Sunday, May 24, 1998

Answers


        Last night was a good night. I have finally made a positive difference with my new ideas. Admittedly, this seems like one of the most obvious of my ideas, but, as I know all too well, just because something seems obvious, that doesn't mean that anyone actually knows it! Myself included. So—Elizabeth was wanting to know what happened after death. She said it had gone past grieving or fearful wishes into clinical curiosity [2007: Someone close to her had died recently; I don’t recall who]. So I told her. And it worked. She found (as I have) that the logic was irrefutable, given our current knowledge of physiology and chemistry. Which only reaffirms my conclusion that it is only quite recently, in our modern scientific age, that it has truly been possible to supplant religion with personal, logical, scientific knowledge, at least as far as the answers about the Universe go. Not to say that there haven't been people before now who have believed in a real, physical, non-supernatural universe—they've existed at least since the Renaissance. But their belief was also based on faith—not as much blind faith as the religionists, perhaps, but faith nonetheless. They didn't—couldn't—really know the answers to questions like How did the Universe come to be? What happens when we die? What is life? Why are we here? They could only have faith that logic and science and the human mind would one day find answers to the questions. And their faith has been justified. But it is only in the last 50 years that we have evolved modern genetic theory, the only thing which can allow relative surety in the large human answers. Everything before was merely shrewd guesses and extrapolation. The people I have been looking to for answers—Rand, Pirsig, Asimov, Heinlein—are my grandparents' age. Even people of my parents' generation—Card, for example—grew up in an age which believed in the power of hard science to solve any problem on one hand, while on the other, was very suspicious of this powerful, distant Science thing and was not, generally, personally aware of the personal philosophical ramifications of science. Besides which they were—as a generation—raised by staunch religionists. That's very difficult to get past. It has long been my belief that it takes two full generations for a social change to completely take effect. So what I'm saying is that it's possible that the reason I feel like the only one with the answers, and get so frustrated with all of the above-named genius authors for knowing only parts of the truth and not seeing the whole, is that my generation is the first with the tools to put all these pieces together, living in an environment where people who think as differently as I do do not have to carefully hide their views to be able to live and interact with society (a result of my intellectual forebears' efforts? If so, thank you), and I am not alone, but instead in the vanguard of a new way of thinking.
        And these people who went before me are not deluded geniuses possessed of almost-truths, but pioneers laying the groundwork, clearing a path for me—us—to build on and lay a foundation for the future, making the best conclusions they could form from the knowledge they had—just as I do. For I fear it will be for the generation that comes after me—my intellectual descendants—to actually do the work I envision. That's OK. It's enough for me to make the vision possible.

        How I want to be different from them is by writing down my misgivings. They were all so sure—and so wrong in many particulars, however true their overall vision was. I'm sure the same is and will be true of me. But what I have always—always—wanted to do is separate those things I am certain of from my speculations, no matter how sure of them I feel.

        So the likelihood—the great likelihood—is that there are several others out there who have found much the same answers I have. Are they just like me? Do they have my goals and dreams, my strengths, my exact beliefs (or better)? Probably not. How many Heinleins were there? How many Rands? One of each, who did what they did. But these people—these brothers and sisters in mind—are out there. I just have to find them. I think I have already found one—Nooreen. She just hasn't had time to develop the ideas yet.

1 comment:

porchwise said...

Jeez, I had all the answers written down last week but (now that I finally found another genius with all the answers) I lost my damn notebook. I guess it's up to you now as I have more important things to ponder this week.