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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Seperate Reality

When last we spoke, the young KWarrior had rejected the religious views of his family and his youth. But the search for Absolute Truth was still deeply rooted in my mind. Science was my tool-box. Logic was now the scale, by which all things were measured. But I was not going to be fooled again. Just because it was written in a book, even a science book, it was proof of nothng! I would not accept anything on blind faith again. The Scientific Method had rules. And the Science books in school were filled with copious violations of the method, and I questioned everything that was written down as a proof, without the principal of repeated observation being adhered to!
I was also an insatiable reader. My Senior English Teacher handed out a two page list of books (Approximately 125 titles) from which we were required to pick ten, and and read for the year. Great books. Some old, others relatively new. Steinbeck, Stoker, Dickens, Melville, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov, J. Fenimore Cooper, J.D. Salinger, Ken Kesey, Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, George Washington Carver, Harriet B. Stowe, Abbie Hoffman, Karl Marx, Groucho Marx, Sun Tsu, John A. Stormer, Robert Louis Stevenson and Geoffrey Chaucer.
By the mid-term I had read every book on the list. But I'm no speed reader. And I was curious beyond just the story being told. The facts around the story were of great interest to me. But back in 197?, there was no Information Superhighway. And if there had been, it is very unlikely that an on ramp would have existed in Podunk, North Carolina. But I had a library card and a very recent edition of The Encyclopedia Americana. So my quest for truth required a little more leg work than it takes today. However in those days I had two good legs and wasn't afraid to use them.
One good example of my quest for knowledge and truth came about after reading the Herman Melville classic "Moby Dick." It was a story of a Sea Captain on a quest to kill a whale. This wasn't your average "Free Willy" whale. This was a blood thirsty, man killing, ship wrecking, white whale. The story was filled to the brim with genuine naughtical terms. It almost required a dictionary to get through. And it was quite apparent that Herman had some practical experience as an able bodied seaman. The biggest question asked by the English teacher, "What  was the motivation behind Melville's villainy of the whale? Or, "What did the whale represent?" And literary commentators have hundreds of opinions on that subject. But only history holds the truth. Melville did go to sea as a deck hand on a Massachusetts whaling ship. But the Whale attack was not a far flung story of vivid imagination. It had roots in reality. On November 20, 1820 a Nantucket Whaling Ship named "Essex" was repeatedly rammed and sunk by a large sperm whale while the Essex was killing members of its pod. Most of the crew was lost to the sea and treachery at the hands of other survivors. And approximately three months later another whaler named Daufin found two survivors in a small boat. While a British merchant ship found and rescued others on an uninhabited island in the Pitcairns. Melville's story was strange, Yet true. So my answer to the questions, was; "Whales are sentient, intelligent creatures that were capable of revenge and grief."
Okay so maybe I was a nerd. and a hippie! But I lettered in Football, Wrestling and Baseball. I apologize to those of you who thought this was going to be a story of a person who fought the bullies and stereotyping of my outward appearances. That may be a story for another time. This story is about my quest for  TRUTH. The whole Truth and nothing but ULTIMATE TRUTH!

14 comments:

Heart2Heart said...

Kurt,

WOW I can't believe that you read through all those books half way through your term. You are one amazing person with a love of the written word and knowledge.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Dutch donut girl said...

You read every book on the list?
Your senior English teacher must have loved you.

Sometimes the truth is evident, sometimes the truth hurts, sometimes the truth sets you free and sometimes it’s hard to find the truth.

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

O my gracious! I am SO SO SO sorry about the LOST spoiler...figured that everyone knew I post about the most recent episode. PLEASE forgive me!
Now...I will take a breath and go back and read this post...it seems very interesting!

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

so now I want to go back and read Moby Dick...it's been at least 32 years (graduated from HS in '79 and I think we read it in sophomore year?)....and I can't right now because I have to do my taxes so my son can do his FAFSA so he can go to school.....sigh....

GREAT post!
(again, sorry about the LOST spoilers!)

UBERMOUTH said...

Are you a Gemini per chance? I am and they are seekers of truth and knowledge with excellent communication skills.

I LOVE truth-it's so rare.

Thank you for your award and kudos. I was most honoured. :)

Middle Aged Woman Blogging said...

Your profile says Christian.... Dude, why aren't you walking the red road?

Karen said...

Oh, now you're making me wish I hadn't cheated with cliff notes.

Loved your grandparents quote...I think it's the truth!

Blasé said...

The "Truth" is- I'm hungry, sleepy, and embarrassed at the way Double D is looking at me...

Middle Aged Woman Blogging said...

MUAH!!!

2Thinks said...

I'm coming back in a minute to read your post here, I just got out of work. Wanted to say, I left you a reply over at my place, underneath your comment.

Always appreciate your viewpoint.
Thank you.
Heidi

2Thinks said...

Home education taught me that the best way to learn is to read great books with my kids- together. Textbooks didn't cut it- too dry. Did you happen to read Watership Down? You remind me of my son, Pilgrim. He and I loved reading Watership Down when he was young. I read it to him at night before bed, just him and me.

I didn't teach these kids much- the classics, the historical fiction, the biographies- did. I learned more in the years we did this educational thing than I did in all my high school and college years put together.

I admire the knowledge you have stored up in that brain of yours- didn't I tell you, if I'd known you earlier, you'd be my kids' online history teacher- now I know why.

And- hope you don't think I was picking on Presbyterian ministers. I exaggerated my uncle's response, for effect. Mostly, he was just surprised, as we all were. For some dumb reason we were expecting organ music, I guess. :) I got nuthin' 'gainst Presbyterians. (Can you tell I've been reading Huck Finn with Fash?)

My ADHD Me said...

A nerd, a hippie, a jock and a vet. I like that.

my grandfather was a catholic. he told us more than once it upset him that we were going to hell....we are Lutherans.

You know, I never actually read Moby Dick. (Surprise surprise but I wasn't a great student). I do, however, have a copy of it. With your insight, i may just need to read it.

What a full life you have led! Some great, some good and some pretty rotten. That must be the ingredients for a wonderful man.

BamaTrav said...

I read a book once, it was at gunpoint.

Kelly Combs said...

I need to ask you a favor kurt. It would help me so much. Return twice between paragraphs! :-)

So what happened to those boys who were going to give you a haircut?

You are a book worm. I love to read too, but don't have as much time to now that I have little kids.