Children’s Philosophy Episodes 1 & 2: How a child answers the great questions by… not answering

A child drawing the world…

About Children’s Philosophy: A series of articles that will show how small children answer the greatest philosophical questions of humanity. Philosophers need to question everything. And in order to do that, one must think as a child again!

One can find wisdom in crazy persons and in children. So that is what I did: I asked the greatest philosophical questions to a seven years old child. And the answers were amazing.

Some of them you can find in various posts hidden in Harmonia Philosophica (e.g. in the There is no death article). This is an attempt to gather the major answers of the child here.

Humans have been pondering on big questions of philosophy for thousands of years now. And yet, no definitive answers have been found. Harmonia Philosophica tries to guide humans to these questions by promoting non thinking and irrationality, for this is the only way to discard all dogmas and think freely. The child provided great input that helps us enhance our faith in the path we have taken.

A child thinks with no premises, no dogmas, no prior knowledge of things. In that way one can say that a child’s thought is more close to non-thinking than to thinking. This way of thinking can be a true revelation for a grown up who is too used to the things he or she already ‘knows’. True philosophers and scientists alike question everything.

Are you ready to stop thinking in order to think?

Let’s see what the child had to say…

Truth puzzle filled in by a child (Brain map: There is no death!)

EPISODE 1: Does death exist?

Truth puzzles are an invention of Harmonia Philosophica that helps someone formulate a ‘solution’ to the great philosophical questions of human mind. In these ‘puzzles’ you have all the basic elements of philosophy and all you have to do is connect them with lines or arrows to indicate their relationships. There are no rules on how to do that and that is the basic rule: there are no predefined rules on how to think!

One can read the Truth Puzzles article here to learn more about that method of philosophical investigation.

Details set aside, what is of interest here is that I have a Truth Puzzle to the child to complete.

Related articles

The instructions were simple: My child, take that page and draw lines or arrows between these words.

An important note is that the child did not have English as its mother tongue so it was difficult for it to understand the words, let alone the fact that the child could not in any case be fully aware of the meaning of the words in the Truth Puzzle anyway due to its age.

After a minute the puzzle was completed. And the result was astounding.

What I saw was that…

The child had connected with lines all elements on the page except one: Death!

Besides the importance of the coincidence that the word Death was the only one omitted (Read the ‘There is no death‘ article for that), another important thing we should always keep in mind: There are no rules on how to think! I had thought that one should connect all elements I had written on the page, but the child showed me that this should not be the case!

Lesson learned: There are no rules on thinking! Question everything! Especially the things that you don’t!

That is how philosophy and science progress!

What is Being? – It is a word (!)

EPISODE 2: What is Being?

I once asked a child ‘What is Being?’.

I have the question written on a piece of paper and waited to see how this difficult philosophical question will be tackled by a seven-year old brain.

After a minute, the answer was handed back to be.

“What is Being?” – “A word”

To my astonishment the child answered that “Being” is a word. Thinking in a simple manner is and has always been a trait of wise men and women. And children. Yes, Being is a word. Perhaps the best answer to our great philosophical questions cannot be found through Logos but through the experience of life and existence itself.q

Lesson learned: Don’t think too much about questions that you yourself has invented. Question everything. Especially yourself!

To be continued…

Few bodies problem…

In physics, the conundrum known as the “few-body problem,” how three or more interacting particles behave, has bedeviled scientists for centuries. Equations that describe the physics of few-body systems are usually unsolvable and the methods used to find solutions are unstable. There aren’t many equations that can probe the wide spectrum of possible few-particle dynamics. A new family of mathematical models for mixtures of quantum particles could help light the way.

“These mathematical models of interacting quantum particles are like lanterns, or islands of simplicity in a sea of complexity and possible dynamics”, said Nathan Harshman, American University associate professor of physics and an expert in symmetry and quantum mechanics, who along with his peers created the new models. “They give us something to grip onto to explore the surrounding chaos”. The work was published in Physical Letters X.

The researchers’ key insight is using a simple case and start working in abstract, higher dimensions. For example, the equation describing four quantum particles in one dimension is mathematically equivalent to the equation describing one particle in four dimensions. Each position of this fictional single particle corresponds to a specific arrangement of the four real particles. The breakthrough is to use these mathematical results about symmetry to find new, solvable few-body systems, Harshman explained. By moving particles to a higher dimensional space and choosing the right coordinates, some symmetries become more obvious and more useful.

Coxeter models, as Harshman calls these symmetric, few-body systems, named for the mathematician H.S.M. Coxeter, can be defined for any number of particles. So far, only rarely do solvable few-body systems have experimental applications. What comes next is to implement the Coxeter models in a lab to help unravel some of the most complex concepts in physics, like quantum entanglement. (1)

We cannot solve even simple equations.

And yet we believe we can describe how the planets move.

We cannot understand how four particles behave.

And yet we believe we can know how the cosmos was created.

For a short period of time it seems that we can.

And yet, one minor detail…

One minor change…

And everything goes into chaos.

No, you cannot understand anything.

Unless you give up trying to understand and be part of everything.

Only when you stop trying to be the mirror, do you realize you are the reflection…

Attention. Memory. Brain. The important things.

A study in eNeuro shows that, when remembering a sequence of events, the brain focuses on the event paid the least attention, rather than replaying the events in the order they occurred. This finding suggests that attention during the initial encoding of a memory influences how information is manipulated in working memory.

Researchers presented adults with a series of three images to remember. After a five-second delay, participants were presented with one of the images and asked whether it was shown from the same perspective (front, left or right views) as in the original sequence and in what position (1, 2 or 3) the image had been presented.

The researchers found that the image that generated the weakest response in the brain during encoding was most strongly replayed during the delay period. This result may indicate that the brain addresses the limitations of working memory capacity by focusing on the event that requires the most effort to remember. (1)

We are amazed by miracles.

And we do not use much of our brain to understand them.

Because we experience them every day.

Our brain focuses on things which are less important – like the explanation of mundane phenomena – instead on things which truly are – like the explanation of why we are here and what is our purpose. Because we know the answer to the latter. There is no sense in trying to logically analyze the existence of God or the possibility of a purpose in life, because we are already part of God and we already participate in that purpose (even if we do not consciously know it). We focus every day on earthly matters because we subconsciously know that heavenly matters are what is truly our everyday life’s nature.

Next time you start thinking hard about a problem, think again.

This is not an important problem.

The path to immortality is the easy one.

And that is why it is so difficult to find and follow…

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