Robert Heinlein

The Renaissance Human

I believe that we have a practically infinite capacity in our minds and brains for understanding, experience and storage. I also think that understanding is the glue that holds vast amounts of knowledge in our brains. Without understanding or at least some type of identification with the information, whether through pondering or use, we won’t feel or sense an infinite capacity.

I find myself constantly wanting to use more of myself so I acquire knowledge and I do things, not quickly however, but maybe consistently. For example, I read a little every day and I play music, study grammar, and build wonderful information systems every day. I contemplate and meditate several times a week and I work on an essay, studying and writing, just a little each week.

I have been criticized for being too knowledgeable as if I am sacrificing my understanding for knowledge. I am not. Understanding is paramount; without it knowledge is something memorized waiting to be inducted into the halls of understanding.

I ran across a quote that supports my quest and I wanted to share it. Its from one of my favorite authors, Robert Heinlein. I grew up reading his wonderful books including Glory Road, Stranger in a Strange Land, I will Fear no Evil and others.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, conn a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” -Robert A. Heinlein