Friday, April 17, 2009


I suppose some people look outside of themselves to find meaning in life and creation. And I know that other people look inside themselves. It is fair to assume, I guess, that some people don't look for meaning in life or creation at all. These three assumptions aren't all of the possibilities that exist, and it is fair to say that all inquiry is on a continuum that is difficult to fully contemplate or appreciate. It is like being itself. Difficult. Complex. Perplexing.

What do we achieve when we peer further out into space? Do we end up realizing that we cannot understand the nature of our being or existence by inspecting supernovas or contemplating spiral galaxies? I don't know. Do we have any more success looking inside of ourselves?

It is spring; time to spend more time outside, contemplating the woods, nature, regeneration. All of life is reawakening out there, and it's probably a good idea to have something reawakening inside of me in a like manner.

The magpies have built a nest in one of the sugar maples. It is a mishmash of sticks gathered from the Gambel oak, or so it appears. It is a nest that appears to have a roof and a side entrance. The pair built it early in the spring, starting before the last snows had fallen and finishing it even before they could spend a night without snow covering their rooftop.

I got out the binoculars one day and peered at the nest, but I was unable to penetrate the mishmash and see inside. I know they're in there, sitting on their eggs.

I haven't read about magpies in Wikipedia yet, and I don't know the protocol of their reproduction. They have a world they are bound to, a place within it that makes sense to them. Everything beyond that they don't try to comprehend. I wonder why that is? Why don't they ask questions or have any curiosity about other animals and events beyond their sphere? Do I? I think I do, but semi-limited in some fashion similar to the limitations on the magpies?

Truth is a matter of the imagination according to the character, Genly Ai, in the novel The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. But what is the imagination? How do we define it? We say it is the formation of a mental image of something that is neither perceived as real nor present to the senses. The trouble is, we are bound by our mental constructs. Our senses gather data that we run through the machinery of our brain to produce truth. As George Berkeley indicated, such constructs as color, sound, temperature, and smell exist only in our heads even if we believe they represent truth. Such are not truly essences.

Modern physics shows that the results we get depend upon whether or not something or someone is observing. Observation makes all the difference in the world. The two-slit experiment has intrigued me since I read about it many years ago in Gary Zukav's 1979
book The Dancing Wu Li Masters. When someone watches a subatomic particle or a bit of light pass through a pair of slits, it behaves like a bullet, passing through one hole or the other. But if no one observes the particle, it exhibits the behavior of a wave that can inhabit all possibilities --- including somehow passing through both holes at the very same time. If there is magic, the two slit experiment is it. The greatest minds that exist have had a difficult time comprehending and explaining it.

Now scientists postulate that life creates the universe, and the universe couldn't exist without it. So we are the gods of our own universes.

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