Existential Therapy from the Universe: Physicist Sean Carroll on How Poetic Naturalism Illuminates Our Human Search for Meaning

BY MARIA POPOVA

Mark_StrandWe are — as far as we know — the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious,” the poet Mark Strand marveled in his beautiful meditation on the artist’s task to bear witness to existence, adding: We could even be the universe’s form of consciousness. We might have come along so that the universe could look at itself… It’s such a lucky accident, having been born, that we’re almost obliged to pay attention.” Susan Sontag, at the end of her fully lived and intensely meaningful life, articulated the same idea in considering what it means to be a good human beingTo be a moral human being is to pay, be obliged to pay, certain kinds of attention.”

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