Friday, November 30, 2007

Ordinary thought and the thought of scientists

Physicists are rock stars to the students of Jan Cox. Except any time someone else is viewed as a hero you are off track. But aside from that oft-repeated rule, what unites many of us on an ordinary level is an avid interest in the sciences. In the natural sciences the normative function of ordinary thought can be viewed -- the external world is reshuffled with a view to seeing what is going on. The thought of those in the natural sciences can produce an effect which is similar though not identical to that of the thinking of those on a "mystical path."

One of the main methods Jan Cox used with his students was pushing rational thought to its limits. Any sincere and persistent attempt to follow through on the implications of a train of thought will result in being closer to objective reality -- to keep pushing thought through to its limits is to position oneself for true insight. You cannot think too hard. Pushing the rational mind to its limits is a major tool for the so-called seeker.

What happens with the scientist is that the creativity involved in a sincere attempt to understand the external world produces effects similar to the glimpses one receives on the somewhat different path which is the subject of these shortl essays. These appercus are so lovely and satisfying that the scientist does not suspect they are mere trinkets compared to greater possibilities available to someone determined to push stoutly through to the ultimate implications of one's thinking. Trinkets, that distract. Yes we all love them -- we simply cannot settle for whipped cream only when there is vaster buffet.

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