Eight epiphanies: stories of revelation and realisation
In Epiphanies, A L Kennedy goes in search of those powerful revelations, the Aha! Instant in cognitive science, the Eureka moment among theorists and inventors.
The word epiphania in Greek means 'manifestation' or 'appearance'. Famous fabled epiphanies include Archimedes' Eureka! as he discovered the method to determine the density of an object while sitting in the bath, and Isaac Newton's realisation that a falling apple and the orbiting moon are both pulled by the same force.
Here are eight stories of revelation and realisation...
1. Captain Peter Townley
Captain Peter Townley was serving in a NATO unit engaged in the liberation of Kosovo. Encountering a retreating Serbian company, he finds epiphany through following his convictions.
2. Caroline Ferguson
Caroline Ferguson’s epiphany presents her with an alternative choice, and reassures her thoughts on motherhood, family and career.
3. Brian Palmer
A moment of clarity in a Camden Town evening art class leads Brian Palmer to hang up his suit for good (and proves it’s never too late to try).
4. Nicola Olley
Nicola Olley is given a new perspective through her mother’s voice on the dancefloor.
5. James Conway
James Conway finds inspiration from the story of Mary Magdalene finding Christ's tomb empty.
6. Liliane Lijn
On a sunny day in Paris, the artist Liliane Lijn follows the source of a fantastic play of light, which would reveal the subject of her work.
7. Keggie Carew
A childhood experience reveals to the writer Keggie Carew something of her own physical limitations.
8. Laurel Lefkow
For the actor Laurel Lefkow a realisation on an archaeology trip aged 14, revealed that adults aren’t always right.