When I started writing in college, my thoughts were mostly about my engineering homework, and my ideas arose from an interest in the physics of life. I wanted to understand how nature, seemingly chaotic, could produce such seeming harmony. Having just left my childhood faith, I often wondered about the absurdity of my existence, but I had little expectation of figuring anything out, and certainly no intention of finding profound truths or compelling worldviews. Nonetheless, I felt that life was something to be cherished—that humanity’s existence was not as meaningless as my atheist friends had claimed. So I began to observe the world more broadly, looking for patterns in everything from physics to economics, from religion to politics. And as I connected the dots, I glimpsed a picture that has fully captivated my imagination. What began as a scientific curiosity has expanded into a perspective that I find wholly satisfying.
The following is an excerpt from an article titled “Secrets of the Creative Brain” by Nancy Andreasen, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity:
“Creative people are better at recognizing relationships, making associations and connections, and seeing things in an original way—seeing things that others cannot see. …Of course, having too many ideas can be dangerous. One subject, a scientist, described to me ‘a willingness to take an enormous risk with your whole heart and soul and mind on something where you know the impact—if it worked—would be utterly transformative.’ The if here is significant. Part of what comes with seeing connections no one else sees is that not all of these connections actually exist. ‘Everybody has crazy things they want to try,’ that same subject told me. ‘Part of creativity is picking the little bubbles that come up to your conscious mind, and picking which one to let grow and which one to give access to more of your mind, and then have that translate into action.’”
I’ve always had a lot of ideas, and most of them are pretty bad. But I find this one to be rather compelling, and most people seem to agree. This philosophy presents a powerful reason for humanity’s existence—a purpose that might satisfy the mind’s search for significance. This is a logic that might inspire, from our seeming brokenness, a compassion that is global and a vision that brings us to the stars. Indeed, for myself and many others, the connections I’ve discovered are very difficult to disregard. As naive as I am, and as ridiculous as this sounds, I may have found a perspective as sensible as science and compelling as faith.
This “philosophy” might sound like a utopian fantasy based on some pseudoscientific theory. Or some sort of religion informed by reason, a vision of the future given our embrace of some reality. These are fair descriptions, but I see this most as a psychosocial theory based on my observations and assumptions about the human mind and its deepest intuitions—especially my own. I may be wrong, and this philosophy may fail, but I think it’s a perspective worth considering. With regards to the moral and intellectual progress of humanity, the potential implications of this idea are many. I have no doubt that its impact—if it’s true—will be “utterly transformative.” And the if here is significant.
Thank you for checking out my blog, and please feel free to share it with anyone who might be interested. Should my ideas fail to inspire some good in this world, then they will, at the very least, make for some fantastic science fiction. And thank you to everyone who has offered encouragement or suggestions for improvement. My ideas were born from many perspectives, and their continued growth will depend on the integration of broad and diverse sets of knowledge. In any case, feedback and evolution are necessary for survival, including the survival of ideas. And what is the truth, if not an idea that survives?
If you’re wondering who I am, my name is Nick. I was born and raised in the west suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and attended college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating with a bachelor degree in biomedical engineering, I returned to Chicago for medical school at the University of Illinois, and am currently in my fourth year of medical school. When I’m not working or writing, I enjoy lifting weights, playing with my cat, going to EDM concerts, and standing around at bars with my friends.