“Would I lay down my life to save my brother?
No, but I would to save two brothers or eight cousins.”
– John B.S. Haldane, Geneticists
John B.S. Haldane was an award winning scientist, who made important contributions in mathematics, statistics, physiology, evolutionary biology, and of course genetics where he was presented with the Kimber Award by the United States National Academy of Sciences. A brilliant scholar, no doubt but in my short venture into his life, it was his deep thoughts about everything, that made him a man I wanted to learn more about. Or perhaps, the song I was listening too, while researching the man behind opening quote, made the connection, by happenstance.
by The Brilliance
“What’s Up, My Brother?”
Says The Brilliance to the Brilliant (and Everyone Else).
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
inspired by Rudyard & Michelle
Sometimes, scholars lose sight of what all that knowledge was meant for. I am a champion of the university bubble, truly believing that knowledge offers the solutions to everything, but it does no good if the wisdom is held inside a bubble made of plexiglass, and the inhabitants share back and forth in a spectacular exclusion, never imagining a way to share the wealth (shade thrown at The Sacramento County Academic Decathlon, but another story).
But songs like Brother – perhaps a would be candidate for the Kimber Music Award, had it not crashed, when the Kimber Science Award was stripped from the occassion – and recording artists like The Brilliance demonstrate a comprehension of sharing emotion, and telling a story through a simplistic message, that exist, however, on equal scales with the deep thinkers, who rarely venture out of the hollowed halls.
Through the course of his life, John BS Haldane would not limit himself to the discipline that brought him fame. He was a communist for awhile, but even when he wore that banner, his intellect would not allow a robotic or fanatical ideology to set in. As a member of the communist party, he notably stated, that the United States even as it grappled over the resemblance of socialism in government, could never be undone by limitations of life under communism. An atheist by design and definition, but when questioned by theologians, his responses were anything but decisive. Perhaps smart enough to know, how much he never would.
“It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.“
As scholars have sought to make intellect a private club, ministers of religious ideology, who fire shots in condemnation from high upon the pedestal from which they judge, have also preferred closed doors. But it was not religion that took the hit, but rather it created a fog over faith and belief, forcing doubt where it did not need be.
But Brother builds bridges. The song does not hide who its praises are for, but does so without excluding anyone from its remarkable charm. Emotions and conviction are inhaled in every word. Brother breaks it down so completely, that peace and love are all we feel, and even the New York vibe in the rhythm, that keeps us continously bobbing our heads, will force gospel music purists, to ride the wave, as The Brilliance – in 3 short minutes – puts on a revival via musical performance, that makes us feel closer to one another, and inspired by our belief in a higher power,
The Brilliance and the brilliant, lived in two separate times, and by all appearances, not found above the clouds, in two separate worlds. But had they met, the brilliant scientists and The Brilliance christian music group would have stopped and took note of the other. “How were they able to touch a non conflicted part of me, that I did not know existed?” Haldane may have pondered. And for David Gungor and John Arndt, their thoughts and intent, would have been clear from jump: When I look into the face of my enemy, I see my Brother. (opening lyrics)
When the song ends and the music stops, allow the flow just one more moment: the very next person in our path, greet them in sincerity, with the words “What’s up, my brother?” and note how good it makes us feel.
Brother from the album Brother by The Brilliance available on itunes
Shout out to Young Lawrence for sharing Brother with me.