An hour ago I decided to move on from a group I had been attending every meeting of for over two years. That has to add up to over one hundred meetings and some of those meetings were very enjoyable but most of them were not. It became too much of what was bothersome and not enough of the good stuff, so after sitting through the bickering of others and then of myself too I decided to exit. I did so without any particular fanfare but also in a very permanent way. Concluding with the opposite of what Schwarzenegger is famous for saying, “I’ll be back.” Actually, I went back after discovering my driving glasses were missing, but they were not on the table so I left again without a further word. They had somehow fallen behind and under the driver’s seat. That must have happened when I reached over the backrest to get some papers out of the back seat. Anyway … I successfully moved on from what had become a bad situation for me that was scheduled to become much worse. So, after cooling down for an hour I am feeling much better about my departure. I am willing to hear people talk about almost anything for a while, especially if they are not trying to convert me to something otherworldly. Unfortunately, that is what was happening.
It’s now six hours later and other things have happened. After my daily walk, my thoughts have returned to my problem. I failed to acknowledge that my beliefs about the world were too far from alignment with theirs to ever come to a truly compatible relationship. Thus, I was living in my own fantasy, thinking that my efforts to create a time and place where all people would grow their own personal worldviews would evolve into a more satisfying life for everyone. But they were seeking proofs for their beliefs and my more scientific-reality based feedback solutions to their problems are exactly what they were against and avoiding. There is a human tendency to actively block out ideas that disagree with a one’s personal worldview.
A little later. My emotions have been flirting with personal guilt this last hour. Why did I waste an enormous amount of time pursuing things which I always recognized as nonsense? The answer I usually attempted to convince myself with was that maybe one time in twenty there would be some idea go by that was potentially useful. That is about the right density of what I liked and that would come out to about five ideas in two years that I considered stimulating. Back in Berkeley one in ten lectures were really good, but then they were from Nobel Laureates and they were really good. My favorite of all time was Alvarez’s lecture to the Institute of Human Origins about the Chicxulub meteor crater and his proofs that this event led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. It is beyond comprehension that anything of that quality could occur here in Bend and that makes me feel like my life here has been wasted. Bend does have other qualities, but intellectual excitement isn’t one of them. In the Science Pub meetings which have an attendance of over one-hundred people I usually win a T-shirt for answering more questions right than nearly everyone. Unfortunately, that is an indicator that no one here is up to me even on subjects I am not tracking. In Berkeley, I doubt if I would never win a T-shirt in similar contests.
I will soon get over this problem but it is unlikely they will ever recover from theirs. I feel a bit sad about that, but it is their choice and I fully support individual choice.