i have been... eagerly and anxiously preparing to expand my mind and my intellect of late. A large part is fear if i don't start now darkmuffin
will overtake me in certain catagories before i know it. :)
Well... i am reading The Dancing Wu Li Masters
- and some certain parts are striking home in a way that is... having unexpected results within my psyche. i recognize that this book is nearly 30 years old and much of the science presented within has changed in some most significant ways. And yet... the underlying story it has to share is still very alive and dynamic. In reading this, though, a few things have really struck home.
i have had more majors than i can count... my attention span isn't always incredibly great.. .but i have always loved to learn about so many different things that it drove me crazy. From English to Comparative Religions to Psychology to Computer Science to Photography to Physics to massage therapy - i have studied them all for varying lengths of time over the years... much in college, more on my own. i have, since i first heard in the most general terms, been fascinated with the theory of Quantum Mechanics. Of how Newtonian Physics don't apply to subatomic particles. But... after reading this i realize now why Jerome Chandler ('Hed of Fiziks' at SVCC) left the Jesuit order and became a physics major. Because the search for God and the process of Physics are not mutually exclusive - but rather hold hands like lovers who have yet to acknowlege each other in anyone else's presence.
The next thing i realized is that i am illiterate. If one was to travel to Germany and wanted to comprehend the experience one would really have two choices. The first would be to hire an interpreter... this person would translate the words of the German people and signs and books and songs... filtered through their own life experiences... and share that interpreted
experience with you. The other choice would be to learn German one's self... so that you could intimately understand, first hand, what was being said, and written, and sung around you without the layer of someone else's life experience and prejudices between you and the "reality" of the event. The same holds true of Physics.
i never was that good at mathematics. Oh... i got my A's and B's (with a lone D one quarter that had me ill... thank you Mr. Croan, you asshole)... but the idea of regurgitating problems that were scuttwork - the answers were all known and listed in the back of the book! - made no sense to me. And it wasn't easy
for me, as most of my classes were - i actually had to study to get my grades in math, unlike just about every other class i had taken. And so i took the courses - the bare minimum - to get my A.A. degree and moved on to greener, more interesting, and easier pastures. Gods! But, you see, there is a problem here. Mathematics isn't what i was led to believe. It isn't dry old equations in dry old textbooks. Oh, it can be and is often taught that way. But, in reality, mathematics is a language. Mathmatics is the language of Physics... unless you understand the language, you will forever - i will forever - be stuck reading 2nd or 3rd hand translations of someone else's picture of the inner workings of the Universe... of the Divine... of God. Why did no one ever take the time to explain this to me? It was always "do this... it'll make sense later" or "do this so you can get your grade" or "do this, period"... why didn't anyone say "Hey... you wanna know how the Universe works... you have to learn another language... and that language is mathematics... and if you don't get it, you will never get IT
And i've been crying off and on since this hit me. Here i am, 37 years old... and crying my eyes out over fucking Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Calculus. Not, this time, because of a stack of homework to be done when i'd rather be reading a book or chatting with friends or doing anything but another page of useless problems ... but because i am scared i am too old - that i won't have enough time or enough ability - to learn all this information before i die. i don't learn as quickly now as i did when i was 11 or 13 or 15 or even 18. i am out of practice. i have other commitments and obligations.
Goddess, though, if only i can share this... understanding... of what these silly problems on a page can ultimately represent to my sons... perhaps that will be enough. They may never want to find the nature of God nor the underlying structures of the Universe... and that is ok. But, just as i am trying to learn German because that interests one of them.. i hope i can teach them to love or at least understand the lanugage that i always thought was useless... that it isn't what it seems... it, like any language, is a doorway into another's view of the Universe.
And, perhaps, they won't sit in front of their computers (or whatever we will be using then) when they are closer to 40 than to 30 wishing that someone had only explained to them WHY instead of just saying "DO."