Surely You’re Joking Mr. Rumi!

During a lull in reading material I picked up and re-read the book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character by physicist, teacher, and Nobel winner Richard P. Feynman. Feynman was known for his enthusiasm and high spirits and endless curiosity. Unlike most academics and scientists, he liked to speak plainly, without all the gobbledygook. If he got interested in a subject, he took it up with passion, not because he wanted to swan around and say he could do things, but because he enjoyed learning and found other people fascinating.

I long for such people in my life as I am endlessly curious too and find most people say to me when I enthuse about subjects or books: “I haven’t got time.” Imagine not having time to be curious and learn new things or be delighted by a quirky subject? Feynman really was a curious character, and as the saying goes “character matters!”

I’m about to read the other book about Feynman I bought called Tuva or Bust: Richard Feynman’s Last Journey by his friend Ralph Leighton, and I expect to enjoy once more Mr. Feynman’s lucid ability to laugh and pare things down to vital essentials. Even though he died in 1988 his spirit lives on.

So, I got to fooling around with my camera and decided Richard Feynman would like the Rumi Tarot, because he would be curious about the artwork and then go on and learn about Persian manuscripts and Sufism. Just because it was interesting. Just because it was there to know about, and he didn’t know about it yet.


I love people like this because I’m like that: curious, independent thinkers who want to learn, simply because they don’t know about something yet.

I pulled the 5 of Coins from the Rumi Tarot for pondering this.


“In poverty is the light of the Lord of Glory”

Which I take to mean that you don’t need to be rich to enjoy the riches of heaven. Strip away the ego and acquisitive demands and leave them for the simplicity and purity of spiritual essence.

This card is often about impoverished beggars walking unheeded by the closed doors of a church, banished and lost. In Richard Feynman’s world, no one is lost or poor because their curiosity is like a cache of gold. Restrictions are only in your mind and clarity surrounds you.

Plus you can collect stamps from weird countries.

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