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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Go, and See

Where is the line between insanity and creativity? ("65 Deep Philosophical Questions" by Operation-Meditation. Retrieved at:

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:15).

In a way, science might be described as paranoid thinking applied to Nature: we are looking for natural conspiracies, for connections among apparently disparate data. Our objective is to abstract patterns from Nature (right-hemisphere thinking), but many proposed patterns do not in fact correspond to the data. Thus all proposed patterns must be subjected to the sieve of critical analysis (left-hemisphere thinking). The search for patterns without critical analysis, and rigid skepticism without a search for patterns, are the antipodes of incomplete science. The effective pursuit of knowledge requires both functions. (Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence
 By Carl Sagan. retrieved here). 

Insanity and creativity are virtually identical (both generate speculative patterns in abundance) the key difference being the lack of objective verification in insanity.  In our Christmas Bible story the shepherds say "Let's go... and see." Thus counsels sanity.  Insanity would be if they had excitedly gathered in a circle and engaged in endless torrents of internal speculation about the matter. Despite the religious nature of Scripture, it showcases throughout memorable examples of experiential discipline--more dramatically so as verification is sought within a spiritual matrix.

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