At first blush, I would dismiss this aphorism because I think that Shaw is splitting hairs on a definition. He was truly a wordsmith, so this was not a statement in passing, I would presume that he clearly had intention and thought in the statement. (Or perhaps in a drunken binge, he posted it up on Instagram and got 2.5 million likes and so he stood by it at a later date.)
Either way, it gave me pause to contemplate the concept. And once I start to contemplate….
When I was admitted into UCLA, I wanted to start on filmmaking right away. The fact that I had all of that general education to wade through before I could get to the fun stuff, was unbelievable to me. I distinctly remember lamenting such to my mom and griping about having to take stupid things like Astronomy, Oceanography, Psychology, etc. She was understanding about my frustration but she countered with… “If you do not take the time to learn about the world, what will you make films about?” My internal response (unspoken, but certainly visible on my face) was…. That is sooooo stupid. There are lots of things to make movies about and none of them are going to be about Oceanography, Astronomy or Psychology, so why aren’t you more understanding?!! I would presume I responded with some counter answer, but deep inside, I never forgot the moment. I wonder why….
Since that time, I have learned about so many subjects, and dived head-first into classes and experiences that were so unrelated as to make a mental patchwork quilt of oddities. At the moment I am assimilating the new token economy that is growing at more than double the rate of the internet, which, to date, was the fastest growing phenomena we have witnessed.
The ability to explore, learn, and assimilate is truly a gift. I do the writing every day because it helps me grow. It forces me to formulate thoughts…. Many of which I could not recite back to you in the very afternoon of the day that I wrote them. In the course of thinking about things, we are more able to see them in relation to a bigger picture. The bigger picture is how we are able to find the places within the 3D construct in which we live, that we truly belong.
The act of creating oneself is truly finding oneself. And one of the only ways to find oneself within the larger reality of our planet, is through exposure. Try lots of things, read lots of things, try to grasp things that are just a bit too hard and make your mind hurt. I found that moment in life for me when author, Brian Greene was explaining that the EXACT SAME ELECTRON could be on opposite sides of the Universe at the exact same moment in time. (The Elegant Universe, Fabric of the Cosmos) Try for a second to contemplate that. Not a duplicate electron or the second in a pair. The exact same one.
Here’s the point, and I will leave you to your Sunday…. Lots of stuff we are exposed to may appear at the outset to be useless stuff that just has to be learned. But… because I took an Abnormal Psychology class, I am better able to understand what might be the cause or reason for a would be despot trying to take over the world with all of his life effort. It makes me understand why some of my friends have wholly illogical, and in some cases, offending perspectives on what is happening in the world right now. Oceanography lets me understand how and why our potentially destroying the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic will cause massive freezing in Europe and North America. And Astronomy allows my mind to wonder about the luminous electron being capable of being two places at once.
Would any of these things belong in a film? Unlikely. But they color my appreciation of the much bigger picture, and in each of these explorations, came a new piece of who I have become. The quest to deep dive into knowledge, experiences and circumstances are the entire aspect of finding yourself… because the effort in pursuing any of them is in direct correlation with creating yourself.
I hope your Sunday leaves you breathless with joy!