Part 1, Global Viewpoints and How I Arrived There
I have to begin this with some personal history. The phrase “stranger in a strange land” has special significance for me because it sort of sums up much of my early life experiences. There was a time when I believed that those with similar unusual life experience would be freed by them as I was. The increasing fullness of years taught me yet another lesson, it’s not the experiences as much as it is whether or not you learn from them and the sad conclusion that most simply don’t learn.
My father, with whom I have many never to be resolved issues long after his passing, was an educator of the humanities who went to Dartmouth and Yale and studied both psychology and history. I grew up surrounded with all the classics of literature, history and psychology as well as a pretty good collection of the golden age science fiction novels. The psych eval done on me in first grade indicated I was reading on a seventh grade level then. I remember in seventh grade having to fight the local Liberian for the right to check out Solzhenitsyn’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” because it was a commie book only an adult could handle. She lost that argument and I got to expand my understanding of the Soviet people. Not to mention learning quickly that her understanding of a “commie” book was totally divorced from reality.
I grew up at the very tail end of what is sometimes called a “liberal” education that included an expectation of exposure to Enlightenment literature and the classics. I was part of the last generation that was taught the difference between democracy and a representative republic, something the average American today has no apparent understanding about.
In short, I grew up feeling I was a stranger in a strange land but schooled in the ideas that knowledge and it’s pursuit were desirable and valuable in it’s own right and no field of inquiry was off limits as a result. For example, my seventh grade science project was unique. Already having delved deeply into so called occult subjects and so called fringe science I decided to explore whether or not psychic ability measured by the Rhine cards being used at Duke University would be influenced one way or the other by hypnotism. The answer was yes by small but statistically significant amount. I got an F on that project because it wasn’t “real” science given by the very asshole who approved my doing it in the first place thus learning a much greater lesson than the work itself but far different than the one he thought he was teaching me.
A year later we move to New Delhi India. We traveled slowly throughout Europe and the Middle East to get there using a very out of date version of “Europe on Five Dollars a Day” which meant we were always well off the beaten track the tourists took. And I got to see a world that doesn’t exist today, one prior to the homogenization of Western/American culture. And we lived in an India that still was much more similar to Kipling’s India than the India of today. I explored that India outside the Western enclaves where most stayed and did so with relative freedom.
I attended school with kids from all around the world, not just Europe and America and I met some of the great minds of the time like Joesph Heller of Catch 22 fame, future Ohio governor and first lady Richard and Dagmar Celeste, future Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi to mention a few.
So, due to a perfect storm of a unique neurology and a unique childhood I view the world much differently than most people do. I learned to see the world though the eyes of an interested, even fascinated alien observing the wider human condition. I see the world globally and work down to specifics, understand human nature in wide concepts. The ancients called this “as above, so below” and today it is expressed in fractal mathematics and demonstrated by breaking a hologram which then has each piece a smaller but complete version of the original.