Saturday, August 3, 2013

How Sir Isaac Newtron Helped Formulate the Laws of Story

 Your first introduction to Sir Isaac Newton had to do with his observation, then formulation of the behavior of physical bodies as expressed in his notable laws of motion.  You were of an age where you presumed he wore a wig and would have any number of things to tell you about the behavior of matter and persons.

In some of the drawings and portraits you later discovered of him, you were not disappointed; he did wear a wig. You bore him no envy or ill will because of the wig, accepting that as a cultural affectation.  In some ways, Sir Isaac, if not a hero, became a person to respect.  You could learn neat things from a person like that.  You especially liked the idea that he was driven by his curiosity.  

This is, of course, a retrospective view.  At the time, you told a friend, "He wasn't doing shit like this to get ahead in the world.  He did it because he could.  Because he had to."

To the extent you were able to keep your own focus on the world about you, you did begin a modest form of observation of what then seemed to be the world about you.  At the time, you were quite a literal person, struggling with such aspects of physical behavior as your emerging self, the seeming mysteries of puberty, and, in an appropriate riff on Newtonian physical behavior, your attraction to girls.

Because of your literal nature, you were not yet ready to attach the caboose of your own observations to the mighty and impressive locomotive of Sir Isaac's spectacular visions, although you do recall in one class during the hated middle school years your passionate argument favoring Newton over Aristotle.  The teacher in question was likely too surprised by the depths of your thesis, coming form the known troublemaker she saw you as, to suggest you might well have been mixing apples and oranges.

This is not to suggest you have things better in hand now as to offer that you have had a wider swath of experiences, which you're able to equate with such forces as movement and evolution.  You're almost ready to posit experience as emotional movement, although you do recognize that ageing comes with experience and ageing often exacts tolls such as wrinkles, thinning of hair, occasional creaking of bones, and the unexpected bouts of crankiness.

You are ready to posit motion as the meeting ground for Story and Reality.  In either landscape, lack of motion is stasis, which equates with boredom.  Let's not be too quick to write off boredom as an enemy of Reality or of Story.  

Sometimes boredom becomes the stew pot for resolution or, even better, rebellion against the static, the lack of influential energy.  If the Peasants, tired of their cramped stasis, hadn't revolted (pick a time, pick a year, pick a country), there'd have been no Magna Carta, the Romanoffs would still be in power, the Ottoman Empire...well, enough said.

The enemies in Story and Reality are Apathy, Indifference, and lack of curiosity.  They are central to the Marxist response to Hegel's thesis and anti-thesis dialectic.  In some form or another, Story needs Apathy, Indifference, too much introspection rather than or as a prelude to action, and let's throw in too much self-interest rather than a reasoned measure of empathy.

Story in motion tends to stay in motion until it is overcome by too much description, too much introspection, speechifying instead of dialogue.  Story at rest tends to stay at rest until it is overcome by intent, fueled by significant desire or need.

You did not need a wig to see this aspect of story, projected as a physical entity, but you took considerable advice from Sir Isaac, who gave you a helpful shove in the right direction.

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