Wednesday, May 01, 2019

I Do It Because It Is Fun

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

Scientists no longer ridicule the idea that the Earth is alive. There is even evidence that the entire universe is conscious. These are theories that are not proven, of course, and probably can never be proven, but they, for me at least, pass the sniff test to the degree that they have become concepts that I take joy in entertaining, if for no other reason than that it is fun to consider what that would mean for me, for us.

When I conceive of a living universe, I imagine myself a part of it, a small part. Indeed, an infinitesimally small part, one that is so small that I can never fully see or understand the meaning or machinations of it all. That doesn't mean, however, that I'm insignificant (although that's also a legitimate conclusion, just one I find less enjoyable to entertain). I often imagine that we humans are perhaps some sort of nerve-ending, here to react to sensations, to convey some tiny bit of information back to the greater consciousness, like the way our own fingertips convey information to our own, comparatively simple, consciousnesses that something is, say, hot or rough or wet.

And then, if this is true, it's not unreasonable to speculate that my body's nerve-endings have their own kind of consciousness, just as incapable of understanding the meaning or machinations of it all, but there to convey some tiny bit of information back to my own greater consciousness.

I sometimes think that my purpose might be to, in my very, very small way, help the universe better understand itself, and that would mean that the entire universe is forever examining it's own life, which, if Socrates is right, is what makes life worthy of its name. Indeed, the unexamined life is no life at all. So if the Earth is alive, if the universe is alive, one of the essential elements of that life is perpetual examination, evidence, I assert, that not knowing, and striving to know, is essential, not just to we puny humans, but to everything.

Of course, I'm just goofing around here, playing with ideas, not knowing, but striving to know. I'm probably wrong, assuredly wrong, but being right is not the point, it's never the point. I do it because it entertains me, it's fun, and that, I imagine, is what the universe is doing as well.

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