Writing one’s first blog post, despite an utter lack of readership base, is a daunting task. The words a person chooses to be their initial point of contact with other people says a mouthful (wordful?) about that person’s worldview, their method or even purpose for living. Okay, it’s just a blog, right, but there is still something to be said about how much our word choice defines the manner in which we choose to go about the daily actions of living. Some would argue that words like “choice” or “selection” are more determined by genetic and sociological factors as opposed to me freely deciding what word comes next. Free will versus determinism aside, I am going to start things off by writing about consilience.
Consilience is a word made popular by a famous biologist (yes, they exist) named E.O. Wilson. Consilience is a simple concept. It means to unite knowledge from every human endeavor in a holistic and unforced manner. Wilson was especially keen on bringing back together the worlds of the sciences and humanities in order to exponentially boost future human endeavors. In academia, disciplines are becoming more and more specialized with subdisciplines branching off all the time. I have talked to a few engineering students at Boston University that brag about finding loopholes to replace classes like English Literature or Art History with Digital Signal Processing. Wilson would probably not be happy with such shenanigans. So why unite topics like geology and Dadaism? Well, it all comes back to the brain. GASP!
Shocking, I know, but our brains thrive on a balancing act of the many mechanisms firing underneath the hood. A healthy brain takes advantage of the various capabilities available to it: art, sports, logical processing, empathy, spirituality. All of these things are worth pursuing a lifetime over, but a truly balanced life learns to not only merge these various disciplines into a holistic life, but to also realize how increasing knowledge of one topic creates insight into other seemingly unrelated topics. This has definitely been the case in my own short life.
Since college I have enjoyed studying 20th century philosophy and theology, being in a band, starting a graphic design company, working on a film set, brainstorming an independent film festival, studying about human consciousness and religion, learning about the eerily complex organ that is our brain, and building healthy relationships with my wife and two children. And there is far more to do and explore than my life’s time will allow! The idea of consilient living is to realize how vital each avenue of discovery truly is and how to extract wisdom from these explorations in order to embody healthier, smarter future actions.
In upcoming posts I hope to write about religion, science, politics, art, comedy, architecture, and all those pieces of the human puzzle that Wilson deems worthy of consilience. If you are bored enough and want to hear me jabber on about something in particular, let me know. I’m looking at you friend that I will refrain from calling out by name!