I submitted two different posts to the NPR program “This I Believe.” Both of these “This I Believe” segments have become key components of the Neo-Transcendentalist movement and are shared in their original herein. The first, entitled “This I Believe: I believe that we can all slay dragons” is a very personal story of my own failing to transition out of bliss and into adulthood, of my current life and the path I took to get here. One thing to note, in the early days of thinking about spiritual life coaching and emotional intelligence, I aimed much of the object of the quest at happiness and not at the transcendent trifecta of happiness, meditation for enlightenment, and wisdom.
In the second, entitled “This I Believe: I Believe I can fold the hypercube,” I draw a universal model from the hypercube, using some of my early understanding of String Theory and the new physics to build a topological model of our place in the universe. I use the word soul in this older piece more often than I would today, its connotations too religious to convey the meaning I prefer, an emotional enlightenment, a spiritual transcendence, found in many cases without a supernatural requirement.
I hope you enjoy these precursors to the Neo-Transcendental movement of today.
This I Believe: I believe that we can all slay dragons
I believe that we can all slay dragons, dupe the evil king, and win the love we want — for I believe that we are all on our own hero/heroine’s quest and using the guideposts of mythology we can better achieve the object of our quest, happiness.
I believe that the myths of separation, adventure, and the final tale-telling mimic life’s path of childhood separation from home, the adventure of relationships, work, and adulthood, and the retelling of our lives through memoir and through our loved ones. I believe that the heroine’s path teaches us how to play, solve problems, and tell our own story in a way that connects us to our ancestors and continues to connect us to posterity. I believe that the better we are at finding the heroine within us, the happier we will be.
Happiness has been different for me along the path of my quest. My first rite of passage, the separation from my parents to university, marks the first place where I should have transitioned from a blissful sort of happiness into an adult one of pleasure… but I was a bit of a late bloomer. I tried to hold onto bliss, not understanding that holding onto childhood by dampening my adult responsibilities with substances was keeping me from making decisions that would maximize pleasure, the more adult sort of happiness.
I now enjoy the pleasure of spending time with the love of my life, Samira, the taste of her lovingly prepared Arabian food, and dialogue over a fine bottle of wine. I get pleasure out of solving problems — professionally, as an engineer and personally, as a friend, someone people turn to with their problems.
I was lucky to get back on track in the hard transition between childhood and adulthood and won’t make the same mistake as I age and reach the final stage of my hero’s quest, my posterity. The happiness of aging is contentment and is best shared with others. We have so much to share — lessons learned, problems solved, loves won and lost — that will live on long after we die, an afterlife free of dogma, written entirely by you during your life, written in the hearts and minds of your loved ones.
Each end of my path is the same distance from me now. I look back with humor and contentment on my exploits and decisions, I look forward to my afterlife by picking up a pen and writing down the mythology of me.
This I Believe: I Believe I can fold the hypercube
I believe I can fold the hypercube, a three-dimensional cross made of cubes analogous to the two-dimensional paper cross that I cut out of paper and made into cubes as a child. Folding the hypercube is no small task, normally it would require a four-dimensional creature — one of which I haven’t yet met.
In university, I meditated on how to perceive outside the perceivable and created small perturbations in the air around me, lifting a butterfly in Bangladesh, striking a lightning storm in the Sierra, when my own general unified theory or GUT came to me. Like Kepler’s “Model of the Universe,” I came to express my GUT in a drawing.
The drawing is hard to write for radio but it illustrates many points captured in spirituality and religion: the unity of man with the infinite, the soul within that is the light of the world, the right action that helps us attain an unperceivable, new life after death. The picture involves and infinite number of points, each of which is zero dimensional. This universe has an empty-set dimensionality, infinity divided by zero, and is the nothingness of all being. Now remove one point and lay the hypercube down on it so the middle cube is centered over the hole. String the hole and the hypercube with the superstrings, the remainder of the dimensions from our three that form the super-symmetry of ten-dimensions and whose wiggles are perceived by us as light and matter and you have the picture. Whew.
Humankind is the hypercube, a three-dimensional being laying down, arms extended, connected to the infinite and to nothingness, striving to survive and to do right to attain a more perfect state-of-being, nirvana, heaven, the pinnacle of the mountain. The human-hypercube has a soul, the superstrings, the light of the world, the goddess within that is connected to all other human-hypercubes and to the super-symmetry, the place where all of the fundamental forces of nature coalesce into one. Set in this optimal universe of infinite possibilities, the right actions, folding, twisting, and orienting around the soul, are the means to the end of finally attaining the next dimension, the folded hypercube, a blissful exodus from suffering.