Eric Weinstein calls for a return to dreaming to make the next big breakthrough in physics.
Loved this. Though it sounds crazy I’ve had three people independently tell me they feel like there is a portal in the right corner of my backyard. I kind of feel it too now, though it could be from their suggestion. If anyone else says it to me I’ll be so freaked out.
At first I struggled with your claim that Eric's claim is not metaphorical: that the Sagrada Familia is a portal. But on later readings, I realized that the statement is not meant to be interpreted logically. It is trying to touch on the mythos:
I love video games because they infuse my world with jawdropping fantasies about magic and story and adventure and superpowers and so on. Why shouldn't I believe in the church portal just as much as those fantasies? It's a shame I haven't been there myself, but I think we've all experienced a similar sort of awe in our own lives, in some way. Mine comes from games and competition and certain passages I've read.
I don't immediately accept your claims about "Art is objective" and that "Christianity is driven by the search for truth (The Logos)." I felt like you sort of dusted your hands on those, like you initially did with Eric's claims. I personally think that brutalist architecture is stunning and inspiring, and technological feats like the Burj are too.
But I do agree with you that the missing link is the connection between dreamers and logicians. Too many people are one or the other. Most are too hardcore addicted to science and unwilling to take a leap of faith. But I've also met a bunch of "spiritual" people and "enlightened" psychedelics users who don't do anything useful with their dreams. Or they are unwilling to understand how the world works, and just want to "change" it, in the abstract.
I don't think all kids should dream of discovering a revolution in science-- that's only for a select few, and always has been. But that doesn't mean we can't instill every kid with a desire to both understand the world and dream of ways to improve it.
Atheist and a Theist are separated by only a single space. I haven’t seen it better articulated than in this piece, even though I tried a few years ago. Great post!
This line stopped me short: "True pioneers are motivated by the potential of transcending their existing beliefs." I don't know that I fancy myself a pioneer, though as a seminary-educated, mainline-denomination-affiliated clergyperson in a 21st century Western, urban setting, it is impossible for me not to recognize the insufficiency of my narrowly defined Reformed theological matrix to support the complex, tragic, diverse, and expansive realities swirling around me. This is not to say that I suspect my belief set is wrong, only perhaps incomplete. Then again, perhaps my heresy-radar's sensitivity level is turned up too high, but the siren song of "pluralism" and "relativism" that promises to smooth everything over with a big, clumsy everything-is-true-if-it's-true-for-you spatula hits some pretty sour notes; I can't sing along. 'Transcend' is a good word, but maybe better if it can be combine with 'transfigure.' Closer inspection continues to reveal Christianity to me as the best harmonization of 'balm for human existential dread' and 'answer to the soul's mating call for a loving, powerful, well-intentioned and all-seeing higher power.' The problem has always been the bitter sectarian cul-de-sacs Christianity gets stuck in as it continues its long journey upwards. I guess here's the point, I wonder how my own personal faith in Jesus will transcend/transfigure the shape and scope that I inherited as I open myself to some pioneer bushwhacking. Heresy be damned!
Wonderful piece. Our ironic post-modern world is desacralized. Profane vs sacred in the way Mircea Eliade described in his work. We are surrounded by wonders but fail to appreciate them.
Great essay. “The way to save the world is through courageous play.” - will definitely be using this in some upcoming writing...
“Hedge Fund Director and Podcast Host says Sagrada Familia is a Portal to Interstellar Travel”
Eric is well spoken podcaster playing the role of contrarian of physics genius. He thinks physics generate new tech, maybe sometimes it does, but really new tech let’s us see physics.
He says earth is too unstable. It’s never been stable yet here we are. He says we need new physics to go multi-planetary. This is false. His podcast stories sound nice and nerdy but they are full of holes and sensationalizing.
"I'm not suggesting that we dumb ourselves down to 'pre-reason' but wake ourselves up to 'post-reason.' Allow the dream that took us this far to take us even farther. Regain some damn vision."
To coin a phrase: "Amen!"
This was wonderful, Taylor, so much I am in accord with, and a vision of knowing and knowledge, of the potential of the future under (stained) glass.
You're tugging at portal doors yourself Taylor in your writing and I'm very appreciative of your skill and passion for jarring some of those hatches open for us to peek through. I was thinking throughout this piece exactly what you circled round to in the end, "That's why the ceiling of Sagrada Familia is a portal to interstellar space. But not just interstellar space — to everything wonderful in our personal lives, too." Truth and beauty are indeed portals to our own inner stellar space.