Ashley Davidoff MD
The Common Vein is a personal life long endeavor to understand the complexity of world within and around us.
Why is there a need to understand ? Marie Curie said it this way
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
― Marie Curie
The world is complex, and life even more so – but complexity grows from units of simplicity. Gang Yu a contemporary Chinese systems scientist said it this way
Complexity is the prodigy of the world. Simplicity is the sensation of the universe. Behind complexity, there is always simplicity to be revealed. Inside simplicity, there is always complexity to be discovered — Gang Yu
We are surrounded by an infinite number of miracles every second of our waking lives – every living being, the sun, sky, water, moon, and trees, – electricity, gravity, mass, and motion, music, art literature and dance. It is easy to let these pass us by and take them for granted. We may at the end of the journey, arrive having enjoyed a life without having fully appreciated the journey due to lack of observation, understanding and perspective. It is the mission of The Common Vein – and a personal mission to heighten observation, understanding, and perspective in order to live a fuller and richer life.
Historically, The Common Vein grew out of a personal need to understand the complexities of biology and medicine. When first entering medical school, it was overwhelming to face the extent of detail to be mastered. It became obvious that a method was needed to master the information, rather than be slave to it.
One could depict a similar scenario on walking into a library where all the books are strewn on the floor – How to make sense of the mountain knowledge?
How to Make Sense of A Library with Books Strewn on the Floor?
Photo by David Shankbone
It is overtly apparent to anybody eager to ensure a path of enduring knowledge, that the first logical step is to organize the books into categories that would make practical and intuitive sense.
In general though, medical libraries are organized around the disciplines of medicine which do not necessarily have an integrative practical applicability.
Similarly on walking into life, one is faced by a myriad of day to day events, the sky, moon and stars, biology, science, history, language dance, music, and movies, war, terror, volcanoes, flood and fire – all strewn about in the pathways of life. How to make sense of this mountain of experience? It is impossible to master all.
Nor can one master all of medicine, nor the experience of the world by reading all the written detail available. For example one may ask “What is life?” – the most basic of all questions for anybody pursuing a path of understanding. All the available literature of biology and philosophy will not provide a single fully satisfactory answer. Rather it is usual to lead to more and deeper questions. The Common Vein explores these unknowns by adding artistic endeavors, and providing insights through quotes by famous others, who have asked the same questions to provide an additional understanding and perspective .