The Great Escape
I love Michio Kaku’s books, but I have a problem with his Physics of the Impossible: He discusses phasers, force fields, teleportation and time travel, but he does not even mention the invention for which I am most desperate; a thought grabber. Too many of my thoughts escape through the holes in my brain.
I am not the first to seek such a device. Pascal lamented: “Thoughts come at random, and go at random. No device for holding on to them or for having them. A thought has escaped; I was trying to write it down: instead I write that it has escaped me.”
I empathize with Pascal, but my concern is quite practical: I keep a notebook of all my insights, especially those that miraculously arrive during, and as a result of, my prayers. I can usually remember all the insights I receive over a Shabbat, but a two day holiday often provides too much to recall. I want a device that will capture all my thoughts and insights. I assume that it will be in the shape of a helmet, hopefully not a black hat, battery operated to observe the laws of Shabbat and Yom Tov (Holydays) although it will come in rechargeable form for weekdays. I suspect that the physics will be less difficult than figuring out how to comfortably shape the device to be worn 24 hours a day, even when in the shower when the ideas for my newsletters appear and escape, and to allow a person to wear the headpiece without disturbing Teffilin – phylacteries.
I don’t want to scare you, but I would like to custom order a device that will catch some of the great thoughts that have appeared and disappeared over the ages. I promise not to violate anyone’s privacy. There is one person whose thoughts at a specific moment I must catch in my machine: The guilty Sotah who explodes. This woman obviously does not believe in God, otherwise she would not risk drinking the water. She drinks the water and for just a few seconds before she explodes knows that, oops, she was wrong. The water works. God does have power. (Even our friend Pascal tried to cover his bases: He sewed the following thoughts into the lining of his clothes: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,” not of the philosophers and scientists. Certainty. Certainty. Feeling. Joy. Peace.) In the few seconds before she dies, this woman has absolute clarity that God exists and that her “miraculous” death will prove God’s power to all who are watching.
I want to use my device to catch that absolutely clear that at that moment.
She may have been a sinner, but she serves as a vehicle to prove God’s Power to others, and I suspect that the clarity of that fleeting thought purifies her soul.
So, dear Dr. Kaku, please suspend your work on String Theory and start working on my device. I want that one thought, even more than all the other thoughts that were part of the great escape!
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