After graduating I remained in Ottawa for a couple of years trying to find employment in the career path I had chosen. It was a tough time but I’ve talked about the professor whom I believe was instrumental in dropping a so-called ‘iron curtain’ between me and my fundamental right to equal opportunity.
Not one to waste time, while battling with this backroom brainiac I managed to make daily trips to the Ottawa Public Library which, although located in a relatively small city, had a fairly good audio-visual section.
As another professor put it, I was making myself ‘more marketable.’ But she was a bit off the mark. I have always studied as part of my overall journey and not merely for monetary gain.
And looking back I can say that if the cards are unfairly stacked against you, no amount of smarts or marketability will help you.
It was during this challenging time that I watched A Glorious Accident: Understanding Our Place in the Cosmic Puzzle (1993).
This wide-ranging documentary looks at culture, science, philosophy and spirituality. Its creator Wim Kayzer explores the lives and thoughts of leading figures in diverse fields, including Oliver Sacks, Rupert Sheldrake and Daniel Dennett.
Perhaps most enjoyable is watching how the participants dance around one another, trying not to ruffle any feathers while holding opposing viewpoints on several issues.
The following excerpt, on YouTube with Dutch subtitles, talks about the limits of neuroscience and the idea of a mysterious “Wonder Tissue” in trying to explain the perhaps unexplainable.
And since the time of the previous version of this post, it seems the entire series is now freely available on YouTube. A good antidote to intellectual boredom when almost all the news is about COVID-19, which of course is tremendously important but still, not all there is.
We have other challenges to overcome too, and not thinking about our post-COVID world will not help. So watch and let this series stimulate your mind. We all need to keep sharp now!