I caught up on some of the detail just the other day from a student who was listening, and even had their own hand written notes about how it all works. The short story from what I can recall is that crude oil is much more chemically complex than refined oil. I had a massive eureka moment at some point during the conversation because I had always assumed that something that's refined would be more complicated... We started having this very detailed conversation about catalysts and how cool a catalyst is because it plays its role without any impact on its own structure or integrity
A couple of awesome concepts from where I was standing! 1. I could ask for, and receive something from another and if they want to be a catalyst or serendipitously experience themselves as one, I don't have to feel any guilt or obligation to sort out the balance, it's already sorted (not that I'm opposed to reciprocal altruism, it works and usually feels good, it's just that I have a bit of baggage around getting things balanced, penance etc); and 2. It's extremely exciting to me that the more you refine the less complex it gets, so your end result or product is more simple, effective, and often more beautiful
It's all making sense to me now! I have expensive taste. I love furniture and cars and anything else that has elegant simple lines, and superior performance. It takes a lot more work to create something that looks simple, and is functionally more practical and user friendly; refined and re-refined to get that simple elegance and seamless performance (there's examples of 'a few of my favourite things' in images below. I may never own or even experience some of those things, but I certainly see the refining process in the final results, and can imagine even while looking at two dimensional images, some of the scent, colour, texture and almost perfection involved... e.g Take a glimpse at an expensive bathroom and things that are normally hidden 'cause they are ugly - are turned into art.)
So, the 'oh' moment for me was: - in the complicated sludgy mess of incessant thinking you can easily be forgiven for thinking there's too much energy needed for the transition from crude complex thoughts to refined simple ideas and solutions. My science teacher might have encouraged me to allow a bit of heat and a few catalysts into my sludgy thinking. A bit of "fractional distillation" and suddenly something that seemed so slow, grubby and complicated, now having been simplified, looks and behaves as amazing fuel burning away in your motor to get you where you want to be...
Duck feels the catalyst brush past, uncharacteristically relaxes - paddles toward the shade to enjoy some refined simplicity