I am going through something at the moment which I can’t reveal.However it has been illuminating to watch people using Freudian defences to defend themselves from knowing or hearing.
It’s a bit like this.
You need to have your appendix out [ which we know needs anaesthetic and surgery]
You have to see your doctor because you need a tetanus shot, nothing to do with yiur appendix
When you meet your friend, you can see she thinks the doctor removed your appendix while she was walking to meet you.It is obvious if one thinks that it would have been impossible So when you say you are going to the hospital, she says: I thought the doctor fixed your appendix last week. The only way that could be true would be if the doctor took a book you had written and removed the appendix from the book.Anyone could do it So it seems human beings do have defences against knowing certain things.Unfortunately we who speak don’t know what they hear and vice versa
No wonder we had Brexit!
No wonder families split up.
Defences are needed but they have a danger in that you may need to be vigilant about health or other issues and defending yourself from knowing could shorten your life
Anxiety is horrible but like when you put your hand into boiling water you need to feel pain to make you pull it out.
I like this old poem I wrote 10 years ago when I had no idea what I was doing.The last two lines surprised me.I reaised
that poetry is not logic
It’s Autumn weather, geese fly by;
Autumn rust,red,gold,so gay.
Drystone walls, edging fields,
Apples gathered,holly berries
Flash so brightly
Look like flowers
Sun shines sideways,shadows long
Of trees appear I dwell among
Woods of gentle beeches sing
Swaying with the sideward wind.
See their roots, all intertwined.
Feel their geometry in the mind.
Look up now into the sky,
See the V formation high.
Geese fly home at end of day.
My heart is moved by patterned dance
In this peace and great silence
My mind opens like the sky
And in this moment I would die,
So I could stay with this still vision
Of geese set out on autumn mission.
Snails in rain pools slither near
My feet upon the terrace here
And look,upon their whorled backs
All the sense of life is packed.
And yet so easily Life’s destroyed,
When blind foot steps into the void.
I have made an odd number of mistakes How can you get even?
What’s odd about a mistake? It’s the error
I dream while I’m awake Better take a sleeping pill after breakfast then
The ghost always comes at midnight Can it tell the time?
I think the light made me jump I just can’t believe in those photons attacking you any more.
I’ve seem the light
Numbers can also be operations I wish my lump could need only a number to remove it A number of operations? The number is the operation but it might be complex I love your imagination Which proves you have one too
Dirac does not sound like an English name Neither does Battenberg
Was he Jewish? He still is. But he’s dead Like Jesus isn’t?
Why did Heisenberg laugh? It should be, when not why Why? You can’t laugh and cry simultaneously Are you absolutely certain? No,I am a postmodernist Are you sure? You’ve got me now. Why, am I playing dumb? Put the lid on it I’m not a piano, yet. I’m mute with shock Was it electric? No, it was visual. I see nothing wrong That’s denial You can’t prove it What, is it right and wrong together? It’s fuzzy I half believe
If only we’d done algebra
It uses letters
Like all scientists at the highest level, Dirac was not afraid to descend from the pinnacle and discuss more down-to-earth matters. Here are two examples. Much of our knowledge comes from light scattered by matter; in particular, that is how we see. In a clever stroke of lateral thinking, Dirac realized that the quantum symmetry between waves of light and waves of matter implied that it is also possible for material particles to be scattered by light, a ghostly possibility that could be observed, as he showed in 1933 in a paper with Peter Kapitza. This was observed for the first time about ten years ago and the manipulation of atoms by laser beams is now a thriving area of applied quantum mechanics – a fact recognized with a Nobel prize last year (Physics World November 1997 p51, print version).
It is not my intention to write about what sort of person Dirac was. But I must mention the genre of “Dirac stories”. He was so unusual in the logic and precision of his interaction with the world, both in and out of physics, that tales have become attached to him and have acquired a life of their own. I suppose it matters to a historian whether they are true or apocryphal (or as Norman Mailer says, “factoids”), but to us they have a deeper resonance that transcends fact. Resisting temptation, I retell just two less well known ones.
Like many scientists, Dirac was known to sleep during (other people’s) lectures, and then wake and suddenly make a penetrating remark. Once, a speaker stopped, scratched his head and declared: “Here is a minus where there should be a plus. I seem to have made an error of sign.” Dirac opened one eye and said: “Or an odd number of them.” Another time, Dirac was at a meeting in a castle, when another guest remarked that a certain room was haunted: at midnight, a ghost appeared. In his only reported utterance on matters paranormal, Dirac asked: “Is that midnight Greenwich time, or daylight saving time?”