Participating in the practice
Life is a struggle; I hear it–the scream–loud and louder with no sensory adaptation in sight. Looking back–turning around–I see a successful struggle summed in a simple act of reaching. If I am permitted to say, for the sake of illustration, in reaching for the cup of coffee (I like coffee so much so that I won’t stop drinking until my stomach starts revolting sometime towards the end of the day), I seem to be inverting whatever it is that placed the cup in my perception. This inversion of seeing in the act of reaching for things–big and small, actual and imagined–that populate my perceptual experience is a success story, if I may add. I have long admired success as much as any other successful person, and yet I find myself pleasantly surprised to see inversion–sometimes complete and at times partial–figure so prominently in a telling story of one successful struggle that everybody wants to be told, to be retold, and to be taught:
Much mathematical struggle (e.g. ‘solving equations’) aims to partially invert a given transformation.
–Conceptual Mathematics, page 372
No less fascinating is the timeless spirit of the times that sees mathematical struggle as something to be taught–to students, to teens that need to be educated–by teachers consciously committed to looking down (from their priestly pedestal) upon the act of participating in the practice, be it mathematical practice or any one of those more or less mundane practices constituting living–all in the name of a lame excuse: you need somebody to boss around, otherwise things will fall apart!
I don’t know about that determination, but even heavenly Gods subscribe to the idea of
of earthen life or so it seems upon hearing stories of their lives–recurring & returning–to live with us.