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"concept that intellectually excites you" essay; "I have a question"


Gnu 2 / 7  
Sep 25, 2010   #1
Hello.

Please help me with the following essay (e.g. if there are any inconsistencies, bad organization, difficult to understand sections; not only grammar). Also, I have about 30 too many words...

Thank you very much

Describe an experience that you have had or a concept you have learned about that intellectually excites you. When answering this question, you may want to consider some of the following questions: Why does this topic excite you? How does it impact the way you or others experience the world? What questions do you continue to ponder about it?

My mother lays down 'F' is For Fugitive, picks up her earplugs, puts one in, then pauses as she hears three quick, light knocks.
"Yes?"
I walk in with a sheepish grin and my hands behind my back:
"I have a question."
She plucks out the earplug, looks up at me, and sighs, knowing that if this proceeds as usual she will not get to sleep for another half hour.

"Did life occur randomly- or was it a natural sequence, similar the Grand Canyon's formation?" I asked, bouncing off theories until I produced a temporary conclusion. I subsequently moved on to one of the many other questions that had just budded. After numerous iterations I was lead to:

"Why is life so special, anyway? We're just a bunch of atoms."
"That you have to figure out for yourself. Goodnight."
Though probably an evasion, those words remained ringing in my ears for quite a while.
One year later, backpacking in the Sierras with uncles, aunts, and cousins, I am the first to reach the ridge overlooking Midnight Lake. A rainbow trout shimmers in the navy blue water underneath a looming thunderhead. Across the lake, up a steep, evergreen-splashed slope, past a snow-capped peak, a bolt of lightning flashes. Unconsciously I exhale "beautiful".

That light, simply alternating electric and magnetic fields, reaches me from its distant origin. Next, I convert it into a picture, using a signal that employs the same type of energy as the lightning itself. This image takes up no space yet for me makes up all space. It portrays beauty and I feel wonder. Wonder: a feeling easily defined as a word, a word that everyone can associate with a feeling, but what is it really - a chemical reaction, an electrical signal, perhaps something more? Furthermore, does this wonder result from the outside world's conditioning to appreciate such a scene, or is it instinctual, developed to advance survival? But if the latter is the case, how? How could there be a chromosomal mutation that associates certain external stimuli with an internal feeling (whatever that is).

The thunder crashes and reverberates in me along with these contemplations. I finally get it.
True, that trout, those pines, and I are all composed of the same elements as the rocks, air, and clothes I wear. Yet life transcends its molecular composition: it has come to the point of recognizing itself. Moreover, I craft my own path. I could drown in the crowd, but I aspire to fly higher.

Exploring life, from synaptic vesicles to symbiotic relationships to the sense of wonder this search elicits, is its own reward. I do not aim for omniscience. Instead I seek to continuously augment my understanding and eventually discover knowledge and solutions that improve others' lives- when life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons and make super-lemons*. From the delicious-looking trout to the majestic pine to my own perspective, this self-sustaining system is indeed a wonder to behold. That I, but an unlikely combination of atoms, can pose these questions, answer them, and forge my own- as well as others'- futures is beautiful in itself.

My uncle strides up beside me.
"That's beauty, huh?"

*This is from a tv show. Do I need to cite that or should I just take it out?
lanes 5 / 33  
Sep 26, 2010   #2
i think this is a great essay. I love the concept of the universe.. But i think you should start it off differently. I loved the intro it was extremely descriptive, but talk more about the moments before your experience.. instead of questioning your mother about 'life' describe more of a specific question that led to your findings..
OP Gnu 2 / 7  
Sep 27, 2010   #3
lanes
Thank you for the feedback.
However, I'm not clear on what you are trying to say... Do you think I should have a whole new idea for the intro or change it how (I don't mean tell me what to write, just clarify what you mean)?

Thanks
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Sep 29, 2010   #4
Wonder: a feeling easily defined as a word, a word that everyone can associate with a feeling, but what is it really - a chemical reaction, an electrical signal, perhaps something more?

not defined as.. captured in.
Wonder: a feeling easily captured in a word everyone can understand, but what is it really - a chemical reaction, an electrical signal, perhaps something more?

Good question.
I think it's an experience you are having as what Chopra calls a "nonlocal being" and that the chemical activity is not the cause of it but rather something that reflects it. The words, actions, and chemical reactions of the body express and reflect the experience of the nonlocal being.

*This is from a tv show. Do I need to cite that or should I just take it out?---- cite the show in parentheses. Great idea.

This whole thing is awesome, and you are awesome. I like the use of the present verb tense and the way you wrote from your mother's perspective at the start. Did you ever notice the way an atom resembles a solar system? Seems obvious to me that this is all a dream...
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 2, 2010   #5
Ha ha, mine!

Well, there is a rumor that if you experience the sudden change called "spiritual enlightenment" you'll be able to experience yourself as everything collectively rather than as this little individual.

So it's not a question of whose!


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