Friday, March 21, 2008
Arrows in flight
With a computer that is flaky, I've returned to pencil and paper, spending more time on walks and hikes, and less time at the keyboard, now tapping away on Bro. Clarence's iMac, which I must admit, is a flashy bit of machinery, but of course doesn't have the feel of pencil to paper. So seated on a boulder just before sunset, I was thinking how orderly the universe appears to me, the structure, or I should say, what we know of the structure of the material world, seems to exhibit a direction from lower to higher orderliness, and when we include life into the mix, then from lower to higher forms of life and intelligence. And why is that? Does it have to be like this? If we consider "life" for example, then the forever time from the Big Bang until the first spark of life appeared on Earth makes me think that this forever timespan was the necessary preparation, the necessary incubation, if you will, for life to get started. And once life got "started" (again, the universe is anything by static, everything seems to start or end, but mostly is in process, or all the between of starting and ending), we see a continual growth in complexity of life structures, and as far as we think we know, the human brain is by and far the most complex of life structures. Of course the mind/brain is a bit boastful in these matters, even thinking that it (brain/mind) is the tip of the arrow that was launched with the Big Bang. A moving arrow. Moving in time. Moving in space. Moving in complexity. Moving in self realization. And moving to? Going where? Or is the arrow forever in flight? And to think the entire evolutionary process has this human brain/mind with the power of reflective thought at the very tip of the longest branch on the tree of life. And here I am, the sun now setting, but enough light to continue my writing, and yes, I must admit that I cannot get outside of my own experiences. My brain/mind use my eyes to watch the outside world, yet is this boulder that I sit upon really just that, a big solid rock? Of course I know from science that the big rock is not so solid as my eyes tell me, so if I could shrink down into the micro world I would see that the atoms that compose this big rock are really not very solid at all, in fact when we get down into the world of atoms and protons and electrons we really leave the world of matter, the matter that we ordinarily think of, like solid rock or the wood of a table top, and find ourselves in a world of energy. And too the mind, a bundle of energy, and to think that the human mind is a product of the very nature that produced everything after the Big Bang, that by being a product of nature, the mind is part of this nature, and so shouldn't the same principles of rational order that we see in the outside world, exist also in the inside world. Inside the brain. Inside the mind? So I sit here and think rationally because I am a product of a rational universe, composed by the same energy that constructs stars. And now I watch another star, setting in the West, coloring the sky with streaks of reds and oranges and grays and purples, and here we both are, the sun and me, two arrows sent on their flights at the moment of the Big Bang, one landed just over the horizon, the other landed atop this big boulder that I sit upon. And it's hard. And it's getting cold. Time for this arrow to move on, to continue the flight, the flight that I think will take me all the way around and back to the archer. And when I arrive and meet the archer? I have a funny feeling that the string on the archer's bow will still be vibrating.