In Who the Hicks Are I discussed how Mantra Thinking shows us that the greatest crimes are not committed by Dramatic Villains but by attitudes that no one later gets upset about.
My first example was that of Doctor Jenner.
When discussing Dr. Jenner, the first sentence is always “People noticed that in a smallpox epidemic, the milking girls didn’t get the disease.” Then prattle on about how Dr. Jenner decided he would find out WHY the milking girls didn’t get it.
Usual thinking starts right there. Mantra Thinking grabs hold of the first sentence: “If people knew that milking girls didn’t get this disease, why did hundreds of years pass until Doctor Jenner began to ask why they didn’t?
While victims of smallpox begged in the streets, scholars learned Latin and Greek and looked at Galen and Aristotle, the latter of whom insisted that men had more teeth than women.
Paracelsus and Newton were two of the giants of their age. Both of them spent a lot more time on truly mad mysticism and on finding the Philosopher’s Stone than he did on what he is now famous for. Paracelsus was practicing medicine, but his only excuse for doing so was that people found out he CURED things.
When the doctors drove him out of another town because his Latin was bad and he had no degree, he retorted that he had used the paper degree to better purpose long ago. We are surprised that Paracelsus, of all people, would look for truth in the wrong place, in mysticism.
Newton surprises us even more. The man who explained the entire universe to us was looking in the wrong place for Truth.
This is a mystery to educated people because educated people are nincompoops. If Paracelsus had the kind of reputation for curing people that milking maids had for smallpox, why weren’t the Great Intellectuals looking at HIM instead of their Latin texts?
If Newton had dedicated his life to finding Wisdom in dead languages, he would have ignored gravity.
The real idiots here are the people who do not see that this Renaissance crap was incredibly and criminally stupid. No, not just a mistake.
And that is the whole point of Mantra Thinking. When Intellectuals make the same mistake again and again, and you learn nothing from it, that shows a mental weakness far more disturbing than the horrible Mistake That Saved Smallpox itself.