Thursday, October 17, 2013


Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus boils down to the idea that it’s not the experience, with its inevitable suffering and apparent lack of meaning -- the futility -- but rather the fact of existence that makes it worthwhile, or, bearable. Simply being, an agent of free will, is meaning enough. The logic is flawed of course, as any philosophical paradigm must be, by the need for axioms. As with Descartes, I think therefore I am: why thinking? -- why not feeling? -- or some other arbitrary basepoint? I am, therefore I will endure.

 It isn’t a matter of whether or not I am. Clearly I exist, as Dr. Johnson so succinctly demonstrated by proving the reality of a rock by kicking it: so much for Berkeley. Demonstrable truths hardly need to be demonstrated … ah, the convolutions glib minds require for themselves. Convulsions, really.

 Sisyphus, then, eternally pushing at the rock, undone daily. It compels our attention. Futility. Meaning. Meaninglessness. The problem, as with all paradoxes, is that it starts with an incorrect axiom. Here’s my point: as much to complain about suffering, as about the fact that we live in an atmosphere of nitrogen and oxygen. Yes, we do -- now get on with life. Press your cheek and your shoulder against the rough cold or hot boulder and push, and live your life. It’s not about pushing a rock. It’s about waking up every morning alive.

 On a whim I’m reading again about cosmology and quantum mechanics -- favorite subjects, but hard to read because it gets my mind racing and it’s frustrating not having a meaningful way or reason to express myself. So I was thinking about Time’s Arrow, how it’s supposed to be a puzzlement that time runs only one way. And then I thought about how we think of time and space as separate things, as we must, but there’s a flaw in it. We think of space as three dimensions, and of time as one. We could say time was three, past and present and future, but in this there’s no real analogy with depth and breadth and height.  Time after all is really just a point, with an irrecoverable past and an unpromised future. We can conceptualize it, as a salient stone in a tumbling stream, or as the burning spark of a long fuse, or as the tip of a scalpel slicing through flesh.  Who knows where it will cut? -- but we can see the wound.

 Then I thought, that’s what space is, as well -- not really three dimensions, but just one, a point, as time’s present is a point, but which is perceived as having three axial dimensions. Then I thought that space, as a point, as our experience of time is a point, must then have two other aspects, analogues of past and future. So the mystery isn’t Time’s Arrow, but rather, what is the nature of the unperceived and unconceived aspects -- we can hardly call them dimensions -- of space. Well, perhaps we have names for them -- heaven and hell: kaballistically speaking, qliphoth and whatnot, but that analogy doesn’t really correspond.

 Then I thought about how we pay so much attention to time and to space in our lives, and rightly so, but how gravity is a third partner, and more than an equal.  I’ve always seen the need for aether -- and quantum foam, and gravity, and “dark energy” seem to address that need. But that brings us back to the idea that space is a single point, as is time. We never got out of the singularity of the big bang. The universe is a pebble in God’s pocket.

 Well. The idea of a universe is absurd on the face of it. An expanding universe? Into what is it expanding? The laws of physics do not apply to metaphysics; time and space do not exist outside the universe -- thus, time must be separated from consciousness; and the very idea of “outside” is nonsensical, if there is no space. An exploding singularity? Obviously wrong -- the correct analogy would be of an egg -- all the transformations occur within the shell -- there is no expanding -- it doesn’t explode itself into a chicken -- in the end it is a chicken, a chick, inside the shell. That’s what the universe is, a becoming, a chick even, but not yet what it will be. (And so we’ve answered that puzzle: the egg came first; there is no chicken.) But, again, this is not a new idea -- consult the book of Revelation -- wherein we read of the sky rolled back, of a new Heaven and a new Earth. Mysterious terms, like a need to think of space as just a point on a line.

 You see what I’m reduced to. I have to talk to myself.


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