"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
I had an interesting thought the other day that involves both of these people. If you've ever come across some quotes from these people they have a few quotes that people generally get confused on and that contradict the image people have of them. Let's take a look.
We all know that both Thomas Jefferson and Nikola Tesla were pretty smart people. They were definitely above average when it comes to intelligence. Many people would put Thomas Jefferson as one of the smartest Founding Fathers of America and many would put Nikola Tesla as the smartest, if not the smartest, scientist of all time. So we have some really smart people.
Now with that said smart people sometimes say things that throw people off. Both of these people have a few quotes that throw people for a loop and that seem to contradict the very position these people are branded as holding. This gets into a topic I talk about often which I call resolution. The resolution at which you look at something determines the clarity and quality of the content therein.
Christians think Jefferson is wrong about Jesus and atheists think Tesla is wrong about energy. But is Jefferson really not a Christian and is he wrong about Jesus? Is Nikola Tesla really an atheist and wrong about energy?
Let's start with Thomas Jefferson.
We all know Thomas Jefferson was well-read and on the more intellectual side when it comes to the Founding Fathers. Jefferson was clearly more educated and well-read than even some of the greats like George Washington. So when we come across something like the following quote it makes most Christian Americans who love the Founding Fathers take a second look:
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
Wait, what? Christianity is a superstition? Fables and Mythology? One half fools and the other half hypocrites? What is this guy talking about here? Isn't America a Christian nation? Aren't the Founding Fathers Christians? Well, this is where we need to look a bit deeper.
If you research this a bit you will find a Thomas Jefferson narrative similar to something like:
'On this 1776 Club episode, Clay & David tackle one of the most-discussed questions on this topic: was Thomas Jefferson a Christian?
As Clay tells it, the answer is clearly no.
Jefferson, Clay conveys, "wasn't a Christian in the full sense of the term ... he was a Unitarian; he edited the Bible; he didn't believe in the trinity, he didn't believe in the miracles, he didn't believe in the resurrection."'
And this is a fairly standard view for many Christians who research Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson obviously wasn't a fan of the religious, ritualistic aspect of Christianity. Nor was he a fan of the way the people in power used Christianity as a tool to mentally enslave people. He was a fan of the morality and virtue -- you know, the teachings of Jesus. He liked the self-help aspect not the follow your master part. After all, he rewrote the New Testament to his liking in the Jefferson Bible. He clearly had read it and had some thoughts on it.
But of course it goes much deeper than this. The better question is not was he a Christian or not, but why did he remove certain parts of Christianity in his version of the Bible? Why did he focus less on miracles and more on everyday wisdom? You see, many people will say Jefferson was not a Christian but then that will go in direct contradiction with what Jefferson says himself:
"I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ"
What is he talking about when he says "real Christian"? What is a real Christian? How you can call yourself a real Christian when you don't believe or talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ? This is why many Christians disrespect Jefferson and why I respect him so much. He is able to read between the lines and see through things. He doesn't just take the surface level view of something and clump it all into one object. Instead, he breaks it doesn't into pieces and understands the individual components.
Allow me to elaborate.
We know that the average person thinks average. That's how it works. Intelligence and wisdom is like a bell curve. You have some really, really smart people on one side and some really, really dumb people on the other side. In the middle you have most people which are average.
So we have most Christians, being average intelligence, looking at the whole Jesus picture and saying that he is our risen savior, that he performed miracles, and on and on with the whole Christian spiel. And then we have this really smart Thomas Jefferson who has read and studied many, many books and thought about these things greatly. Thomas Jefferson was above average when it comes to intelligence and wisdom, especially for his time.
Okay, so we have average people thinking one way and an above average thinker thinking another way. You have to stop and ask yourself, who do you think has it right? Are you going to side with the average or the above average? Now sure, of course not all intelligent people are smart on everything and of course smart people get things wrong all the time. But we have to remember something very important.
We always think that we're right. We never think that we're wrong and somebody else is right.
If something that somebody else believes doesn't make sense to use then clearly they're wrong, not us. We always think that if somebody sees differently than us then they're wrong and we're right. We always bend truth to our favor rather than to the favor of the truth. And sometimes it takes a lot of study and patience before we reach the truth. And we do this with Thomas Jefferson.
Most Christians write him off as wrong because they think that they're right. Christians have the truth and anything that deviates, or more accurately expands on that, is clearly wrong. So they say. But it's not this. Thomas Jefferson wasn't stupid and I'm convinced he was most certainly right about Jesus. This brings me to one of my favorite quotes:
"If you're one step ahead of the world you're a genius. If you're two steps ahead you're insane."
It's okay to be smart. But when you're too smart you just come across as stupid or insane. That's what's going on here. He gets the Jesus story at a much deeper level. But of course he does, he was friends with fellow Founding Father Thomas Paine who also got it:
"The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun."
Both of these people know that the Jesus story in the New Testament is a story, the same story that has been told time and time again throughout history. They get the story of Jesus as being a metaphor for spiritual and intellectual enlightenment. Most people don't. To most people this is simply not possible. Most people take a physical, literal interpretation instead of a non-physical, spiritual interpretation. And Thomas Jefferson knows this. He understands that while the Bible most certainly has many truths and teachings of immense wisdom, it also it used in ways to manipulate and take power away from people.
"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves ... these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."
When Thomas Jefferson calls himself a real Christian he is talking about a Christian that actually gets it. He is talking from the perspective and understanding of someone who has done interreligious study to understand how the New Testament story of Jesus fits in. He is talking as somebody who has actually done their homework and can see deeper. He understands that the purpose isn't to enslave yourself to the idol of Jesus but to instead change yourself to become like him through practice and effort. Thomas Jefferson wasn't a welfare Christian, he was a real Christian, something so few Christians really are.
So perhaps it isn't so much that Thomas Jefferson was stupid and wrong on this point. Perhaps, just maybe, the majority of people who are average are wrong on this point. You can't be right about everything, even Jesus and Christianity.
Now let's move over to Nikola Tesla. With Nikola Tesla we see a similar motif to that of Jefferson, but from a different angle. Tesla was obviously a brilliant scientist. And these days people think that science and spirituality are two completely different things not capable of merging together. People think that scientific things are real and non-scientific things are fiction. Most people worship science as their religion and will only go as far as their current scientific tools and paradigm will take them.
And because of this the less spiritual group, the more materialistic, atheist group, leans towards scientists as being their kind. Most atheists worship the scientific greats the way most Catholics worship the priests and saints of old. It's the same thing but just a different ilk. So we have atheists thinking that most scientists are going to be materialists and non-spiritual like themselves. And this pattern generally does hold true for a lot of scientists.
But when you start to get into the really smart scientists, I mean the really smart ones like Tesla and Einstein, then this starts to break down. Then you start to have spiritual, non-physical type quotes pop up that throw atheists for a loop the same way Thomas Jefferson throws Christians for a loop.
When your magnitude of a subject penetrates deeper than the thin analysis a simple mind is equipped for it short-circuits and bypasses understanding.
To a mind of less wisdom it is hard to truly understand and honestly accept the seemingly contradictory positions of the idols that you follow.
Once again we're in a similar situation. We know that Tesla was not stupid. We know he was a brilliant guy. Almost everyone would concede that he is much smarter than they are. So why is it then that people who know they're not as smart as Tesla, and who know that Tesla understands energy better than just about anyone, get confused by a quote like this:
"The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence."
This is not a fun quote for atheists. Atheists absolutely love "science" and Tesla, yet this quote throws a monkey-wrench on their materialistic reality. What is he talking about when he says non-physical phenomena? Non-physical? Who is this soothsayer speaking nonsensical, New Age gibberish? Well, he's the scientist who brought us alternating current, that's who. So clearly he's not an idiot and clearly he's qualified to speak on the matter.
Like Christians with Jefferson, this is just not a fun quote for atheists. This goes against what they want somebody like this to say or believe. This goes against the materialist narrative. And sure, of course they will say things like this to try to pull him back under their wing:
"Tesla was the product of a time when spiritualism was a common belief among intellectuals. It was the environment that would spawn the first scientific investigators into what would be later called ESP.
It seems that the evidence for ESP tends to disappear as the experimental standards become more stringent, strongly suggesting that this phenomenon is not real."
Yeah, surely this must be it. Surely he's wrong on this matter and the average scientific intelligentsia is right. You know, those smart scientists that are so smart they're not inventing anything and instead teaching the creations of those people who do believe in non-physical reality. You know, those smart scientific professors that teach at a university instead of creating breakthroughs in science themselves.
"Tesla - an engineer, not really a scientist - was a raving lunatic in his later years. That quote likely comes from that period of his life."
Yeah, or maybe it's that he actually gets it at a much more fundamental, energetic level than the average person. The average person isn't smart. The average person is average. You can't expect the average person to grasp above average things. People will comprehend reality at the level they are capable of comprehending it. It just so happens that some of the smartest people like Tesla comprehend it at a level that is above the heads, or at least out of the narrative, their college professors have fostered them with.
And of course it's not just Tesla.
"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."
"The theory has to be interpreted that extra dimensions beyond the ordinary four dimensions the three spatial dimensions plus time are sufficiently small that they haven't been observed yet."
"The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness."
These people aren't stupid. They just come across stupid to average people. If smarter people agree with these guys and less intelligent people disagree with them what does that tell you? I'm not saying to believe somebody because they're smart. But if your foundation for understanding is based closer to the narrative of the average as opposed to the leaders and thinkers who push our reality forward then you may have some more homework to do. It's not a bad thing, but don't expect things to make sense.
To be so arrogant as to think all that you see, hear, smell, taste or touch is real is the height of ignorance. That's the position of a materialist and the position of somebody who refuses the reach inside themselves and pull out true understanding and wisdom.Filed under: Misc, Thomas Jefferson, Nikola Tesla, Smarter than the average bear, Ahead of Science