Plato, Jesus, and Einstein are my big three thinkers of all time.

They transcended the ordinary.  Plato’s myths, Jesus’ parables, and Einstein’s thought experiments all come from the same place, played the same role, and accomplished very nearly the same things in society.  They all make you see the world in a way that maybe you didn’t see it before, in a way maybe you COULDN’T see it before.  They all teach by analogy, operating in that not-so-gray area of your brain where the precise logic of language becomes the precise logic of mathematics and the phenomena of existence all of a sudden look different.  Plato’s myth of the cave shook me to my socks thirty years ago, illustrating just how easy it is to get trapped in the fallacy of common sense, which prevents you from seeing the forest because of all the trees in the way.  Einstein does something similar, only more modern and mathematical, with his thought experiments on acceleration and inertia relative to frames of reference.  Both allude to a dimension of light, which by modern definition includes magnetism and electricity.  A dimension of gravity might be inferred also, given its apparent irreconcilability as a force.  Jesus took things more to heart and stomach, but still the logic was impeccable, and the idea that brotherly love can transform the world, makes it capable of just that.  He only made one mistake that I can see.  I’m quite sure that birds do ask where they will sleep and what they will eat, albeit in some mental language.  I doubt they do much else, but this is minor quibbling.  All had a glimpse of that larger world of which this slow cool world is a part, and they articulated it in a way that breathes spirit into the dead letter file.

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