Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Logic and Reason

D'Arline,

I adore you, sweetheart.
I know how much you like to hear that - but I don't only write it because you like it - I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you.

It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you - almost two years but I Know you will excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; & I thought there was no sense to writing.

But I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.

I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead - but I still want to comfort and take care of you - and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you - I want to do little projects with you. I never thought just until now that we can do that together. What should we do. We started to learn to make things together - or learn Chinese - or getting a movie projector. Can't I do something now. No. I am alone without you and you were the "idea-woman" and general instigator of all our wild adventures.

When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to and thought I needed. You needn't have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need becasue I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true - you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else - but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive.

I know that you will assure me that I am foolish & that you want me to have full happiness & don't want to be in my way. I'll bet that you are surprised that I don't even have a girlfriend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you cant help it, darling, and nor can I - I don't understand it, for I have met many girls & very nice ones and I don't want to remain alone - but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real.

My darling wife, I do adore you.
I love my wife. My wife is dead.

Rich.
PS: Please excuse my not mailing this - but I don't know your new address.

The above was a letter written by Richard Feynman. I read it while reading a book about his life and works called "Genius". Now, Feynman, as he claims in the letter is a rationalist, he is also an atheist. He is a zealot who believes in the fundamental truth of science. So much so, that he refused to say the hebrew prayer that the rabbi asked him to at the funeral of his father, whom Feynman loved dearly.(he was born Jewish. All physicists are :D)


It is really hard to imagine a person who is so much a realist and for whom logic has always been sacred thinking and feeling what he does in this letter. There are indeed powers so much more powerful than our intellects, the powers that made us. No, I am not talking of a God here. I am talking about the humanity in us and evolution. The fun part is, our intellect is but a product of the forces of evolution.

anyways, two phrases:
"the tyranny of emotions"
"the tyranny of reason"

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