Saturday 7 April 2018

#496 Reflecting on the dust ball series

During the earlier part of this week, I thought back to the dust ball series. Light and dark. The beginning of Genesis. Making the distinction. The first eye. That was what it did. It only saw the difference between light and dark. It was like a parallel between science and religion. I kept thinking about eye as the first sensor and how it could be scaled up into a robot with five senses and a whole lot more besides. It was the beginning of being. I'd write up the series into a story and continue to work on it.

I read somewhere that the eye was the same width as the sensor in a 35mm camera. We had more megapixels though. 576 to be exact. Cannon were prototyping a 250 megapixel camera. There were differences though. The human lens worked differently. We sensed light differently. We had a brain. 

The dust ball series had been a way of getting my head around Dan Dennett's idea that both the body and the mind were products of evolution. As a scientist, among other things, Dennett tended to avoid getting into the more spiritual side of things unless he was making reference to the evolution of religions. This was understandable. He'd spent his life in universities. Yet universities weren't the only place to learn about the human condition.

Further east, the Indian gurus had been meditating upon the nature of their existence for centuries and had come up with similar conclusions to Dennett. "If you spend enough time observing yourself, you'll discover that you aren't what you think you are. That also goes for free will and your religions". Like Dennett, the gurus had spent their lives looking inward at the mind but through very different means. Then Jordan Peterson, a psychologist, had come along and retold stories about where meaning came from, or at least what kind of behaviour was conducive to it. How could I get the most out of my own behaviour and find more meaning?

When I'd stopped seeing Sarah, I'd told her I would put together a toolbox of things that could help a person out if they ever felt off-track on their journey through life. I still hadn't done it. The infinite possibilities of what form the toolbox could take and what to put in it stretched out in front of me. I was tasked with collapsing them into a single thing. A thing that held resources. I didn't know what that thing would be. If it would be anything. Maybe just my own brain. I did feel more resourceful these days. More able to sense what needed doing. Strangely, it felt like writing the dust ball series had helped.


Fizzfan said...

Finding meaning in life is probably the most important and elusive friend or foe.
Could just be survival for some souls who have no purpose or dignity. That could involve stealing just to get the drugs they crave to take them out of the misery of their lives.
If you’re fortunate enough not to be one of those people, it’s still not easy. The world of work is often more a means to an end than having any real meaning. Having said that, the end hopefully is the meaning, ie having the funds to pay for your home, build a family, holidays, pursue hobbies etc.
I was thinking about this last night funnily enough while I was watching Big Cats Around The House again. There was a part when I was so entranced and smiling and feeling emotional, I thought, that’s what a job with meaning feels like, where you love it so much it fills you passion and emotion and a real sense of purpose. Man that guy is lucky.
Not lucky in the sense of just winning some kind of jackpot, but that somehow he was able to work towards something that ended up being everything he wanted and he could pour his heart and soul into.
For some that’s helped by other people that are invested in them like family or friends or contacts, for others it’s an innate determination, probably a bit of both.
Discovering what you are is maybe limited to where your life has taken you. Discovering what you could be, well, that’s the spiritual side I think, when everything feels full of meaning and you are satisfied. That’s huge and probably why most people answer the question of what you’d like to be with ‘Happy’.
I’ll never know what I could have been as my optimum self but on balance I’m aware of being fortunate in many ways and feel quite content with that, which keeps me mostly happy.
I think you have to care about something. Could be a personal goal, could be a person or even an animal. It’s also a balance though because the more cares you have, the more responsibility, and that can also turn into a weight and/or burden.
My sister’s in a bad place at the moment due to cares. Her daughters very ill and it will take two years for her to recover (or not, no one knows yet) The ripple effects are making her ill.
It’s tricky and constantly changing. Life’s a seesaw. Some people like the ups and downs, risk takers I guess, some prefer keeping it more stable bobbing up and down in the middle. You just never know who’s going to jump on the other end and tip the balance.

I think your brain is your toolbox. Keep chiselling away and you could pretty much hammer home anything:)

Profound Familiarity said...

Who is the guy on Big Cats Around The House who was so lucky? Was it a presenter or something?

I'm sorry to hear about your sister. Does she live near you or is she further afield?

Fizzfan said...

He’s a presenter and Wild life conversationist called Giles Clark.

Thanks. She lives about 40 miles away. Her 35 year old daughter went into a coma after having a brain haemorrhage and is paralysed down one side at the moment.
She’s been in hospital for 2 months. She had an op to stop the bleeding but the treatment she needs in Sheffield has no beds yet.
Tensions are running high and effecting all concerned because there’s younger children and animals to be cared for, a partner that won’t leave her side (very noble) cept he’s self employed and not earning. Mounting debts. Also won’t look after the children, so X husband is standing in who has 3 other children.........yep, messy and very stressful and not going away any time soon.

Profound Familiarity said...

That's a lot to deal with. I'll say a prayer for them and hope there is some improvement in some part of the situation very soon.

Fizzfan said...

:) You’re kind. Thanks