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J. Robert Oppenheimer

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There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
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Quoted at Vision '65 "New Challenges for Human Communications", 21-23 October 1965 and published in v 65: New Challenges for human communications, Volume 4, International Center for the Typographic Arts, Southern Illinois University (1965), p. 221

 
J. Robert Oppenheimer

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From childhood we are trained to have problems. When we are sent to school, we have to learn how to write, how to read, and all the rest of it. How to write becomes a problem to the child. Please follow this carefully. Mathematics becomes a problem, history becomes a problem, as does chemistry. So the child is educated, from childhood, to live with problems ó the problem of God, problem of a dozen things. So our brains are conditioned, trained, educated to live with problems. From childhood we have done this. What happens when a brain is educated in problems? It can never solve problems; it can only create more problems. When a brain that is trained to have problems, and to live with problems, solves one problem, in the very solution of that problem, it creates more problems. From childhood we are trained, educated to live with problems and, therefore, being centred in problems, we can never solve any problem completely. It is only the free brain that is not conditioned to problems that can solve problems. It is one of our constant burdens to have problems all the time. Therefore our brains are never quiet, free to observe, to look. So we are asking: Is it possible not to have a single problem but to face problems? But to understand those problems, and to totally resolve them, the brain must be free.

 
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