I had lunch recently with a woman with whom I’d previously corresponded but never met. She works for the alumnae publication of my college and has always been careful to print notices about each of my books. I decided the time had come to thank her by inviting her to lunch. I’m glad I did. When we met, we clicked, like classmates who’d known each other since the fifth grade.
Over egg salad sandwiches, we allowed our conversation to drift far afield, raising questions about why human beings exist and how we learn about the universe. We both agreed that at some point knowledge begins with intuition. This admission allowed me to confess that much of my writing came through intuition and was unplanned. She didn’t seem shocked or surprised, but nodded to indicate she understood.
We so enjoyed ourselves that we lost track of time and the hour lunch turned into 90 minutes.
Exhilarated, I came home and decided to tackle another chapter from Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist? I’ve been inching my way through the book for several weeks. Oddly enough the chapter I opened was entitled, “Platonic Reflections.” According to Holt, a number of physicists and mathematicians hold the view that Plato’s world of ideal forms is real and that life is simply its pale reflection.
I imagine that whenever the mind perceives a mathematical idea it makes contact with Plato’s world of mathematical concepts. (Quote of Roger Penrose, Professor of Mathematics from his book The Emperor’s New Mind as quoted in Why Does the World Exist? by Jim Holt, pg. 174)
Believing that ideas exist apart from our thoughts makes perfect sense to me as a writer. Where they reside, however, be it in some meta world different from our own, I don’t know. But I do experience them reaching out to me when I write and, having no claim to genius, I always marvel at these sudden insights. That I can occasionally grasp something extraordinary is proof to me that this other realm exists.
(Courtesy of criticalthinking-mc205.wiki)