Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Golden Airplane or Why is my Bubble so Small?

Every morning I go for a run -early, before the sunrise. It's a beautiful time, quiet, and it's just me, the birds, and a few squirrels.
During the morning, around the same time; before the sun has broken the horizon yet is illuminating the sky above, I see a golden airplane. Being that high up in the sky it catches the rays of golden sun and shines quite beautifully.
I see the plane at the same time every weekday and I don't see it on weekends. It must be some kind of commuter plane coming from Boston and heading off to who knows where.

There are two things that strike me about this. First off I have to ponder the fact that it is quite beautiful in a couple of different ways. The way it glints in the sunlight with a golden color is breathtaking as it slowly traverses across my sky. Second, I have to marvel in awe at the remarkable thing that is an airplane. There are a whole lot of people sitting in that thing right at that moment and heading off to a place.

This is where my bubble comes it.
I live in a bubble of awareness. I can only see a certain distance and if I don't look up toward the sky that distance is quite small. And when it comes to hearing my bubble is even smaller. I can only hear within a certain radius and become aware of sounds that are in the distance only if they have the will to be strong and loud.
So, why is my bubble so small? I read somewhere that the human mind can only process something like 110 bits of information per second. I can't recollect how accurate that is but it makes me think that there are two very different things going on here. There is a duality, a shifting between two different things.
True, my bubble of the perceived world is only a certain size, yet, as I watch that golden airplane fly past I can put myself inside it. I can visualize the seats, the rows, the people all sitting and doing different things. I can watch as the stewardess shows us all how to fasten our seat belts and I can see her hand motions as the points toward the emergency exits.
Now, this changes everything about the size of my bubble.

I have, in effect, this enormous bubble inside my head. It is an accumulation of life experiences and I can draw upon it and even manipulate it. - And by manipulate I mean I can re-assemble things and try new configurations. Heres an example:

I am on that commuter flight from Boston to wherever it goes and I am laughing because it was a real event. Boarding was quite astonishing because one of the passengers brought a baby elephant. We all laughed as they stewardesses struggled to get it through the doorway of the plane. It eventually squeezed through and now it is sitting in one of the rows near its owner. We were all laughing at first but now its just not as funny because, frankly, the thing doesn't smell too good and because I am sitting next to it I have to keep getting up to help people climb over it to get to the bathroom in the back.
See how my experiences can be manipulated and changed? What is this act of creation that is going on? How has my bubble grown so large?
This came out of experiences that I have had. But here is the rub: What about the things I don't know and the experiences I have never had? What about the things I don't know and the things that I have never seen? And the things I don't even know I don't know? Is there something very important that I am missing, overlooking, or just not seeing?


Regardless of the things I miss there is something magnificent going on here. Is is truly that my bubble has the ability to encompass everything? Or is the everything that I can create and experience just an illusion?

For my own part, I have never had a thought
which I could not set down in words
With even more distinctness that which I conceived it.
There is however a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy
which are not thoughts and to which as yet
I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt to language.
These fancies arise in the soul,
Alas how rarely, only at epochs
of most intense tranquility
when the bodily and mental health are in perfection.
And those mere points of time
when the confines of the waking world
blend with the world of dreams.
And so I captured this fancy
where all that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

-Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Blood Splattered Night

--Warning, This is a graphic and true story-- Not for children or the faint of heart -- Seriously. If you are disturbed by some of the suffering that occurs in this life then do not read this. --





I don't know exactly what happened last night but I will tell you as much as I can and fill in the blanks as best I can. I think my guesses are correct.

It was 3am and for some reason I woke up. Not sure if I woke up then woke my cat (Ditto) up, or if he woke up then woke me up. Either way we were both up at 3. Well, as it always happens, if we get up in the middle of the night he wants to go out. I walked out on the porch to see how cold it was, and approving of the temp, I let him out.

But something didn't feel right and before retiring back to bed I took a look out all the windows. I am not sure if I heard something or if I simply felt something. But looking out the front window I saw a very big dog just standing at my front fence and looking into my yard, very quietly. This was one of those dogs that are bred to fight, big jaws, strong shoulders, and it was trailing its leash like it must have gotten away from somebody. And it was a hunter, I could tell by how quiet it was. I figured he either spotted or smelled my cat and that's why he was looking in the yard.

This sent off some alarm bells and I went out on the porch to make my presence known to it. Yup, wearing pajama bottoms and no shirt. It was about 15 feet from my porch on the other side of the fence and I glanced over to my left to make sure the gate was closed - which it was. Then I waved my arms and called to it in an attempt to shoo it away.

The darn thing was spooky as it just slowly swiveled its head and looked at me. Our eyes locked and I saw a dull blankness. There was a lifeless sense of no concern like the thing was a ghost and I didn't matter. Yet there was something there that I can't quite put my finger on. The duel lasted several seconds and I took a step forward, spoke to it more and waved my arms more.

It just looked at me, then decided as if it were really not anything at all, to trot off down the street. I watched it as it passed my gate, continued down the street then around the corner.

Once I was sure it was gone I went outside and called Ditto. He came running and we both retired for the rest of the night.

The whole scene with the dog reminded me of a scene from the old version of the movie "The Omen". It was rather chilling.

Anyway, I woke up around 5:30 for good and started my morning routine, getting the coffee going, putting on my jogging clothes and checking on my email when around 6 am while I was pouring my first cup of coffee I heard what I could swear was a gunshot, which was followed by what I am sure was several angry barks from a dog. hmmm.....

Shortly after that I see flashing blue lights through the mini blinds and taking a peek there are several police cars parked with their flashing lights on. Several officers are discussing something.

Finally after all that clears I am ready for my run so I leave the house and the first thing I see as I hit the sidewalk is drops of very red blood. I walk down the street further and follow the trail around the corner where it gets worse. The drops and drips went on for quite a ways and I stopped following the trail so I could cross the street and head to my usual running spot. When I returned from my run I grabbed my camera and took some pictures.

The whole incident got me thinking about a lot of different things.

- Things happen in the world around us that we don't know about. As we sleepwalk through our days and nights there are a billion interactions going on. It's kind of strange. We are all one yet we are all separate, yet we are all one.

- There are things that happen that are bad, and things that happen that are good. I won't go as far as to say good and evil but this might be the correct interpretation.

I had a moment with that dog. Maybe it had a moment with me too and I am not sure about that. But I sure had a moment. Maybe it was the dull stare, the pure emptiness, or the knowledge that its number was coming fast.

You know, when my son died, he and I, and the rest of the family, went through this horrible three week ordeal where he was constantly assaulted without stop, and he resisted stubbornly until capitulation came and he eventually, and inevitably knew his time was close. He simply knew.

I think it might have been the same with the dog - he simply knew his time was close. I felt it and he felt it.

- Another thought about this whole incident is the thought about this dog coming into my life for a brief moment. Did I, and my cat feel this? Did we sense the danger and or the impending death? Or did my cat just see the dog outside and wake me up. I don't know. I can't really remember how it all happened. But I do know that there are things in this world that are difficult to explain.

- Maybe I misjudged the dog and I could have saved it? Maybe it was perfectly tame and I could have taken it by the leash and brought it in the house. Dunno, but it didn't feel that way.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wouldn't it be great if some wise old man just handed you the answer?

It hasn't happened to me, and well I am not saying that it happened to anyone but I want to tell you a story out of one of my favorite books. The book is called "The Art of Looking Sideways" and it's not a novel. It's more of a creative, thinking resource for seeing things. This is a big book and I have been slowly savoring it for a couple of years now. It's not something you rush through.

Anyway here is story by the author that crosses two pages of the book:

" I was working on an exhibition about the creative discoveries and technological inventions of the twentieth century. One day an unsavoury disheveled stranger suddenly barged into the studio, said he'd heard about the project, wanted to be involved, slapped a diagram down on the table, and shouted at me, 'that's what it's all about,' and left. I never saw him again. This is the diagram. Maybe he was right?"

This is an interesting image and if you want to examine it more closely I have a bigger version posted to my website here: The Chart of Meaning

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Follow the Feedback to find the answer

The most important part of any system is the feedback. This applies to everything from a corporation to a society to a machine, a computer, an ecosystem and simply every system. This feedback is necessary to keep the system running the way it is meant to run. A poignant example of this is a favorite project of mine (it's not my project, I just mean that it is a project that I am following). It is the project of the clock of the long now. It is a clock that will continue to mark time for ten thousand years. And it will give a different series of chimes each day for these ten thousand days! It is quite a human endeavor and a wonderful way to think about time. But the real purpose of me mentioning this is that in order for this clock to stay on time for 10,000 years it has to have some kind of a feedback system that will keep it in proper step. This clock will use the position of the sun as feedback to stay in sync with its goal which is to count and chime the days accurately for 10,000 years. (which is 3 million, six-hundred and fifty-two thousand and five hundred days.

Ok, now I have made my point about feedback and now we can apply this to the mystery of life, the universe, the creator and the whole kit and kaboodle. The universe is replete with examples of circles within circles that mimic each other and follow the same rules. So, is it so far-fetched to think that the biggest system, the grandest system, the system that wraps around all other systems, also uses feedback? It seems to make sense to me.

So, to find the answer you have to figure out what the feedback stream is and follow it back to the decision maker that makes adjustments according to the information provided by the feedback.

An argument against this:

Well, you might be saying that the whole system is perfection and perfection requires no feedback. And this is true, a perfect system would require no feedback because nothing needs to be tweaked, modified or changed - it is perfect. But to this I would say couldn't feedback simply be another part of the perfect system?

If you have any thoughts on this let me know and if you have a hunch or idea about what the feedback stream might be let me know, we could trace it back to the source of all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What there "Should" Be

If you really try to clear your mind and give it some thought you come to the realization that there should be absolutely nothing. And I don't mean the nothingness of space or the nothingness of a vacuum. I mean absolute and utter nothingness. There are no words that can describe what should be. Void? nope. desolation? nope. Emptiness? not good enough.

When you have a complete and utter nothingness there is absolutely nothing. So from there we can have no impetus for anything. No impetus for thoughts, things, stars, creation, candy apples, postcards, or grape vines.

Impetus is something and you can't get something from nothing. Yet.........

I can't deny that I am pretty sure there is something. It's actually quite remarkable, miraculous, spectacular, awe-inspiring, humbling, and mind boggling -that instead of a big nothingness (Scratch that, I can't use the word "big" implies a size of nothingness and nothingness is nothing; there is no size).

And, the remarkable thing about this lack of nothing is that the something is so beautiful in its variety and in its intent. It really boggles my mind.

Just sit down for a minute and think about what is instead of what should be.

If you can feel it you will come to understand why I am on my quest. Why is there something? What is the meaning of it? And what is the purpose of it -this lack of nothing?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So where is this mysterious thing?

A few weeks ago I had a cat-scan of my head done. It was an interesting process and I brought a camera with me. I had the tech take pictures of me inside the machine and it was pretty cool. He laughed. I also requested all the results from the scan and the software to run it. I got all that stuff and it's pretty cool. I can scan through my brain looking at all the different levels and well.. its rather baffling, intriguing and interesting.

So this is the machine that changes the world? Or is this the translator that translates the world into something that I can understand. Or is this is the thing that gathers information, changes it into electrical impulses, then assembles it into concepts.

Anyway, What I really wanted to say was that if you ever ask a person to point at themselves they invariably point at their heart. Yet if you ask a person where their soul is they invariably point to their head. Interesting.

Well, I took a really hard look at my brain scan and I couldn't find a soul. Not even a hint of one. But then again what does a soul look like? Here, you take a look and let me know if you can find it.

This is a screenshot from the scan of my actual skull. Am I, the thing that is I, the I that I am, In there somewhere?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Quote that will stagger you

I spent a few quiet hours yesterday reviewing my TSFTMOL notebooks (TSFTOMOL = The Search For The Meaning of Life). I was looking for new patterns and paths; and I ran across one quote that I had jotted down that gave me pause to think. It's very visceral and it hits you like a blow to the solar plexus. Thing about this quote is that I didn't note where I got it. So, it's not mine, and I don't know who wrote it.

I have some thoughts about this quote but I am not going to give them to you. I just want you to take a few minutes and think about it and draw your own thoughts and conclusions about it. If you want, comment about it. But I am probably not going to comment. (I would love your comments, particulary because they won't be influenced by my thinking).

Anyway here is the quote:

"Time is an efficient killing machine."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Exact Location of God

Okie, Now the title says "God" but you know what I mean. I am talking about the force that through the green fuze shoots the flower, the singularity, the prime mover, the creator, the one, the thing that is all - you get the picture.

I am going to explain to you my theory of exactly where this slippery fellow is but first I of course have to make some assumptions; 3 to be exact:

assumption 1: that there really is a "God"

assumption 2: that Einstein is right about relativity and time

assumption 3: that everything goes in circles (?) more on this

Okay, here is my explanation and theory on the exact location and how we can find him. Get yourself a snack or refresh your coffee because this is going to take a while. - but if you want to know then stick with me.

First lets talk a little bit about time. (assumption #2)It is pretty much standard accepted scientific fare that the faster you go the slower you experience time - in relation to something else traveling slower. The old adage is that if you have twin brothers and you send one on a rocket ship going at a speed approaching the speed of light and he returns to earth after a year in his own life his twin brother will have aged decades. This depends of course on how fast the space traveling twin was going. Ok now my point.

We are going pretty fast right now. We are on a planet that spins pretty fast, something like 1,000 miles per hour at the equator. And the Earth itself is rotating around the sun at about 67 thousand miles per hour. Not too shabby. Now you also have to consider the fact that the sun, towing its little planets, is also traveling in a big orbit within the milky way galaxy at around 486,000 miles per hour, and of course the milky way itself is traveling through space.

Now, before you start analyzing my numbers don't worry about them at all -they are really not important. What is important that you see that we are moving pretty fast. And that means we are experiencing time at a rate. And this is important. We are not experiencing time at the rate of rates or the real rate. It is a relative thing and we experience time at the rate we experience it. And who knows, maybe some of these wheels within wheels that we are spinning within are speeding up, slowing down, changing speed - and what does that mean? That we experience time at changing rates. Pretty spooky or awe inspiring depending on how you look at it.

Now lets move on to assumption #3 and tie it in with assumption #2

As far as I can tell everything moves in circles, electrons move around the nucleus, the moon around the earth, the earth around the sun, the sun around the milky way, And the milky way is part of a cluster of galaxies that is "probably" revolving around something else - something bigger.

So let me make my point. Everything in the universe is spinning around something. It's just one big spinning thing and toward the outer edges of this time is moving pretty darn fast because that stuff is moving pretty fast.
Lets picture the whole universe as a single galaxy so I can make my point. At the outer edges of the entire universe we move prettty fast and we experience time pretty fast. What happens as we move closer to the center of this rotating universe? Time slows down right? Okie, what happens as we move even closer? Time slows down even more right?
Okie dokie, what happens when we get to the very center of it all? The place where there is no motion? The exact center around which everything in the universe revolves? Well, there is no time there. Time has stopped, but not in a freeze frame kind of way, in a way that means time is all time yet no time. The total experience of all time is in that no time. The complete experience of all time is in that space that has no time. Get what I am saying?
And it is in that very place that God is.