bearing days prose: part II

I was bearing a day on my back. Crawled under a grate through some kind of crawl space. The free-will souls who i passed (including my mother and her young mother — who is now dead) had no inkling that I was merely fated. They were so happy! Everything was falling into place. I hid my melancholy

while crawling with the day on my back; I noticed — after looking to my left and right — that my daughter & step-son were also — like myself — bearing days.

I suggested on a whim, that we let the days down and play. Just play? my daughter asked. Yes. Just play. They agreed. We let the days down and played. The days started playing as well — with us.

I woke up.

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Cool Ietters

MetaMind Resources/Prose & Poetry

Cool Ietters

L,l …throwstick, goad

so, …”l” is the throwstick, or the goad, of “I”
NOTE: the first “l” is a “[lowercase L]”; the second is a “[Capital i]”

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What’s this mean?

अस्तीति शाश्वतग्राहो नास्तीत्युच्चेददर्शनं

तस्माद् अस्तित्वनास्तित्वे नाश्रीयेत विचक्षणः।

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I’m not by any means claiming that this integrated unit with a body inherently exists. There is no hard line where the body ends and the rest of the universe begins. But we live our lives pretty much under the impression that the body ends at the skin and that we receive information from the rest of the universe through our sense organs. I believe that we do this because having such a mindset is beneficial to survival and we have thus evolved to have this mindset. But the fact that we have such a mindset doesn’t mean it’s the true state of affairs.

I just went outside and looked at the moon through the trees, and it’s a little windy out. There are various ways to analyze this experience, or “instant of mind”, as you call it. The first, obvious one is that I’m a separate integrated unit looking through trees, which are all separate physical objects, at the moon, which is a separate physical object, and hearing and feeling the wind, which is made up of moving air molecules. Then there is the solipsistic view that there is only my mind, and all these things that seem physical are in my head. But considering the first view there is really no good reason to say that the trees, the moon, and the wind are all separate from me. What is actually happening, physically is that light from the moon and trees interacts with my eyes and sound waves from the wind interacts with my ears and air molecules from the wind hits my skin. Those sensations cause my brain to construct an image of the experience. As such, the moon, trees, and wind all exist within me and are not just external, spacially-removed objects. It could be argued that those things are all actually part of “me”, and that there is really no boundary between “me” and my surroundings.

Another way of looking at it would be that I am just an object, not a subject. That would be the opposite of the solipsistic view. It would imply that I am just there, like a radio receiver. And that any thoughts, feelings, or emotions I might have are just physical, electro-chemical responses.

So there are two extremes. The solipsistic view and the physicalist view. In either of those cases there is no boundary between myself and the world around me. Under the physicalist view consciousness doesn’t mean anything. It’s just an electro-chemical response to stimuli that causes me to do things. Under the solipsistic view, I’m not sure what “consciousness” would even mean. I would be conscious, but I’d be the only conscious entity in the universe. It would be tantamount to placing oneself even above what’s thought of as God, because even God allows other conscious beings within his domain.

A middle view is to make a distinction. Once that distinction is made, and I perceive myself, my body, as an entity, then I don’t have to be just an object anymore. I can also be a subject. And when I perceive myself as an individual entity the rest of the universe comes into its own existence and other conscious beings can exist as well.

So I agree, this idea of being a separate integrated unit is an imputed concept. I’m really not separate and I’m really not integrated. Everything is connected and dependent. Consciousness, too, is dependently arisen. It doesn’t exist all by itself. It has to depend on matter, and it needs a subject, a body to ascribe the consciousness to. It also needs objects, things to be conscious of. It can’t just float around in the air by itself, because it’s dependently arisen, just like everything else.

I’m not saying that it’s “purely” derived from matter, or that there isn’t a level of consciousness higher than that of individual human beings, but that it isn’t some form of fundamental “substance” that underlies existence.

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Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

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Post-Interpretational Literary Criticism

Hmm…crossing a river by stepping on sinking boulders…does that mean the boulders (ideas, worldviews) should only be dwelled on so long as they work for you? That the goal of philosophy isn’t to fix on the “correct” worldview, but to use what’ll work (pragmatism)?

I was thinking about this last week, when I learned that thinking about QM in terms of Everett’s interpretation is conceptually helpful for people involved in quantum computing; and people involved in quantum computing (SURPRISE!) tend to like MWI. Evidently, it’s also helpful for cosmologists; and cosmologists tend to like MWI as well. The question is, will they be ready to jump to a different boulder when they need to?

Many writers have produced texts that can be coherently interpreted no matter what boulder you happen to be standing on at the time. My personal favorite is the “Popol Vuh”. Sometimes I think it’s a creation myth, sometimes about human psychology, sometimes about war, sometimes an astronomical treatise, sometimes prophesy. So the only way to try to figure it out is by looking at the relationships between the various interpretations. I’ll dub that technique “post-interpretational” literary criticism 🙂

I suppose it would work with quantum mechanics as well.

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