Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Two Biggest fears about the search for the meaning of life

The first fear comes from a novel I read many years ago. It was one of the Larry Niven RingWorld Novels although I can't remember which.
To explain the fear I have to first explain to you what ringworld is.

The ringworld is a ribbon about 100 miles wide that circles all the way around its sun. It revolves to give gravity and on the sides of the ribbon are enormously large walls to keep everything contained. The walls extend up into the clouds. This next graphic shows you what I mean. The image on the right is the ringworld around its sun. Everything, including people and creatures live on the inside surface of the ring.
But here is the interesting thing about ringworld. If you are on the surface of the world you can see the ring far off in the distance as it curves. You can follow it up then back down the opposite horizon. By looking at it you think that it is some kind of structure far off in the distance that crosses the entire sky. But actually its just the ring you are walking on. SO, if you walked toward it you would never actually get to that structure sticking up in the horizon you would just be walking on it.
Now the Fear
There is a heroic character in the novel who has made it his life quest to walk to the structure jutting up on the horizon. He has been doing it for a very long time and will not stop until he gets there. Also, he is taking life extending drugs which extend his life into the thousands of years. SO he continues to walk.
It's a tragic quest for understanding, and it was doomed from the start. Yes there is a structure sticking up on the far horizon but yet there really isn't . It is beyond his ability to comprehend.
So, where does that leave me? Am I on a tragic quest that just can't be known? Is it simply beyond my ability to understand? Dunno, but I do know that my quest is my quest and I will continue.
Okie, That first fear was traumatic enough. I will give you the other fear in a future post.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Insight into my Why

I have talked to so many people and everybody is semi interested in the subject; the why and how, the rhyme and reason of it all. I have had many lively discussions that pretty much end up the same. They all quickly flip back into their every day things and I stay rooted in my quest wondering why "we dance around the circle and suppose while the secret sits in the center and knows" -Robert Frost

I don't know why it is such a burning desire in me to know but I can give you an example that shows you. It's a dream I had.

In my city we have a beautiful library. It was built in the 1880's and the back section with all the books is made of glass. The floors and ceilings are glass and all the book racks are glass. It is quite beautiful. I have spent many hours of my life in that library just carefully browsing over everything. I have found some interesting things that I will tell you about in future posts but for now let me return to my point.

One night I had a dream that I was in a library that dwarved all other libraries. It was enormous. I was standing between two glass rows of books and the racks extended very high up and far off to the horizon as far as I could see. This was just one row, there were many other rows.

I was overjoyed at all the knowledge and all the things I would read and learn. Then a thought crept into my thinking. No matter how long I lived, no matter how much I read, I would never even scratch the minutest portion of these books. A great sadness came over me and I wept. And I woke up from that dream weeping and continued to weep. Why is it that there is a great unknowing?

Over the years, with much reflection and much thinking I have come to terms with this failure to know everything by focusing on just one thing. The meaning of who we are and why we are here. I have been dancing around the circle supposing but I am trying to move closer to the center that knows. I believe that all those things to know pale in comparison and are after all just musings from other dancers - thus, just stuff.

Upcoming posts:

-Today I go for a scan of my brain - it might be interesting or it might be dull. I am hoping to get a glimpse of the inside world but in the back of my head I know no insight will be gained. The machine does not see souls or thoughts. It just sees stuff. Anyway I will give my thoughts.

- I will be posting my matrix of meaning at some point. It is all the variables to the quest that I have found so far.

- I am currently reading the Tibetan book of the Dead and I will let you know if that lends any insight.

- I will also be telling you my two greatest fears when it comes to the quest I am on.