Friday, September 30, 2011

Obstacle Illusions

Cash & Daddy's Third Year and a Quarter

I admire your fearlessness. When something grabs your interest, curiosity thrusts you past inhibition. At Cox farms, a bizarre farm turned amusement park, we were hanging with the Fredericks when we discovered a corn maze. Yes, a corn maze! Skittish children and parents alike loitered at the entrance casting furtive glances into the dark stalks. Then, zap, you bolted in.

Cashy courage is now legendary. Coupled with that curiosity is, well, obstinacy, and I foresee you fearlessly blazing trails into the unexplored … and into a few trees. I hope this continues and you never let anyone restrain you through mind or might. As Grant Frazier says, “Life is full of obstacle illusions.” I hope your courage translates into an ability to question even the most revered of ideas.

Question everything because even great ideas of humanity are small islands in an ocean of unknown. We don’t know jack, trust me. Knowledge is founded on repeatable observation and the connections in-between. These island footholds get chained together, sometimes filling in blanks, even forming landmasses that frame our understanding of the world. Big islands yes, but islands nonetheless.

The moment we get comfortable, our frame of reference is inevitably shattered, painfully, by the creative destruction of new discovery. Living in a flat world in the center of everything was great until Galileo unveiled the unsettling truth that our sky was infinitely deep and our world terribly small. Nonetheless, our universe is far more interesting than anything we could've ever imagined.

Even today, Opera at Gran Sasso clocked neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light, an impossibility according to Eistein's Theory of Special Relativity. Physicists are in a tizzy over whether this is error or not. If the speedy neutrinos are for real, we can throw out a good portion of physics today. I want my Physics grades reevaluated.

In the face of all this, I am always shocked when folks cite Science as the reason they don’t believe in God .... or visa-versa! Both conclusions are odd. When 97% of the universe’s matter is unaccounted for, the ocean of unknown is vast indeed. To me, the very fact I exist, meaning my consciousness, is inexorable proof that something very powerful, if not Godlike, is going on. Science is not disproof of God.

And God is not disproof of Science. Traditional scriptures taken word-for-word for an operatic being, or several, playing chess with humanity, well, that doesn't jive with my observation of life either.

What this leaves you with, Cash, is mind-numbingly cool opportunity: the immeasurable ways you can erect new structures of your own understanding of life. And you have a most critical ingredient, the gift of innate courage, to enable sailing into the unknown when everyone else is clinging to the shore.