Sunday, February 17, 2013

Edison and religious inquiry........

     "People say I have created things," the mystical Edison said in an obscure 1911 essay published in the Gary, Indiana, Gazette.  "I have never created anything.  I get impressions from the Universe at large and work them out, but I am only a plate on a record or a receiving apparatus - what you will.  Thoughts are really impressions we get from the outside."  Several days later, Edison elaborated in similarly transcendental fashion in The Columbian Magazine.  While he did not believe in a "Supreme Being," calling such an image of "creedism...abhorrent and fallacious," he did on the other hand fervently espouse the existence of a Supreme Intelligence ("I do not personify it"), which acted as a kind of "Master Mind" informing all singular intellects on the planet.  The crux of individuality, to Edison, was to be found on the most rudimentary and essential cellular level of man, as a biological construct, a machine with parts; each and every cell in the human "machine...governed by unalterable laws" contained within it the essence of a man's personality.  "They, not the men and women, are the individuals."  This idea had been and would continue to be the locus of Edison's scientific yet simultaneously religious inquiry into human nature.
-Neil Baldwin, Edison: Inventing the Century

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