Did you ever experience a paradigm shift?
1963 discovered I had much more in common with a couple of Dad’s friends who were survivors of two world wars than I did with anyone I knew my age.
Around 1970 – discovering Heisenberg uncertainty, and realising that there was not simply measurement error due to noise, but that the physical universe places fundamental limits on measurement – and is thus fundamentally mysterious, and must always remain so.
In 1974 while watching a demonstration of LASER holograms at an international symposium on LASERs held at Waikato University I “saw” how it is possible to create abstract notions from stored images. I understood in analogy how abstract consciousness could arise.
1975 realising that the default mode for life is immortality, and that “aging” is an attribute only of the complex multicellular organisms; and therefore extended life-spans must be possible.
In 1978 reading Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene”, I saw how the simple filter of competitive survival could lead to the evolution of high level cooperation.
In 1983 reading Doug Hofstadter’s “Goedel, Escher, Bach: Eternal Golden Braid” and getting Goedel’s implication, that not even mathematics and logic are complete descriptions of even abstract systems. All descriptions, of all systems, are and must always be incomplete in some essential fashion. Even the realms of mathematics and logic are uncertain in this sense of incompleteness.
In May 1994, doing the Landmark Forum, and “seeing” the level of the impact of judgement. Actually being able to generate some time out of the operant paradigm of right/wrong. Within hours of that experience, I was clear on how a declaration in language is able to bootstrap a level of awareness into being.
In 1999 seeing the Matrix, and becoming completely clear on the distinction between the world of reality and the world of our perceptions of reality, which are not experienced in reality itself, but in the model of reality that our brains construct for us.
Lots of others (reading Einstein, Russell, Larry Niven, John Gribben, Plato, Kant, ….) – and I’m getting too tired to write much coherent – not much sleep the last couple of nights, and I still need to walk the dogs – it’s blowing 40 knots outside, with sleet showers – cold and wet – I like warm and dry – waahhh – not fair (quiet child!). Good night all!