One Sunday, on the way to the opera, my wife Mary and I were walking through Boston Common, where we overheard a young student say to another: ‘There are no perfect insulators.’ His friend immediately replied: ‘Likewise, there are no perfect conductors.’ I asked my wife if she thought BRAIN, the seat of UNRESTRICTED LOVE, such as the love of a child, or true devotion to a lifetime companion, was a perfect conductor. She wanted to think so, but wasn’t sure. What about CULTURE? For example, GREAT ART, MUSIC, LITERATURE, FOOD, ARCHITECTURE? I said. She added, or GREAT IDEAS? Memes transferred from one person to another. I said I believe so. Yes. I asked about NATURE, i.e. the embodiment of TRUTH. Author David Mitchell says: 'Truth is singular. Its versions are mistruths.' What about NATURE as a perfect conductor? Yes. She thought so. One thing we were sure about, however, is a perfect insulator. For multicelled creatures on earth, DEATH alone is the eternal lifelessness, the final silencing of earthly consciousness.
A Collection of Writings on Nature, Science, and Art by John Holland