One teaching of mystery schools, is that genius is inherent in everyone, that the rational mind must be bypassed to access insight. This news story goes some way to illustrate our potential, lets hope we don’t find it like this guy!
Working behind the counter at a futon store in Tacoma, Wash., is not the place you would expect to find a man some call a mathematical genius of unprecedented proportions.Jason Padgett, 41, sees complex mathematical formulas everywhere he looks and turns them into stunning, intricate diagrams he can draw by hand. He’s the only person in the world known to have this incredible skill, which he obtained by sheer accident just a decade ago.“I’m obsessed with numbers, geometry specifically,” Padgett said. “I literally dream about it. There’s not a moment that I can’t see it, and it just doesn’t turn off.”Credit: Courtesy Jason PadgettPadgett doesn’t have a PhD, a college degree or even a background in math. His talent was born out of a true medical mystery that scientists around the world are still trying to unravel.Ten years ago, Padgett was only interested in two things: working out and partying. One night he was walking out of a karaoke club in Tacoma when he was brutally attacked by muggers who beat and kicked him in the head repeatedly. Padgett said they were after his $99 leather jacket.“All I saw was a bright flash of light and the next thing I knew I was on my knees on the ground and I thought, ‘I’m gonna get killed,’” he said.At the time, doctors said he had a concussion, but within a day or two, Padgett began to notice something remarkable. This college dropout who couldn’t draw became obsessed with drawing intricate diagrams, but didn’t know what they were.“I see bits and pieces of the Pythagorean theorem everywhere,” he said. “Every single little curve, every single spiral, every tree is part of that equation.”The diagrams he draws are called fractals and Padgett can draw a visual representation of the formula Pi, that infinite number that begins with 3.14.Jason Padgett\\\\\\\’s drawing of Pi. Credit: Courtesy Jason Padgett“A fractal is a shape that when you take the shape a part into pieces, the pieces are the same or similar to the whole. So say I had 1,000 pictures of you, that were little and I put all those little pictures of you in the right spot to make the exact same picture of you, but bigger,” he explained.Much like the mathematician John Nash, played by Russell Crowe in the 2001 film, “A Beautiful Mind,” researchers believe Padgett has a remarkable gift. To better understand how his brain works, Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist and philosophy professor at the Center for Neurodynamics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and her team flew Padgett to Finland to run a series of tests.A scan of Padgett’s brain showed damage that was forcing his brain to overcompensate in certain areas that most people don’t have access to, Brogaard explained. The result was Padgett was now an acquired savant, meaning brilliant in a specific area.“Savant syndrome is the development of a particular skill, that can be mathematical, spatial, or autistic, that develop to an extreme degree that sort of makes a person super human,” Brogaard said.Credit: Courtesy Jason PadgettPadgett said his goal now is to get out of the furniture store and into the classroom to hopefully teach others that math is as beautiful and natural as the world around us. When asked if he thought his talent was a burden or a gift, Padgett said it was a mixture of both.“Sometimes I would really like to turn it off, and it won’t,” he said. “But the good far outweigh the bad. I would not give it up for anything.”
When the night is very dark within, then in a great silence the quest begins for the Mountain. It is reached at midnight, the middle night of the soul, when all the passions are stilled and all the images of sense are obscured. But there is an unknown desire that wells up from these depths and in those that know the Seeker makes to call from his heart on God, a voice upraised in the very deep of the soul; for now the end is nigh. The Lion and the dragon, the eager birds of prey shall fly before that which is our Guard as the perpetual light shines forth.
There is a great and single risk in this venture, be warned
I say unto you that this Mountain is within and that it is found at our own centre. It is a place of many treasures, which the world does not value, because they do not bear its marks or exhibit material worth. It is said to be encompassed by cruel beasts and ravening birds, which are the evil passions and false desires that are within us. They are the lawless part of our nature in all the ways of our life, the spirit of the world within us which strives with the Spirit of God. But on the brink, as it may be, of formless swamps of being, in death and the shadow of death, we have remembered the promise of Life – of Life for ever more and ever more of Life.
High quality, polished and inspiring works, that’s what we want! What do we get? CICO! Heard of CICO? Crap-in Crap-out, we get feculent and with little inspiration, our work and motivation deteriorates.
Plato suggests we surround ourselves with good things, and in this way good is always there to inspire us. There is a definite sacrifice of quality for quantity in the man-made world. Ornate and well proportioned Georgian houses (UK) are replaced with LEGO flesh-pots. manicured lawns for gravel drives, even blogs.
Rather than bemoan our modern and somewhat myopic world view, we should change it.My formula is now BIBO, Better-in Better-out.
- Only listen to the Best (World class musicians, bird song)
- Only see the Best (Objective art, philosophy, poetry, Nature amidst the mire)
- Only think the Best (Naturally follows from Seeing and hearing the best )
‘Better in Better out’ hints at the dynamic heart of our practice(writing, painting, thinking), a cyclical refining process where by improving the raw ingredients in life, the work we produce improves, not only that but we our ourselves become, Good.
Allegorical tales or fables have both a main character, and their shadow, the interplay between these poles gives life and meaning to the fable, but more importantly this dynamic serves as a useful template to handling life’s problems (mystical or other wise).
The Protagonist or main character is the central or main figure of a story. It is not necessarily clear what being this central figure exactly entails. The terms protagonist, main character and hero are variously and rarely well defined and depending on the source may denote different concepts. The word “protagonist” derives from the Greek πρωταγωνιστής protagonistes, “one who plays the first part, chief actor.The term protagonist is defined to be either always synonymous with the term main character, or it is defined as a different concept, in which case a single character still may and usually will serve the function of both the protagonist and main character, or the functions may be split.In classical and later theater the protagonist is the character undergoing a dramatic change peripeteia, both of his own character and external circumstances, with the plot either going from order to chaos, as in a tragedy, with a reversal of fortune bringing about the downfall of the protagonist, usually an exceptional individual, as a result of a tragic flaw hamartia in his personality; or from chaos to order, as in a comedy, with the protagonist going from misfortune to prosperity and from obscurity to prominence.A story about an exceptional character being a driving force behind the plot, facing an opponent the antagonist and undergoing an important change like it is the case with the protagonist may be told from the perspective of a different character who may, but will not necessarily also be the narrator. In such cases it may be helpful to define the character through whose perspective the plot is followed as the main character, the main character having here a separate function from the protagonist.The principal opponent of the protagonist is a character known as the antagonist who represents or creates obstacles that the protagonist must overcome. As with protagonists, there may be more than one antagonist in a story. Note that the term antagonist in this context is much more recent than the term protagonist, and rests on the same misconception as the use of protagonist to mean proponent.Sometimes, a work will initially highlight a particular character, as though they were the protagonist, and then unexpectedly dispose of that character as a dramatic device. Such a character is called a false protagonist.When the work contains subplots, these may have different protagonists from the main plot. In some novels, protagonist may be impossible to pick out, because the plots do not permit clear identification of one as the main plot, as in Alexander Solzhenitsyns The First Circle, depicting a variety of characters imprisoned and living in a gulag camp.An antagonist, “opponent, competitor, rival”is a character or group of characters, or, sometimes an institution of a happening who represents the opposition against which the protagonists must contend. In the classic style of story where in the action consists of a hero fighting a villain, the two can be regarded as protagonist and antagonist, respectively. Contrary to popular belief, the antagonist is not always the villain, but simply those who oppose the main character.Writers have also created more complex situations. In some instances, a story is told from the villains point of view, and any hero trying to stop the villain can be regarded as an antagonist. Such antagonists are usually police officers or other law enforcement officials. In the film K-19: The Widowmaker, an American film about a Soviet Cold War submarine crew, the crew, enemies of the United States, are depicted as protagonists, creating something of a paradox -as very often the American film industry tends to depict the forces of the United States as the people that fight for “good” and “justice”, in opposition to Russia especially the former Soviet Union being the antagonists who often have maniacal and/or malicious intentions e.g. world domination. Sometimes, antagonists and protagonists may overlap, depending on what their ultimate objectives are considered to be.
Honing the Stone the Holmesian Way.
- Don’t Just See, Observe: What Sherlock Holmes Can Teach Us About Mindful Decisions
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Paying Attention to What Isn’t There
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Cultivate What You Know to Optimize How You Decide
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Perspective Is Everything, Details Alone Are Nothing
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Imagination
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Confidence Is good; Overconfidence, Not So Much
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: The Situation Is in the Mindset of the Observer
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: The Power of Public Opinion
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Don’t Tangle Two Lines of Thought
- Lessons from Sherlock Holmes: Breadth of Knowledge Is Essential
How Will You See?
In the days of the great cathedral builders, a student of Masonic philosophy came to study under a renowned master architect. When he was departing a few years later, the master warned him: “Studying the truth speculatively is useful as a way of collecting material for books and lectures. But unless you meditate constantly your Masonic light may go out, and then how will you see that which you are studying?”