The Summing Up

Have you ever caught yourself looking for the one theory or idea that will sum up a big subject? I often do. I keep thinking that if I can just take all factors into account then I can get the big answer. The answer that will make everything make sense.

The physicists currently in search of a universal theory seem to be doing that.

The medical researchers looking for genome-based cures for large diseases seem to be doing that.

Political thinkers who want to understand the whole system seem to be doing that.

Religious thinkers who want to reduce their religion’s wisdom/perspective seem to be doing that.

I think this may be folly. It may be a glamorous (in the original sense) dream. I think I’ve been doing it too much. Perhaps there is one Truth to which we can all strive, but the puny human mind can’t seem to capture it. At least mine can’t.This searching to sum it all up may be a anxiety-driven activity, or the sign of an overly analytical/mathematical tendency, or part of the modern, western need to control and understand. Or maybe it’s a little of this and a little of that and is no one thing.

So maybe my new self-talk needs to be “That is one piece of the puzzle. I don’t need to work this whole puzzle alone.”



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