Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Unforeseen Hurdles on the Path to Greatness...

Here is a list of some major (or minor) intellectual hurdles I have passed through, some of which I may still be dealing with, on the path to greater quotability and ~monetary excellence (excuse my language).


1. My childhood accident. I fell off a changing table, and later my father and brother 'tested' my head with a carpenter's hammer. I come from a very intelligent family, but I'm brain-damaged.

2. My rejection of Spanish. When I was 3 or 4 years old I refused to speak Spanish ever again... until I took it up in middle school. Still not much of a linguist.

3. My childhood obsession with weapons and armor. This was probably the biggest hurdle to learning mathematics and studying the classics. It continued into my teens.

4. My father's statement that he was a Determinist. This seemed blind stupid to me, because there was no ethics without free will.

5. My obsession with computer games. My senior year of high school I was often late for class and did not complete assignments, because I was up late, and all day wanted to play computer games. One time (later on) my face even turned blue while I was sitting at the computer screen. I had to literally crawl to the bathroom sink, and gulp water to keep from dying.

6. Unlucky at finding genius poetry. At the Dodge Poetry Festival I fished around in some books, and found nothing I liked. I also feel unlucky in not discovering Dickinson until high school, and not finding the Romantics (except for Blake) until college.

7. My differences with the Existentialists. I'm neither a French speaker nor particularly disillusioned in my attitude. And yet the existentialists are the most intellectual movement that ever existed.

8. My rejection by Brown University. I thought I was Ivy material. Then I had to 'guess not'. My scholarships weren't great either, amounting to about $2500 and some loans.

9. My reliance on my mother. I didn't feel like I owned my own clothes or bookshelf until I was at least 29 years old. Although my mother let my younger brother do shopping at an early age, she held me back for some reason, thinking I couldn't do things on my own. Part of it was my own fault, or resulted from the brain damage.

10. My un-willingness to be frank about my interest in magic and mysticism. This may stem from my father's Atheism, and my physical distance from him. I first took interest in the Tao Te Ching when I acquired fragments of it in a calendar from my childhood friend, who was Valedictorian in high school. For a long time I thought I couldn't really study it, because it was Chinese and somehow beyond my intelligence, and that held me back in studying the magical importance of any type of writing. It wasn't until about 2013 that I started writing about magic, even though I had had an interest in enchantments and elves as a child, and once dressed as a wizard for Halloween.

11. The Neo-Classical Disaster(s). I keep running into people and websites who are obsessed with classical Greek philosophy, and this has largely held me back about my own (what I take to be modern) philosophy. However, I have produced a number of dialogues that I eventually plan to publish as a book. (Another story: my current philosophy honor society mentor is a classicist: frustrating missed opportunity for modernist mentorship).

12. Failure to win the OZY Genius Awards. I had my heart set on this one, and a lot of papers put together. But apparently a few of the other participants were more deserving. So much for pretending to be a chair of philosophy.

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