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Today we learn trivia

I learned the origins of a quote today: "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Apparently it originates from J. Robert Oppenheimer. It's his own interpretation of a line from the Bhagavad Gita, which he says came to mind as he was watching the Trinity test (the first test of nuclear weapon technology).

It is especially appropriate when one considers the rest of the verse to which that line belongs (as interpreted by Robert Jungk):

If the radiance of a thousand suns
were to burst into the sky,
that would be like
the splendor of the Mighty One—
I am become Death, the shatterer of Worlds.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
aekiy
May. 2nd, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
Or an escapist character designer.
dancinglights
May. 2nd, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
oh neat. I knew the Oppenheimer bit and it sounded quote-y, but for some reason it never occurred to me to investigate where he got it from.
aekiy
May. 2nd, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
An alteration of the quote came up in conversation, and suddenly I thought, "Where does that come from?" So I Googled the quote and came across the Wikipedia article on the Trinity test, which both had the quote and cited reference to the full verse.
podisodd
May. 2nd, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
They had that sequence in the Invisibles...and it was creepy.
aekiy
May. 2nd, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
I have not yet read The Invisibles. Considering it was written by Grant Morrison, its existence seems kinda creepy to me. The only thing I've read of his was his run of New X-Men and, other than that, I've seen his Disinformation speech. That man is craaazy..
podisodd
May. 2nd, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
I strongly recommend The Invisibles. Many people consider it his best work.

A good part of that has to do with the fact that Morrison basically wrote it as A Working; things that happened in the book began happening, in some fashion, in his life.

Also, King Mob is John Kelly with a British accent.
aekiy
May. 2nd, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
I does not know who is John Kelly. I was aware of it being a working, though, which I think he discussed in his Disinformation speech.
actingbunny
May. 3rd, 2008 05:15 am (UTC)
scarily fitting is it not.

I think that may be one of a very short list of things that i had known and you did not. that surprises me.

The Bhagavad Gita is a serious read as well. one of those makes your head go BWAH! in a good way for the most part.

aekiy
May. 3rd, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
It has nothing on the Upanishads, believe me. Craaazy..
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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