C H A P T E R 3

The Synthesizing Mind

“Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing.”


IN THE WESTERN sacred tradition, the story of human beings begins in the Garden of Eden, when Adam was enticed to take a first bite of fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. For the generations that immediately followed the biblical Adam, knowledge accumulated at a sufficiently slow rate that it could be passed on orally (though perhaps not in apple-sized chunks), from parent to child, and on down to each succeeding generation. But humans are distinguished by the fact that we continue to accumulate knowledge at increasingly rapid rates. Indeed, the Bible itself represents an effort to collate the most important knowledge that ...

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