Love Letters to the Universe #17: The Good Doctor is In

4 Mar

Dear Universe:

Here is yet another line of robots, shining and polished off the cosmic conveyer belts of your factories, my beloved universe. I present to you…

2. The Scientist

Primary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Influence (South)

Epithets: The Gentleman Scholar, The Good Doctor, Intellectual Explorer

Mythic Examples: Professor Challenger, Any scientific hero from the pulp era or 1950’s Atomic Age Science Fiction.

Description: The Scientist delves into the unknown, armed with reason, a respect for Nature’s order, the belief that hairless monkeykind are destined to acquire all knowledge, and the drive to be the one who brings it to them. He is the gifted doctor, heroically saving lives and then jumping onto his bicycle to race to a charity gala event. The archetype itself has been immortalized by dozens of films during the atomic age, where square-jawed bespectacled men put their minds toward defeating whatever horror assaults mankind.

The Scientist has a southern feminine side (The Princess), so he is by far the most social of the Robots. He wields influence like a sword to fight for reason wherever he goes. In his eyes he is a priest of order, and he will never accept any answer but the logical one. He has no time for unnecessary theatrics or anything smacking of the mystical or superstitious.

As a child, the scientist will have a complicated relationship with his mother, which he will always try to impress. He will usually be a well-behaved, curious boy, who will see that recognition is tool so that he might better influence his world; but also because it is the fit and orderly thing to do. He will not do this out of competition, but as adherence to a conventional expectation. He is so good at being the good student, son, and often athlete, that he will often think that he is in fact a superstar. At heart, however, the scientist is a “brain”, and his thirst for knowledge will make him a lifelong avid reader of non-fiction, and he will always be educating himself and those around him that are willing to listen. This will also see him achieving scholastically, which will open the doors to the kind of career that will satisfy this seeker of knowledge. These include: the sciences, psychology, health careers, academics and philanthropy.

In the polarity of this personality type, the desire to influence allows the scientist the ability to make things more orderly. This manifests two different drives. The first is the desire to increase our understanding and influence over the order of nature. The second is helping humankind to better live within the order of nature. The scientist may desire to expand the use of stem-cell research to decrease suffering, or create public health awareness and research that will contribute to the general quality of life.

The Scientist is the most social of the Robot types. This is reflected in his sense of humor, which is often dry and wry, but can descend into downright silliness with an appreciation of the ironic. When, however, the scientist fails to develop or loses this sense of humor, the world around him will suffer.

Ideal match: The Diva

Challenging types for the Operator: The Medicine Man or The Medicine Woman

The Shadow Type: The Mad Scientist- At the least, the Scientist type deep into his shadow will show a kind of moral superiority with anyone that he does not deem rational, or sometimes, in fact, in agreement with him, because he is afterall, the man with obviously the best grasp on the rational in the first place. This can make him seem downright intractable to those that must contend with the scientist. As for the worst- we must turn to the pages of gothic literature for the tragedy which is the Mad Scientist.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, first saw publication in January of 1818, wherein, this very young woman gave birth to a metaphorical nightmare that not only spoke of the inhumanity of the new industrial age, but still speaks today about man’s relationship with nature, himself, each other, his children, and of course, you, my darling.

In the novel, Victor Frankenstein, a young Swiss gentlemen is born with an eager desire to ferret out all of nature’s secrets and make his mother proud of his accomplishments. He is devastated by the death of said mother and vows to find the elixir of life which the alchemists had been all the rage over a few centuries before. So far, he is the classic Scientist type. At first, his reasons are understandable, even laudable for their philanthropic aspects. Who hasn’t wished at one time or another to be able to stave off the death of those that we love?

However, even early in the studies we see the first stages of madness and how this affects Victor’s life. He shuts himself away at all hours, disregards correspondences from loved ones and alienates everyone closest to him. Many a Scientist has suffered through a divorce or worse because of his attention to the details of his work or other pursuits. Mary Shelley, raised by her philosopher father warns us that we should not let any pursuit get in the way of “our domestic affections.” Here she attributes not only the destruction of family life, but a marked effect that such pursuits, which she deemed “unlawful”, (such as the enslavement of Greece, the genocide of the New World, etc…) produced because of this monomaniacal desire.

Victor wants to be “the one”, and it is this, combined with his completely egotistical belief that it is always and only up to him to bring such brilliance into the world, which makes the toxic and tragic combination.

Victor creates life (spoiler alert), but intuitively recoils in horror at what he has made. This leaves the creation wandering about an apathetic and cruel landscape on its own. Victor Frankenstein is the ultimate deadbeat dad. Many a son fed up with excuses, must have wondered how such a father could be so intelligent, yet be unable to arrange his life so that it might include those he loved or for whom he was responsible. They also might wonder how the world could be so improved and garner so much of their father’s attention, while the scientist’s own child remains emotionally neglected.

The scientist must foster a kind of perpetual awareness that will allow him to realize the full extent of how he ‘influences’ the world. Once he does that, he will continue to be the ultimate philanthropist, bringing hairless monkeykind the fruits of his research. The scientist can and has cured disease, made life stronger, safer, and far richer for his assistance. They can also be the voice of reason, sometimes the only one in an often dark and ignorant world. More often however, it is the quiet voice, the calm hands and the general willingness to help his fellow monkey, that helps the rest of us celebrate and be thankful for this wonderful type.

Frankenstein was a tragedy full of loss, death and disaster; it was so, not only for the monster that was unleashed upon humanity to commit murderous crimes, but perhaps more importantly, it was the loss to humanity with the squandering of the life and brilliance of one man who might have been such a help to so many.

It is the scientists’ responsibility to avoid the kind of infantile ego-rage of Victor Frankenstein. They must never become so motivated that they destroy those domestic affections and fail to respect and cherish the order that they, through their perseverance and brilliance, have made clear for all to understand.

As I have watched the earnest and learned people attend to my child’s health needs, I am humbled by their dedication and realize that where I see this match of expertise and the desire to do loving work, I find you, my dear. And yet, I will never stop looking; but then, neither will the Scientists. Just one more thing for which to be thankful.

In loving admiration,

Trav

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