There is a Mystery

What is self-awareness. Had an egg fertilized a month before or a month after, I would not exist. It is a deep mystery to me how to define the ‘I’ in nature. Not me, I realise I have self-awareness and consciousness – it is hard to miss – but how that was made is hidden from me.

For example we have ideas coming along of being downloaded into a plastic body and living forever. If, however, you merely copy your consciousness into the plastic body but look through your old eyes and die, then all that lives on is a copy of you thinking it is the original.

Through long training it is possible to disassociate with your body – Indian’s practice this and the Chinese have carried out operations on people with no anesthetic and they feel no, or highly control, the pain.

The idea of knowing I exist is one thing, the idea of exactly what this ‘I’ is, is quite another. I don;t believe in a soul, I don’t accept a mind/brain duality. These are fantasies trying to invent answers. this set of experiences which only I can have called ‘my life’, is wholly governed by my nature yet deeply difficult to comprehend.

Everything You Are

There is an art to everything. A way of handling tools, be they physical or philosophical, that comes with practice,  learned skills built upon inborn acuity. There is something interesting about watching any animal doing something well and especially seeing human beings perfecting something in their lives. Be it a fine dancer, a fine chef or a fine statesman or woman.

But the one thing we lack skills in seems to be thinking. The main reason for this is because we allow so much that is nothing to do with us do our thinking for us. All the customs and suggestion of past generations mixed up with the prerogatives of modern society. If we are not serving our partners then we are serving our natures and if we are not serving our natures then we are serving the tax office.

What we end up with is the slow realisation at the end of our lives about what was important and the moment when we die becomes the time we can see clearly for the first time in our lives because we are doing something by ourselves which no one can participate in with us. The idea that someone ‘repents’ as they die is not just a common fiction device, it is real. It is life.

Yet thinking is not hard. It only requires one to consider oneself utterly alone in the universe, and work out from there. If you make a decision out of fear or for favour you will always know.

The Competition

Evolution is all about competing interests and (I say in an aside) the evolution of religions is proof positive evolution is a strong theory because our ideas evolve just as our bodies have done.

Social networking is all about competing for people’s time, in fact the whole Internet sales regime is trying to attract one’s interest and therefore money. A far cry from the better ideals around the birth of the Internet which were to provide free and fluid  information. But I suppose with a creature that dies, time is all important.

That is why it strikes me as strange that evolution doesn’t extend the life cycle of its animals to a greater extent. As if on the one hand it doesn’t matter or on the other it isn’t possible even for the immense power house that is Nature. Perhaps in the competition for energy we have all we can have or maybe on this planet, in this sphere of the Cosmos, competition for energy precludes anymore being assigned to an innate longevity.

Yes we extend our lives by providing comforts but the potential  span of a lifetime has been pretty stable for millennia. So too with other animals. Life seems to be an ignorance of where we came from, an ignorance of where we are going, and a certain time in between to try to figure out why.

History In A Word

My Latin master (I wasn’t very good) used to love the word magnopere (greatly) which rolled off his whiskey soaked tongue as he said it. Most any writer you choose to talk to, or anyone who works with words, will have their favourite sounds. But the true wordsmith loves dictionaries. They read them for pleasure and high on the list of best dictionaries are those that have the history of the usage of the word, derivation and quotes. These facts about a word, when it was first used, how, who by and from what origins it emerged into the language, are layers of meaning that enrich its usage. To know that a word like ‘simply’ or ‘nice’  is used today in a completely different way to its first sightings in English adds a piquancy to every use you make of it; like your secret language.

In exactly the same way science is teaching us about the language of the Universe and we are seeing things in very different lights to those of our ancestors. The layers of meaning run deep  and far and most exciting of all is that we seem to run with them.

Life is a language, and with every passing day we learn more about her words, their origins and how they came into being along with us. Its a wonderful dictionary to appear in.

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