When was the last time you had a new idea so radical, so confusing, so outside the social norm, that it kept you awake all night? I’m not talking about laying awake overloaded with life’s burdens. I’m talking about pondering a totally new and unfamiliar concept that’s so intense you cannot let it go. My guess is that you’re not only going to say “never”, but that you’re beginning to question the sanity of the person who just wrote this.
I went to see the movie, “Oppenheimer” last week and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you’re over forty like me, you’ve endured enough U.S. history (both pro and con) to suspect the movie will just be a rehash of clashing moralities. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s the story of a genius seriously interested in exploring the universe around him.
Like Einstein before him, Oppenheimer was obsessed with understanding the dueling concepts of physics — how everything in nature can exist as an atomic structure with electrons whirring about a charged core and at the same time be defined by its position in an infinite spectrum of wavelengths. What the movie portrays is not just a man struggling to comprehend the infinite Truth of Nature which exceeds the grasp of his finite mind, but also a man struggling with the responsibility that accompanies introducing that Truth to a culture which will undoubtedly misuse it (kind of like AI).
So much for movies. Let’s talk about real life. When was the last time you dared, even in the recesses of your psyche, to question EVERYTHING — everything you were taught by your parents, everything you’ve been spoon-fed by the education and media juggernauts, every doctrine you’ve heard in political, church, or anti-church circles — and thought “Just once in my life, I want to encounter Absolute Truth”?
The immediate question is “Could we handle it?” Einstein and Oppenheimer both struggled with the dichotomies of Quantum Physics long before most people ever heard the term and it kept them awake at night. That struggle probably shortened their lives. It also imbued them each with a drive like no other human being in modern times has demonstrated.
It’s easy for our Woke culture to scorn these men for unleashing the destructive power of the atom on our world, and then hop into our eco-friendly electric cars and scoot down the street, completely ignoring the fact that there will soon be too little electricity to charge all those car batteries apart from the work of these two geniuses. It’s even easier for our culture to force conformity by threatening to cancel anyone who dares to think outside our cultural box. Inclusion feels great until you realize you’re trapped inside an ever-shrinking tin with all the other sardine, and that tin is constructed of something less than Truth.
So, my challenge is this: Expose yourself to something totally new — something you’ve never yet studied — and then question every aspect of it. Absolute Truth can withstand honest scrutiny. The goal is not to bend that Truth to serve our own personal agendas but to remold our understanding to align with that which is true. The good news is there’s no shortage of Absolute Truth waiting to be discovered and embraced.
When you’re laying awake at 4:00AM, staring at the ceiling and struggling for answers, text me because the odds are, I’m awake, engaged in the same mind-dance. Then, we can get together at a more reasonable hour and have coffee to combat our fatigue while we discuss our individual wrestling matches. Who knows, we might even encounter enlightenment.
Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused. But on a higher level.
— Enrico Fermi
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Einstein’s Miraculous Year:
Five Papers That Changed the Face of Physics
— John Stachel
Probably one of the best collections of Einstein’s writings, this book translates five of his most important papers into modern English. It also includes some back-history by Stachel. If you’re like me, you won’t understand half of what Einstein is saying but the half you do understand will ignite your desire to understand more.
— Dr. Henry Cloud
Recognizing Truth is one thing. Understanding it is another. Integrating it into our lives and world view may be the hardest of all. Cloud defines Integrity as the ability to integrate Truth into every aspect of our everyday lives and he provides a pretty good framework for accomplishing that monumental task.
A meeting of great minds who think alike