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-Nietzsche Preface “I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many.” –Stephen Hawking Is anything in man so deep-rooted and prevalent as the drive to see things as they are not?
What Professor Hawking says here is reasonable, up until the last five words. Relativity and quantum mechanics may both be mind-bending and baffle the understanding, but no less than when a world-famous mathematical and scientific genius who can do little more than twitch his cheek and move his eyes; who cannot feed, dress, wash, or care for himself in the most rudimentary way; who would, if abandoned next to a stockpile of food and water, starve and eventually die of dehydration where he was left, positioned as he was left, tells us that there are “not that many” things he cannot do.
Tubing is one thing and old fashioned sledding is another.Passion for the truth is a thing highly questionable in its very self. It must be kept within bounds so it does not become masochistic or self-destructive. The thing you might need above all else in reading this book is an imagination.I will be showing you the Grand Canyon through a drinking straw at times.I am certainly not a man who is at peace with his life, but on the contrary I despise it as I have never before despised anything. Being imprisoned in the nightmarish cage of paraplegia has done all manner of violence to the deepest parts of me. I lived with the feeling that I was a very rare person. There are many people who have a lot of the same capacities and virtues that I did. Shakespeare said, “honesty’s a fool and loses what it works for”.
This is often true in dealing with others but my truthfulness has a great deal to do with how I relate to myself.I will paint some broad strokes but at other times will try to describe very poignant and unusual experiences and if you do not stop and follow me with your imagination, the words are liable to skip across your consciousness like a rock across a pond.