I like, sometimes, to pretend that I live in a royal castle, with servants, advisors…

This isn’t too far off from a castle, and the campus is the castle grounds. And all day, everyday, I can play. Infinite possibilities.

There is something freeing about solitude, which I am coming to terms with. I know serious mathematics can’t be done unless I’m in solitude, or unless I’m working with the right person. One of the students in analysis started working with me and we’re having lots of fun. He wants to go to graduate school, in Utah I think. He’ll be good.

So I’m in this wonderful castle, sort of away from the rest of the world, and when I’m thinking about mathematics, I’m not even in this universe. I’ve been meditating so much lately, that I can even get high from thinking about mathematics if I concentrate, which is a bit of a trip.

I’ve mentioned before how academics stifle mathematical creativity, but no one really understands how crushing it is to the psyche.

Mathematics, first and foremost, is a spiritual experience. It requires a suspension of disbelief and faith, that any of these mathematical conceptions could exist at all. But even beyond that, it taps into something wholly non-verbal.

There was a proof in Complex Analysis regarding normal families and while the professor was proving the theorem, I half-answered with a “continuous” hypothesis about what was required for the next step. He was surprised, and wondered how I knew, said something along the lines of “that sounds like a guess” and went on to say that’s not how you do mathematics.

When a child learns a language, through *immersion*, there is no justification, delineation or denotation. It is all connotative word-association and context clues. Did a child learn to speak through reading a dictionary? Of course not. And what about the ideas that have no physical representation? How did a child learn those? Language acquisition is a characteristic of all animals, but a curiosity amongst humans. When people forget that mathematics is a language, they forget that the function of mathematics is to communicate an idea, or maybe to play around with the grammar, or to write poetry. It’s aesthetic.

There is a non-logical side of mathematics, an intuitionistic, constructivist-type mathematics. Some people know of it. Some people are. Where’s my tiger?

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