Get inspired weekly with podcast and article updates
CTA-button-top

From the Archives: Longing for Permanence in a Constantly Changing World

August 11, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” Susan Ertz

Which is it we long for, permanence or stability? Does it matter? Both are circumvented by a “constantly changing world.” Henry Miller once wrote, “… it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis.” 
[Read more…]

From the Archives: The Pleasure of “Finding Things Out”

July 28, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“It is imperative,” wrote Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman“to have uncertainty as a fundamental part of your inner nature.”

Richard Feynman recognized early in life the special, distinctive feeling of being close to the edge of knowledge, where people do not know the answers. He held curiosity and uncertainty at the center of his intellectual and creative life.

Curiosity Can Lead to Odd Behavior

To say that Feynman (1919-1988) was a bit of an oddball is most certainly an understatement. Along with his brilliant achievements as a physicist (including the integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, as well as assisting in the development of the atomic bomb) he dabbled in dozens of creative and entertaining endeavors—a truly admirable hero to those of us driven by curiosity.

Feynman consistently tested the frontiers of his own competence by teaching himself a wide and wild array of skills, always romancing the intoxicating uncertainty of not-quite knowing. Knowing nothing about drawing, he taught himself to make perfect freehand circles on the blackboard; He taught himself how to write Chinese. He taught himself how to force everything from his field of vision except for his research problem of the moment. Lastly he taught himself how to live with cancer, and then how to surrender to it.

There is also the story that has become part of physics lore. A young Feynman grew bored in the remote New Mexico desert while working on the atomic bomb during World War II. He amused himself by learning to pick the combination locks in the supposedly secure filing cabinets containing America’s nuclear secrets. Frustrated administrators of the project changed to more secure locks and, as you might guess, Feynman picked those locks as well—all for the fun of it.

No One Really Knows–That What makes it Fun

Feynman is the poster child for the delight of toying with curiosity and uncertainty. In my research of Feynman on curiosity and uncertainty I came upon this statement by Carl Sagan. For me, his comments are essential for the truly curious person to remain open-minded, resting on the value of uncertainty and the humility to admit no one human has a lock on truth.

“If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from,” Carl Sagan wrote, “we will have failed.” Perhaps because, as Krista Tippett has observed, science and religion “ask different kinds of questions altogether, probing and illuminating in ways neither could alone.”

Sagan’s and Tippett’s comments are appropriate not only for religion and science, but also for all human knowledge as we know it. For me, except for the inexplicable power of Love, everything we know is subject to review, reconsideration, and quite possibly change.

Scary? What’s there to lose in the art of learning?

Radical Open-Mindedness

A Most Lonely Option

Photo courtesy of ClaudioVentrella at istockphoto

IMPORTANT NOTE: Parts of this post have been directly lifted from Maria Popova of Brainpickings.

Wonder: A Most Primitive Need

July 21, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” Neil Armstrong

We enter the world hungry. Not just for sustenance, but also for a host of primitive needs like love, knowledge, and wisdom. Included in this list of basic needs is the need for awe and Wonder.
[Read more…]

#80 Charlie: Pulling Out of Ruts

July 17, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments


Show Notes 

This week I intend the topic of core beliefs and how they evolve over a lifetime.

For example, when a person begins skiing, at any age, the slope provides a giant masterpiece to be explored and experimented with. After time, we find our paths and routes that we most enjoy and so we begin to use them more often.

Before long our skiing experience begins to be limited to the grooves of the path we have laid and son that path becomes a rut which is quite difficult alter. 
[Read more…]