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Chapter One
Inspiration

If there is no inspiration, there is nothing worth the doing. As a lad, the writings of Sir Arthur Eddington, T.H. Huxley and H.G. Wells inspired me ... and Mr Thorn, our Wellington College English master, opened the world of poetry for me. While respecting the powers of reason, my soul is mate to William Blake.

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! 0 clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

Blake was self educated, and largely unencumbered by stereotyped pedagoguery and conventional wisdom. Teachers need to be kept at a distance, otherwise we risk our minds to be slaves to them. Freedom, to me, is being able to evaluate data myself, without the prejudgement of others. I have discovered that many scientists are unreliable thinkers ... and a seeker after truth has to think for himself. But I am indebted to many great thinkers and these will be mentioned as the narrative proceeds, and in the 'Rutter' chapter. The point I make here is that, for better or worse, the thinking of this book is mine, and I am happy to take responsibility for it.

Like Danton and Nietzsche, I believe in boldness to truth ... and the reader will not find many provisos, caveats and weasel phrases in my writing. Over 20,000 hours, over 30 years, have been devoted to the researches and thinking which give rise to this book. Many people have said to me that one can't know the future ... but my infant teacher, Miss Herlihy, told me that there was no such word as can't. I do not seek or heed reasons for not proceeding: I just go ahead ... and, as for method, I nay or may not use it ... for, with Feyerabend, I believe that in discovery and creation, anything goes. I always bear in mind that Hume pointed out that theories cannot be derived from facts. We may freely hypothesise and we may use our common sense and intuition. For intuition and empathy, we may gain from the poets

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The deep blue thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
(Shelley)

Deep in our soul are poetry and mystery, and it shall ever be ...

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
world-lovers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
(O'Shaughnessy)

'Grow up my son, and be thyself' was said of all mankind.

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
(Henley)

You may know me as a truthful and simple soul ...

How happy is he born or taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought
And silly truth his highest skill!
(Watton)

And at the end of a long and arduous journey, discovery is wonderful ...

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific - and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise -
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
(Keats)

I make claim to long and conscientious work, and I take comfort from a poet's view of inspiration ...

Whate'er the senses take or may refuse,-
The Mind's eternal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.
(Wordsworth)

Why should we not collect the wisdoms of the ages and distil their essences in prophecy and prediction? We create our way, so should we not also know our way? We've had time to wait and time to debate, and now is the time to do.


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