Life is like a board game; I make a move, others make their move, repeat
Can you be truly honest with yourself?

Keep turning the crystal

One of my favorite parables is The Blind Men and the Elephant. It illustrates how any particular perspective can be accurate but incomplete. A real-world example of this is X-ray crystallography.

To figure out what a particular crystalline molecule looks like, researchers bombard it with X-rays and observe the pattern of how the rays scatter when interacting with the molecule. However this is only one view of the molecule—a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object.

In order to construct a complete picture, they rotate the crystal to a different angle, bombard, and get a new scatter pattern. They keep doing this from many different angles until they have enough overlapping data from which they can deduce the correct molecular configuration.

This is a great analog for many situations in life. At first you are looking at a one-dimensional of a large and complex concept. To truly understand it, you need to keep “turning the crystal” to see what it looks like from many different perspectives. 

Keep turning the crystal. More will be revealed.


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