Friday, December 7, 2012
Not to let lack of intelligence stop me
To help research the current novel I'm working on, I was delving into a few books about quantum physics and the wonders of scientists who are discovering the most minute, tiniest particles. I've also tried to read a few biographies of great scientists through the ages. I find it very humbling because so much of it is extremely hard to understand. I persevere because what I do manage to wrap my head around is fascinating. So much of it also matches what the Bible said 2000+ years ago. I find that very exciting.
A book called, What the Bleep do we Know? outlines the old paradigm people have been taught for centuries. Here is my paraphrase. The universe is a mechanical system composed of solid material and elementary building blocks. What we call 'real' must be measurable and also needs to be perceived with our five senses and any mechanical extensions thereof. It assumes that the only valid approach to gaining knowledge is to banish all feelings and subjectivity to become entirely rational and objective. Matter is solid with tiny particles at its core which move according to laws of nature and forces which can be explained with mathematical precision. This enables us to make predictions with certainty. So this is how we've been taught to view the world we've been brought up in.
That old familiar paradigm brushes off subjects I've always been interested in, such as emotions, prayer, mental healing, extra-sensory perception, words of knowledge and prophecy. And as I said, I'm finding some of it hard to wrap my head around, but what I am grasping is amazing. I decided I have to put up with the feeling of being limited and ignorant in my brain power, because it's worth it for those moments I can say, "Wow!" at those things I do get.
Perhaps clever people don't always get it all anyway. I remember reading in the Bible how Paul, the Apostle, went to visit Athens. He tried to convince those intellectual city folk to listen to his message about Jesus, who they might have already worshiped as their 'Unknown God' (Acts 17:22-27). The place was full of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers who liked to spend most of their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas (verse 21). Smart, educated people. According to the record, not much happened in Athens after his address. There is no evidence that a Christian church was ever started there. There is certainly no 'Letter to the Athenians' included in the Bible. We can only assume that Paul just added fire to the philosophical and intellectual debate that was always sizzling away over there in ancient times. It seems even Paul couldn't impress the intellectual elite of ancient Athens.
I appreciated the following quote by Dr Cindy Trimm. "There are many scholars who never do anything but debate the finer points of theology and religious thought and there are simple saints who don't know a hundredth of what those people know, but they act on it and miracles happen around them regularly."
So I plug on trying to learn as much of this stuff as I can for my own interest, even though I know before I open the covers that my limited brain won't take it all in. The fact is, not only does my lack of intelligence not matter but it may even be a good thing. Ironically enough, this is one of the great surprises I'm talking about.
I also try to weave all that I manage to understand into my stories. My theory is that as my brain power is limited, I automatically word it all into concepts that others like me can understand. I can't make it too difficult to comprehend because my brain is not that smart. People like me, after all, make up a far greater portion of the population than the occasional stunning genius who can easily grasp all that intelligent stuff. I'm quite pleased with the novel I'm working on, Along for the Ride. I think I've grappled with some interesting scientific and psychological insights, as I also attempted to do in Best Forgotten. I like to think that if someone like me managed to put it together into words, then others like me may also catch the excitement and vision that I'm getting when I read these heavy books I can't quite understand.