TBIMG Question #9 ~ Threshold Energy

by Dr. Madhi Obeidi and Kurt Pitzer

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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TBIMG Question #9 ~ Threshold Energy

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:27 am

pg. 221 “Strangely, at the very moment I found myself facing the possibility of prison, I felt freer than I had in years. It reminded me of a scientific phenomenon known as threshold energy, in which energy must reach a critical level before settling into a lower state of equilibrium. Digging up the truth was my destiny in the end, and this gave me a feeling of being closer to myself as a scientist and as a person.”

What do you think of Dr. Obeidi’s words?
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:35 am

Maybe this phenomenon is related to our fear discussion. His life had been affected in every way by living in terror of what could happen to his family and himself. He could no longer be honest in his work or relationships. This highly intelligent and moral man was not able to live the productive life he deserved to live. After putting up with this for about as long as he could stand to, he must have felt that facing the possibility of prison would, at least, allow him to end the sham. And, instead of living with fear (wondering when the boom would fall and what it would be), he would know it was prison and deal with it.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:05 pm

I agree, Betty Sue. There is a level of freedom associated with telling the truth. That can be very liberating on the conscience.

In Astronomy, Threshold Energy is the difference between the energy at the first excited level and that of the ground state (when electrons are in their lowest possible energy states). The life he led was one in which he was always in a state of fear, always performing at a high energy level due to the pressure put on him from Hussein Kamel. Thus, admitting all and facing prison was freeing because he wouldn’t have to live that life of fear anymore.

Sorry that I have been missing in action the past few days. I was on a 3-day camping trip.
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Unread postby Raven » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:49 pm

It kind of reminds me of when you are young and know you will be punished, the waiting was the worse. Knowing it would be over sooner rather then later was always much more betta.

I don't mean to trivialize the book, just that it is hard to put yourself in the Dr.'s shoes when you have never been threatened.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:16 pm

I don't think that you are trivializing the book. I think it is a good analogy. I had thought of that myself. But I do think it is hard for most of us, who live in a free country, to relate to his situation.
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Unread postby gemini » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:29 pm

I see and understand where you are coming from that his relief from fear for his family and himself might be liberating. However, I was looking at this a different way. Due to the damaging nature of the finished product in his work, I thought he may be relieved of feeling that it was his intelligence that furthered Saddams plan as close as he got to have a weapon he was not rational enough to have. He may have been fearful that had there not been an invasion he may have had to produce the means for Saddam to kill many more.
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Unread postby Raven » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:32 pm

gemini wrote:I see and understand where you are coming from that his relief from fear for his family and himself might be liberating. However, I was looking at this a different way. Due to the damaging nature of the finished product in his work, I thought he may be relieved of feeling that it was his intelligence that furthered Saddams plan as close as he got to have a weapon he was not rational enough to have. He may have been fearful that had there not been an invasion he may have had to produce the means for Saddam to kill many more.


Ohhh wish I had come up with that! Very good!
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and the envious."

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Unread postby suec » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:48 pm

This extract reminded me of something I had read so I looked it up:
I
was lost to everything but my own fears, incapable of decisive, coherent thought, let alone movement. But gradually I discovered for myself the truth of the axiom that a man cannot remain indefinitely in a state of active terror. Either the emotion will increase until, at the prompting of more and more dreadful apprehensions, he is so overcome by it that he runs away or goes mad: or he will become by slow degrees less agitated and more in possession of himself.

It is from The Woman in Black and - well, is a different genre altogether. But I was reminded of it. Mahdi has been decisive, and now the die has been cast, which is liberating. He has been true to himself and his vocation. He also in a way lets go. He talks about fate, destiny, but also prayer. In this he can see meaning and a sense to it all.
gemini, I like your point about his fearful responsibility.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:46 pm

Raven wrote:
gemini wrote:I see and understand where you are coming from that his relief from fear for his family and himself might be liberating. However, I was looking at this a different way. Due to the damaging nature of the finished product in his work, I thought he may be relieved of feeling that it was his intelligence that furthered Saddams plan as close as he got to have a weapon he was not rational enough to have. He may have been fearful that had there not been an invasion he may have had to produce the means for Saddam to kill many more.


Ohhh wish I had come up with that! Very good!


Very good, indeed. Definitely another way to look at it. :cool:

a man cannot remain indefinitely in a state of active terror. Either the emotion will increase until, at the prompting of more and more dreadful apprehensions, he is so overcome by it that he runs away or goes mad: or he will become by slow degrees less agitated and more in possession of himself.


Suec, this is a very similar train of thought, isn't it? Interesting how he relates this feeling to a scientific phenomenon, but which is also an apparently common truism.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby nebraska » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:37 pm

I have debated all day about whether to post this because it is so completely different a situation. But here goes....... :blush:

When I had all four of my children alive and my husband with me, I clutched at life......fearful, desperate, doing everything I could to try to make the things happen that I wanted to happen. I envisioned my future with my family whole and complete and I sacrificed things I might have been better not sacrificing to try to attain that goal.

Then my daughter died, very suddenly, and the whole house of cards crashed down. And yes, it was liberating. I learned that I was not in control of my life and all its details. No more clutching, no more desperation, no more fear. And after I had survived the worst thing that could possibly happen, I felt I had nothing left to be afraid of. I began to enjoy and savor life in a way I had never been able to do before.

So from that very different standpoint, I think I understand some of what he is talking about. After the peak, all the rest looks like a peaceful valley.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:13 pm

nebraska, thanks for sharing your personal experience with us. I'm very sorry for your pain. There are some life experiences that change us forever. :hug:

suec, I think your quotation from the other work is a very good parallel!

gemini...
:cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:35 am

nebraska wrote: And after I had survived the worst thing that could possibly happen, I felt I had nothing left to be afraid of. I began to enjoy and savor life in a way I had never been able to do before.

So from that very different standpoint, I think I understand some of what he is talking about. After the peak, all the rest looks like a peaceful valley.


How inspirational, nebraska! :cloud9: What a beautifully resilient viewpoint, and it does sound like threshold energy. Thank you so much for sharing.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:00 am

Nebraska, that was an excellent example of threshold energy. Thank you so much for sharing what must have been a very difficult thing to share. :hug:
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Unread postby suec » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:01 pm

Thanks nebraska. All of a sudden, my understanding of the passage is very different. And I am sorry about what must have been a terrible thing for you and your family.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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Unread postby nebraska » Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:04 pm

Thank you all for your generous comments. I am hesitant at times to bring up Dena's death because it seems I drag it into almost every conversation. However, her death is the one event of my life that has most defined who I am and what I think and how I live and because of that, it is relevant to me about many different subjects. I am glad what I said made sense to you in relation to threshold energy.


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