sharing XQ

14 06 2010

I presented XQ to a few people yesterday. One was a mathematician and he said, it wasn’t maths. That was that. He just wasn’t interested. Another person responded to the statement, there is another side to maths, with, there are plenty of different sides not just one.

Can you imagine…? I have taught maths for ten years. I spend months exploring it and writing it up. I take the time to respectfully set up the presentation. And bang, people in a few minutes feel confident enough to dismiss it. (Incidentally, when I tell other people that teachers are not respected, and they deny it, this is the quality of experience I am referring to.)

Am I dealing with children? Because there are plenty of classes full of young people who have decided to judge maths as being a waste of time. They are ready to dismiss anything I have to say. And I got pretty good at catching their mind. But I don’t do that with adults. I don’t catch their minds. I merely present, thinking that these adults will have enough consideration of their own minds to respect what I have to say.

I mean, we did thought experiments. World-premier quality thought experiments. They were witness to their own mind’s response to seeing something everyday, 2 + 3 = 5, in a completely different way. That there are different ways of looking at it. And I was merely suggesting that maths might be a way for us to link in to with all our different thoughts/words/models that abundantly choke our minds from observing simple things.

So, instead of feeling good that I have shared something significant, instead of people acknowledging the rather peculiar reframing of such a fundamental thing as maths, instead of genuine curiousity, and uplifting joy that we may actually be empowered transnationally with this universal language… the notion gets dismisses, and me with it.

Of course I should not be attached to it. But I am. There is something shocking about this exchange.

And when it comes down to it, it is my foolishness. After all, who cares if we can look at 2 + 3 = 5 in a different way. I mean, who really cares? It doesn’t matter, for god’s sake. Nothing changes. And yet, if people can’t even appreciate a small thing like this, and its potential in terms of global east-west divide, especially after someone has pointed it out…. I am just… bamboozled. Actually, I’d rather be bamboozled than actually what happens, which is frustration.

So, what’s the answer? The answer seems to be, don’t tell people about it until they are ready. And even when someone appears to want to know, if they indicate they don’t, just stop. Something has to happen before I lead them through it. Something in their minds. In the way they are listening, such that they are really value the result of their own observation on their mind’s movement. After all, if they don’t honour that, then nothing useful will come of it. Hence, I need to catch their mind.

And how do I catch the mind with XQ? The usual suspects, ask questions. What if there is another way to look at maths? What would this mean if we could see maths in this completely different way? What are the implications, the social ramifications…? That is, give people space to actually consider the space opened up.

Finally, I am definitely piecing together the methodology required to explore this. The base-arrow methodology. All that was demonstrated yesterday was the western mind’s propensity to think of the object of thought, classic arrow-head thinking.

time’s arrow

9 06 2010

Consider these things: time, arrows, questions.

I have already covered how questions induce a dynamic in the mind. Normally, the mind chases after the answer like a dog after a stick. Buddhism asks us to consider from where does the question come.

If one thinks of this in terms of time, a question tends to project into the future. It tends to accelerate us. Buddhism asks us to settle on the mind.

In terms of a simple diagram, an arrow, there is the head of the arrow and the base. Buddhism is interested in the base of the arrow.

So, these combine pretty simply. Normal physics, or any application of maths to the objective world, is located at the head-end of the arrow. It’s about the object of thought, it is about things out there. This demands a certain kind of methodology. When scientists attempt to poke around the mind as the object of thought, via psychology etc, they again use the same arrow-head methodology. It can be quite painful being treated as an object. Any patient will tell you that.

Buddhism, as a subjective science, is concerned with the internal processing of the mind as it is experienced by the mind itself. That is, from where does the question come from? It is not about the object of thought, but the conditions which give rise to it. This also demands a certain kind of methodology. One does not go presuming what it in another’s mind, with an arrow-head mentality. One invites others to consider their own mind. Without respect, there is no progress. It is not about fighting one another with arrow-heads, but to be as accurate as possible with one’s own experience so that a confrontation is one of subjectively evaluated truths. It is the examination of the creation of truth. It is dictated by sensitivity.

XQ is merely an exploration of maths in the arrow-base side of how our minds work. As opposed to the arrow-head side of applied mathematics.

So, where are you on the continuum? Where is the balance point? How often is your dynamic predicated on arrow-head mentality? How often on arrow-base?

%d bloggers like this: