May 31, 2013
Some ideas, regardless of whether they’re true or not, make me smile. I actually have all of Alan Watts lectures on my mp3 player, and every now and again, while I’m out for a walk, I cue him up and hear wonderful things like this.
I don’t suspect Watts is right on this issue. When we grow tired of an experience, there are slight changes in our brain which make it to where those things no longer release as many reward chemicals as they once did. The human brain is wired up to reward novelty and craftily putting things together. That’s what makes our species so innovative. An experience in and of itself does not carry happiness or dread. It’s based on how our brain is wired up to interpret that experience.
He makes a statement that after we’ve died we say to ourselves, “Boy, that was wild! Now what?” But you have to remember, to want or not want something you have to first have a body. The body is what creates what you want and don’t want. To be disembodied yet asking yourself, “What do I want” doesn’t really make sense if you sit and think about it. A green slimy alien living in a cold swamp wouldn’t want the same things as a human being.
Also, as I mentioned in one of my more recent posts on Cotard’s syndrome, it’s possible to be conscious and alive without emotion altogether. You’re just sort of “there”. If we take consciousness to be a deeper aspect of ourselves, it’s beyond happiness or even suffering. There’s ways to be conscious without either of those things.
But maybe I’m thinking about it too much. It seems that Watts is advocating a certain attitude toward the unpredictable aspects of life. All of his ideas put you in state of mind where you’re just fine with who you are, where you are, and what you are. He leaves you feeling at home in the world, in your station in life, wherever that may be. You’re not a foreigner in this world, weak and frail, soon to die. He advocates we are the world and has this deep perspective on the self. I like his ideas. You eventually come to welcome the mystery, chaos, and unpredictably of life.
May 29, 2013
What happens when I’m in a good mood? I end up badly drawing little comics like this one.
May 29, 2013
Physicist and cosmologist Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology explains the different interpretations of quantum mechanics. He also shows a distribution showing how popular the different views are among professional physicists. Like Dr. Carroll, I think Everett’s many worlds interpretation best explains what’s going on, but I can’t say I’m entirely certain.
May 29, 2013
If, “Manners maketh man” as someone said
Then he’s the hero of the day
It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile
Be yourself no matter what they say
Modesty, propriety can lead to notoriety
You could end up as the only one
Gentleness, sobriety are rare in this society
At night a candle’s brighter than the sun
Takes more than combat gear to make a man
Takes more than a license for a gun
Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can
A gentleman will walk but never run
May 26, 2013
Many years ago, my friend Fraser recommended that I watch an animated film called Ghost In the Shell. I absolutely loved it and ended up watching all the other movies as well, not to mention the television series. There was one particular moment in the first movie which is probably my favorite scene of any movie. I was happy to find that it’s available on Youtube.
I’m surprised that so few people know what it means. It’s symbolic of forgiveness, redemption, and all things new. Motoko dives deep into the water, so deep that everything around her becomes pitch black. There in the depths, she extends her arms and let’s go of her troubles, her fears, and her mistakes. She leaves it all in the depths, forgets about it, and floats back upward toward the light, leaving her burdens behind. As she reaches the surface, she’s reborn, gazing upward toward a beautiful sky. It’s a new day, a water baptism.
One day I plan to do that in the ocean. I’m going to put on scuba gear, dive as deep as I can, so deep that all I see around me is total darkness. I’ll then visualize all the painful memories in my life, all my mistakes, and everything I’m ashamed of, and slowly extend my arms outward. I’m going to throw it all into the sea, forgive myself, forgive others, and forgive the world, and then resurface toward the light.
Like everybody, I’ve done a lot of stupid things, many of which I’m really ashamed of. But you know, I’ve tried to make things right when that was possible. I’ve tried to apologize when the person was willing to talk to me. Some old friends and acquaintances have never accepted my apology, or have even been willing to talk to me again, but there’s nothing you can do in that situation. After years and years, it’s time to move on. You have to let it go. You can’t let people hold you to who you once were. All things new.
Oh, and before we leave this post, I have a message to any fellow nerds. All of you cool people now have to go. Ok, they’re gone?
GHOST IN THE SHELL: ARISE! *Screams* Have you seen the trailer? It comes out in a few weeks. We get to see Motoko’s back-story and when she first joined Section 9. I’m totally excited.