I’m teetering on the edge here, delusion or success, irrelevance or self-actualization. Things are very bad right now, plus also, my wildest dreams may be coming true. I don’t have a lot of neutral feelings right now, but it’s not the application for words like ‘ambivalence’ either. These two possibilities in no way cancel out, they’re just both in force full time, and I’m . . . stretched.
I think I’m Albert Einstein, that’s a clue that it’s clearly the first of each of these options, but then again, you know: so did Albert Einstein. I’m just watching “PBS NOVA – Inside Einstein’s Mind” and I had to start a commentary. I didn’t realize that my madness had a name, like a regular person’s name. I can’t wait to see how his obsession worked out for him. Maybe that’ll give me some idea what I’m in for. Here’s the introduction:
“It’s a mysterious force that shapes our universe. It feels familiar, but it’s far stranger than anyone ever imagined, and yet, one man’s brilliant mind tamed it: gravity. Using simple thought experiments, Albert Einstein made an astonishing discovery. Time and space are shaped by matter. He called it the General Theory of Relativity. How did one person, working almost entirely alone, change everything we thought we knew about the universe?”
“ . . . General Relativity. It is perhaps the most remarkable feat of thinking about nature to come from a single mind.”
“How did a concept that explains so much come from the mind of one man? . . . the seeds for his ideas were planted when he was just a child. His unique personality was evident early on . . . a rebel, a loner, but deeply curious . . . he was a daydreamer, but he was deeply persistent . . . the young Einstein became gripped by a desire to understand the underlying laws of nature . . .” There is a great story about how the gift of a compass when he was seven impressed him forever with the desire to explain invisible forces.
The documentary then goes on to describe Einstein’s method of visual thought experiments. He wasn’t embraced at the university and did his work at work, while applying himself at his day job in the patent office. Einstein’s world of physics was dominated by two branches of physics, the Newtonian variety and the newer work in electricity and magnetism, and Einstein would set himself about reconciling the conflicts that appeared to exist between the two disciplines. He clearly believed in a single universe that would indicate a single truth, and such conflicts indicated a problem to him, one that needed to be solved.
At least one of the truths in conflict must be wrong, and maybe both; a larger truth is indicated. When he first solved it and published the Special Theory of Relativity, it wasn’t a big splash, but one eminent physicist liked it at least, and asked Einstein to say more, to review and therefore re-submit his work to a journal, which they say pushed him to expand the scope of his work, and got him thinking beyond relative speeds but also about acceleration, which ultimately led to his ‘happiest thought of his life’ and to proving that gravity and acceleration are the same force, the same thing.
“It’s a big breakthrough.”
He formed a new theory of gravity, the General Theory of Relativity.
There were struggles, though. Possibly too confident, Einstein had shared his ideas and when he got off on a bad tangent for a few years, another mathematician he had shared with became a competitor, completing the Theory had become a race, and this while he lived alone, his wife and kids – neglected, no doubt – having moved out. A dark period passed, some years, before he finally solved the whole thing producing those famous, world explaining equations.
Of course, that solved everything for him at the university and in the world and history – oops! I almost Wikipedia-ed him to see if the wife and kids ever returned! I don’t want to know that, depending which way it went. There are some parallels.
“ . . . the seeds for his ideas were planted when he was just a child. His unique personality was evident early on . . . a rebel, a loner, but deeply curious . . . he was a daydreamer, but he was deeply persistent . . . the young Einstein became gripped by a desire to understand the underlying laws of nature . . .”
I would have said of myself, “with a bizarre, one-off obsession,” but sure, I’d take “deeply persistent” in a minute too. I’d say his compass was me watching my little cousin’s regular beatings. There are some invisible forces to explain there too. This also:
“It’s a mysterious force that shapes our universe. It feels familiar, but it’s far stranger than anyone ever imagined, and yet, one man’s brilliant mind tamed it: gravity.
I like this. For me, replace ‘universe’ with ‘lives,’ ‘brilliant’ with ‘mutated,’ and ‘gravity’ with ‘punishment.’
“How did a concept that explains so much come from the mind of one man?”
For that, I’ll refer you to my theory. It’s all about why it didn’t occur to everybody.
I also did not go straight to the university and remain there until my success, ha. Einstein-like, a fair amount of my dreaming, I mean research and development, happened at work too! Plus, I see conflicts between the many branches of thought that might bear upon parenting, and see the need for a truth that can make sense or nonsense of it all. Plus again:
My truth, AST, takes what seem to be two different things and shows them to be one after all, gravity and acceleration for Einstein, and abuse and punishment for myself. Now if my story should somehow crazily carry on in this parallel fashion, then I’m at the stage where I have the Special Theory, and may have the attention of my eminent scientist – I just have to wait. You have to book time in this person’s mind, like booking time on the Hadron Collider. Give me a month, they said, five days ago, but who’s counting. Twenty-six days at a minimum and then maybe the good things start to happen.* I wish I could count on the wife and kids holding off any of their decisions for that long too, again, depending which way it goes.
Oct. 17th., 2016
* …yeah that hasn’t worked out, funny story. Wife and kids either, not as funny, and all for another time.
Nov. 16th., 2017