven me in my youth to discover the mysteries of space, of time, and of matter. After WWII, at age sixteen, I had acquired rudimentary knowledge of Heisenberg's and Einstein's attempts to create that all-encompassing unified theory that captures the observed phenomena of space and the world of the elementary building blocks of matter. A sort of obsession to learn all that is known about these things 8 Kai Woehler accompanied me on my journey to study physics, spending some years in Heisenberg's institute, and eventually, after circuitous routes, teaching physics at a graduate school for military officers at the California coast. The above-mentioned book then is somewhat of an amalgam of these two kinds of journeys during my life. Many dear nonscientist friends took an interest in that book, and I recommended to them to just read the first and the last chapters, which carry more of my personal reflections about our lives in this cosmos. The final impetus to write this separate book, which is in your hands, was the fact that, as an orderly, circumspect person, I had "put my worldly affairs in order" sometime ago under the title "The Kai-X-File," containing instructions for the executer of my will, in the case of my departure. This file contains a letter, which was to be my farewell letter to my closer friends, to be sent instead of some standard obituary notice. The file contains many other writings, some short, others not so short, reflections about my life, writings, which did not have a good place in that first book, mentioned above. This then led to this book. It is a collection of thoughts, essays, some poems of my own, some other poems that were important to me, some of them German poems, which I have translated into English as I could, some dreams that had great meaning in my life. The above-mentioned farewell letter is now at the very end of this second book. The items in each chapter were collected over a span of time, and there are themes to which I returned often. So there are some duplications of "Kai's sayings" in this book, but I will leave them as they are and hope you understand. I am somewhat arbitrarily terminating the collection now while I am still here and reasonably coherent, and I will share this collection with you, my friends, when there is a good time for this. And just a brief comment about the image of the Taj Mahal on the b

ISBN: 9781450073950
ISBN-10: 1450073956
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 122
Published: 31st March 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 0.74
Weight (kg): 0.19