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Now is the Time

It is time. I lie here, an insomniac not by genetic right, rather by choice. And I listen to Phillip Glass, again. His music, I daresay, no one really should like, because he appeals to what I call the periodicity of life. It is this sameness, this comforting unity, that I hope your soul can hear through my inept words.

One time Adam and I mathematically described life as sinusoidal. The sine wave, at least I thought, best fit the pattern of peoples ups and downs in life where we rose to crests of happiness and fell to dark valleys of depression. A cosine wave would indicate, if one assumes birth to be time t=0 and values above the x-axis to be happiness, that all people are born happy. Maybe one day the infants will enlighten us otherwise, but I believe we are born normative. Regardless, Adam and I acknowledged how my life is cyclic. Or, as my dear loyalist friend Scott says, our lives are “more of the same”. He says this in a qualitative way, namely, that we are not burdened with _more_ stuff do to; rather, we make up the same amount of stuff to do again and again because time and space seem to press us forward. “And to what end?”, I ask Socrates. Our wave description was not officious; we considered the wave because of its application to our lives, as a hope that from the blues we would surmount momentary joy and ... attain that idea we seek.

Here I must say a word about about perspective. Nihilists are extremely lucky people. One of their disciples, the hedonist, applies nihilism to, quit frankly, fuck whatever, wherever, and whenever he wants. I can sympathize with such people's desires, but, for better or worse, I bow to the freedom of existentialism. So my explanation of tonight's conclusion is choked full of meaning, because I abound in meaning.

Tonight, I finally laid my head on my pillow and attempted to fall asleep. Then it popped in my head again: I am ready. There is nothing more for me to accomplish here.

My conclusion is retrospective. During my short life (on Earth, in the Sol system, Milky Way ... you get my diminutive meaning) I have experienced many things. Friends and psychologists claim these experiences are probative to my happiness, that pleasure affirms my path in life. Somehow they jump from my admonition that some things make me happy to a prescriptive order, namely, 'you should do [more] of what makes you happy.' You sound like a coke addict! especially given contemporary results in psychoactive resilience (what I mean is our body's long-term response to mind-altering drugs). Their prescription for happiness _is_ quantitative. Need I quote my friend Scott again? One may respond that experiences are unique, so everyday I experience new things and doing new-happy-things would not diminish their effective happiness. But my sense of newness is one I notice most people are hesitant to approach.

For example, Logan invited me over to her new house. She showed us in and I commented on the awesome vaulted ceiling made of wood (and how expensive that will be to heat). It reminded me of my sister's vaulted living room. Although my sister's living room is different from Logan's, in many ways it is the same, as all vaulted ceiling are created the same way, otherwise they would not be vaulted ceilings. An erudite reader should recognize the similarity of my example to Plato's argument of forms. What is more significant to me is that I arrived at my conclusion before reading his dialogs. It is this similarity of differences that drives my conclusion tonight, so if you understand the Platonic argument better, by all means employ it.

I finally echoed a draft of my opinion while lunching with Adam and Kim. Kim advocated the celebration of diversity. Frankly, diversity is a feeble attempt by University's to promulgate civil rights. A noble effort wholly flawed in popular demand. By emphasizing differences, students see differences. The result being obvious to me that white people notice how 'those black people' have their own music (R&B) and how they dance (aka. they have rhythm). If popular social science, by which I mean Women's studies, African American studies, etc., arose from the ashes of inequity with a commission to never repeat historical abuses of human rights, then these fields fail. To defend equal rights, one must defend our equality, and therefore, our similarities. I would be delighted to see a celebration of unity on University campuses. You won't see me twiddling my thumbs in expectation.

My point of unification is paramount to tonight's conclusion. As much as women are different from blacks, so too are men different from Latinos, as are the endless list of comparisons. The problem with my contemporaries is they focus on finding dissimilarity. The mere English word, “dissimilarity”, sounds dissonant, and I believe it sounds so because it conveys a meaning contrary to how I experience my life. My experiences lead me to notice how Logan and Denise's roofs are alike, and to read a list of words one can ascribe both women and African Americans (ex: human). My list goes on in infinitum, a refreshing interconnectedness that soothes my soul.

In our quest for uniqueness, to find our identities especially as insisted by institutions of higher education in freedom browbeating America, I believe we loose the ability to see likeness. Students are indoctrinated to carve out their niche and huddle in their hermit paradise. Any serious debate stands as evidence for this mode of thought in American universities. I notice my colleagues analytically find faults so they can converge on a difference, aim their lexical arsenal, and shoot-to-kill.

So in my conversation with Kim, being a Women's Studies major, she cited how everyone has a unique face. How true! So in the spirit of the above mentioned confrontational doctrine, I replied “because everyone has a unique face, everyone is the same.” Notice that my response actually supports Kim's assertion; only my reply's second clause exposes her statement's impotence. I believe Kim intented our different faces to be evidence for diversity, whereas I sense her statement preempts the obvious conclusion that everyone has a face. I did not wield sarcasm or wit when appending my conclusion, rather the simplicity and clarity of sameness, oneness, unity uttered itself. My response is clear to me: it is the sense of newness that I mentioned earlier. Because I uttered it in context of a conversation, I wish to elaborate and abstract its meaning so that we may reach a general conclusion.

Let us take a metaphysical example. Einstein predicted that we should see solar stratospheric light (emitted along the edge of the sun) bend during a solar eclipse. Ever since his prediction has been experimentally proven, physicists grapple with their previous notion that light travels in straight lines. The conundrum sprang from an emphasis on dissimilar laws and its solution led to a unifying theory. Prevalent thought classified electromagnetism, and its subset of visible light, as different from gravitation because each is governed by laws unique to the type of energy field. Proving Einstein's theory meant that, at a minimum, gravity could effect light and, more impressive, the two energies probably interacted in a mutual habitation of space time. Here again, the implications are pragmatically enormous. The later hypothesis solidified when Hawking absurdly prediction things called black holes. Was it astronomers' imaginations that observed these objects and caught the world's fantasy? Hawking and his colleagues recently yielded to unexpected evidence that black holes are more than gravity wells but electromagnetic geysers. An argument about instantiating meaning is beyond my thought's for tonight, so I shall assume that a property of black holes existed that we forgot in Hawking's hypothesis. Laying aside the origin of meaning, this example connects seemingly desperate things, in this case the foundations of how we describe nature. The metaphysical implications of Hawking and Einstein's theories trump most premonitions about life because their conclusions illuminate the interdependency of things we see (light) with things we feel (weight) and beg us to ask those awfully pricky "Why" questions again. Other examples abound; from my existential perspective they all converge on an unbound unity that boggles my mind.

Here it is then, my general conclusion: I believe that I exist, so everything exists. Simple and concise, as truth is. This finality is beautiful because, when taken to be true, my existence instantiates all things. The divine possibility is unintential, but I nonetheless admit it. A solipsist should find this generalization comforting; sadly, such people tend towards nihilism and in their megalomaniac fit forget the conclusion's premises: if a thing depends on another thing to exist, then the effect of instantiating one thing is cause for the existence of whatever brought about the instantiation. You should notice that I am building this logic recursively, so your analysis of how this follows should rest on my assumption: existence is meaningful only with respect to a thing. My assumption rests upon observation and abstract ideas; this statement is passive and void of a subject, yet a subject is necessarily implied because it is I who utter these words. I must yield to the relation between this logical exercise and my self. It's the kids game of stacking a sequence of dominos on a table; the first domino could neither fall if it were the only domino nor be a domino unless I thought of it. Of course, the aethist will refute dependence upon external things, but Descartes' skepticism assures me that the very existence of self depends upon awareness of oneself. Oblivion is the only alternative ... and as an existing thing, I barely comprehend what that means.

I find this interconnectedness, interdependency, and unity of all things both empowering and humbling because it means I affect every person and likewise everyone affects me. This generalization explains how the leader is also a servant to his people. Such labels help us categorize things yet simulatenously excuse us from obvious responsibility. Differentiation is a method of superfluous comprehension and hypocritical awareness. Electromagnetic waves are gravitational fields and a unified theory could change how we experience life, but we experience and therefore more easily understand them as unique forces. Logan's vaulted ceiling is Denise's ceiling, but I perceive differences between the two so my body is better oriented in space time (i.e. I notice the wood ceiling to assure myself that I indeed drove to the right house at the right time). The application that women are black people will, at first, seem far fetched, however, I beg the critical thinker to recall that our ancestors, including Plato, believed slaves were de facto unequal to their masters.

I hope to expand the equality of genders, races, and everything differentiated, but first I reach my thought of the night. My general conclusion explains why I experience a cyclic life. It is all the same, all my experiences are alike. I affected memories and I affect this life. Now is the time, and has always been the time, to act.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 25th, 2005 07:24 am (UTC)
From Matt's eMail:
There is quite a bit in there, and honestly it's something that I
would have to digest in bits and pieces. Such heavy contemplating can
not be done after a full day's work in one sitting. I'll comment on
three things in your blog, the first is you seem dark and ambivalent
about life. The second is that really cool "What is your World View?"
quiz that you posted, and the third is your first entry about two
years ago.

I'm concerned about the brooding you are doing in the most recent
addition to your blog. It sounds like you're contemplating life to
such a deep extent that you are musing on its end as the only end and
source of any light. Nietzsche once said, "And if you gaze for long
into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

He doesn't tell us in Beyond Good and Evil about what exactly the
abyss is or what it's supposed to look like. I imagine it to be like
looking down a deep well. Depending on the time of the day or if the
weather is overcast, you look down the well and see a long tunnel
going to a deep dark point. If you look down the well on a clear day
right before and after noon, you see the same deep dark cavern and the
end of the well. At the bottom is your silhouetted reflection. I
think this is a great metaphor for life.

We stand at the top of the well: all of life present, real, expansive,
and the true source of light around us. Peering into the well we try
to see the future. Most of the time we can't see the end result or
the path that will lead us there. This unknown frightens us and
instead of feeling like we're looking down a well, we feel like we're
on a cliff. Then once in a while we get a look at the end result and
see ourselves in shadow looking back. At the end of life, that's it,
ta-da - there we are transformed. Transformed by what? Not the being
at the end of the well, but by the darkness descending into the well -
that part of life we cannot foresee, the inevitable journey. Think of
the blackness of space. It's only black because there is nothing
there. There is the potential for a star, a planet, a spaceship to
one day fill that space. Darkness and emptiness represent the
creative potential of the universe in our lives too.

Sure there is repetition, eddys, and vortexes in life. Everything
keeps moving and transforming. Things will change, and I hope you
feel better.

Lastly, I read your letter to me over two years ago (time flies!).
I'm very flattered that you put this up on your website, but why not
post my reply? It only seems fitting for it to be there. I scoured my
hard drive and all my e-mail address, but I can't find the reply I
sent. This is no doubt because I gave up on the mac.com address once
they decided to start charging for it. Thank goodness for gmail!

I'm chanting as we speak, bye-bye darhling ;-)
vap0rtranz
Oct. 7th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
Re: From Matt's eMail:
Ahh... Nietzsche. My philosophy lecturer assigned some Nietzsche stuff to read. So you like him?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )