Friday, 25 May 2018

Louis Pasteur on Enthusiasm

In 1881 Louis Pasteur was elected to a seat at the Académie française. Here’s an excerpt from the speech that he made at the welcome ceremony:
The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the hidden side of things. They bequeathed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language—the word "enthusiasm"—en theos—a god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a god within—an ideal of beauty and who obeys it, an ideal of art, of science. All are lighted by reflection from the infinite. 
 As quoted in Arthur Koestler’s The Act of Creation (Chapter 11: “Science and Emotion”)

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