Woke up early this morning and in the world between worlds where some of the best insights come into view, I discovered one of the greater epiphanies of my decades-long study of ternary logic, infinity, zero, and world peace. I was striding through the fields of pure light and clarity — the miracle of clarity — which surrounds such an insight, and even had a hard time settling my mind during morning meditation because I was so excited to share the revelation with the world. The insight had arisen out of a philosophical/mathy type conversation on social media the night before, but it was much larger than that small thread, since it bridged two previously-separated worlds in a profound manner. For years I’ve intuited these two worlds were related, but could not tell precisely how until this morning.
So there I was, suffused in the joy of epiphany, when I opened up social media to add the new insight to the existing conversation. I did so and went on researching around the topic for a while, taking notes, preparing to write something deeper on the subject than the brief comment in social media forum. After a couple hours I went back to the comment I had written, and found it to be almost completely incoherent.
I knew what it was trying to say, but was astonished to find how poorly it was written. Not only was there a completely missing word that made the first sentence unintelligible, but the whole sentence was inside-out: I was talking about a transition from one idea to another and used “to” the originating idea, instead of “from” it. The next few sentences were more grammatically coherent but equally insensible in meaning. The only part that made sense was the footnote after the insight, where I was reflecting on its importance:
I have just as of 5:00 a.m. today bridged two very separate lines of thought experiments, both of which I have been pursuing for years, knowing they were related but not knowing how. This is exciting! When Archimedes did that one time, he leapt out of his bathtub and ran down the street naked hollering Eureka. I fortunately have my clothes on, but am nevertheless excited to realize I’m definitely on the right path here. Right paths.
I’ve had this experience many times, too many to count, where the initial written notes around a given epiphany are almost perfect gibberish. I know why it happens, too: intuition organizes information in a completely different structure from rational thought. I would say intuitive information operates like the middle of the ocean, and rational information operates like the land; in one, there is a completely three-dimensional awareness with no reference to floors or ceilings, and gravity isn’t very important, in the other, there is a vast 2-D reference plane dividing heaven and earth, and gravity is of more importance, holding everything firmly to the plane except the birds who live in a hybrid world which is kind of like the dolphin in the ocean and kind of like the lion on the Savannah.
I carefully edited the comment on social media so that it read more coherently, thankful that I was up early enough it may have escaped anyone else’s notice, and it took me 30 minutes to do so, the final result bearing little resemblance to the original comment.
Intuitive insights do not make sense to the rational mind until they go through a process of being broken into pieces and stitched back together again almost linearly, like turning a balloon into a pencil. Imagine a dolphin sitting in the middle of a Savannah, with no ability to move, stuck firmly to the ground by gravity, desperately seeking the nearest pool of water for relief. Or a lion, 100 feet below sea level, all his regal splendor to no avail as he flails around, trying above all to get his head above water just to breathe. Two worlds. Poets have fun with blending these worlds with language, as metaphor gives us the ability to see one world from the other.
I suspect that I travel between these two worlds of intuition and rational thought more often and more deeply than the average bear, because I experience far more of these moments where I am incoherent to others than I see others experience, in general. I suppose it’s part of the way artists engage with the world, to have these moments of madness which are not so much mad as they are… a very different way of seeing things… creativeness…
Anyway, I have SO MUCH to write about the actual epiphany itself, as well as another long-awaited one from yesterday, so I’ll get back to that, but wanted to throw this note out there while I’m at it, perhaps to smooth over my earlier incoherence a little better.