“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. “
William Jennings Bryan (1860 - 1925)
RALPH WALDO EMERSON’S SECRET
“DO YOU KNOW THE SECRET OF THE TRUE SCHOLAR? IN EVERY MAN THERE IS
SOMETHING WHEREIN THAT I LEARN FROM HIM; AND IN THAT I AM HIS PUPIL.”
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Alice was reading Psychology Today that had pictures and conversations she liked so much in a book that looked (how queer it seemed that it is so very remarkably) like a magazine, when she felt so sleepy she again followed the same White Rabbit who appeared not so long ago (or so she thought the very thing absurd, indeed.) The queer Rabbit with pink eyes, a watch in his waistcoat-pocket, and then too - a fan and a pair of white kid gloves - both of which were again missing, alas this not so pleasant creature, I should think got her down the same Rabbit Hole where she fell back into the same routine that really began with the question:” Who in the world am I?"
With respect to the genius in Lewis Carroll and with his kindest indulgence and my humblest gratitude for the liberty I took to quote him, sometimes verbatim even, I begin then to imagine with you the same young Alice in the heart of a middle-aged woman who apparently has nothing better to do than to retrace her roots in the Rabbit Hole.
The king and the Queen of Hearts were having a consultation with two Bachelors, one of Science and the other of Arts. Among the great crowd assembled were the same birds and beasts and a whole pack of cards and alas, an executioner waiting for the Queen to decide which bachelor should have his head off. No you goose, they were not on trial for the case of stolen tarts (well, I fancied the kind of thing too) however it was a verdict waiting to be considered on whether or not Science and Art mix and so putting both Bachelor heads in precarious balance.
“I should think very lightly of it,” Alice had begun to think: “very few things were really impossible. Indeed, like: "Do cats eat bats and sometimes, do bats eat cats?" Alice thought the whole thing absurd.
"I beg your pardon, your majesty, a formula I think it was." said Einstein
"Perhaps I should hear it Overture in B minor BWV 1067." said Bach
"Law of gravity, I think it so very much." said Newton
"Theory of Evolution" thought Darwin
"Synthetic Philosophy, I believe it is." added Spencer
"Feathery strokes of the beginning of a scarlet disc of the sun, I see it so." said Monet
“We feel Poetry in motion, a curious feeling it is for want of the return of ‘Golden Age’." chorused the ancient bards, the great Euripides and Homer among them.
The mock turtle interrupted in a great hurry: "Sounds uncommon nonsense. By far the most confusing things I heard!"
"You're a very poor speaker." said the King.
"Collar that Turtle," the Queen shrieked out. "Behead that Turtle! Turn that Turtle out of court! Suppress him! Pinch him! Off with his shell!"
As soon as the jury had a little recovered from the shock of another of the Queen’s fit and more from the shock of queer grand words that were really so much nicer heard than understood,
Plato whose main contributions were in Philosophy, Math and Science and his “Dialectics” became one of the greatest writers of the world, with great deal of thought said:
"..that the reality which scientific thought is seeking must be expressible in mathematical terms, mathematics being the most precise and definite kind of thinking which we are capable."
Goethe who was the greatest writer, poet, dramatist in German tradition had significant contributions as a scientist. In his “Faust”, he brought attention to philosophical literature in “transcendent knowledge denied to the human mind.”
Aristotle who may have been the first to teach wide range of systematic disciplines including: logic, physics, astronomy, meteorology, zoology, metaphysics, theology, psychology, politics, economics, ethics, rhetorics, poetics began to develop philosophy similar to that of Plato so he said in his "On Kinship" "...not merely necessary for a king to be a philosopher. Rather a king should take the advice of true philosophers then he would fill his reign of good deeds not with good words."
"To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts nor even to found schools but to so love wisdom as to live according to its dictates: a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust" said Thoreau
“Science is analytical description, Philosophy is synthetic description. Science wishes to solve the whole into parts, the organisms into organs, the obscure into the known. The scientist is as impartial as nature. He is as interested in the leg of a flea as in the creative throes of a genius. But the philosopher is not content to describe the fact; he wishes to ascertain, to experience in general and thereby to get to its meaning and its worth, he combines things in interpretive synthesis…
Science tells us how to heal and how to kill. It reduces death rate in retail and then kills us in wholesale in war; but only wisdom- desire coordinated in the light of all experience can tell us when to heal and when to kill." said Professor Will Durant
Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry of the moment how large she has
grown with knowledge that left the fundamentally rhetoric question
unanswered stood before the court of justice.
“What do you know about this business?" The king said to Alice
"Nothing." said Alice
"Nothing whatever?" persisted the King
"Perhaps I should have plenty of time to begin to think that curious feeling ..." said Alice
The White Rabbit with his spectacles on read a curious verse of Lewis Carroll:
"They told me you had been to her
And mentioned me to him;
She gave me a good character,
But said I could not swim.
He sent them word I had not gone
(We know it to be true):
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?
I gave her one, they gave him two,
You gave us three or more;
They all returned from him to you,
Though they were mine before.
If I or she should chance to be
Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free,
Exactly as we were.
My notion was that you have been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.
Don't let him know she liked them best
For this must ever be
A secret, kept from all the rest,
Between yourself and me."
"That's the most important evidence we've heard yet," said the King, rubbing his hands, “so now let the jury - "
"I don't believe there's an atom of meaning in it." said Alice
"If there's no meaning in it," said the King “that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn't try to find any. And yet I don't know." he went on, spreading out the verse on his knee, and looking at them with one eye; "I seem to see some meaning in them after all. " “you can't swim can you?” He added turning to the Knave.
The Knave shook his head sadly. "Do I look it?" he said (Which he certainly did not, being made entirely of cardboard.)
"All right so far" said the King, and he went on muttering the verses to himself: We know it to be true - that's the jury, of course
"I gave her one, they gave him three" “why, that must be what God gave Life her relevance and the puerile lives yielded three: Knowledge, Wisdom and Humanity."
"Let the jury consider their verdict." said the King for about the twentieth time that day.
"No, no!" said the Queen. "Sentence first - verdict afterwards”.
"Stuff and nonsense!" said Alice loudly. "The idea of having the sentence first!"
"Hold your tongue!" said the Queen turning purple.
"I won't!" said Alice.
"Off with her head!" the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved but the two bachelors in the beginning of our story, the one of Science and the other of Arts.
"Wake up Alice dear!" said the pages from the curious magazine "Why what a long sleep you had!"
"Oh, I've had such a curious dream: psychology today bordering around metaphysics." said Alice "I shall not insult you by talking nonsense."
"It was a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run in to your tea." said the curioser magazine.
So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well as she might, it still is: "Ignotum Perignotius” after all.
T H E E N D
“Please to fancy” to find your good selves humoring
Alice in Wonderland who shares nine lives with her pet cat “Dinah." Until we all crosspaths again...
Alicia for aliceinthepoetsheartland
“SEEK YE FIRST THE GOOD THINGS OF THE MIND, AND THE REST WILL EITHER BE SUPPLIED OR ITS LOSS WILL NOT BE FELT."
FRANCIS BACON, Viscount St Albans
ENGLISH PHILOSOPHER AND STATESMAN KNOWN FOR HIS INDUCTIVE REASONING METHODS THAT GAVE IMPETUS TO SUBSEQUENT SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION.