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Intellectual Epiphany: Know what I Mean?

 
 
coberst
 
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 04:57 am
Intellectual Epiphany: Know what I Mean?

Have you ever had a similar experience?

Carl Sagan is said to have made the remark that “Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.” I suspect that it might be important for a young person to experience that kind of ecstasy resulting from an understanding arising from an intellectual experience.

Could it be that understanding is the heart of friendship? Is it possible that one of our first comprehensions of understanding outside of the family cocoon is our first friendship? Is that why friendship is one of the greatest things to happen to a person perhaps especially to a young person. Could friendship be our ecstasy of understanding?

I wouldn’t claim that schooling has sold us out but I would claim that many of us were never pushed into making an all out effort to find that eureka moment. Religious people call it an epiphany. It is the moment when lightening strikes and that which has been struggled for is in our grasp.

Archimedes, it is said, had such a moment in his bath when, after much thought and anguish over a problem related to finding the gold content in his crown, he had that eureka moment when he understood the answer.

I think that a very large segment of the population has never experienced such an intellectual (not spiritual) epiphany. Most young people have not been challenged in a way that they have accepted and have as a result launched a highly motivated effort to climb an intellectual mountain. As a result they do not know of such a thing and will perhaps as a result never make the discovery.

It would, in my opinion, mark a real milestone in a young person’s life if each one found some significant intellectual enterprise and followed it to the root so they could experience the thrill of understanding. Young people have things in their lives that they understand such as a friend or their first car that they fixed up from a junker or maybe some kind of sport that they worked very hard at and finally found that feeling about swinging a golf club that they recognized ‘that is it’ I have found it.

Examples might be to really understand the Civil War, why it happened, what it felt like; or World War II or learning to be a Critical Thinker. Learning CT is a great step forward in intellectual matters, one could start here: http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Educ/EducHare.htm

The thing must be something you care about, something that will provide the motivation to keep going when it becomes boring. It should be intellectual. If you climb that mountain just one time and find the “Ecstasy of understanding”, as Carl Sagan mentioned, then you will know the difference between knowing and understanding and will be looking for more such understandings.

Emerson said: “The commonest remark, if the man could only extend it a little, would make him a genius; but the thought is prematurely checked, and grows no more. All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first.”

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solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 05:27 am
@coberst,
yes yes yes coberst, now show me the gold or it's another archimedes insight for you
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 01:53 pm
@coberst,
coberst,

I see we are on your preaching circuit again. I thought this was fair comment to you from one of the dozens of forums you have tried.

Quote:
You've made it pretty clear that what you've come here to do is familiarize us with information you already possess. You presume, it would seem, that we have any particular want or need of that information. Even if the theories you've been posting were of any particular interest to us, we don't particularly feel inclined to take it at face value from some anonymous source on the web. Which means that we'll always assess it the same way we would assess any other statement made on this site. Discussion is the primary way in which we address such statements, and if you're unwilling to engage in discussion, then you'll find that the contributors to this site will quickly and readily lose interest in you. So long as we feel that we're being respected, 99% of us will conduct conversation on a very civil level. The easiest way to lose our respect is to disrespect us, and that's precisely what you've done by treating us as though we were undergrads in your intro. level course.

If you want to stick around (and I doubt it) you'd do well to try and respond to some of the comments the generous among us have made in response to your mini-lectures. Make a dialogue of it. If you can justify it no other way, go read some Plato and figure out why Socrates felt that dialogue was the basis of all philosophy. If you can't manage even that modicum of civility -- ie. assuming that the other person's response is worth considering -- then you have no place here.
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 01:05 am
@fresco,
geez fresco, spose that means i should up my game too
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 01:14 am
@solipsister,
solipster,

I'm not aware of you blitzing dozens of forums with the same lengthy pedantic diatribes.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 01:36 am
@solipsister,
BTW, for clarification, I was not quoting myself above.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 05:46 am
@coberst,
Quote:

Carl Sagan is said to have made the remark that “Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.” I suspect that it might be important for a young person to experience that kind of ecstasy resulting from an understanding arising from an intellectual experience.


I think thats rather a lot of effort to go to when they can feel all the same experiences from popping a pill.
0 Replies
 
 

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