“Why do I need to learn this Stuff?” Tobias, a fifteen year-old boy, was talking in group family therapy about how much he hated school. A teenager who hates school; what a surprise! But his stating that Geometry was a waste of time because he couldn’t see what possible use he would ever have for it, struck a familiar chord. This was exactly the same conversation some forty-five years ago among students in the same high school. It was amazing that after four and a half decades, no one is bothering to teach kids how to relate. So children are still asking the same question, “Why do I need to learn this stuff?” And, the only answer they used to get was, “You’re going to have to balance your check book some day.” But now we have computers that allow our youngsters to go light years beyond balancing a checkbook, so the question still stands, “Why do I need to learn this stuff?”
Accordingly, it was time to show Tobias and his friends how to have access to a little joy in their learning, so I asked him, “Did you know that the circle is the foundation of all existence?” When he looked at me he seemed a little less bored, so I knew that I was on to something. “Circular motion is the nature of time and space. If you were able to walk in any direction for 26,000 miles you would end up where you started. Everything constantly moves in circles even when we’re standing still and there is no such thing as a straight line. Also, the circle has one unique property; it has no beginning and no end. So I want you to think about this next question. If the circle, which is the foundation of the created universe, has no beginning and no end, when did it begin?” Tobias looked mesmerized. He was probably trying to figure out what planet I just came from.
So, it’s all about shape, which Wikipedia defines as “the external two-dimensional outline, appearance or configuration of some thing — in contrast to the matter or content or substance of which it is composed.” The opposite of shape is shapeless, which one might think is a blob or liquid that takes the contour of the container that’s holding it. But, the blob or drop of water has its own shape; it’s just irregular and malleable. So “shapeless” has more to do with having no visible outline, like gas or energy. Nothingness is also shapeless, but then what are we talking about?
The interesting thing about this concept is that despite the connotation of physical structure we seem to be able to apply it also to the realm of intangibles, so these ideas about shape are taking shape. But the point here is that shape is the foundation and infrastructure of all existence and that the key to success and joy is in the forms and structures of the universe by which we shape our thoughts into action to achieve all objectives. Thoughts, for the most part are responses to stimuli emanating from the world around us, which is a hodgepodge of geometry. Hence, the shapes of this finite world influence, impact and inspire what we think, which, in turn governs all of our actions.
Some questions have answers and some don’t, but the bottom line is that we need to look at each of the basic geometric figures as they exist in our language, culture and the world around us so that we may uncover some of the secrets of life to achieve joy and success. Therefore, seeing stimulates thought, thought causes speech, speech transforms to action and action leads to success. So, look, see and enjoy.