today (2012-08-14) i heard what i thought was an air raid siren–practice or the real thing or something else? if the real thing, what can i do? oh well. makes everything seem like non-sweatable small stuff. now is full enough without bothering with the future. at the huronia mall, all was plastic n steel n asphalt, which is indicative of our culture’s values. do i sweat it? i *know* it’s all wrong, and i know there’s very, very, very little i can do, but that doesn’t change how i *feel* (sometimes all-consuming hopelessness). mootc, otoh, has wonderful energy–why am i–and others–drawn to it? why put my time, energy, and sweat into it? why stake my future on it? now? why does it seem so hopeful, even if the air raid siren is the real thing? or is it the real thing?
here’s something real: poverty and oppression. jean vanier writes, ‘The poor are always prophetic. As true prophets, they reveal God’s design. That is why we should take time to listen to them. And that means staying near them, because they speak quietly and infrequently; they are afraid to speak out, they lack confidence in themselves because they have been broken and oppressed. But if we listen to them, they will bring us back to the things that are essential.’–Community and Growth, p. 186
both the string and the poor are real to me, forming part of my overall reality. there are two realities—my consciousness (self, sense) and everything else (non-self, non-sense). or are there? maybe there’s an infinite number–as many stars in the sky, and more. maybe there’s just one. i can’t explain it all right now, but i’m on the road to find out….
we’re hoping for a paradigm shift–is this a modern day equivalent to deus ex machina in that what hope is there? vanier also writes he tries ‘to live in the present moment, to accept reality as it is – the reality of my body and spirit, the reality of my community, the reality of creation and of our world.’ ” (The Globe and Mail,” March 7, 2009). am i locked into a certain belief by an accident of birth, by my cultural blinders? also, it seems tricky to both ‘accept reality as it is’ and to want to change it.
here’s a question without culture: how long is a piece of string? to find out, comedian Alan Davies meets a mathematician, a high school physics teacher, and eventually quantum mechanic seth lloyd. they all answer him, but it’s not so simple. some laugh; some go for a pint; some do both.
quantum mechanics says reality doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter, until you measure (notice/observe) it. but quantum mechanics is weird and abstract. or is it? einstein didn’t like it, but he didn’t know that all life on earth depends on quantum mechanics.
lloyd does. lloyd takes davies (and the camera) to kew gardens, where lots of photosynthesis occurs. photosynthesis, the basis of life, achieves a 99% efficient energy transfer from solar to chemical using a quantum mechanics property–the ability of a particle to be in two places at once. with our understanding of classical, newtonian physics, we might hope to explain at best a 50% efficient energy transfer.
smelling–smelling a rose, or smelling a rotten egg, for example–depends on another property, ‘quantum tunnelling‘.
we are between, between stories, between remembering about our connection to nature and learning about our connection to nature. that’s my sweatable reality. no sweat, just smile and say ‘cheese’.
how long is a piece of string? to the end of reality? what is real? no more air raid siren. apocalypse deferred.