Day 2 of Uncle Bucky’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. Today’s quote is the last two paragraphs of chapter 4. First off, this chapter is actually pretty sane. Surprisingly so. Why didn’t he just start the whole book with this chapter? I guess I have to read the whole thing to find out. Second, the sane drops away dramatically in the last sentence of the chapter, which, in this case, I find oddly endearing. Here it is (emphasis mine).
To comprehend this total scheme we note that long ago a man went through the woods, as you may have done, and I certainly have, trying to find the shortest way through the woods in a given direction. He found trees fallen across his path. He climbed over those crisscrossed trees and suddenly found himself poised on a tree that was slowly teetering. It happened to be lying across another great tree, and the other end of the tree on which he found himself teetering lay under a third great fallen tree. As he teetered he saw the third big tree lifting. It seemed impossible to him. He went over and tried using his own muscles to lift that great tree. He couldn’t budge it. Then he climbed back atop the first smaller tree, purposefully teetering it, and surely enough it again elevated the larger tree. I’m certain that the first man who found such a tree thought that it was a magic tree, and may have dragged it home and erected it as man’s first totem. It was probably a long time before he learned that any stout tree would do, and thus extracted the concept of the generalized principle of leverage out of all his earlier successive special-case experiences with such accidental discoveries. Only as he learned to generalize fundamental principles of physical universe did man learn to use his intellect effectively.
Once man comprehended that any tree would serve as a lever his intellectual advantages accelerated. Man freed of special-case superstition by intellect has had his survival potentials multiplied millions fold. By virtue of the leverage principles in gears, pulleys, transistors, and so forth, it is literally possible to do more with less in a multitude of physio-chemical ways. Possibly it was this intellectual augmentation of humanity’s survival and success through the metaphysical perception of generalized principles which may be objectively employed that Christ was trying to teach in the obscurely told story of the loaves and the fishes.
Yeah, I know, right?
There is a logic there. I can sorta grasp it. But that line just comes out of absolutely nowhere in this chapter. And I’m left nodding my head, going “Oh yeah. There we go, baby. Bringin’ the crazy.”