One of the characteristics of our educational system has different subjects put into neat separate boxes. Math, reading, art, science. Today, we see much more blurriness and convergence between subjects like science, religion, philosophy.
This “Gnostic syncretism”—the combining of knowledge—is especially apparent when teasing out the details surrounding revolutionary innovations. The inspiration that leads to breakthroughs in technology, science—even cultural breakthroughs—many times involve a bringing together and merging of ideas formally not associated.
Many pivotal inventions, ideas, concepts have been birthed through a sort of revelatory experience breaking down barriers and opening up the mind to new ways of doing things. For example, Nobel Prize winner Charles Hard Townes describes the unconstrained interplay of “how” and “why”—questions that both religion and science seek answers for—as he developed the principles for masers sitting on a park bench in Washington, D.C. in 1951. Masers led to lasers and an amazing plethora of inventions and discoveries in medicine, telecommunications, electronics, and computers in common use throughout the world today. Townes describes the genesis of his idea as an “epiphany”, and “revelation as real as any revelation described in the scriptures.
Are there ways to prepare student’s minds to have revelations such as Townes had?