Sunday, March 23, 2014

We Aren't Really Here

As I lay on my couch watching a talking head on the projection TV, I noticed the pundit had on a blue and red tie.

On the lapel of the jacket was a pin.

It wasn't a flag, like so many wear.

It was difficult to make out what the pin was, so I stood up walked closer to the wall to see more detail.

Approaching the wall, the image of the pin blurred like some impressionist painting from the hand of Van Gogh.

It wasn't possible to make out the detail on the pin because the shimmering dots reflected upon the wall were too few to see the pundits pin clearly.

The pin and pundit were not really there.  The pin and pundit were my minds conception of so many waves of light streaming from the video lamp, bouncing of the wall and landing on my eye.

The universe is like this.

We think in terms of there being an image we can see on the wall.

Our brains resolve reality into models of what we want to believe.

Our mind divides the world into what is inside and outside of us.

When we zoom down from the world of every day experience into the exceedingly, immensely small; we find that the universe is composed of ripples in a field.  A field of existence that extends everywhere.

Like the pundit on the wall, when we look closely, we find that it is not what we think it is.  The pundit and pin are extensions of our own world views.  As are all objects.

Suddenly from the distance I hear the sound of my neighbors Harley.

Its conversion of matter into energy create ripples in the fabric of reality that strike ear drum, sending signals to neurons.  Neurons compare these ripples to previous ripples and yield a model that suggests my neighbor has come home.  Experience layers and reinforces our model of the world.

The bike is not there.

The bike is compose of billions of little ripples in space. The bike is a pattern in space.

Every electron, proton and neutron in the Harley are not little tiny balls of matter moving around.  They are tiny waves in the cloth of space.

The interactions of these waves reach across space and become apart of my mind.

The pin and pundit, TV and bike, even me and you, are patterns of waves.

Our minds trick, very useful for survival, is to categorize these things into discrete objects.  Our pattern tries to maintain its vibrations in space. This is what it means to survive.

I, you, the motor, and pin are mental models, metaphors that help us to exist in the world.  They do not exist separate and apart from one another.

We do not see the fabric.  We see the patterns in the cloth.

At the fundamental base of reality, we are all apart of the universe.  The division between things is not real. Everything is a part of the same thing.  The division between me and you is an illusion.

We are the complex patterns of the cloth, able to understand some small part of the other ripples in the fabric.

Our isolation from one another, from the objects around us, when we look closely at the light reflecting from the wall, do not exist alone.  It is all the same cloth.

Everything is apart of everything else, there is only one thing, the universe itself.

Of course, none of us are able to throw off these ideas of things being separated.

We are unable to see the universe as it is.

We need our story of separateness so that we may live, love, and die.  Stories give us a context, a means of dealing with existence. Our imagined model helps make sense of the patterns that are.  It is in the very fabric of space that we perceive this way.

"We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." ~ Carl Sagan

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark –

    I am Ryan McKee and I was the photographer for the shot of the Milky Way you’ve posted here on this entry and have re-titled "starry_nite.png". My Creative Commons Licence on Flickr requires not only the credit be given to the photographer (me) but also a link to the source photograph. I find that neither of those requirements have been met in this case. If you could please edit this post to contain photographers credit and the link to the photograph in my Flickr profile, I would greatly appreciate it. If not, please kindly remove my photograph from your website immediately.

    Thank you,

    Ryan S. McKee