"The brain is a very big place, in a very small space."
"Carl took on the military-industrial complex. He campaigned around the world for an end to the production of weapons of mass destruction. To him it was a perversion of science"
“I sit surrounded by cartons of mail from people all over the planet who mourn Carl’s loss. Many of them credit him with their awakenings. Some of them say that Carl’s example has inspired them to work for science and reason against the forces of superstition and fundamentalism. These thoughts comfort me and lift me up out of my heartache. They allow me to feel, without resorting to the supernatural, that Carl lives.”
— Ann Druyan, epilogue to Billions and Billions
I am one of those people that credit Carl Sagan with my awakening. He will forever be my greatest inspiration; I seek daily to emulate him in all ways.
Ann Druyan on Carl Sagan’s death:
When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl, but the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful.
The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again, but I saw him — we saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.
(Source: chrislavvrence, via sagansense)
I adore the way Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan talk about each other. They seem so completely happy and in love.
A still more glorious dawn awaits us, not of sunrise, but a galaxy-rise. A morning filled with 400 billion suns and the rising of the Milky Way.
“It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri, and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths, and fewer of our weaknesses. More confident, farseeing, capable, and prudent. For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.”