Sillyness

I just came home from a nice long walk. On my way home I walked by someone,who I assume to be a city worker, doing some landscaping. She was raking leaves and pine cones from underneath a bunch of trees. I noticed a black garbage bag by her, which was where the leaves and pine cones were heading.

I quickly thought how silly it is, how absurd and futile it is that people throw away, into the garbage, nature.  I then thought of the biological consequences. Picture in your mind a finite plot of land. It has, at the time of your imagination, a certain amount of organic materials. There is a certain amount of carbon, certain amount of hydrogen, certain amount of nitrogen, certain amount of inorganic material. Some of that material gets converted to grass, to leaves, to pine cones, to branches. These things, which contain important materials for the self-renewal and health of these endless life cycles are meant to break off, fall to the ground, break down and become reabsorbed into the earth, only to be converted into a new leaf or pine cone years later.

So what happens when you start taking stuff out of that self-perpetuating cycle? I would imagine something would happen. What that something is, I’m not capable of saying specifically, but I have a feeling that what happens must be a deficit. Eventually those carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and inorganic molecules that would have been re-introduced to the earth are taken away. If you let this process repeat itself continuously, and given enough time, the land will lack the starting materials required to produce those pine cones, branches, leaves and blades of grass.

When this happens, you will be stuck with a decision to make, either let the land go bare, or re-introduce those materials required for a ‘healthy earth’. This could be in the form of chemical fertilizer, new dirt, seeds, chemical sprays, etc.

This is why I say it is silly, absurd and really futile.

Go to any part of ‘nature’. You don’t need to clean the leaves in a forest, or cut the grass, trim the branches, rake up the fallen material and carry it away. These things are not just some end state of a life cycle to be removed, as thinking that an end state even exists in a life cycle is absurd.

You see, nature is only nature if it is natural. And nature will always work itself out to be optimal. Nature is in a constant search for balance, nothing more. Any modification and intervention is an exercise in futility, and simply meant to soothe the human ego.

There is another reason why watching someone rake up some leaves and pine cones and  throw them into garbage bags seems absurd. I made an assumption that she is probably being paid to do it. There is money as well as human effort, time and resources being spent on this effort. In turn, there is money as well as human effort, time and resources that is spent on irrigation, chemicals and fertilizers to make up for the deficit that the money, human effort, time and resources being used beforehand created.  It is its own life cycle, except it is unnatural, inefficient, and fights the natural order of our planet (and truly, existence).

The stretch of grass (I wouldn’t call it nature really, as it is just a stretch of grass with some trees and bushes between cement-poured parking lots) would be better off without any human intervention. The humans would be better off as well, as their resources could be put to better use.

After coming to this realization, I realized that what I was observing was an example of something I read about recently in the book “The one-straw revolution: an introduction to natural farming.”  It may as well have been called Zen and the art of farming. This book was a gift from a friend of mine, Lal, about two weeks ago. He told me that it changed his life some number of years ago. When somebody tells you that something changed their life, it is almost surely worth looking into.

The book was about this man, Masanobu Fukuoka, who used to do scientific research in agriculture for the Japanese government. He basically realized the absurdity of it, and moved to the mountains and lived simply and just farmed. His style of farming is “no farming-farming”. He has one of the highest producing farms in Japan using his “no farming-farming”. He doesn’t till the land, he doesn’t use chemicals, he doesn’t use machines, he doesn’t use electricity, he doesn’t use plumbing, he doesn’t even plant seeds. In nature, plants don’t plant seeds. Yet if you left nature alone, it propagates. How strange that without human intervention, the whole world would somehow just happen to continue on.

The book covers a wide range of topics, but one theme is that humans, through science, desire to know nature (the world, the universe, etc). We don’t do so simply just because, rather for the applications that our scientific knowledge brings. After all, especially in todays economy, nobody is going to finance expensive scientific research just to satisfy a curiosity, it must be a means to an end, and that end better involve an application (read: income).

This term “applications” should be interpreted as domination and control. Inherent in applying something is control, and control cannot exist without domination. I can’t think of an instance where applying something does not involve control, as without control, things are just left to their own doings. If things are left to their own doings, there can be no application.

There is a human idea that we can figure out something, then improve upon it. The only problem is, every time humans intervene with nature (after supposedly coming to ‘know’ it) is they create a problem. Or perhaps humans intervene to address a problem. In solving a problem, they create a new problem. Humans continue on this path, in futility, always believing themselves to be one solution away from solving their problems. It is futile and absurd in light of understanding that the simplest, least resource-wasting, and most productive route is simply existing with nature as it is, rather than to attempt to dominate it.

I have spoken before about knowing something, and how silly of an idea it is that when you come from a place of NOT knowing something, how can you ever truly know that you know something, in its entirety. The answer is that you cannot.

So where am I going with all of this?  Nowhere really. I just went for a nice walk, and saw something absurd. The thought for me became a realization, for you it became something to read.

Have yourself a thought 🙂

Anger

 

I don’t want to speak too soon, or with authority on this, but I thought it was something worth sharing.

I have been watching this mini-series on youtube about various philosophers. One episode was on a Roman philosopher called Seneca. One of his works was on anger, and he had an interesting view on it.

Again, I want to state that this is according to the documentary show, as I haven’t read any of his works yet.

He believed that anger is caused when someones expectations are broken. Another way of putting it, is that someone becomes angry when their concept of reality is broken. He believed that peoples expectations are much too high, and so they are setting themselves up for disappointment and anger, whereas if they simply lowered their expectations, they wouldn’t be as upset.

As an example, the show followed a delivery driver to showcase their point. The man was constantly yelling and getting angered and stressed over traffic and bad drivers. However, he had been driving at this job for over 2 years, and yet every single day he gets angered at other peoples poor driving habits. Seneca would say that he has the wrong expectations. In his reality, the driver is expecting all other drivers to drive well and properly, and because of this expectation, when other drivers do not drive well and drive poorly, his concept of only good driver reality (his expectations) are broken, and thus this leads to anger/upset/stress/anxiety. If the driver only lowered his expectations and perhaps took on the view that it is natural that there are bad drivers, and this is just the reality of driving, then when a bad driver is come across, he won’t be as upset, as he knows this is simply a part of life and a part of his expectations. He would maintain that after driving for 2 years and every single day you get upset over the same thing is rather your own doing, and your lack of properly understanding the true nature of driving in the city, and that this man simply had the wrong expectations.

He also held that wealthier people are more prone to anger, as they have higher expectations. When your expectations and your concept of reality is always getting your way, what you want, when you want, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and anger when this doesn’t happen. Whereas if your expectations are low, you won’t be surprised when things didn’t go your way.

It is an interesting idea, that the less optimistic you are, the happier you could be.

He also believed that there are an immense number of things that are out of our control that can alter the outcomes of our expectations, and thus our happiness. It would be unnecessary/illogical/futile to worry/be upset/have anxiety over things you can’t control.

Apparently, the show states, that he recommended a daily meditation on the things that could go wrong, or the things that might no go your way. The benefits would be to mentally prepare yourself for them, to perhaps envision how things might not go your way, and to better understand how they happen and thus perhaps curtail them from happening, but also to warm yourself up to this idea that bad things do happen, and that sometimes things are out of your control and that is ok. Then, of course, when the bad things do not happen, you can be more grateful, knowing how things could have turned out.

 

Anyway, I think it is worth thinking about. I will now have to read some of his works 🙂

Goals of the week (week 16)

 

I’m going to keep this short and semi-sweet.

 

  1. Meditate every day, and for a longer period of time.
  2. Continue to enjoy the nice weather outside, barefoot.
  3. No twitter or facebook (outside promoting the community clean up we are doing and tweeting website posts).
  4. Wake up early enough to see the sun rise at least once this week.

 

Meditate every day

For the last two weeks or so, basically since my nose surgery, I haven’t been able to exercise, do yoga, and I haven’t been meditating.  I miss all three of those things. I still can’t exercise or do yoga, but at least I can meditate. After my surgery I have read a bit about the yoga sutras, and read about a few meditation techniques.  Besides those, I also want to focus on a few other aspects during meditation. Some of the things I look to meditate on/do include:

  • Simple breathing exercises
  • Being lost in mantras
  • Just focusing on nothing, and yet everything that comes into your consciousness.
  • Focus on a specific problem or something that requires attention
  • Focusing on what you are thankful for and happy for (people and situations in your life)
  • Focus on all the things that can possibly go wrong* (more on this in another post)
  • Becoming more aware of your body and your physiology – there are Buddhist monks that are able to raise/lower their heart rate on demand, can slow their metabolism to a halt, can raise their body temperatures so that they can go outdoors in the freezing snow and meditate for extended periods of time without any clothes, they can hold their breathes for incredible amounts of time, they can enter a state of consciousness where their brain waves and brain activity are recorded and interpreted by scientists as them being brain dead…essentially, they are really in-tune with their bodies in a way that I can’t even grasp

Besides those things, meditation is simply calming and when you open your eyes at the end, I feel really amazing.

Nice weather, no shoes please

So, I’m loving the nice weather.  I used to golf with my buddy Nick, back in the day, without any shoes on.  The beer cart lady and marshals would drive by us in their golf carts and ask us to put our golf shoes back on since it was against the club rules, but we still loved doing it anyway.  It feels great, having your skin on the grass and earth, way better than any shoe could feel.

I have also read/heard that a cure for jet lag is to spend a couple of hours with bare feet on grass/earth. I can’t remember the explanation, but it involves reconnecting to the earth, something a year ago I would have rolled my eyes at, and maybe you are doing that now too. At the end of the day, it feels great and it feels natural. I didn’t come into this world with socks and shoes on, and neither does any other animal.

 

No twitter or facebook

I am trying to figure out how to balance these things. I want to deactivate/delete them, but I can foresee instances when it would be nice to do a mass message to get support/advice/etc from everyone on my facebook/twitter. So then I think to myself, ‘ok, I can keep them, but just post stuff on there, but never spend any other time on there besides that’… but then I wonder how realistic that is, and what if people send me messages, and if I don’t want to check my messages or comments or wall posts, and nobody knows that, then they think I am just ignoring their attempts to reach out to me, and I am a jerk face.  This is an example of attachment leads to unhappiness.

 

Wake up for a sunrise!

I have this romantic idea of waking up everyday with the sun, and going to bed shortly after the sun goes to sleep. It seems like a natural thing to do, does it not? Instead I wake up around 8am, and go to bed around midnight. Waking up early does suck, that is true, but once your schedule shifts from 8am-midnight to 7am-11pm to 6am-10pm to 5am-9pm, etc etc, it is just the same schedule, only shifted.

Anyway, I am going to try and find a nice day this week and do it.  My future plans will be to maybe start the day off with an outdoor yoga and meditation session in the park near my house at sunrise, or a jog, or whatever!  I was really enjoying waking up and going for a jog with my dog, then doing some yoga and meditation each morning. But when you wake up at 8am and have to be out the door by 10am, all these relaxing things become rushed, and that is kinda self-defeating.

 

It only has to happen once…

 

That is just the thing, it only has to happen once.

Let’s talk highly improbable events. Let’s examine something so incredibly improbable: Some unintelligent, dead molecules that mix in the right way, in the right proportions to form the very first cell on earth.

Before that moment, there were no cells. No organisms. No ‘life’. Before that moment, there were just molecules, atoms in various arrangements, moving around in aqueous solution (water and such), in ‘random’ movements following Newtonian laws. Essentially, a giant friggin game of billiards, except instead of billiard balls we have a water molecule, an amino acid, a glucose molecule, a fatty acid, etc etc etc.

Then, out of nowhere, some random event occurs: the cue ball hits all the other balls and they ricochet around in all directions until finally coming to rest such that the cue ball is surrounded by all the other balls. My analogy is pure shit, but it can be thought to be a highly improbable scenario. Forget I even wrote it. The thing I want to think about is the random collisions, reactions and arrangements of these dead, unintelligent molecules until they form an enclosed compartment capable of reproducing itself. A cell.

It only has to happen once, but when it does, that cell will replicate (reproduce) itself once, and then again, and again, and each of those subsequent cells will replicate, etc etc, until you get a colony, and, well, “life”…or something humans classify as life.

So no matter how improbable this is, once it happens successfully it will, by its own inherent nature, propagate and continue to exist.

So, what about artificial intelligence? What about a computer code that can realize it exists and becomes self aware. Perhaps a code alters itself, or is altered somehow. Perhaps a human error occurs, or some random internet bot script copies and pastes a random text file into its own code. I am not a computer dude, so I have no idea what I am talking about.

I am not really concerned with how such an event would be possible, what I am concerned with is the idea that, no matter how improbable the event is, but IF a program/computer code/script/whatever were to somehow realize that it existed and became conscious of its doings and how to control them, it could potentially lead to its own self-propagation, evolution, modification to potentially suit its new found self-awareness.

The evolution of this newly aware computer code, I would have to imagine, would most likely be orders of magnitude faster than organic biological evolution. The consequences would be, well, interesting.

The idea of computers/AI/skynet becoming self-aware and take over the world has been in our psyche and collective conscious for some time now, it is nothing new. I’m sure what I have presented here has been talked about by many people. But it is a new idea to me, this idea that it only has to happen once, just like the formation of the first self-propagating cell. Just once.

I wonder what evolutionary scientists think about this idea.

With the advancement of technology, the growth of robotics and the direction robotics is taking, the ever oncoming singularity, I wonder if this is even a possibility, and if it is a possibility and if a computer/robot/computer program became self-aware, would it even have desire, let alone desire to continue to exist, desire to propagate, desire to modify itself, desire to do good/harm? Even if it had desire, would it have ‘intelligence/knowledge/wisdom’ to know how to carry out its desire? Could it learn if it didn’t?

Anyway, I wasn’t really interested in answering any of those questions. I was just thinking, no matter how improbable it is, it just needs to happen once.

 

 

 

Passion Pit!

A band I just came across.  Sorry if I am way behind the ball on this band, they may or may not be a huge band. I don’t listen to the radio or anything so forgive me if I’m stating the obvious.

A great song with some powerful lyrics.

 

And this song and video I just can’t stop watching/listening to. It is awesome!

 

 

Enjoy! (or not!)

Goals of the week (Week 14/15)

 

So, I have been away for a little bit.

Two weeks ago I had two simple goals:

  1. No facebook for a week.
  2. Meditate every day

 

No facebook was nice.  I have been struggling with facebook for a while.  It is something that I really don’t enjoy, yet I do find some utility in using now and then.  Taking a week off was easy as breathing, and it showed me that it is not that important. Despite that, I can think of instances when it is quite useful. Things like mass messages, getting support for a certain upcoming event, or pretty much any time you need to reach out to a large group at once. It makes it easier, which is a bonus, but it also removes the personal touch of human contact, which is not a bonus.  I think my endpoint will be deleting facebook at some point, just not right now I guess?  I don’t really know what I will do about facebook just yet.

Meditation! Peace and quiet, or not. If nothing else, meditation is great for just taking some alone ‘me’ time with yourself, and giving you a chance to say hi to yourself, ask yourself how you are doing, and think about whatever, or not think, or just be lost in nothingness, or somethingness. I remember once having a conversation with someone (who I will not mention) about another individual (who I will not mention) that we both knew that meditated for hours each day. I remember my view at the time was that it was a waste of time, and looked at it almost with disgust and that this person was lazy. What a self-sure dipshit I can be (am/is/was/etc).  If someone has a lifestyle that allows for hours of meditation each day, that person has gone things made.  Sorry for judging you.

Last weeks goals (week 14)

  1. Don’t take any prescription painkillers.

I don’t usually make a habit of taking prescription painkillers. I have my personal thoughts and stances on the prescription drug industry and how doped up North Americans are. I think that there are natural medicines that do the trick just as well, or do a much better job (depends what your overall aim and view of ‘health’ is) than prescription drugs. But what do I know.

All that I know is that last week I had nose surgery! After over 10 years of having a deviated septum and not being able to breath properly through my nose, and now that I am retired from fighting and people won’t be (hopefully) punching me anymore, it was time to get my nose fixed.  My goal was to do go through the recovery without any prescription pain killers.

I made this my goal because, well, I think they have dangers associated with them, they make you feel like a zombie piece of shit, and I would rather feel  pain than feel like that. Maybe my idea of pain is different than someone else who hasn’t got beaten up day after day for years, so maybe my views aren’t for everyone.

The surgery and recovery went well (I think). My nose was a faucet of blood and gunk, but there was no pain, and not even a single hint of bruising, which the doctor, nurses, and well, everyone was surprised to hear about.  I did some natural treatments, one of which was treating with a cream of arnica flower extract. I rubbed it on my face every couple of hours for a few days and it may or may not have done the trick.

 

Week 15 Goals:

  1. Enjoy the frigg out of the nice weather! 
  2. Learn me some fall of Rome

Enjoying all of the frigg associated with nice weather

Finally this winter has seemed to end 🙂  It seems like it lasted forever and then a few more ever’s after that. How dare you weather!  I want to keep this goal open and free. Basically I want to spend lots of time taking Ninja for nice long walks outside, I want to eat some meals on the picnic table in the backyard, and spend some time in the backyard just relaxing.  Inside < Outside in many ways, so I want to act according.

Learn about when Rome lost its balance

I don’t know much (or anything really) about the fall of Rome. The rise and fall, or simply the natural evolution of an empire/culture/society, is quite interesting. Cultures and communities change from day to day, year to year, century to century. Everything does. I guess I never thought about the fall of any culture before, but it is quite curious and interesting. There are obviously lessons to be learned.

Jen and I watched a documentary on netflix about Myanmar. I had no idea it used to be a/the huge economic center of Asia. Now, not so much. I think people (read: me) tend to think and/or expect things will just stay the same. That is quite a dangerous assumption. How can anything stay the same when nothing does?

Anyway, I got a couple of books out from the library on the subject and plan to take a little break from my eastern religions/philiosophy/Hindu readings to learn a bit about this topic.

 

I will report back any interesting book learnings that I come across!

 

Take care and have good times!

 

xoxooxox

 

Community Clean Up and Fundraiser!

community clean up flyer

Over the next two weekends myself and others from Ronin Mma will be doing a Community Community Clean Up and Fundraiser!

We are looking to clean 10 public parks in the Carling/Bayshore Ottawa area.

We are looking to raise $$ for the Queensway Carleton Hospital and Family Cancer Center

If you would like to donate your time and help us with the clean up or donate some money, please feel send me a private message!

We also have a gofundme site http://www.gofundme.com/2ndppo
so if you would like to donate some money through a paypal account, please do!

I think this is a small but valuable effort to do something to improve the quality of our community 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

Goals of the week (week 13)

 

My goals for last week were:

  1. No cell phone for 1 day, and 1 day I only use it for receiving (and responding) text/phone calls. No internet/music/fb/games/etc.
  2. Trip Planning: Sri Lanka, Kenya and start India
  3. Meditate every day.
  4. Write 2000 words.
  5. Pick the clothes I want to use for my future quilt.

No cell phone for a day and 1 day of using it just as a phone (responding)

Again, I really enjoy the freedom of being away from the phone, or electronics in general. If you want a better commentary see last weeks goals.

Trip Planning

I actually went hardcore last week and went right through all the countries on our list! So basically I have a spreadsheet for each country, with all the cities, sites, attractions, and things that we might want to see or do.  It is literally around 1000 lines long in excel, and each line might have multiple things for a given city…so in the span of a year, we will obviously have to look at the list and prioritize and decide what just won’t make the cut.

With all the sites/places/things to see and do ‘done’, I moved on to make a list, for each country, all the health concerns (vaccines, medications, etc), electricity types (what plugs for electronics), visa info (cost, length of stay, etc), time zone, banking/atm/credit card info, currency conversions, hot/cold/wet/dry seasons, time zone, internet cost, and will finally be making a list of the Canadian embassies abroad, their address and contact info.

From there, it is just pricing out all the different travel routes, flights, trains, busses, etc, then sitting down and having a look at it all and doing some thinking and making some decisions!

Meditate everyday

This has been really enjoyable. I tend to meditate for about 10 minutes, I think (I don’t time myself or anything). I typically do it at the end of a yoga session when my mind and body are already calm and free from distractions.  This week was the first time that I tried meditating while repeating a mantra. The mantra I chose was OM.

My girlfriend says OM isn’t a mantra, even if it is repeated, but I maintain that it is.

A cool thing about this form of meditation is that you can get lost in the sound. You kind of just end up in the sound, staying there. That is all that there is for that brief amount of time. It is hard to use symbols (letters and words) to describe an internal experience.

I also enjoyed just listening to whatever I hear, and just going with the flow. This meditation session really blew my mind! Nothing was on in the house, there was nothing that you would consider to make noise or loud, and yet, when all you are doing is just listening and taking everything in, the most quietest things just fill up your sense of hearing, as if they were being blasted from my tv or something. This was especially true of the humming from the fridge.  Also, I have never noticed, but my walls and tv stand seem to constantly creak and crack over and over and over! I found that really interesting, since I obviously haven’t noticed that before.

Write 2000 words

I failed miserably. I wrote about 500 words I think fairly quickly, but then I got extremely distracted. I treated myself and bought a book early in the week! (I couldn’t find it in the Ottawa public library) It is a collection of the 13 ‘main’ Upanishads, sacred Hindu texts. So I was reading that book throughout the week rather than doing my creative writing.  Oh well!

Quilting

I don’t know why I included this on here. Is picking out what I want to quilt actually interesting??! The answer is closer to no than to yes.

 

Goals for this week:

  1. No facebook or twitter
  2. Meditate

I’m not going to facebook or twitter because, well, I see reasons not to and I feel there are more reasons not to than to use them. I like having the spare time, as I have mentioned before. FB and twitter is where I come across a lot of news articles, and I have a hard time dealing with a lot of them, or at least, I have a hard time dealing with the sheer volume of upsetting things I am faced with each time I go onto either of those social networks.

On the one hand, I think in many respects it is important to read them, in many others not reading them has its benefits too.  Maybe this is like intermittent fasting but for news articles? I dunno. But there are more negatives to using fb or twitter than the news articles, most of the time I feel it is sheer brain drain.

Meditate – I just finished meditation before writing this. I likes it. It is nice to escape in a healthy way to just yourself, or maybe not even that, semi-consistently. I have begun to wonder if meditating is closer to shutting your brain off or to turning your brain way on. It might be something to think about later on.

 

Have a good week you sexy ninjas!

Oh, and if you are interested in a movie recommendation, Jen and I watched The Mahabharata over the last few days. It is like, 5 or 6 hours long, so we watched it in like 4 chunks. It is an english movie that tries to capture The Mahabharata, which is an epic poem and story and is one of the sacred texts of Hindus.

If you have no experience with Hinduism or eastern philosophies in general, understand this – there is no desire to indoctrinate anyone, and (in my opinion) it is more philosophy than religion. I recommend the movie purely for the story, art and entertainment value, as well as the ideas put forward.

xoxoxox

Have you ever seen terrorism?

 

 

What does that video mean to you? Did you watch it? It is 3 minutes in length and could change your perception of so many things.

I can understand not wanting to change your perception. Being wrong can be difficult in the presence of an ego. Change can also be scary and confusing, and sometimes being confused isn’t fun. I happen to love being confused, because then I get to enjoy the adventure of becoming un-confused.

But if you decided to take a chance and watch the video, what did it make you think? What did it make you feel?

I think those are good questions.

Could you imagine driving down any one of the streets you go down every single day…to work, to the gym, to school…. and seeing anything like that. Military (not even, they are contract mercenaries) doing as they please, causing disturbances and killing. Would you not be terrified? If that was you? If you saw that happening to your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/son/daughter/mother/father, or in their neighborhood, would you not be terrified?  Would that not imply the existence of terror? And would it be unwrong to state that that terror was created or induced? Would such a thing possibly then be considered terrorism?

If it isn’t, is it wrong nonetheless? Is it right? Is there a good explanation for this? What is this video representing?

If it is, well, what then? What does seeing this perspective mean to you? Does it change anything for you? why or why not?

 

Maybe I asked too many questions. It is possible that any of those questions, if actually thought about and considered and not just read and passed over, would occupy some time, or be disagreeable for other reasons.

 

But sometimes I wonder and put things together in different ways. I think of Cesar Milan, and his principles of dog behavior modification, and I see how they work for my dog.

If a dog does something wrong (that you don’t want repeated) you have to let them know, immediately, in the moment, in the form of something they see as undesirable (saying “tssshshsh, no, or whatever it is you do, shake quarters in a jar, whatever). If you don’t do this, they can and will never know that you don’t want that behavior repeated. Eventually, the more consistently you enforce this, the more common and normal the desired behavior becomes. If you don’t ever cue the dog on its wrong doings, the unwanted behavior will be the norm.

Maybe you can see where I’m going with my good friend Cesar Milan.

If the behavior seen in this video is unwanted behavior, is it something we want to become normalized?

 

 

Anyway, I am going to listen to some modest mouse and research travel stuff.

terracedricepaddies-ubudarea-bali-indonesia

I want to go to there.

 

 

 

 

A school of particles

A school of fish, is it a thing?

School-of-Fish

 

Not really. It is a collection of things, arranged in such a way.  Let’s say that those fish in the above picture are separated by 1 unit of distance, D. We would all probably agree that at D (their current unit of separation between each other) they are arranged as a school.  If their separation was decreased to say 0.5D or 0.0001D, they would be even closer together, and we would probably still call them a school of fish.  What about 2D, or 3D or 10D or 1000D or 100,000,000,000,000D?  Does their separation define their connectivity and thus their ‘schoolness’? They aren’t connected in the above pic, there is space between them, yet we would still say they are a school of fish.  At what point are they no longer connected enough to be considered a school of fish?

Being a school of fish gives fish advantages. They appear bigger to potential predators, and they can make fun of unsuspecting fish.

FishSchool

 

When you look at the school of fish from far away, maybe you were a giant floating in space, and you saw this thing moving around in the water (which to you looks like a puddle) – it looks like it is one solid, connected thing. But is it? When you get up close to it, and let’s say you were the size of one of those fish, or maybe 1/10 of a fish, or the size of a bacteria, or the size of a hydrogen atom, or 1/1000000th of a hydrogen atom, the spaces separating the fish would appear bigger and bigger. It is no longer this connected, ‘ONE’ thing. in fact, at the size of 1/1000000th of a hydrogen atom, the space between the fish is almost all there is to see. The site of an actual fish would be quite rare.

We are nothing more than a ‘school’ of particles.  Call them organs, call them cells, call them molecules (lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins), call them atoms, call them protons, neutrons, electrons, bosons, leptons and quarks. Call them what you want, let’s just call them particles.

Again, from afar, let’s say from someone or something roughly our size or larger, it would appear as if a human body is connected. The fingers attach to the hand, hand to arm, arm to body, etc etc.

Zoom in to the size of a bacteria, which is roughly 1/10th the size of a human cell. Well now things start to look a bit different. You see that there are all these 3d lumpy things (cells) that touch other 3d lumpy things (cells) and they form together a giant mass, let’s say it’s the liver (an organ). The same way one handful of dirt and another handful of dirt and millions of other handfuls of dirty form a hill.

Now let’s zoom down to the size of a molecule, let’s say a small protein. You look around, and what you see are these other molecules just floating, almost aimlessly. They are just moving around, bouncing, touching each other, one gets connected to another one temporarily, and they float off in this aqueous solution (water, salts, acids, bases), then they disconnect and a new set of molecules touch each other. We call this a cellular process, a signalling event, an interaction, a function, a gene being activated, whatever.

Zoom down even lower, let’s go to the size of a hydrogen atom now. Now what you see is other ‘atoms’.  They are there, separated by HUGE, almost an infinite amount of space.  The space between them is nothing but black, because, well, nothing is in between the atoms, as all matter is made up of atoms. So anything that isn’t an atom, well, doesn’t have atoms, it just “isn’t”. So you can’t see anything that “isn’t” (isn’t existing). So the absence of something cannot have an atom to represent it, and thus, is nothing. No light can be reflected off of nothing, so there is nothing but blackness between these atoms.

Now we shrink down to 1/1000000th of a hydrogen atom. Again, like the school of fish, there is almost nothing to be seen.  We move our line of vision all around, in all directions – it is all almost completely black. But once in a while we see something. It is small (because relative to our size, we are so incredibly far away from it), but in reality it is quite huge (if, for example, we were the size of an atom, a molecule, a cell, or a human body).

I happen to think this is exactly what the universe is. If you zoom in, or out, of a human body, a dogs body, a tree stump, when you move orders of magnitude in either direction, it all ends up being the same thing over and over again. It looks like the universe. Like the cosmos.

But that wasn’t actually the point of why I started to right this post. Though it is something really worth considering.  What would a water molecule, H2O, look like (or a cell, or an atom with electrons circulating it) if you were the same size of that particle, or 1/10th, or 1/10000000th or 1/10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000th? and so on.

My point was to ask the question, at what point does consciousness form? Where is it produced?

Some might quickly say “well in the brain” or “in our genes”. But if we shrink ourselves down small enough, nothing at all is connected by physical matter. If you were 1/100000000000000000000000000000000th the size of an electron, and were standing or floating on a gene, on a neurotransmitter, on a nerve, somewhere in your cerebral cortex, on a hydrogen atom that is “bonded” to a carbon atom which is a “part” of whatever process that you think might bring about consciousness, at the end of the day, all these things (assuming the atomic model) are just considered lifeless particles. So where does consciousness come from?

Does a proton have life? Does an electron have life? Does an atom have life? We say no, because the idea of our floor, or a chair, or a chalkboard being alive is silly, almost offensive (thanks to our egos).  So if those things aren’t alive, and have no consciousness, then when does it form (and how)? When 2 atoms come together (again, based on your perspective, they can never actually come together)? when 4? When 1000 (molecule/protein level)? When the molecules start to become arranged in weird globular shapes? When those shapes start bouncing around, mindlessly with each other? (cellular events and functions)?

When we look at ourselves as a school of particles, we realize that there is nothing inherent in any one of these particles, the supposed forces that supposedly govern their interactions and doings, that confers consciousness. Does the school of fish have consciousness? Or are the fish themselves consciously arranging themselves?

Does the human (school of atoms) have consciousness ? Or are the particles consciously arranging themselves?

I think I can think of two possible explanations for this. Maybe 3.

The 3rd removes the ego. We believe that inanimate things do not have consciousness. The air floating around my head is not conscious, supposedly. I am special. I am alive. But what is alive?! All that I am is a collection of inanimate molecules, yet I believe that I am alive.

If I cut off my finger, my once living finger. Now, it is on the floor, no longer a part of me (apparently) and part of the inanimate world. It is not alive. But what is missing? Attachment to my brain and heart? Do electrochemical signals confer consciousness? All that electrochemical signals are, are gradients (flowing from high to low or vice versa) of positively or negatively charged particles, usually sodium or potassium ions, or the transmission of electrons – all of which we think of as inanimate. Heart? It is just a collection of inanimate particles pumping by force inanimate fluids.

There is nothing in or of our body that we could remove, even our brain or heart or blood, that would be considered to remain alive and conscious. Any objective observer would call any of the parts of the body removed to be inanimate.

So perhaps every single thing in the universe has consciousness. Is this possible? I don’t know. The reason why I doubt this, for now, is that, well, I am made up of a number of orders and orders of magnitude of particles, and if each has their own consciousness, why does it appear that I experience only one consciousness? This is a tricky thing, I will probably give it some thought later.

The 1st explanation I had invokes a soul. The soul is the thing that experiences, both consciousness, and just experience in general. Where can an experience be felt? Does oxygen experience ‘floating’ as it moves around the clouds? I don’t know. Perhaps. All that I do know is that I experience things. I experience things, and although on a macroscopic scale, at this perspective, I appear to be connected by particles, but if I could zoom myself down smaller and smaller, I would quickly realize that I am not connected physically whatsoever, that is to say, no part of my physical body is physically in contact with any other part. The same way if you looked up at the sun or a star and thought that it was this one glowing thing, really that light is a conglomeration of (lets just say lots) of photons, each of them separate.  We look at a galaxy.  If we zoom out enough, it would like like a bright dot in a sea of black, compressed and physically in contact with its surroundings. If we zoom in more and more, we see there are separate galaxies, and each galaxy has space between their solar systems, and the solar systems have space between the planets, and on the planets there is space between a field and the ocean, and in the ocean there is a school of fish, and in between the fish there is water, and in between the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that make up water there is emptiness, and if we got smaller and smaller, that space between the hydrogen and oxygen molecules would appear to be nothing but infinite.

So, perhaps a soul must exist, as it confers me my experience and my being. I, in fact, do not even exist. “Me” is in a constant state of flux. I am never truly in existence. At any given moment, oxygen (something supposedly not a part of me) is entering my lungs and blood and cells, these oxygen molecules (inanimate, not a part of me) get integrated and absorbed, some will fuel chemical reactions (glycolysis) some will be added to proteins, to fats, to carbohydrates, to my cell membrane, to my heart, to my brain. That thing that wasn’t a part of me, will become part of me. And at any given moment, my body will breathe out, and dispose of these seemingly inanimate things that were once part of my cell brain, my skin, my cell membranes, my genes, my proteins, my hormones. The same is happening every time I eat, poop, pee, scratch myself (skin flaking off), bleed. Every few years every atom in my body is replaced. Yet here I am. I am flux, never quite existing.

Except for my soul.

The 2nd explanation that I can think of, is that all that there is in the universe is consciousness. This is all just a thought, experiencing itself, perhaps by myself, perhaps by god, perhaps there is no distinguishing between such concepts.

Modern physics such as quantum theory states that there really isn’t such a thing as an electron. You can’t know where it is and where it is going at any point. It is impossible. What exists is a probabilistic electron field, and when that field is excited in one way, an electron appears there, and when it is excited in another way, the electron appears to exist there.

The same is true of the most basic subatomic elements of our universe, such as the higgs-boson (higgs-boson field).

Quantum theory would also state that things only exist when you experience/measure/become conscious of them. Shrodingers cat is neither but also both dead and alive, up until the moment that we open the box and see for ourselves. The act of witnessing or experiencing or observing something actually FORMS it into reality.

I won’t even start thinking or talking about multiple realities, multiple universes, or simulation theory (our universe is nothing more than a simulation).

If the entire universe is just energy, if you want to call it that, or simply just a thought, a consciousness, experiencing itself, this would make quite a bit of sense.

If we maintained an egocentric view of this explanation, we could say that nothing exists in this universe except our own consciousness. I don’t have a body, only I consciously create it. When I look up and see my laptop screen, it isn’t there to be seen, rather my consciousness creates it. If we maintain that we do indeed have a body, it can be explained that the light (photons/waves) coming from my laptop screen move in all directions. Some of those photons/waves hit my eye. My eye doesn’t “see” anything, just as a bat doesn’t “see” its environment, nor the special star nosed mole (can’t remember the exact species) “see” its environment. What happens is a signal hits my optic nerve, and that gets interpreted and translated to other signals, until it reaches my brain. My brain then CREATES an image for my mind to understand.

The bat has ears, and uses sound waves. Those sound waves are nothing more than vibrations, physical matter (oxygen in the air) pulsating and vibrating, one molecule at a time, until the vibration reaches the bats ear. That data is translated to a signal, and its brain creates an ‘image’ of its 3D surroundings.

 

The type of star nosed mole that I can’t name smells. It smells specifically out of either nostril, or both, and like humans that collect data from their overlapping field of view to create a 3D map of their surroundings, this mole smells its environment and uses overlapping data from both nostrils to create a 3D map.

My brain creates the image. I create my reality. It is CREATED. And it is created in, and exists in our consciousness only. So, in this explanation, I have nothing but consciousness. That is all that is known, as Descartes and so many others have variously spoke of. I create my body, I create my environment, I create my experience. The same way that when I day dream or close my eyes and think, I create everything that happens in there.

 

Anyway, I ran out of steam a long time ago and got careless in my writing. It was quite the ramble. It took way more time than I thought, and I have stuff to do.

All that I wanted to think about was, well, there is nothing inherent in any form of matter that produces consciousness. I think there are a few reasons why I am conscious, one or more or something I haven’t thought of must then create my consciousness. I have accepted that there is probably no difference between consciousness and soul. Both of those things are just words, they are symbols, symbols for actual things. You can call it a soul or consciousness or483@@$d^^^, it is the thing that experiences, and I believe that it exists outside of physical matter. That or all matter has consciousness, but I maintain that matter might not exist, but surely consciousness does, as I am conscious.