The Penumbra of the Empty, Part XII
I am speaking in this post about how things appeared to me as a child, and I don’t know whether these comments are general or not, but I think they are.
As a child, I was attracted to science because I was attracted to experiment and exploration. Accumulating facts or mastering methods was of no interest to me. Also of no interest was the acquisition of the power to control and dominate—I can honestly say that the acquisition of such power was in my mind in no way associated with science—quite the opposite.
I had no notion of science as requiring the squelching of either my individuality or my sensuality. That science would mold me in a cold, icy grip was something-- as I think on it now—did not register in any recollectable instance or perception. I do have to add that my scientific interest was more toward the biological than the physical sciences—and this was in the belief that biology led to an immersion and invigoration of the lived life of the individual, almost as if biology was some sort of religious practice rather than a rigorous science.
While I was a child, the space program was in full swing, and seemed to offer electrifying opportunity for all of humankind—I could never have believed humankinds’ horizons were on the verge of contracting rather than expanding.
I could never have believed study of science would confer a character of stodginess on my life or thinking, an antagonistic rigidity and narrowness. Science seemed so revolutionarily open and generous—what the heck happened? Similarly, why did the Enlightenment renege on its promises, and how?