I love that spark of a mental journey that comes every now and again, sadly increasingly rare in the nine-to-five life. A movie, a book, a quote, even just something you see or are present for; the culmination of some thought process that finally coalesces into an idea by that junction of mind and experience, then tumbles off into a new and expanded direction. The wildfire of an idea ignited at the combustion point of that moment, feeding off the fuel of concepts and variables.
In this case, it’s a single quote from the movie Waking Life, a philosophy art film I watched years ago and added to my collection, but haven’t seen since then. The movie’s as full of trite grad student ego-driven crap as it is legitimate ideas, however at one point, in contemplating the development of mankind and broad gaps between not scientific progress but sociological progress, one character asks the question, “Which is the most universal human characteristic: fear or laziness?”
This encapsulated so well for me one of my broader thoughts on both myself and humanity at large, and touched on threads between any number of things: Pattern recognition and the young guy I met in Max’s who was painstakingly developing a system to the universe based on a deck of cards and the balls on a billiard table. The recent 150-year anniversary of Darwinism and the ensuing discussions on the extent of religion in the face of scientific evidence. Taoism and consumerism. Quantum theories of probability and the driving need for human connection. And again, putting it all back in the frame of reference of pattern recognition, the development of the human instinct to find connections in chaos.
Maybe someday I’ll want to write it all down. For now, it’s just refreshing mental calisthenics. It feels good to think.