the search for consistency and coherence02 Apr 2017
this is sort of a strange post, but i need to go ahead and get out of my backlog.
the older i get, the more i can see the similarities between different worldviews. whether it be religion, philosophy, or science, i’m beginning to understand some fundamental insights in all of them. i don’t even really know what i’m about to say means, but i think what’s happening is that i’m getting closer to being on “the right track.” it’s exciting but strange. two examples:
i grew up in christianity. i stepped away because the institution wasn’t in line with the beliefs.
the more i learn about judaism and islam, the more i see that there are groups of people in each who have followed the same path i did. you grow up believing it all, then you start to see cracks, then you see the gaping holes, then you leave, then you realize you’re not the only one who left, then you connect and (maybe) reengage your spiritual practice from outside the institution. the consistency is that the people on the outsides seem to have a lot in common. so much so that they form stronger bonds than the people inside any of the single other communities.
i think that says something about the fundamental truths of the world in which we live.
looking for unifying theory
the more i learn both about philosophy and about high math, the more i see that people who make significant progress in their area are driven by a desire for unity. many philosophers are driven to understand what it is that makes the world work so that we can all figure out how to do life well. people who love math and physics are often looking for the simplest way to explain the greatest number of things. einstein was driven towards the general theory of relativity because for 10 years (1905-1915) he struggled with the fact that the specific theory of relativity didn’t explain enough things. even now as i think about my own interest in systems thinking, i see that pattern. what i want from it is the most generally applicable knowledge in order to know how to affect change most consistently.
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