A Muse on Some Shit Einstein Didn’t Actually Say
Albert Einstein once said “You can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it,” or something like that. Chill, let me look it up… Nope, he apparently did not. It’s just something he said in passing, that was taken out of context.
Oh well, the quote sha serves the point I’m trying to make here. Moving on.
That quote has always irked me, because I’ve never been able to understand how one can improve their level of thinking. It’s like asking a fish to find a new level of water to swim in; where does the fish start from? After all water is water, right?
Well, not exactly. It would seem that it is possible to think at new levels, and it also seems, that I got an inkling of what Einstein’s quote (that isn’t actually Einstein’s quote) might imply, today. Courtesy of a 2-year old.
I’ve been toying with the idea that thought is a tool for navigating the world. A tool that should be turned on only when necessary and turned off at all other times. This is obviously not the case with your average individual aka me, but word on the streets of my intellectual role models is that the average individual is abnormal; he/she aka me, live far below human potential, and furthermore, these indiviuals also claim that thought is only the beginning of the mental feats human beings are capable of. Not saying this is true, can’t even say because I don’t know, nonetheless, it’s quite fascinating.
Anyways, about my inkling. I was sitting by the wisdom bestowing 2-year old child, in my mom’s crèche. The little cutie was trying to feed himself some plantain, and was having a hard time with the mechanics. He couldn’t generate enough force to stick his fork deep enough into the plantain, to make it stick long enough for him to get it into his mouth. I tried showing him how by holding his hand and demonstrating the motion, but that didn’t help either. He eventually dropped his fork in the process, and I being dizzy from getting stabbed in the butt with anti-malaria injection, was not interested in going to the kitchen to rinse it. So, I’m like “That’s it bro, use your hands,” and voila, problem solved, baba just dey chow am dey go, hitch free.
This took me back to Einstein’s quote (which isn’t Einstein’s quote), and I realized in that moment that I had been trying to force a level of thinking on the poor chap. In my worldview you eat plantain with a fork, however you can also use your hands. It took a dirtying of the tool I was trying to use, to see that there was another tool. Now, I’m not saying you should let your children eat with their hands, that won’t work so well for a meal like rice. The point here is that sometimes, when things aren’t working out for you, try letting go of the tool you’re using, don’t force a new solution, just observe for a while, and see what emerges. If you see that what emerges might make things even worse (that’s if you even know what better or worse look like) then scrap my suggestion and try something else so you can stay sane, but also ask yourself, “how has staying sane ever changed my life?” You can’t answer can you? *wink wink*
Anyways, you never know what insight or tool will pop up, just don’t let expectations frustrate you, a different level of thinking doesn’t have to be more sophisticated or even “higher,” it’s just different, with it’s own strengths and weaknesses, c’est fini.
Also, taking this back to thought as well, I’ve been trying to solve issues that are apparently beyond the realm of thinking. However, thought is the only tool I’ve known all my life for solving issues; I’m a chronic over thinker. That said, if I’m to follow Einstein’s logic, that means I have to let go of something, whether it’s the need to think my way through everything, or the fear that drives me to think hard about everything or the urge to make sense of life. Whatever it is, I need to let go of it, and that is not easy at all.
So, even though I got an inkling it’s apparently not enough. Then again, the word inkling did imply that it wasn’t a full understanding, and like clockwork, a supposed solution leads to another problem. That said, I’ll keep trying to abstain from trying to control how life goes, and just observe the patterns that form in the process. Wish me luck guys, my sails need that fortunate bit of wind. If I see that it’s getting too hard, I’ll just do drugs. That’s a sure way to make yourself lose your mind, I wonder what will emerge then…
I wish you all well guys, have a lovely week. Peace.