Monday, June 18, 2012

Poking The Nose

Curiosity is the direct incontinence of the spirit.

Jeremy Taylor
Hello Stuart
Incontinence? One definition is "a lacking in moderation or self-control." It can also be described as "wantonness."

Albert Einstein once said that he wasn't so clever but that he was just very curious. Thank goodness for the wantonness of curiosity. Without it we wouldn't have half the modern world that we do. There is always something for scientists, artists, philosophers and cats to poke their noses into. And the experience is usually very private and personal, even though the world may benefit from what is discovered.

One of my favorite photographs is of a NASA geologist peering at a small piece of moon rock. Every time I look at that picture it awakens my own curiosity, not about the rock, but about the man himself.

I wonder if his knowledge of earth's geology can help him make any sense out of what he sees. I wonder if in his youth, when he knew he was going to be a scientist, and eventually decided on geology, if he ever thought that someday he would be looking at a piece of the moon, holding it in his hand. I winder if he thinks about that as he stares at that chunk of the universe.

1,000 years ago going to the moon was conceivable, because it was the stuff of imagination for philosophers, scientists and poets. 100 years ago it wasn't conceivable for we hadn't even lifted off the ground yet. (To some die hard revisionists it's still inconceivable.)

Curiosity is one of those things that doesn't go away. It demands answers. It may perplex thinkers for thousands of years, but eventually the digging, the poking of the nose, will pay off with answers, the human spirit will see to that.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.


Geo. said...

Einstein's career spanned two continents and served us all well. Good example! Curiosity --a healthy mind teaches itself. Good post,DB.

Jon said...

Curiosity is a healthy and essential part of human nature. Fortunately, it doesn't fade with age.