A: (clasping hands in triumphal display) And that’s how it will all end…
B: (in pensive mood) All theory is interpretive. All facts are theory-laden. There is no pure objective world out there that we can measure and explain. The act of measuring itself is a creative process. We define reality as we go along. After a while, our own creations become idols, so that a law of physics is merely a cognitive habit. What is interesting to see is that every age in history has presumed possession of Absolute Truth. What will be revealing is that meta-narratives are relative to the epoch’s climate, ideals, unconscious motives, and so forth. Today’s theory will become tomorrow’s mythology.
A: (visibly offended) My god!
B: (smiling and sympathetic) But I’m likely to be wrong…
“The intellect [as] a local effect of evolution, a flame, perhaps accidental,
which lights up the coming and going of living beings in the narrow
passage open to their action; an lo! forgetting what it has just told us,
it makes of this lantern glimmering in a tunnel a Sun which can
If our awareness and intelligence arose out of earlier biological experiments, its persistence on this planet must only be explained by the advantages it has given to our species. Its function has been to assist the survival of our kind and not as we now presume, to solve the riddles of existence. Intelligence did not arise to survey all the scope of whatever exists but only to aid the organism in its survival with its immediate environment. This may be a total and insurmountable obstacle for the arrogance of science and philosophy; merely because there may be dimensions of reality we are not designed to perceive, causes that may influence the physical universe which are not strictly perceivable nor deducible from physical phenomena. This condition could set an experiential limitation to our knowledge –not unlike the uncertainty principle – forever and ever concealing absolute truth from our grasp and revealing us not as possessors of facts but merely as gatherers of illusions.
Unable to escape this vast dawn
hanging upon me like an atmosphere of chemicals
a mechanical tingling from ages’ past
I’ve collected the motionless quantum of floating seeds
constantly mirroring the pinpoints of valleys
as seen from peaks of departure
I’ve spoken with the dark red shade of tomorrow
perhaps seducing despair to taste my blood
her choice fluttered like a hummingbird’s thought
I’ve fallen in those perimeters of wonder
incapable of resisting the language of rising steam
The old skins of trees invade the territory of sense
while curves vague as clouds
embroil this journey’s end.
(photo by Ryan Moss)
A modern hero
We can watch him quietly chewing his dinner. His gaze is imperturbable and his thoughts invariably these:
The nothingness that exists in all forms, and the nothingness that is yet to be born.
The modern hero awaits (and this waiting period is interminable) for a fatal threat. This threat is anticipated throughout the cycles of the clock. It is always approaching, never disappearing.
What can he do?
Nothing. Resisting the menace of existence is a futile and wearisome illusion. He will initially find himself in hypertension, guarded against an invisible enemy. Since there is no defence against his opponent, rebellion would represent a defeating madness. Acceptance must be learned and practiced. However, salvation is not achieved solely by the acceptance of one’s own precarious situation. He has no escape, he must sacrifice a distracted and unexamined life in order to become bearer of a strange suffering. He will be the hated antagonist of any unfounded human optimism.
To cure himself of a malady that is not only his own but also a dormant illness that all conscious beings carry within.
What relieves him?
From the perspective of the world he has secluded himself in an abstract and spurious discourse; from the perspective of his own condition he has renounced his faith in a world of form and substance, he has lost trust in the socially approved states of consciousness. He lives in a mythological world, albeit, his myth has not yet been written nor can it be. He is dispersed in a flux of perception that not necessarily implies an objective external world. His experience cannot be communicated, it does not have the logical structure of a normal human situation.
Is there a light at the end of his tunnel?
From the standpoint of the all-too-human, suicide may appear as the last desperate, but effective, act of liberation, but this won’t be his course. He has selected an ambitious journey: The transmutation of consciousness. An intuition convinces him that the reality we live in is only one of many possible creations; and in the sober creation of less restricted states of consciousness he will achieve his ultimate objective: inner peace.