Sunday, September 24, 2006

Crazy Talk

I don't have much in the way of hard-fast BELIEFS. I'm more Engineer than Philosopher. We don't have beliefs we've just got PROBLEMS and GOALS. But in order to work the problem to reach our goals we've got to steal MODELS and ASSUMPTIONS from the scientists.

An assumption is like a belief in that we arbitrarily use them as a starting point. They require faith to be useful. The difference between them is that a belief is arbitrarily regarded as true, while an assumption is only regarded as useful.

Ok so there's my disclaimer and an explanation of the semantics I'll be adopting for the following answer to your question.

I assume there's a purpose to existence. I assume that there is a certain way for me to live my life that will aid in this purpose. Stories throughout history depict that those who are happiest are those have lived with purpose. I have found only corroberating evidence for this (most of it coming from my gut, aka intuition). Therefore my plan is to live life, as best I can, in fulfillment of my purpose.

Because reports from people who are not me about "how to live life" do not completely agree, I assume that it is up ultimately up to ME and my intuition to interpret the information I get from the world and those around me.

Finally to the question at hand... Neither logic (reason) nor my intuition lead me to believe that I will experience an existance remotely similar to this one after I biologically die. What happens to my material remains is easily extrapolated. What happens to my "consciousness" is unclear because it's properties are not understood. At this time my expectation is that my consciousness as an individual human named Matt will cease.

Life, however, will continue after my life. Life will have been influenced by my life, physically and systematically. Therefore it can be said that my after-life is the effect I've had on Life after me.

Perhaps I will remain a disembodied consciousness and get to witness it. Perhaps I'll be an embodied consciousness in some sort of "place" that could be described as Heaven (or Hell for that matter). That remains unlikely, however. We have "places" in this life and the elements of this life are what define them. Once I have left this life it doesn't make sense for the concept of "place" to carry over. And so I take a figurative interpretation to the history's descriptions of afterlife, God, and the soul.

And I look at Life, and the universe as we know it, without time. Regarded as a whole, the universe is infinite. When I cease to be an individual consciousness stuck in the middle of a finite timeline, the perspective shifts (with or without "me") to that of the infinite, timeless, whole.

Infinite, timeless, whole. Everything that is was and shall be. THAT sounds a lot like God to me.

So for now I assume that I, just like you, are actually a fragment of God. Savoring that seems to lead to enjoyment, conflicting with that seems to lead to suffering. Even though our biological processes will stop, the universe (God?) is eternal and so is our existence as part of it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

So, I just watched Garden State.

Of course we fawn over Mathilda, but that was pretty much just an enjoyment on par with a very (very) good piece of candy. Like Dove chocolate, for all my fellow middle-aged women out there: SO truly excellent for an instant, but then gone, and certainly of no nutritional value. (Enjoy it for what it instantaneously is... any more will only get you fat and sad).

Ergo, I've always only kinda felt like I should be in love with Natalie Portman.

Well now of course I am.

But, yes, her character is 100% cliche. Quirky, exciting, unconditionally-loving miracle messiah girl who shows up just when the depressed protagonist needs her. Well ain't that a bitch for what it says about me, the very specific audience member, now enamoured.

Oh well. Does this kind of thing actually happen? I reckon best bet is certainly not to count on it, but not to rule it out all the same (no reason to commit to a cold harsh reality).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Communion Pt. 1

I'm not an outgoing person but I like crowds. Just being amongst humanity is enough to comfortingly remind me it's still there and I'm a part of it.

I ate ribs with my fellow man (and women). Lots of them (fellows and ribs... more-so fellows). Imagine a mile-long mesquite cloud hanging over a city street and thousands of people frolicking in it; minstrels set up every couple of blocks to keep the passers'-by heads bobbing in time and to enhance the savoring and socializing of those who stay and sit; thousands of choice swine slain and slaughtered for the many-days' feast.

What other word is there for this but sacrament?

We watch TV. We surf the web. We work in cubicles. If we are POLITE we remain still and silent at the movies, on the train, in the elevator, at church, on the street. Are we really ready, as a species to follow this progression of convenience to it's oh-so-efficient-but-"oh-my-GOD" conclusion as a bunch of brains in vats with our entertainment on demand?

Stuff like this says we're not. We must join together. We must be in the same place with a mass of humanity for some shared event. Some fun we can have in the presence of witnesses. They saw it too, they felt it too, and what's better is they saw me enjoying it right with them. We're all in this together afterall, it seems.

It get's me excited to marvel in awe at the precocious whimsey of the meta-organism of which I am a part. It's always a good thing to check in with that Something-greater-than-yourself.