Sunday, April 01, 2012

self, individuation, transcendence and the speed of light...

This may seem unrelated to the hands, but before I begin, let me remind you that the hands touch everything, and provide a sense of oneness as well as wonder as we sense and create.

Imagine three trains passing through a station and each carries a powerful light. The first train is stopped perfectly still and the second train is in reverse at an incredible speed. The third is going forward at the same speed that number two travels in reverse. At the specific moment that the trains' headlights are aligned, their engineers turn the headlights on for a controlled interval, then off. From the vantage point of the engineers, the quality and the duration of light emitted from each train is the same.

If you were at some distance and observed the lights of the three trains' you would notice that due to the constant speed of light, the measurable photons of all trains would arrive at the same time. An observer would also notice differences in the quality of light. The light waves from the train in reverse would show a "red shift" just as shown by those galaxies retreating from our own. The train approaching the observer would also show a change in the quality of light. The train standing still would show its light for a shorter period of time than the ones traveling at great speed, due to the relativity of time... The faster you go, the slower time passes. In other words, the speed of light is a constant, but its color (as expressed as wave length) and duration, describe the relationship between the train and an observer at a fixed point. That observer, far down the tracks, sees light either as photons, individual particles of light all arriving at the same time, or he may observe light as a wave, sensing its color, or he may observe its duration. It is difficult to do all three at the same time.

This may be enough to send you off to the wood shop in search of something more tangible to get your hands on, but was the kind of mind exercise that had a huge effect on our understanding of the universe. A similar thought exercise led Einstein to discover the theory of relativity.

Relativity also takes place with regard to our understanding of place and being as individuals. We either focus on separation between us, thus regarding ourselves and those objects and persons of our lives as separate entities, or we focus on the interrelationships, the waves and patterns that describe our own existence as inseparable from the vast matrix of human life. We have in any given moment, the opportunity to choose one reality or the other. And I suggest that our current plan of education reinforces a view of separation rather than one of wholeness.

I would love to have my reader's comments on this. Can you see that the hands may engage us more deeply in connecting with other parts of our own being than our other senses, and in that may lead to transcendence? Imagine schools whose purpose became that of transcendence... the awakening of each child to greater purpose and sense of connection and relationship to the world that surrounds. That would be the process that Jung and others called individuation.

Tonight the Eureka Springs School of the Arts holds its annual Re-Art fundraiser at the Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center, here in Eureka Springs. Attendance is free. Art is not. But it is a wonderful fundraising event. All proceeds go to the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

Make, fix and create...


Anonymous said...

Doug if you are going to make us do word problems you won't be my favorite teacher anymore and I will start playing hooky and hanging out with the bad boys instead of coming to class.

Anonymous said...

This is like an April Fools Joke right? I mean seriously how can anyone take Carl Jung seriously?

He was new age long before it was popular to be new age. He set the precedence for "whats your sign baby?" by espousing astrology. He also was way into alchemy, those medieval guys who thought you could turn base metals into gold and created. Very much a cult kind of thing with ritual levels you had to achieve to be enlightened.

Not surprising that he talked up all that stuff in his writings as he was the grand master Freemason of Switzerland.

But I still can't believe you take the guy seriously enough to talk about him on a blog that is supposed to be about a realistic form of education. Do you really think rational parents will want to send their children to schools for lessons in Freemasonry and other medieval rituals?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I don't understand the connection between the light of the trains and the work of the hands, but I don't see it as introducing Jung and Freemasonry into the discussion.


Doug Stowe said...

Playing hooky is not a bad thing. There are no bad boys in class, just a few whose disruptive activities tell us that the system sucks. If you think the blog is a class, blow it off for today and head for the wood shop instead.

There are lots of folks who take Jung seriously, and as Mario suggests I wasn't proposing education based on freemasonry or other medieval rituals, though now that you mention it, early educators did know a bit about the role of the hands in learning. They recognized that you might use your imagination creatively and test your principles through hands-on experimentation.

Mario, I think it is interesting that Einstein discovered his theory by observing real stuff, which in this case involved trains. He wrote a postcard to his mother full of excitement the day that a solar eclipse provided the first real proof. Jung was attempting to explore human fantasy as a means to understand the unconscious and its relationship to irrational behaviors.

I can't get all that I see or am beginning to understand in a single post. The irony about being a human being is that other human beings choose to think of each other as singular expressions that can be put in a word box. He or she was a this or a that. It helps to understand that Einstein had a mother who shared his excitement, and that Jung did art, exquisite calligraphy and real stonemasonry.

Anonymous said...


I've learned from all sorts of people, some more esoteric than others, some in person and others through reading. I suppose they have all become part of my view of the world, but the dominant parts, influences, seem to be the kind that could be described as "practical." I can understand what the great minds are saying, but somehow that seems beyond me.