THE UNIVERSAL ACID
As a boy in Dan Dennet’s chemistry class,
I wondered, as did many,
About the following scenario often dreamt of:
I mixed two compounds, which, unfortunately,
Produced the ultimate acid.
Nothing could contain it.
It quickly ate though the container,
The floor of the laboratory,
And then even all the way through the earth,
Eventually sloshing some poor sap in China.
This, too is what happens to us, through education,
As our chemical-bio-electric nature is revealed to us,
Like some kind of giant shock,
After which we will never be the same again,
As perhaps some are now reeling from,
Well, maybe just a little bit.
The biochemical mush that is us,
When fully realized,
Leaves us stunned and astounded.
We grasp for what we once thought we were before,
But, it eludes us in the new light of learning.
The universal acid of such knowledge
Eats through all superstitions, folk tales, and myths.
Nothing can contain it.
We may come to even regret
Our learnings of this condition,
For it dissolves our container,
Leaving us floundering in the lurch.
It happened to me, too, beginning in fifth grade.
But, wait, it’s not so bad, is it,
For what we are is what we are,
And we still have feelings, personality,
And more adventures of learning that await.
The light of education ever shines brightly.
Many dark alleys remain to be explored,
Given our new insight into the human condition.