Wednesday, March 12, 2014

At The Speed Of Life

   I don't know why (exactly) this idea keeps recurring in my thinking. There is a good possibility (I'm guessing); that I am simply wrong in this, my estimate. There are worse things out there, than finally being proven wrong, but that kinda says it all, doesn't it? I mean the deep weirdness of "knowledge" is that it is a violation of itself. The "worst" thing that could happen knowledge-wise, would be to have an un-movable truth, a bench-mark implacable, which you personally defend, later shown to be drivel. Yet, isn't that exactly what has happened a 100 times in a row? The new orthodoxy, replacing the old, says in effect: "Ah, we used to be deluded and simple, but now we see! This (new) knowledge shall stand forever, and never (again) shall we be forced to alter our estimates of things!"...except not. Not even a little bit so!
   Have I lost you already? Think this with me then, the whole idea of "knowing" something, is that it is a "settled" type of thing. We get an orthodoxy of thought, a respectable and established frame, such that any "doubt" or efforts at undermining the acceptability of same, become "ridiculous and unthinkable". You, in doubting the "known" become a dunce, an ignoramus, a backward and "dangerous" soul indeed. And this is not the place or time to bring forth the litany of how frequently, (and embarrassingly) the established wisdom of given eras has been turned on it's head...repeatedly. That much, we do (apparently at least) "know"! Nah, all that stuff is broadly commented upon, and doesn't affect us here in this essay a bit. Rather, this intro is just a way to state that today's "known" has a disturbing tendency to become tomorrow's rubbish, but from the here and now, we cannot usually guess which parts are about to morph into their opposites on us, and which sections actually are stable.
   My guess however is that the method we use is (itself) "upside down". Think of a target for archery, You get a nice bulls-eye, surrounded by concentric circles outward. The further from center we get, the less anybody really cares. What draws our interest though, is when Robin hood nails the center point, and then proceeds to split the first arrow with the second! Dare we do a third? Wow, right AT the center then, arrow splitting arrow, how many reps do you care to observe? The outer edge stuff, or when you fail to even hit the target; is forgettable and frankly uninteresting. If you are not even close-to-correct, you lose your audience.
   Knowledge-wise then, to invert, to overthrow the "outer" areas is pretty ho-hum stuff, but to repeatedly nail the center, well now that makes news! If "Dr. So-and-so" tells us next week that the X-chromosome in the Choeropsis liberiensis (pygmy hippo) is not topologically resistant to morphogenic cross enculturation; (contrary to established research thus-far) or some darned thing, let's just face it; nobody cares. This is the outer area of the target. But at the bulls-eye, what have we? Naturally, the "absolute speed limit" of light! Surely (say it ain't so!); we do not mean here, to disagree with we? How could anybody, (anywhere) doubt the "absolute"? Well, to be honest, it's easy! I just use my mind. It appears to be designed for the task!
   Yet oddly, the centerpiece to knowledge is never the boundary, and (also) we ordinarily refuse to note this. The limit, the "edge and the unbreakable" shape of knowing is it's silhouette, it's "shadow". We keep mistaking the outline for the heart! We consistently assert that the shape of things is one and same as it's center. Weird joo-joo have we here. We know-about (the outline) of things, and then we turn clean around to declare this "shape" to be at the very center? So in this example, with a view to the "absolute" speed of light; it is to be inferred (by you I mean) that light moves "swiftly". It is (supposedly) fast-as-fast can be! And, did we mention that you are also obliged to be impressed by HOW very swiftly she goes? So, is it Mr. Einstein himself over here, who is telling us that we are to (dutifully) be duly impressed by the mere rate of motion? I mean if I am busy doubting the "absolute", does anyone notice that neither am I "impressed" by it's terrible and awful rapidity, per se? If knowing (itself) were known; wouldn't we assume the "fast" to be the same as "slow", merely viewed alternately? Consider with me the fighter-bomber; cracking along at mach 3, it is moving "swiftly",... and "slowly", depending upon which yardstick we use. Ditto for the snail! Rapidity itself is non-quantifiable, until we first establish a frame of reference. But rate itself, remains a lessor metric than the purpose of, or direction of the movement. Why then does light fly along so blasted slowly? Who, but me even notices this or bothers to ask?
   Meanwhile, we humans move at "the speed of life", and like all we have just said, that rate is "fast"...and it is also "slow". Whichever you prefer, this lens of your perspective says more about your heart, and any "absolute" you care to embrace; than any grossly inferred clock function. So then, is it known for certain that "time is flying"? Yes, it is. And at the same "time" it is clear also, that time does "drag". The "knowers" among us, come right along,  just about here somewhere; to inform us that "the truth of the matter" must be; that time runs "uniformly" (for so they have decreed it shall!). It "merely-seems" (it is but the untrustworthly "subjective" aspect of your brain); to be otherwise. Consider for a moment with me; what if time actually does flow at differing rates? How would we ever know? If it did run at variant rates, we would observe that "time-rivers" runs riot "here", and then promptly slow to a crawl "there"; depending upon the grade of it's "slope", of course! What could be more "obvious"? And what if our "knowers", in order to clear up any doubts on the matter; then asserted, that all waters "must" run at uniform rates? Well, if they did so (and could enforce that "law"), then it would be (later) "impossible to detect" any differing rate, for such differences "cannot-be" (by definition!). I reserve the right to retain my doubt!
   To expand somewhat our analogy, we are never "finally convinced" of anything about life; simply by virtue of a clock function. Nor are we ever finally convinced of the truth of anything else, by measuring it's speed! Any "speed limit" designed to be "absolute" is just begging to be broken! Or to discuss whether time REALLY flows at differing rates, never once addresses why we "bother" living in any case. The swiftness of time in our experience is for "a reason", and that reason points-at "something" (or more accurately, at a "Somebody"). By paying attention-only to the shadow cast (the outline), we forget the beating heart, we purposely ignore the issue of purpose!
  We never do convince others to believe our views by speaking of "limitations". A limit, is a discussion of "boundary". Such talk never addresses what is being "bound", there remains nothing at the middle! It is crust with no pie, peel minus apple. It would be a bit like discussing only the shape defined thus: "A square base, roughly 3 and 1/2 feet square. About the perimeter, a two foot rise, evenly spaced with durable retaining bars, to be constructed of high tensile composites, and/or wood"...Do we here speak of the babies' crib, the dog's kennel, (the one we ship Fido inside, as he travels by airliner?), or a prison cell in Vietnam? The "known", the "shape" describes "everything" about the enclosure, except it's purpose! The materials it is made of, it's specifications, weight etc., describe the "shadow". We can know it's history; and never yet note the tyke within, much less; to ever smile back at the rascal! I say the only thing such talk can ever do is spawn and feed doubting. What generation "knew" more than ours? What culture ever distrusted and doubted more than we? Is there (perhaps) a connection to be made here? We doubt it! And we have come to doubt the wisdom of such, or at least I have. Life is the gift, the one gift. With it, comes everything, without it, the "shape" of any and moot. Nothing matters, and if that "nothing mattering" were true, I yet retain my right to doubt it's "truth" as well. So if the final truth be a puny speed limit, a mere clock function then there remains no way to care whether it be so or not! I reject such, and if nobody joins me, then I-alone reject it. I am not alone, nor are you.
   The speed of life, is to come up to the improbably "fast rate", of settling-down enough to trust again, it is the "terrific velocity" of rest. The unbreakable limit, is (by definition) more than we know. It is "outside us" and within us as well. Swiftness; an unmeasurably quick run back to be held quietly in our Papa's arms.

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