I'm a little odd.
I can't seem to remember things my wife considers important, or at least worth remember (like what someone gave us for Christmas seven years ago, or what someone else was wearing at a particular social gathering), but I do seem to hang on to odd bits and pieces of things I have read in Scientific American, or National Geographic, or a conversation I had with a brain researcher while hiking in the Olympic National Forest.
I also recall my dreams as clearly as my waking life, and some of those date back to when I was only three or four!
I take these little bits of information and I make improbable leaps of logic. I toss ideas in the air and see if I can make them loop around in interesting patterns. Meme Juggling.
For example, there is a Sunday School class I am sort of helping out in (I’ll be the “sub” for a week or so, but my current role is being “the weird guy in the corner with the odd ideas”).
We were looking at chapter six of The Shack and the theological question of whether of not God abandoned Christ at the cross (having given up His part of the Godhead in order to bear the sins of mankind). The theology ran a little heavy, with scriptures and learned commentaries being consulted. That is until I threw in one of my too frequent odd ideas, which went something like this:
“Well, I might be wrong, in fact I probably am, but these thoughts occur to me...
“I’ve read that autistic children often swing their arms and legs about not because they lack control, but because in moving their bodies they are better able to distinguish who they are, where their body ends and the rest of the world begins. For most of us, we have a very clear idea of who we are, focussing on this physical body, and not really consider anything beyond it as being a part of “us.” We know exactly where our skin ends and clothing begins, and what is of us and what is of the room or the furniture.
“I’ve also read about a scientist who studies the mind and the brain, and he argues that the brain, the physical organ within the skull, is not the producer of the mind, but actually limits what the mind can express. His evidence is intriguing. In looking at folks with brain injuries, he notes how they are limited in the mind’s thought processes. If the injury is repaired, there appears to have continued the larger abilities though the brain was unable to express them. It seems that there is something beyond the organic brain which screens the mind and limits its capacity, its potential.
“Additionally, I have thought it interesting that all matter at the quantum level is an expression of six types of sub atomic particles called quarks, which may be “strings vibrating in 12 dimensions” and in those vibrations “sing” an expression of particles. It is interesting that these particle are “sung” into existence in quantities of thirds, as if there is a trinity behind the physical reality of the universe.
“Now, if that trinity which sings the universe into being is the same trinity we call “God”, then even though God is actively creating the universe, we still have free will, to be self-centered, which is the core of sin. God is not apart from us, though we sin.
“Now, consider, perhaps in becoming a man, in Jesus being born of a woman and living as a human being, He was sort of extruding Himself into the reality of our world, filtering Himself into this expression of himself in a way similar to how the brain might be limiting the mind. He was still, most of him, doing His part in the trinity in maintaining the existence of the universe, yet the part that was on Earth, was not only fully divine, but also completely expressed as a mortal being.
“And if sin is about being self-centered, in turning away from God and focussing on ourselves, then in opening Himself up to our sins, in grasping and turning to hold, to behold, to take in the self-centeredness of the world, His limited expression in being mortal was turned away from His Father. He turned away, and in doing so took His eyes, his human, physical, ordinary mortal eyes, away from the trinity, and He experienced the abandonment we all feel when we turn away from God.
The class sat stunned for a moment. Then a buddy I work with said: “This is the kind of stuff I have to put up with every morning!” and everyone laughed.
I have tackled all sorts of weird ideas this way, blending science and art and philosophy and theology and any other ology I can manage to fit in.
And here is the most important thing about this little habit of mine:
I am almost certainly wrong about everything I think about or know.
I perceive the universe with eyes that see only so far, ears that hear only so much (and less than they used to with my tinnitus), and most importantly, a mind that is constrained by a brain that works in a dubious fashion.
Don't take me too seriously.