Seeing Below The Surface
Twenty years ago when I was in prison, my job was that of a teacher. I was assigned to help a young 23 year-old-man who was very rowdy, angry, and completely out of control. Everyone called him all kinds of names and he was termed dangerous and a social outcast. Initially, he would not talk to me so I decided I would not talk until he broke the silence. One day in July 1996, we were walking and I suddenly rolled a stone on ground and nodded to him for his reaction. Then I hit a tennis ball on a wall. Then I hurled a stone in the air. To this, I sought his reaction without uttering a single word. He kept saying to me, "So what? What do you want?" but I remained silent. Finally, I asked him to tell me something about my three acts. Slowly but surely and step-by-step he described three major laws of motion based on my three acts with utmost clarity, with skills I seriously doubt even a conventional PhD physicist could muster. This reject of the society even hinted at the law of gravitation between giant celestial bodies! Unbelievably, this young man did not even know how to read or write, let alone know who Kepler, Newton, or Einstein were! The night before I was to leave the prison, he came over to return the books I had given him with a bunch of letters from his friends and relatives for me to read to him. That is when he shared with me that he did not know how to read or write as he had quit school after eighth grade and got into bad habits. This brought tears to my eyes then, even as it does now. We stood silent, sobbing on each other's shoulders, when finally he asked me, "Doc will you remember me? Can I come and see you in your lab?"
This was my discovery of a pristine mind, for I had always wanted to know one. It is this mind that a thinker yearns after he has known a lot and then via the struggle of unknowing the known, per chance he finds one!
From My Experiments with Freedom
Loreto, Pennsylvania, 1996