• Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

  • By: Alan Lightman
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (217 ratings)

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Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine  By  cover art

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

By: Alan Lightman
Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams, an inspired, lyrical meditation on religion and science, with an exploration of the tension between our yearning for permanence and certainty versus modern scientific discoveries pointing to the impermanent and uncertain nature of the world 

As a physicist, Alan Lightman has always held a purely scientific view of the world. Even as a teenager, experimenting in his own laboratory, he was impressed by the logic and materiality of the universe, which is governed by a small number of disembodied forces and laws. Those laws decree that all things in the world are material and impermanent. But one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, Lightman was overcome by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself - a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial. 

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine is the result of these seemingly contradictory impulses, written as an extended meditation on an island in Maine, where Lightman and his wife spend their summers. Framing the dialogue between religion and science as a contrast between absolutes and relatives, Lightman explores our human quest for truth and meaning and the different methods of religion and science in that quest. Along the way, he draws from sources ranging from St. Augustine's conception of absolute truth to Einstein's relativity, from a belief in the divine and eternal nature of stars to their discovered materiality and mortality, from the unity of the once indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles and the recent notion of multiple universes. 

What emerges is not only an understanding of the encounter between science and religion but also a profound exploration of the complexity of human existence. 

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

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I've been looking for this book all my life.

I think I may turn around and listen to this book again... right now.
I had my mind blown, more than one time.
The narrator was absolute perfection (which is difficult for me on most occasions).
I've been searching for God in religions all of my adult life. Most recently, and especially after reading this book, I now know that's not where you find God.
Thank you Alan Lightman.

7 people found this helpful

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A Great Listen

A amazing story about a very difficult subject with twists and turns. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to think.

2 people found this helpful

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I want to send it to everyone

Well maybe I will send it to just a few people in my life not everyone. Certainly, I would like to discuss the contents with others. Within this book is a meditation on the big questions like "How did this all begin?" In conclusion I find I am looking forward to the future but glad to be living in the now with the perspective that is contained in this reflection on life and evolution.

2 people found this helpful

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different but great!!!

I really enjoyed listening to this unique book. I feel like it was written as thoughts flowing onto a page, which I like immensely.

1 person found this helpful

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Very great book!!.

I thought this book would be
mostly about astronomy. It was, however, a collection of essays by the author on astronomy related topics that included cosmology, psychology, philosophy, spirituality, religion, faith and science to name a few. it was very interesting and thought provoking. I liked it so much, I bought the book so I could reread it and think more deeply about some of the ideas and questions he presented.

The narrator did an excellent job. It was a pleasure to listen to it.

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Another wonderful Meditation

Lightman has a way of luring into his Mind’s World and making you feel comfortable there. You have considered many of the same things he is thinking about. Even though they are familiar subjects, your thoughts have never penetrated as deeply as his, but his words and images are so lightly presented.

I love the broad sweep of his comparisons to Philosophy, Literature, Religion all couched in his devotion to Physics and his all too Human experience of Nature and Daily Life.

As with his other works, I have thoroughly enjoyed the hours I spent in his World sharing his Search. Five Stars. *****

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What’s the point?

I couldn’t finish it. Seemed like just a bunch of rambling. Seems like a nice guy but he never focused the discussion.

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Trying to influence his peer group

It seems written as a plea to get his massively analytical peer group to cross over and become believers of our omnipotence as humans. Why bother the rest of us with his conundrum.